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Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 1, 2021

11 New Job Opportunities 11 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

EPCRS Update Brings Good News for Plan Sponsors (PDF)

"Charts ... set forth a summary of the key changes that were made to the program; a majority of the provisions were unchanged."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group, via TAXES The Tax Magazine

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides Reminder About 403(b) Contribution Limits

"In the event of an audit of the 403(b) plan, the IRS would be assessing the sufficiency of the employer's internal controls, including: [1] Protocols regarding outside employment.... [2] Annual solicitation of information from employees regarding ownership interest in any outside employer.... [3] Review of contribution information from outside plans.... [4] Make any necessary corrective distributions timely."  MORE >>


Upcoming Deadline icon Time Running Out to Issue Annual Plan Notices

"[T]he 401(k) safe harbor, qualified default investment alternative (QDIA), and automatic enrollment notices must all be sent to plan participants between 30-90 days before the beginning of the plan year (i.e., no later than December 2nd for calendar year end plans), and may be combined into a single document."  MORE >>


Growing Trend in Retirement Plans: Retirement Income Solutions

"Retirement plans have offered various forms of income products for decades. However, they haven't been easy to use, and most participants aren't financially sophisticated enough to understand them.... [C]ost-effective solutions that emphasize simplicity and build upon a DC plan's qualified default investment alternative and automated features -- such as auto-enrollment and auto-escalations -- will be most effective."  MORE >>

Institutional Investor

The Geography of Retirement

"[The authors] find large differences across U.S. commuting zones in employment rates at older ages, with a gap of about 20 percentage points between areas at the 90th and 10th percentiles of employment. Low-employment areas are systematically different[.]"  MORE >>

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document

House Proposal Would Add Retirement Planning to Federal Student Loan Recipients' Financial Literacy Counseling Program

"The bill, the Financial Fitness Act [HR 5779], would require the Secretary of Education to create a centralized personal finance education portal for federal financial aid recipients to provide information about core personal financial concepts such as budgeting, saving, and investing. The bill specifically calls for information about retirement planning and saving to be included in its financial literacy content."  MORE >>

Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

Putting 2021 Fiscal Year Public DB Returns in Perspective

"One needs to go back to 1985 to find a single year with a return higher than what the median public plan achieved during 2021 ... [T]he loss experienced during fiscal 2009 due to the Global Financial Crisis was greater than all the other fiscal year losses combined.... The average fiscal year return between 1976 and 2021 was 9.7% and the median was 9.6%."  MORE >>


Information Available to Contributing Employers in Multiemployer Fringe Benefit Plans

"Employers that contribute to multiemployer fringe benefit plans are generally aware of the financial risks associated with these plans.... [E]mployers participating in multiemployer fringe benefit plans should obtain relevant plan-related documents and understand their rights and obligations under their fringe benefit plan relationships. Fortunately, there are some avenues for employers to accomplish this."  MORE >>

Dickinson Wright

DOL Files Suit to Recover ESOP's Losses of $35 Million from Stock Sale Benefitting Board Members, Children at Workers' Expense

"[The DOL] alleges that, at the time of the stock sale, the ESOP owned stock that was worth between $44.8 and $58.2 million ... [and further] alleges that Brozen, the Petersons and Generale caused RVNB to redeem the ESOP's entire ownership interest for just $12.5 million, effectively transferring the rest of the stock's value to the Petersons and their children's trusts at the expense of the employee participants of the RVNB plan. RVNB was subsequently sold for $200 million along with other assets to a third party for $252 million." [Walsh v. Peterson, No. 21-0867 (E.D. Tex. complaint filed Oct. 29, 2021)]  MORE >>

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


Game Changer: Why Hughes v. Northwestern University Matters

"Northwestern and the Seventh Circuit are attempting to force the plan participants to meet both the federal pleading requirements and the evidentiary requirements to prove causation, a requirement they arguably do not have under either ERISA or the common law of trusts. However, given the disparity in access to the essential details, a court would presumably place the burden of proof on a 401(k) plan." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 18-2569 (7th Cir. Mar. 25, 2020; cert. pet. granted No. 19-1401, Jul. 2, 2020)]  MORE >>

The Prudent Investment Fiduciary Rules


Euclid Fiduciary to the U.S. Supreme Court: Use Fiduciary Underwriting Factors to Stop Meritless Excessive Fee Cases Being Filed Against Prudent Plan Sponsors

"Euclid demonstrated to the Court that many of the misleading claims can be rebutted at the initial stage of the case based on [DOL] mandated fee and investment disclosures that are available to participants. These fee disclosures and more accurate benchmarks ... are exactly what fiduciary underwriters use every day to underwrite fiduciary best practices. And this more accurate information and proper fee benchmarking must be used by district courts to weed out the many meritless cases being filed against prudent sponsors of quality defined contribution plans." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 18-2569 (7th Cir. Mar. 25, 2020; cert. pet. granted No. 19-1401, Jul. 2, 2020; amicus brief of Euclid Fiduciary filed Oct. 27, 2021)]  MORE >>

Euclid Specialty Managers

Benefits in General

Employment Cost Index Summary, September 2021

"[F]or civilian workers ... [b]enefit costs increased 2.5 percent over the year and increased 2.3 percent for the 12-month period ending in September 2020.... [F]or private industry workers ... [t]he cost of benefits increased 2.6 percent for the 12-month period ending in September 2021 and increased 2.0 percent in September 2020."  MORE >>

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Operations Associate
for Fringe Benefit Group Retirement Operations Associate

Fringe Benefit Group

Remote / Austin TX

View job as Retirement Operations Associate
for Fringe Benefit Group

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Carpenter Morse Group Inc. Retirement Plan Administrator

Carpenter Morse Group Inc.


View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Carpenter Morse Group Inc.

View job as Implementation Specialist
for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings Implementation Specialist

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings


View job as Implementation Specialist
for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings

View job as Senior Legal Product Analyst
for Human Interest Senior Legal Product Analyst

Human Interest

Remote / San Francisco CA

View job as Senior Trainer, Retirement Plan Service
for Human Interest Senior Trainer, Retirement Plan Service

Human Interest

Remote / San Francisco CA

View job as Manager, Health Care Cost & Delivery
for Business Group Health Manager, Health Care Cost & Delivery

Business Group Health

Remote / Washington DC

View job as Manager, Client Services
for Strategic Retirement Partners Manager, Client Services

Strategic Retirement Partners

Providence RI

View job as Retirement Services Supervisor
for DC Retirement Board Retirement Services Supervisor

DC Retirement Board

Remote / Washington DC

View job as Plan Administrator
for Stones River Consulting Plan Administrator

Stones River Consulting

Remote / TN

View job as Retirement Analyst
for DC Retirement Board Retirement Analyst

DC Retirement Board

Remote / Washington DC

View job as Retirement Plan Specialist
for RTD Financial Advisors Retirement Plan Specialist

RTD Financial Advisors

Cherry Hill NJ

Selected New Discussions

May a Plan Provide an Automatic Contribution Arrangement for Some Employees, But Not Others?

"A plan's sponsor wants to provide an automatic contribution arrangement for some specified classes of non-highly-compensated employees, but not others. (All Highly Compensated Employees would be excluded.) May a plan provide this without tripping on a tax-qualification condition? Is it feasible to provide this using an IRS-preapproved document without losing reliance on its IRS letter?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Changing Eligibility Requirements -- IRC 411(d)(6) Applies Here?

"We have a client that is currently utilizing a 2 month eligibility requirement. They are changing the eligibility requirement to 12 months effective 1/1/2022. My question is an employee hired September 1, 2021 would be eligible as of November 1, 2021. The employee begins deferrals on Nov 1, 2021. On 1/1/2022 when the eligibility requirements change, would the employee then be required to wait until September 1, 2022 to begin contributions? Or would they be somewhat grandfathered in under the 2 month requirement?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Participant Terminates Employment -- Plan Has a Life Insurance Policy

"One of our clients maintains a profit sharing plan, one individual has a life insurance policy owned by the plan and he has terminated employment. As far as I can remember, the choices are either to surrender the policy for its cash value and the deposit the cash value into the participants' individual account -- just a change in investments OR participant buys the policy for the cash value from personal funds. When he purchases the policy, where does that money go? Part of the general assets of the plan, or into the individual participant's account? If the money stays in the plan, is it allocable to the remaining participants?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Elevate Lands More Top-Flight Talent as Several Employee Benefits Vets Join Leadership Team


Lincoln Financial, NPPG and Morningstar Investment Management Bring Retirement Plan Options to Business Owners Through a Pooled Employer Plan

Lincoln Financial Group

The Wagner Law Group Grows L.A. Office with the Addition of Attorney Zachary Meth

Wagner Law Group P.C.

Principal® Expands Retirement Plan Access to Hispanic Workers by Taking Savings Mobile

Principal Financial Group

NEPC Hires Former Aon Executive to Lead Innovation of Defined Contribution Solutions


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Cybersecurity Best Practices


CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS FAQs Address Effect of Rehires on Pension Plan Qualification

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

The Search for Missing Participants Continues: DOL Guidelines


Tips for Structuring LLC Incentive Compensation

Holland & Hart LLP

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

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