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Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 18, 2021

New Job Opportunity Today


Judge Rules MetLife Suit Alleging Underpaid Pension Payments Can Proceed

"The plaintiffs said MetLife's use of mortality tables from 1971 and 1983 violated an ERISA rule that alternate benefits had to be 'actuarially equivalent' to benefits, as if participants had reached the traditional retirement age, according to the judge's ruling." [Masten v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., No. 18-11229 (S.D.N.Y. Jun. 14, 2021)]  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

House-Approved Legislation Would Mandate ESG Disclosures

"The House approved the Corporate Governance Improvement and Investor Protection Act (HR 1187) June 16 ... Advocates for the legislation argue that investors have been demanding more -- and better -- disclosure of ESG information from public companies, with many investors viewing ESG factors as important, not just for evaluating reputational risks, but for evaluating companies' financial performance as well as long-term viability."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

What Tops Being Retired as a Financial Priority?

"Eighty percent of respondents agree that the traditional idea of retirement is no longer accurate for most people's expectations or experiences, while at the same time, three quarters (75%) say that their future financial goals and plans look different today than they did five years ago.... [W]orkers want to see employers upgrade their long-term financial health over immediate monetary gains, saying that they would rather have a boosted 401(k) match than a raise, given their choice of benefit options."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

New Maine Law Requires State Pension Fund to Divest Fossil-Fuel Companies

"Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed into law a bill that would require the $17.6 billion Maine Public Employees Retirement System, Augusta, and the state treasurer to divest holdings in fossil-fuel companies by Jan. 1, 2026.... The legislation also requires the pension fund and the state to halt investing in multiple fossil-fuel companies."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Termination of California Governor's COVID Stay-at-Home Order Triggers Review of Rehired Public Sector Retirees

"Effective July 1, 2021, the state law rules regarding break-in-service and hours limitations for hiring public-sector retirees will be reinstated. Public sector employers and retirement systems need to determine if any action, such as reinstatement or compliance with required governing agency appointment process, is required to continue to employ retirees who were hired or whose employment was extended during the COVID emergency."  MORE >>

Hanson Bridgett LLP


Offering Cryptocurrency Investments in a 401(k) Is Irresponsible

"Recently, a 401k provider, hoping to capitalize on the cryptocurrency fad, announced that it was going to allow 401k plans it works with to access cryptocurrencies as investments.... Most cryptocurrencies have no intrinsic value and have prices that are based completely upon speculation of future values ... Plan sponsors that decide to offer cryptocurrencies in their plans would seem to have a high likelihood of being sued by participants losing money investing in them."  MORE >>

Lawton Retirement Plan Consultants

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Audio Recordings Are Up for the Taking!

"[With Information Letter 06-14-2021, the DOL] has waded into a long-simmering debate about whether audio recordings of phone calls between a plan participant and the plan's administrator or insurer should be provided to the participant when challenging a benefit determination under the plan, and they have come down squarely on the side of the participant."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

EBSA Issues Guidance on Disclosure of Phone Call Recordings

"Benefits claim fiduciaries may wish to consider their internal systems for recording calls, and for tracking and locating any recordings that are made. In particular, they may wish to consider developing a procedure or guideline concerning when calls can or should be recorded, and what is done with a recording after it is made. In addition, fiduciaries may wish to consider whether such recordings, if made, should automatically be included in the claim file."  MORE >>

Robinson & Cole LLP

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

280G Golden Parachute Payments: A Primer

"Although some excise tax mitigation alternatives can be implemented near the time of a [change in control (CIC)], it is prudent to ensure that CIC arrangements are set up for success. Many pitfalls can be avoided through compensation plan design that considers tax implications, regulatory hurdles, and shareholder concerns."  MORE >>

Alvarez & Marsal

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Relationship Manager
for Capital Group Retirement Plan Relationship Manager

Capital Group

Telecommute / San Antonio TX / Irvine CA / Carmel IN

Selected New Discussions

Refund of Deferrals Made on $0 Compensation -- Which Distribution Code to Use?

"An owner of a sole proprietorship made deferrals from compensation. However, the owner also had losses and the net compensation for the year was $0. How would you distribute the excess? Would it be using code '8' (assuming the deferrals were pre-tax)?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Maximum Loan Amount Requested But Then Stock Market Dropped -- Which Lowers the Maximum Amount?

"A participant requested the maximum loan available. Did the loan paperwork. He returned paperwork and the market has gone down. Can I process for the amount in the paperwork, or can he only have the maximum on the date it is processed? If the latter, do I have to redo the paperwork for the new amount?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

PBGC Announces New Chief Policy Officer

PBGC [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation]

Bill Yoerger Hired as CEO of Blue Ridge and Coastal Pension Services

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

Employee Benefits Briefing


Nixon Peabody LLP

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Acquiring a 401(k) Plan in an M&A Transaction

Foley & Lardner LLP

Sign Your Plan Document, Warns the IRS


Justice Department Sues to Block Aon's Acquisition of Willis Towers Watson

Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice

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

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