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Retirement Plans Newsletter

July 1, 2021

4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 56

"[PTE 2020-02 includes an] expanded interpretation of the definition of fiduciary advice ... a broadening of the 5-part test in a 1975 regulation ... [which] dramatically changes the landscape of advice to participants (particularly for rollovers) and to IRA owners ... This article looks at a DOL FAQ that discusses the 5 parts of the 1975 regulation and comments on possible consequences of the DOL's new interpretation."  MORE >>


Less Than 2 Weeks Left to Enroll!

Follow 4 easy steps to sign up for ASC’s Cycle 3 Defined Benefit Plans. ASC provides what you need to know about pre-approved plan cycles, restatements and the timeline applicable to Defined Benefit Plan restatements. Learn More!

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Supreme Court Declines to Hear Appeal of Case Permitting Relief Via Recalculation of Cash Balance Plan Benefits

"The U.S. Supreme Court declined to review the Second Circuit's decision ... which held that retirees could receive money damages in the form of recalculated benefits ... The now 14-year-old suit challenged the [cash balance plan's] method of calculating retirement benefits for retirees who collected benefits as a lump sum, arguing that the Plan eliminated the possibility of those retirees receiving a 'whipsaw payment' -- the difference between benefits' present value and their value at retirement age." [Laurent v. PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, No. 18-487 (2d Cir. Dec. 23, 2019; cert. pet. denied Jun. 28, 2021)]  MORE >>


Plan Termination and Successor Plans

"The successor plan rules prevent 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans that are terminated from distributing employee salary deferrals as a result of the termination if the employer maintains or establishes a successor plan within the allotted timeframe. The definition of successor plan is important."  MORE >>

Retirement Learning Center, LLC

Retirement Planning Using Basic Actuarial Principles: Keeping It Relatively Simple

"The Recommended Financial Planning Process is a dynamic process and automatically adjusts annual spending budgets resulting from favorable or unfavorable experience.... [B]udgets can be smoothed from year to year to avoid significant fluctuations.... Spending and investment strategies developed using Systematic Withdrawal Plans (SWPs) or Monte Carlo modeling can be static or dynamic strategies and can involve significant adjustments to work properly."  MORE >>

Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

Investment Adviser Industry Defies Pandemic with Ninth Consecutive Year of Growth

"Approximately 14,000 SEC-registered advisers have employed over 879,000 non-clerical employees who are managing $110 trillion in assets.... [G]rowth in both the number and assets of individual clients has been exceptionally strong, with the number of individual investors growing by 38% over the past two years.... Over the past 20 years, advisers have become more likely to offer fixed fees and hourly fees in addition to asset-based fees."  MORE >>

National Registry Services [NRS] and The Investment Adviser Association

Republicans Ask Federal Retirement Plan for Details on BlackRock, State Street's Votes

"Sens. Pat Toomey (R. Pa.) and Ron Johnson (R. Wis.) asked the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board, which oversees the government's $760 billion Thrift Savings Plan, to detail how [BlackRock Inc. and State Street Global Advisors] cast proxy votes over everything from who sits on corporate boards to executive pay and priorities at companies. They have also requested past communications with the firms and other information to determine whether the asset managers voted in ways that violated their responsibilities to those in the savings plan."  MORE >>

The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required


Congress Needs to Help Pensioners Find Their Money

"[The proposed Retirement Savings Lost and Found Act of 2021] would require the secretaries of Treasury, Labor and Commerce create a database, located at the [PBGC] ... so individuals can access information about lost retirement plans.... Congressional representatives, the Pension Rights Center, AARP, the American Benefits Council, and the ERISA Industry Committee have indicated the need for a centralized database. Yet Congress has been unable to pass the necessary legislation."  MORE >>

Watertown Daily Times

Benefits in General

How Employers Can Help with Rising Healthcare Costs in Retirement

"Encourage discussions on alternatives to traditional retirement options ... Promote investing in health savings account plans ... Offer retirement workshops that help with problem-solving."  MORE >>


Improving Employee Engagement in the Hybrid Workforce

"Clear, consistent internal communication around your benefits programs can directly improve the employee experience.... Here are a few ideas to boost low employee engagement with your benefits programs ... [and] some real-life examples from [companies] that have cracked the code to benefits engagement."  MORE >>

Tango Health

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Official Guidance]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Text of IRS Publication 5528: Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Audit Technique Guide (PDF)

23 pages, rev. Jun. 2021. "A NQDC plan examination should focus on when the deferred amounts are includible in the employee's gross income and when those amounts are deductible by the employer. The examiner should also address if deferred amounts were properly taken into account for employment tax purposes. The timing rules for income tax and for FICA/FUTA taxes are different. This guide discusses each of these concerns[.]"  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Updates Audit Guide for Nonqualified Plans

"The 2015 Guide only provided a limited discussion of the legal authority applied in the context of an audit. The 2021 Guide provides an expanded discussion of the legal authority surrounding nonqualified plans, with a particular focus on the longstanding constructive receipt and economic benefit doctrines."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Plan Consultant
for Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group Plan Consultant

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group

Telecommute / Wakefield MA

View job as ESOP Consultant
for Ascensus ESOP Consultant


Telecommute / GA

View job as Plan Administrator/ Consulting
for Associated Pension Consultants Plan Administrator/ Consulting

Associated Pension Consultants

Chico CA / Sacramento CA

View job as 401(k) Consultant
for Creative Retirement Systems 401(k) Consultant

Creative Retirement Systems

Telecommute / Cincinnati OH

Selected New Discussions

New Defined Benefit Plan for 2020 But Goal Is to Minimize Required Funding for 2020

"The sole proprietor's 2020 personal tax returns are on extension. The sole proprietor will adopt a new defined benefit plan for 2020 effective 1/1/2020. Can the plan be designed with a $2,000 maximum monthly benefit and not run afoul of any IRS rules? The objective is to limit the 2021 accruals such that the required minimum contribution for 2021 is $0 or a very small amount."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Ascensus Expands Employee Benefits Administration and Compliance Capabilities with Agreement to Acquire UnifyHR


The Cerrado Group Announces Nexus Administrators as Newest Member Firm

The Cerrado Group

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans or Exec Comp)

IRA Beneficiary Distributions - Part 1

August 10, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS Now Requires an Employer Discretionary Match to Be 'Definitely Determinable'

The Retirement Plan Blog

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

Business of Benefits

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


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

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