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Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 22, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

PBGC FAQs: Additional Special Financial Assistance

"If PBGC issues a final rule that makes any changes affecting the amount of special financial assistance for a plan, any such changes will not reduce the amount of special financial assistance payable to any plan that successfully submitted its initial application for special financial assistance before the publication of the final rule in the Federal Register. Further, PBGC expects that if changes are made in the final rule and such changes would result in a greater amount of special financial assistance for plans that have already applied for, or received, special financial assistance before publication of the final rule, those plans will be able to receive the greater amount."  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 67: Compliance with PTE 2020-02 -- Factors to Evaluate for a Rollover Recommendation. Part 3

"[It's] not clear how the investment professional should consider and weigh the investments in the plan that are not being used by the participant.... [T]he FAQs [send] a clear message that the DOL considers the increase in cost (that typically occurs with a plan-to-IRA rollover) needs to be justified. As a result, financial institutions should consider structuring their rollover processes to justify 'why the rollover is appropriate notwithstanding any additional costs'."  MORE >>

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Employee Plans News: Retroactively Adopted Plans That Filed Form 5558 Extensions

"[T]he IRS [has previously] clarified that plans retroactively adopted after the end of the plan year have no 2020 Form 5500 series return filing requirement. Plan sponsors that already submitted a Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns, for these retroactively adopted plans will not establish a 2020 Form 5500 filing requirement."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Guam Sued for USERRA Violations

"The Justice Department alleges that military employees who used 'donated leave' to avoid losing pay were denied pension contributions and credits that were due them." [U.S. v. U.S. Territory of Guam and The Government of Guam Retirement Fund, No. 21-022 (D. Guam complaint filed Sep. 1, 2021)]  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

What Employers Need to Know Before Offering Cryptocurrency in 401(k)s

"[1] [The plan's investment policy statement (IPS)] might be construed as prohibiting cryptocurrency, even if it does not expressly do so. [2] The IPS guidance for selecting investments to offer may not speak to the unique issues involved in evaluating cryptocurrencies ... [3] Cryptocurrencies have a history of dramatic declines in value, putting the fiduciaries at risk for losses ... [4] If fees associated with offering cryptocurrency in the plan are significantly greater than those of the other investments available, the fiduciaries may be at risk for a breach of duty claim."  MORE >>

Fisher Phillips


PBI Launches CertiCensus® - The 1st Proactive Pension Plan Mgmt Solution

CertiCensus® offers continuous monitoring on each participant for always-up-to-date data, comprehensive reporting, and a full audit trail for each participant that supports Department of Labor (DOL) compliance and audit-readiness.

Sponsored by PBI Research Services

ERISA and the Challenges of Using ESG in Retirement Plan Investing (PDF)

"[The DOL] has consistently taken a position that ... ESG criteria can only be applied to retirement plan investing if the criteria otherwise meet these duties of prudence and loyalty ... Under this framework, an ERISA fiduciary could risk violating ERISA if he or she used ESG solely to achieve a political or social outcome without demonstrating that the criteria were part of an appropriate investment process and based on the best interests of the employees in the plan."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis, via Reuters Legal News

Younger Workers Stressed About Money But Optimistic About Improving Financial Habits

"Almost half of Gen Z workers (44%) and 38% of Millennials reported that financial stress impacted their ability to do their jobs this past year, compared to 24% of all workers.... About one third of these younger 401(k) plan participants already predict that their retirement will be delayed because of COVID-19, compared to one fifth of their older Gen X co-workers, who still have a decade or more before retirement at age 65."  MORE >>

Charles Schwab

Withdrawal Liability Disclosures: Do They Turn Multiemployer Plans Into Hotel California?

"[FASB] amended Accounting Standards Codification 715-80 (Disclosures About an Employer's Participation in Multiemployer Plans) with the same goal of timely and continued transparency. The resulting additional disclosures allow financial statement users to assess the potential future cash flow implications relating to an employer's participation in multiemployer pension plans, and also indicate the financial health of all of the significant plans in which the employer participates."  MORE >>

Belfint Lyons Shuman

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon CRS Report: Social Security: Revisiting Benefits for Spouses and Survivors (PDF)

35 pages. "This report presents the current-law structure of auxiliary benefits for spouses, divorced spouses, and surviving spouses. It makes note of adequacy and equity concerns of current-law spousal and widow(er)'s benefits, particularly with respect to female beneficiaries, and discusses the role of demographics, the labor market, and current-law provisions on adequacy and equity. The report concludes with a discussion of proposed changes to spousal and widow(er) benefits to address these concerns." [R41479, updated Sep. 17, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon CRS Report: Social Security: The Trust Funds (PDF)

21 pages. "This report covers how the Social Security program is financed and how the Social Security trust funds work. The report also covers the projected financial operations of the trust funds using data from the 2021 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees." [RL33028, updated Sep. 21, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Using Psychometric Tests to Gain Insight Into Client Values

"[W]hen chosen carefully and used correctly, well-designed psychometric assessments can give advisors valuable information about their clients that cannot be obtained by a simple form, survey, or interview. With insight into their clients' inherent psychological traits -- which are often hidden beneath layers of personality -- advisors can better position themselves to deliver financial plans that will more effectively 'stick' with their clients!"  MORE >>

Nerd's Eye View


Employee Contributions to Public Pension Plans (PDF)

13 pages. "[By] providing a consistent and predictable stream of revenue to public pension funds, contributions from employees fill a vital role in financing pension benefits. Reforms made in the wake of the 2008-09 market decline included higher employee contribution rates for many public pension plans. This issue brief examines employee contribution plan designs, policies and recent trends."  MORE >>

National Association of State Retirement Administrators [NASRA]

Benefits in General

95% of Employers Feel a Sense of Responsibility for Financial Wellness of Employees

"More than two-in-five employers now offer access to financial advisors (47%), support for developing good financial habits (45%), and access to financial products or services (42%), up from 40%, 39% and 33% in 20202, respectively.... Only 35% of employers offer a high-deductible health plan which would give employees access to a Health Savings Account (HSA). Among eligible employees, the use of HSAs is significant, with 68% of Gen Z and Millennial employee groups contributing to their HSA, 84% of Generation Xers (ages 45-54), and 74% of Baby Boomer and Silent Generation employee groups."  MORE >>

Merrill Lynch

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Strategic Relationship Manager
for 401K Generation, Inc. Strategic Relationship Manager

401K Generation, Inc.

Altamonte Springs FL

View job as Strategic Relationship Manager
for 401K Generation, Inc.

View job as Director, Business Development
for National Benefit Services, LLC Director, Business Development

National Benefit Services, LLC

Remote / West Jordan UT

View job as Director, Business Development
for National Benefit Services, LLC

View job as Plan Administration Manager, Defined Benefit Services
for The Retirement Advantage, Inc. (TRA) Plan Administration Manager, Defined Benefit Services

The Retirement Advantage, Inc. (TRA)


View job as AVP - Compliance Counsel (Employee Benefits)
for Gallagher AVP - Compliance Counsel (Employee Benefits)


Midvale UT / Bellevue WA / Boise ID / CA

View job as Retirement Plan Analyst II
for Retirement Plan Solutions, Inc. Retirement Plan Analyst II

Retirement Plan Solutions, Inc.


Selected New Discussions

Set Up a Sole Proprietor DB Plan Now -- for 2020 -- by Using a Jan. 31, 2021 Year-End?

"A sole proprietor wants to set up a defined benefit plan for 2020. I can technically set up a DB plan now starting 2/1/2020 with a plan year ending 1/31/2021, such that minimum funding would be due 10/15/2021. Plan document would read income used for the calendar year ending within the plan year. What is your thought on this?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Account Has Several Different Kinds of Funds But QDRO Is Silent as to Which to Distribute

"Say a QDRO specifies a lump sum of $X. Participant has several sources--deferrals, match, Roth, Pre-tax, etc. QDRO and plan are silent on the issue of which source(s) from which the funds would be distributed. My answer would be to make the distribution proportionately from each of the sources. But does the participant have the right to tell the plan administrator to use particular sources (for example, all from Roth, or none from Roth, etc.)?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan Has Not Yet Filed Form 5500 for 2019 But Is Ready to File Form 5500 for 2020

"2020 Form 5500 will be ready to timely file because the plan no longer requires an audit, but the 2019 Form 5500 with its required audit will be unavailable. Should we file the 2020 5500 now, or will this make the DOL and IRS more likely to ask about the 2019? Prior years were filed timely; so the DOL has to know the plan is out here."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Are Late Deposits of Deferrals Considered an Operational Error?

"Employer has several late remittances of deferrals to the trust. Prohibited transaction. Fix (perhaps) under VFCP. Is it also an operational error? Corrected under SCP? If so, what 'operation' under the plan document did they violate?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Centivo Raises $51 Million as More Employers Seek Affordable, Quality Healthcare for Their Employees


OneDigital Announces Complete Retirement Solution for Small Business


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

Puerto Rico Departamento De Hacienda

IRS Again Tweaks Preapproved Plan Amendment Timing Rules


Agencies Propose Extensive Form 5500 Amendments

Groom Law Group

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

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