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Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 9, 2021

6 New Job Opportunities 6 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon IRS Reminder: Most Retirees Must Take Required Minimum Distributions by December 31

"Individuals who reached 70½ in 2019, (70th birthday was June 30, 2019 or earlier) did not have an RMD due for 2020, but will have to take one by December 31, 2021. Individuals who reach 72 in 2021 (and their 70th birthday was July 1, 2019 or later) have their first RMD due by April 1, 2022."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 76: Mitigation of Conflicts

"Generally speaking, financial institutions have two types of conflicts for this purpose.... For the first category -- where the compensation is shared with the investment professionals -- as a general matter the best interest process (that is also required as a condition of PTE 2020-02) will be the first line of defense.... In some cases, though, that may not be enough.... For the second category -- compensation to the financial institution that is not shared with the investment professionals -- the mitigation involves only the firm's practices."  MORE >>

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon The SECURE Act, RMDs, and Beneficiaries -- Another Wrinkle

"SECURE's legacy exception applies to the designated beneficiary of a participant who died prior to SECURE's effective date (Jan. 1, 2020). However, it ceases to apply upon the death of 'such employee's designated beneficiary who dies after such date.' ... Based on SECURE's language, it appears that the life expectancy payout of a pre-2020 decedent's account is legacied 'forever' if the original account owner and his/her designated beneficiary both died prior to 2020:"  MORE >>

Natalie Choate, via Morningstar

Retirement Survey and Insights Report 2021

"51% of retired survey participants noted they retired earlier than expected and 23% listed health reasons as the primary factor.... Other financial obligations, such as student loans or debt, can impact the ability to save for retirement. This proved true for more than 75% of working participants surveyed.... Twenty-eight percent of retired participants said leaving a steady paycheck was their main concern when entering retirement[.]"  MORE >>

Goldman Sachs

State of Pensions 2021: Pension Trends in an Era of Accelerating Volatility (PDF)

15 pages. "On the surface, the top story of 2021 for public retirement systems would appear to be record setting investment returns. With average returns at 27.5%, this year will always be notable for generating such large asset gains. But the real story is how, even after a $400-500 billion surge in assets, state pension plans as a whole still face a large funding shortfall and might have billions more in unfunded liabilities not yet recognized on their books."  MORE >>


What Happens to the Retirement Plan During a Merger or Acquisition?

"[It's] a lot easier to help a plan sponsor before the close of their business transaction.... [A]fter the transaction occurs, some retirement plan options and decisions will already be made for you ... Service crediting rule for an asset sale ... Service crediting rule for a stock purchase ... Service crediting rule for a merger ... Asset sale example ... Stock purchase example ... M&A and retirement plan FAQs."  MORE >>


Add Value by Helping Plan Sponsors Develop a Fiduciary Calendar

"A good starting point is to develop written procedures for overseeing each aspect of plan management, including the criteria to be examined and used to make decisions, such as when to replace a plan investment alternative or conduct a service provider search. Assigning specific plan governance topics to fiduciary meetings throughout the calendar year is one way plan sponsors can make certain their fiduciary oversight practices are comprehensive, consistent from year to year, and documented."  MORE >>

Newport Group

Do Public Pensions Need a Shift in Investment Strategies?

"A composite of 46 large public funds underperformed a passively investable benchmark by 155 basis points (bps) per year for the 12 years ended June 30, 2020. The composite underperformed the benchmark in 11 years out of 12 ... [T]hat underperformance of 155 bps per year costs stakeholders nearly $70 billion a year."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Benefits in General

Managing Compensation and Benefits in a Competitive Labor Market

"Financial wellness programs are being offered by more organizations ... Non-qualified plans continue to be critical for executive recruiting and retention ... Increased communication around employee benefits, continued remote work opportunities, and training on diversity, equity & inclusion initiatives are the most prevalent employee benefits strategies implemented in 2021.... [E]mployers continue to pass on a greater portion of [health plan] costs to employees through higher premium payments and deductibles, as well as leveraging employee wellness initiatives."  MORE >>

Newport Group

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as VP Sales Consultant (Retirement industry)
for FuturePlan, by Ascensus VP Sales Consultant (Retirement industry)

FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Remote / Charlotte NC

View job as VP Sales Consultant (Retirement industry)
for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

View job as Senior Pension Actuarial Consultant
for Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus Senior Pension Actuarial Consultant

Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus

Remote / Chicago IL

View job as Senior Pension Actuarial Consultant
for Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus

View job as Enrolled Actuary
for FuturePlan, by Ascensus Enrolled Actuary

FuturePlan, by Ascensus


View job as Enrolled Actuary
for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

View job as Senior Actuary
for FuturePlan, by Ascensus Senior Actuary

FuturePlan, by Ascensus


View job as Senior Actuary
for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

View job as Document Specialist
for Economic Group Pension Services (EGPS) Document Specialist

Economic Group Pension Services (EGPS)


View job as Document Manager
for Economic Group Pension Services (EGPS) Document Manager

Economic Group Pension Services (EGPS)


Selected New Discussions

Frozen DB Plan -- Testing for 401(a)(26) Using Accrued-To-Date Method

"3-year-old DB plan (combo tested with a PS plan); hard frozen in early 2021 (before 1000 hours accrued) with no accruals and no further new participants. EOY valuation. Top heavy and PBGC covered. Assume that 401(a)(26) will need to be tested. Any reason why I cannot use accrued-to-date method for 401(a)(26)?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan No Longer Subject to ERISA - No More 5500s Required?

"Client recently discovered they qualify for exemption from 5500 filing as a governmental plan. They currently sponsor an ERISA-exempt 403(b) plan (employee deferrals only) and 401(a) plan with only employer contributions for which they have been filing a 5500. Based on newly discovered governmental plan status they want to freeze the 401(a) plan and have participants rollover their accounts through in-service distributions to the 403(b) plan in 2022. If there are some participants that choose not to rollover their accounts and there are assets still in the plan for the 2022 plan year, what do we do for the 5500?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Statutory or Regulatory Limit on Number of Times a 401(k) Participant Loan Can Be Refinanced?

"Is there a limit to the number of times a loan can be refinanced in a 401(k) plan? I don't see anything in the regulations, but my document provider appears to have default language that limits the number of refinances to two. Could we remove that language without there being an issue?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

402(g) Limit Is Capped by Self-Employed Participant's Earned Income?

"Schedule C Employer who sponsored both a defined benefit plan and a 401(k) plan. The participant, who was over age 50, deferred up to the 402(g) limit each of the five years in question. This individual made contributions to his defined benefit plan each of the years, in the amount of his Schedule C Income less the Self Employment Taxes. The net effect is that he deferred more than 100% of his Earned Income. He obviously exceeded 415 limits and has excess contributions in his 401(k) Plan. However, I did not think that 402(g) was limited by wages. I always thought it was a straight dollar limit. Correct?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Anybody Know About Bank 'Participation Loans'?

"Is anyone familiar with 'Participation Loans' as described below? Can a bank use its profit sharing plan's assets to purchase a portion of a loan from the lead lender?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Alerus Announces Acquisition of Metro Phoenix Bank


Vestwell to Power State Savings Plans for Millions of Savers Through OregonSaves, MyCTSavings, and MarylandSaves Partnerships


McDonald Hopkins Adds Experienced Executive Compensation and Benefits Attorney Elliot Raff to Chicago Office

McDonald Hopkins

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Ethics for Actuaries

December 15, 2021 WEBCAST

American Society of Enrolled Actuaries [ASEA]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

401(k) Annual Administration: A Checklist for 2022

Employee Fiduciary

Justices Settle Into Opposing Camps on Duties of Retirement Plan Sponsors


Exceptions to the Pro-Rata Rule for IRA Distributions: Techniques to 'Isolate Basis'

Slott Report

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

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