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Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 4, 2021

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon SECURE Act Changes to 401(k)/403(b) Safe Harbor Plans (PDF)

"The [SECURE Act] made several notable changes to the rules for safe harbor plans ... First, it lifted the cap on automatic deferrals to 15 percent (up from 10 percent) for Qualified Automatic Contribution Arrangement ('QACA') plans. Second, it eliminated the annual notice requirement for plans with safe harbor nonelective employer contributions. Third, it expanded the ability to retroactively adopt safe harbor plans."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group, via Journal of Pension Benefits


Advanced Pension Conference – February 1-3, 2022

Join us for the virtual APC on Feb. 1-3, 2022. ERISA experts will discuss Form 5500 latest update, plan amendment, compensation, plan governance, hardship distribution, keeping current, Washington update, and more. 13 CE credits. Register here.

Sponsored by FIS Retirement Education

[Guidance Overview]

New York Mandates Employer Participation in State-Run Retirement Savings Program

"Nine months after the administrative board establishes the program, private sector employers will be required to participate if they had ten employees in New York during the previous calendar year, have been in business for two or more years, and do not sponsor or otherwise offer access to a qualified retirement plan ... Payroll deductions under the program will be routed to Roth (after-tax) IRAs and invested in one of the investment options selected by the administrative board."  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Municipal Retirement Plans Analytical Report: COLAs for Local Government Employees (PDF)

21 pages. "[If] you currently offer a plan with a 3.00% annual compounding COLA, which is a reasonably popular option, you could cut the total benefits paid to a retiree who lives 40 years after retirement by almost half by eliminating the COLA.... The problem, of course, is that some current employees will scream ... So what do you do to cut the cost?"  MORE >>

RetirementWORKS, Inc.

Near-Retirement Employees Need Account Consolidation Assistance

"By 2030, all Baby Boomers will be at least age 65, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That introduces a unique challenge for retirement plan sponsors and committees.... How can plan participants be helped to consolidate their savings all in one place to prepare to spend down those assets in retirement?"  MORE >>


Limits on Mega, 'Back Door' Roths Reemerge

"Just last week these provisions, along with a number that were projected to be a 'game-changer' for retirement security, were dropped from consideration ... Now these provisions -- which ostensibly act to raise revenue for the Treasury -- have been resurrected in the proposal.... [T]he provisions reviewed in a draft summary are identical with those previously under consideration, but with a significant shift in effective dates[.]"  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Nexstar Media Group Purchases Annuity for Tribune Plan

"Nexstar Media Group ... purchased a group annuity contract ... to transfer $117 million in assets ... [and] the benefit-paying responsibility of certain plan participants in [one of its Tribune Media plans] to the undisclosed insurer[.]"  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Social Security: Removing the Taxable Maximum and Long-Term Program Solvency

"Raising or removing the taxable earnings base is one policy change that would increase the revenue of the Social Security program and reduce the projected long-term deficit. In the past decade, however, the estimated percentage of the long-term funding shortfall that would be eliminated by raising or removing the taxable earnings base has generally decreased." [CRS Insight IN11789, Nov. 4, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]


A Proposal: Simplifying the QDRO Process Through Common-Sense Disclosure Rights for Former Spouses (PDF)

16 pages. "[F]or divorced or separated spouses who have not yet procured a QDRO, the only means of acquiring ... needed documents are obtaining a subpoena or seeking assistance from the [DOL]. These unnecessarily cumbersome processes could be largely avoided if ERISA regulations were simplified[.]" [Editor's note: Attorney Emily Spreiser, former Legal Program Director for the Pension Rights Center in Washington DC, is the 2021 winner of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel's prestigious Simplification Award for this paper. The award carries a $10,000 prize.]  MORE >>

Emily Spreiser, via the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Saver Success Specialist
for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings Saver Success Specialist

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings


View job as Saver Success Specialist
for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings

View job as Client Success Specialist
for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings Client Success Specialist

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings


View job as Client Success Specialist
for Ubiquity Retirement + Savings

View job as Supervisory Legal Administrative Specialist - DE
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Supervisory Legal Administrative Specialist - DE

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Remote / Washington DC

View job as Implementation Manager
for Micruity Implementation Manager



Selected New Discussions

Distributions to Active Participants Done Without Plan Termination

"Sponsor has a PS plan. Sponsor intended to merge (or terminate the existing plan and join -- it's not clear) with another group of plans and add 401k feature. Sponsor, without taking any formal action, provides distributions to all participants, mostly active employees. All happened in May of 2021. Sponsor decides not to join the other group and continue with his PS plan and also amend for 2022 by adding 401k feature. What can be done here to correct all?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Owner's Spouse Terminates Employment; Can Continue as a Trustee?

"Owner-only plan's spouse has terminated employment so is now a terminated vested participant. Is it common in this situation to remove the spouse as the second trustee on the plan?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Rehired Participant Wants Distribution Due to 1-Day Termination of Employment

"A participant left employment for 1 day and then was rehired. She's still employed. She wants to take her money out of the 401k plan due to her being unemployed for that 1 day. Because she's back in service, that wouldn't be legal, correct? No other in-service withdrawal provisions apply."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Wellbeats Rolls Out Inclusive Fitness Content Designed to Encourage Physical Activity and Creativity for Kids


Ascensus and Newport Group to Combine and Create a Leading Provider in Tax-Advantaged Savings


Manatt Health Introduces the No Surprises Act Toolkit


Groom Recognized in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers 'Best Law Firms' 2022 List

Groom Law Group

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Advanced ERISA Litigation Seminar 2021

November 9, 2021 WEBCAST

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

The Fiduciary Rule Rides Again

November 10, 2021 WEBCAST


DOL Investigations of Employee Benefit Plans: Responding to Enforcement Actions, Audits, and Settlements

November 10, 2021 WEBCAST


New Proposed ESG and Proxy Voting Guidance – Will it Change Plan Investments?

November 19, 2021 WEBCAST

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Misuse of Participant Confidential Data

The Wagner Law Group

IRS Gives Pandemic Tips on Rehiring Retirees, In-Service Distributions


'Disregarded Entities,' 403(b)s and 457(b)s

Retirement Learning Center, LLC

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

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