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Hot Topics for Higher Education Retirement Plan Sponsors
Cammack Retirement Group

Retirement Income Summit
August 10, 2020 WEBCAST

Focus on Tax-exempt Organizations: 457(f) & 457(b) Plans
August 12, 2020 WEBCAST
Multnomah Group

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
August 20, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

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[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon PBGC Issues Guidance on When 2020 Contributions Can Be Made That May Be Used to Reduce Variable-Rate Premiums

"PBGC's FAQ guidance on the calculation of variable-rate premiums is of particular importance for plan sponsors, providing a 1-month extension (to October 15, 2020) of the deadline for making contributions in 2020 that can be used to reduce 2020 variable-rate premiums.... [S]ponsors who want to make a 2019 contribution to reduce their 2020 UVBs must (at least as the current rules stand) make that contribution by October 15, 2020."

October Three Consulting


SPARK/DCIIA Summer Policy Series

Live virtual event, every Wednesday, July 15 to August 19. Domestic and global topics; general and breakout sessions (live broadcast), exhibitor hall and virtual networking happy hours. Replay on demand. Free to SPARK and DCIIA members. Learn more! Learn more

Sponsored by SPARK and DCIIA

Editor's PickBest Practices for ERISA Fiduciary Responsibilities and Cybersecurity for Retirement Plans (PDF)

"Fiduciaries ... must: [1] Act prudently in responding to a breach of their plan participants' [protected health information (PHI)] and [personally identifiable information (PII)]. [2] Consider developing prudent policies and procedures for handling, collection, transmission, security and storage of all PII, data, and PHI. [3] Consider developing third-party procedures and notification and remediation measures for breaches of their plan participants PHI and PII.... This Note provides guidance for plan fiduciaries of retirement plans to develop prudent policies and procedures to secure information and data."

Epstein Becker Green, via Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Upcoming Deadline iconIRS Guidance and Relief for Suspensions of Safe Harbor Contributions for 2020

"IRS Notice 2020-52 provides relief to employers who do not meet one of the two suspension requirements ... These employers may now suspend safe harbor contributions during the 2020 plan year if the plan is amended between March 13, 2020 through August 31, 2020. The timing of the contribution suspension is different based on the type of safe harbor contribution provided under the plan."


California Supreme Court Upholds Pension Reform Changes as Constitutional

"The California Supreme Court clarified the so-called California Rule on public employee's 'vested rights' to pension benefits, holding that detrimental financial changes to employee pension benefits does not invariably require that offsetting comparable new advantages be provided. And it set a legal framework for analyzing that issue.... The Court left open possibilities for future pension changes necessary to address substantiated threats to the viability of a pension system." [Alameda County Deputy Sheriff's Ass'n v. Alameda County Employees' Retirement Ass'n., No. S247095 (Cal. Jul. 30, 2020)]

Hanson Bridgett LLP

The Good News About Retirement Savings in Light of the Stock Market Downtown

"Even with the downturn in the stock market, historically when the market has experienced difficulties it's later rallied back. The S&P fell by 31 percent from the end of 1999 to the low point in October 2002. In comparison, 401(k) plan balances dipped by 8 percent before recovering completely and even making some gains. In contrast, the S&P 500 gained 31.5 percent in 2019. That means that anyone who significantly invested in stocks since the beginning of 2019 is probably ahead on their investments."

Employee Benefits Report


Plan Advisor Checklist: Identifying the Best Retirement Plan Prospects

Retirement plan prospecting can be difficult. Successful advisors are targeted and focused on bringing new ideas to clients and prospects. Use this checklist to define your target audience, identify meaningful opportunities and communicate your value. Learn more

Sponsored by October Three

State of Savings: July 2020

"The industries that [had] the most significant drop-off in retirement plan contribution activity as of the end of May have seen striking improvements in these contribution deficits ... Though there was a 7.4% decrease in the total amount of employer contributions through June based on projections, this represents a 4 percentage point improvement over May."


FAS87 ASC715 Discount Rates and Moody's Rates, July 31, 2020

An unofficial monthly report of the Moody's Daily Long-term Corporate Bond Yield Averages and Moody's Daily Treasury Yield Averages (used as benchmarks by some corporate pension plans).

David Rigby, via BenefitsLink Message Boards


Congress Should Give Americans Flexibility to Keep Retirement Savings on Track

"Congress can help American families get their retirement savings goals back on track by including the 'Temporary Coronavirus-Related Catch-Up Contribution' proposal in the next COVID-19 relief package. The proposal would allow workers who were adversely affected by COVID-19 to make additional contributions of up to $6,000 annually -- for three years beginning in 2021 -- to their retirement accounts ... The proposal would be available to qualified workers regardless of age, and would permit employers to match their employees' catch-up contributions."

Investment Company Institute [ICI]


Actuaries Discuss Retirement Budgeting Approaches

"On July 13, 2020, the American Academy of Actuaries (AAA) released an Issue Brief entitled, 'Actuarial Perspectives on Determining a Retirement Income Budget.' ... The Issue Brief talks about: Income budgets, Spending budgets, Drawdown strategies and Approaches that create a structure for retirement finances as if these were interchangeable terms. They are not."

Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Executive Compensation Issues Emerging from the COVID-19 Crisis

19 pages. "[T]he recent passage of the [CARES Act] as well as general liquidity and business continuity concerns due to the financial crisis have created circumstances calling for reductions in executive compensation. Employers and employees, however, must take care in the manner in which such reductions are implemented in order to remain in compliance with Internal Revenue Code Section 409A. In addition to analyzing these topics, this column also reviews other executive compensation issues that should be examined during these turbulent times."

Milliman and White & Case, via Benefits Law Journal

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

► It's easy to sign up and participate in discussions! Post answers, ask questions, create custom feeds and views. Join your peers (and potential referral sources or customers)—there is no charge.

Safe Harbor Plan Wants to Use Different Definitions of Compensation for Different Purposes

"Someone is asking if a traditional match safe harbor plan can have different definitions of compensation for employee deferrals and employer match. Specifically, they want to know if the definition of compensation for employee deferrals can include bonus but exclude bonus for match eligible compensation. In addition, the plan pays match on a payroll period basis and does not provide a true-up. I'm leaning strongly towards no on this but haven't found anything that specifically excludes this design. Any thoughts on this?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participant Becomes 100% Vested at Partial Plan Termination -- Even Going Forward?

"We have a plan that experienced a partial plan termination that resulted in some participants being made 100% vested. The employer has since rehired one of those participants made 100% vested. Does that rehire remain 100% vested in contributions going forward, even though the accrued years of service to calculate vesting does not add up to enough to be 100% vested?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Purchase Insurance Protection Against Bankruptcy of Unfunded Deferred Comp Plans?

"This company -- -- apparently insures against the risk of bankruptcy of the plan sponsor. Sounds too good to be true. Why wouldn't the bankruptcy trustee get the insurance proceeds? Wouldn't the proceeds inevitably be an asset of the business? Curious if anyone has seen this before or has any thoughts."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2020, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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