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Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 21, 2021

7 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of Hacienda Internal Income Circular Letter No. 21-20 : Qualified Plan Distributions in the United States and Puerto Rico

"[T]he Department issues this Circular Letter with the purpose of establishing the procedure to be followed by an individual who is not a resident of Puerto Rico to demonstrate that the distributions of his retirement plan qualified under the Federal Code and whose trust was created in a US state are not subject to tax in Puerto Rico."  MORE >>

Puerto Rico Departamento De Hacienda


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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2021-54: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for September 2021 (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates ... and the 24-month average segment rates ... [as well as] the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities ... as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate[.]"  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Again Tweaks Preapproved Plan Amendment Timing Rules

"Rev. Proc. 2021-38 simplifies the deadline for adopting interim amendments to reflect statutory or regulatory changes in plan qualification requirements. The new guidance sets the deadline as the end of the second calendar year after the calendar year in which the change in qualification requirements took effect."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

EPCRS Update Offers New Tools to Correct Retirement Plan Errors

"[T]he updated version of EPCRS provides useful tools to correct well-funded defined benefit plan overpayments.... The threshold for small retirement plan overpayments for which no correction is required is increased from $100 to $250.... Plan sponsors ... may now permit the recipient to make repayment through an installment agreement."  MORE >>


Impact of Various Legislative Proposals on Retirement Income Adequacy (PDF)

47 presentation slides. "The combination of [automatic contribution plan/arrangement (ACPA)] and enhanced savers credits are projected to have a huge impact on reducing retirement deficits ... The addition of employer matches on student loans or the 'skinny 401(k)' for ACPA can add up to another 4 percent reduction in retirement deficits whereas auto portability can add 11 to 14 percent ... QLAC modifications can also be beneficial for those in the highest wage quartile who utilize them."  MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Large IRAs and High-Income Retirement Savers Targeted by Amendment to Budget Reconciliation Bill

"[S]ome of the key retirement plan rule modifications found in Chairman Neal's amendment: [1] Prohibition on rollovers to Roth IRAs and certain Roth conversions ... [2] Prohibition of certain private investments by IRAs ... [3] Contribution limit for retirement account balances of $10 Million or More ... [4] New reporting mandate for aggregate account balances exceeding $2.5 million ... [5] Extension of the statute of limitations with respect to IRA noncompliance."  MORE >>

Ropes & Gray LLP

District Court Rules Decisively Against DOL in ESOP Valuation Case

"The judge ruled that the DOL's valuation 'rests on errors' because its expert failed to follow standard valuation practices, used inaccurate and incomplete information about the company's finances, and improperly compared the price the ESOP paid to a very preliminary lower offer from another company." [Walsh v. Saakvitne, No. 18-0155 (D. Hawaii, Sep. 17, 2021)]  MORE >>

National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Most Claims Move Forward in Suit Over Aon CITs in Centerra 401(k) Plan

"A federal judge has denied motions to dismiss a lawsuit alleging fiduciaries of the Centerra Group 401(k) plan violated [ERISA] by selecting poorly performing collective investment trusts (CITs) for the plan and allowing for excessive recordkeeping fees." [Williams v. Centerra Group, LLC, No. 20-4220 (D.S.C. Sep. 16, 2021)]  MORE >>


Small Retirement Accounts: Issues and Options (PDF)

24 pages. "In this paper, [the authors] address issues raised by the presence of small accounts and present ... solutions: [1] extensive reform of rollover and account consolidation rules; [2] enhancement of the saver's credit; [3] creation of a national dashboard and/or a default account consolidator; and [4] developing a system where each worker has only a single account over the course of their career."  MORE >>

The Brookings Institution

The Impact of Small Amount Cash-Outs on Retirement Income (PDF)

"Auto portability is the routine, automated transfer of small accounts from a former employer's plan to a current employer's plan. This creates a new default option for employees to provide an easy path to keep assets earmarked for retirement. This also benefits plan sponsors as auto portability will help reduce uncashed checks and missing participants while ultimately driving higher account balance averages."  MORE >>

Alight Solutions

Collective Defined Contribution Plans: Cash Balance Plans and Other Hybrid Designs (PDF)

16 pages. "Collective defined contribution (CDC) plans ... permit employers to avoid the funding cost and volatility of guaranteed DB benefits while providing savers and retirees DB-like professional investment management and pooling, longevity risk pooling, and lifetime income.... [They] offer a way to rethink risk sharing between employers and individuals and among savers and retirees. CDCs and other hybrid retirement plan formats combine DB and DC elements in different ways. Variants already exist in several countries ... and have counterparts and close parallels in the United States."  MORE >>

The Brookings Institution

Trends in Retirement and Retirement Income Choices by TIAA Participants: 2000–2018

"Participants are retiring at later ages. Between 2000 and 2018, average retirement ages rose from 64.6 to 65.9 for women and from 65.5 to 67.5 for men. Many new retirees delay drawing down assets, with only 40% starting income within four years of retirement.... The proportion of retirees taking a life annuity as first income fell from 61% in 2000 to 18% in 2018. By comparison, the fraction of retirees taking an RMD as first income rose from 10% to 52%."  MORE >>

TIAA Institute

PBGC FY 2020 Projections Report (PDF)

59 pages. "As a result of ARP, the Multiemployer Program shows significant improvement under all scenarios and, under favorable scenarios, a slightly positive projected net position in FY 2030.... As the net position of the Single-Employer Program continues to improve, the potential for a return to negative net position is reduced, even with very high claims."  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

PBGC 5-Year Multiemployer Program Report (PDF)

18 pages. "ARP is expected to extend the solvency of PBGC's Multiemployer Program for a period of more than 20 years, with half of projected scenarios resulting in insolvency by the end of FY 2055 and half of projected scenarios resulting in either indefinite solvency or insolvency after FY 2055."  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

An Actuarial Perspective on the 2021 Social Security Trustees Report (PDF)

14 pages. "OASDI finances have been significantly affected by the pandemic and recession of 2020 ... If changes to the program are not implemented before 2034, only 78% of scheduled benefits would be payable after depletion in 2034, declining to 74% by 2095 ... The actuarial deficit increased from 3.21% of taxable payroll to 3.54% of taxable payroll[.]"  MORE >>

American Academy of Actuaries


Luis Aguilar on SEC/DOL Harmonization and Continuing Fiduciary Confusion

"Many firms are both covered by the SEC and DOL's jurisdiction and they and, very importantly, their clients, should not have to parse through words to see if the standards are different. The standards should be the same -- put the client's interest first. Having different words and explanations as to what the standards are is a recipe to continue the investor confusion over what it means to be a fiduciary."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Departments Propose Changes to Form 5500 and Schedules

"The proposed changes would be the first significant change to the Form 5500 series since the 2009 forms. The 2021 changes are intended to reflect the SECURE Act changes affecting annual reporting and improve oversight and transparency."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Agencies Propose Extensive Form 5500 Amendments

"The Proposed Rules are primarily intended to implement provisions of the [SECURE Act]. However, the agencies went much further, proposing changes affecting defined benefit plans, multiple employer plans (MEPs), pooled employer plans (PEPs), and multiple employer welfare arrangements (MEWAs)."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Pension Plan Administrator
for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc. Pension Plan Administrator

DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

Overland Park KS

View job as Pension Plan Administrator
for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

View job as Insurance Carrier Analyst (Entry level)
for Newport Insurance Carrier Analyst (Entry level)


Greensboro NC

View job as Compliance Analyst
for Newport Compliance Analyst


Remote / Lake Mary FL / Saint Petersburg FL / Chicago IL / Moline IL / Urbandale IA / West Des Moines IA / Pittsburgh PA / Folsom CA / Greensboro NC / Charlotte NC / Scottsdale AZ / MI / SC

View job as Investment Consultant Analyst / Associate Consultant - Fiduciary Consulting Services
for Newport Investment Consultant Analyst / Associate Consultant - Fiduciary Consulting Services


Lake Mary FL / Saint Petersburg FL

View job as Retirement Relationship Manager - 401(k), 403(b)
for Newport Retirement Relationship Manager - 401(k), 403(b)


Remote / Folsom CA / Saint Petersburg FL / Lake Mary FL / Chicago IL / West Des Moines IA / Overland Park KS / Minneapolis MN / Lake Mary FL / Charlotte NC / Greensboro NC / De Pere WI / La Crosse WI / AZ / CO / GA / MA / MD / MI / MO / NJ / NY / OH / SC / TX / VA

View job as Customer Service - Account Services Rep (Entry-Level)
for Newport Customer Service - Account Services Rep (Entry-Level)


Mobile AL / Saint Petersburg FL / Charlotte NC / La Crosse WI / Overland Park KS / Fresno CA / Folsom CA / VT

View job as Employee Benefits Attorney
for Gallagher Employee Benefits Attorney


DC / FL / GA / MD / NC

Selected New Discussions

Restricted Distributions to Highly Paid Employees at DB Plan Termination

"A terminating plan wants to offer a lump-sum window, where the AFTAP is too low to allow it without (in this particular case) going with the special bonding rule to allow the lump sum to a couple of highly paid employees. For these purposes, are the 'top 25' HCE's or former HCEs determined under the 414(q) definition, or does it mean the 25 highest paid, regardless of whether they are HCEs under 414(q)?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Qualifying Court Order to Divide Army National Guard Future Pension Benefit

"I have been retained to review a Qualifying Court Order drafted by another attorney involving an active member of the Army National Guard. The issue involves the formula used to divide the future pension. What's a good source for this information?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

AssetMark Launches Pooled Employer Plan (PEP)


NAGDCA Announces Winner of 2021 Art Caple President’s Award for Excellence

NAGDCA [National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators]

NAGDCA Celebrates 15 Years of Promoting Retirement Security

NAGDCA [National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators]

Vanguard and Retirement Clearinghouse to Offer Auto Portability Service to 401(k) Participants


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Cycle 3 Restatements: New Requirements for Employer Discretionary Matches

Hall Benefits Law

House Budget Reconciliation Text Includes Significant Health, Paid Leave, and Retirement Provisions

Groom Law Group

Proposed House Budget Reconciliation Amendment Includes IRA Restrictions


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

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