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Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 25, 2021

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS FAQs: Coronavirus-Related Relief for Retirement Plans and IRAs

Updated Oct. 22, 2021. "[Q1] A qualified pension plan that does not provide for in-service distributions commences benefit distributions to an individual who applies for retirement benefits and experiences a bona fide retirement. If the plan sponsor rehires the individual due to unforeseen hiring needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, will the rehire cause that individual's prior retirement to no longer be considered a bona fide retirement? ... Generally, no.... [Q2] May a qualified pension plan permit individuals who are working to commence in-service distributions? ... Yes."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Gives 4010 Filing Relief for Some — But Not All — ARPA Elections

"Technical Update (TU) 21-1 ... waives the requirement for information years ending before Dec. 31, 2021, if the filing is triggered solely by the sponsor's creation of additional prefunding balance. The TU also gives sponsors with filing obligations flexibility when submitting required actuarial information. Some plan sponsors may still face retroactive filing requirements, however, and will need to contact the PBGC."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Further Thoughts on the DOL's Informal Guidance on Cybersecurity

"From a plan sponsor's perspective, one difficulty with achieving full compliance with the DOL guidance is that much of the required actions are controlled by their service providers, often serving under outdated contracts.... Even if a service provider fully implements all of the DOL's best practices, it is likely the service provider will also include language in its agreement to cap its liability in some fashion[.]"  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

DOL's ESG and Proxy Voting Proposal: Impact on ERISA Fiduciaries and Private Fund Managers

"If adopted, the proposed regulation would be a radical departure from the existing regulations inasmuch as ERISA fiduciaries would effectively be required to factor in ESG considerations in their investment decisions."  MORE >>

Akin Gump

[Guidance Overview]

ESG and Proxy Voting Rules Receive New Life Under Proposed DOL Regs

"The DOL's Proposal now specifically permits plan fiduciaries to consider ESG factors, including climate change, that are material to a risk-return analysis when considering and ultimately selecting plan investments."  MORE >>

Ice Miller LLP

Empire State Officially Embraces Auto-IRA Mandate

"Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) has signed into law legislation that would convert New York State's voluntary participation state-run IRA program to mandatory for employers that do not offer a retirement plan and employ 10 or more employees.... The law -- though mandatory for qualifying employers -- retains the option for workers to opt out."  MORE >>

National Tax-Deferred Savings Association [NTSA]

Retirement Policy: Potential for Changing Roles of Employers in Retirement Programs (PDF)

12 pages. "Shifting retirement plan responsibilities and related liability to a third-party entity and away from the employer -- 'decoupling'-- may be advantageous to both employers and employees. Employers may see reduced costs, risks, and administrative burdens, while employees may benefit from additional options and retirement income solutions."  MORE >>

American Academy of Actuaries

DOL Private Pension Plan Bulletin: Abstract of 2019 Form 5500 Annual Reports (PDF)

72 pages. "The total number of pension plans grew again in 2019, to approximately 733,700, a 1.6 percent increase over 2018. The number of DC plans grew by 1.7 percent, while the number of DB plans grew by less than 0.1 percent.... The number of 401(k) type plans increased by 2.7 percent, from 588,500 to 604,400[.]" [Also available: data tables in XLSM and XML formats.]  MORE >>

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

Annuity Purchase Update, October 2021

"Most pension plans with an asset portfolio of 60% equities and 40% fixed income improved their funding status around 9% Year-to-Date.... Annuity purchase interest rates rose ... Annuity purchase interest rates have moved within a narrow range this year and correspondingly annuity purchase prices have experienced far less volatility than 2020."  MORE >>

October Three Consulting

Increased Pension Risk Transfer Activity Leads to Rise in Pricing Rate in September

"During September, the average estimated cost to transfer retiree pension risk to an insurer increased from 102.2% of a plan's total liabilities to 102.7% of those liabilities. This means the average estimated retiree PRT cost for the month is now 2.7% more than those plans' retiree accumulated benefit obligation (ABO)."  MORE >>


Is the Adjustment of Social Security Benefits Actuarially Fair? If So, for Whom?

"[L]ate claimants have lower mortality than those who claim at age 62, so late claimants are adversely selected. As a result of selective claiming combined with improvements in actuarial adjustments, the return to delaying claiming has become systematically positive for those who actually delay, but not for those who claim early."  MORE >>

Michigan Retirement and Disability Research Center, Univ. of Michigan

Are We Ready for Retirement Income?

"[O]nly about half of defined contribution plans currently provide an option for participants to establish a systematic series of periodic payments, much less an annuity or other in-plan retirement income option. However, the need for that solution is widely acknowledged--and there are some new, if somewhat familiar, solutions emerging."  MORE >>

Data 'Points'

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Relationship Manager
for Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc./Compass 360, LLC Relationship Manager

Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc./Compass 360, LLC

Remote / Stratham NH / MA

View job as Relationship Manager
for Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc./Compass 360, LLC

View job as Compliance Administrator II
for Associated Pension Consultants Compliance Administrator II

Associated Pension Consultants


View job as Senior Healthcare Actuarial Consultant
for Ascensus Senior Healthcare Actuarial Consultant



View job as Actuarial Analyst (Entry Level)
for Newport Actuarial Analyst (Entry Level)


Remote / Chicago IL

Selected New Discussions

Cross-Testing 2 Plans with Different Year-Ends

"Suppose you have two related companies where a controlled group exists. Each of the companies sponsors a profit sharing plan that provides a uniform contribution which is the same for each plan. Now they want both plans to be cross-tested. One company and plan have a 12/31 year end and the other company and plan have a 10/31 year end. How is the cross-testing done with two plans that have different year ends?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Franklin Templeton and iJoin Collaborate to Expand Access to Goals-Based Personalization


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

ESG Investment Selection and Why the Methodology Matters

November 9, 2021 WEBCAST

Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc.

Rev Proc 2021-30: All You Want to Know But Were Afraid to Ask!

November 11, 2021 WEBCAST

Pension Education Council of Atlanta [PECA]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Window of Savings Opportunities with Backdoor Roth IRAs


What Plan Sponsors Need to Know About Service Provider SOC Reports


Your New Woke 401(k)

Editorial Staff of The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

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

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