Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 1, 2020

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View job as Actuarial Consultant for Definiti-LLC
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Definiti-LLC
Telecommute / University Place WA / The Woodlands TX / Erie PA / Dallas TX

View job as Pension Consultant for Aldrich Retirement Solutions Pension Consultant

Aldrich Retirement Solutions
Telecommute / San Diego CA / Carlsbad CA

View job as Distribution Specialist for ERISA Services Inc. Distribution Specialist

ERISA Services Inc.
Knoxville TN

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Final Regs Updating the Tax Withholding Rules for Periodic Retirement and Annuity Payments

"For a periodic payment that is subject to income tax withholding under Code Section 3405(a), amounts are withheld as if the payment were a payment of wages by an employer to the employee for the appropriate payroll period. If the payee has not furnished a withholding certificate, the amount to be withheld is determined in the manner described in the applicable IRS forms, instructions, publications, and other guidance." Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

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Why Grandfathering Retirement Plan Changes Can Backfire

"On paper, grandfathering often sounds like a good idea when a retirement plan change might be perceived by existing employees as being a negative.... However, when plan sponsors attempt to soften the blow, they often come to regret it ... The new hires eventually find out ... [T]he EXISTING employees may end up with the short end of the stick ... There are compliance issues ... The road to prudent fiduciary compliance is paved with good intentions ... [F]or the most part, if a change is going to be made that is best for the plan as a whole, plan sponsors who rip off the band-aid and make the change for all will be happier in the end." Icon to read more

Cammack Retirement Group

Advocates Weigh the Future of Fiduciary Advice

"Panelists ... discussed Reg BI's future under a Trump or a Biden administration, as well as whether FINRA should be disbanded.... For fiduciary advocates, the [election] outcome could determine whether they take their fight for fiduciary standards to the states ... or whether the SEC's Regulation Best Interest should be overturned[.]Icon to read more

WealthManagement.com

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconThe Working Woman's Retirement Plan Checklist

"[1] What women need to know.... [2] What women need to ask their spouses.... [3] What women need to ask their employers.... [4] What women need to ask if contemplating divorce." Icon to read more

Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement [WISER]

Severance Benefits and the Short Term Deferral Rule (PDF)

"[A] severance arrangement will be subject to Code Section 409A, unless one of the limited exceptions applies or the arrangement satisfies an exemption.... The short term deferral rule only has two conditions, both of which must be satisfied in order for the rule to apply. The first condition is related to the timing of the severance payment. The second condition is related to whether the employee has a vested interest in the severance payment." Icon to read more

Bodman PLC

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FAS87 ASC715 Discount Rates and Moody's Rates, September 30, 2020

An unofficial monthly report of the Moody's Daily Long-term Corporate Bond Yield Averages and Moody's Daily Treasury Yield Averages (used as benchmarks by some corporate pension plans). Icon to read more

David Rigby, via BenefitsLink Message Boards

[Opinion]

ICI Comment Letter to DOL on Proposed Registration Requirements for Pooled Plan Providers (PDF)

"[ICI believes] that both PEP providers and participating employers would benefit considerably if the requirements were streamlined in a way that eliminates information that is superfluous and irrelevant to the Department's oversight role, or too detailed to be effectively used by prospective employers. [ICI recommends] that the Department's registration requirements focus on more basic information and, when the need arises, the Department reserve itself the ability to seek more detailed information from PPPs." Icon to read more

Investment Company Institute [ICI]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Final Regs: Meals and Entertainment Expenses Under Section 274 (PDF)

"[T]he final regulations address the elimination of the deduction under section 274 for expenditures related to entertainment, amusement, or recreation activities, and provide guidance to determine whether an activity is of a type generally considered to be entertainment. The final regulations also address the limitation on the deduction of food and beverage expenses under section 274(k) and (n), including the applicability of the exceptions under section 274(e)(2), (3), (4), (7), (8), and (9). " Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Employees Are Stressed About Their Financial Future, But Very Satisfied with Employment-Based Benefits (PDF)

"Nearly half of employees are concerned with their household's financial wellbeing ... 42 percent of employees are satisfied with their financial wellness benefits and would not trade them with their wages; an equal share would be willing to have fewer financial wellness benefits for higher wages.... [N]early half of employees, 47 percent, are extremely/very satisfied with their benefits package, with 58 percent stating that they are satisfied with their employment-based retirement savings plan and 54 percent being satisfied with their current health insurance plan." Icon to read more

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Plan Participants Must Be Informed of Plan Documents and Standards of Review

"[T]he court determined: [1] that the plan administrator did not adequately notify the participant about its reservation of discretionary authority in deciding benefit claims; and [2] the Plan Instrument does not affect the standard for reviewing the plan administrator's decision in this case. Accordingly, the court concluded that the participant could not be bound to terms contained in a policy about which she had no notice or knowledge." [Lyn M. v. Premera Blue Cross, No. 18-4098 (10th Cir. Jul. 24, 2020)] Icon to read more

The Wagner Law Group

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconEmployee Benefits in the Supreme Court (PDF)

35 pages, Oct. 2020. "As of this writing, the Court has one employee benefit case scheduled for argument during its October 2020 term, although other interesting petitions for certiorari are pending." Icon to read more

Eversheds Sutherland

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

GAO Report on Top Hat Plans Calls for Stricter Oversight by IRS and DOL

"DOL officials reported to the GAO that they have not issued any guidance on how companies should correct eligibility errors found in executive retirement plans. Instead, the DOL directed the GAO to an amicus brief it filed where the DOL suggested that plans can be modified to exclude ineligible rank-and-file employees, awarding them the full vesting and other protections under ERISA and distributing their benefits from the plan while maintaining the plan's status as an executive retirement plan for those executives who do qualify." Icon to read more

King & Spalding

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Hazard Pay as 'Compensation' for 401(k) Plan Purposes

"Some states are paying certain front-line employees a 'grant' or 'extra payment' or whatever you might want to call it. This comes from the state/federal funds, and it is run through the employer as TAXABLE wages. The employer doesn't pay this out of their own pocket. Is this considered eligible compensation for deferrals/profit sharing/whatever?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Paid Family Leave Counts as Compensation in Determining Safe Harbor Contributions?

"Does pay for Sick and Family Leave constitute compensation for purposes of a 401(k) safe harbor contribution?" 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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