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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 1, 2021

4 Jobs Today


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon IRS Describes Top Mistakes in Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) Submissions

"If your submission has errors, it takes longer to review and delays the issuance of the compliance statement.... Review [this] list to make sure you avoid the errors when completing your VCP submission."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Railroad Retirement Board: Retirement, Survivor, Disability, Unemployment, and Sickness Benefits (PDF)

18 pages. "During FY2019, the RRB paid $13.0 billion in retirement, disability,and survivor benefits to approximately 535,000 beneficiaries. Of those benefit payments, 61.5% was paid to retired workers, 6.9% to disabled workers, 14.6% to spouses, and 16.2% to survivors." [RS22350, updated Mar. 31, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE Act Allows 401(k) Distributions for Birth or Adoption

"QBOAD gives employees the option to take up to $5,000 per parent per child from a 401(k) or other eligible retirement plan without paying the 10 percent early distribution penalty for withdrawing funds before age 59½."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Report

[Guidance Overview]

Significant Changes to 2022 Pension and IRA Reports Reflected on Draft Withholding Forms

"Notably, the [draft] Form W-4P provides for a new default withholding rate of single with no adjustments (i.e., no longer married with three allowances), which likely will result in more taxes withheld. These new forms (or substitute forms) will be required for pension distributions made in 2022, although current retirees will not need to complete a new Form W-4P if there are no withholding changes."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Fidelity Escapes Claims Over Use of Participants' 401(k) Plan Data

"The case was being closely watched for its potential to increase the number of people who can be held liable for a breach of fiduciary duty. But the court kept a narrow definition of plan assets, limiting the number of people who can be sued." [Harmon v. Shell Oil Co., No. 20-021 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 30, 2021)]  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

Is Participant Data a Plan Asset? Another Court Says No

"This decision follows on the heels of the Divane v. Northwestern case in which the same charge was also rejected.... In the end, the reasoning ... was that plan assets should be determined by reference to ordinary rules of property law, under which participant data would not be considered a plan asset, even though it may have some value." [Harmon v. Shell Oil Co., No. 20-021 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 30, 2021)]  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

ERISA Arbitration Clause Faces Skeptical Seventh Circuit

"The case asks the judges to consider a 2020 ruling allowing a dispute over Triad's employee stock ownership plan to proceed in court, despite the defendants' attempt to enforce a mandatory arbitration clause added to the plan in 2018." [Smith v. Board of Directors of Triad Manufacturing, No. 20-2350 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 21, 2020; on appeal to 7th Cir., No. 20-2708; oral arg. Mar. 30, 2021)]  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

Plan Sponsors: Review Restated Pre-Approved Plan Documents with Care

"An unexpected change that is made in error or not understood by the plan sponsor could result in errors in plan administration. Such errors could lead to costly corrections and plan qualification failures."  MORE >>

Williams Mullen

Benefits of a Financial Wellness Program

"Almost half (47%) of stressed employees say that finances have been a distraction at work ... Employees also self-report their productivity at work has been negatively affected (26%) by financial stress[.]"  MORE >>

Newport Group

A Key to Avoiding Retirement Plan Excessive Fee Litigation: Policies & Procedures

"Two recent federal district court rulings illustrate the necessity for plan sponsors to have a prudent decision-making process in place to successfully defend against excessive fee litigation."  MORE >>

Hall Benefits Law


Biden's Tax Plan and Its Potential Impact on Corporate Retirement Plans

"For plan sponsors with existing NQDC plans, ... now is a good time to review their plan's structure in anticipation of greater demand ... If corporate tax rates rise, [the authors] foresee profitable cash generative companies looking to increase funding to existing defined benefit plans."  MORE >>

River and Mercantile

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Guidance Clarifies Expiration of COVID-19 Deadline Extension for Employee Benefit Plans

"The IRS also indicated in informal conversations that individuals will continue to be entitled to regulatory relief as long as they experience a deadline-triggering event during the national emergency period, even if the event occurs on March 1, 2021, or later."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Top Employee Benefits Issues to Watch in 2021 (PDF)

24 pages. "[1] Changes to fiduciary rules; [2] ACA pivot; [3] Transparency for health plans; [4] Benefits go remote; [5] Increased focus on data security risks; [6] Changes to retirement policy; [7] Increasing ERISA litigation; [8] Momentum on multiemployer pension plan reform; [9] Employee mental health and well-being."  MORE >>

DLA Piper

Courts Split on Class Action Waivers, Arbitration Provisions in ERISA Litigation

"Courts have struggled over the years when considering the enforceability of mandatory class action waivers and arbitration provisions contained within [ERISA] plans and other employment-related agreements.... This alert discusses recent application of these different approaches by several courts."  MORE >>

Holland & Knight

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as DB Administrator/Analyst
for Summit Benefit & Actuarial Services, Inc. View job as DB Administrator/Analyst
for Summit Benefit & Actuarial Services, Inc.

DB Administrator/Analyst

Summit Benefit & Actuarial Services, Inc.


View job as Sr Defined Benefit Consultant
for Ascensus

Sr Defined Benefit Consultant


Telecommute / CA

View job as Director of Retirement Plan Services
for Sanford Advisory

Director of Retirement Plan Services

Sanford Advisory

Portage MI

View job as Sr. Actuarial Analyst
for Newport

Sr. Actuarial Analyst


Chicago IL

Selected New Discussions

EACA -- Effects of a Midyear Increase

"Client has an existing EACA. Plan is a calendar year plan. The EACA provisions state that all employees who make an affirmative election remain covered under the EACA. Midyear increase. Am I correct that making this change midyear would cause the ACA to no longer qualify as an EACA?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Postponement of 402(g) Corrective Distributions?

"Does the postponement in tax filing deadline (from 4/15 to 5/17) also cause a postponement of when 402(g) corrective distributions must be processed?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Submitting a 'Reasonable Cause' Statement to DOL for a Late-Filed 5500

"Client is filing 2018 and 2019 5500s soon and has what I believe to be a reasonable cause for the late filing. Client received a penalty notice for the 2018 from the IRS but not from the DOL. I have prepared a reasonable cause statement response to the IRS but am unclear what needs to be done with regards to the DOL. Do we file DFVCP and pay the penalty or can we get any penalty waiver pursuant to a reasonable cause statement? If the latter, where do we send it?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Marpai Health to Acquire Continental Benefits Launching the First Smart Health Plan System

Marpai Health

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Designing a 401(k) Plan: Six Key Decisions

Employee Fiduciary

Most Taking CRDs in 2020 Did So Mainly Out of Desperation

401(k) Specialist

DOL Revokes Trump Administration Guidance That Provided Relief to QPAMs for Convictions Under Foreign Law


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

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