Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 9, 2020 logo logo
Get Health & Welfare News   ·   Get Message Boards Digest   ·   Past Issues   ·   Search

Job Openings

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Carpenter Morse Group
View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Carpenter Morse Group Retirement Plan Administrator

Carpenter Morse Group
Telecommute / Longwood FL

View job as Document Specialist Manager for TRA, Inc. Document Specialist Manager

TRA, Inc.

View job as Plan Document / Compliance Specialist for PCS Retirement Plan Document / Compliance Specialist

PCS Retirement

View job as Senior Retirement Plan Administrator for PCS Retirement Senior Retirement Plan Administrator

PCS Retirement

View job as Senior Pension Administrator for Associated Pension Consultants, Inc. Senior Pension Administrator

Associated Pension Consultants, Inc.
Telecommute / Plainview NY

►View More Jobs

►Post a Job

Get Job Alerts

Newly Posted
Webcasts, Conferences

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
December 17, 2020 WEBCAST
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Have We Learned Anything From So Much ERISA Litigation?
December 17, 2020 WEBCAST

Unseen Pitfalls in Employment Agreements from a Benefits Standpoint
December 17, 2020 WEBCAST

►See All 42 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See All 1643 Recorded Webcasts


New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

All Topics, Grouped by Forum

This Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter:
Subscribe Now

Message Boards Digest:
Subscribe Now

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2020-86: Guidance on Sections 102 and 103 of the SECURE Act with Respect to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans (PDF)

20 pages. "This notice provides guidance in the form of questions and answers with respect to Sections 102 and 103 of [the SECURE Act]. Section 102 ... increases the 10 percent cap for automatic enrollment safe harbor plans. Section 103 ... eliminates certain safe harbor notice requirements for plans that provide for safe harbor nonelective contributions and adds new provisions for the retroactive adoption of safe harbor status for those plans. This notice ... is intended to assist taxpayers by providing guidance on particular issues while the Treasury Department and the IRS develop regulations to fully implement these sections of the SECURE Act." Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Individual Retirement Account (IRA) Ownership: Data and Policy Issues (PDF)

51 pages. "This report first provides background information on IRAs, including a discussion of their tax treatment and relationship with savings behavior, along with data on IRA ownership, contributions, withdrawals, and savings adequacy. It then outlines policy options that might address some of the issues surrounding IRAs." [R46635 Dec. 9, 2020] Icon to read more

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Choosing a QDIA Under the Final Rule Governing the Selection of Plan Investments (PDF)

"The DOL has made clear its position that investment funds whose objectives include non-pecuniary goals -- even if selected only on the basis of objective risk-return criteria -- should not be the default investment alternative in an ERISA plan. The prohibition, according to the DOL, is intended to help ensure that the financial interests of plan participants remain paramount by removing non-pecuniary considerations where participants' savings are being automatically invested through a QDIA. But how does one determine whether a fund's objectives, goals, or strategies use non-pecuniary factors?" Icon to read more

Boutwell Fay LLP

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconPooled vs. Single-Employer 401(k) Plans

"The biggest difference between PEPs and SEPs is control ... In general, SEPs are more flexible and transparent than PEPs, while PEPs could be a way to lower certain investment and audit fees. Other differences [are outlined in chart form].Icon to read more

Employee Fiduciary

Custom Target Retirement Date Strategies

"[T]he benefits of these custom solutions have been systematically overstated, often by advisors seeking expanded profits or by asset managers without an off-the-shelf TRD product seeking assets to manage. In this paper, [the authors] discuss flaws in the 'custom is always better' argument as well as six critical 'next steps' to take if your Committee has already implemented a custom TRD strategy." Icon to read more

Francis Investment Counsel LLC


Looking for a new 1099 software vendor? can help.

Easy-to-use, 100% cloud-based, and one of the first vendors to release form updates –’s 1099 module minimizes your manual data entry and enhances productivity. With an automated upload, you can be up and running seamlessly. Learn More! Learn more

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

Company Stock in Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)

16 pages. "Between December 2005 and June 2020, the number of defined contribution (DC) retirement plans that offer company stock fell by 36% and the number of plan participants investing in company stock fell by nearly two-thirds.... In an effort to discourage concentrated stock positions, two-thirds of plans with active company stock funds impose some type of restriction on contributions to and/or exchanges into company stock.... Ongoing litigation has underscored the risks that concentrated stock positions may pose for plan fiduciaries." Icon to read more


Senate Finance Committee Hearing: Investigating Challenges to American Retirement Security

Dec. 9, 2020. Testimony from: [1] Scott Barr, Edward Jones; [2] Eric Stevenson, Nationwide; [3] Michael P. Kreps, Groom Law Group; and [4] Joshua Luskin, National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators. Icon to read more

Committee on Finance, U.S. Senate

Eleventh Circuit Court Backs PBGC in Pension Liability Challenge

"[T]he court found that an Illinois corporation that went bankrupt and dissolved under state law in the 1990s was still liable for pension obligations a decade later. You know you're in some uncharted waters when an appellate court ruling opens by explaining that 'from the confluence of bankruptcy, employee benefits, and corporations law comes this most unusual case.' " [PBGC v. 50509 Marine LLC, No. 19-14968 (11th Cir. Nov. 24, 2020)] Icon to read more

American Retirement Association [ARA]

The Importance of Monitoring Withdrawal Liability

"An uninformed employer may be tempted to cease participation to avoid the rising costs of employer contributions to these plans.... Even for a relatively small bargaining unit, exiting an underfunded plan can result in a multimillion-dollar assessment. In mergers and acquisitions, multiemployer plan liabilities can jeopardize the deal or cultivate post-closing litigation, unless properly addressed in the asset purchase agreement or stock purchase agreement." Icon to read more

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Pension Indicator, November 2020

"[P]lans invested for asset growth returned 8.1%, while LDI light portfolios also performed well, returning 6.6%. Liabilities were also generally higher in the month, with older frozen and cash balance plans up 2.6%–2.8%. More recently frozen plans and those with ongoing benefit accruals experienced liability increases of 4.1% and 5.5%, respectively. Plans with more of a growth orientation that have been frozen for a while may have experienced an increase in funded status of >5% in the month." Icon to read more


Retirement Update, December 2020

"Global equities experienced their strongest performance month of 2020, up over 10% with small cap and international developed markets leading the way. Pension discount rates took one of their bigger monthly dives for the year, down 0.20%-0.30%, bringing the total discount rate decline relative to year-end 2019 to approximately 0.70%. Despite the drop in discount rates, most pension plans will see an increase in funded status for the month, as equity gains more than offset liability increases. Year-to-date, pension plan funded status may actually be recovering to beginning of year levels." Icon to read more

River and Mercantile

PBGC OIG Report: Internal Controls Must Be Strengthened to Promote Procurement Integrity (PDF)

25 pages. "[A] former [Procurement Department (PD)] official steered the contract in the bribery case by including overly restrictive personnel requirements in the solicitation and then increased its value to $3.3 million through out-of-scope modifications. His actions were enabled by internal control weaknesses ... [PBGC OIG] made three recommendations that included the Office of Management and Administration implementing an additional review for PD contracts or outsourcing PD requirements to another agency's contracting function, implementing a mechanism to ensure the legal review process is followed, and providing procurement integrity training to PD staff members on identifying fraud indicators." Icon to read more

Office of Inspector General, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Announces Tax Relief for Puerto Rico Severe Storm and Flooding Victims

"Victims of a severe storm and flooding on September 13, have until January 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Individuals and households who reside or have a business in Arecibo parish qualify for tax relief.... [C]ertain deadlines falling on or after September 13, 2020, and before January 15, 2021, are postponed through January 15, 2021. This includes individual and business tax filers that had a valid extension to file their 2019 return due to run out on October 15, 2020." Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline iconLast Chance to Review Your Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans

"As a result of amendments made to Section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA), certain mandatory delayed payment provisions appearing in many nonqualified deferred compensation plans (NQDC) maintained by publicly traded corporations could create a costly payment trap for employers.... In order to take advantage of this relief, however, affected employers must amend their NQDC Plans by December 31, 2020 to remove the mandatory delayed payment provisions." Icon to read more

Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC

Upcoming Deadline iconYear-End Donations of Stock: How to Make the Most of Your Charitable Giving and Tax Deduction

"[1] Core tax rules for stock donations ... [2] How stock donations are valued for tax deductions ... [3] Donation with stock can be bigger than with cash ... [4] Company stock can help bunch donations ... [5] Extra time may be needed to process stock donations ... [6] Must file special IRS form ... [7] Special issues with stock compensation." Icon to read more

Methods for Sheltering Nonqualified Plan Accounts in the Event of Employer Bankruptcy

"Company executives invested in Non-Qualified (NQ) plans risk losing a substantial amount in retirement savings due to guidelines set under Section 409A. These guidelines protect NQ plan assets from a change in corporate control but not from a bankruptcy filing, since NQ plan participants are treated as unsecured creditors. [This article discusses] some methods for sheltering NQ plan accounts in the event of employer bankruptcy." Icon to read more

Hall Benefits Law

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

► It's easy to sign up and participate in discussions! Post answers, ask questions, create custom feeds and views. Join your peers (and potential referral sources or customers)—there is no charge.

Ownership Interest of ESOP Affects Controlled Group Determination?

"An ESOP owns 80% of 2 different corporations; the remaining 20% of each corporation is owned by different individuals. Based on the 80% ownership, is there a controlled group, or is the ownership interest by the ESOP disregarded for controlled group purposes?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

► Subscribe to the BenefitsLink Message Boards Digest -- a free daily email of all new discussions (not just the selected few shown above). View a sample issue.

Press Releases

Steidle Pension Solutions Named Best Places to Work 2020
Steidle Pension Solutions, LLC, [SPS]

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

DOL Takes Another Look at Investment Advice (PDF)
Groom Law Group, via The Investment Lawyer

View COVID-19 News and Resources, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
(407) 644-4146

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

Article submission: Online form

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.

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers; we were not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.

Unsubscribe  |   Change Email Address  |   Privacy Policy