Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 8, 2021

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2021-04: Procedures for Determination Letter Requests (PDF)

94 pages. "This document updates Rev. Proc. 2020-4 ... relating to the types of advice the IRS provides to taxpayers on issues under the jurisdiction of the Commissioner, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division, Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements, and the procedures that apply to requests for determination letters and private letter rulings." Icon to read more

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Updates the Determination Letter Program

"Rev. Proc. 2021-4 includes the following changes ... [1] Section 6.02 has been revised to provide that Form 5310 may be submitted electronically beginning on April 16, 2021, and must be submitted electronically as of August 1, 2021.... [2] Section 12B.01 has been revised to provide that there will be no adoption period for pre-approved defined benefit plans regarding the third six-year remedial amendment cycle in 2021.... [3] Section 13.03 has been revised to add information concerning applications for employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) submitted on Form 5307." Icon to read more

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

[Guidance Overview]

A Framework for the DOL’s New Proxy Voting Rule

"From a substantive standpoint, the rule compels fiduciaries to only exercise shareholder rights, including proxy voting, if they are undertaken solely in accordance with the economic interests of the plan and its participants and beneficiaries.... The costs of proxy voting and other shareholder rights must also be considered, as they too affect the economic interest of the plan.... The rest of the rule is more process-oriented, which speaks to how fiduciaries can satisfy these substantive obligations in practice." Icon to read more

Stradley Ronon

[Guidance Overview]

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC): A Primer

26 pages. "At the end of FY2020, PBGC had a total deficit of $48.2 billion, which consisted of a $15.5 billion surplus from the single-employer program and a $63.7 billion deficit from the multiemployer program. PBGC's single-employer program has been on the [GAO's] list of high-risk government programs since 2003. PBGC's multiemployer program was added in 2009. PBGC projects the financial position of the single-employer program is likely to continue to improve, but the financial position of the multiemployer program is expected to worsen considerably over the next 10 years." [Report 95-118, updated Jan. 8, 2021; also An Overview of the [PBGC], IF10492, Jan. 8, 2021] Icon to read more

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Annual Defined Contribution Plan Deadlines for the Plan Year Ending December 31, 2021 (PDF)

"[This 6-page] chart provides an explanation of key plan events and the deadline for each for Section 401(a) and 401(k) defined contribution plans with a plan year ending December 31, 2021. Off-calendar year plans should adjust the deadlines accordingly based on the time frames described in the chart." Icon to read more

ING

Why Should Taking a Hardship Distribution Itself Be a Hardship?

"Although obtaining documentation to substantiate a hardship is not, in itself, difficult, missing hardship backup is one of the most common operational errors [found] during financial statement audits. The reason is that every party involved thinks someone else is responsible for obtaining the backup, so nobody does it." Icon to read more

Belfint Lyons Shuman

Stable Value Funds: A Risk-Free Dilemma

"Insurance company fixed (or general) accounts and stable value funds are prevalent across defined contribution retirement plans. Stable value funds often account for a large portion of a plan's total assets, particularly in governmental retirement plans where they commonly account for 20-40% or more. But, is that a sound and rational choice for most investors? What role should stable value play for a person saving and investing for retirement?" Icon to read more

Retirement Plan Advisors [RPA]

The Social Security Retirement Age (PDF)

28 pages. "Some lawmakers have called for increasing the Social Security retirement age in response to the system's projected financial imbalance, citing gains in life expectancy for the population overall. Other lawmakers, however, express concern that increasing the retirement age would disproportionately affect certain groups within the population, citing differences in life expectancy by socioeconomic groups. Differential gains in life expectancy are important in the context of Social Security because the actuarial adjustments for claiming benefits before or after the full retirement age are based on average life expectancy. " [Report R44670, updated Jan. 8, 2021] Icon to read more

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

2021 Reporting and Disclosure Guide for Benefit Plans
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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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