Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 3, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

DOL Sharpens Focus of Plan Proxy Voting

"The proposal includes provisions outlining general duties requiring fiduciaries to vote any proxy where the fiduciary prudently determines that the matter being voted upon would have an economic impact on the plan.... The new proposal includes a list of obligations with which fiduciaries must comply when making decisions on proxy voting and exercising shareholder rights[.]" Icon to read more

American Retirement Association [ARA]

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Sponsored by Burrmont Compliance Labs LLC


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Releases Interim Final Rule on Lifetime Income Illustrations

"This rule is likely to change as a result of the comments received, but it does appear this ten-year effort to encourage participants to think about their defined contribution balance in terms of producing lifetime income is moving towards fruition.... [Plan] sponsors may want to consider additional steps they can take beyond what the rule requires to assist participants in meeting their post-retirement income needs." Icon to read more

Buck

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Takes First Stab at SECURE Act's DC Plan Lifetime Income Disclosures

"Many administrators give participants disclosures that are far more comprehensive than the statute requires.... The rule itself notes that 'nothing in this section precludes a plan sponsor from including lifetime income stream illustrations on the benefit statement' to supplement the required disclosures, as long as the additional illustrations are clearly explained, designed not to mislead participants and based on reasonable assumptions. However, the IFR's preamble explains that DOL cannot provide fiduciary protection for projections that do not use the prescribed assumptions." Icon to read more

Mercer

Miss a Plan Restatement Deadline? SCP to the Rescue!

"[Rev. Proc. 2019-19 expanded the Self-Correction Program (SCP)] to include the ability to self-correct certain plan document failures.... The IRS ... has informally stated that SCP was modified to permit the self-correction of missed restatements ... There are three conditions that must be satisfied to use SCP. These are not unique to plan document failures -- they generally apply to any failure trying to be corrected under SCP.... The other option is to use the VCP." Icon to read more

Robert Richter, for American Retirement Association [ARA]

Recommended Contributions to Cash Balance Plans: Making Today's Assets Equal Today's Promised Benefits

"[T]he minimum amount required to be contributed to a cash balance plan will almost always leave the assets below the promised benefits, i.e. the sum of the hypothetical account balances.... Contributing the minimum will keep the plan in compliance, but not fully funded. That is where the recommended contribution comes into play.... [The 'recommended contribution'] is simply an amount that, when contributed, increases the plan assets to a level equal to the plan liabilities (hypothetical account balance).Icon to read more

DWC

[Sponsored]

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


Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconElection 2020: Retirement Policy Positions

"We are nearing the final stretch of the 2020 campaign. What have the parties proposed for the future of the U.S. retirement system? A chart [in this article] summarizes the policy documents prepared by the parties outlining their goals for both the private retirement system and Social Security." Icon to read more

Groom Law Group

Social Security: Potential Effect of Raising or Eliminating the Taxable Earnings Base (PDF)

30 pages. "[T]he Social Security Administration's Office of the Chief Actuary (OCACT) estimates that phasing in an increase in the taxable maximum (for both contributions and benefits bases) to cover 90% of covered earnings over the next decade would eliminate roughly 20% of the long-range shortfall in Social Security. OCACT's estimates also show that if all earnings were subject to the payroll tax, but the current-law base was retained for benefit calculations, the Social Security trust funds would remain solvent for over 40 years." [RL32896, updated Sept. 2, 2020] Icon to read more

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Pension Monitor, August 2020

"The funded status for a typical total-return plan improved by a robust 7.3%, while an LDI-focused plan saw an increase of 3.7%, based on NEPC's hypothetical open- and frozen-pension plans. Gains were driven primarily by the continuing rally in equities and a decrease in liabilities as Treasury rates increased." Icon to read more

NEPC

Pension Finance Update, August 2020

"Pensions enjoyed their best month of the year in August, driven by higher stock prices and higher interest rates. Both model plans ... gained ground last month, with Plan A improving 6% and Plan B gaining 1% during August. For the year, Plan A is still down more than 3% and Plan B is down 1% through the first eight months of 2020." Icon to read more

October Three Consulting

[Opinion]

ACLI Testimony on DOL Proposed Regs: Improving Investment Advice for Workers and Retirees

"[T]he Department's commentary in the preamble to the proposal ... could be understood to broadly impose fiduciary obligations in a manner similar to the Department's 2016 fiduciary regulation. Before it was vacated by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, that regulation's fiduciary-only elitist approach restricted access to professional guidance that retirement savers with low and moderate balances want and need. We are concerned that retirement savers will once again be denied the choice of nonfiduciary services." Icon to read more

American Council of Life Insurers [ACLI]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Restricted Stock, Restricted Stock Units, Restricted Securities: Understanding the Differences and Why They Matter

"[Restricted Stock Units (RSUs)] are now the most frequently granted equity awards in public companies. However, companies, employees, and financial advisors often call RSUs 'restricted stock' or 'restricted securities.' ... [T]hose three things are not the same. As a lawsuit by current and former Uber employees shows, it's important to know what type of stock grant you have and its tax treatment." Icon to read more

Bruce Brumberg, in Forbes

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Revisiting Life Insurance in DB/DC or CB/DC Combo Plans

"Revisiting the life insurance issues in combo plans. This time not a floor-offset. DB or CB plan combined with a DC plan. All HCEs are at maximum benefit under DB/CB and rank-and-file minimum to pass 401(a)(26). DC plan, in addition to the deferrals +3% non-elective SH, has PS allocations, say minimum 4.5% to pass gateway (SH + PS = 7.5% of compensation). Agent wants insurance in the DB/CB only. Is this not a BRF issue?

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BenefitsLink Message Boards

Owners Active, Former Employee Still Has Account: 1-Participant Plan for 5500 Filing Purposes?

"We have a client where the only active 'employees' are the husband and wife owners. One former employee still has an account. Is this considered a 1-participant plan?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

SSA Notice of Benefits Due from Former Employer's Retirement Plan

"Former participant received a notice from Social Security that she has a benefit under her former employer's plan. She terminated back in 1989. The plan has changed TPAs and recordkeepers a couple of times since the 1989 termination date, so finding the detail as to what happened to her account (paid/rolled to default IRA) has been challenging. What is the employer's responsibility regarding this matter? If they cannot prove the benefit was distributed, is the employer responsible to pay the former participant?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2020 BenefitsLink.com, 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 BenefitsLink.com, 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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