Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 16, 2020

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View job as Retirement Plan Consultant for DWC - The 401(k) Experts
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Webcasts, Conferences

Roundtable on Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS
October 26, 2020 WEBCAST
Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]

Big Challenges With Small IRAs
November 17, 2020 WEBCAST
EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2020-77: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for October 2020 (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under Section 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under Section 430(h)(2) ... In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities under Section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate under Section 431(c)(6)(E)(ii)(I)." Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

2021 Projected Increases for Retirement Plans

"[T]he maximum amount of earnings subject to Social Security tax will increase in 2021 from $137,700 to $142,800, based on a 3.7% increase in the 'national average wage' during 2019.... IRS will soon release limits applicable to retirement plans for various purposes in 2021, based on a 1.22% increase in CPI-U between the 3rd quarter of 2019 and the 3rd quarter of 2020. Based on this increase, we expect increases in most limits applicable to retirement plans in 2020." Icon to read more

October Three Consulting

2020 PBGC Premiums Could Be Much Higher Than Expected; 2021 May Be Worse

"With the decline in interest rates thus far in 2020, plans may expect a further increase in their variable rate PBGC premium for 2021 because the value of the 'unfunded vested benefits' may be quite a bit higher in 2021 compared to 2020.... The spot segment rates in December 2020 will be used to determine variable rate premiums in 2021 for calendar year plans unless the Alternative Premium Funding Target has been elected." Icon to read more

Morgan Lewis

Pension Plan Annuity Purchase Update

"72 total buyout contracts were sold in Q2 2020, a decrease of 35% compared to Q2 2019. Year to date sales of $6.7 billion are down 25% compared to the $8.9 billion sold in the first half of 2019.... Second half sales will likely be more in line with recent years and should easily exceed the total of the first half of 2020. Pricing continues to remain very competitive." Icon to read more

River and Mercantile Solutions

Cybertheft Lawsuit: ERISA Fiduciary Breach Claims Dismissed Against Plan Sponsor But Move Forward Against Recordkeeper

"[T]he court concluded that Alight was the only defendant sufficiently alleged to be a fiduciary, and thus dismissed all claims against the Abbott Labs defendants but allowed the claims against Alight to move forward. The case highlights the evolving nature of ERISA cyber-security litigation and represents the second case where plaintiffs survived a motion to dismiss alleging that plan service providers were fiduciaries when allegedly failing to prevent cyberfraud from draining participant accounts[.]" [Bartnett v. Abbott Laboratories, No. 20-2127 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 2, 2020)]  Icon to read more

Groom Law Group

A Retirement Dashboard for the United States

"While it would not address systemic problems such as coverage, a dashboard could reduce the strain that a complex retirement system imposes on households. An effective dashboard could help employees and other savers, employers, recordkeepers, asset managers, plan providers, and the government, all of whom have an interest in ensuring that workers understand and manage their retirement savings appropriately." Icon to read more

The Brookings Institution

Retirement Tontines: Using a Classical Finance Mechanism as an Alternative Source of Retirement Income

"[T]ake-up of private annuities remains low. Other financial products, such as managed payout funds, have certain advantages but are not yet available in most retirement plans.... [This paper explores] the potential for a different financial product -- a tontine -- to help people manage their assets in retirement. Tontines are investment pools where members commit funds irrevocably and where the resources and income claims of members who die are given to members who survive." Icon to read more

The Brookings Institution

Benefits in General

Discrimination, Benefit Issues to Watch When Returning Furloughed Workers

"Applicable large employers should be aware of how breaks-in-service following a rehire of furloughed employees affect eligibility provisions and waiting periods under the employer's group health plan. If benefits continued during the furlough, potential employee 'catch-up' payments are needed if the employer paid employee premiums during this period.... It is also important for employers to review the impact of adjustments to compensation on benefit contributions and eligibility and remind returning employees to review these changes and resume contributions to retirement plans." Icon to read more

Epstein Becker Green, via Bloomberg Law

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Determining Annual Incentive Pay for Bank Executives in a Pandemic

"Here are several questions that committees should ask to inform their decision making. [1] How did the bank perform relative to budget and/or goals set at the beginning of the year, and how were those results impacted by COVID-19? ... [2] How did the current expected credit loss (CECL) accounting standard impact our performance? ... [3] How have we performed relative to our peers? ... [4] What can we afford? ... [5] How have non-executive employees been impacted? ... [6] How will the communities we serve react to these payouts?" Icon to read more

Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC

Selected Discussions
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Is Form 5500 Due for Year 1, If No Contributions Were Made?

"I have a few clients who signed profit sharing plan documents for 2019, but due to COVID opted not to make their contributions and instead plan to start in 2020. Since there were no contributions in 2019 and the assets are $0, is it necessary to file a Form 5500 with $0 assets?" Icon to read more

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

PBGC Releases 2021 Premium Rates
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

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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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