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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 28, 2021

2 New Job Opportunities


Aon Hewitt, Alight Win Lawsuit Alleging Pension Risk Transfer Failures

"Among other claims, the lawsuit alleged that Aon Hewitt didn't perform all the communications services that it was contracted to perform, resulting in only 67% of eligible plan participants electing a lump-sum distribution instead of a projected 80% of participants." [Foundation Resolution Corp. v. Aon Hewitt Investment Consulting, Inc., No. 18-458 (M.D. Fla. Apr. 22, 2021)]  MORE >>


Financial Transaction Tax Resurfaces as Means of Financing Free College Education

"[T]he Tax on Wall Street Speculation Act legislation would impose a financial transaction tax of 0.5% on stock trades, a 0.1% fee on bonds and a 0.005% fee on derivatives. The sponsors suggest that the tax would raise $220 billion in the first year and $2.4 trillion over the next decade." [Also available: a bill summary, summary of a companion bill, and the proposed legislative text.]  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

401(k) Fee Study: 75% of Small Business Plans Pay 'Hidden' Fees

"401(k) investment expenses dropped in recent years, while 401(k) administration fees remained steady.... 75.96% of plans paid 'hidden' administration fees -- in general, revenue sharing and wrap fees.... 9 of the top 10 highest-priced 401(k) providers in terms of per capita administration fees were insurance companies." [Includes a chart summarizing fees for 104 small business plans with less than $5 million in assets.]  MORE >>

Employee Fiduciary

Fiduciaries Might Avoid Liabilities by Adopting Solutions That Enable Portability for Small Retirement Accounts (PDF)

"While 401(k)-fee lawsuits understandably make headlines, much less attention is paid to the underlying reasons why 401(k) plan sponsors and providers have left themselves open to such litigation. This article explores how plan sponsors, providers and recordkeepers can take proactive measures to introduce portability services into their plans and thereby mitigate their future fiduciary liability."  MORE >>

Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS]

To PEP or Not to PEP, That Is the Question for Advisors and Consultants

"The legal obligations of the plan sponsor can now be shifted to a professional Pooled Plan Provider -- adding a substantial layer of fiduciary protection ... Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) and broker-dealers may also serve as the PPP. However, there are several issues that advisory firms should understand before deciding to commit to this role."  MORE >>

Enterprise Iron

The Pandemic Is Pushing More Americans to Retire

"About two million baby boomers have been retiring every year since the oldest turned 65 in 2011, but between the third quarter of 2019 and the third quarter of 2020, that number increased to 3.2 million ... The number of younger boomers who retired in February and September 2020 remained constant at around 18%, but for older boomers, the figures were 64% in February and 66% in September[.]"  MORE >>


DOL Issues Cybersecurity Guidance for Retirement Plans

"[C]urrent plan service providers may be operating under an outdated agreement that does not adequately address cybersecurity risks. Plan fiduciaries should consider reviewing, and possibly negotiating changes to, these agreements in light of both the DOL’s recent guidance and the increased focus on data security in retirement plan litigation."  MORE >>

Smith, Gambrell & Russell, LLP

Major ESOP Initiative Moves Forward in Texas

"The bill would: [1] Allow professional corporations to be owned by ESOPs ... [2] Allow certified Historically Underutilized Businesses (HUBs) to adopt an ESOP without losing their status as an HUB. [3] Create contracting preferences at the state, city, council, and special district level for ESOPs. [4] Establish an Employee Ownership Assistance Office in the Texas Economic Development and Tourism Office."  MORE >>

National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Benefits in General

Second Circuit: Claims of ERISA Fiduciary Breach Do Not 'Relate To' Employment for Purpose of Employment-Based Arbitration Agreement:

"With a 2-1 split decision, the Second Circuit reversed and remanded a district court decision compelling a former employee to arbitrate his ERISA fiduciary breach claims, although the defendant was not a party to the agreement requiring arbitration of employment-related claims." [Cooper v. Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc., No. 17-2805 (2d Cir. Mar. 4, 2021)]  MORE >>

Hodgson Russ LLP

Strategies to Help Thwart Ransomware Attacks on Your Plans and Trusts

"Cybercriminals seek easy targets, and the return on investment can be worth their efforts even when they target small organizations.... [1] Identify your crown jewels.... [2] Educate your employees.... [3] Keep your systems up to date.... [4] Employ multifactor authentication.... [5] Prepare for the 'when' rather than the 'if.' "  MORE >>

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Personnel Files: Going Digital While Staying Compliant

"[M]oving toward a paperless future may raise questions about keeping records secure, especially when it comes to sensitive records such as personnel files. While the law does allow for electronic document maintenance, employers must remain mindful of the regulations that govern paperless retention, as well as security best practices."  MORE >>

Cassell Plan Audits

Employee Benefits Jobs

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for Definiti Retirement Plan Consultant


Telecommute / The Woodlands TX

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View job as Consulting Actuary - Mid-Size Plan Market
for Definiti Consulting Actuary - Mid-Size Plan Market


Telecommute / The Woodlands TX

View job as Consulting Actuary - Mid-Size Plan Market
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Selected New Discussions

Plan Sponsor Also Acts as Plan's Asset Custodian -- Is the Plan Required to Be Audited?

"Our client (ABC bank) is sponsoring a pension plan with 85 participants. ABC bank also holds the investments and some of the assets are invested in the ABC money market fund. The auditor stated that because the ABC bank holds the investments (they are the trustee and custodian), the plan is required to be audited. The fact that the plan sponsor is also the custodian might be a potential fiduciary issue (prudent rule) but that should not preclude the plan sponsor from waiving the audit requirement. Agree?"


BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Integrated Benefits Institute Names Joseph Aller as Director of Analytics and Research

Integrated Benefits Institute

Empower Retirement Delivers Broad View of Personal Finances Through New Digital Experience

Empower Retirement

Akerman Expands Tax Practice Group with Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Partner Gabriel Marinaro in Chicago


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

A Broad Look at Consequences of the SECURE Act

June 16, 2021 WEBCAST

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Retirement Plan Document Issues for 2021

June 16, 2021 WEBCAST

ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

DOL Issues Much-Anticipated Retirement Plan Cybersecurity Guidance

Thompson Hine

DOL Warns the ERISA Fiduciary Debate Is Far from Over

Eversheds Sutherland

The Holy Grail of Defined Contribution Plans: Income in Retirement (PDF)


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

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