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Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 31, 2021

5 New Job Opportunities 5 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Determination Letter Program, Then and Now (PDF)

"The IRS determination letter program (Form 5300) is a cornerstone of the favorable tax treatment for individually designed qualified plans.... The program has undergone changes over the years, but it remains an invaluable benefit to plan sponsors that offer custom-designed tax-favored plans."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group, via Taxes the Tax Magazine

[Guidance Overview]

Stock Plans: International Reporting Requirements (PDF)

"This White Paper highlights some of the principal annual or quarterly reporting requirements for employee stock plans that multinational companies most commonly encounter when offering these programs to their employees in selected jurisdictions worldwide. A chart summarizing these items [is included]."  MORE >>

Jones Day

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Shuts Down U.S.-Malta Treaty-Based Pension Tax Shelter

"[A] competent authority arrangement (CAA) between the US and Malta.... [states] that it is the understanding of both countries' tax authorities that a fund, scheme or arrangement is not operated principally to provide pension or retirement benefits, and thus not a pension fund for treaty purposes, if it allows participants to contribute property other than cash, or does not limit contributions by reference to income earned from employment and self-employment activities."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Court Enforces DOL Subpoena Seeking ERISA Plan's Cybersecurity Information

"The subpoena is part of an investigation into the service provider after it allegedly processed unauthorized distributions as a result of cybersecurity breaches relating to its ERISA plan clients. Moreover, it is alleged that the service provider, Alight Solutions, did not immediately report the cyber breaches and the related unauthorized distributions to its clients after Alight discovered the breaches and instead waited months to notify the affect plans." [Walsh v. Alight Solutions, LLC, No. 20-2138 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 28, 2021)]  MORE >>

Hodgson Russ LLP

6% of Pay Becomes Most Common 401(k) Default Deferral Rate

"For the first time, the most common default deferral rate is now 6% of pay (32.9%) rather than the 3% of pay that has been the norm since 2006 (29% of plans)."  MORE >>

401(k) Specialist

Benefits in General

What to Keep on Your Radar, and a Wish List for 2022

"[1] The Supreme Court could limit 401(k) and 403(b) fee litigation.... [2] More about surprise billing and health care ... [3] Amendments and more amendments to pension plans.... [4] New legislation.... [5] Changes to Trump administration investment guidance.... [6] Clarification of arbitration rules? ... [7] Cryptocurrency as a plan investment.... [8] Cybersecurity will continue to take center stage."  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

In Memoriam: John Mark Vine

"John Mark Vine of Washington, DC, passed away on Wednesday, December 1, 2021.... He came to Washington to clerk for Judge Arnold Raum on the U.S. Tax Court and spent the remainder of his legal career at Covington & Burling, where he was instrumental in shaping important aspects of [ERISA] following its passage in 1974.... In addition to his groundbreaking work in the areas of employee benefits and executive compensation, John was a model and teacher for generations of younger lawyers."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as PCS Retirement
for Legal Counsel PCS Retirement

Legal Counsel


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

FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Remote / Boston MA / CT / ME / NH / RI

View job as Plan Administrator
for BlueStar Retirement Services Inc. Plan Administrator

BlueStar Retirement Services Inc.


View job as Pension Administrator
for Retirement Plan Administrators, LLC Pension Administrator

Retirement Plan Administrators, LLC

Atlanta GA / Savannah GA / Augusta GA

View job as Employee Benefits Investigator (English or Spanish Bilingual); Also: Recent Graduates
for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA] Employee Benefits Investigator (English or Spanish Bilingual); Also: Recent Graduates

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Remote / San Francisco CA / Atlanta GA / Chicago IL / Kansas City MO / Covington KY / Philadelphia PA / Boston MA / Dallas TX / Silver Spring MD / Fort Lauderdale FL / Seattle WA / New York NY / Silver Spring MD

Selected New Discussions

Is This Person Excludable from the Participation Test?

"Cash balance plan (half of a combo) had 6 eligible employees during the year. One of them terminated with fewer than 500 hours. And the plan requires 1000 hours for an accrual. Seems easy... but the plan has separate classes for the contribution credits, and her class always gets zero. Did she fail to accrue solely based on the lack of hours?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Operation of Plan Provisions for Otherwise Excludable Employees

"Does the 'otherwise excludable employee' provision consist of two options: [1] Otherwise Excludable Employees -- where any employee HCE or NHCE is removed from testing, thus two tests -- one for everyone meeting max age and service, and one for those who are otherwise excludable under max age and service. [2] Early Participation rule -- where you only exclude the NHCEs who have not met max age and service but would keep any HCE who has not met max age and service in the testing with everyone who met max age and service."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Text of Instructions for IRS Form 8950: Application for Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) Under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Cash Balance Plans: Advantages and Disadvantages

Retirement Management Services, LLC

Auditing Standard SAS 136: Raising the Bar for Retirement Plan Sponsor Fiduciary Committees


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

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