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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 6, 2021

11 Jobs Today


[Guidance Overview]

ARPA Modifies Funding Relief for Community Newspaper Plans

"Last August, IRS issued Notice 2020-60 on the SECURE Act's community newspaper relief. That guidance apparently still applies to the modified relief, with one possible exception -- whether elections to use the relaxed funding rules apply to all plans in a community newspaper's controlled group."  MORE >>


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[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 44

"This article is about the fiduciary duty to prudently recommend investments to plans, participants and IRA owners.... [In] the preamble to the PTE the DOL significantly expanded the definition of some prongs of the 5-part test, meaning that investment professionals and financial institutions will be more likely to be fiduciaries for the advice they give to 'retirement investors'."  MORE >>

Judge Finds ERISA Claims Sufficient Against Coca-Cola Bottler

"The lawsuit specifically challenges the fact that the plan used the actively managed Fidelity Freedom Funds target-date fund (TDF) suite rather than the index suite. The plaintiffs say the active suite is too 'high risk' to be suitable for the plan's participants." [Jones v. Coca-Cola Consolidated, Inc., No. 20-654 (W.D.N.C. Mar. 31, 2021)]  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Actuaries' Observations on Implementation of ARPA Multiemployer Pension Relief (PDF)

"On March 17, 2021, the Multiemployer Plans Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries met with representatives from PBGC, the Department of the Treasury, and the [DOL] to share the committee's initial observations regarding the multiemployer pension provisions under ARPA, with a focus on areas where clarification may be needed.... The list of topics discussed ... is included [in this article]."  MORE >>

Multiemployer Plans Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries

ARPA Pension Relief Explained

"[N]ot all eligible [multiemployer] plans will be approved, and the PBGC will prioritize applicants by needs. Eligible multiemployer plans must meet one of ... four qualifying requirements ... The single-employer funding relief extends interest rate stabilization and funding shortfall amortization periods, both of which reduce minimum required contribution amounts in the near-term."  MORE >>

Income Research + Management

Illinois Governor Signs Bill Expanding COLAs for Chicago Firefighter Pensions

"The new law removes the eligibility restriction for participants who retire at age 55 who are born after Jan. 1, 1966. Those participants will now receive a 3% COLA."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

401(k) Education: Teaching Parents to Teach Their Children

"[T]he teacher (the financial service provider) develops preparatory materials for the students (the employees). The students are then given a homework assignment to use the preparatory materials to develop their own lesson plans to teach other students (in this case, children, whether they be the employees' kids, school children, or scouts seeking merit badges).... When you learn by teaching, you're conditioned to believe you've already learned what you're teaching."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

The Workers' Guide to Retirement Income

"Assume a married couple has begun to draw monthly Social Security payments. Each spouse is 65 years of age, and the couple holds $800,000 in investment assets. How should the couple convert that lump sum into income? What are the primary choices?"  MORE >>



Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon The Massive Influence of Retirement Plans on Capital Markets: The Days of ERISA as a 'Backwater' Are Long Gone

"If you are wondering why the DOL's rules regarding Economic, Social and Governance Investing (ESG) garnered a lot of attention, or why its proxy voting rules actually generated excitement, it is because of the practical influence those rules have on the operation of the U.S. capital markets.... This influence seems to be rarely discussed[.]"  MORE >>

Business of Benefits


Multiemployer Pensions: Will the Recent Bailout Destroy Pensions (in the Long Run)?

"There may eventually be [multiemployer plan] reforms, but with a big cash injection into Central States Teamsters, the reckoning day has been pushed off. The real crisis was Central States Teamsters going under. It would have taken down the PBGC.... Unfunded liability of Central States Teamsters: ... $43.6 billion dollars ... a little over 50% of the estimated $86 billion cost of the MEP bailout."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

Ninth Circuit Enforces Forum Selection Clause in 401(k) Plan

"The Ninth Circuit denied the 'extraordinary remedy' of mandamus, holding that the plan's forum-selection clause was enforceable. The Court emphasized the presumptive validity of forum-selection clauses and reasoned that nothing in ERISA prohibits plans and participants from agreeing on a forum for litigating their disputes." [Becker v. U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, Oakland, No. 20-72805 (9th Cir. Apr. 1, 2021)]  MORE >>


Happy National Employee Benefits Day, April 6, 2021!

"If there was ever a year to celebrate National Employee Benefits Day, this is the year. The last year needs no introduction, but it is worthwhile to take just a moment to acknowledge the role employee benefits and all the tireless employee benefit professionals have played in getting us through."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

The Latest Guidance on the $1M Deduction Limit and the Ever-Expanding Definition of Covered Employees

"The addition of the five highest paid employees ... appears to be applicable on an annual basis. Stated another way, only the traditional five covered employees (CEO, CFO, and three highest paid officers) remain covered employees in all future years."  MORE >>

Michael Best

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Principal Legal Content Specialist - Benefits
for Bloomberg Industry Group View job as Principal Legal Content Specialist - Benefits
for Bloomberg Industry Group

Principal Legal Content Specialist - Benefits

Bloomberg Industry Group

Telecommute / Arlington VA

View job as 401(k) Administrator
for Sunwest Pensions

401(k) Administrator

Sunwest Pensions

Telecommute / Mesa AZ

View job as Investment Analyst - Fiduciary Consulting Services Team
for Newport

Investment Analyst - Fiduciary Consulting Services Team


Lake Mary FL

View job as Account Services Representative (Entry-Level)
for Newport

Account Services Representative (Entry-Level)


Folsom CA

View job as Defined Benefit Consultant
for Ascensus

Defined Benefit Consultant



View job as Defined Benefit Administrator
for Ascensus

Defined Benefit Administrator



View job as Compliance (Health) Lawyer
for Segal

Compliance (Health) Lawyer


New York NY

View job as Client Service Manager
for Maxus Plan Solutions, Inc

Client Service Manager

Maxus Plan Solutions, Inc

Telecommute / Charlotte NC

View job as Consultant
for Segal



New York NY / Tempe AZ / Washington DC / Chicago IL

View job as Senior Conversions Analyst
for BlueStar Retirement Services, Inc.

Senior Conversions Analyst

BlueStar Retirement Services, Inc.

Telecommute / Jacksonville FL

View job as Senior Associate
for Segal

Senior Associate


New York NY / Tempe AZ / Washington DC / Chicago IL

Selected New Discussions

Options for Missing Beneficiary

"An ongoing governmental defined benefit plan provides a death benefit. In some cases, the sponsor is [1] unable to contact a beneficiary but believes they have the beneficiary's correct information, [2] is unable to identify the correct beneficiary at all, or [3] is unable to obtain a name, address, valid SSN, etc. for someone they believe may the correct beneficiary. Assume no relevant state law, no representative has qualified on the estate, and that the sponsor has conducted a diligent and reasonable search under the circumstances. Under scenario (1), I believe they could forfeit the death benefit subject to reinstatement, force an IRA rollover, or possibly escheat. What are valid options under scenarios [2] and (3)?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Alternate Payee's Attorney Is Questioning Plan Asset Valuation

"The alternate payee's attorney is questioning the valuations and wants a full accounting. It's is a pooled profit sharing plan. The client is asking if there is anything in the Code that prevents the disclosure of this information as it relates to other plan participants. I believe there is, but I can't find it. Any suggestions on how to handle this situation?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

Missing Participant Guidance from DOL

April 14, 2021 WEBCAST

Boutwell Fay LLP

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Arbitration of ERISA Claims: Courts Grapple with Competing Considerations (PDF)

Jenner & Block, via Employee Relations Law Journal

Advisors and Agents Need to Gear Up for New DOL Rules on Investment Advice

No, Rescuing Multiemployer Pensions Won't Destroy Them

Joshua Gotbaum, for The Brookings Institution

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

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