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Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 29, 2021

6 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Further Extends Temporary Relief from Physical Presence Requirement and Requests Comments

"Notice 2021-40 provides a 12-month extension through June 30, 2022, of the temporary relief from the physical presence requirement.... The IRS has already received some comments requesting permanent relief from the physical presence requirement."  MORE >>


[Sponsor] -- Qualified Plan eSource: Major Update

Ilene H. Ferenczy, JD has completely re-written the 401(k) chapter in the Qualified Plan eSource. 260+ pages of new material, 220 examples supplemented by 400 Q&As from our Ask the Author service. Contact us at: or 612-605-2266

Sponsored by Burrmont Compliance Labs LLC

Fifth Circuit Affirms Denial of Retirement Benefits and Dismissal of ERISA Estoppel Claim

"[T]he court did not find that the administrator acted improperly in listing Clark in its internal database and removing him in response to his inquiries about his benefits because 'no amount of review can change the fact that Clark is ineligible for benefits under the plain terms of the CertainTeed Plan.' " [Clark v. CertainTeed Salaried Pension Plan, No. 20-30059 (5th Cir. June 24, 2021; unpub.)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

401(k) Plans and Inflation: What Can (and Should) a Plan Sponsor Fiduciary Do?

"One of the easiest methods follows the intent of the 2006 Pension Protection Act, which was, in part, created to dissuade people from investing too much in 'safe' (i.e., low return) investments. The most important rule in beating inflation over the long term (and retirement savers practically define what is meant by 'long term') is to continually grow the assets in the account."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Implementing a Financial Wellness Program

"When announcing a new financial wellness program or offering, consider the following: Remind employees of what's in it for them ... Provide engaging tools ... Set specific goals and measure progress ... Offer multiple engagement points ... [M]easurement tools might include: Employee surveys ... Digital metrics ... Service provider reporting."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Maine Governor Signs State-Run IRA Plan Into Law

"The measure requires each covered employer to allow its covered employees to decide whether or not to contribute to a payroll deduction Roth IRA by automatically enrolling them but with the opportunity to opt out. Covered employees who opt out will be automatically reenrolled at regular intervals but will have the opportunity to opt out again."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Sustainable Boost: Thrift Savings Plan to Offer ESG Funds in 2022

"The federal government's Thrift Savings Plan -- the world's largest retirement plan with about $760 billion in assets and 6.3 million participants -- is planning to offer environmental, social and governance (ESG) funds ... in a new mutual fund 'window' similar to a brokerage option. The window, which will be run by Alight Solutions, will include 5,000-plus funds and will go live in summer 2022."  MORE >>

401(k) Specialist

Social Security Reward Not Enough for Americans to Delay Claim

"[O]nly 10% of non-retired Americans ages 45 and older are planning to wait until age 70 to collect the maximum monthly benefit.... Nearly one-third (30%) said they plan to begin claiming Social Security between the ages of 62 and 65; 14% plan to file between ages 66 and 69; and 46% are unsure when they will file for the benefit."  MORE >>

Financial Advisor


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Testimony to ERISA Advisory Council: Understanding Brokerage Windows in Self-Directed Retirement Plans (PDF)

"So that plan sponsors can continue to respond to unique participant needs through brokerage windows, we believe that DOL should make it easier for these to be offered by clarifying the application of ERISA Section 404(c) protection, by issuing tip sheets to help plan sponsors understand what is involved from selecting, to monitoring to terminating a brokerage window option and by providing model language and a checklist of suggested participant disclosures."  MORE >>

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Hears an ERISA Claimant on Access to Audio Recordings

"DOL's issuance of an information letter on this issue seems a dubious use of that mechanism given its subtext ... Over time, benefits claim fiduciaries ... may reconsider whether to record these calls and, if they do, whether the recordings should be part of the administrative record for the claim; and ... the customer service facility provided by plan administrators, insurance companies and third party administrators may become less responsive to claimants[.]"  MORE >>

Eversheds Sutherland

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Information Letter Regarding Production of Recording of Call Between Plan Representative and Claimant

"[Information Letter 06-14-2021] addressed a narrow question based on the specific representations made by the requesting attorney and the positions taken by the plan involved. It does not purport to address whether call recordings are required to be produced in all cases.... [T]he Letter is not binding on courts or technically even on the DOL itself.... Thus, the courts may take a different view of the particular circumstances addressed in the Letter, or of whether call recordings are subject to production pursuant to the claim regulation in different scenarios."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Experienced DC Administrator
for Karel-Gordon & Associates Experienced DC Administrator

Karel-Gordon & Associates

Deerfield IL

View job as Experienced DC Administrator
for Karel-Gordon & Associates

View job as Membership Director
for Retirement Industry Trust Association Membership Director

Retirement Industry Trust Association

Telecommute / Sarasota FL

View job as Senior 401k Documents Specialist
for Newport Senior 401k Documents Specialist


Telecommute / CO

View job as Account Services Representative (Entry-Level)
for Newport Account Services Representative (Entry-Level)


Folsom CA

View job as Economist
for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] Economist

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

Telecommute / Woodlawn MD

View job as 401(k) Senior DC Administrator/Consultant
for Malcolm Thompson & Associates 401(k) Senior DC Administrator/Consultant

Malcolm Thompson & Associates

Telecommute / Houston TX

Selected New Discussions

HCE Carve-Outs For Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan

"Safe harbor 401(k) plans can contain provisions where HCEs are not allocated a Safe Harbor match. Are one or both of the following designs allowed? [1] HCE Safe Harbor match is limited to $3,000 ($3,000 is an example). [2] Non-Shareholder HCEs' match is limited to $3,000."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

The VCP Status Inquiry Line: Having Trouble Getting Callback from IRS

"I submitted a VCP last October and have left several messages on the status inquiry line over the last few months with no response/call-back from the IRS. Has anyone else had this issue? Just wondering what the average turn-around for VCPs is given COVID, etc."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

NFP Launches Executive Benefits Initiative Focused on the Healthcare Industry

NFP Corp.

ArmadaCare Appoints Mike Ross as Chief Revenue Officer


OneAmerica® Names Mike Domingos as Head of Distribution


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Judges Don't Bite on Applying DB Defense to DC Plans in ERISA Cases

Pensions & Investments

Coverage Gap, SECURE 2.0 Are Focus of House Subcommittee Hearing

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Checklist: Is Your 401(k) Plan on Course?


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

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