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Retirement Plans Newsletter

August 3, 2021

4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Benefit Statement Changes Begin in September: Is Your Plan Administrator Ready?

"Self-administered defined contribution plans are likely to find compliance more challenging and economically burdensome since retaining the services of a third-party administrator or actuary may be essential. These plan administrators should consider using the model benefit statements found in Appendix A and B of the DOL Interim Final Rules."  MORE >>

Fox Rothschild LLP


Advanced Pension Conference – Aug. 31 - Sept. 2, 2021

FIS Fall educational events are opened for registrations. Earn up to 13 CE credits at the virtual Advanced Pension Conference on Aug 31-Sept 2, 2021. Fundamentals of Qualified Plans, a 5-part live webcast, offers up to 25 CE credits. Register here.

Sponsored by FIS

Seventh Circuit: ERISA Does Not Preempt State-Law Fiduciary Claims Against Dual-Hat Corporate Directors and Officers

"[T]he Seventh Circuit held that ERISA did not preempt the creditors' state-law claims because ERISA contemplates that directors and officers such as the defendants may have parallel and independent duties to a corporation -- in addition to their ERISA fiduciary duties. Focusing on ERISA's conflict preemption rules, the court considered whether (and how much) the creditors' state-law fiduciary duty claims interfered with ERISA's fiduciary duties." [Halperin v. Richards, No. 20-2793 (7th Cir. Jul. 28, 2021)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Fifth Circuit Affirms Decision in Favor of American Airlines in Suit Over Plan Investment Alternative Selection

"[T]his case reinforces that plaintiffs must provide meaningful support for their claims that an alleged fiduciary breach actually caused an injury to the plan.... [A]lthough the Fifth Circuit found that the plaintiffs lacked constitutional standing, it declined to extend the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Thole v. U.S. Bank N.A., because the plan at issue is a 401(k) defined-contribution plan, rather than a defined-benefit plan." [Ortiz v. American Airlines, Inc., No. 20-10817 (5th Cir. Jul. 19, 2021)]  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor Heat ... Stays These Plan Disclosures

"Electronic delivery of plan notifications offers many advantages, not the least an opportunity for significant cost savings to the plan.... If participants follow basic cyber security protocols, these email communications ... are likely more secure than those delivered via traditional mail. Plus, personal email addresses generally travel with individuals when they move, making it easier for plan administrators to have at least one form of up to date contact information."  MORE >>

Nevin Adams, for PenChecks

How To Prepare for a Plan Audit

"There are differences between an IRS and DOL plan audit, as the IRS and the DOL have different areas of authority in policing retirement plans.... If your plan is selected for an audit, you will be expected to produce a list of documents for the IRS or DOL to review ... If you send additional information that has not yet been requested, you may be inadvertently asking the IRS or DOL to examine an area of the plan that has not yet been selected for the audit."  MORE >>


Don't Discount Fixed Income Investing for U.S. Pension Plans

"Although long-duration credit may provide a sound hedge and yield match for pension plan liabilities, an array of mismatches still exist that can expose a plan to funded status deterioration.... [A]ctive fixed income managers can contribute valuable alpha, resulting in significant benefits to plan outcomes. Ignoring the potential advantages of this approach can result in undue funded status risk for hibernating plans, or add additional years to a pension plan's expected lifetime for organizations wishing to terminate their plans."  MORE >>

Cambridge Associates

Considering New Uses for SDBAs

"Self-directed brokerage accounts could be the answer for meeting participants’ ESG investing desires and maybe guaranteed lifetime income needs."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Where Did We Go Wrong With Risk?

"Financial professionals have bandied about the term 'risk' with seemingly reckless abandon. Is this happening to reduce professional liability, or can it really help retirement savers? ... The key aspect here, and the way the [modern portfolio theory (MPT)] was initially formulated, focused on the correlation between 'expected return' and 'perceived risk.'... It was the use of standard deviation as a measure of risk that became the Achilles' Heel of MPT."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Pension Smoothing Extension Included in Infrastructure Deal

"Like the pension smoothing relief that was provided in [ARPA] ... the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act would further extend and modify the interest rate stabilization period and percentages used to determine the applicable interest rates for valuing single-employer plan liabilities that affect a plan's minimum funding requirements."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

U.S. Treasury Suspends Government Retirement, Health Fund Payments as Debt Limit Resets

"In a letter to House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi and other congressional leaders, [Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen] said she was suspending investments in the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund and the Postal Service Retiree Health Benefits Fund that are not immediately required to pay beneficiaries."  MORE >>


FAS87 ASC715 Discount Rates and Moody's Rates, July 30, 2021

An unofficial monthly report of the Moody's Daily Long-term Corporate Bond Yield Averages and Moody's Daily Treasury Yield Averages (used as benchmarks by some corporate pension plans).  MORE >>

BenefitsLink Message Boards


How Can the Retirement System Help More People Afford Retirement?

"A better-working retirement system should provide broader and more equitable access to and participation in tax-preferred retirement programs. It would help people understand and make better decisions about their benefits and the intricacies of withdrawing funds or arranging for retirement income in an optimal manner."  MORE >>

William G. Gale, David C. John, and J. Mark Iwry, for the Brookings Institution

Benefits in General

What Happens When You Squeeze a Vendor Too Tight

"A growing number of plan sponsors are turning to vendor search consultants for assistance with their evaluation and selection of third-party benefits administrators.... [T]hey focus on negotiating lower fees above all other considerations ... The resulting contracts come with attractive price tags, but they set plan sponsors up for a downstream nightmare of quality and service issues that negatively impact both plans and their participants."  MORE >>

Strategic Benefits Advisors

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for DWC - The 401(k) Experts Retirement Plan Consultant

DWC - The 401(k) Experts


View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for DWC - The 401(k) Experts

View job as Retirement Plan Sales Associate
for Leading Retirement Solutions Retirement Plan Sales Associate

Leading Retirement Solutions


View job as Counsel
for Nationwide Insurance Counsel

Nationwide Insurance

Columbus OH

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Prime Benefits Retirement Plan Administrator

Prime Benefits

Remote / Baltimore MD

Press Releases

HBL Welcomes Partner Timothy F. Kennedy, Opens Philadelphia Office

Hall Benefits Law

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Decline of Stock Options in Incentive Programs


Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC

Tailoring Executive Compensation Plans for Your Unique Business


Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC

Tax-exempt Organizations & 457(f) and 457(b) Plans

August 18, 2021 WEBCAST

Multnomah Group

International Actuarial Practice for Domestic U.S. Actuaries

September 15, 2021 WEBCAST

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

DOL Clarifies Lifetime Income Disclosure Requirement

Groom Law Group

Including Long-Term Part-Time Employees in 401(k) Plans


Plan Cybersecurity Guidance: DOL Enforcement Warrants Plan Sponsor Action

Poyner Spruill LLP

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

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