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Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 26, 2021

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Extends Temporary Enforcement Policy for Conflicted Fiduciaries, Delays Rollover Enforcement

"This transition relief ... will be helpful to: [1] Permit the conversion in compliance systems from the temporary enforcement policy to PTE 2020-02 on a sensible business date; [2] Reduce the cost of and potential confusion created by the fiduciary acknowledgement and other disclosures required by PTE 2020-02 ... and [3] Provide more time for vendors to perfect and investment advice fiduciaries to install reliable solutions for obtaining and processing the comparative cost information and other documentation ... for rollover advice."  MORE >>

Eversheds Sutherland

[Guidance Overview]

Feeling Like a Yo-Yo? Latest Swing in ESG Investments and ERISA's Fiduciary Duties

"While the DOL still emphasizes the importance of the risk-return analysis of a proposed investment, the proposal is clear that such an analysis may require evaluating the potential economic effects of climate change and other ESG factors on the proposed investment. This echoes the SEC's views on ESG."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Proposed Regs on Fiduciary Investment Duties ESG

"The proposed amendments address the Department's concern that the 2020 Rules have created uncertainty and are having the undesirable effect of discouraging ERISA fiduciaries' consideration of climate change and other ESG factors in investment decisions, even in cases when it is in the financial interest of plans to take such considerations into account. The DOL was concerned that the two safe harbors in the 2020 Rules could be construed as permission for plan fiduciaries to broadly abstain from proxy voting without properly considering their fiduciary duties as shareholders and to plan participants and beneficiaries."  MORE >>


Sixth Circuit Ruling May Signal a Changing Landscape for Withdrawal Liability

"While the Court recognized that the actuary's assumptions were entitled to deference, it ... dissected the actuary's analysis and found that the actuary's findings did not comport with ERISA requirements ... This opinion may also inspire both employers and pension funds to reassess their withdrawal liability strategies." [Sofco Erectors, Inc. v. Trustees of Ohio Operating Engineers Pension Fund, No. 20-3639 (6th Cir. Sep. 28, 2021)]  MORE >>

Stevens & Lee

Updating Your 401(k) Plan's Safe Harbor Notice

"[T]he timing [of the safe harbor notice] is deemed reasonable if the notice is provided at least 30 days (and no more than 90 days) prior to the start of the plan year (so, by December 1 for calendar-year plans).... [If] the prior year's safe harbor notice did not contain a statement that the employer may reduce or suspend contributions midyear, plan sponsors should consider adding that language[.]"  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Older 401(k) Participants Moving to TDFs More Than Younger Participants

"[At] year-end 2010, 50% percent of consistent 401(k) participants held at least some TDF investments in their 401(k) accounts, and that share increased to 56.4% at year-end 2018.... All age groups increased their exposure to target-date funds. However, the largest net movement toward target-date fund use over the period occurred among consistent 401(k) participants in their 40s, 50s and 60s. Participants in their 20s had the highest use of TDFs in both periods, but experienced the smallest net change."  MORE >>


Embedding Retirement Income Into a Target Date Fund

"Lately ... there's been a movement to create hybrid products that commingle the long-term potential of the standard target date fund with the consistent safety of a guaranteed income product.... [D]espite the appearance of complexity, building these products isn't as difficult as it might seem. It's based on existing models with an added twist."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Upcoming Deadline icon For Retirees and Plan Participants: Year-End Retirement Planning Deadlines for 2021

"Contributing to a 401(k) plan can save you thousands of dollars on your 2021 tax return, but you need to meet the year-end contribution deadline. Retirees must take withdrawals from their 401(k)s and traditional IRAs before the end of the year to avoid a stiff tax penalty. Here's how to maximize the value of your retirement accounts before the end of the year."  MORE >>

U.S. News & World Report

Joining the Great Resignation? Don't Forget Your 401(k)

"Before you slam that strongly worded resignation letter down on your jerk of a boss' desk, it's crucial to consider the potential consequences for your retirement -- even if that's still decades away. Here's what to do."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

Financial Wellness Meets Behavioral Economics: Helping Participants See the Big Picture and Act On It (PDF)

12 pages. "[M]any people exhibit a behavioral tendency known as narrow framing, which can lead people ... to allocate their savings to the wrong accounts, choose the wrong health insurance plans and fail to prepare for unexpected financial shocks. This paper outlines a new approach, informed by behavioral economics, that minimizes the problem of narrow framing. For instance, it explains how workers can be nudged to save for emergencies, thus helping them avoid cashing out their retirement savings during a financial shock. It also outlines sample interventions that can be used to help people reduce health care costs."  MORE >>

VOYA Financial

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Stock Options and RSUs from Startup to IPO or M&A: Five Key Topics

"[1] When to exercise stock options in a private company.... [2] Expect RSUs in a later-stage private company.... [3] Need a plan for the taxes on equity comp.... [4] Actions before and after the IPO lockup.... [5] Lessons learned from the recent big wave of IPOs, M&A, and startup financing."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Attorney Advisor
for Department of Justice, Offices, Boards and Divisions, Criminal Division Attorney Advisor

Department of Justice, Offices, Boards and Divisions, Criminal Division

Remote / Washington DC

View job as Supervisory Actuary - DH
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Supervisory Actuary - DH

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Remote / Washington DC

Selected New Discussions

Having Trouble with Form 5310 Submissions Through

"Has anyone experienced problems with responses being changed in Form 5310 being filled out through I'm using Chrome. On multiple times, I've had the numbers in line 16a(3) change on me after I've logged back into the form. I'm having similar issues with additional items being checked off in line item 3f and line item 20. How does one submit the completed procedural checklist for the Form 5310 on Does it appear after the signature page is completed?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Top Heavy Minimum Contributions Required for Employees Who Refuse to Participate?

"A 401(k) plan has been deemed Top Heavy and will begin making minimum contributions to non-key employees who are plan participants. A group of employees is eligible to participate in the plan but refuses to do so because they say the funds offered by the plan are invested in companies that have poor records regarding the environment. Could argue that these non-key employees are not 'covered' under the plan for top heavy minimum contribution purposes?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

QPLOs as an Eligible Rollover Distribution: What to Disclose?

"The Direct Rollover option is not mandated for QPLO distributions. The QPLO amount, however, is still an eligible rollover distribution. What must the disclosure statement contain?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Securian Financial Teams Up with iGrad to Offer the Enrich Financial Wellness Platform to Retirement Plan Clients

Securian Financial Group

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Hot Topics and Trends in Employee Benefits: What Employers Need to Know

November 3, 2021 WEBCAST

Epstein Becker & Green

30th Annual 401(k) Class

November 8, 2021 WEBCAST

Definiti LLC

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program

December 1, 2021 WEBCAST

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

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Text of DOL Field Assistance Bulletin No. 2021-02: Temporary Enforcement Policy on Prohibited Transactions Rules Applicable to Investment Advice Fiduciaries

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

Further Thoughts on the DOL's Informal Guidance on Cybersecurity

The Wagner Law Group

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

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