Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 8, 2020 logo logo
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View job as Pension Plan Administrator for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.
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Overland Park KS

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Shuster Financial Group, LLC
Pasadena CA

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Newly Posted
Webcasts, Conferences

The Rising Threat of Cyber Attacks: How to Keep Retirement Benefit Plans and Plan Administration Secure
October 21, 2020 WEBCAST

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
October 22, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Fiduciary Responsibility Doesn’t Have to Keep You Up at Night
October 29, 2020 WEBCAST
Southeast Benefits Education Network [SBEN]

►See All 79 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

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[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality and Usefulness iconPooled Employer Plans: Benefits and Considerations for Employers

"Employers with consistent compliance failures, a lack of retirement expertise, limited HR resources, and a fear of the regulatory and litigation risk could be great fits for a PEP. However, not all employers are, and not all PEPs will be structured to deliver all of an employer's needs.... Employers will need to approach PEPs much as they do other retirement plan considerations: Identify the challenges their plan currently presents and determine if a PEP can meet them." Icon to read more



Automate and cut your distribution processing time in half!'s 100% cloud-based Distribution Tracking Software (DTS) automates your loan modeling and distribution tracking process, including plan terminations, partial plan terminations, force-out campaign and hardship withdrawals. Learn moreLearn more

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Final Regs on Withholding from Periodic Payments Allows Future Guidance to Set Default Rate

"The final regulation -- which is identical to the proposed version -- removes the temporary regulation and sets basic ground rules for withholding on periodic payments without establishing a new default withholding rate.... [T]he regulation indicates that the rules applicable to withholding certificates for periodic payments will 'parallel' the rules for wage withholding unless the Code's rules for periodic payments specifically provide otherwise." Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Helpful Guidance on the SECURE Act Retirement Plan Changes

"[Notice 2020-68] provides answers to at least some of the open questions concerning the retirement plan changes under the SECURE Act. In particular, the notice includes useful guidance on the Act's new rules regarding 401(k) plan participation by long-term, part-time employees and so-called 'qualified birth or adoption distributions' (QBOADs)." Icon to read more

Bond, Schoeneck & King

Abbott Defendants Are Dismissed from Cybertheft Lawsuit -- at Least for Now

"The plaintiff named Abbott Labs as a defendant, but the court dismissed these claims on the ground that plaintiff did not show that Abbott Labs acted as a fiduciary or was identified as a fiduciary in the plan document.... The court refused to dismiss allegations that an Illinois consumer protection statute was violated, finding that the state law was not preempted by ERISA. Alight may have committed an unfair business practice as defined in that law when Alight failed to implement security practices that would have prevented the theft, failed to protect personal information or to notify plaintiff promptly of changes to her account." [Bartnett v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 20-2127 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 2, 2020)] Icon to read more

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

Protecting 401(k) Participants from Fraud in Turbulent Times

"The combination of the work-from-home model most workers are experiencing, coupled with the anxiety and emotional distress retirement plan participants could be feeling given market volatility and job losses related to the pandemic, provides a ripe target.... Here are several tips plan sponsors can share with participants to promote fraud prevention." Icon to read more

401(k) Specialist



The Board of TEPP is accepting proposals for a firm to provide Legal Services as stated in RFP requirements. TEPP is a non-ERISA, collectively bargained, governmental pension plan. Proposals are due 10/26/2020 @2:00 PM, CST. Contact Learn more

Retirement/Financial Wellness Adages That May Not Be Helpful

"[There are] phrases commonly used in retirement plan and/or financial wellness communications that, while they may be true, might actually scare people away from saving.... You need to save at least 10% for a secure retirement ... You should have six months of emergency savings ... Debt is a destroyer of wealth and should be eliminated." Icon to read more

Cammack Retirement Group

ESG Incorporation Nearly Doubles in 5 Years

"ESG adoption was highest by plans in the Northeast and on the West Coast.... The most frequently cited reason for incorporating ESG among respondents was to address stakeholder concerns. Conversely, the most frequently cited reason for not incorporating ESG was because the benefits of ESG incorporation were unproven or unclear." Icon to read more


Retirement Update, October 2020

"The US stock market hit an all-time high on September 2nd but reversed course and declined close to 4% by month end. Pension discount rates were little changed from the previous month. Many plans will see funded status deteriorate over the month to varying degrees mainly depending on their level of equity exposure." Icon to read more

River and Mercantile Solutions

Pensions for State and Local Government Workers Not Covered by Social Security: Do Benefits Meet Federal Standards?

"This article examines data from a variety of sources to assess whether state and local governments currently satisfy the federal standards for retirement plan sufficiency and whether the standards ensure benefits equivalent to those from Social Security." Icon to read more

Laura Quinby, Jean-Pierre Aubry and Alicia H. Munnell, via SSRN


ARA Pushes for Clarifications of Pooled Plan Provider Registration Requirements

"Chief among the ARA's concern is that the proposal underestimates the time needed to comply with the registration requirements in advance of Jan. 1, 2021, starting date.... ARA says that it does not believe that all marketing activities should be treated as beginning operations.... ARA contends that some of the data elements of final Form PR filings may be redundant to the final Form 5500." Icon to read more

American Retirement Association [ARA]


Capital Research Center Comment Letter to DOL on Proposed Regs: Fiduciary Duties Regarding Proxy Voting and Shareholder Rights

"What the rule correctly recognizes is that fund managers are entirely justified in assuming that plan beneficiaries favor value maximization as the touchstone for proxy vote decision-making, but they would be equally unjustified in assuming those same beneficiaries support ESG corporate activism. CRC feels that the Department's proposed rule appreciates this reality, and provides meaningful guidance to fiduciaries seeking to fulfill their duty to maximize the value of the assets they manage." Icon to read more

Capital Research Center

Benefits in General

How to Design Benefits and Rewards for What Your Employees Need Now

"Expand your definition of benefits ... Allow for flexibility and choice ... Prepare to meet people where they are ... Decide what options are no longer relevant and how to pay the right price for the rest ... Be up front about how rewards are linked to the state of the business ... Help employees use their benefits." Icon to read more


Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

ESG Slowly Finding Its Way Into Incentive Compensation Plans

4-page article, beginning at page 23 of 85-page document. "[This article examines] the forces have led to the increased use of ESG metrics in incentive compensation plans and action items for companies looking to consider incorporating ESG metrics into their incentive compensation programs." Icon to read more

Shearman & Sterling LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Top Heavy Plan But Employer Can't Afford to Pay Minimum Contribution

"2020 plan year is top heavy. Client has discretionary SHNE but cannot afford to fund SHNE or the top heavy minimum. Can the key employees withdraw all of their 2020 contributions (with earnings) in order to bypass the top heavy minimum contribution? I'm thinking this is a big no-no, but would like some proof. If any responses could have some regs pasted in, that would be fantastic." Icon to read more

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

DOL's Proposed Rule on Pooled Plan Provider Registration (PDF)
Morgan Lewis, via Bloomberg Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal

Private Equity Fund Liability Under ERISA (PDF)
Faegre Drinker, via Wall Street Lawyer

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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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