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[Guidance Overview]

Untying the Knot: Making Sense of Guidance on Missing and Nonresponsive Participants

"Fiduciary discretion has always empowered fiduciaries to establish and implement procedures tailored to the particular needs and circumstances of their plan participants. Thus, [one] concern is that the lists of best practices will come to be viewed by recordkeepers and DOL agents as required for all plans."

Keightley & Ashner LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Missing Participants: Prevention Is the Best Cure

"Plan fiduciaries should develop, document, and regularly review procedures that integrate best practices relative to missing participants. Taking decisive steps now may help prevent problems later[.]"


Tenth Circuit Finds Divorce Decree Is a Qualified Domestic Relations Order Under ERISA

"The court agreed ... that ExxonMobil is limited to the reasons it provided at the administrative level for concluding the Decree does not qualify as a QDRO.... The court found that ExxonMobil waived [one] argument by conceding it during the administrative review process and that [a] second argument, even if not precluded, is erroneous.... The court found that the Decree meets the second QDRO requirement of specifying the amount or percentage of benefits." [Festini-Steele v. Exxonmobil Corp., No. 20-1052 (10th Cir. Feb. 18, 2021)]

Roberts Disability Law

Cybersecurity Considerations for Administration of Plan Distributions (PDF)

"[P]lan fiduciaries should take care to formulate and address in their overall cybersecurity best practice policies and procedures their protocols for plan distribution requests. ... [Discussed in this article] are some of the protocols that may be included."

Epstein Becker & Green, P.C., via Journal of Pension Benefits

Shedding Light on the Effects of Controlled Groups on Plan Administration

"The existence of a controlled group can profoundly impact a plan's annual testing and regular operations. It is important to be certain that all entities and all employees are being considered to ensure the continued compliance of the plan.... By asking the right questions and educating the plan sponsors, [recordkeepers] can be sure that everything in the future will come together."

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

Settlement Published in Raytheon 'Actuarial Equivalence' ERISA Suit

"[T]he agreement stipulates that Raytheon will pay approximately $59 million to resolve the lawsuit.... [T]he parties determined that, if the benefits of class members were calculated using the actuarial assumptions endorsed by the plaintiff's expert in his expert report, these class members would, in the aggregate, receive increased benefits with a net present value of approximately $150 million" [Cruz v. Raytheon Co., No. 19-11425 (D. Mass. settlement agreement filed Feb. 12, 2021)]

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

DOL Advice Rule Compliance Will Be 'Heavy Lift'

"The DOL rule took effect Tuesday, but the department and the [IRS] are both deferring compliance with the new rules until Dec. 20 as long as the 'impartial conduct standards' are met.... [F]irms will need to figure out ways of measuring the reasonable compensation, ... and the ways to mitigate compensation if a conflict exists. It's going to be 'a heavy lift' to get those policies and procedures in place by Dec. 20[.]"

De-Risking in 2021, Part 1

"[F]or 2021 (thus far) interest rates are increasing -- valuation interest rates are up around 35 basis points since the beginning of the year -- and that fact presents a number of significant and complicating issues for sponsors considering de-risking."

October Three Consulting

House Committee Advances Important Pension Funding Changes as Part of New COVID-19 Legislation

"[The Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021] contains broadly available funding rule changes for single-employer and multiemployer pension plans, and significant financial assistance to deeply underfunded multiemployer pension plans. It would also increase PBGC multiemployer premiums and freeze the indexing of the Internal Revenue Code section 415 and 401(a)(17) compensation limits effective for plan years beginning after 2030."

Groom Law Group

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Describes Notice CP 216E Delays for Form 5500 Extension Approvals

"Plan sponsors do not need to take further action if they are currently receiving Notice CP 216F, Approval of Extension to file Form 5500 Series Return, for calendar year 2019 Forms 5500 series returns, after the final return for 2019 has been submitted."

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Selected Discussions
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Two Partners: What Is Partnership/K-1 Deduction Limit?

"Plan has 2 partners, no employees. They both get a K-1. Is the limit based on 25% of their combined net/earned income, or is the limit based on 25% of their individual net/earned income?"

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Press Releases

Most Popular Items in the Previous Issue

Retirement Insecurity 2021: Americans' Views of Retirement (PDF)
National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

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