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Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 7, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Revises Opinion Letter Procedures for Pre-Approved Plans

"Revenue Procedure 2021-37 ... significantly modifies the opinion letter procedures for pre-approved Internal Revenue Code Section 403(b) plans.... Revenue Procedure 2021-38 ... modifies the interim amendment deadline for pre-approved plans qualified under Code Section 401(a). The changes are designed to better align the procedures for pre-approved 403(b) plans and pre-approved qualified plans."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law


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

Court Rules Inherited 401(k) Funds Are Protected in Bankruptcy

"The Bankruptcy Court made it clear that bankruptcy protection for inherited 401(k) funds applies only if the bankruptcy filing occurs before the account is distributed. If the funds are paid out before the filing, they become part of the bankruptcy estate and will be exposed to creditors." [In re Dockins, No. 20-10119 (W.D.N.C. Bankr. Jun. 4, 2021)]  MORE >>

InvestmentNews; subscription may be required

Participants Sue $1.52 Billion Baptist Health South Retirement Plan

"The allegations outlined in the Complaint are similar to those in raised in many other ERISA breach of fiduciary duty lawsuits. [This case] is different, however, in the sheer size of the potential plaintiff pool. Counsel for the plaintiffs has also apparently been careful to draft the Complaint to avoid the risk of dismissal that has plagued similar lawsuits. This may augur well for a quick settlement." [Holmes v. Baptist Health of South Florida, Inc., No. 21-22986 (S.D. Fla. complaint filed Aug. 17, 2021)]  MORE >>

All Eyes Watching Fiduciary Duty Case Before Supreme Court

"The key issue before the court is what is required for an ERISA complaint to get past a motion to dismiss.... The participants petitioned the Supreme Court in August 2020, saying the 7th Circuit's decision clashed with rulings by two other federal appellate courts, which allowed cases to proceed involving similar complaints against other universities' 403(b) plans." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 18-2569 (7th Cir. Mar. 25, 2020; cert. pet. granted No. 19-1401, Jul. 2, 2020)]  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Does Cryptocurrency Have a Place in DC Plans?

"Nearly six in 10 responding readers (59%) work in a plan sponsor role, 23% are/work for recordkeepers/TPAs/investment consultants, and 18% are advisers/consultants. The vast majority (82%) said defined contribution (DC) plan participants should not be allowed to invest in cryptocurrency."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required


Register for the 2021 CCA Annual Meeting before Sept. 24 and Save

Register for CCA’s Annual Meeting by the early bird deadline & save $100. The program offers world-class education & networking that is mindful of the health challenges we face due to the pandemic. The program offers 65 sessions and 37.6 credits.

Sponsored by Conference of Consulting Actuaries [CCA]

PBGC Releases Final Installment of 2019 Data Tables

This installment includes various breakdowns of the number of PBGC-insured defined benefit plans, number of plan participants, hybrid plans, frozen plans, premium revenue, plan funding, and risk transfer activity. Some of the breakdowns are by industry, location, plan size, and plan funded status.  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Suburban Chicago Residents Risk Losing Homes Over Rising Pension Costs

"As unfunded pension obligations have grown, so has the percentage of property tax dollars devoted to paying these costs. In Cook County, from 1999 to 2019, 76% of additional property tax dollars spent on municipal police and 74% of additional property tax dollars spent on municipal firefighters went to pensions rather than to public safety costs."  MORE >>


The Emerging Law of Portable Retirement Benefits

"Americans workers are fifteen times more likely to save for retirement when they are covered by a workplace retirement plan.... [S]elf-employed, small business, and precarious workers must be considered common law employees under employee benefits law so that they can receive the consumer protections and the appropriate template of an approved retirement plan structure provided by ERISA."  MORE >>

Paul M. Secunda, via SSRN


Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) Can Be Dangerous

"PEP sponsors should opt for safe investments for their defaulted beneficiaries because they don't need the headaches of causing investment losses, especially the effects of investment losses on employee morale and wellbeing. Sponsors own these losses. In other words, employers should require safe defaults in their choice of a PEP."  MORE >>

Ron Surz, via Nasdaq

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2021-52: Special Per Diem Rates 2021-2022 (PDF)

"This annual notice provides the 2021-2022 special per diem rates for taxpayers to use in substantiating the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home, specifically [1] the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates, [2] the rate for the incidental expenses only deduction, and [3] the rates and list of high-cost localities for purposes of the high-low substantiation method."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

It's Time to Dust Off Your ERISA Fiduciary Liability Insurance Policy

"A review of a policy ... should consider issues such as whether the policy covers all plan fiduciaries (including a committee) and whether the level of coverage is adequate to cover full liability exposure for issues like statutory taxes/penalties (e.g., IRS penalties for retirement plans, HIPAA violations, ACA coverage, and reporting assessments), pre-claim investigations, audits, regulatory correction program participation, and cybersecurity, to name a few."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Account Analyst
for Nolan Financial Senior Account Analyst

Nolan Financial

Remote / Bethesda MD

View job as Senior Account Analyst
for Nolan Financial

View job as Account Representative
for Nolan Financial Account Representative

Nolan Financial

Remote / Bethesda MD

View job as Account Representative
for Nolan Financial

View job as Quality Assurance Manager
for Nova 401(k) Associates Quality Assurance Manager

Nova 401(k) Associates

Remote / Houston TX / Dallas TX / Scottsdale AZ

Selected New Discussions

Does Plan Need Its Own TIN?

"I know for the EIN, generally we use the employer's number on the Form 5500. Is there a need to get each plan its own individual TIN, however? And if there are two plans (i.e., a 401(k) and a Cash Balance), would each plan need its own individual TIN? I believe they are looking for a TIN in order to open the pooled account for the Profit Sharing and Cash Balance Plans (not a 401(k))."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Rollover of After-Tax Voluntary Contributions -- Plan Is Terminating

"A terminating plan contains after-tax contributions. The accounts of all non-responsive participants are to be rolled over into IRAs. I believe the after-tax money will need to be put into a Roth IRA and the earnings into a traditional IRA. Correct?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Coronavirus-Related Distribution Amendment Not Adopted But Several CRDs Actually Paid

"I have a plan that did not want to allow CRDs. A few were paid by the recordkeeper. I assume that the recordkeeper contacted Plan Sponsors to tell them the 'default' was to allow unless they communicated that they did not want to offer. When they noticed that some were paid, they shut them off. The recordkeeper tried to recoup the money recently but the employees either didn't respond or have been terminated and had received a full distribution. How should they correct?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

RMD Needs Election Form?

"The owner (active) of a corp took his RMD from his Profit Sharing Plan (his prior year end assets divided by age factor). Since this is an RMD, and he is not electing a benefit etc., is an executed distribution election form not required?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Jim Keightley, Harold Ashner, and Linda Rosenzweig named to The Best Lawyers in America© 2022 list in the field of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law

Keightley & Ashner LLP

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

DOL Issues FAQs on Lifetime Income Illustrations

Frost Brown Todd LLC

Employee Benefit Plan Audits Set for Major Changes, More Transparency

Journal of Accountancy

Teacher Retirement Systems: A Ranking of the States (PDF)

Bellwether Education Partners

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

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