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Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 7, 2021

8 New Job Opportunities


OIG Report: PBGC Needs to Strengthen Acquisition Planning for Actuarial Support Services (PDF)

27 pages. "PBGC's acquisition planning for actuarial support services did not meet its needs timely and effectively. Delays in acquisition planning led PBGC to extend the previous contracts and award follow-on contracts on a sole-source basis. Furthermore, PBGC awarded a contract to assist PBGC with planning for these contracts that had duplicative requirements of an existing contract." [Report No. EVAL-2021-09, Jun. 4, 2021]  MORE >>

Office of Inspector General, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Three Important Lessons from an Otherwise Unremarkable 401(k) Fee Case

"The lesson of the PTC case is that the stakes are getting higher for 401(k) plans and 401(k) plan governance. More plans are now in the sights of the plaintiff's bar, and the apparent trend toward more liberal pleading standards is worrisome. As a consequence, there is now an even greater need for plans to pay attention to the basic of fiduciary governance in addition to observing the ERISA standards of prudence and loyalty." [Khan v. Bd. of Dir. of Pentegra Defined Contrib. Plan, No. 20-7561 (S.D.N.Y. complaint filed Sep. 15, 2020)]   MORE >>


No ERISA Entanglements with California's State-Run Auto-Enrollment IRA, Says Ninth Circuit

"Despite an 'effective ERISA reference' in CalSavers's exemption of employers with ERISA plans, the Ninth Circuit distinguished it from other preempted state laws that sought to exclude ERISA plans: CalSavers was not specifically designed to affect employee benefit plans; it only operates where employers do not offer retirement plans; and it ensures that employers with ERISA plans are not subject to additional requirements." [Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Ass'n v. California Secure Choice Ret. Savings Program, No. 20-15591 (9th Cir. May 6, 2021)]   MORE >>

Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP

Businesses and Employees May Get a Retirement Savings Boost If 'SECURE 2.0' Passes

"[1] More affordable to start a 401(k) or 403(b) ... [2] Pooled or multiple employer plans (PEPs or MEPs) also more affordable ... [3] Time to correct mistakes ... [4] Employer option to match student loan payments ... [5] A higher required minimum distribution (RMD) age ... [6] More flexibility for guaranteed retirement income ... [7] A new retirement 'lost and found'."  MORE >>

Principal Financial Group

Call It a Comeback: The Likely Return of ESG Investing in ERISA Accounts

"Democratic Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Tina Smith (D-Minn.), along with Representative Suzan DelBene (D-Wash.), have introduced a bill that would expressly allow ESG investing in retirement accounts ... If enacted, the proposed law would effectively give ESG criteria equal status for investment decision makers in the market and allow ESG investments to be included in default retirement investment funds."  MORE >>


ERISA Bond: What Is It and Do I Need One?

"The purpose of the ERISA Bond requirements is to protect the plan. The ERISA Bond does not protect the person handling plan funds or other property or relieve them from their obligations to the plan. As a result, there is no conflict created if the plan pays for the ERISA Bond."  MORE >>

Legacy Retirement Solutions

Corporate Pensions Crawl Toward 'Full Funding' in May, at 98.8% Funded

"During May, the market value of assets ... improved by $16 billion thanks to a strong 1.24% investment gain. The gains were offset, however, by an increase in liabilities due to a 4 basis-point drop in the monthly discount rate, from 2.98% to 2.94% as of May 31. Overall, corporate pension funding improved by $8 billion for the month, and the funded ratio inched up from 98.4% at the end of April to 98.8% as of May 31."  MORE >>


U.S. Pension Briefing, May 2021

"Pension discount rates declined very slightly in May, meaning most pension liabilities likely saw small increases. Asset performance was also positive in May ... Most pension plans will have seen very little change in their funded status during the month of May; both assets and liabilities will have grown modestly, and the net effect will be very small[.]"  MORE >>

River and Mercantile

How to Modify Your 'Retirement Paycheck' to Make It Work Better as a Spending Budget Tool in Retirement

"There are many real-world situations where the [sum of income sources (SOIS)] approach can produce undesirable spending budget results.... [The authors] focus on just one of the non-linear income sources ... and, for simplicity purposes, ignore the issues presented by non-linear expenses. [They also describe how] part-time employment income should be reflected in a reasonable spending budget."  MORE >>

Ken Steiner, FSA Retired


Does Financial Wellness (Still) Need an ROI?

"[When] asked why they were creating or expanding their financial wellbeing program, the ... most common answer was nothing more concrete than to 'enhance the overall employee experience (85%), and right behind that was the simple proposition that 'we believe it is the right thing to do (84%). Even HR's traditional favorite -- 'increase employee engagement' -- at 72% -- was well behind those arguably subjective gauges."  MORE >>

Data 'Points'

Benefits in General

District Court Holds Administrative Exhaustion Is Required Even When Not Mentioned in Plan Document

"The Court emphasized the practical reasons favoring exhaustion mean that 'claimants with notice of an available review procedure should know that they must take advantage of that procedure if they wish to bring wrongful benefit denial claims to court.' Thus, the Plaintiff was required to exhaust the administrative remedy described in permissive terms in the denial letter, even though there was no administrative appeal provision in the plan." [Yates v. Symetra Life Ins Co., No. 19-154 (E.D. Mo. May 26, 2021)]  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

State Pension Mandate Not Preempted Even Though an Employer Chooses Not to Establish ERISA Plan

"The Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has once again upheld against an ERISA preemption challenge, a State private-sector benefits mandate, notwithstanding that ERISA provides that the decision to establish an ERISA plan rests solely with the employer.... It also is unclear whether the CalSavers decision will encourage private sector employers now without ERISA plans to establish (or refrain from establishing) plans." [Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Ass'n v. California Secure Choice Ret. Savings Program, No. 20-15591 (9th Cir. May 6, 2021)]  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for RSW & Associates Retirement Plan Administrator

RSW & Associates

CT / NJ / NY

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for RSW & Associates

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for My Benefits, LLC Retirement Plan Administrator

My Benefits, LLC

Telecommute / Daphne AL / Atlantic Beach FL

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for My Benefits, LLC

View job as ESOP Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates ESOP Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates


View job as ESOP Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

View job as Employee Benefits Associate
for Shipman & Goodwin LLP Employee Benefits Associate

Shipman & Goodwin LLP

Hartford CT / New Haven CT / Stamford CT / Washington DC

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Ascensus Retirement Plan Consultant


Telecommute / PA

View job as Pension Analyst
for My Benefits, LLC Pension Analyst

My Benefits, LLC

Daphne AL

View job as 401k / DC Plan Administrator
for Lebenson Actuarial Services 401k / DC Plan Administrator

Lebenson Actuarial Services

Telecommute / Las Vegas NV

View job as Health Benefit Consultant
for Segal Health Benefit Consultant


New York NY / MA

Selected New Discussions

Going from ERISA 403(b) Status to Non-ERISA 403(b) Status

"If a private non-profit entity sponsors an ERISA 403(b) plan with an employer match, and then discontinues the match, can the plan be reclassified as a Non-ERISA 403(b) plan and stop filing Form 5500-SF? Would the mere presence of old account balances derived from employer matching in previous years make the plan continue to be covered by ERISA?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Is This Choice-of-Law Provision Now Common?

"In reviewing an IRS-preapproved document, I saw this: 'To the extent such laws are not preempted by federal law, the terms and conditions of this Plan will be governed by the laws of the state in which the Pre-approved Document Provider is located[.]' Is this choice-of-law provision now common?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

ForUsAll Introduces the Alt 401(k), a Fully Integrated Retirement Plan With Cryptocurrency and Alternative Investments


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

The Landscape of Sustainable Investing in DC

June 17, 2021 WEBCAST

Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

DOL Investigations and Missing Participants: Inevitable Possibilities

June 22, 2021 WEBCAST

Faegre Drinker

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

John Hancock Settles ERISA Lawsuit for $14 Million

Pensions & Investments

Helping Sponsors Speak in the New Retirement Income Tongue

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

ARA Submits Guidance Priorities to IRS

American Retirement Association [ARA]

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

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