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September 4, 2020 logo logo
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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Priority Guidance Plan: Fourth Quarter Update (PDF)

41 pages. The IRS has issued its fourth quarter update to the agency's 2019-2020 Priority Guidance Plan, in which it describes guidance projects in the current fiscal year. Retirement plan items begin on page 14. Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Warms Up to Private Equity in 401(k) Plans

"On June 3, 2020, the [DOL] provided valuable insights via [Information Letter 2020-06-03], addressing private equity investment (PEI) within defined contribution retirement plans ... Based on the letter and other guidance ... [this article provides] a checklist of considerations that are relevant when deciding whether to allow PEI in participant-directed 401(k) plans." Icon to read more

Carlton Fields

How Might Taking Coronavirus-Related Distributions Impact Retirement Benefits? (PDF)

"If all workers take a coronavirus-related distribution and fail to repay it, the overall reduction in retirement balances is projected to be 20 percent. The lowest age groups are least impacted -- in part because their current account balances are too small for them to take the full $100,000 distribution." Icon to read more

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Decade of Debate Continues at DOL Hearing on Fiduciary Rule

"If the fiduciary rule saga has made one thing clear, it is that creating consensus about conflict of interest regulations is hard work. Even supporters of the new [DOL] proposal say there is room for improvement." Icon to read more


S&P 1500 Pension Funded Status Increased by 4 Percent in August

"The estimated aggregate funding level of pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies increased ... to 83 percent as a result of an increase in discount rates and equity markets. As of August 31, 2020, the estimated aggregate deficit of $433 billion decreased by $124 billion as compared to $557 billion measured at the end of July ... Typical discount rates for pension plans ... increased from 2.20 percent to 2.46 percent." Icon to read more


Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Private Letter Ruling Allows Employees to Choose Between Future 401(a) Plan Contributions and Future HRA Contributions

"Recognizing that there are distinct advantages of both HRAs and 401(a) plans, it is often difficult for public employers and their union bargaining partners to settle on the right 'mix' of the plans and benefits. The new IRS private letter ruling specifically gives individual employees the ability to choose the amounts of future employer contributions to an HRA or to a 401(a) plan." Icon to read more

Best Best & Krieger LLP

A 'Vaccine' for COVID-19 ERISA Litigation

"[An] employer-sponsored retirement plan ... is likely to suffer from market volatility.... [E]mployer-sponsored health and welfare plans will see upticks in claims issues ... and coverage (or no coverage) for novel treatments is sure to generate litigation.... Practice the 'Three Ds' = Deliberate, Decide, and Document.... Communicate responsibly with participants.... Review the distribution terms of your plans and stay in contact with your record keeper." Icon to read more

Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP

Compensation Impacts of COVID-19

"Designing, implementing and analyzing compensation strategies as a part of an employer's total rewards strategy requires agility and stamina. Most importantly, organizations must utilize strong data to back a thorough understanding of what it takes today and will take in the future to balance business needs with the ability to attract, retain and reward employees using every total rewards tool, including compensation." Icon to read more


When and How to Negotiate Benefits with Workers and Job Seekers

"[A]lmost 60 percent of workers said it was either extremely or very important for an employer to be open to benefits negotiations.... Although the Paychex survey found that 401(k) matching or discretionary contributions are the most desired benefit (cited by 75 percent of respondents), employers must tread carefully when considering these requests so that they do not run afoul of IRS nondiscrimination requirements. Similarly, the 47 percent of surveyed workers who requested subsidized insurance premiums may not realize that employers face a thicket of tax, legal and regulatory issues if they give some employees, and not others, certain health benefits." Icon to read more

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Plan's Fixed Matching Contribution Formula Is Amended; When Can It Become Effective?

"Plan has a fixed match with last day/1000 hours requirement (waived for RDD). 12/31 PYE. Effective 7/1/2020 they amend to remove the match. Are they obligated to fund the match through 7/1?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

LLC Taxed as Corporation -- Still a Partnership for Purpose of 1563 Attribution Rules?

"LLC has elected to be taxed as a corporation. For purposes of the attribution rules under 1563(e)(2), do you still have to look at 5% owners of the LLC in determining whether a controlled group exists? Does it matter whether it is an S-Corp or a C-Corp? I cannot find anything in the 1563 regs, but my guess is that the answer to both questions is no." Icon to read more

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Press Releases

OneDigital Acquires DS Benefits Group
OneDigital Health and Benefits

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Miss a Plan Restatement Deadline? SCP to the Rescue!
Robert Richter, for American Retirement Association [ARA]

DOL Sharpens Focus of Plan Proxy Voting
American Retirement Association [ARA]

View COVID-19 News and Resources, Inc.
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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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