logo logo

Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 16, 2021


Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Arbitration of ERISA Retirement Plan Disputes (PDF)

13 pages. "This practice note discusses ... the enforceability of arbitration clauses involving legal claims made under [ERISA] ... [and] analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of arbitration provisions for retirement plan sponsors.... [Topics include] arbitration of class actions claims; arbitration of ERISA claim review procedures; arbitration of statutory ERISA claims; arbitration in employment agreements versus plan documents ... [and] multiemployer withdrawal liability arbitration."  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group, via Practical GuidanceĀ®

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Liability-Driven Investing and Other De-Risking Strategies for Pension Plans (PDF)

"This practice note discusses ... de-risking techniques that ... plan sponsors can use to manage the volatility inherent in defined benefit plan funding.... This practice note focuses on [adopting a liability driven investment (LDI) strategy]. particularly the fiduciary issues under [ERISA] raised by LDI strategies, and suggests best practices to minimize fiduciary risks associated with plan de-risking activities"  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group, via Practical GuidanceĀ®

Individuals and Employers Aren't Following Password Best Practices

"A survey in which 2,500 Americans were asked about their password behaviors and tendencies found a fifth of employers don't regularly require their employees to change their work program passwords.... [N]early one-quarter of respondents use the same passwords for their home and personal accounts.... [M]ore than half of respondents have admitted to checking their personal emails on work devices, increasing the likelihood of a malicious infection infiltrating a company's networks."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Resuming Required Minimum Distributions from Retirement Savings Plans

"[While] the CARES Act temporarily waived the required minimum distributions for all types of retirement accounts, included inherited IRA plans, the waiver expired in December of 2020.... The amount you are required to withdraw ... may be surprisingly more today than it was when you paused making withdrawals in 2020.... [T]here is no requirement to make up the missed 2020 distribution with the resumed 2021 distributions."  MORE >>

Fulcrum Partners LLC

2021 Evolution of Women in the Retirement Industry (PDF)

"WIPN conducted a first-of-its-kind assessment of the attitudes, experiences, behaviors, and perceptions women in the retirement industry have about their roles, relationships, and compensation. ... The study included such broad-ranging topics as the value of networking and mentoring and how to create a better work-life balance in addition to a deep dive into compensation and a discussion of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion."  MORE >>


CRS Report: The Effects of Wage and Price Indexing on Social Security Benefits

25 pages. "Recent news articles have suggested that deviations from long-term trends in wage and price growth experienced in 2020 could affect Social Security benefit amounts for the 1960 birth cohort -- those turning 60 in 2020 ... This report examines the ways in which this birth cohort's monthly benefit amounts would be affected by wage and price indexing." [R46819, Jun. 16, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Governmental Plans and Automatic Enrollment

"There may be restrictions to implementing an auto enroll feature in certain government plans, depending on two main factors: state wage withholding laws, and governmental employers with employees who are part of a collective bargaining unit.... [A] chart outlines two automatic enrollment options and the key features of each option."  MORE >>



If We Want Universal Savings, Pay Employers to Sign Us Up for IRAs

"[At] least 50 million Americans are working full-time without any workplace saving beyond Social Security. We could change this, quickly and easily, by paying employers to sign their employees up for IRAs.... Incentives for ERISA retirement plans haven't worked.  ... small business IRA credits can be designed to comply with budget reconciliation requirements, whereas an IRA mandate probably cannot."  MORE >>

Joshua Gotbaum, former PBGC Director, for The Brookings Institution


Why Americans Should Stop Using 401(k)s Like Piggybanks

"Taking these early distributions can result in a loss of 25% of total retirement savings over time. Withdrawing a small balance instead of rolling it over is particularly harmful for younger workers."  MORE >>

Business Insider

Benefits in General

COVID-19, Cybersecurity Create New Litigation Risks for Benefit Plan Fiduciaries and Service Providers

"As offices moved to remote work in 2020, the risk for cyberhacks heavily increased -- as did the possibility that litigation that could follow.... [E]mployers should be wary of potential COVID-19 litigation that involves financial distress from employees due to job loss, cybersecurity management and data privacy, business interruptions or continuities, and relations within the workforce."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

The Importance of Plan Documentation

"[E]ven if plan sponsors are providing sufficient oversight, lack of documentation of the oversight is arguably equally as severe as no oversight at all. Here are some common fiduciary responsibilities and how you should document them. [1] Review of the report on service organization's controls ... [2] Documentation of the plan within minutes ... [3] Retention of salary reduction agreements ... [4] Monitoring of inactive accounts."  MORE >>

Berry, Dunn, McNeil & Parker, LLC

Selected New Discussions

Employees Can Choose Profit Sharing Allocation or a Gift But Not Both?

"Employer has a cross tested plan. Employees in their own rate group. In addition, outside of the plan, they award gifts to employees once they reach a 5 year milestone. The employer wants to offer the gift OR the profit sharing allocation. The employee chooses which one they want. Is this even acceptable?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Terminating Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan Mid-Year Due to Asset Sale -- Spoils Safe Harbor Status?

"We have a client with a safe harbor 401(k) plan selling his practice in an asset sale. All employees will be terminated but then hired by the acquirer. At this time he does not wish to make any additional employer contributions other than the required ones for deferral and SH match through date of sale. Does this meet the exception to the 12 month rule where a plan can be less than 12 months as a result of a business transaction, thereby retaining its status as a safe harbor plan?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Trevor Bauer's Contract with the Dodgers: Does It Run Afoul of Section 409A?

"In my daily perusing of employee benefits and executive compensation news, I came across an article discussing Trevor Bauer's contract with the Dodgers. The article stated: 'Bauer received a $10MM signing bonus, $5MM of which was paid in March. The other $5MM will be paid next month. Beyond that, his 2021 salary is $28MM, but with the quirk that it's all payable on November 1st of this year. Here's what happens if he opts out after the 2021 season, according to Cot's: Bauer may opt out of the contract after the 2021 season, receiving a $2M buyout, with Dodgers deferring $20M of 2021 salary without interest, paid in $2M installments each Dec. 1, 2031-40.' But doesn't Section 409A prohibit such an arrangement?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

John Hancock Retirement Introduces New Retirement App for All Participants

John Hancock

TRI-AD Awarded Best & Brightest in the Nation for 2021


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Text of EBSA Information Letter 06-14-2021: Upon Claimant's Request, Plan Fiduciary Must Provide Copy of Audio Recording and Transcript of a Telephone Conversation

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Correcting Retirement Plan Coverage Failures

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

What to Know Before You Leave Your IRA or 401(k) to the Kids

Unsubscribe  |   Change Email Address

Search Past Issues   |   Privacy Policy

Submit an Article   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise Here

Copyright 2021, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers. We are not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.