logo logo

Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 12, 2021

3 Jobs Today


IRS Lists Solo 401(k) Plans as Audit Target

"The Service's TE/GE (Tax Exempt and Government Entities) division has identified one-participant 401(k) plans as among its current audit initiatives.... [This article lists] some common solo 401(k) compliance pitfalls. If you are a solo 401(k) sponsor, check your plan design and operations to determine if these might be issues for you."  MORE >>

E is for ERISA

AT&T Workers Challenging Pensions Keep California Venue

"Six former workers ... [claim] AT&T shortchanges the pensions of workers who retire before age 65 or choose pension formats that pay benefits to their surviving spouses after their deaths.... AT&T sought to transfer the case to the Northern District of Texas in January, arguing that the plan is administered in Texas and is governed by the laws of that state." [Eliason v. AT&T Inc., No. 19-6232 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 8, 2021)]  MORE >>

Cohen Milstein

Pentegra Pushes Back on MEP Plaintiffs' Claims

" '[T]he defendants state that the 'plaintiffs offer no basis for their assumption that these plans are 'the same or similar' to the Plan ... and they are not. Each of these is a single-employer plan. Although a key benefit of a MEP is the possibility of gaining some economy of scale as compared to that achieved by each individual employer, a MEP does not enjoy the same economy of scale as a single-employer plan with the same amount of assets.' " [Khan v. Bd. of Directors of Pentegra Defined Contribution Plan, No. 20-07561 (S.D.N.Y. memo. in support of motion to dismiss, filed Apr. 1, 2021)]  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Don't Make the Same Mistakes in 2021 – Keep Your Retirement Plan on Track

"Build flexibility into your plan ... Review and adjust as applicable ... Focus the plan on your long-term big picture ... Diversify your portfolio."  MORE >>



2021 CCA Enrolled Actuaries Conference

Enrolled Actuaries: don’t miss this virtual event offering 18.5 available EA Credits and 39 sessions on subjects for single employer, public plans, multi-employer plans & small plans practitioners as well as updates from the PBGC, IRS & Joint Board.

Sponsored by Conference of Consulting Actuaries [CCA]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2021-25: Temporary 100% Deduction for Business Meal Expenses (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance regarding the temporary 100-percent deduction for expenses that are paid or incurred after December 31, 2020, and before January 1, 2023, for food or beverages provided by a restaurant. In particular, the notice explains when the temporary 100-percent deduction applies and when the 50-percent limitation continues to apply for purposes of Section 274 of the Internal Revenue Code[.]"  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clarifies Rules for Deduction of Meals and Entertainment Costs

"The notice clarifies that the 100% deduction is available for food or beverages provided by a restaurant. The term 'restaurant' means a business that prepares and sells food or beverages to retail customers for immediate consumption either on- or off-premises. A restaurant does not include businesses that primarily sell pre-packaged food or beverages, not for immediate consumption."  MORE >>

Alvarez & Marsal

Signs You Need to Update Your HR Portal for Benefits

"[1] Your HR portal isn't a comprehensive resource on company perks.... [2] Benefits information is outdated.... [3] Important benefits content is difficult to find.... [4] Your intranet doesn't address common employee questions.... [5] Your intranet seems to target benefits professionals.... [6] Your HR portal loads slowly.... [7] Employee feedback indicates it's time for a change."  MORE >>

Tango Health

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Can Mandatory Arbitration Rein in ERISA Litigation? Appellate Courts Weigh In

"ERISA is silent on arbitration, but the Federal Arbitration Act encourages arbitration of disputes. Two relatively recent Supreme Court decisions upheld arbitration clauses in the employment context, although the Supreme Court has not specifically addressed the permissibility of mandatory arbitration under ERISA. In the meantime, federal courts are grappling with these issues in inconsistent decisions."  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

The Relationship Between Overspending on Health Care and Retirement Readiness (PDF)

12 pages. "High costs, combined with the complexity of choosing the right plan, can make health care decisions difficult for employees -- many of whom are already struggling to save for retirement. Here's what employers and plan sponsors can do about it."  MORE >>

Voya Financial

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

In Nonqualified Benefit Plans, One Size Does Not Fit All

"[W]hen consultants design SERPs solely for retirement income -- because the decision-makers are concerned about retirement -- they often make the mistake of designing a plan that fails its primary goal: attracting, retaining and rewarding key talent."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as ESOP Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates ESOP Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates


View job as ESOP Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

View job as 401(k) Plan Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates 401(k) Plan Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates


View job as 401(k) Plan Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

View job as Sr. DB Plan Administrator
for Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus Sr. DB Plan Administrator

Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus

Telecommute / CA

Selected New Discussions

ESOP Balance Restoration Timing

"When should a previously forfeited ESOP balance be restored to an employee's account? Should the forfeited balance be restored upon return? After a year of service? Retroactively to the day of return after a year of service?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Change Non-Account Balance to Account Balance -- 409A Violation?

"Say an employer has a deferred comp agreement in place that provides a retired employee a fixed amount per year for a defined period. Call it $100,000 per year for the next 5 years. The employer wants to add an earnings component by basically converting the payments to a $500,000 'account balance' and allowing the retired employee to select investments. The amounts would be paid out in five installments over the next five years (same time and form as the original terms) but instead of being a fixed $100,000 per year, it would be 1/5 of the account balance in the first year, 1/4 in the second year, and so on. Would this be simply a change of 'amount' (and not a change in time or form) such that they could amend during the payment period without violating 409A?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Cash Balance + Profit Sharing Combo -- Is CB Plan Deduction Limited to 6%?

"Can someone please point me to the regulation that limits to the 6% deductibility on the Cash Balance plan?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

NAPA Welcomes Alex Assaley as President

National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

HealthEquity to Acquire Further


Pentegra and The 401(k) Plan Company Launch Open, Independent Pooled Employer Plan, A Better 401(k) Plan™

Pentegra Retirement Services

In a Year of Virtual Learning, PSCA Awards Highlight Importance of Creative Retirement Plan Education Methods

PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

NFP Acquires The Schuster Group, Enhancing Benefits and Retirement Capabilities in the Northeast

NFP Corp.

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Updated IRS Publication 590-B Provides Insights on Post-Death RMD Rules After the SECURE Act

Groom Law Group

Retirees in Profile: Evaluating Five Distinct Lifestyles in Retirement

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Is Participant Data a Plan Asset? Another Court Says No

Groom Law Group

Unsubscribe  |   Change Email Address

Search Past Issues   |   Privacy Policy

Submit an Article   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise Here

Copyright 2021, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers. We are not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.