Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 1, 2020 logo logo
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Job Openings

Newly Posted
Webcasts, Conferences

Understanding 401(k) Plan Automatic Enrollment
September 16, 2020 WEBCAST
Lorman Education Services

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
September 22, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Virtual Certificate Program for Non-Professional ESOP Fiduciaries
September 29, 2020 WEBCAST
Ohio Employee Ownership Center

IRA Essentials
October 28, 2020 WEBCAST
Illinois Bankers Association

Advanced IRAs
October 29, 2020 WEBCAST
Illinois Bankers Association

Virtual SPARK Forum
November 4, 2020 WEBCAST
SPARK Institute

►See All 116 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See All 1599 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clarifies Rules for Delayed DB Plan Contributions

"Notice 2020-61 contains examples of the interest calculations, beginning with calculations for a calendar year plan that was not required to make quarterly contributions.... Plan sponsors have until January 1, 2021, to make elections to decrease the 2019 required minimum contribution by applying a carryover or prefunding balance toward the contribution.... No changes have been made to the usual rules that determine the tax year in which contributions may be deducted." Icon to read more

Cohen & Buckmann P.C., via PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required


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

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Interim Final Rule on Lifetime Income Illustrations

"Confronted with the difficulty of establishing assumptions or defaults for rates of future contributions and investment earnings (or, perhaps, requiring plans to show multiple lifetime income illustrations assuming different levels of future contributions or earnings), the DOL opted for a simpler approach of assuming no future contributions or investment earnings.... [S]ome participants may perceive the resulting lifetime income illustrations as providing limited insight regarding their likely retirement income." Icon to read more

Morgan Lewis

[Guidance Overview]

Traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs): A Primer (PDF)

"This report explains [traditional and Roth] IRAs' eligibility requirements, contribution limits, tax deductibility of contributions, and withdrawal rules, and it provides data on the accounts' holdings. It also describes the Saver's Credit and provisions enacted after the Gulf of Mexico hurricanes in 2005, the Midwestern storms in 2008, the hurricanes in 2012 and 2017, the California wildfires in 2017, certain other federally declared disasters occurring on or after January 1, 2018, and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic to exempt distributions to those affected from the 10% early withdrawal penalty." [RL34397, updated Aug. 20, 2020] Icon to read more

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

To Purge, or Not to Purge, That Is the Question

"Record retention rules are found in both the [DOL] Regulations and [ERISA], plus there are statutes of limitation concerns in relation to plan sponsor liability for just about everything administrative in a retirement plan. While most plans have policies for loans, investments, and qualified domestic relations orders, very few plan sponsors seem to have a record retention policy to provide guidance on what to retain, what to purge, and when to do it all." Icon to read more

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

District Court Dismisses Challenge to Actuarial Assumptions Used by UPS DB Plan

"[The judge stated] that the plaintiffs failed 'to exhaust administrative remedies' before taking its case to court.... [T]he suit, filed on Jan. 31 ... argued that the two UPS defined benefit plans used 1983 mortality data to calculate retiree benefits, which failed to account for people living longer and led to reduced benefits." [Brown v. United Parcel Service of America, Inc., No. 20-460 (N.D. Ga. Aug. 27, 2020)] Icon to read more

Pensions & Investments

High Risk Issue iconMassachusetts Starts Enforcing Fiduciary Rule

"The new regulations took effect on March 6 but the enforcement date begins on [September 1]. The rule requires broker-dealers and their agents to provide investment advice and recommendations 'without regard to the interests of anyone but the customer.' " Icon to read more


High Risk Issue iconThe Uncertain Legal Landscape for Plan Fiduciaries Over Cybersecurity Challenges (PDF)

"While the DOL appreciates the complexity of the challenges for plan sponsors, their lack of specific regulatory guidance in the new [electronic disclosure] regulation only makes cybersecurity a more pressing issue -- particularly considering that the threat of cybersecurity breaches and the resulting liability are not going away any time soon." Icon to read more

The Wagner Law Group, via Journal of Compensation and Benefits

High Risk Issue iconAbbott Data Breach Suit Provides Lessons for Plan Sponsors to Protect Against Potential Liability (PDF)

"[A] participant in the Abbott Corporate Benefits Stock Retirement Plan ... filed a complaint against her employer, Abbott Laboratories, the Plan administrator, the Plan itself, an Abbott employee and Alight Solutions, the Plan's contract administrator and recordkeeper, for allegedly processing a fraudulent $245,000 distribution from [her] Plan account to an unknown person that impersonated her. In response ... Abbott Laboratories and Alight Solutions pointed fingers at each other in dueling motions to dismiss a complaint that alleged both were fiduciaries in connection with the Plan data breach. The U.S. District Court ... will now have to decide if ... either Abbott or Alight (or both), could have: [1] fiduciary responsibility with respect to the theft of funds from the participant's account, and whether [2] the plan participant pled a plausible claim of fiduciary breach." [Bartnett v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 20-2127 (N.D. Ill. complaint filed Apr. 3, 2020)] Icon to read more

The Wagner Law Group, via Journal of Compensation and Benefits

Advisors Talk About Fraud in 401(k) Plans

"[R]ecent experience with fraud -- and concern about future events -- are far stronger among the largest advisory practices, with momentum seemingly driven by their plan sponsor clients. However, fraudsters tend to target individuals and not the plans themselves. So advisors with smaller DC practices may want to take more of a lead, particularly as an avenue to strengthen relationships with (current or potential) wealth management clients, who are often the most likely to be targets." Icon to read more

Reframe 401(k) Participant Education to Stop Stressing Risk and Start Emphasizing Goals

"How do you re-educate retirement savers to accept that 'risk tolerance' is less important than they'd been led to believe? It starts by probably framing where risk out to appear in the investment decision making process.... With the proper financial literacy syllabus, financial experts can help guide retirement savers towards realizing what they should most be concerned with: their Goal-Oriented Target[.]" Icon to read more

Fiduciary News; free registration required

How Does My Company Go About Setting Up a Retirement Plan?

"How much time and effort should expect to have to put in to set up a 401(k) plan for my employees? Isn't there an 'easy button' I can push? And, am I looking at spending an arm and a leg to get this going?" Icon to read more


Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Provides Tax Relief for Victims of Hurricane Laura

"Victims of Hurricane Laura that began August 22 now have until December 31, 2020, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... The IRS is offering this relief to any area designated by [FEMA] as qualifying for individual assistance. Currently this includes Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis and Vernon parishes in Louisiana[.]" Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Employees See More Value in Employee Benefits as Pandemic-Era Annual Enrollment Nears

"[E]mployed respondents overwhelmingly said their benefits programs make up a key part of their compensation (77%, up from 67% from a year ago) and are a big reason they would stay at a job (73% vs 59%).... 75% agreed that, 'Due to the pandemic, I feel that access to benefits through an employer is now more important than ever before.'... By more than a 2-to-1 margin, respondents said they would 'be willing to take a chance on a new job right now if it offered better benefits' (52% agree vs. 24% disagree, with 24% neutral)." Icon to read more


Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of DOL Proposed Rule: Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights (PDF)
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Text of DOL Fact Sheet: Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

DOL Proposes Rule on Employee Benefit Plan Proxy Voting and Exercises of Other Shareholder Rights
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

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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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