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Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 28, 2021

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon DOL to Begin Enforcement of New Fiduciary Advice Exemption

"Advisers should begin gearing up to ensure their compliance with the Impartial Conduct Standards well ahead of the January 31, 2022 ... While most firms are currently operating in compliance with a best interest or fiduciary standard ... adjustments to policies and procedures are still likely needed. In fact, the DOL has stated that firms complying with current standards under Regulation Best Interest (Reg-BI) or the Advisers Act may not necessarily be in compliance with PTE 2020-02."  MORE >>


CRS 'In Focus': A Visual Depiction of the Shift from DB to DC Pension Plans in the Private Sector

"[O}ver the past five decades ... private-sector employees have become less likely to be covered by defined benefit (DB) pension plans and more likely to be covered by defined contribution (DC) pension plans. Among all private-sector workers, 68% had access to either a DB or DC plan (or both) in 2021. Among these workers, 15% had access to a DB plan, 65% had access to a DC plan, and some had access to both." [IF12007, Dec. 27, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Statistics on the Current Retirement Income Market in the United States

"[1] There are 55 million retirees in the U.S. (accounting for 19% of the population), a number that will increase to 71 million by 2030 and 77 million by 2035 ... [2] Retirees drew nearly $2 trillion in income in 2019, at an average of $33,277 per retiree....[3] Retirees and Boomer households yet to retire own 74% of all investable assets -- about $34 trillion.... [4] 71% (about 99 million) of American civilians had access to a workplace retirement plan in 2020, representing little growth in access since 2016 (70%)."  MORE >>

401(k) Specialist

CRS 'In Focus': Private-Sector Pensions in 2019: Number of Plans, Participants, and Amount of Assets

"Most plans (93.6%) in 2019 were DC plans, but a little over three-fourths of participants (75.9%) were in DC plans.... Most pension plans (99.7%) -- covering 89.1% of participants -- were single-employer or multiple-employer plans. More than two-thirds (69.3%) of the assets in private-sector plans were in single-employer DC plans. In 2019, single-employer DC plans held $7.2 trillion in assets." [IF12008, Dec. 27, 2021]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Roth 401(k) Availability Grows Rapidly

"The percentage of 401(k) plans offering the option grew to 86% in 2020, up from 75% in 2019 and 49% a decade ago ... The largest employers are most likely to offer the option -- about 91% of 401(k) plans with more than 5,000 savers have a Roth feature."  MORE >>


Inflation Seen as Biggest Risk to Americans' Retirement Plans in 2022

"[A] full one-quarter of Americans now view rising inflation as the single greatest risk to their retirement plans, more than doubling from 2020 (8%). This focus on inflation is significantly higher than other risks to retirement, many of which saw a significant decline in concern from 2020[.]"  MORE >>

Cash Balance Plans Becoming More Popular

"They are viewed as less risky than traditional DB plans, easier to manage, easier for employees to understand, and are more popular in certain industries than in others."  MORE >>

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Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Final Revisions to Instructions for 2021 Forms 5500 and 5500-SF (Annual Information Return/Reports)

29 pages. "This document contains final revisions to the instructions for the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan and Form 5500-SF Short Form Annual Return/Report of Small Employee Benefit Plan effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2021. These final revisions to the instructions were included in a broader proposal of form and instruction changes published on September 15, 2021. The limited number of instruction changes in this document implement annual reporting changes for multiple-employer plans (including pooled employer plans) that result from statutory provisions in section 101 of the [SECURE Act]. The other changes to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report included in the September 2021 proposal will be the subject of one or more separate and later final notices.... The final instruction revisions in this document are effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2021."  MORE >>

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

Is Biden's EBSA Nominee Doomed?

"[T]he full Senate has not acted on her nomination, and prior to adjourning the first session of the 117th Congress for the holiday break, [Lisa Gomez] was among several nominees whose nominations will not be allowed to carry over into the second session. They must be resubmitted after the new session convenes in early January and the hearing/approval process repeated."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Financial Processor (Distributions Specialist)
for Retirement Solutions Specialists Financial Processor (Distributions Specialist)

Retirement Solutions Specialists

Remote / Jacksonville FL

View job as Financial Processor (Distributions Specialist)
for Retirement Solutions Specialists

View job as Senior Plan Consultant
for Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group Senior Plan Consultant

Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group

Remote / Wakefield MA

View job as Senior Plan Consultant
for Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group

View job as Legal Administrative Specialist (Legal Operations)
for Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Legal Administrative Specialist (Legal Operations)

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Remote / Washington DC

Selected New Discussions

Is an Investment Advisor Who Gets No Fee an ERISA Plan's Fiduciary?

"I hope neighbors will help me provide without-fee legal advice to someone who would, without fee, provide her investment advice to a charitable organization's ERISA-governed retirement plan. The advisor would render advice about (but not decide) investment alternatives for an individual-account plan that provides participant-directed investment. The advisor would have no authority, discretionary or even non-discretionary, to implement her advice. The advisor is not registered with the [SEC] or any State's regulator because she is not, 'for compensation, engage[d] in the business of advising others[.]' Investment Advisers Act of 1940 Section 202(a)(11), 15 U.S.C. Section 80b-2(a)(11)."

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Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

ESG: A New Chapter for Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

January 20, 2022 WEBCAST

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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Motley Fool

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Appellate Court Affirms Right of Retirees to Sue for Underfunding of Church-Affiliated DB Plan

The Daily Gazette

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

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