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Retirement Plans Newsletter

August 12, 2021

8 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Special Financial Assistance Program for Financially Troubled Multiemployer Plans, Part 1 (PDF)

Jul. 2021, 28 presentation slides. Topics: [1] Special financial assistance (interim final rule); [2] Application and review process; [3] Restrictions, conditions, and reporting; [4] PBGC guidance; [5] Role of Departments of Treasury and Labor; and [6] Program communication and resources.  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


ASC's DC/401(k) Software: Comprehensive & Easy to Use

Administering a basic 401k plan, a complex new comp plan or a DB/DC Combo is easy using ASC Software. That’s why approximately 50% of all 401(k) accounts are tested or administered on ASC software. Learn More!

Sponsored by ASC

[Guidance Overview]

Special Financial Assistance Program for Financially Troubled Multiemployer Plans, Part 2 (PDF)

Jul. 22, 2021; 47 presentation slides. Topics: [1] ARP/SFA homepage and resources; [2] E-filing portal walkthrough; [3] Application walkthrough; [4] Communications post-submission; [5] Treasury guidance: reinstatements and make-up payments.  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

Correcting Late Deposits of Employee Contributions and Loan Repayments

"[W]hat is the magic hour at which employee funds become plan assets, and second, what relief from adverse consequences with DOL and IRS is available under VFCP? Lastly there is how this issue is reported on the Form 5500 Return/Report series.... [T]here is a COVID-19 angle to consider, as well."  MORE >>

E is for ERISA

Law Group Argues That Court Misapplied 'Thole' Ruling in ERISA Case

"A nonprofit law group has asked an appellate court to narrow the standing for plaintiffs suing Universal Health Services over investments in its defined contribution (DC) plan to only those investments in which the plaintiffs were invested." [Boley v. Universal Health Serv. Inc., No. 21-2104 (3d Cir. amicus brief filed Aug. 9, 2021)]  MORE >>


Reducing the Risk of an Excessive Fee Lawsuit: Plan Committee Checklist

"The best defense is to reduce your chance of being targeted by: [1] offering only the lowest-cost institutional share class investments; [2] offering primarily index investment options, particularly for the target-date suite; [3] requiring the plan sponsor to pay all recordkeeping fees, or ensuring that plan recordkeeping fees are on a low, flat, per-participant structure that does not increase as plan assets grow; and [4] requiring a full RFP on a regular basis, but at least once every three years."  MORE >>

Euclid Specialty Managers


SPARK Forum - November 7-9, 2021 -- The Breakers, Palm Beach, FL

3 days packed with actionable insights for advisors, recordkeepers and plan providers. Explore latest trends, strategies and ideas to lead through disruption. Join the retirement event with the most senior audience and network with purpose. Register Now.

Sponsored by SPARK

Sustainable Investment in Retirement Plans

"Since its green shoots first emerged around fifty years ago, acceptance of environmental, social, and governance (ESG) considerations in institutional investing -- especially at pension funds -- has evolved with distinct shifts in investor preferences. [This article] traces these shifts and their implications, leading up to the present day.... [It] offers a variety of distinct viewpoints from a variety of countries, on whether, how, and when ESG criteria should, and should not, drive pension fund investments."  MORE >>

Pension Research Council, The Wharton School of The University of Pennsylvania

CRS Insight: Data on Contributions to Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs)

"[A table] provides data on contributions to traditional IRAs in 2018. About 4.4 million taxpayers contributed to traditional IRAs, with an average contribution of $4,198. More than 50% of individuals who made contributions to their traditional IRAs contributed the maximum amount. Between 5% and 6% of taxpayers age 50 and older made catch-up contributions of less than the maximum $1,000 amount." [IN11722, Aug. 12, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

CRS Insight: Data on Retirement Contributions to Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)

"Table 1 lists elective deferrals by contributing taxpayers by age groups in 2018. About 60 million taxpayers contributed to DC plans, corresponding to 41.7% of all taxpayers with wage income. In addition: the average contribution to DC plans was $5,510; more than 8% of taxpayers who contributed to DC plans in 2018 contributed the maximum amount  ... about half of taxpayers with wage income age 35-65 made elective deferrals." [IN11721, Aug. 12, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Large Social Security COLA Increase May Fuel Debate About the Appropriate Index

"This fall, Social Security is likely to announce a 6% cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) for 2022. Such a large COLA -- the biggest in 40 years -- is likely to reignite the debate over whether the government is using the most appropriate index to adjust Social Security benefits."  MORE >>

MSN News

Underfunded Public Sector Pension Plans, Social Security Participation, and the Retirement Decisions of Public Employees

"Participants at the key pre-retirement age categories that are also covered by Social Security are much more likely to retire than those without Social Security in the same age group. The economic magnitude of the effect is on par with the increased probability of retirement due to poor health. Depending on the particular age group, having Social Security coverage approximately doubles these retirement probabilities.... Public employee retirement decisions are sensitive to plan underfunding and sustainability -- the probability of retirement falls as plan underfunding increases. This effect is smaller than the influence of plan features."  MORE >>

Michigan Retirement and Disability Research Center, Univ. of Michigan


American Academy of Actuaries Comment Letter to PBGC on the Interim Final Rule for Special Financial Assistance (PDF)

13 pages. "[These] comments cover several topics including eligibility, amount of [special financial assistance], impact on plans with benefit suspensions under [MPRA], actuarial assumptions, the application process, withdrawal liability, and conditions and restrictions."  MORE >>

American Academy of Actuaries


ERIC Comment Letter to PBGC on Interim Final Rule for Special Financial Assistance (PDF)

"The final rule should remove investment restrictions on special financial assistance.... The final rule should provide a more flexible test for requiring documentation and information regarding contributions.... The final rule should adopt a reasonableness standard for documentation[.]"  MORE >>

The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

Benefits in General


ERISA's Broken Promise

"This article explores the policy dimension of ERISA disclosure law and chronicles the decay of the equilibrium Congress envisioned.... The new balance serves the interests of federal courts (reduced caseload) and some employers (increased flexibility), but likely contributes to the increasing standardization of employee benefit plans, decreasing their utility as instruments of workforce management. Far worse, it abandons ERISA's goal of improved economic performance through better-informed career and financial planning."  MORE >>

Peter J. Wiedenbeck, Washington University in St. Louis - School of Law, via SSRN

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Implementation Manager, Northwest
for Human Interest Implementation Manager, Northwest

Human Interest

Remote / San Francisco CA

View job as Implementation Manager, Northwest
for Human Interest

View job as 401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator
for Red Bank Pension Services, Inc. 401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator

Red Bank Pension Services, Inc.

Remote / Shrewsbury NJ

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for The Finway Group Retirement Plan Administrator

The Finway Group

Remote / West Des Moines IA / IL / MN / MO

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant & Document Team Manager
for Alliance Benefit Group of Houston, Inc. Retirement Plan Consultant & Document Team Manager

Alliance Benefit Group of Houston, Inc.

Remote / Houston TX

View job as Senior Retirement Compliance Analyst
for Insperity Senior Retirement Compliance Analyst


Kingwood TX

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator II
for FranFund Retirement Plan Administrator II


Remote / Fort Worth TX

View job as Implementation Specialist
for Definiti Implementation Specialist


Remote / CA / FL / PA / TX / WA

View job as Management and Program Analyst (Recent Graduate)
for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA] Management and Program Analyst (Recent Graduate)

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Remote / Washington DC

Selected New Discussions

457 Beneficiary Fraud

"I am working with someone who was named as the primary (non-spouse) beneficiary of a 457 Plan. Two (2) days after the plan owner's death, the mother phoned Human Resources of the deceased employee's business and had them (Human Resources) submit a beneficiary change to her -- the mother... and they did! Is there a scenario where this is actually legal?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Pay a Bonus to a Terminated Participant Equal to the Amount Forfeited under Their Retirement Plan?

"In a profit-sharing only plan, is anyone aware of a problem with paying a terminated participant an amount equal to any account forfeitures upon termination? As an incentive, the company offers to pay a particular employee a bonus upon termination of an amount equal to the unvested portion of the employee's PS account that is forfeited upon termination. The payment would be taxable and paid entirely outside the plan. The forfeitures would stay in the plan and be used according to its terms. Am I missing anything that would make this problematic?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Excess DB Assets, Seven Years of Transfers Is Up, But Funds Still Remaining. Now What?

"Sponsor had excess DB assets and moved to a QRP in a suspense account. We have been transferring roughly $50k a year (whatever the 415 max is per year). 2019 was the 7th year. There is still about $180,000 left in the account. What happens to those funds?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Client Received IRS Letter Regarding Potential Partial Termination

"A client just received a letter from the IRS about their 2018 Form 5500. The number of participants at the beginning of the year was 15, and at the end of the year was 10, which is a 33% reduction... but the reduction was due to terminated participants who took their distributions. The 20% number for a presumed partial termination is in regards to turnover, which means a lay off of active employees, right? What's the IRS doing sending letters and scaring sponsors over this?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

National Launch of EBenefitsHub Kicks-Off at the BenefitsPRO BROKER EXPO

Wealth Engineering Family of Companies

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Special Financial Assistance Program for Financialy Troubled Multiemployer Plans, Part 1


PBGC [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation]

Special Financial Assistance Program for Financialy Troubled Multiemployer Plans, Part 2


PBGC [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation]

Retirement Income: The Pension Plan of the Future

August 24, 2021 WEBCAST

Western Pension & Benefits Council

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS Issue Snapshot: 403(b) Plan – the Universal Availability Requirement

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Embezzler’s 401(k) Tapped for Restitution

American Retirement Association [ARA]

6th Circuit Rejects Bankruptcy Shield for Some 401(k) Contributions


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

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