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Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 22, 2021


Cybersecurity Is a Plan Sponsor's Obligation

"[T]he plan sponsor has a fiduciary obligation ... to engage and retain service providers who take cybersecurity seriously, who have systems in place to protect data ... and who periodically test those systems ... [It] makes sense for plan sponsors to provide employees with training on how to recognize and avoid phishing or other attempts to gain access to their personal information."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

New Format for BenefitsLink Newsletters -- Better View on Smartphones

"If you're using a smartphone to read these newsletters, our new format means you'll see the text in a larger size, and you won't need to turn your phone sideways! (People are using smartphones more and more -- who knew?) If you have any trouble with the new format or you have any comments, contact us. Thanks!"  MORE >>


Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Working Paper on State and Local Pensions: The Case for Fundamental Reforms (PDF)

99 pages; Jan. 15, 2021."This Report's central aim is to illuminate the pension problems faced by state and local governments, policymakers, and taxpayers -- and to encourage states and localities to address these problems."

[BenefitsLink note: This document was published by DOL on Jan. 19, 2021, removed from the DOL website on Jan. 20, 2021, and subsequently released by the authors.]  MORE >>

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Policy, U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Do Required Minimum Distribution 401(k) Rules Matter, and for Whom?

"[The authors'] calibrated lifecycle model measures the impact of RMD rules on financial behavior of heterogeneous households during their worklives and retirement.... [P]roposed reforms to delay or eliminate the RMD rules should have little effect on consumption profiles but more impact on withdrawals and tax payments for households with bequest motives."  MORE >>

Pension Research Council, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania

Callan 2021 DC Survey Focuses on Pandemic's Impact on Plans

"The top areas of fiduciary focus [in 2020] were governance and process; investment structure evaluation; and fund/manager due diligence. Fiduciary actions planned for 2021 include a review of plan fees; completing formal fiduciary training; and implementing, updating, or reviewing the investment policy statement."  MORE >>


Survey Says: Has the Pandemic Changed Your Retirement Date?

"Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents said the pandemic has not changed their retirement date. Less than one in 10 (8.3%) reported that the pandemic has changed their retirement date to later than they planned, and 16.7% said they will be retiring earlier than planned. Only 2.8% said they never plan to retire, and 8.3% reported they don't know if the pandemic changed their retirement date."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Cost-Efficiency and the Future of 401(k) and Fiduciary Litigation

"Cost-efficiency provides plan sponsors, plan participants and attorneys with a simple, equitable and objective means of providing 'more,' of comparing and monitoring investment options within a plan.... Many people only evaluate mutual funds in terms of a fund's nominal, or publicly stated, costs, expense ratios and annualized returns. That approach completely overlooks other important costs and expenses, such as a fund's trading costs."  MORE >>

The Prudent Investment Fiduciary Rules

Growing Number of Pension Funds, Endowments, Foundations Adding Bitcoin to Portfolios

"Two pension funds in Fairfax, Virginia, began investing in late 2018 and 2019 in blockchain technology and Bitcoin through investments in two Morgan Creek Digital funds, which many consider the first investments in the crypto asset from a US pension fund. And a number of hedge funds, family offices, pension funds, endowments, foundations, asset managers, registered investment advisers (RIAs), and banks own Bitcoin outright through Boston-based Fidelity Digital Assets."  MORE >>

Chief Investment Officer [CIO]; free registration required

How Do DOL Rules Impact Insurance Producers?

"This new PTE ... is simply an additional way for persons who are categorized as 'fiduciaries' under Section 4975 of the Tax Code to qualify to be paid a commission for selling products or services to qualified plan participants and individual retirement account owners.... PTE 84-24 has covered insurance agents and brokers and their affiliates to allow the sale of life insurance and annuities to qualified plans. This option remains available[.]"  MORE >>


Prospects Brighten for Much Needed Pension Rescue Bill as It Heads to House Floor Vote

"Given the level of support, and the importance of the issue being solved, [PRC was] disappointed by the Washington Post's February 17 editorial that was critical of multiemployer relief being included in the COVID relief package. In fact, COVID-relief legislation is exactly where multiemployer reform belongs."  MORE >>

Pension Rights Center

Benefits in General

Making Sure It Hurts: Increased Penalties for ERISA Violations

"The increased penalties generally apply to reporting and disclosure failures if the penalty is assessed after January 15, 2021, and if the violation occurred after November 2, 2015. [A table] compares penalty amounts assessed for violations after January 15, 2020, through January 15, 2021, to penalty amounts assessed after January 15, 2021."  MORE >>

McDermott Will & Emery

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Plan Consultant
for Advanced Plan Designs, LLC View job as Plan Consultant
for Advanced Plan Designs, LLC

Plan Consultant

Advanced Plan Designs, LLC

Telecommute / Springfield MO

View job as Summer Law Clerk (Pathways Intern)
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Summer Law Clerk (Pathways Intern)

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Telecommute / Washington DC

Selected New Discussions

Multiple Life Insurance Policies on One Individual Inside a Profit Sharing Plan

"A profit sharing plan owns 3 life insurance policies on one insured. The PS 58 cost is reported on each contract. If the insured would like to purchase one of the contracts can the insured use the total accumulated PS 58 costs on all three policies to reduce the taxable distribution on the one contract being purchased?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Guardian Ad Litem as Alternate Payee?

"I've been embroiled in a parentage case (parents were never married) that repeatedly defies logic. The latest twist is that the minor child's guardian ad litem is now seeking a QDRO to collect their fees from one parent's 401(k) Plan. I have no doubts that the judge will grant/enter/issue the requested QDRO once it is drafted. Is there any case law that supports naming a GAL as an Alternate Payee in a QDRO? I cannot find anything in my research."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

IRI Announces New Board Chair

Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

Fisher Phillips Adds Employee Benefits Associate in Atlanta

Fisher Phillips

Newly Posted Webcasts and Conferences

Helping Small Business Owners and Their Employees Save for Retirement

February 24, 2021 WEBCAST

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

COVID-19 Legislative Update: Retirement, Health and Tax Provisions in Budget Reconciliation Bill

February 25, 2021 WEBCAST

Groom Law Group

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

Roberts Disability Law

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

Keightley & Ashner LLP

Shedding Light on the Effects of Controlled Groups on Plan Administration

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

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

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