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Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 7, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon 2021 End of Year Plan Sponsor 'To Do' List: Qualified Retirement Plans

"[This article] covers qualified plan issues ... [and] provides you with a 'To Do' List of items on which you may want to take action before the end of 2021 or in early 2022."  MORE >>

Snell & Wilmer


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

Justices Seem Divided Over Retirement Plan Fees as Lawsuits Pile Up

"The arguments were 'messy and confused,' with no clear agreement on the relevant factual allegations or legal theories up for review [one attorney commented] ... There 'seemed to be some consensus forming' that at least one of the case's claims -- a challenge to the retail share class funds in Northwestern University's retirement plan -- should proceed, while other claims involving the size of the plan's investment lineup and the number of plan record keepers will be rejected[.]"  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

Supreme Court Struggles to Apply 'Twiqbal' in Retirement Plan Fee Cases

"Although a key issue in Plaintiffs' amended complaint was the use of a revenue sharing, rather than a per-participant fee, there was little to no inquiry or recognition by the Justices on the impact of revenue sharing in offsetting fees, as a reason for selecting a more expensive share class as an investment option. Equally surprising was Justice Roberts' line of questioning on the scope of ERISA's fiduciary duty of prudence ... There appeared to be more coalescence on the recordkeeping claim." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 18-2569 (7th Cir. Mar. 25, 2020; oral arg. transcript Dec. 6, 2021)]  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Fourth Circuit Reduces Damages Award in DOL Action Against ESOP Company Owner

"The Fourth Circuit distinguished this case from other cases where courts did not factor in debt cancellation when determining the amount of a defendant's damages. In the cases relied upon by the district court, the debt cancellation was wholly unrelated to the illegitimate transaction. Vinoskey's loan forgiveness had a bearing on the ESOP's loss by reducing its debt." [Walsh v. Vinoskey, No. 20-1252 (4th Cir. Dec. 6, 2021)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

How 401(k) Plan Sponsors Are Addressing the Great Resignation

"Why is it important for plan sponsors to avoid amassing a large number of ex-employee accounts? Over time, there's a chance these former workers could be free-riding the plan at the expense of current employees. To be fair, there's also a chance the combined assets of former and current workers generate lower fees. Still, as a fiduciary, you need to be mindful of the worse case and prepared to act."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Which Pocket? A Guide to Paying Retirement Plan Expenses from Plan Assets

"The retirement plan sponsor ... may have the option to pay for some plan-related expenses out of the assets held in trust for the plan. This may seem like a more appealing option than paying for these expenses from business assets, but how does the sponsor determine which expenses are allowed to be paid from plan assets?"  MORE >>


In $1 Million Retirement Simulation, Investors Choose Annuities

"When investors designed their $1 million portfolio, they allocated approximately 20% ($200,000) to dividend paying stocks, 14% (approximately $145,000) to real estate and 13% ($136,000) to annuities.... The findings contradict the longstanding 60/40 strategy ... An overwhelming majority of investors (85%) are interested in owning an annuity that guarantees lifetime income, or already own one."  MORE >>

Pension Finance Update, November 2021

"Pension finances slipped in November due to lower stock markets. Both model plans ... lost ground last month: Plan A lost almost 2% in November but remains up 10% for the year, while the more conservative Plan B lost 1% last month but is still up more than 2% through the first eleven months of 2021."  MORE >>

October Three Consulting

Alight Solutions 401(k) Index™: November 2021 Observations

"November was another light trading month for 401(k) investors ... There were no days of above-normal activity. Two-thirds of days saw net trading activity favor equity funds over fixed income."  MORE >>

Alight Solutions

Do Retirees Want Constant, Increasing, or Decreasing Consumption?

"On average, household consumption declines about 0.7-0.8 percent a year over retirement. However, consumption for wealthy and healthy households is virtually flat, declining only 0.3 percent a year over their retirement."  MORE >>

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Plan Compliance Analyst (Administrator)
for RPA Plan Compliance Analyst (Administrator)


Remote / Falls Church VA

View job as Plan Compliance Analyst (Administrator)
for RPA

View job as Retirement Relationship Manager - 401(k), 403(b)
for Newport Retirement Relationship Manager - 401(k), 403(b)


Remote / Folsom CA / Saint Petersburg FL / Lake Mary FL / Chicago IL / West Des Moines IA / Overland Park KS / Minneapolis MN / Lake Mary FL / Charlotte NC / Greensboro NC / De Pere WI / La Crosse WI / AZ / CO / GA / MA / MD / MI / MO / NJ / NY / OH / SC / TX / VA

View job as Retirement Plan Services Specialist
for Capital Group Retirement Plan Services Specialist

Capital Group

Remote / Carmel IN / Irvine CA

Selected New Discussions

Are SEP Contributions Included in 401(a)(4) Testing?

"A client sponsored a SEP during 2021 and started a 401(k) plan with new comp in 2021 as well. They made some deposits into the SEP already, I know that these contributions have to be combined for limitation purposes but am not clear if these contributions can be used to satisfy 401(a)(4) testing."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Firm Has Same Employees as Old Firm -- Controlled Group Issue?

"Owner of a professional services firm retires, or almost. All other employees start up a new firm in the same location, same office and start up a new plan. Turns out former owner/retiree is maintaining his old firm for part-time work and still comes to the office. Admin staff still provides services, though currently not clear how much work or if they are getting paid. While reviewing Startup Costs Tax Credit, made me wonder if there is some kind of controlled group issue here, which may affect eligibility for the Tax Credit, as well as nondiscrimination testing, at least."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Hub International Boosts Retirement Capabilities With Acquisition Of The Assets Of Fiducia Group In Pennsylvania

HUB International

PenChecks, ASPPA Announce Expanded Scholarship Program and 2021 Recipients

ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Fundamentals of Qualified Retirement Plans for 2022 - Session 1

January 6, 2022 WEBCAST


Fundamentals of Qualified Retirement Plans for 2022 - Session 2

January 20, 2022 WEBCAST


ERISA Plan Investments in Financial Markets 2022: The Fundamentals

March 22, 2022 WEBCAST

PLI [Practising Law Institute]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Transcript of Supreme Court Oral Argument in Hughes v. Northwestern: Pleading Standards in ERISA Fiduciary Breach Cases (PDF)

Supreme Court of the United States

Meager 2021 Required Amendments List Doesn't Extend SECURE or CARES Act Deadlines


Supreme Court to Consider Obligation of Retirement Plan Sponsors to Pare Investment Options


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

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