Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 28, 2020 logo logo
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[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 36

"[T]he prohibited transaction rules ... only apply to fiduciary recommendations, and fiduciary status is determined by the DOL's 5-part functional test.... Keep in mind that the 5-part test is functional. In other words, it is based on what is contemplated or actually happens and not necessarily on what the paperwork says." Icon to read more

Will Supreme Court Review Excessive Fee Litigation?

"[The] Seventh Circuit took a view of excessive fee litigation that is in some respects at odds with the approach of other circuits, rejecting plaintiffs' claims that [1] recordkeeping fees should be evaluated on the basis of a flat/per capita fee and relative to plan size and [2] investment fees are 'excessive' and imprudent (under ERISA) where there is an identical lower cost alternative. On October 5, 2020, the Supreme Court invited the Acting Solicitor General to file a brief 'expressing the views of the United States' in this case." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 18-2569 (7th Cir. Mar. 25, 2020; cert. pet. filed Jun. 19, 2020)] Icon to read more

October Three Consulting

401(k) Retirement Plan Fee Litigation

"With more employees at home during a tumultuous year, many individuals had time to spend anxiously watching the volatile markets and ponder their retirement plan performance and fees. This year alone, there were 35 new 401(k) lawsuits, with the majority filed after the pandemic began in March. [A chart] lists the cases that were either newly filed, dismissed, went to trial, or settled, thus far, in 2020." Icon to read more

Cammack Retirement Group

Reducing Your Personal Liability in 401(k) Plan Administration

"If you are a plan fiduciary, [here are] personal liability risk reduction strategies: ... [1] Establish a plan committee and charter to allocate authority and responsibilities.... [2] Ask the company to agree to indemnify all fiduciaries for a breach of fiduciary duties.... [3] Consider purchasing insurance to cover liability or losses under ERISA.... [4] Use the DOL's Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program to correct errors, if applicable.... [5] Ensure appropriate employees understand ERISA's fiduciary standards and the plan." Icon to read more

Masuda Funai

Communicating Retirement Plan Changes During COVID-19

"As the world went virtual, so did many of these employee communication meetings. To the surprise of some plan sponsors, attendance at many of these online meetings was equivalent to -- and sometimes greater than -- the participation of in-person group meetings.... One of the benefits of the virtual meetings was the increased ability for employees to ask questions, either verbally or via chat. For those moderating these meetings, navigating the nuances of the various platforms, such as mute and chat, became a perfectible skill.... [V]irtual meetings allowed employees to schedule meetings at their convenience, often including spouses, partners, outside plan advisors, and others who would not normally have the ability to sit in on the meeting." Icon to read more

Cammack Retirement Group

SECURE Act 2.0 Introduced in the House

"Seeking to build on the [SECURE Act] ... the new 132-page bill includes some 36 provisions addressing everything from expanding coverage and increasing retirement savings, to preservation of income, simplification and clarification of retirement plan rules, to technical and administrative provisions." Icon to read more

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Big Changes May Be Coming to Retirement Plans

"A bipartisan bill has been introduced in the House that would make significant changes to 401(k), 403(b), IRAs and other retirement plans. From increasing the required minimum distribution (RMD) and catch-up contributions to expanding automatic enrollment and the Saver's Credit, the legislation is poised to expand retirement savings options for millions of individuals." Icon to read more


Presidential Elections: Historical Impact on Retirement Plan Investors

"History shows that presidential election cycles do, in fact, correlate with stock market performance, however, the outcomes are not always the same. The political and economic backdrop of the election cycles are unique and can play a larger part in the impact on the market than the election itself. Retirement plan sponsors should be mindful of the potential for emotional investment choices and ensure their participants understand the importance of a long-term focus." Icon to read more

Cammack Retirement Group


Former EBSA Head Rutledge Challenges Private Equity Critics

"The core of the new proposed rule from the DOL is really just repeating the long-standing position ... that a plan fiduciary, regardless of the type of investment factor it's looking at, cannot sacrifice return or accept higher risk in the pursuit of collateral benefits. By 'collateral', the DOL has always meant non-financial goals." Icon to read more

401(k) Specialist

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

2021 Quick Benefit Facts

Two-page reference guide giving key 2019-2021 annual limits for retirement plans on one page, with health, fringe benefit and [ACA] figures on the other. All 2021 amounts are now official. Icon to read more


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon2021 Dollar Limits Affecting Benefit Plans

2021 dollar amounts and applicability listed and described:

 Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Strategies to Get Your Employees Engaged Through New Benefits During the COVID-19 Crisis

"Look at your current suite of engagement programs and benefits. Do they still work? ... Which benefits and programs keep engagement high and stress low? ... Look into financial wellness benefits to ease concerns about money ... Create an environment where health is top of mind." Icon to read more


Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

View COVID-19 News and Resources, Inc.
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(407) 644-4146

Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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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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