Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 22, 2020

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View job as Reconciliation Specialist for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
View job as Reconciliation Specialist for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings Reconciliation Specialist

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
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View job as Retirement Plan Specialist for GranthamPoole PLLC Retirement Plan Specialist

GranthamPoole PLLC
Ridgeland MS

View job as Plan Administrator for Creative Pension Consultants, Inc. Plan Administrator

Creative Pension Consultants, Inc.
Telecommute / Albany NY

View job as Defined Contribution Plan Administrator for American Retirement Plan Services, LLC Defined Contribution Plan Administrator

American Retirement Plan Services, LLC
Telecommute / Hunt Valley MD / DC / DE / PA

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Webcasts, Conferences

SECUREly Safe Harbor; CARES Update
January 6, 2021 WEBCAST
ERISApedia.com

(Re)designing Executive Compensation Plans in Troubled Times
January 14, 2021 WEBCAST
American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education Group [ALI CLE]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of SEC Division of Examinations Statement on Recent and Upcoming Regulation Best Interest Examinations

"After Regulation Best Interest's June 30, 2020 compliance date, the Division of Examinations (formerly the 'Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations') launched examinations to assess the ... implementation efforts of broker-dealers.... [N]ow that approximately six months have passed since the Regulation Best Interest compliance date, the Division intends to begin its next phase by conducting more focused examinations ... beginning in January 2021. As part of this effort, Division staff will examine whether broker-dealers have written policies and procedures and systems in place to achieve compliance with the Regulation." Icon to read more

Division of Examinations, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]

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[Guidance Overview]

DOL Releases Final Investment Advice Prohibited Transaction Exemption

"Like the proposal.... the final exemption does not materially change the scope of fiduciary activities under ERISA, with the exception of including certain rollover-related advice as fiduciary advice. In addition to the prohibited transaction exemption, the preamble to the final exemption includes some new interpretations of the 1975 investment advice regulation, which has been reinstated following the dismantling of the 2016 fiduciary rule." Icon to read more

Ropes & Gray LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconDOL Interprets Five-Part Investment Advice Test and Issues Final Investment Advice Prohibited Transaction Exemption

"The Final Exemption is the latest development in the DOL's longstanding efforts to regulate the provision of investment advice to ERISA plans and their participants and IRAs. However, while the exemption is described as 'final,' it is likely not the DOL's final pronouncement in this area." Icon to read more

Groom Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality iconDOL’s Final ERISA Proxy Voting Rule Largely Changed to Principles-Based Approach (PDF)

17 pages. "[T]he DOL has eliminated many of [the proposed rule's] prescriptive requirements, resulting in what the DOL describes as a principles-based rule designed to provide certainty on fiduciaries' responsibilities under ERISA with respect to proxy voting while offering more flexibility on how those responsibilities may be met. Some of the required steps in the proposal have been effectively replaced by safe harbors. The result, while still possibly requiring changes to existing practices to ensure compliance  ... should be viewed as more consistent with those practices developed in the wake of the DOL's previous guidance in this area." Icon to read more

Morgan Lewis

Is the Tide of ERISA Litigation Turning?

"One ERISA attorney who tends to represent plaintiffs says the future might hold fewer cases, thanks to certain key Supreme Court rulings and broad improvements in plan design and governance." Icon to read more

planadviser

Competitive Pricing Rate for Pension Risk Transfer Costs Drops Below 100% in November

"During November, the average estimated cost to transfer retiree pension risk to an insurer decreased by 110 basis points, from 102.9% of a plan's total liabilities to 101.8% of those liabilities. This means the average estimated retiree PRT cost for the month is now 1.8% more than those plans' retiree accumulated benefit obligation (ABO). Annuity purchase costs reflecting competition amongst insurers are even lower, dropping from 100.3% in October to 99.4% in November. This is the first time competitive rates have dropped below 100% since Milliman began tracking the MPBI." Icon to read more

Milliman Retirement Town Hall

Evaluating Pension Investment Strategies: A Comparison of Top- and Bottom-Performing State Public Pension Funds to a Passive Index Portfolio (PDF)

"Overall, asset allocation did not drastically vary among the top- and bottom-performing funds.... South Dakota consistently outperformed other states' pensions, in both its ranking against the 60/40 strategy and its funding ratio.... ESG investment can be an important tool for diversifying portfolios and impacting corporate governance, but ultimately has not been shown to garner the same return on investment as passive investment strategies.... Public pension fiduciaries need to focus solely on the financial returns of their investments." Icon to read more

Institute for Pension Fund Integrity [IPFI]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Hit the Road, Jack: IRS Issues Standard Mileage Rates for 2021

"Beginning on January 1, 2021, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car (also vans, pickups or panel trucks) will be: 56 cents per mile driven for business use, down 1.5 cents from the rate for 2020, 16 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes for qualified active duty members of the Armed Forces, down 1 cent from the rate for 2020, and 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations, the rate is set by statute and remains unchanged from 2020." Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Final Regs Implement TCJA Changes to Section 162(m)

"Overall, the regulations are consistent with and closely track guidance from the proposed regulations and Notice 2018‑68 ... The final regulations are generally effective ... as of the date of publication in the Federal Register and apply to tax years beginning on or after that date but may be relied upon (if relied upon in their entirety) for taxable years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017." Icon to read more

RSM US

Upcoming Deadline iconUse It or Risk Losing It: Make Your Nonqualified Plan Deferral Elections Now

"The disruptions to the normal deferral election cycle in 2020 caused by the COVID-19 pandemic serve as a reminder that companies cannot count on their bonuses remaining 'performance-based compensation,' and eligible for midyear deferral elections in any year. To avoid this type of disruption in the future, companies that want to ensure their employees have an opportunity to elect to defer their bonuses should consider requiring elections for all types of compensation, including bonuses and other incentive compensation, to be made prior to the beginning of the year." Icon to read more

Foley & Lardner LLP

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.

Rescinding a Plan Termination Despite a Distribution

"I recall a couple of users chiming in that it's possible to rescind a plan termination by corporate resolution. If so, would a distribution to a pre-59-1/2 active employee preclude rescission? The employee is an NHCE. I doubt it has any bearing from a qualification standpoint." Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Trying to Figure Out How Much I Can Withdraw During Retirement

"I have a 401k with $350,000. I'm 61 and I want to start withdrawing every month. Is there a calculator to use? What percent of the balance am I able to withdraw every month and still have a balance in 25 years?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

'Maybe' Notices Required for 'Maybe' Safe Harbor Nonelective Plans?

"Most of our SH plans are of the 'maybe' variety. Based on the SECURE Act, I took the position that the end of year 2020 notices did not need the 'maybe' language and just said 'yes it's a SH for 2020.' Then when I was writing a new plan for 2021, I automatically checked that option, but starting thinking that maybe (no pun intended) I should just be saying 'no' and amending retroactively. Notice 2020-86 says in A-10: 'Accordingly, the retroactive plan amendment rules of Section 1.401(k)-3(f) no longer apply for those plan years.' I think that means the 'maybe' notice is defunct. I'm not too worried about it, but should I be?" Icon to
read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan-Specific EIN Number Required for Form 5500?

"I had been told a long time ago that we needed to get an EIN# specific to the plan and not use the employers on the Form 5500. Is this no longer the case?" Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Interest Due on Non-RASD Delayed Payments?

"Does anyone have any insight on whether interest is required on delayed (non-RASD) payments? I've read Stephens v. U.S. Air, which suggests the courts (or at least the D.C. Court of Appeals) will require plans to pay interest on delayed payments. However, I cannot find anything in the regulations that require it." Icon to read more

BenefitsLink Message Boards

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Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Text of HR 133: Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (PDF)
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Rules

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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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