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Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 2, 2021

4 Jobs Today (scroll to view)


[Guidance Overview]

SECURE Act Section 202's 'Group of Plans' Comes to the Forefront

"[T]he GoP is much like the MEP and the PEP, requiring much of the same sort of 'meptech' data aggregation technology, but without the difficulties of merging and spinning off of plans under MEPs and PEPs.... Plans will eventually have 3 valuable alternatives from which to choose, should they be considering joining an aggregation arrangement."  MORE >>

Business of Benefits


FIS Virtual Form 5500 Workshop - March 16-17 -- Register Now

The two half-day live webcast provides line-by-line instructions to help plan sponsors accurately file the Form 5500 and related forms. Earn up to 6 CE credit hours. View the complete agenda and register online here.

Sponsored by FIS

[Guidance Overview]

Partial Plan Termination Relief Not a Free Pass for Reportable Events

"Pandemic relief in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act may help defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors with large workforce reductions avoid the cost of a partial plan termination ... But the relief won't excuse sponsors from the [PBGC] reporting requirements for an active-participant reduction."  MORE >>


The 401(k) Fiduciary Dilemma: More Participation or More Savings?

"Compliance requires participation not be limited to high-net-worth individuals. However, if plan sponsors focus too much on merely getting employees to not opt-out, are they then sacrificing the more meaningful goal of saving an adequate amount? To fully appreciate this, you need to understand what happened with the OregonSaves program."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Parliamentarian to Decide Fate of Multiemployer Pension Reform in COVID Relief Act

"If the Senate Parliamentarian blesses it, the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan may ... provide underfunded multiemployer pension plans with sufficient monies from the Treasury Department to pay for all accrued benefits owed to retirees, without reduction, through the plan year ending in 2051."  MORE >>


Pension Relief Plan in COVID-19 Stimulus Bill

"Section 9704 would establish a fund within the PBGC and appropriate amounts as necessary to provide special financial assistance to certain multiemployer DB plans. The special financial assistance would not have to be repaid."  MORE >>


FAS87 ASC715 Discount Rates and Moody's Rates, February 26, 2021

An unofficial monthly report of the Moody's Daily Long-term Corporate Bond Yield Averages and Moody's Daily Treasury Yield Averages (used as benchmarks by some corporate pension plans).  MORE >>

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Fourth Quarter U.S. Single-Premium Pension Buy-Out Sales Jump 21%

"There were 177 new buy-out contracts sold covering 259,342 participants in the fourth quarter. For the full year, there were 432 buy-out contracts sold, representing 408,277 participants. In the fourth quarter 2020, there were two buy-in contracts totaling $1.6 billion. This is the highest quarterly total for buy-in products ever reported. For the year, buy-in product sales totaled $1.8 billion, 4% below 2019 sales results."  MORE >>


Research Finds Women Outperforming Men in Managing DC Plans

"Morningstar used the Form 5500 data to track auto enrollment, defaults and compliance with ERISA's Section 404(c) from 2009 to 2017.... When researchers compared female vs. male administrators over time with the growth of the three factors over time, they concluded women did a better job."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments


Will the Real Retirement Income Number Please Stand Up?

"The 4% rule ... has been widely adopted by financial advisors and individual investors.... Assuming that future market returns are lower than in the past, an initial withdrawal rate closer to 3.5% looks like a reasonable starting point."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Outbreak Extension Period: When Does It End?

"[T]he Plan Administrator could choose to voluntarily extend the tolling period until the end of the Outbreak Period for all impacted deadlines.... [F]or fully-insured coverage, the carrier would need to agree (which may be unlikely); and for self-funded plans with stop loss coverage, it would need to be permitted under the stop loss policy."  MORE >>

Trucker Huss

District Court: Benefit Denial Letter Omission Renders Limitations Period Unenforceable

"An Illinois federal court recently held that the failure to identify a contractual limitations period in a benefits denial letter renders the limitations period unenforceable, even before applicable regulations were changed to expressly require that the limitations period be included." [Hewitt v. Lincoln Financial Corp., No. 18-8235 (N.D. Ill. Feb. 2, 2021)]  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Investment Advisor
for SWBC Retirement Plan Services View job as Investment Advisor
for SWBC Retirement Plan Services

Investment Advisor

SWBC Retirement Plan Services

Austin TX

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Premier Plan Consultants View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Premier Plan Consultants

Retirement Plan Administrator

Premier Plan Consultants

Telecommute / San Diego CA

View job as Sr. Actuarial Analyst
for Newport

Sr. Actuarial Analyst


Chicago IL

View job as Cash Balance Plan Administrator
for Cash Balance Actuaries, LLC

Cash Balance Plan Administrator

Cash Balance Actuaries, LLC


Selected New Discussions

Controlled Group - vesting

"Corporation A and B are a controlled group. They have identical separate plans. Participant is partially vested in Corp A plan, then terminates employment with A and moves to B. Account balance remains in the A plan. Since all service with all members of the CG is counted for Years of Service, then as long as participant works for B with 1,000 hours each year, the vesting under the A plan will continue to increase, even though participant is no longer working there. Is there any dispensation that I'm missing that would allow vesting in A plan to remain frozen?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan Sponsor Received Mutual Fund Settlement Check Payable to 401k Plan

"Plan Sponsor received a check from RBC, payable to the Plan, that was a settlement with the SEC over certain fees involved in a mutual fund. The check says it is for the benefit of a participant that has long since departed from the employer. Plan Sponsor has no address for the participant. How should this be handled?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Retirement Industry Specialists Create a Powerful New Partnership

The Cerrado Group

PSCA’s 2021 Non-Qualified Plan Survey is now available.

PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

Vitality Releases Survey Results of 32k+ Members and Global Toolkit on COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance


OneDigital Acquires Spiralight Group Benefits

OneDigital Health and Benefits

Webcasts and Conferences

Choosing a Retirement Solution for Your Small Business

March 10, 2021 WEBCAST

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

Fiduciary Training Segment 2; Plan Committee Governance

March 17, 2021 WEBCAST

Wagner Law Group P.C.

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program

March 18, 2021 WEBCAST

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

Pass the Catch-Up

March 24, 2021 WEBCAST

403(b) and 457(b) Characteristics and Plan Design Options

April 7, 2021 WEBCAST

American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA]

Employee Severance Agreements and Section 409A Deferred Compensation: Withstanding Heightened IRS Scrutiny

May 5, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

Morgan Lewis

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


Agencies Clarify Outbreak Period Relief Due to COVID-19

Winston & Strawn LLP

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

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