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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 23, 2021

2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon A Deeper Dive Into the DOL's First-of-Its-Kind Cybersecurity Guidance

"While this subregulatory guidance does not have the deferential authority of a regulation subject to notice and comment ... [it] provides a window into the DOL's expectations of what ERISA's prudence standards require with respect to cybersecurity matters. This window is particularly important given the specters of a threatened DOL enforcement initiative focusing on cybersecurity and privacy issues, increased private litigation arising out of cybersecurity events, and the general uptick in cybersecurity events affecting employee benefit plans."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Releases Cybersecurity Guidance

"[A recent GAO report] recommended that the DOL formally state whether cybersecurity is a fiduciary responsibility under ERISA. The DOL declined.... Instead, the DOL identified minimum expectations for reducing cybersecurity risks, which should be undertaken by all private-sector employer-sponsored defined contribution plans."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Cybersecurity Guidance: Plan Fiduciaries Will Ultimately Be Liable for Damages

"If the last 20 years of ERISA litigation has shown anything, it is that where there is a problem with a plan service provider, e.g., the plan's recordkeeper's fees are too high, or its cybersecurity standards are too low, it is the plan fiduciary who will be sued. So, when reviewing DOL's description of 'best practices' for service providers, plan fiduciaries should consider how they are going to monitor service provider compliance with them, to 'ensure proper mitigation of cybersecurity risks.' "  MORE >>

October Three Consulting

[Guidance Overview]

Does DOL's Latest Investment Duties Regulation Change How Fiduciaries Are Expected to Make Investment Decisions for Employee Benefit Plans? (PDF)

"Eliminating references to ESG factors altered the nature of the proposed amendment. The regulation left standing instead changes how all fiduciaries are to approach all investment decision-making in connection with all types of employee benefit plans.... [It] adopts the idea that loyalty to plan interests requires the exclusion of any other interest, including collateral benefits or goals of an investment[.]"  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

Summary of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS)

"The most recent EPCRS update ... expanded self-corrections to include certain plan document failures, correction options and possible relief from deemed distributions associated with certain failures involving plan loans made to participants, and created additional opportunities for correcting certain operational failures by plan amendment.... [This article includes] a chart of the various failures and corrections of plans under EPCRS, incorporating the modified rules of 2019."  MORE >>

Retirement Management Services, LLC

[Guidance Overview]

Changes to Single Employer Pension Plan Funding with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA)

"To provide relief for single employer pension plans during the challenging environment, ARPA narrows the 25-year average interest rate corridor used to value plan liabilities from 10% to 5% for the 2020 through 2025 plan years. ... Plan sponsors can be strategic when looking at their plans and manage the cash flow and risks in light of their broader business objectives."  MORE >>

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of ERISA Stock-Drop Suit

"The Ninth Circuit's ruling ... reinforces the significant pleading burden that plaintiffs face when bringing stock-drop class actions based on theories of 'inside information.' ...[It also] rejects the ever-more-common attempt by plaintiffs to overcome that burden by pleading general economic principles that would apply in every case." [Wilson v. Craver, No. 18-56139 (9th Cir. Apr. 19, 2021)]  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Ninth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Stock-Drop Challenge Involving Edison Executives

"[T]he 9th Circuit panel has held that the plaintiff failed to sufficiently state a duty-of-prudence claim ... Like the District Court, the appeals court finds the plaintiff failed to plausibly allege an alternative action 'so clearly beneficial that a prudent fiduciary could not conclude that it would be more likely to harm the fund than to help it.' " [Wilson v. Craver, No. 18-56139 (9th Cir. Apr. 19, 2021)]  MORE >>


Understanding and Evaluating Retirement Plan Fees

"Looking at fees holistically can better help retirement plan fiduciaries fulfill their duties.... [R]etirement plan fiduciaries need to understand and evaluate ... [1] Investment fees; [2] Recordkeeping and administrative fees; [3] Other service provider fees."  MORE >>


2021 Retirement Confidence Survey (PDF)

39 pages. "Workers' confidence in their ability to live comfortably in retirement remains high overall.... Workers are satisfied with their workplace retirement savings plans, and most stayed the course with contributions and investments this past year.... The past year has caused about 1 in 4 workers to adjust the age at which they plan to retire, including 17% who now plan to retire later and 6% who plan to retire earlier."  MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

A 20-Year Retrospective on the Impact of the 2000-2002 and 2007-2009 Bear Markets on Retirement Nest Egg Sustainability.

"With a full twenty years of monthly return data now in the books, this paper offers a case study on the impact of sequence risk.... [The authors] conclude that the lost decade is indeed a nightmarish case study in sequence risk and that much of the conventional planning wisdom, including the vaunted '4% Rule,' failed investors during this period."  MORE >>

Jack De Jong, John Robinson, via SSRN

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Health Insurance Specialist (Recent Graduates and Degree Candidates)
for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] Health Insurance Specialist (Recent Graduates and Degree Candidates)

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

Telecommute / San Francisco CA / Boston MA / Chicago IL / Woodlawn MD / Seattle WA / New York NY

View job as Retirement Conversions/Implementation  Specialist
for Human Interest Retirement Conversions/Implementation Specialist

Human Interest

Telecommute / San Francisco CA

Selected New Discussions

Seeking a Sample SCP Document for an ESOP

"I'm drafting a Self Correction Plan (SCP) to correct insignificant operational failures for an ESOP and looking to see if anyone has a sample (redacted?) document they're willing to share. Also looking for a robust article on SCPs -- its history and recent changes (including Rev. Proc. 2019-19). Willing to pay if needed."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings® Introduces ESG Funds to Small Business 401(k)s

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings

OneDigital Acquires Westminster Consulting, LLC

OneDigital Health and Benefits

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

Amendments: Try, Try Again.

May 5, 2021 WEBCAST

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Untangling the Inherited IRA Rules

The CPA Journal

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

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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

Foley & Lardner LLP

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

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