Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 6, 2020

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View job as Distributions Specialist for Bates & Company
View job as Distributions Specialist for Bates & Company Distributions Specialist

Bates & Company
Winter Park FL

View job as Retirement Plan Accounting Analyst/ Sales Associate for Bates & Company
View job as Retirement Plan Accounting Analyst/ Sales Associate for Bates & Company Retirement Plan Accounting Analyst/ Sales Associate

Bates & Company
Winter Park FL

View job as 401k Client Advocate/Concierge for The Kidder Company 401k Client Advocate/Concierge

The Kidder Company
Clive IA

View job as Defined Benefit Consultant for Ascensus Defined Benefit Consultant

Ascensus
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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Final Regs: Updated Life Expectancy and Distribution Period Tables Used for Purposes of Determining Minimum Required Distributions

99 pages."This document sets forth final regulations providing guidance relating to the life expectancy and distribution period tables that are used to calculate required minimum distributions from qualified retirement plans, individual retirement accounts and annuities, and certain other tax-favored employer-provided retirement arrangements.... The life expectancy tables and Uniform Lifetime Table under these regulations apply for distribution calendar years beginning on or after January 1, 2022." Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Amends Investment Duties Rule for Selecting Investments

"While the original Duty of Prudence Safe Harbor was retained, the final rule expands the meaning of giving 'appropriate consideration' to certain facts and circumstances.... The final regulation requires a fiduciary to evaluate investments based solely on 'pecuniary' factors (e.g., financial, economic, monetary, etc.), subject to the 'tie breaker test' ... The regulation includes special rules for investment funds in a participant directed defined contribution plan." Icon to read more

Voya

[Guidance Overview]

Final Investment Duties Rules Drop ESG Terminology and Separate Standard for Designated Investment Alternatives

"The final version of the rules includes substantial changes in response to comments on the proposed amendment ... [1] Prudence and loyalty addressed separately.... [2] Reasonably available alternatives.... [3] ESG references eliminated.... [4] Tie-breaker situations.... [5] Separate standard for individual account plans eliminated.... [6] QDIA restriction narrowed.... [7] Effective date." Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Shifts Focus from ESG to Pecuniary Factors in Final Rule

"In a general sense, the Final Rule is arguably a codification of principles articulated in prior DOL guidance over the past several decades that emphasize 'the primacy of plan participants' economic interests' in investment decision-making. Compared to the DOL's proposed rulemaking ... the Final Rule contains a more streamlined set of requirements ... Notably, the Final Rule removes any reference to environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors, and instead shifts its focus to the use of pecuniary and non-pecuniary factors." Icon to read more

Groom Law Group

Managed Accounts: What to Consider When Selecting a QDIA (PDF)

"This paper poses several questions that a typical Committee might ask when evaluating a QDIA, whether the QDIA is a professionally managed account program or one composed of target date funds (TDFs).... [I]mportant differences between [managed accounts (MAs)] and TDFs are reviewed ... Responses from both MA and TDF providers are also included ... with additional perspective offered by investment consultants and, as appropriate, ERISA counsel[.]" Icon to read more

Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association [DCIIA]

Pandemic Hasn’t Kept Pensions from Hiring Private Equity Managers

"[P]ension funds committed $20 billion to private equity in the third quarter, more than the $17.8 billion invested in the same period last year. The second quarter had been even busier, with commitments totaling nearly $25 billion." Icon to read more

Institutional Investor

Pension Funding Index, November 2020

"The deficit declined to $285 billion primarily due to liability gains resulting from an increase in the benchmark corporate bond interest rates used to value those pension liabilities. This is the lowest PFI pension deficit since March, when it was $243 billion. As of October 31, the funded ratio improved to 85.1%, from 84.4% at the end of September." Icon to read more

Milliman

PBGC to Pay Pension Benefits for J.C. Penney Corporation Workers, Retirees

"The [PBGC] is taking responsibility for the J.C. Penney Corporation, Inc. Pension Plan, which covers about 36,000 current and future retirees.... The termination of the plan will be effective as of November 6, 2020. PBGC estimates that J.C. Penney's plan is 92 percent funded with approximately $3.3 billion in assets and about $3.6 billion in benefit liabilities. The plan is underfunded by $270 million." Icon to read more

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Opinion]

This New Rule from the Labor Department May Have Just Saved Your Retirement

"As an individual, you should be free to make (and live with) your own decision. When it comes to retirement plans, however, the decision made by the plan sponsor will impact other people's lives. That's why a fiduciary has the duty to act only in the best interests of the plan's beneficiaries.... [T]he DOL used ESG as a specific example for a general fiduciary rule, but that new rule isn't new at all. It's been there all the time." Icon to read more

Forbes

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Crediting of Service for Period of Lay-Off

"I am starting to see questions from employers who laid employees off this year due to COVID and are planning to hire them back - in particular, can a plan grant service for the period of the lay-off for purposes of benefit accrual? Granting service for a period of nonemployment strikes me as an exclusive benefit violation." Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participant Won't Make Further Loan Payments -- Now What?

"Participant comes into plan sponsor and says I am NOT repaying this loan any longer. What's a plan sponsor/trustee to do?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

In an SPD or SMM, Do You Describe a Provision That's Expired?

"ERISA Section 104(b)(1) calls for a summary of a new or changed plan provision 'not later than 210 days after the end of the plan year in which the change is adopted[.]' For some provisions, taking that long of a time (and not communicating sooner) could result in describing a provision after every participant no longer has any decision she could make. Should an SPD or SMM describe a provision even if the description is no more than history?" Icon to read more

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1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

Article submission: Online form, or email to news.editor@benefitslink.com

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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