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Retirement Plans Newsletter

July 15, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

PBGC's Interim Final Rule Implements the Special Financial Assistance Program and IRS Notice 2021-38 Provides Related Guidance

"The IFR details what information a multiemployer plan is required to file to demonstrate its eligibility for special financial assistance. The IFR also provides the formula to determine the amount of special financial assistance that the PBGC will pay to an eligible multiemployer plan.... [Notice 2021-38] provides further technical guidance on the reinstatements that must be made for plans that had suspended benefits[.]"  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Implements Special Financial Assistance Program for Financially Troubled Multiemployer Pension Plans

"Treasury and DOL have key responsibilities related to SFA. Both agencies have access to applications. Treasury is required to consult with PBGC on plan applications that propose a change in assumptions.... Treasury provides guidance on reinstatement of benefits previously suspended under MPRA or for insolvency of an ongoing plan after enactment of MPRA while the DOL ensures that benefits are reinstated and previously suspended benefits are made up"  MORE >>

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

District Court Denies Interlocutory Appeal for Novel Issue of 'Hardwired' 401(k) Plans

"While this decision focused on the standard for an interlocutory appeal, the underlying litigation raises novel questions about the validity of hardwiring provisions and the extent to which they might protect plan sponsors against fiduciary breach allegations related to the inclusion of proprietary investment vehicles." [Feinberg v. T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., No. 17-427 (D. Md. Jul. 1, 2021)]  MORE >>


Summertime Blues for Your 401(k) Plan, Part 2: Eligibility Failures

"[C]omplications sometimes arise when plans exclude employees based on schedule or job category, such as part-time employees, temporary employees, and per diem employees.... Entry dates add another area of potential error.... Other eligibility errors arise from permitting employees to participate before they have met eligibility criteria.... Correction of eligibility errors is relatively straightforward[.]"  MORE >>

E is for ERISA

FINRec vs. the DOL/IRS: Auditors vs. 5500 Preparers

"Auditors are subject to their own regulatory framework for financial reporting, which unfortunately, is not consistent with the 5500 instructions.... When Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) do not agree with the DOL/IRS 5500 reporting requirements, the auditor has many options other than insisting that the 5500 preparer ignore the 5500 instructions."  MORE >>

Belfint Lyons Shuman

The Value vs. Growth Debate and Its Impact on DC Plans and Participant Behaviors (PDF)

"In this paper, [the authors] review notable differences between growth and value investing and evaluate the recent performance trends while providing historical context. [They] also explore how the recent outperformance of growth investing compared to value investing impacts defined contribution plans and plan participant behavior. Finally, [they] provide conceptual arguments that support the cases for growth and value investing on a forward-looking basis."  MORE >>

SageView Advisory Group LLC

Are Digital Currencies Right for Retirement Plan Fund Menus?

"While there is currently no guidance on fiduciary-based obligations related to digital currency specifically, there is a long history of guidance related to alternative assets in general. Presumably, similar considerations apply to digital currency including security risks, record-keeping and custody concerns, liquidity and diversification, transaction risk, government regulation and valuation."  MORE >>


A Close Look at 401(k) Plans, 2018 (PDF)

86 pages. "More than half of large 401(k) plans in the sample with more than $100 million in plan assets reported that they automatically enrolled their participants, and six in 10 plans with more than $1 billion in plan assets did, compared with about 20 percent of plans in the sample with $10 million or less in plan assets ... More than 90 percent of 401(k) plans in the sample with more than $50 million in plan assets had participant loans outstanding, compared with 77 percent of 401(k) plans with $1 million to $10 million in plan assets and 35 percent of plans with less than $1 million."  MORE >>

Brightscope and Investment Company Institute [ICI]

Pension Plan Annuity Purchase Update

"After a strong finish to 2020, pension buyout sales were very slow to start the new year, totalling just over $1B in Q1 2021. This represents a 77% drop from Q1 2020 and the lowest quarterly total since Q1 2015.... Pension buyouts started to pick up in Q2 and will continue to be even stronger in the second half of the year."  MORE >>

River and Mercantile

Federal Workers to Gain Access to ESG in Retirement Portfolios

"The Thrift Savings Plan, a $762 billion defined contribution plan akin to a 401(k) for most federal government workers, will become the latest and the largest retirement plan to offer participants ESG investment options. By next summer, the plan's 6.3 million participants ... will gain access to a mutual fund window in which they can designate portions of their accounts to any of more than 5,000 funds, including some that consider ESG factors[.]"  MORE >>

Roll Call

Self-Directed IRAs and Investing in Real Estate

"One of the benefits of investing in real estate is the ability to leverage the purchase with debt.... When managing the property, the IRA owner must limit their activities to administrative and investment oversight tasks only.... The IRA owner needs to ensure that they do not overextend the IRA or IRA/LLC to the extent that it is unable to cover unexpected property expenditures."  MORE >>



Testimony to the ERISA Advisory Council: Gaps in Retirement Savings Based on Race, Ethnicity and Gender (PDF)

"According to data released in 2016 ... 50% of all U.S. households were at risk of falling short in retirement while 54% percent of Black Americans, and 61% of Latinos, shared that risk -- compared to only 48% of whites. This gap exist and raises critical questions about why this is a reality."  MORE >>

Jamal Rashad Watkins, NAACP

Benefits in General

The Top Employee Challenges in 2021

Infographic. "Preventing burnout ... Easier access to employee benefits ... Engaging with employers in a virtual world ... Getting employer support for mental health."  MORE >>


Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

I'll Be a Child of the Wind, at Least Until I Get a Retroactive 409A Valuation

"[If] options were granted in the period before the valuation was received but after the valuation effective date, and if these options have an exercise price lower than the valuation price, these options will be out of compliance with the Section 409A fair market value on the date of grant requirement.... Using inconsistent valuation methods for different purposes or for grants to different employees could suggest that the method is not a good faith attempt at determining the fair market value."  MORE >>

Holland & Hart LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Benefit Pension Administrator
for Actuaries Unlimited, Inc. Defined Benefit Pension Administrator

Actuaries Unlimited, Inc.


View job as Defined Benefit Pension Administrator
for Actuaries Unlimited, Inc.

View job as Senior Level Client Services Manager, H&W Benefits
for TRI-AD Senior Level Client Services Manager, H&W Benefits


Telecommute / Burbank CA / AZ / CO / FL / IN / NC / NV / OK / OR / TX / UT

View job as Retirement Plan Transition Administrator
for Alerus Retirement Plan Transition Administrator


Telecommute / MN / ND

View job as Benefits Account Manager
for G&A Partners Benefits Account Manager

G&A Partners

South Jordan UT

View job as DC / DB Plan Administrator
for NPPG DC / DB Plan Administrator


Telecommute / Shrewsbury NJ / FL / TX

Selected New Discussions

Remove SEP Contributions Made on Account of 2021?

"Owner of employer was only participant in a SEP. Funded 20% monthly based on her compensation during 2021. Now realizes the only other employee was eligible as of 1/1/21. Owner has stopped contributions and now is considering removing her contributions instead of funding (with lost earnings) contributions for the employee for 2021. Can the owner's contributions be removed from her SEP-IRA, essentially changing her mind as to sponsorship of a SEP for 2021?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Required Minimum Distributions for 2021 -- Use 'Old' Table?

"Along with the age change for the first RMD from 70-1/2 to 72, I see new tables for the calculations. It appears that the new table must be used in 2022 and going forward. So, for 2021, I can use the 'old' table?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

No Need for Documentation of Reasons for a Hardship Distribution?

"Client has a participant who is requesting a hardship in a plan that's with one of the large national 401k vendors. Client called the vendor. (We're the TPA.) Backup documentation comes up during the conversation. Vendor tells the client that 'unless the TPA needs the backup documentation then it isn't necessary anymore to get such documentation on hardships from the participant.' Is that correct?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Alegeus Partners with CAPTRUST to Power Modern HSA Investment Solution


OneDigital Expands Its Midwest Operation With Illinois-Based Benefits Acquisition


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Review of Annual Retirement Plan Fee Benchmarking

July 14, 2021 WEBCAST

Multnomah Group

Benefit Issues You Need to Know When Using Temp Agencies

July 21, 2021 WEBCAST

Miller Johnson

Reg Rollbacks: What to Expect From the SEC, DOL and Congress in the 2nd Half of 2021

July 22, 2021 WEBCAST

Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.

The PBGC Interim Final Rule on Special Financial Assistance: What It Means for Multiemployer Plans and Participating Employers

July 30, 2021 WEBCAST

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Plan Design Features to Consider for 2022!

August 12, 2021 WEBCAST

Nova 401(k) Associates

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

DOL Intensifies Cyber Readiness Inquiries Among Retirement Plan Administrators

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Worker Misclassification Alleged in ERISA Lawsuit

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

IRA Tax Planning: Minimizing the RMD Ticking Time Bomb


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

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