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Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 9, 2021

7 Jobs Today (scroll to view)


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Missing Participant Guidance Follows Years-Long Enforcement Initiative (PDF)

"[T]he guidance does not have the force and effect of law, and does not bind the regulated community. As such, it may be too soon to tell whether this non-binding guidance is helpful or adds increasing burdens to plan sponsors."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group, via Bloomberg Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal

[Sponsor] EXCLUSIVE - Who's the Employer (WTE)

WTE, 8th Edition, Authored by S. Derrin Watson, JD. Over 30% NEW material. Dozens of new examples. Full explanations of how employer and employee status impact testing. Improved organization -- easy to find answers. or 612-605-2266

Sponsored by Burrmont Compliance Labs LLC

[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 40

"It will be more difficult than folks think to avoid fiduciary status for rollover recommendations.... While the DOL/ERISA fiduciary rule will apply to recommendations to plans and participants, only the SEC rules will apply to recommendations to IRA owners."  MORE >>

Mulitemployer Plan Suit Focuses on Fees, Fund Performance

"Participants in a multiemployer 401(k) plan sued multiple defendants, alleging ERISA violations, ranging from conflicts of interest to keeping poor-performing, high-fee investment options." [Lauderdale vs. NFP Retirement Inc., No. 21-301 (C.D. Cal. complaint filed Feb. 16, 2021)]  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Retirement Plan Cybersecurity: Considerations for ERISA Fiduciaries (PDF)

"[T]here are no comprehensive national laws, federal regulations or precedential cases governing cybersecurity, and no uniform framework for measuring the effectiveness of protections or governing cybersecurity for retirement plans and their service providers. Whether cybersecurity is an ERISA fiduciary responsibility and whether ERISA preempts state cybersecurity laws remain important unanswered questions."  MORE >>


Sponsors' Retirement Plan Priorities Shift Due to Pandemic

"Sixty-nine percent of sponsors said they are now most interested in supporting their employees' immediate financial needs.... [O]ther top concerns were increasing employee communications (51%), modifying how financial education and counseling take place (35%) ... becoming more concerned about their employees' retirement readiness (31%) and cutting plan costs (14%)."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required


You Are Invited - New DOL Missing Participant Guidelines Webinar

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

Most of the Top 50 Asset Managers Have Created Internal ESG Ratings

"20 of these 50 asset managers use data from at least four different ESG ratings agencies ... 30 have now developed their own, proprietary internal ratings system[.]"  MORE >>

Corporate Secretary

Multiemployer Pension Relief Expected by March 14

"The US Senate on March 6 passed the Butch Lewis Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 (EPPRA) ... Because the Senate made some last-minute changes to EPPRA, the bill now moves back to the House, where it will be revoted on March 9. The Biden administration hopes to have the package signed into law before March 14."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

Corporate Pension Funded Ratio Climbs to 92.9% in February

"In February, corporate pension funding improved by $67 billion thanks to a 26-basis-point increase in the monthly discount rate ... [T]he funded status deficit dropped to $133 billion at month's end."  MORE >>


Pension Risk Reporting Guidance Updated to Account for Pandemic Impacts

"[T]he Foundation for Public Pensions Risk Reporting document ... spells out a framework for measuring investment risk -- the potential that market returns will be lower than expected -- as well as contribution risk, meaning the possibility that future contributions will fall short of the rate required to meet funding objectives."  MORE >>

The Pew Charitable Trusts


ERISA Regulation of ESG Investment: A Counter-Theory

"The DOL's effort to set limits on ESG investing implicates three ERISA duties -- prudence, diversification and loyalty.... [T]he headline issue is prudence and the question of value.... [In] the end, this isn't an ERISA problem. It's a problem of the socio-economic-political situation we are living through. And we're not going to solve that problem with an ERISA regulation."  MORE >>

Michael P. Barry, via American Retirement Association [ARA]

Benefits in General

Questions for Plan Sponsors to Consider Before Signing That New Service Agreement (PDF)

"Employers need to carefully review and negotiate proposed service agreement terms (even if their plans are not covered by ERISA) to ensure that they are balanced, fair and reasonable, comply with ERISA where applicable and other applicable law and do not create liabilities, duties and obligations that they, in hindsight, never would have 'bargained for.' "  MORE >>

Boutwell Fay LLP

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Understanding Performance Measurement in Executive Compensation

"[A] majority of companies are considering changes to their 2021 annual incentive plans ... The most common change under consideration is the flattening of the performance slope -- the relationship between the performance goals and the corresponding incentive payout."  MORE >>

Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Sr. Plan Administrator and Implementation Coordinator
for Advanced Benefits Consulting View job as Sr. Plan Administrator and Implementation Coordinator
for Advanced Benefits Consulting

Sr. Plan Administrator and Implementation Coordinator

Advanced Benefits Consulting

Telecommute / Saint Louis MO

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Cerberus Retirement, Inc. View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Cerberus Retirement, Inc.

Retirement Plan Administrator

Cerberus Retirement, Inc.

Telecommute / AZ

View job as Retirement Services Analyst
for Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System (SCERS)

Retirement Services Analyst

Sacramento County Employees' Retirement System (SCERS)


View job as Actuary
for The Retirement Advantage (TRA, Inc.)


The Retirement Advantage (TRA, Inc.)


View job as Defined Benefit Actuarial Analyst
for The Retirement Advantage (TRA, Inc.)

Defined Benefit Actuarial Analyst

The Retirement Advantage (TRA, Inc.)


View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Ascensus

Retirement Plan Consultant


Telecommute / PA

View job as Supervisory Employee Benefits Investigator
for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Supervisory Employee Benefits Investigator

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Telecommute / Washington DC

Selected New Discussions

Two Plans, One Owner, So Two 5500-EZs?

"Is an individual required to complete and file 2 separate 5500-EZs -- one for a solo401K plan and one for a DB plan -- because assets exceed $250k between the combination of the plans?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Illinois Mutual Earns Designation as a Great Place to Work-Certified™ Company in 2021

Illinois Mutual

401k Averages Book finds 401(k) Plan Fees Continue to Decline

401k Averages Book

Webcasts and Conferences

2021 DC Survey


Callan Associates

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement Plan Sponsors - Day 1

March 17, 2021 WEBCAST

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

The Effect of COVID-19 on Employee Benefit Plans: Making Sense of the Abundance of New Legislation and Guidance

March 18, 2021 WEBCAST

Verrill Dana LLP

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities: Retirement Plan Sponsors - Day 2

March 23, 2021 WEBCAST

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

Missing Participant Guidance from DOL

April 14, 2021 WEBCAST

Boutwell Fay LLP

Final Section 4960 Executive Compensation Excise Tax Regulations: Significant Changes for Tax-Exempt Organizations

May 13, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

DOL Safe Harbor for E-Delivery of Retirement Plan Notices (PDF)

Groom Law Group, via Journal of Pension Benefits

Will You Run Out of Money During Retirement?


Moneypalooza Monstrosity: The Multiemployer 100% Bailout


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

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