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Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 6, 2021

8 New Job Opportunities 8 New Job Opportunities


Sixth Circuit Withdrawal Liability Decision Casts Doubt on Use of PBGC Rate

"According to the 6th Circuit, a withdrawal liability interest rate that does not take into account the anticipated experience of the [multiemployer plan's (MEP's)] actual investment portfolio violates ERISA's mandate that the interest rate be based on the anticipated experience under the plan. It is virtually impossible to argue that the PBGC rate takes into account a MEP's investment portfolio or anticipated experience[.]" [Sofco Erectors, Inc. v. Trustees of Ohio Operating Engineers Pension Fund, No. 20-3639 (6th Cir. Sept. 28, 2021)]  MORE >>

Akin Gump


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Alert (High Risk Issue) icon Sixth Circuit Rules Interest Rate Methodology Selected by Plan Actuary in Withdrawal Liability Calculation Violates ERISA

"If Sofco stands, any pension plan's use of the Segal Blend in withdrawal liability calculations may affect the accuracy of pre-withdrawal estimates, the amount of withdrawal liability assessed, the posture of any settlement negotiations and arbitration proceedings and even the efficacy of any previous settlement agreements entered into with the pension plan.... Additionally, the opinion discusses clear boundaries on the deference accorded to pension plan actuaries to determine the appropriate interest rate to use in withdrawal liability calculations." [Sofco Erectors, Inc. v. Trustees of Ohio Operating Engineers Pension Fund, No. 20-3639 (6th Cir. Sept. 28, 2021)]  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Seventh Circuit Weighs in on Arbitration and Class Waiver Provisions in Defined Contribution Plans

"The Seventh Circuit appears to have endorsed arbitration and class-waiver provisions in defined-contribution plans and indicated that it is likely to enforce those provisions against claimants who sue defined-contribution plans under ERISA Section 502(a)(2).... To maximize the enforcement potential of plan provisions, plan sponsors should ensure that arbitration and class-waiver provisions do not preclude relief available under ERISA and severability provisions should authorize courts to sever only those portions of a plan that are unenforceable or contrary to law." [Smith v. Bd. of Directors of Triad Mfg., Inc., No. 20-2708 (7th Cir. Sept. 10, 2021)]  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Ohio District Court Dismisses Putative Class Action Challenging 401(k) Investment Performance and Fees

"With respect to administrative fees, the court reasoned that Plaintiffs had 'simply not provided the Court with sufficient factual allegations to permit an inference of imprudence.' ... With regard to the allegedly underperforming funds with unreasonably high fees, the court found that Plaintiffs failed to adequately describe any meaningful benchmark funds or sufficiently allege actionable underperformance." [Forman v. TriHealth, Inc., No. 19-613 (S.D. Ohio Sep. 24, 2021)]  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Americans Shifting Retirement Plans Due to Pandemic

"[O]ver one-third (35%) of respondents have either moved up or pushed back their target retirement age, with 24% planning to retire later than previously expected and 11% seeking to retire earlier. For those planning to retire earlier than expected, almost half (48%) say they are moving up their timeline by three to five years."  MORE >>

401(k) Specialist


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

Employees Value Financial Wellness Programs

"43% of financial wellness program participants reported that their financial well-being was positively impacted by the pandemic. This is ... nearly double the rate of all employees (22%) and over double the rate of individuals not enrolled in a financial wellness program (20%)."  MORE >>

Corporate Insight

Pensions and ESG: An Institutional and Historical Perspective

"With growing asset size, funded pensions ... and other large institutional investors became 'universal owners' and, along with thought leaders and regulators, drove the evolution of sustainable investing ... [Q]uestions remain, such as who will be most influential in determining the future of sustainable investing -- pensions and other institutional investors, governments, shareholders and companies -- as well as what it will look like.... [S]ustainability remains a work in progress and pensions are in a strong position to shape its evolution." [WP2021-19]  MORE >>

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

SECURE Act Revisited

"With all [SECURE Act] provisions now effective, here's what Plan Participants need to know: [1] Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) begin at age 72; [2] Elimination of the 'Stretch' IRA; [3] Penalty-free adoption/birth withdrawals; [4] Lifetime income strategies inside 401(k) plans; [5] Lifetime income disclosure rule."  MORE >>

Benefit Resources Inc.

The 80% Pension Funding Myth (PDF)

"Pension plans are generally better evaluated on the strategy in place to attain a funded ratio of 100% within a reasonable period of time.  The financial health of a pension plan depends on many factors in addition to funded status -- including the size of any shortfall compared with the resources of the plan sponsor.  Projections under a range of scenarios can be particularly useful in evaluating the plan's expected funding trajectory and assessing plan health."  MORE >>

American Academy of Actuaries

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Financing Stock Option Exercises In A Private Company: A Financial Advisor's Guide

"A whole cottage industry has sprouted up over the past decade that provides financing capital to private company optionholders.... Optionholders can generally expect to give up one quarter to one half of the stock's upside on average, including fees, with these types of financings.... One of the largest advantages is optionholders' ability to exercise their options without having to self-finance with what could be a very significant outlay of cash."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as 401(k) Plan Administrator Trainee/Assistant
for Southern Pension Services 401(k) Plan Administrator Trainee/Assistant

Southern Pension Services

Tampa FL

View job as 401(k) Plan Administrator Trainee/Assistant
for Southern Pension Services

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Southern Pension Services Retirement Plan Administrator

Southern Pension Services

Remote / Tampa FL

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Southern Pension Services

View job as Plan Administrator / Assistant
for National Employers Retirement Trust Plan Administrator / Assistant

National Employers Retirement Trust

Remote / Bethesda MD / DC / PA / VA / WV

View job as 401(k) Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates 401(k) Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

Remote / Charlottesville VA

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
for Heller Wealth Management Retirement Plan Consultant

Heller Wealth Management

Melville NY

View job as Plan Consultant/Administrator
for PASI, LLC Plan Consultant/Administrator


Remote / Farmington CT

View job as Client Services Specialist
for Association County Commissioners of Georgia Client Services Specialist

Association County Commissioners of Georgia

Atlanta GA

View job as Senior Fiduciary Consultant, Newport Trust
for Newport Senior Fiduciary Consultant, Newport Trust


Remote / Washington DC / New York NY / Minneapolis MN / Los Angeles CA

Selected New Discussions

Muslim Client Has Issue with Hypothetical Fixed Interest Rate Under CB Plan

"A group of physicians is considering a cross-tested combination, 401(k) and cash balance. One owner-doctor is Muslim and is questioning the hypothetical interest on the allocation when expressed as a fixed-rate. He is fine with the 401(k) assets being market-driven, but has concerns about the cash balance allocation. [1] Anyone ever handle anything similar? [2] Can the hypothetical interest be 0 for his allocation class or is that a reduction? [3] Is there a better way to explain the interest part that may avoid his objection?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

IRS Says Our Package of Applications for Extensions of Time Didn't Get There on Time

"We sent a large group of 5558s to the IRS via Fed Ex on July 27th. Our clients have started receiving denials of the 5558 because they were not received timely. Tried calling the IRS and they have too many calls and the line just hangs up on you. I know this happened back in 2010, wondering if anyone else has had this issue this year?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Replacing a DB Plan with a Cash Balance Plan

"Taking over a case that has two plans: a Profit Sharing and a fully funded Defined Benefit Plan. Is there any issue with terminating the DB Plan, rolling it into an IRA and then opening a new Cash Balance Plan?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

HSA Bank Launches First of its Kind Retirement Healthcare Calculator, Bringing Future Savings Top of Mind for Americans

HSA Bank

Ascensus Plans to Add Nearly 400 New Associates Through 2022


DOL Recovers $25k for Akron Retirement Plan After Investigation Finds Company Owner Failed to Forward Contributions

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Ameritas Acquires Bluestar Retirement Services


Securian Financial and SageView Advisory Group Introduce Highly Personalized Managed Account Solution for Workplace Retirement Plans

Securian Financial Group

BlackRock’s Retirement Income Solution a Major Step Forward for American Retirement Security


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

What You Should Know About: SARSEP IRA Plans


IRS [Internal Revenue Service]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Budget Bill Seeks Retirement Plan Mandate, Roth Conversion Ban


Sixth Circuit Strikes Down 'Segal Blend' for Calculation of Multiemployer Plan Withdrawal Liability

October Three Consulting

How Plan Sponsors Can Boost Cybersecurity


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

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