Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 25, 2021

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Annual Update to Determination Letter Procedures

"Key changes to last year's procedures ... include: [1] Form 5310.... [2] Preapproved plans.... [3] Governmental plans.... [4] Multiple-employer plans.... [5] Employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs).... [6] User fees." Icon to read more

Mercer

[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Finalizes Rule Simplifying the Calculation of Withdrawal Liability for Multiemployer Pension Plans

"While the final rule largely follows the proposed rule, it also provides additional clarifications to the simplified withdrawal liability calculation methods and includes certain examples illustrating the simplified calculations." Icon to read more

Littler

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides Guidance on Missing Participants and Escheatment to State Unclaimed Property Funds

"The IRS rulings add to the collection of existing guidance on how qualified plans are to deal with the long-standing problem of missing participants. The [DOL] has, through its extensive investigations of plans, taken aggressive action to ensure that missing participants are located, and their benefits are paid to them in as many instances as possible. The new guidance should not be taken as undermining those efforts or suggesting that escheatment is appropriate under Title I of [ERISA], for which the DOL retains jurisdiction. Rather, the IRS is trying to provide some insight as to what the tax implications are if amounts are escheated and, in certain instances, later recovered." Icon to read
more

McDermott Will & Emery

Democrats Quickly Introduce Pension Relief Bill

"Similar to the bipartisan Butch Lewis Act, [the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act (EPPRA)] emphasizes the 'partition' of troubled multiemployer pension plans. Partition is a procedure where a multiemployer pension plan is divided into two plans, with the [PBGC] accepting financial responsibility for the portion of the plan representing the benefits of participants for whom no contributions are being made." Icon to read more

Jackson Lewis P.C.

DOL Objects to Terms of Excessive Fee Settlement

"The [DOL] has called 'foul' on the terms of proposed excessive fee litigation settlement involving DST Systems' 401(k) plan. The move comes following three class action settlements filed Jan. 8 in a federal district court ... in which the defendants agreed to pay nearly $80 million to settle claims made by participant-plaintiffs in the DST 401(k) profit sharing plan. However, those settlement terms include a stipulation that seeks to preclude the DOL from continuing to prosecute its own case against DST and Ruane, Cunniff & Goldfarb." Icon to read more

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Benefits in General

Biden Administration to Review Rules for Employee Health and Retirement Plans

"Congress might review recently finalized Trump-era rules effecting health plan coverage. Targets could include a [DOL] and [HHS] rule to allow grandfathered group plans to impose higher cost-sharing requirements, a DOL, Treasury and HHS (tri-agency) rule requiring health insurers and self-insured plans to disclose price and cost-sharing information, and an HHS rule to pass along drug company rebates to patients at the point of sale, among others....

"The [EEOC] on Jan. 7 released proposed rules limiting the value of incentives employers may use to encourage employee participation in wellness programs that track employees' health data. On Jan. 20, however, the Biden administration withdrew the proposed regulations from publication in the Federal Register until his newly appointed EEOC chair, Charlotte Burrows, reviews and approves the rule....

"The Biden transition team's list of regulations to be reviewed includes a November 2020 DOL final rule requiring sponsors of retirement plans to evaluate investments based solely on financial risk and return factors except when nonfinancial factors are used as a 'tie breaker' between funds with similar performance expectations....

"Another DOL final rule expected to be reviewed by the new administration addresses fiduciary requirements for professionals who recommend investments to 401(k) plan participants, allowing advisors to receive compensation from mutual fund providers while holding them liable if they fail to act in the best interest of those they advise." Icon
to read more

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

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

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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