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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Final Regs Under the Privacy Act: Exemption for Insider Threat Program Records

"On July 9, 2019, PBGC published an interim final rule to amend PBGC's regulation on Disclosure and Amendment of Records Pertaining to Individuals under the Privacy Act to exempt from disclosure information contained in a new system of records for PBGC's insider threat program. The exemption was needed because records in this new system include investigatory material compiled for law enforcement purposes. PBGC is adopting the interim final rule as final with minor, technical amendments." Icon to read more

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconDOL's Proposed Rule on Pooled Plan Provider Registration (PDF)

"With the registration process coming into focus, PPPs can turn their attention to the nuts and bolts of PEP design.... [As] the DOL and IRS continue to issue guidance -- especially in the form of model PEP language -- the marketplace will start to come better into focus and allow PPPs to begin marketing PEPs to smaller employers." Icon to read more

Morgan Lewis, via Bloomberg Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal

[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 34

"[Part 33 in this series] discussed the requirement to mitigate incentives that might incline a financial professional to make recommendations that are in the best interest of the professional, rather than the best interest of the investor. It also looked at how the SEC explained the concept of mitigation. This article provides a more concrete definition of mitigation by quoting and commenting on several of the examples given by the SEC in the Adopting Release for Reg BI." Icon to read more

[Guidance Overview]

DOL's Final Rule Creates a New Electronic Disclosure Safe Harbor for Retirement Plans (PDF)

"The Final Rule represents nearly two decades of fact-finding and fine-tuning, with input spanning multiple governmental departments as well as public surveys.... If followed properly, the Final Rule can afford plan sponsors potentially significant savings while making mandatory ERISA disclosures more accessible to plan participants and reducing paper waste significantly." Icon to read more

Davis & Gilbert LLP, via Employee Relations Law Journal

Supreme Court Denies Review of Private Equity Firm Withdrawal Liability Case

"The denial lets stand an appellate court decision that two entities of Sun Capital Partners, which bought a firm that withdrew from a multiemployer plan, are not liable for unfunded vested benefits owed to the plan." [Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund, Nos. 16-1376, 19-1002 (1st Cir. Nov. 22, 2019; cert. pet. denied Oct. 5, 2020)] Icon to read more

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Sponsored by October Three

Supreme Court Turns Away Retirement Plan Petitions

"The second multiemployer case, National Retirement Fund vs. Metz Culinary Management Inc., sought Supreme Court review of a case questioning whether and when multiemployer pension plan trustees can change actuarial assumptions for calculating a withdrawing employer's liability. An amicus brief filed by the $1.5 billion New York State Teamsters Conference Pension & Retirement Fund said the issue 'comes at the worst possible time' for multiemployer plans and for the [PBGC]." Icon to read more

Pensions & Investments

Private Equity Fund Liability Under ERISA (PDF)

"ERISA sets minimum standards for the management and funding of private industry retirement, health and welfare plans and, accordingly, touches on the private equity industry both on the front end in terms of limited partnership investment from ERISA-regulated plans, and on the back end in terms of the benefits offered by portfolio companies to their employees. As it turns out, both ends of this regulatory spectrum raise the possibility of fund liability." Icon to read more

Faegre Drinker, via Wall Street Lawyer

Pooled Employer Plans and 3(38) Fiduciary Advisers

"One provider getting ready to launch a SECURE Act-enabled pooled employer plan on January 1 says he is already in conversation with advisers about combining 3(38) fiduciary oversight with PEP recordkeeping and administration." Icon to read more


Analysis of Benefit Estimates Shown in the Social Security Statement

"This paper documents a study ... of the accuracy of the current Statement estimation method, the current method's assumption that 2 years of zero earnings predict no future earnings, and the accuracy of potential alternative methods of projecting earnings and benefits. Using administrative data from the Continuous Work History Sample, the paper finds that the Statement's current estimation method performs as well as or better than any of the other methods tested. The paper concludes with recommendations for the Social Security Statement." [Briefing Paper No. 2020-01] Icon to read more

U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA] Office of Retirement and Disability Policy

Pension Committee Practice Note Exposure Draft: Modeling -- for Pension Actuaries (PDF)

44 pages, Sep. 2020. "ASOP No. 56 was adopted in December 2019 and is effective for work performed on or after October 1, 2020.... This practice note reviews several common responsibilities of pension actuaries as they relate to this standard, some of which may already be part of an actuary's current work process, but which will likely require additional disclosures in statements of actuarial opinion." Icon to read more

American Academy of Actuaries Pension Committee

Caution: Salary Splitting by the Self-Employed Can Reduce Couples' Social Security

"A business owner who is married may have the flexibility to hire their spouse and 'transfer' a portion of their salary between themselves and their spouses (assuming that the spouse actually provides services to the company to earn a salary in the first place). While this can serve to increase the couple's combined retirement benefits, it often results in lower combined overall Social Security benefits for the couple!" Icon to read more

Nerd's Eye View

Summary of the Quarterly Survey of Public Pensions for 2020: Q2

"For the 100 largest public-employee pension systems in the country, assets (cash and investments) totaled $4,094.2 billion in the second quarter of 2020, increasing by 7.6 percent from the first quarter of the 2020 level of $3,803.6 billion. Compared to the same quarter in 2019, assets for these major public-pension systems increased 3.7 percent from $3,946.9 billion." Icon to read more

U.S. Census Bureau


Council of Institution Investors Criticizes DOL Fiduciary Voting Proposal

"[The Council of Institutional Investors (CII)] disputes the DOL assertion that there is 'a persistent misunderstanding among some stakeholders that ERISA fiduciaries are required to vote all proxies' and that 'some fiduciaries and proxy advisory firms ... may be acting in ways that unwittingly allow plan assets to be used to support or pursue proxy proposals for environmental, social or public policy agendas that have no connection to increasing the value of investments.' ... Overall, CII believes the proposal would create an overly burdensome and unjustified process for considering the voting of proxies that would, in many cases, effectively prohibit ERISA plans from exercising their shareholder rights." Icon to read more

Corporate Secretary

Selected Discussions
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Contribution in Year of Plan Termination

"A client's profit sharing plan was terminated as of May 31, 2020. All employees other than the owner were terminated as of 12/31/2019. He wants to know if he can contribute a final profit sharing contribution for 2020. If so, do we just need his compensation through 5/31, and can he wait until due date of his return to fund? He's already rolled over his balance that was in the plan to another qualified plan of his new employer -- he started there in July 2020." Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

No Notary; Who Can Witness Spouse's Consent on Distribution Forms?

"Preparing distribution election forms. It's not possible to get notarization. Three participants: father, spouse and daughter. Daughter owns 100% of company and can witness both parents' signatures on the distribution election forms. Father is the president of the company. Can he witness his daughter's spouse's signature on the distribution election form?" Icon to read more

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Press Releases

Request for Proposal: TEPP Legal Services 2020
Transit Employees Pension Plan [TEPP]

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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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