Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 2, 2020

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View job as ESOP Administrator for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
View job as ESOP Administrator for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates ESOP Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
Telecommute / Charlottesville VA

View job as Retirement Client Service Manager for Newport Retirement Services Retirement Client Service Manager

Newport Retirement Services
Charlotte NC / Mobile AL / Saint Petersburg FL

View job as Pension Actuarial Consultant for Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus Pension Actuarial Consultant

Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus
Telecommute / Indianapolis IN

View job as Healthcare Actuarial Consultant for Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus Healthcare Actuarial Consultant

Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus
Telecommute

View job as Supervisory Benefits Specialist -DE for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Supervisory Benefits Specialist -DE

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]
Telecommute / Washington DC

View job as Senior Retirement Consultant for Trinity Health Senior Retirement Consultant

Trinity Health
Telecommute / Livonia MI

View job as Client Services Administrator for Retirement Direct Client Services Administrator

Retirement Direct
Cornelius NC

View job as Product Support Consultant for ftwilliam.com part of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory Product Support Consultant

ftwilliam.com part of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory
Telecommute / Madison WI

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Retirement Plan Advisers Prepare For 2021
November 10, 2020 WEBCAST
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Employee Benefits – Finish 2020 Strong to Start 2021 Ready
November 10, 2020 WEBCAST
Quarles & Brady LLP

Overview of Plan Investment Litigation: Lessons Learned
November 19, 2020 WEBCAST
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[Official Guidance]

Text of 2020 Draft Instructions for Form 8955-SSA: Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits (PDF)

Oct. 30, 2020. "What's New: ... [1] The instructions ... have been revised to clarify how the Form 8955-SSA is to be used to report information about deferred vested participants using the correct Entry Codes.... [2] The Caution ... has been revised to clarify that no attachments are allowed with Form 8955-SSA.... [3] The instructions ... have been revised to clarify that the new plan administrator must complete a Form 8955-SSA using Entry Code C, except in the rare situation where the previous plan number and employer identification number (EIN) are not available; then, Entry Code A would be used." [Also available: an Oct. 30, 2020 draft of 2020 IRS Form 8955-SSAIcon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Final Rule on Financial Factors in Investing Sidesteps ESG Focus

"[The DOL] notes that 'unlike the proposal, the final rule's operative text contains no specific references to ESG or ESG-themed funds.' Rather, acknowledging the fluid definition of environmental, social, and governance factors, the [DOL's] position is that 'the lack of a precise or generally accepted definition of 'ESG,' either collectively or separately as 'E, S, and G,' made ESG terminology not appropriate as a regulatory standard.' Therefore, the final rule ... refers to 'pecuniary factors and non-pecuniary factors' in defining the relevant fiduciary investment duties." Icon to read more

American Retirement Association [ARA]

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Releases Final ESG Guidance

"The final rule confirms that ERISA fiduciaries must evaluate investments based solely on pecuniary factors -- financial considerations that have a material effect on the risk and/or return of an investment based on appropriate investment horizons consistent with the plan's investment objectives and funding policy.... The final rule also includes a provision that requires fiduciaries to consider reasonably available alternatives to meet their prudence and loyalty duties under ERISA." Icon to read more

Ascensus

DOL Walks Back ESG Language in Final Rule

"Several changes were made from the proposal to the final rule, including a specification that fiduciaries only need to consider 'reasonably available alternatives with similar risks' in order to meet their prudence and loyalty duties under ERISA.... The proposal contained a blanket prohibition on any fund that used ESG factors from being used in a qualified default investment alternative.... [T]he final rule only excludes a fund from being a QDIA if its investment objectives, goals or principle investment strategy include or consider the use of one or more non-pecuniary factors." Icon to read more

Pensions & Investments

DOL, Dubious About ESG Pension Investing, Cuts It a Bit of Slack in Final Rule

"The [DOL] on Friday eased its stance a small amount against environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, but it remained determined in its declaration in a final rule that [ERISA] plan fiduciaries must make investment decisions that won't sacrifice returns.... in its final rule, the DOL said it acknowledges that there are cases in which ESG factors could be considered financially material.... Still, the final rule that stipulates investors must solely use financial considerations for investments could continue to have a chilling effect on ESG investments. " Icon to read more

Chief Investment Officer [CIO]

Pooled Employer Plans Making Splash as More Firms Dip Toes Into the Water

"Several major retirement plan service providers are diving into the pooled employer plan market with high hopes that small and midsize employers will jump in, too." Icon to read more

Pensions & Investments

Supreme Court Considers Appealability of Railroad Retirement Board Decisions

"The issue before the Court is a straightforward question of statutory interpretation. Section 355(f) of the Railroad Unemployment Insurance Act (RUIA) provides that any claimant, certain railway labor organizations, certain of the claimant's employers, 'or any other party aggrieved by a final decision under [Section 355(c)]' may obtain a court review of 'any final decision of the Board' if they follow the prescribed claims procedures." [Salinas v. U.S. Railroad Retirement Board, No. 19-199 (5th Cir. Apr. 17, 2019; cert. pet. granted Jan. 13, 2020; oral arg. Nov. 2, 2020)] Icon to read more

Jackson Lewis P.C.

FAS87 ASC715 Discount Rates and Moody's Rates, October 31, 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

Benefits in General

ERISA Advisory Council to Meet December 4

"[T]he 204th open meeting of the [ERISA Advisory Council] will be held via a teleconference on Friday, December 4, 2020.... [T]he Council members will receive an update from [EBSA] and present their recommendations ... on the following issues: [1] Examining Top Hat Plan Participation and Reporting, and [2] Considerations for Recognizing and Addressing Participants with Diminished Capacity.... Instructions for public access to this teleconference meeting will be posted on the ERISA Advisory Council's web page ... prior to the meeting." Icon to read more

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of DOL Final Rule: Financial Factors in Selecting Plan Investments (PDF)
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

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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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