Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 21, 2020

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Webcasts, Conferences

Fiduciary Risks & Opportunities In the Digital Age: Retirement Plans & Remote Workers
September 22, 2020 WEBCAST
Compass Financial Advisors

Election 2020 - Retirement Policy
September 24, 2020 WEBCAST
Groom Law Group

Artificial Intelligence in Human Resources - Solutions to Support an Evolving Workforce
October 1, 2020 WEBCAST
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Baltimore Chapter

Politics, Policy and the Future of Retirement + Chris Gardner of The Pursuit of Happyness
October 22, 2020 WEBCAST
Pension Education Council of Atlanta [PECA]

Retirement Plan Alternatives for Small Plan Sponsors: CalSavers, or Pooled Employer Plans -- Which Is the Best Alternative?
October 22, 2020 WEBCAST
Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

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[Official Guidance]

Text of Treasury Approval of Benefit Reduction by Bricklayers and Allied Craftsmen Local 7 Pension Fund (PDF)

"Of the voters identified by the Fund who received a ballot, 96 (or 21.72% of all eligible voters who received a ballot) voted to reject the benefit reduction, 60 voted to approve the benefit reduction, and 286 did not return a ballot. Because a majority of voters identified as eligible by the Fund did not vote to reject the benefit reduction, the benefit reduction is permitted to go into effect." Icon to read more

U.S. Department of the Treasury

[Official Guidance]

Text of OPM Final Regs: Federal Employees' Retirement System; Present Value Conversion Factors for Spouses of Deceased Separated Employees

"[OPM is revising] the table of reduction factors for early commencing dates of survivor annuities for spouses of separated employees who die before the date on which they would be eligible for unreduced deferred annuities, and to revise the annuity factor for spouses of deceased employees who die in service when those spouses elect to receive the basic employee death benefit in 36 installments under the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) Act of 1986. These rules are necessary to ensure that the tables conform to the economic and demographic assumptions adopted by the Board of Actuaries and published in the Federal Register on April 6, 2020[.]" Icon to read more

U.S. Office of Personnel Management [OPM]

[Guidance Overview]

Family 'SECURity': Early Withdrawal Tax Exception for Qualified Births and Adoptions

"[Notice 2020-68] clarifies that if a retirement plan is amended to allow qualified birth or adoption distributions, the plan is required to accept recontributions if the individual received such a distribution from that plan and the individual is eligible to make a rollover distribution to that plan at the time of recontribution. This suggests that an employee who receives a qualified birth or adoption distribution and then separates from service will not be able to make a recontribution to that plan. Presumably, however, these individuals would be able to recontribute the amount to an IRA." Icon to read more

Hall Benefits Law

Allianz, Aon Face Lawsuit from DB Plan Fiduciaries Over Investment Strategy

"[The] fiduciary of the master trust holding the assets of the employee [DB] plans that participate in the National Retirement Program of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, has filed an [ERISA] lawsuit against Allianz Global Investors and Aon Investments USA. The trust claims that promised downside protection for several AllianzGI Structured Alpha funds was not implemented, resulting in 'staggering' losses to the trust during the market crash and volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic." [Blue Cross and Blue Shield Assoc. Nat. Emp. Benefits Comm. v. Allianz Global Investors U.S. LLC, No. 20-7606 (S.D.N.Y. complaint filed Sep. 16, 2020)] Icon to read more

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Post-Jander Meander: IBM Asks Supreme Court to Again Weigh In on Stock-Drop Case

"The IBM fiduciaries asked the Supreme Court ... to review the appeals court decision ... [and] resolve differing lower courts' interpretations of Supreme Court rulings on stock-drop cases. 'Three courts of appeals have now correctly rejected as legally insufficient generalized allegations that the harm from inevitable disclosure only increases over time and thus earlier disclosure is always prudent,' IBM fiduciaries wrote in their petition to the Supreme Court. The New York court 'has doubled down on its contrary view.' " [Jander v. Ret. Plans Comm. of IBM, No. 17-3518 (2d Cir. Jun. 22, 2020; cert. pet. filed Sep. 1, 2020)] Icon to read more

Pensions & Investments

Upcoming Deadline iconSeptember 22 is Last Chance for COVID-19-Related 401(k) Loans

"Congress loosened the rules for taking money out of retirement accounts for those adversely affected by COVID-19, but ... there's a deadline coming up for taking enhanced loans: It's September 22. The deadline for taking 401(k) or IRA distributions under the special rules is December 31." Icon to read more

Forbes

Annuity Purchase Update: September 2020 Interest Rates

"Year-to-Date annuity purchase prices have been volatile and are currently higher for both Annuity Plan 1 and Annuity Plan 2. Annuity purchase prices relative to GAAP PBO liabilities have also been volatile but are currently in line with historical expectations. This past month annuity purchase prices dropped 1.16% for Annuity Plan 1 and 4.53% for Annuity Plan 2." Icon to read more

October Three Consulting

[Opinion]

Employers Can't Provide Retirement Plans. Let's Stop Pretending They Can

"[At] the end of 2019, only 36% of workers age 25-64 had a retirement plan at work (a fall in coverage rates from 41% in 2015).... The voluntary system was never robust, but we keep pretending that relaxing regulations and giving more tax breaks will incentivize employers to sponsor a plan. Now we are left with self-interested advisors, tax breaks worth $250 billion ... and less than half the workforce with a retirement plan at work." Icon to read more

Teresa Ghilarducci, via Forbes

[Opinion]

Response to Prof. Ghilarducci: The Real 'Coverage' Gap Is Under-appreciated Plan Sponsors

"There is a coverage gap -- though not as wide, nor as deep, as Ghilarducci assumes. In fact, the system she chooses to characterize as a 'failure' works remarkably well for those who have access to it -- thanks to the hundreds of thousands of employers that have… voluntarily, supported and encouraged by tax considerations, chosen to provide them." Icon to read more

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of EBSA Request for Nominations to Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans

"The terms of five Council members expire at the end of this year. The groups or fields they represent are as follows: [1] employee organizations; [2] employers; [3] the general public; [4] corporate trust; and [5] investment management.... [S]ubmit nominations to Christine Donahue, Council Executive Secretary ... Nominations must be received on or before [45 days after publication in the Federal Register, currently scheduled for Sep. 22, 2020]." Icon to read more

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Pandemic Sharpens Focus on Employee Financial Wellness

"To gauge how well employees are utilizing their benefits, plan sponsors can ask their administrators to answer [specific] questions ... If the data shows employees aren't taking full advantage of the financial features of their benefits, additional employee education and communication may be in order." Icon to read more

Strategic Benefits Advisors

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

2020 Aggregate Share-Based Compensation (PDF)

31 pages. "This report covers ... 2017 to 2019, and includes the following: [1] Company-wide annual grant rates ... [2] Overhang, measured based on potential share dilution as well as the fair value of outstanding grants. [3] Frequency and prevalence of long-term incentive plan share requests. [4] Allocation of long-term incentive pools to the CEO and other proxy officers ('Top 5').Icon to read more

FW Cook

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

► It's easy to sign up and participate in discussions! Post answers, ask questions, create custom feeds and views. Join your peers (and potential referral sources or customers)—there is no charge.

Successor Plan Situation: When Can a New Plan Start?

"A plan terminated in 2019 with last distribution say 10/31/19. One year wait is 10/31/20. I know a new plan could start 1/1/21 for sure. What about anything in 2020? Could they do a short plan year, say 11/1/20 through 12/31/20, and have everything prorated? Safe harbor would be a no-go." Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Can Beneficiary Waive the Death Benefit, So It Goes Instead to the Contingent Beneficiary?

"Two beneficiaries are 50/50. Participant died recently (i.e., within a month or so). Beneficiary A is well off and does not want the money. Wants it all to go to Beneficiary B who is not as well off. Can Beneficiary A disclaim the benefit?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comp Plan; Making Contributions for Participants Who Make Student Loan Payments

"With regard to the whole issue due to PLR 201833012, and a 401(k) plan with a new comparability formula with everyone in their own group -- During discussion, an idea was floated about -- the plan would not be formally amended, but an employer would simply make a contribution to the accounts of any non-highly compensated employee who make a student loan repayment. This doesn't pass the 'smell' test, but based upon the PLR's analysis of the contingent benefit rule, what rule(s) might this violate?" Icon to read more

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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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