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Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 5, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

To Fund or Not to Fund: Considerations for Employers Impacted by Recent Changes to Pension Plan Funding Rules

"The legislation's levers for reducing the amounts employers are required to contribute to pension plans do not alter the amounts of promised pension benefits to workers and retirees -- or the actual amounts employers eventually need to fund to fulfill these obligations.... [T]he method of calculating unfunded benefits for purposes of variable rate [PBGC] premiums is not impacted by ARPA."  MORE >>

Covington & Burling LLP, via Lexology; free registration required

[Sponsor] – Plan Data Intelligence (PDI)

PDI is a powerful 5500 database. Find prospects and demonstrate value add with best-in-class Operational Benchmark Reports. Benchmark plans against standard and customized user-defined peer groups. Learn more or 612-605-2266

Sponsored by Burrmont Compliance Labs LLC

Multiple Employer Plans: Fiduciary Litigation Risk

"[U]nlike typical 401(k) fiduciary litigation, Khan is a suit against the multiple employer plan provider (Pentegra), not against the plan's adopting employers, and there is an issue about the comparability of the Pentegra (multiple employer plan) fees to single employer plan fees." [Khan v. Bd. of Dir. of Pentegra Defined Contrib. Plan, No. 20-7561 (S.D.N.Y. complaint filed Sep. 15, 2020; memo. in support of motion to dismiss, Apr. 1, 2021)]   MORE >>

October Three Consulting

Ninth Circuit Upholds Dismissal of ERISA Lawsuit Against Edison International ESOP

"The appeals panel held that the plaintiff failed to state a duty-of-prudence claim 'because she failed plausibly to 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.' The panel held that, on their own, general economic principles are not enough to constitute duty-of-prudence violations." [Wilson v. Craver, No. 18-56139 (9th Cir. Apr. 19, 2021)]  MORE >>

Chief Investment Officer [CIO]

Reps. Neal and Brady Reintroduce Bipartisan 'Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021'

"This legislation was first introduced in October 2020, and builds on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019 to further improve workers' long-term financial wellbeing.... A section-by-section summary of the bill can be found here. Full text of the legislation is available here."  MORE >>

Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives

House Panel Marks Up Bill to Change Rules for Annuity Options

"Section 201 [of the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021] would change an actuarial test included in the minimum distribution regulations.... Section 202 would change the rules governing qualifying longevity annuity contracts, or QLACs."  MORE >>


ERISA Fidelity Bond Failure: So What?

"[The DOL] has not identified a specific penalty for failing to have an appropriate bond when one is required. In practice, plan officials who have failed to secure bonds have received a range of consequences from auditors' admonitions to obtain the necessary bonds to court mandates for their removal as plan fiduciaries and plan termination."  MORE >>

Retirement Learning Center, LLC

Watch Your Language: Rethinking How We Communicate with Participants (PDF)

16 pages. "[As] the conversation shifts towards income generation, plan sponsors must rethink how they approach their plans' overall design, investment menu structure, and the language used to better engage employees. Using language that appeals to participants' need for a sense of control and choice could help them better understand, engage, and value their DC plan as both a savings and income resource."  MORE >>


Variable Benefit Plans Are Solution for All Types of Plan Sponsors

"Corporate, multiemployer and public plan sponsors have been drawn to variable benefit plans for their ability to minimize costs while offering guaranteed income to participants."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Reconstructing Lost IRA Basis to Avoid Double Taxation

"After-tax contributions can make their way into Traditional IRAs via two separate routes, either via direct contributions of after-tax amounts or through rollovers of after-tax dollars previously held in an employer-sponsored retirement plan.... In the event Form 8606 was not properly filed to begin with, basis can be reconstructed from scratch."  MORE >>

Nerd's Eye View

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Biden Tax Plan Would Spur Sales to ESOPs

"The proposal would significantly increase capital gains taxes for wealthy individuals, marginally increase the top individual tax rate, and increase the top marginal corporate tax from 21% to 28%.... Whether the changes are good economic policy or not, or are likely to pass in any form, will be hotly debated. But their impact on ESOPs could be dramatic."  MORE >>

National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

LDI Monitor, April 30, 2021 (PDF)

"Under termination via an annuity buy-out with an insurer, all costs associated with sustaining the plan and accounting for liabilities are eliminated. Sponsors should consider if hibernation with LDI can achieve similar outcomes at a lower economic cost vs. a buy-out (which includes an insurer profit margin)."  MORE >>

Income Research + Management


Pending Bill Opens Door to Pension Corruption at CalPERS

"[Pending legislation] would allow the financially shaky California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) to semi-secretly lend out untold billions of dollars by exempting details from the state's Public Records Act. Potentially it opens the door to insider dealing and corruption in an agency that's already experienced too many scandals, including a huge one that sent CalPERS' top administrator to prison for accepting bribes."  MORE >>

Dan Walters, in CalMatters

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Announces Intent to Withdraw Independent Contractor Rule

"The department is withdrawing the rule for several reasons, including: [1] The independent contractor rule was in tension with the FLSA's text and purpose, as well as relevant judicial precedent. [2] The rule's prioritization of two 'core factors' for determining employee status under the FLSA would have undermined the longstanding balancing approach of the economic realities test and court decisions requiring a review of the totality of the circumstances related to the employment relationship. [3] The rule would have narrowed the facts and considerations comprising the analysis of whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor, resulting in workers losing FLSA protections."  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Grouping Benefits to Enhance Financial Wellness

"Instead of giving employees a list of benefit products, plan sponsors should consider presenting them as resources for different life stages, which can lead to better participation."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Administration Consultant
for TSC Retirement Plan Administration Consultant


Minneapolis MN

View job as Retirement Plan Administration Consultant
for TSC

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Liden, Nestle, Soled & Associates Retirement Plan Administrator

Liden, Nestle, Soled & Associates

Telecommute / Westlake Village CA

View job as Actuary (Office of Inspector General)
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Actuary (Office of Inspector General)

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Telecommute / Washington DC

Press Releases

Custodia Financial Appoints Mark Herman as President

Custodia Financial

Lockton Dunning Benefits Expands Talent in Austin


Steve Idoux Named President of Lockton Dunning Benefits’ Dallas Office


Traditional and PTO Plans Dominate the Paid Leave Landscape, with Unlimited Plans Trailing Far Behind, According to XpertHR’s 2021 Paid Leave Survey


TRA Announces the Acquisition of John T. Toomey Associates, Inc.

The Retirement Advantage [TRA]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

A Deep Dive into Public Sector Asset Allocation

May 5, 2021 WEBCAST

Public Retirement Research Lab

Not All Hybrid Retirement Plans Are Created Equal

May 12, 2021 WEBCAST

National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

Key CARES Act and SECURE Act updates for employers

May 26, 2021 WEBCAST


Lifetime Income From Defined Contribution Plans: Are We There Yet?

May 27, 2021 WEBCAST

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter

Benefits Boot Camp

June 10, 2021 WEBCAST

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Northeast Ohio Chapter

Multinational Executive Compensation Issues: Granting Incentives, Deferred Compensation, Tax Issues, and More

June 15, 2021 WEBCAST


Terminating 403(b) Plans: IRS Rules, Fiduciary Liability, Distribution of Assets, Required Notices to Participants

June 23, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS Clarifies Partial Plan Termination Relief Under 2020 Legislation

Groom Law Group

You're Notified of a Pending DOL Investigation: Here's What to Expect

Justine Kim, former EBSA Senior Investigator, via 401(k) Specialist

JCT Description of the 'Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2021'

Joint Committee on Taxation [JCT], U.S. Congress

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

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