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[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconIRS Offers Temporary Relief for Mid-Year Reductions in Safe Harbor Plan Contributions

"[Notice 2020-52] offers relief for employers who have already modified their safe harbor plan contributions in light of the pandemic, or that want to change their safe harbor contributions before August 31, 2020. To the extent that an employer is not operating at an economic loss or failed to anticipate a need to reserve the right to reduce safe harbor contributions in its annual safe harbor notice, the employer can make such mid-year changes without jeopardizing the tax-qualified status of the plan."

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

Questionable Retirement Plan Features, Part 2

"[T]here are plenty of other questionable plan features that all too many plan sponsors adopt that can greatly increase plan administration, be detrimental to plan participants, or both.... [1] Utilizing a non-calendar plan year ... [2] Allowing hardship distributions ... [3] Not having a loan policy."

Cammack Retirement Group

Cash Balance Plans: How the Contribution and Interest Credits Are Used to Determine the Actual Contribution Amount

"In most cases, business owners set up cash balance plans to increase the deductible contributions they can make, i.e., for tax deferral purposes. To mitigate the possibility of higher than expected investment returns (which result in a decrease in the required contribution amount), it is common to adopt a conservative investment policy designed to achieve the stated interest credit rate (3% in this case) as closely as possible."


How the COVID Pandemic Has Impacted Retirement Security

"According to [a recent] study, the amount of working-age households that will not be able to afford their present-day standard of living in retirement has increased from 50 to 55 percent due to the economic downturn. ... Older workers are particularly vulnerable to this effect[.]"

National Public Pension Coalition

Shrink Your RMDs in 2021 and Beyond by Using a QLAC

"[Qualified longevity annuity contracts] are a special type of annuity that lets you cut RMDs from your IRAs next year and beyond, reduce the taxes you pay and guarantee more lifetime income in old age."



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

How to Create Cash Flows in Retirement

"Rather than subsisting on organically generated portfolio income -- which today entails jacking up risk to generate a sustainable level of portfolio -- retirees should focus instead on 'cash flows.' A cash flow approach encompasses income production as well as gain harvesting through rebalancing appreciated positions."



Dalbar: DOL's Proposed ESG Rule Will Hurt Plan Participation, Contributions

"The [DOL] gravely erred in its proposal to limit ESG investing, which will hurt both participation levels and contributions in retirement plans ... Dalbar said in a comment letter.... If the DOL tries choosing the investments employees can select, it ultimately will dictate how many employees participate in a workplace plan and how much they contribute, the company argued."

Financial Advisor


The Premises of the DOL Proposed Reg for Selecting ERISA Plan Investments

"The proposed regulations rely on incorrect premises. The most important incorrect premise is that careful, prudent, skillful, and diligent ERISA plan fiduciaries will, like the DOL and unsophisticated investors, rely on slogans, such as those denigrating or praising ESG/sustainable investing, to make direct or indirect plan investments.... The second most important incorrect premise is that plan fiduciaries may only use pecuniary factors to select and monitor investment options for participants and beneficiaries."

Albert Feuer, via SSRN

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Editor's PickIRS Approves Plan Allowing Employees to Annually Choose Between Profit Sharing Plan and HRA Contributions

"The IRS noted that, while employees would be permitted to make an annual irrevocable election of contributions to the plans, they would not be permitted to elect to have the contributions paid in cash or used towards taxable benefits. Accordingly, the IRS ruled that the proposed amendment to the profit sharing plan will not cause the plan to be treated as offering a cash or deferred arrangement pursuant to section 401(k)."

The Wagner Law Group

Editor's PickSide by Side Comparison: Electronic Disclosure Rules for Retirement and Welfare Plans

"The DOL recently provided retirement plans with a new method to comply electronically with certain participant disclosure and notice requirements.... This new method adds to the previously issued DOL safe harbor and the IRS rules. [This chart provides] a side-by-side general comparison to help plan administrators keep track of when each method may be used, and what requirements must be met."


Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Updates Guidance on Timing of Wage and FICA Withholding for Stock Options and RSUs

"The intent of [General Legal Advice Memorandum (GLAM) 2020-004] appears to be to shore up the integrity and consistent application of the rules governing income inclusion, and the FICA and FIT withholding and deposit obligations to the various types of equity awards discussed. The intent of the [update to Section of the Internal Review Manual] in turn appears to be to mitigate the practical, logistical challenges employers face in the context of a pristine application of those rules and provide administrative relief subject to the satisfaction of certain conditions."

Mayer Brown

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Restatement of Governmental Plan Documents: When Due?

"Are governmental defined contribution plans subject to the 6-year restatement period? If so, are their restatements due at the same time as 401(k), profit sharing and money purchase plan restatements (July 31, 2022)?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Statute of Limitations Applies to 'Informal' Plan Disqualification?

"When is a plan actually considered disqualified? Does the IRS need to formally disqualify before it is considered disqualified? I know the IRS can reach back to open years but I'm wondering how the statute of limitations applies to plans that might not be qualified due to failures (but have not been formerly disqualified by the IRS)."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

CalPERS Chief Investment Officer Yu (Ben) Meng Resigns
CalPERS [California Public Employees' Retirement System]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

View COVID-19 News and Resources, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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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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