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Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 1, 2021

9 Jobs Today (scroll to view)


Plan Sponsor Fiduciary Duties During Adviser M&As

"[P]lan sponsors will want to understand whether the acquisition will bring on any conflicts of interest that were not a concern before ... Would the acquisition affect fees at all, and is the adviser going to have a different process for selecting or recommending investments?"  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

401(k) Funds Are Being Diverted for Medical Expenses

"60% of Americans withdrew funds from their individual retirement account (IRA) or 401(k) in 2020.... [An] additional 27% borrowed against their 401(k) during COVID.... 41% of these account holders did so to pay medical expenses."  MORE >>

HR Daily Advisor

Daily Valuation of Alternative Assets in DC Plans a Framework for Plan Sponsors and Industry Stakeholders (PDF)

12 pages. "[T]his paper sets out a detailed operational framework for the daily valuation of private assets. Using an existing approach, [the authors] describe a robust and scalable daily valuation procedure that can help meet both legal and operational requirements of plan sponsors."  MORE >>

Defined Contribution Alternatives Association [DCALTA]

The State of Public Sector DC Plans (PDF)

12 pages. "Mean account balances for public plan participants in their 60s reach just over $96,000; median account balances top out at nearly $32,000.... Loan use peaks at 7.3% for public plan participants in their 40s.... The use of target-date funds is significantly higher by participants in their 20s (~63%)."  MORE >>

Public Retirement Research Lab [PRRL], a collaborative effort of EBRI and NAGDCA

Two-Thirds of Private Industry Workers Had Access to Retirement Plans in 2020

"Sixty-seven percent of private industry workers had access to employer-provided retirement plans in March 2020. Fifty-two percent had access only to defined contribution retirement plans. An additional 12 percent had access to both defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans, while 3 percent had access only to defined benefit retirement plans."  MORE >>

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]

How to Plan for Retirement as People Are Living Longer

"On average, men and women who reach the standard retirement age of 65 can anticipate living into their eighties ... [O]ptions include taking advantage of catch-up provisions to maximize tax-advantaged savings options, saving more beyond retirement accounts, and delaying retirement."  MORE >>



Without a National Retirement Policy, Americans Face a Future of Pension Crises

"It is hard to reconcile the performance of the largest and one of the most innovative economies in the world with what seems to be a third-rate retirement system.... [T]ax policy has taken primacy over retirement policy.... Pension systems can play a major role in supporting future economic growth and productivity."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

New Guidance from DOL Regarding the Suspension of Certain Employee Benefit Plan Deadlines Due to COVID-19

"[I]ndividuals and plans with deadlines that are suspended pursuant to the previously-issued rule will have the applicable periods under the Notices disregarded until the earlier of: [1] one year from the date they were 'first eligible for relief' ... or [2] 60 days after the announced end of the National Emergency."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Suspended Deadlines Under ERISA, Part Two: Sound the Alarm!

"The Notice encourages plan fiduciaries to be proactive about communicating these changes so participants and beneficiaries are aware that deadlines may expire soon. Plan fiduciaries will also need to revisit this once the National Emergency ends to decide whether to provide additional communications at that time. In fact, the Agencies suggest that supplemental notices may be necessary to fulfill ERISA fiduciary duties."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

[Guidance Overview]

Agencies Clarify Outbreak Period Relief Due to COVID-19

"[T]he DOL notes that prior disclosures made to plan participants during the pandemic regarding the mechanics of the Outbreak Period may need to be revised and reissued if they failed to provide accurate information regarding the time in which participants and beneficiaries were required to act."  MORE >>

Winston & Strawn LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Compliance Counsel
for Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Compliance Counsel

Teacher Retirement System of Texas

Austin TX

View job as Payroll Analyst
for BlueStar Retirement Services, INC.

Payroll Analyst

BlueStar Retirement Services, INC.

Telecommute / Jacksonville FL

View job as Recordkeeping Specialist
for Definiti

Recordkeeping Specialist


Telecommute / The Woodlands TX / FL / PA

View job as Retirement Plan Recordkeeper
for Leading Retirement Solutions

Retirement Plan Recordkeeper

Leading Retirement Solutions

Telecommute / Seattle WA

View job as Defined Benefit Consultant
for Pension Plan Specialists

Defined Benefit Consultant

Pension Plan Specialists

Vancouver WA

View job as ESOP Consultant
for Swerdlin & Company, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus

ESOP Consultant

Swerdlin & Company, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus


View job as Client Relationship Manager
for Goldleaf Partners, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus

Client Relationship Manager

Goldleaf Partners, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus


View job as DC Retirement Plan Consultant
for National Professional Planning Group (NPPG)

DC Retirement Plan Consultant

National Professional Planning Group (NPPG)

Shrewsbury NJ

View job as Client Services Manager
for Newport

Client Services Manager


Folsom CA / Chicago IL / Saint Petersburg FL / La Crosse WI / Charlotte NC / Overland Park KS / Mobile AL / West Des Moines IA / Pittsburgh PA

Selected New Discussions

Profit Sharing Allocation -- Cross Tested Plan -- Separate Group for Each Participant

"Working on a cross tested plan where each participant defines their own group. Is it permissible to satisfy testing by averaging the profit sharing contribution rates of the HCE's and the NHCE's and as long as the NHCE's are at least 70% of the HCE's, testing is satisfied? Average benefits test is not passing and the allocation isn't passing rate group testing on contributions or benefits."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Payment of DB Plan Benefits from Corporate Assets (Wrong Account)

"A client acquired a small DB plan a few years back (around $1M in assets) in connection with acquisition of the sponsor entity. The plan appears to well over 100 percent funded and the only participants in the plan are terminated and retired employees.

The company would like to terminate the plan but the problem is we recently discovered that since the client's acquisition of the plan, payment of benefits under the plan (affecting all participants) have been made from the corporation's general assets instead of from the plan assets.

This is obviously in violation of the terms of the plan but our question is what correction needs to be made if any?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Ignore Deferred Vested Former Employee Accounts in Allocating Investment Earnings and Losses?

"Can a profit sharing plan not allocate investments earnings and losses to the accounts of deferred vested former employees?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) and 403(b) Plan Litigation: Recent Cases, Investment Offerings, Issues for Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

April 21, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Text of EBSA Extension of Certain Timeframes for Employee Benefit Plans, Participants, and Beneficiaries Affected by the COVID-19 Outbreak

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

EBSA Disaster Relief Notice 2021-01: Guidance on Continuation of Relief for Employee Benefit Plans and Plan Participants and Beneficiaries Due to the COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) Outbreak

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

Making Sense of DOL Guidance on Missing Participants

Keightley & Ashner LLP

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

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