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Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 7, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities 5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon The New DOL Fiduciary 'Rule' for Investment Advisers and Broker-Dealers and the December 20 Deadline: The Time to Act Is Now

"This article summarizes the new guidance, the requirements currently in effect, and the demanding additional requirements that must be satisfied beginning on December 21, 2021. And, beginning on December 21, the full terms of Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 2020-02 will apply, including the acknowledgement of fiduciary status, the conflicts and services disclosures and, for the types of rollovers discussed [in this article], the written statement of the 'specific reasons' the rollover recommendation is in the best interest of the participant or IRA owner."  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

District Court Rejects DOL Claims of ESOP Overpayment

"After a full trial on the merits, the district-court judge entered judgment in favor of the defendants, largely based on the court's rejection of the DOL's critiques of the valuation upon which the trustee relied. What is perhaps most interesting about the court's decision is the contrast between the discussion in this case of fundamental ERISA and valuation concepts, on the one hand, and the discussion of fundamental ERISA and valuation concepts in two other cases in which courts entered judgment against the defendants." [Walsh v. Bowers, No. 18-0155 (D. Hawaii, Sep. 17, 2021)]  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Pension Plan Participants Largely Prevail in 'Kitchen Sink' Appeal to the Second Circuit

"If you ever need to show someone a case to demonstrate how messy ERISA can be, you may want to consider this one. In this decision, the Second Circuit tackled a full buffet of ERISA issues, including statutes of limitations, 'top hat' plan status, liability among fiduciaries, statutory penalties, and how to calculate and apportion remedies." [Browe v. CTC Corp., Nos. 19-677 and 19-813 (2d Cir. Sep. 29, 2021)]  MORE >>

Kantor & Kantor

Congress Considers Mandatory Auto-Enrollment IRAs

"Proponents estimate that the proposal would add 62 million retirement savers and an unprecedented $7 trillion in retirement savings over ten years. Under the Ways and Means proposal, the employer could select the IRA provider or could allow each employee to make a selection. Investment offerings would need to include a target-date fund, a balanced fund, and a capital-preservation fund, and others that the Treasury Department may prescribe."  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

What Women Facing Divorce Need to Know About Spousal Retirement Benefits

"[This article] explains some of the steps you should take to protect yourself and highlights potential pitfalls that can deprive you of your legal right to a portion of retirement benefits.... [T]he PRC has launched an Initiative on Women and Retirement at Divorce to bring together a range of experts and organizations to make the QDRO process easier and more efficient for everyone involved."  MORE >>

Pension Rights Center


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

U.S. Pension Briefing, September 2021

"Discount rates were up for the second month in a row and finished the quarter roughly where they started. Asset returns were generally down across the board. Funded status for most pension plans likely declined during the month as liability gains were more than offset with asset losses."  MORE >>

River and Mercantile


ARA Comment Letter to IRS: Correction of Late Restatements of Pre-Approved Plans Under EPCRS (PDF)

"ARA recommends that the IRS continue its efforts to promote plan sponsor compliance and reduce the burden of plan sponsorship by modifying EPCRS to permit a sponsor that misses a pre-approved plan restatement deadline to correct that failure using SCP."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Says Plan Administrators Must Provide Audio Recording or Transcript of Call Between Claimant and Plan Representative Upon Request

"The opinion came in the form of an Information Letter issued in response to an inquiry from a claimant's attorney who sought guidance after a plan administrator declined to produce an audio recording of a conversation on the grounds that a record of the call had been produced and the recording was for quality assurance purposes only. The DOL held that these justifications were inconsistent with ERISA's regulations."  MORE >>

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP


Fifth Circuit Is Right To Question ERISA Review Norms

"The court maintained that under a deferential standard of review, none of the plaintiff's arguments proved that the determination was arbitrary and capricious. While the court's ruling was unanimous, U.S. Circuit Judge Andy Oldham wrote a concurrence addressing the scope of review applied by the court in this case and questioning its use in other ERISA cases. What Judge Oldham wrote was an indictment of the way federal judges decide ERISA cases and has the potential to dramatically change all future ERISA litigation involving benefit claim denials." [Michael J. P. v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Texas, No. 20-30361 (5th Cir. Sep. 22, 2021; unpub.)]  MORE >>

DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C.

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Human Resources Business Partner - North
for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc Human Resources Business Partner - North

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc

Allentown PA

View job as Human Resources Business Partner - Large Projects
for Air Products and Chemicals, Inc Human Resources Business Partner - Large Projects

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc

Houston TX

View job as 3(16) Account Manager
for Pentegra 3(16) Account Manager



View job as Entry Level Insurance Policy Administrator
for Newport Entry Level Insurance Policy Administrator


Lake Mary FL

View job as Sr. Manager, DC Compliance & Documentation
for Charles Schwab Sr. Manager, DC Compliance & Documentation

Charles Schwab

Austin TX / Richfield OH

Selected New Discussions

Participant Wants Hardship Withdrawal of $500,000 to Purchase New House

"40-year-old participant requested a hardship withdrawal from his 401(k) account to purchase a principal residence. The purchase of a principal residence is listed as one of the safe harbors for hardships in the plan document and there are no maximums or restrictions listed. Participant submitted the purchase agreement and is requesting the entire purchase price of $500,000 as a hardship withdrawal. Allowed?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Recommendation for a Colorado Lawyer to Help ESOP Participant

"After 2.5 years with the DO EBSA, their Solicitor’s Office couldn’t get ESOP Plan administrator to buy back my husband’s stock so he could get his final payoff. We need a CO lawyer to handle this as the DOL said there is no question of the money being owed. Can anyone help?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan Terminates; Still an Uncashed Check for Five Cents

"401(k) plan is terminated. All plan assets are paid out, a final 5500-S/F is filed and the company is sold. One individual's brokerage account was paid out in a check for $10,000 in March, then a check for 5¢ in April. The $10,000 is deposited; the 5¢ check goes stale and returns to the account. Participant can't be bothered to deal with the 5¢ check. What to do?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Elevate Launches with $15M Funding to Modernize Consumer Directed Benefits Delivery


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Mystery no More: Portfolio Allocation, Income and Spending in Retirement

November 16, 2021 WEBCAST

EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

The Auditor Called -- 'What Did I Do Wrong Now?'

November 17, 2021 WEBCAST

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

IRA Reporting

December 7, 2021 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

SECURE Act Revisited

Benefit Resources Inc.

The 80% Pension Funding Myth (PDF)

American Academy of Actuaries

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

Akin Gump

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

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