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Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 21, 2021

2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

ARPA Funding Relief for Single Employer Defined Benefit Plans

"This 'relief' does not in any way reduce the benefits for which the plan is liable. However, it does change the description of that liability for certain purposes and the required amortization period to give contributing employers a longer period of time to make necessary plan contributions. Basically, this new rule allows employers to 'kick the can down the road' and extend unfunded liability longer than the current law allows."  MORE >>

Foley & Lardner LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Multiemployer Pension Plan Financial Assistance Program Unlikely to Reduce Withdrawal Liability Exposure

"PBGC is expected to use [ARPA's] grant of regulatory authority to provide that an employer's withdrawal liability is calculated without regard to any financial assistance received by the plan for up to 15 years (or such other period prescribed by the PBGC), substantially consistent with the original House provision."  MORE >>

Foley & Lardner LLP

EBSA Privacy and Cybersecurity Guidance: Takeaways and Next Steps

"[1] Inventory your data ... [2] Identify a team ... [3] Consider potential compliance obligations outside of ERISA ... [4] Consider cyber liability insurance ... [5] Determine appropriate assessments ... [6] Conduct a risk assessment ... [7] Legacy service providers ... [8] Ongoing monitoring is needed ... [9] Supply chain risk ... [10] Culture and executive buy-in." [Presentation slides.]  MORE >>

McDermott Will & Emery

A Detailed Demographic Survey of Asset Allocation in Public Sector Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)

20 pages. "Large-cap funds dominate.... Asset allocations are also concentrated in stable value.... Target-date funds increase equity allocations.... The youngest participants in supplemental plans may not have appropriate equity allocations.... Females use target-date funds more than males -- but otherwise assume less equity risk[.]"  MORE >>

Jack VanDerhei, Ph.D., Employee Benefits Research Institute [EBRI], for Public Retirement Research Lab [PRRL]

New Federal Bill Seeks to Add ESG Responsibilities Under ERISA

"[T]he Financial Factors in Selecting Retirement Plan Investment Act ... [would require] plans ... to consider ESG factors in a prudent manner consistent with their fiduciary obligations, the same legal standard that ERISA already applies to non-ESG investment factors."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Q&As on DOL Investigations of Retirement Plan Advisers

"The bad news seems to be that cooperating with a DOL investigation can be distracting and time-consuming. The good news is that investigators prefer to arrive at amicable solutions that allow both sides to raise a flag and declare victory at the end."  MORE >>

Retirement Income Journal

Could This Quick Appeal Signal a Shift in ERISA Excessive Fee Litigation?

"[T]he issue under consideration.... [is] whether a plaintiff who was not actually invested in the funds under scrutiny can bring suit. In this case the Universal Health Services defendants have argued that this 'sweeping' class (60,000 participants) should never have been certified because the three named plaintiffs were only invested in seven of the 37 plan investment options referenced in their suit." [Boley v. Universal Health Servs., Inc., No. 21-8014 (3d Cir. order granting leave to appeal May 18, 2021)]  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Executive Order Directs Reconsideration of All Recent ERISA Regs Barring Consideration of ESG Factors

"[T]he May 20 Executive Order on Climate-Related Financial Risk directs the Secretary of Labor to 'consider suspending, revising, or rescinding any rules from the prior administration that would have barred investment firms from considering environmental, social and governance factors, including climate-related risks, in their investment decisions related to workers' pensions.' "  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]


The Latest Attack on Target Date Funds

"Target-date funds are neither relatively expensive nor visibly poor performers. To be sure, most have trailed their expense-free benchmarks over the past decade, owing to their costs, the drag of cash, and the occasional investment glitch. But the same may be said for pretty much every other flavor of mutual fund. For those sins, target-date funds very much do not stand alone."  MORE >>

John Rekenthaler, in Morningstar

Benefits in General

Employee Benefits Attorney Rick Menson Dies

"Richard (Rick) Lloyd Menson ... died unexpectedly on 5/17/21 in Dunwoody, Georgia.... He joined Gardner, Carton, and Douglas in Chicago, Illinois [soon after service ending in 1973 as a Judge Advocate General, including service in Vietnam] and was a partner from 1977-1998. In 1998 he joined McGuireWoods as managing partner of the Chicago office. He retired in 2012. " [Menson was a member of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel.]  MORE >>

Dignity Memorial

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Compliance Analyst
for Maxus Plan Solutions Compliance Analyst

Maxus Plan Solutions


View job as PensionPro Software Product Specialist
for PensionPro Software PensionPro Software Product Specialist

PensionPro Software


Selected New Discussions

Top Heavy with Dual Eligibility for Deferrals and Safe Harbor

"A plan has 3% nonelective safe harbor plan eligibility for deferrals at 6 months with quarterly entry. Eligibility for safe harbor is 1 year with quarterly entry. Plan uses entry date compensation for those that enter mid-year. The plan is top-heavy for 2020. I know I must give the top heavy contribution to those that are only eligible for deferrals. And I must make an additional contribution to those who entered mid-year for the safe harbor, so they will receive 3% of full year compensation, correct?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Loan Not Paid Off as Believed; Must Go Into Default?

"Active participant last made a loan payment in 2020, thinking it was paid off. Investment house is showing she still owes about $200, and shows her loan as being a deemed distribution. Can she still pay it off, and if so, should she get a Form 1099-R showing the loan default?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Senators Introduce Bipartisan Retirement Bill

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Plan Sponsor Views on Dynamic QDIAs (PDF)

Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association [DCIIA]

Employee Benefits Trends for 2021's 'Next Normal'


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

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