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Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 28, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Best Practices for Handling Missing Participants

"[P]lan fiduciaries should evaluate which practices will yield the best results in a cost effective manner for their plan's particular participant population. Plan fiduciaries should also consider the size of a participant's accrued benefit or account balance as well as the cost of search efforts."  MORE >>

Holland & Hart LLP

Industry Working Group Provides Standard Templates for PRT Commitment Agreements for Certain U.S. Pension Risk Transfer Transactions

"[These forms] were created as a result of discussions among a cross-sectional industry working group ... The Documents are intended to provide an unbiased standard starting point for pension risk transfer solutions transactions and their use and terms are subject to further negotiation between transacting parties." [Documents presented: [1] Commitment Agreement Template -- IFID AIK; [2] Commitment Agreement Template -- Non-IFID AIK; [3] Commitment Agreement Template -- Non-IFID Cash; and [4] Commitment Agreement Template -- IFID Cash.]  MORE >>

An industry working group comprising PRT insurers, pension consultants and legal counsel

Columbia University Settlement Provides Reminder of ERISA Litigation Risk

"The settlement -- and the increasing trend of ERISA litigation cases being filed -- serves as a reminder to fiduciaries/committees to ensure that they have implemented a prudent process for selecting and retaining investment options and for reviewing the fees and services of plan providers." [Cates v. Trustees of Columbia Univ., No. 16-6524 (S.D.N.Y. settlement agreement May 21, 2021)]  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Ninth Circuit Addresses Issues Related to Miscalculation of Retirement Benefits at Portals

"The court held that a request made at a portal satisfied ERISA's requirement of being a request made 'in writing.' ... The Court found that ERISA did not preempt state law claims of professional negligence against the recordkeeper." [Bafford v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 20-55222 (9th Cir. Apr. 15, 2021)]  MORE >>

Hodgson Russ LLP

COVID Hasn't Hindered Employees' Vision of What Their Lifestyle Will Look Like in Retirement.

"Seventy-two percent of workers feel confident in their ability to retire comfortably, up 3% since March, 2020 ... 30% of employees say they've made changes to their retirement plans and of those, 60% increased their plan contributions ... Just 25% stopped or reduced their contributions."  MORE >>


Benefits and Challenges of Pooled Funding and Risk-Sharing in Collective Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)

27 pages. "Like a DB plan, an effective [Collective Defined Contribution (CDC)] plan is overseen by a professional investment management team with targets to pay a percentage of final or average pay annually in retirement.... [T]he objective of this paper is ... to discuss the advantages or benefits of pooling using CDC plans as an example, as well as to acknowledge some of the common pitfalls that need to be managed[.]"  MORE >>

Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives

Public Pension Design and Household Retirement Decisions: A Comparison of the United States and Germany

"Key Findings [include] ... [1] The design of Social Security encourages delayed claiming through increasing own and survivor benefit payments, but discourages delayed claiming by households entitled to a spousal benefit ... [2] Consistent with past research, ... incentives to delay claiming are associated with continued work, but only in the case of a worker's own benefit."  MORE >>

Michigan Retirement and Disability Research Center, Univ. of Michigan

Public Pensions Need Not Be Fully Funded to Be Sustainable

"The way state and local governments have always accounted for their pension costs is backwards, suggests a new working paper, and its proposal for reversing that represents a sea change for public finance.... Put in plainer English, there's no reason that municipalities need to have money in the bank to pay the entirety of their calculated current and future benefits now."  MORE >>

MSN News

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Disaster Relief Notice WV-2021-01, for Victims of Severe Storms and Flooding in West Virginia

"Victims of severe storms and flooding that began February 27, 2021 now have until June 30, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Individuals and households ... that reside or have a business in Boone, Cabell, Kanawha, Lincoln, Logan, Mingo, and Wayne counties qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

GAO Report: EBSA Enforcement Efforts to Protect Participants' Rights in Employer-Sponsored Retirement and Health Benefit Plans

"This report examines [1] how EBSA manages its enforcement process, [2] EBSA's strategies to improve investigative processes and ensure enforcement quality, and [3] the immediate and long-term challenges of COVID-19 for EBSA and private sector retirement and health plans." [GAO-21-376, May 27, 2021; full report (56 pages) and highlights (1 page)]  MORE >>

U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Compliance Coordinator
for The Allocation Company, Inc. Compliance Coordinator

The Allocation Company, Inc.

Telecommute / Houston TX

View job as Retirement Plans Assoc Ops Analyst
for The Standard Retirement Plans Assoc Ops Analyst

The Standard

Telecommute / OR

View job as Lead Health Insurance Specialist: Private Health Insurance Transparency and Disclosure
for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health & Human Services Lead Health Insurance Specialist: Private Health Insurance Transparency and Disclosure

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Telecommute / Bethesda MD / Woodlawn MD

View job as 401k Implementation Lead
for G&A Partners 401k Implementation Lead

G&A Partners

Telecommute / Houston TX / South Jordan UT / Englewood CO

View job as Compliance Manager
for PCS Retirement, LLC Compliance Manager

PCS Retirement, LLC

Telecommute / Philadelphia PA / NJ

Selected New Discussions

Otherwise Excludable Employees and ADP Testing

"Say a plan has immediate eligibility for deferrals, but age 21 and one year of service for all other contributions. Entry dates are January 1 and July 1. Plan year is a calendar year. An employee is hired in March 2019, works a year of service by March 2020, and enters the plan July 1, 2020. The person's March-December 2019 compensation makes them an HCE for 2020. For 2020 ADP testing, is that person tested as an HCE with the otherwise excludable group or the 'regular' (i.e., fully eligible) group?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

DB Plan Termination: Participant in Pay Status Won't Accept Buyout But We Can't Purchase a Replacement Annuity

"DB plan is being terminated under a PBGC standard termination. Plan provides the lump sum option to all participants. One retired participant receiving monthly benefits (value of his benefits >$5,000) refuses to elect the lump sum option, and no insurance company is willing to offer an annuity contract for this participant's benefit. Is there any way this plan can be terminated? Can this participant hold up the plan's termination?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Aharon J. Friedman Joins Federal Policy Group

Federal Policy Group

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

Employee Benefit Plan Audit Readiness


Clear Law Institute

Executive Compensation Academy: Designing an Equity Incentive Plan (Part 1 of 3)

June 10, 2021 WEBCAST

Hunton Andrews Kurth

Recurring Legacy Issues and New Challenges in 403(b) Plan Compliance

June 24, 2021 WEBCAST

Western Pension & Benefits Council

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Planning for Your Retirement: A Checklist


IRS Issues Revised 2020 Publication 590-B


DOL Issues Long-Awaited Cybersecurity Guidance for Benefit Plans

Morris, Manning & Martin, LLP

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

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