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Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 30, 2021

10 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Extends Temporary Relief from the Physical Presence Requirement for Spousal Consents Through June 2022

"From July 1, 2021, through June 30, 2022, retirement plan elections that must be witnessed by a notary or plan representative may be witnessed remotely using live audio-video technology, if certain requirements are met."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon IRS Now Requires an Employer Discretionary Match to Be 'Definitely Determinable'

"Until recently, an employer matching contribution that was discretionary did not have to be stated in the plan document. But now the IRS has taken the position that a discretionary employer match must also be definitely determinable.... As part of the required Cycle 3 Restatement of 401(k) plans, employers must follow a three-step process to meet IRS requirements."  MORE >>

The Retirement Plan Blog

Master Custodial Accounts and the 403(b) Self Directed Brokerage Account

"Today's 403(b) plans investment structures can actually be a bit misleading. We have designed these arrangements to 'look and 'act' like investment structures for 401(k) plans. In fact, the 403(b) arrangements are actually substantially different than their 401(k) counterparts."  MORE >>

Business of Benefits

Transamerica Settles 401(k) Lawsuit for $5.4 Million

"[T]he lawsuit claimed that over the course of nearly a decade, the plan's international equity and small core portfolios underperformed their benchmarks by approximately 30% and more than 15%, respectively. It also cited the retirement plan's own documents that showed that both portfolios and its mid-value portfolio underperformed their respective investment benchmarks over the past one, five, and 10-year periods." [Karg v. Transamerica, No. 18-134 (N.D. Iowa settlement agrmt. filed Jun. 23, 2021)]  MORE >>

Chief Investment Officer [CIO]

IBM Class Counsel Seek Fees for Only ERISA Stock Suit to Advance

"The lawyers who negotiated a $4.75 million settlement with IBM Corp.'s retirement plan committee want $1.5 million in fees and costs ... This is an 'unusual case' that spurred two federal appeals court rulings and one from the U.S. Supreme Court, IBM plan participants told [the district court judge]. It's also the only ERISA case challenging a retirement plan's employer stock fund to survive a motion to dismiss since 2016, they said in a June 25 motion seeking a 30% attorneys' fee award." [Jander v. Ret. Plans Comm. of IBM, No. 15-3781 (S.D.N.Y. motion for attorneys' fees Jun. 25, 2021)]  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

Best Practices to Reduce Excessive Fee Risk

"[T]he most common allegations raised against 401(k) plan fiduciaries [include]: [1] Failure to leverage plan profile to reduce fees. [2] Selecting excessive expense fund share classes. [3] Using plan assets to pay excessive recordkeeper compensation. [4] Offering money market funds rather than higher-yield stable value funds. [5] Failing to monitor fund performance and removing imprudent funds at least annually. [6] Failing to engage in a formal request for proposal with plan vendors at least triennially."  MORE >>

The CPA Journal

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Incorporating ESG in DC Plans: A Resource for Plan Sponsors (PDF)

11 pages. "Key recommendations include: [1] Define 'sustainability' and clarify investment beliefs around ESG considerations in relevant plan documents ... [2] Examine key considerations and differences among three implementation options for DC plans to understand which path is most appropriate for the plan: material ESG factor integration across all investments, selective sustainable investing funds in the plan lineup, or self-directed brokerage windows. [3] Measure and monitor sustainable investments in a manner consistent with the assessment of other investment options."  MORE >>

Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association [DCIIA]

Availability of State Auto-IRAs Appears to Complement Private Market for Retirement Plans

"Preliminary data from annual filings to the [DOL] by employer-sponsored plans suggests that in states that have created ... auto-IRAs, employers with plans continue to offer them and businesses without plans are still adopting new ones at similar or higher rates than before the state options were available."  MORE >>

The Pew Charitable Trusts

State IRA Programs Ignite a New Market for Small 401(k) Providers

"[S]mall businesses are being told to sign up for coverage. Fintech firms and established 401(k) providers see an opportunity to showcase their services as an alternative to state-run programs before what is essentially a brand-new market."  MORE >>

InvestmentNews; subscription may be required

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Survey of Existing Public Sector Hybrid Retirement Plans (PDF)

13 pages, rev. Jun. 2021. "Despite variability in the design of cash balance and DB-DC combination plans, well-designed plans generally contain the core features of retirement plan design known to best meet the human resources and retirement policy objectives of state and local governments: mandatory participation, shared financing between employers and employees, pooled assets invested by professionals, targeted income replacement with survivor and disability protection, and a benefit that cannot be outlived. This brief discusses the degree to which these core design features have been retained in public sector hybrid plans."  MORE >>

National Association of State Retirement Administrators [NASRA]


U.S. Life Expectancy Fell 2.4% in 2020, and Death Rates Increased 16.1%

"The issue is that mortality changed a lot at different ages, and the life expectancy number is trying to capture all the changes, which of course changed across ages, sexes, and races in a variety of increases (and, in the case of children, decreases). Increases in mortality at younger ages have a much larger impact on period life expectancy than increases in mortality at old ages."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

The Ninth Circuit's Jarvis Opinion: A Correct Application of Retrenched ERISA Preemption

"Jarvis is well-reasoned and will be followed by other courts if there are ERISA-preemption challenges to any of the many state-sponsored private sector retirement savings programs modeled on CalSavers.... Jarvis reflects the retrenchment of ERISA preemption and the realignment of the U.S. Supreme Court's ERISA preemption case law to implement that retrenchment." [Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Ass'n v. California Secure Choice Ret. Savings Program, No. 20-15591 (9th Cir. May 6, 2021)]  MORE >>

Prof. Edward A. Zelinsky, via SSRN

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as 401(k) Consultant
for TPS Group 401(k) Consultant

TPS Group

Telecommute / North Haven CT

View job as 401(k) Consultant
for TPS Group

View job as Investment Research Analyst
for HANYS Benefit Services Investment Research Analyst

HANYS Benefit Services

Rensselaer NY

View job as Investment Research Analyst
for HANYS Benefit Services

View job as Client Services Manager
for Newport Client Services Manager


Folsom CA / La Crosse WI / Chicago IL / Overland Park KS / Pittsburgh PA / Charlotte NC / Saint Petersburg FL / Mobile AL

View job as Senior Analyst, Benefits (Retirement Plans)
for General Dynamics Senior Analyst, Benefits (Retirement Plans)

General Dynamics

Reston VA

View job as Supervisor Corporate Retirement Plans
for Oxy Supervisor Corporate Retirement Plans


Tulsa OK

View job as Senior Benefits Advisor
for Oxy Senior Benefits Advisor


Tulsa OK

View job as Plan Document Consultant
for Lincoln Financial Group Plan Document Consultant

Lincoln Financial Group


View job as Retirement Plan Assistant
for Third Party Administrators, Inc. Retirement Plan Assistant

Third Party Administrators, Inc.

Telecommute / Bedford NH

View job as Client Services Specialist
for Hooker & Holcombe, Inc. Client Services Specialist

Hooker & Holcombe, Inc.

Bloomfield CT

View job as Retirement Plan Relationship Coordinator
for Retirement Plan Advisory firm Retirement Plan Relationship Coordinator

Retirement Plan Advisory firm

Danvers MA

Selected New Discussions

Class-Allocated Profit Sharing with Last Day of Year Employment Condition

"A plan is class-allocated for 2020 and has allocation conditions (1000 hours and last day of the year employment) for profit sharing. That obviously means someone who did not meet the allocation conditions will not receive profit sharing contribution. But is the reverse true? Does someone who did meet the allocation conditions have to receive a profit sharing contribution?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Canadian Investments in Domestic 401(k) Plan

"A medical practice plan has apparently just hired a doctor who is a Canadian citizen. Everyone understands that, because the doctor's pay is U.S.-source income, the doctor is eligible for the 401k plan. Now, this plan allows each participant to have individual brokerage accounts. Doctor is from Canada, and his broker is in Canada. Is there any problem with a U.S. trust allowing him to invest in funds in Canada?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

What If Employer Misses Deadline for Opting Out of CalSavers?

"In California, are there penalties for a sponsor with existing qualified plan but failed to opt out by the applicable deadline?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Cohen & Buckmann Celebrates Fifth Anniversary

Cohen & Buckmann P.C.

Vitality Survey of Almost 90,000 U.S. Employees Offers Insights and Strategies to Drive COVID-19 Vaccine Acceptance


St. Louis Metal Finishing Company Pays $45k in Back Wages, Benefits to Employee Terminated Illegally While on Protected Leave

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

IRA Legal Issues and How to Avoid Them

July 15, 2021 WEBCAST


Secure Act 2.0 and Washington Update

July 20, 2021 WEBCAST

Nova 401(k) Associates

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Social Security Reward Not Enough for Americans to Delay Claim

Financial Advisor

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

Groom Law Group

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

Roberts Disability Law

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

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