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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 22, 2021

4 Jobs Today


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Instructions for Form 5310: Application for Determination for Terminating Plan (PDF)

Rev. Apr. 2021. "What's New: The form and the instructions have been updated to be completed on as of April 16, 2021."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


DCIIA/SPARK Public Policy Series

DCIIA/SPARK Public Policy Series, May 4 – 6, 2021 (domestic themes) and June 23 – 25, 2021 (global themes). Topics include: Updates from the Hill and DOL / Treasury, Workplace of the Future, Privacy and cybersecurity. Register Now.

Sponsored by SPARK and DCIIA

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Cybersecurity Guidance

"If you are a service provider, and you have not already realized that your clients are going to start requesting your cybersecurity policy and procedures, this is your wake-up call.... In the 'Cybersecurity Program Best Practices,' the DOL has outlined not only what a service provider should have, such as a formal Cybersecurity Program, but what these documents and best practices should include."  MORE >>

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Interpretative Guidance on Investment Advice Prohibited Transaction Exemption

"The FAQs state that the DOL is reviewing issues of fact, law, and policy related to PTE 2020-02 ... [and] anticipates taking further regulatory and sub-regulatory actions ... including amending the investment advice fiduciary regulation to broaden the range of people who are fiduciaries under ERISA ... and amending or revoking some of the other existing class exemptions available to investment advice fiduciaries."  MORE >>

Ropes & Gray LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Untangling the Inherited IRA Rules

"This article will first provide an overview of the changes to the RMD and beneficiary rules. The article will then detail the recalculation of RMDs starting in 2021, and conclude with a discussion of the changes in the life expectancy tables."  MORE >>

The CPA Journal

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Ninth Circuit: 'Written' Request for Benefits Can Be Made Electronically

"[T]he court held that a written request for pension benefit statements under ERISA Section 105 can be made electronically. Before this, no circuit court had addressed whether a request for a pension benefit statement through an online platform would constitute a 'written' request under ERISA, and a number of district courts had concluded that an online request was not sufficient. " [Bafford v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 20-55222 (9th Cir. Apr. 15, 2021)]  MORE >>

Kantor & Kantor

Plaintiffs Take a Shot at Another Multibillion-Dollar 401(k) Plan

"The suit ... is short in length (36 pages) -- and substance of specific allegations -- and (relatively) long on assumptions and presumptions." [Seidner v. Kimberly-Clark Corp., No. 21-867 (N.D. Tex. complaint filed Apr. 15, 2021)]  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Senators Propose SIMPLE Plan Modernization Act

"The proposed legislation would increase the contribution limit for SIMPLE plans from $13,500 to $16,500 for employers with up to 25 employees ... It would also increase the catch-up limit for companies with fewer than 25 employees from $3,000 to $4,750."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

2021 Off to an Epic Start for DB Risk Takers

"A typical 'traditional' allocation of 60 percent equities and 40 percent core bonds ... with a 70 percent funding ratio on January 1 has totally shredded it, riding the rail closer to 80 percent after only three months.... Many economic forecasters are calling for a few more quarters of tasty waves, so it may be tempting to continue the ride. But glide path theory suggests that DB investors tend to become more risk averse as funding ratios improve."  MORE >>

Principal Financial Group

Borderless Pension Plans

"[M]ore [international pension plans (IPPs)] and international savings plans (ISPs) [are] emerging. The ISP is similar to the IPP, except it typically comes with a shorter objective to pay out a benefit before retirement.... The IPP/ISP is attractive because it can be built to cater to multiple groups and sub-groups, as both the trustees and the scheme providers have developed more flexible administration platforms."  MORE >>

HR Daily Advisor


Marked Improvement in State Pension Plan Funding?

"U.S. state pension plans' aggregate funding ratio climbed 81.3% as at the end of Q1, the highest level since Wilshire has been aggregating data for state pension plans on a quarterly basis and since Wilshire's 2007 state funding study on an annual basis. This is really good news, right? Yes and no."  MORE >>

Pension Pulse

Benefits in General

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Why the Form of a Transaction is So Critical to Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Strategy

"The form of a corporate transaction sets the stage for the employee benefits and executive compensation (EBEC) strategy -- in the scope of due diligence and purchase agreement negotiations and post-closing activity. The charts [in this article] provide a high-level analysis of some of the most critical EBEC issues that companies and their advisors should consider in corporate transactions."  MORE >>

Foley & Lardner LLP


ERIC Letter to Regulatory Agencies Outlining Specific Actions to Support Employees Coming Back to Work and Growing the Post-Pandemic Economy (PDF)

9 pages. "We believe your leadership can help American workers, retirees, and their families by improving the regulatory framework that governs certain employee benefits, and we urge you to consider implementing specific policies to help prepare for the post-pandemic economy."  MORE >>

The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Actuarial Consultant
for USI Consulting Group Senior Actuarial Consultant

USI Consulting Group

Telecommute / Glastonbury CT

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Bates & Company Retirement Plan Administrator

Bates & Company

Winter Park FL

View job as Defined Benefit Coding Analyst
for Principal Financial Group Defined Benefit Coding Analyst

Principal Financial Group

Telecommute / Des Moines IA / Atlanta GA / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Compliance Auditor - EB Plans
for Sikich LLP Compliance Auditor - EB Plans

Sikich LLP

Naperville IL

Selected New Discussions

Safe Harbor Hardship Distributions -- Maximum Lookback for Determining Eligible Expenses?

"A plan is using the safe harbor rules for hardship distributions. A participant incurred a medical expense in 2019 and has been paying the bill off over time. There is currently an amount still owed on the original expense. [1] Assuming the document is silent on this specifically, can the participant request a hardship for the amount of the medical expense that is still outstanding even though the original expense occurred two years ago? [2] If so, assuming the plan document allows for additional hardship restrictions, is it acceptable to say (for example) that hardships will only be allowed for an expense that occurred no more than 6 months from the date of the request?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Excessive Roth Contributions to Combination of 401(k) Plans

"Suppose an employee participated in two 401(k) plans during 2020 (unrelated employers) and funded $19,500 in Roth deferrals to both plans. (Yes, this is a true case!) Is there a remedy for this error or should we ALL be trying to do this? The penalty of 'double taxation' doesn't apply, so what does?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Willis Towers Watson Honored for Sustained Excellence in Outsourcing for 10th Consecutive Year

Willis Towers Watson

The Center for Workforce Health and Performance and National Association of Worksite Health Centers Release Report to Help Employers and Insurers Manage Musculoskeletal Conditions

National Association of Worksite Health Centers [NAWH]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

Best Practices In Fiduciary Governance


Multnomah Group

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Must Death Distributions Under the 10-Year Rule Be Taken Annually?

The Wagner Law Group

New Cybersecurity Guidance Applicable to Employee Benefit Plan Contracting

Winston & Strawn LLP

DOL Puts Plan Sponsors and Other Fiduciaries on Notice: ERISA Requires Appropriate Precautions to Mitigate Cybersecurity Threats

Sidley Austin LLP

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

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