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Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 19, 2021

9 New Job Opportunities 9 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Shifts Toward Favorable View on ESG Investing and the Exercise of Shareholder Rights in New Regulation

"Plan fiduciaries should prepare to incorporate an economic ESG analysis as part of their investment-making decision process ... Fiduciaries should also prepare to ensure that proxies are generally voted and other shareholder rights exercised, unless it determines that the exercise of such rights would not be in the plan's best interest."  MORE >>

Mayer Brown


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

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes Rule to Remove Barriers to Considering ESG Factors in Plan Management

"The Proposal would remove the Current Regulation's documentation requirements for proxy voting, deferring again to the understanding that ERISA Plan fiduciaries generally document their decision-making in the ordinary course. In addition, the Proposal would remove the Current Regulation's 'safe harbors' as unduly prescriptive and as treating the decision not to vote proxies on behalf of ERISA Plans as subject to a different standard than voting such proxies."  MORE >>

Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP

[Guidance Overview]

ESG and Proxy Voting: The DOL's About-Face on Trump-Era Regs

"One of the key changes in the Proposal is the explicit statement that consideration of the projected return of the portfolio relative to the funding objectives of the plan may often require an evaluation of the economic effects of climate change and other ESG factors on the particular investment or investment course of action. The projected return factor directs fiduciaries to take a long-term approach to investment decision-making and portfolio construction, and the proposed addition suggests that climate change and other ESG factors may often be relevant to that analysis because the risk-return potential could be realized decades after the investment date."  MORE >>

Ropes & Gray LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon Retirement Plan Sponsors Have Short List of 2021 Year-End Amendments

"[1] Final rules on hardship distributions under 401(k) and 403(b) plans ... [2] Market rate of return for collectively bargained hybrid/cash balance plans ... [3] California wildfire relief under governmental plans ... [4] Periodic updates not specifically mentioned on RA List."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 70: Compliance with PTE 2020-02 -- Factors to Evaluate for an IRA-to-IRA Rollover Recommendation (Part 6)

"[It] would be, at the least, a good practice to specifically information about the IRA investor's: [1] investment objectives, [2] risk tolerance, [3] financial circumstances, and [4] needs. Without that information, how can a determination be made about which course of action meets those criteria?"  MORE >>

Should a 401(k) Plan Sponsor Take on the Additional Fiduciary Liability Associated with Retirees?

"Clearly, the needs of retirees, who are busy spending down their retirement savings, are quite different from the needs of employees, who are (or should be) busy building up their retirement savings. And, although on the face of it the fiduciary process should be similar for both demographics, the reality is these different needs may require different kinds of services. That, in turn, may raise the fiduciary liability for those responsible for plan operations."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Cybersecurity Requests Appear in DOL Audits

"To date, DOL investigations have generally focused not only on the policies and procedures that plans and providers have in place to thwart cyber-criminals, but on the steps taken by plans and recordkeepers in response to cyber-incidents."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

The Pros and Cons of Target Date Funds

Podcast with transcript. "The idea of an investment vehicle that you can put money into and then cash out for your retirement or to pay for your kid's college has long been appealing. Target date funds, which aim to fit that niche, have been growing in popularity. But set and forget, well, it has its pitfalls."  MORE >>


Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index 2021

"The Mercer CFA Institute Global Pension Index 2021 benchmarks 43 retirement income systems around the world, highlighting strengths and weaknesses. In 2021, new entrant Iceland is named as having the world's best pension system overall.... It's critical that policymakers and governments reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their systems to deliver better long-term outcomes for future retirees."  MORE >>



Approaching Equitable Retirement Tax Incentives

"In September, the Ways and Means Committee of the House approved proposals to substantially improve the equity of retirement tax incentives for American workers. The new requirement that employers automatically enroll employees in a simple defined contribution plan, and the new refundable retirement savings tax credits, both do so. One major proposal needs to be added. Roth individual retirement accounts and annuities (IRAs) must be subject to the same required minimum distribution (RMD) rules as traditional IRAs."  MORE >>

Law Offices of Albert Feuer, via SSRN

Benefits in General

Evaluating Prospective Plan Auditors

"CPA firms with specialized retirement plan audit practices choose to demonstrate their commitment to quality employee benefit plan audits by displaying their auditors' badges on marketing materials, social media, and email signature lines. What do the badges mean and how does a plan sponsor differentiate between prospective audit teams that are equally credentialed?"  MORE >>

Belfint Lyons Shuman

Service Agreements for Benefit Plans: The Devil Is in the Details

"[1] Request and review a copy of the provider's standard contract as part of the request for proposal (RFP) process.... [2] Consider business objectives and business events at the outset.... [3] Indemnification.... [4] Privacy & cybersecurity.... [5] Disguised transfers of risk under the contract."  MORE >>

Holland & Hart LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Plan Administrator
for PCS Retirement, LLC Senior Plan Administrator

PCS Retirement, LLC


View job as Senior Plan Administrator
for PCS Retirement, LLC

View job as Senior Plan Document & Compliance Specialist
for PCS Retirement, LLC Senior Plan Document & Compliance Specialist

PCS Retirement, LLC


View job as Senior Plan Document & Compliance Specialist
for PCS Retirement, LLC

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Bates & Company, Inc. Retirement Plan Administrator

Bates & Company, Inc.

Remote / Winter Park FL

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Bates & Company, Inc.

View job as Senior Retirement Analyst
for Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc. Senior Retirement Analyst

Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

Remote / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Sr. Actuarial Analyst
for Newport Sr. Actuarial Analyst


Chicago IL / Dallas TX

View job as DC Plan Administrator
for Northeast Professional Planning Group Inc. (NPPG) DC Plan Administrator

Northeast Professional Planning Group Inc. (NPPG)

Shrewsbury NJ

View job as Plan Document Specialist
for Northeast Professional Planning Group Inc. (NPPG) Plan Document Specialist

Northeast Professional Planning Group Inc. (NPPG)

Shrewsbury NJ

View job as Client Coordinator - Compliance Services
for The Retirement Plan Company (TRPC)/an ABG firm Client Coordinator - Compliance Services

The Retirement Plan Company (TRPC)/an ABG firm


View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Liden, Nestle, Soled & Associates Retirement Plan Administrator

Liden, Nestle, Soled & Associates

Remote / Westlake Village CA

Press Releases

Repeat Honors for Cohen & Buckmann Co-Founders, Sandra Cohen and Carol Buckmann

Cohen & Buckmann P.C.

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Covering All Aspects of ESG

October 20, 2021 WEBCAST

Jackson Walker

WISER's Annual Women's Symposium: 25 Years of Improving Women’s Financial Security -- Where We Stand: Possibilities & Progress!

October 29, 2021 WEBCAST

WISER [Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

2022 Increases for Retirement Plans, Social Security

October Three Consulting

Without the Backdoor, Aftertax IRA Contributions Don't Add Up

Christine Benz, in Morningstar

DOL Proposes Rule Encouraging ESG and Proxy Voting, Reducing Documentation Requirements

Groom Law Group

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

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