Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 18, 2020

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Releases Final Regs for Plan Loan Offset Rollovers

"No changes were made to the originally proposed regulations except that the terms of the final regulations are only required to be applied to QPLO amounts that are treated under the regulations as distributed on or after January 1, 2021.... [T]he properly coded Form 1099Rs for QPLO amounts treated as such under the regulations would not be due until 2022 and later years.... The regulations specifically define a plan loan offset occurring because of severance from employment as an offset for failure to timely repay a loan that occurs by the first anniversary of the date of the employee's severance." Icon to read more

Jackson Lewis P.C.

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[Guidance Overview]

DOL Changes Rules on Proxy Voting for ERISA Fiduciaries

"[F]iduciaries that are not registered investment advisers have until January 31, 2022 to comply with [1] the requirement to evaluate material facts that form the basis for the exercise of shareholder rights and [2] the requirement to maintain records.... All fiduciaries have until January 31, 2022 to comply with [1] the requirement to review service provider proxy voting guidelines and [2] the requirement applicable to investment managers of pooled investment vehicles." Icon to read more

Sidley Austin LLP

Unionized Hotels Should Consider Withdrawal Liability When Deciding to Cease Operations

"For hotel owners and operators with a unionized workforce that contribute to a multiemployer defined benefit pension plan on behalf of those workers, withdrawal liability may become due in connection with temporary or permanent closures. It is often unexpected and unplanned for, and in some instances can be a staggeringly high cost.... [It] may impact the end result as perhaps remaining open is less financially burdensome than triggering withdrawal liability[.]" Icon to read more

Hotel Business

Thousands of Businesses Cut 401(k) Contributions During COVID Pandemic

"About 8% of employers cut 401(k) contributions during the COVID pandemic, according to a Plan Sponsor Council of America survey. Another 1% are considering doing so. That would equate to more than 51,000 plans, according to federal data. Small businesses were the most likely to take such cost-cutting measures." Icon to read more

CNBC

Public Pension Funding Index, 3rd Quarter 2020

"The third quarter (Q3) of 2020 continued the upward trend in asset returns for public pensions, reflecting continued strong growth in markets following the initial COVID-19-induced economic impact in Q1. Q3 investment gains propelled the estimated funded status of the 100 largest U.S. public pension plans from 70.7% at the end of June 2020 to 72.6% at the end of September 2020[.]" Icon to read more

Milliman

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconRetirement Security: A Compendium of Findings About U.S. Workers (PDF)

245 pages."This report is an exploration of retirement preparedness of American workers that offers perspectives on retirement confidence, access to employer-sponsored retirement benefits, savings rates, and planning-related activities.... [One] chapter contains more than 25 key indicators of retirement preparedness looking at overall survey findings among U.S. workers, and comparisons between those who are employed full-time vs. part-time.... [Remaining] chapters are demographic segmentation analyses ... These chapters present the same set of key indicators for each demographic segment." Icon to read more

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

Tackle the Risks That Inflation Can Pose to a Long and Successful Retirement

"Even a 3% inflation rate can mean the cost of living can double within 24 years.... This issue is particularly jarring when it comes to health care expenses, which are growing at a far faster rate than other costs.... [T]hose costs are expected to rise an average of 5.5% every year over the next decade.... Make a plan now ... Figuring in the impact of cognitive decline." Icon to read more

Kiplinger

Proposed Legislation Would Mandate ESG Policies Among Retirement Plans, Advisors

"Unhappy with the [DOL's] regulatory efforts to curtail environmental, social and governance investing, a group of House Democrats introduced two bills requiring retirement plan fiduciaries and investment advisors to adopt sustainable investment policies." Icon to read more

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Regulatory Agenda, Fall 2020 (Employee Benefit Items)

Numerous employee benefits items, some of which are:

Proposed Rules

  • Notice to Participants of Consequences of Failing to Defer Receipt of Qualified Retirement Plan Distributions; Expansions of Applicable Election Period and Period for Notices
  • Definition of Church Plan
  • Application of Nondiscrimination Requirements, Backloading Limitations, Certain Plan Termination Rules, Benefit Limitations, and Top Heavy Rules to Statutory Hybrid Plans
  • MEPs and the Unified Plan Rule
  • Guidance on the Timing of the Use or Allocation of Forfeitures in Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Voluntary Employees' Beneficiary Association (VEBA) Regulations
  • Income Tax Withholding on Certain Periodic Retirement and Annuity Payments Under Section 3405(a)
  • SECURE Act Modifications to Certain Rules Governing 401(k) Plans
  • Guidance on 401(a)(9) Required Minimum Distributions

Final Rules

  • Definition of Dependent Under Section 152
  • Reporting and Notice Requirements for Deferred Vested Benefits Under Section 6057
  • Application of Normal Retirement Age Regulations to Governmental Plans
  • Nondiscrimination Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans
  • Withholding on Certain Retirement Plan Distributions Under Section 3405(a) and (b)
  • Guidance Under Section 162(m)
  • MEPs and the Unified Plan Rule
  • Contribution Limits Applicable to ABLE Accounts
  • Application of the Employer Shared Responsibility & Certain Nondiscrimination Rules to HRAs and Other Account-Based Group Health Plans Integrated With Individual Health Insurance Coverage or Medicare
 Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS], U.S. Department of the Treasury

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Timing of Plan Termination When Employer's Assets Are Sold Mid-Year

"We have a client who sold his business and ceased making payroll as of 10/06/2020. He let us know that we needed to terminate his calendar year 401(k) plan and we made the termination date of the plan 10/06/2020, which means we had to prorate the 415 limit and thus the client will not get to put in the full amount for himself that he would have had if the plan had run up until 12/31/2020. He's not happy, and believes the limitations are our fault. Did we make a mistake? Could the plan have run through 12/31/2020?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

'Year of Failure' Under 409A -- Plan Failed to Pay by Deadline

"If deferred compensation was supposed to be paid out on December 31, 2019 and be paid out within the next 10 days (per plan document), but it wasn't paid, is the 'year of failure' 2019 or 2020?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Press Releases

EBRI Names New Board of Trustee Leaders
EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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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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