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Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 25, 2021

3 Jobs Today (scroll to view)


[Guidance Overview]

2020 in Review: DOL ERISA Guidance

"In 2020, the [DOL] ... remained principally focused on the development of its Fiduciary Rule 3.0 and associated Prohibited Transaction Exemption 2020-02, plus its financial factors and proxy voting regulations.... [T]he volume of 2020 subregulatory guidance was generally scaled down, even as compared to the spare guidance issued in 2019."  MORE >>

Eversheds Sutherland

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon 2021 Plan Sponsor/Fiduciary Compliance Checklist

"Included in recent DOL guidance are rules for reviewing and selecting retirement plan investments, voting proxies, and distributing retirement plan notices.... [Recent] federal appellate court decisions should lead fiduciaries to review [SPDs] and the inclusion of single-stock fund investment options in defined contribution plan lineups."  MORE >>

Mayer Brown

Retirement Apps Can Drive Engagement and Promote Positive Saving Behaviors

"Those who reportedly log in to mobile platforms at least once a month tend to have a higher salary deferral rate, with 39% of these respondents contributing at least 11%.... [R]espondents (23%) who log in less than once per month ... mostly contribute 3%-6% (41%)."  MORE >>

Corporate Insight

Avoid the Most Common 401(k) Compliance Error with These Best Practices

"[T]he first step is to audit all of your company's income types against the inclusions and exclusions outlined in your benefits plan, point by point. Make sure each compensation type is correctly flagged as eligible compensation for 401k contribution calculations."  MORE >>

Cassell Plan Audits

Americans' Views on Defined Contribution Plan Saving, 2020 (PDF)

36 pages. "A majority of respondents ... opposed proposals to require a portion of retirement accounts to be converted into a fair contract promising them income for life from either the government or an insurance company."  MORE >>

Investment Company Institute [ICI]


Ask the Experts on DOL Missing Participants Guidelines

In January, the Department of Labor (DOL) provided guidance on the issues of missing participants and uncashed checks. Learn how this will impact your organization and get questions answered by industry experts during this March 23rd webinar.

Sponsored by PBI Research Services

Dealing with IRA and Plan Rollovers (PDF)

22 presentation slides. "A prohibited transaction exemption will be required for a rollover to the extent the person is an investment advice fiduciary. Investment advice must meet all prongs of a 'Five-Part Test' to result in investment advice fiduciary status. Certain recommendations may constitute investment advice for these purposes."  MORE >>

Dechert LLP

North Carolina Lowers Earnings Assumption for State Employee Pension Plan

"[T]he assumed rate of return for investments in the North Carolina Retirement Systems Fund will be reduced from 7% to 6.5%. The move was unanimously approved by the boards representing teachers, state employees and local government employees on Jan. 28."  MORE >>


State Employee Retirements at CalPERS Jump 15% in 2020

"The bump in state retirements was 'predicted,' according to a CalPERS spokesperson, who said the state agency has figured the increase into its planning. The fund has been dealing with an aging workforce for years."  MORE >>

Chief Investment Officer [CIO]

IFRS Conversion Considerations: Employee Benefits

"Organizations considering a conversion to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) from U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Policies (U.S. GAAP) should note that there are differences surrounding employee benefit plans. This could result in a significant impact to the financial statements, particularly for organizations with large defined benefit plans."  MORE >>

Schneider Downs


High Risk Issue icon Pension De-Risking: Don't Be Duped by the Name

"There are new insurance companies that have been formed for this type of business and there are old insurance companies that restructured the way they had historically operated. The structure is highly complex and rides the legal edge of several intersecting regulations, all of which may be extremely risky both for the insurance companies and for the employees whose pensions are insured."  MORE >>

Kantor & Kantor


Why Converting Public Employees to Defined-Contribution Retirement Plans Is Wrong for Your State (PDF)

14 pages. "This report explores the potential impact states will face should lawmakers decide to convert new public employees from a defined-benefit pension plan to a defined-contribution 401(k) retirement plan as a budget-saving measure."  MORE >>

National Public Pension Coalition

Benefits in General

Implementation and Launch of a New Benefits Administration Solution

"Implementing your new solution ... Requirements gathering ... Site building and configuration ... Testing your solution ... Launching and communicating your solution."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Assistant General Counsel, ERISA
for Transamerica

Assistant General Counsel, ERISA


Telecommute / CO / MN / NY

View job as Retirement Specialist
for Alerus

Retirement Specialist



View job as ESOP Client Service Manager
for Principal Financial Group

ESOP Client Service Manager

Principal Financial Group

Telecommute / Des Moines IA / Appleton WI

Selected New Discussions

Arbitration Clauses Appearing More in Engagement Letters for 401(k) Plan Audits

"I'm curious about possible trends with respect to dispute resolution and similar terms in engagement letters for plan audits. Are these kinds of provisions market and/or a growing trend? I'd really like to tell the client that they should reject the proposed terms and request something along the lines of the letters they've signed for many years in the past. Or look for a new auditor."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

No Accruals Due to Low Funding -- 401(a)(26) Trouble?

"If a plan is less than 60% funded so that no accruals can take place, would this cause a 401(a)(26) failure? Does it matter if the plan provides for restoration of accruals?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Commissions Excluded in Calculating the Match -- Effect on Testing?

"I have a plan -- discretionary match. Participants are allowed to defer on commissions, but commissions are excluded from match. Is the compensation exclusion test required?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Webcasts and Conferences

IRA Academy - Retirement Plan Masterclass

May 17, 2021 WEBCAST

The Entrust Group

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Here Are the Companies with the Best 401(k)s

U.S. News & World Report

Partial Plan Terminations and the Consolidated Appropriations Act

Hall Benefits Law

How Big Can a Retirement Plan Be and Still Qualify for the Small Plan Audit Exemption?

Belfint Lyons Shuman

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

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