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Webcasts, Conferences

Survey of Recent Employee Benefits Guidance
September 15, 2020 WEBCAST
Eversheds Sutherland

The Growing Burden of Retirement
September 16, 2020 WEBCAST
National Institute on Retirement Security

Switching Gears: Virtual RITA Fall 2020 Conference
October 27, 2020 WEBCAST
Retirement Industry Trust Association [RITA]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Interest Rate Assumptions for Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans, September and Fourth Quarter 2020

"The October 2020 lump sum interest assumptions will be 0.00 percent for the period during which a benefit is (or is assumed to be) in pay status and 4.00 percent during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for September 2020, these assumptions represent no change in the immediate rate and are otherwise unchanged.... The fourth quarter 2020 interest assumptions will be 1.62 percent for the first 20 years following the valuation date and 1.40 percent thereafter. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for the third quarter of 2020, these interest assumptions represent no change in the select period, a decrease of 0.36 percent in the select rate, and a decrease of 0.17 percent in the ultimate rate." Icon to read more

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconIRS Postpones Deadline for Paying and Reporting of Excise Taxes Related to Unpaid Minimum Required Contributions for Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plans

"Announcement 2020-17 ... postpones until January 15, 2021, the deadline for reporting and paying excises taxes related to unpaid minimum required contributions (MRCs) to single-employer defined benefit plans.... Under the CARES Act, the deadline for making MRCs, including quarterly contributions, for single-employer defined benefit plans during the 2020 calendar year is postponed to January 1, 2021 " Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

[Guidance Overview]

PEP Model Evolves with DOL Proposed Registration Guidance

"By gathering this information, the DOL and Treasury will be better prepared to oversee the PEP market and to provide regulatory agencies, prospective employer customers, and the public with relevant data about available PPPs. Each PPP will be responsible for its own registration and for any update or supplement to past filings." Icon to read more


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes Rule Requiring Increased Proxy Voting Analysis and Recordkeeping

"Under the Proposed Rule, plan fiduciaries must research all material facts and analyze each proxy vote to determine if that vote would have an economic benefit to the plan ... [To] minimize the increased costs of such investigations and analysis, the fiduciary may choose to use a permitted policy outlined in the regulations ... [1] voting proxies with management, [2] voting only on certain types of corporate events (e.g., mergers and acquisitions), or [3] voting only if the corporate stock makes up a minimum threshold of the plan's investment holdings." Icon to read more

Groom Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconWhen Does a COVID-19 Furlough or Layoff Trigger a Partial Termination for Your Qualified Plan? (PDF)

"[T]he IRS will not deem a partial termination to have occurred if a plan sponsor is able to rehire terminated employees before the end of 2020.... [An] applicable period is not necessarily one plan year -- it can span across multiple plan years. The IRS Release does mention rehiring before the end of an 'applicable period' but in its example the IRS only refers to rehiring 'by the end of' 2020. There is uncertainty as to what happens if the rehiring takes place in 2021[.]" Icon to read more

Boutwell Fay LLP

401(k) Plan Concerns -- from the Auditor Perspective

"[1] No established retirement plan committee.... [2] No investment policy statement.... [3] Definition of compensation issues.... [4] Lack of minutes from retirement plan oversight committee meetings.... [5] Lack of documentation of review of investment fees and other fees.... [6] Lack of documentation of annual review of service provider SOC-1 reports.... [7] Continued instances of late remittances of [employee elective] deferrals.... [8] Lack of cybersecurity controls and education to participants." Icon to read more

Bradley Bartells, CPA, via LinkedIn

Upcoming Deadline iconCalifornia Requires Cannabis Companies to Provide Retirement Plans by September 30

"[T]he deadline for cannabis companies with more than 100 employees is September 30, 2020.... For cannabis employers with more than 50 employees, the deadline is June 30, 2021; for cannabis employers with five or more employees, June 30, 2022.... While cannabis remains illegal under the federal law of the Controlled Substances Act, under ... the Internal Revenue [and ERISA], cannabis companies can sponsor and/or participate in 401(k) plans." Icon to read more


High Risk Issue iconIllinois Mandated Retirement Program May Mean Penalties for State's Cannabis Industry

"[E]mployers in Illinois with at least 25 employees must comply with the Illinois' Secure Choice or offer employees an employer-sponsored retirement plan.... Enrollment for large employers with at least 500 employees was in December 2018; for employers with 100-499, July 2019; and for employers with 25-99, November 2019. In other words, if you have been operating for at least two years with 25 employees, ... [and] you haven't registered for Secure Choice and you haven't established a 401(k) plan, then you are exposed to a penalty of $250 per employee for the first year, and $500 per employee for each subsequent year." Icon to read more


Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconTen Ways to Close Public Pension Funding Gaps (PDF)

34 pages. "Solutions can have more staying power and impact if they address underlying, structural fiscal issues and tackle imprudent approaches to allocate state and local government revenues, including pension contributions. This paper describes alternative approaches that public pension systems and their government relations teams should consider, understand, and bring up in discussions, debates, and negotiations." Icon to read more

National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems [NCPERS]

Retirement Planning When You Have Enough

"[If] you've built your portfolio up to a point that it meets your goals ... you don't need to keep gunning for additional returns. Instead, you can switch your focus to extracting your cash flows from a more conservatively positioned portfolio that provides you with peace of mind.... The key is that the portfolio spending rate must be low enough to make it work, and the portfolio should be positioned to support that spending as well as to accommodate inflation and short-term spending shocks." Icon to read more


Mark Iwry Is Dedicated to Helping All Americans Achieve Financial, Retirement, and Health Care Security

"A uniquely powerful Washington wonk. A hero of our retirement system. A pension rock star. One of the world's 30 top financial players. A legend. An inspiration. Mark Iwry has received plaudits like these from a variety of publications and people, along with awards for leadership, achievement, and innovation from organizations that typically don't agree on much: workers' rights groups, the payroll industry, the financial services industry, the IRS, the small business community, investment advisors, pension professionals, and others. To his acclamations, Harvard Kennedy School is adding its Alumni Public Service Award for Iwry's work to strengthen the economic security of working families." Icon to read more

Harvard Kennedy School

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2020-71: Special Per Diem Rates for 2020-2021 (PDF)

"This annual notice provides the 2020-2021 special per diem rates for taxpayers to use in substantiating the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home ... The special M&IE rates for taxpayers in the transportation industry are $66 for any locality of travel in the continental United States (CONUS) and $71 for any locality of travel outside the continental United States (OCONUS).... The rate for any CONUS or OCONUS locality of travel for the incidental expenses only deduction is $5 per day.... For purposes of the high-low substantiation method, the per diem rates ... are $292 for travel to any high-cost locality and $198 for travel to any other locality within CONUS." Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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Individual Has Wages from One Participating Employer But Self-Employment Losses from Another Participating Employer

"An employee of a 401(k) plan sponsor gets a W-2 and defers on those wages. He's also a partner in a partnership, which is a participating employer. He ends up with a large net loss for self-employment purposes. Do I need to net the two income sources, which would result in him having no 'compensation' for purposes of the plan?" Icon to read more

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Press Releases

NAGDCA Announces Winner of 2020 Art Caple President's Award for Excellence
National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators [NAGDCA]

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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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