Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 7, 2021

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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Final Regs: Methods for Computing Withdrawal Liability Under the Multiemployer Pension Reform Act

74 pages. "[PBGC] is amending its regulations on Allocating Unfunded Vested Benefits to Withdrawing Employers and Notice, Collection, and Redetermination of Withdrawal Liability. The amendments implement statutory provisions affecting the determination of a withdrawing employer's liability under a multiemployer plan and annual withdrawal liability payment amount when the plan has had benefit reductions, benefit suspensions, surcharges, or contribution increases that must be disregarded. The amendments also provide simplified withdrawal liability calculation methods." Icon to read more

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Has Extended Remote Witnessing of Participant Elections

"The IRS has extended the remote notarization relief that gives plans and participants greater flexibility for participant elections, including spousal consent ... The IRS has also requested comments on this relief, including comments as to whether this relief should be made permanent." Icon to read more

Seyfarth

[Guidance Overview]

Final ERISA Regs Describe Fiduciary Duties Related to Plan Proxy Voting

"The Proposal would have required ERISA fiduciaries to vote all proxies which would have an economic impact on the plan and conversely, not vote any proxies which would not have such an impact.... [T]he DOL removed this language from the [final regulation]. Instead, the [final regulation] emphasizes that an ERISA fiduciary need not vote every proxy and in fact, should not exercise shareholder rights if the cost of doing so would outweigh the economic benefits of exercising such rights." Icon to read more

Mayer Brown

[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Premium Filings to Request More Information on Asset Transfers

"Proposed premium filing instructions and My PAA screens include a new question requiring plan sponsors to report whether an asset transfer between existing plans taking place on the first day of the plan year is de minimis. For the transferee plan in a de minimis merger, filers will have to report whether the receiving plan has less assets than the transferor plan immediately before the transfer. PBGC needs this information to verify the participant count date." Icon to read more

Mercer

IRS Finalizes Rule on ‘Qualified Plan Loan Offset’ Rollovers

"The final rule adopts the proposal with one modification to the applicability date.... The final rule applies to plan loan offset amounts, including QPLOs, treated as distributed on or after Jan. 1, 2021. However, taxpayers may rely on the rule for plan loan offsets treated as distributed on or after Aug. 20, 2020." Icon to read more

Mercer

Challenges to Business Planning Presented by Delayed Employee Retirement

"There are three pivotal challenges for a business owner that can emerge when employees can't retire on time ... [1] Employees who stay on the job past the traditional retirement age can create higher costs for the business through increased payroll and benefit costs.... [2] Delayed exit and succession plans ... [3] Perceived lower business value." Icon to read more

MassMutual

Plan Administrators, Plan Committees, and Public Agency 457(b) Plans

"Many investment advisors for public agency 457(b) plans believe that their public agency clients must have a retirement plan committee in order for the plan to have a proper plan administrator or fiduciary structure.... [T]here are a lot of good reasons: [1] not to establish a formal committee as the plan administrator; or [2] to limit the scope of a committee's responsibilities." Icon to read more

Best Best & Krieger LLP

A Retiree’s Quandary: How to Effectively Invest Retiree Savings (PDF)

"[I]investment returns from [single premium life annuity] contracts fall short of the returns IRS mandates for [lump sum distribution] present values, and only recently have barely exceeded 30-Year Treasury Rates.... A rational investor can tolerate a fair amount of default risk to obtain higher investment returns and retain control of his retirement assets.... A retiree's best option may be to diversify his investments through a discount broker or through equity purchases directly from multiple public companies to minimize purchase costs." Icon to read more

H. C. Foster & Company

[Opinion]

American Benefits Council Comment Letter to PBGC on Missing Participants Guidance

"Were a plan terminating a defined benefit plan and addressing the issue of checks uncashed by missing participants to follow the PBGC's guidance, it would remit the full benefit amount to the PBGC and then seek a refund from the IRS of the taxes erroneously withheld.... [T]he PBGC's guidance and Rev. Rul. 2019-19 provide seemingly inconsistent guidance to plan administrators, in at least some missing participant situations. In light of this apparent possible conflict, the Council requests that the PBGC and the IRS address this issue in order to ensure uniformity in agency policy." Icon to read more

American Benefits Council

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Announces Tax Relief for Hurricane Zeta Victims in Mississippi

"Victims of Hurricane Zeta that began October 28, 2020 now have until March 1, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Individuals and households who reside or have a business in George, Greene, Hancock, Harrison, Jackson, and Stone counties qualify for tax relief." Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Plan Sponsors Face a Tough Year for Compliance (PDF)

"[1] New investment duties regulation effective Jan. 12 ... [2] Cybersecurity and mitigating against potential cyber liability ... [3] What to do about missing participants ... [4] New developments for defined contribution retirement savings plans: Long term part-time employees ... Pooled Employer Plans ... [5] New reporting and disclosure requirements: Health plan transparency ... Lifetime income disclosures ... Electronic disclosure Rules." Icon to read more

The Wagner Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

Year-End Legislative and IRS Developments for Benefit Plans

"If adopting any of the [health or dependent care FSA] relief offered by the Act, plan sponsors should consider taking steps to limit their financial exposure, including limiting the number of mid-year election changes that will be permitted and prohibiting reductions in pre-tax FSA elections or carryovers of unused contributions or balances that would result in underfunding of reimbursements that have already been made.... [Retirement plan] sponsors must begin to track hours worked by LTPTEs for plan years beginning in 2021 and retain that information in future years so they can determine whether plan eligibility is met under this provision for any plan years starting after December 31, 2023.... Plan sponsors should be aware that they will be inviting a potentially significant recordkeeping burden if they decide to amend their 401(k) plans to provide employer contributions to LTPTEs and subject those contributions to a vesting schedule." Icon to read more

Wilkins Finston Friedman Law Group LLP

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon2021 Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Benefit Plans

43-page guide maps out what you need to do and when to keep your benefits plans compliant, organized by plan type: [1] Health and welfare plans; [2] Defined benefit retirement plans; and [3] Defined contribution retirement plans. Icon to read more

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587. Copyright 2021 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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