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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 6, 2022

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Wants to 'Remove Barriers' to Consideration of ESG Factors in Investment and Proxy Voting Decisions (PDF)

"[The] administration's proposed rule ... encourages consideration of ESG concerns through four significant changes regarding the selection and monitoring of investments and by reviving previous guidance regarding the exercise of shareholder rights."  MORE >>

King & Spalding vie Employee Benefit Plan Review

[Guidance Overview]

Alert (High Risk Issue) icon California School District 403(b) Plans and Participant-Directed Investments

"[T]he potential downside of a failure to comply with [California Government Code] section 53213.5 -- potential liability for participants' investment losses -- should be enough to cause all California public employers that sponsor participant-directed plans to attempt to comply. Due to the ready availability, and relative comprehensiveness, of the 404(c) Rules, it isn't that difficult for a public agency to attempt to follow the 404(c) Rules and thereby, arguably, comply with section 53123.5."  MORE >>

Best Best & Krieger LLP

A Better Bang for the Buck: Post-Retirement Experience Drives Cost Advantage for DB Plans Over DC Plans (PDF)

31 pages. "A typical DB plan has a 49 percent cost advantage compared to a typical individually directed DC plan because of longevity risk pooling, asset allocation, low fees and professional management.... A DB pension plan costs 27 percent less than an 'ideal' DC plan, with below-average fees and no individual investor deficiencies.... In other words, a typical DC plan costs nearly twice as much to provide the same level of retirement benefit as a DB plan, with four-fifths of the difference occurring post-retirement."  MORE >>

National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

Practical Implications of DOL's Latest Private Equity Statement

"The [DOL's] supplemental statement is a tonal shift rather than a substantive change that reflects the continuing courtship for defined contribution plans and private equity investments.... The Biden tone is unlikely to greatly change the approach plan sponsors are taking to include PE in DC plans by adding options for participants' investments exposures to potentially higher-returning investments."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

'Group of Plans' or Defined Contribution Group Plans

"Generally, MEPs and PEPs allow more than one employer to participate in a single retirement plan. In contrast, GoPs allow several employers each with their own defined contribution plan to file a single Form 5500 for the collection of plans, if they have the same trustee, named fiduciary, administrator, plan year and investment options."  MORE >>

Retirement Learning Center, LLC

New York State Fines Pacific Life for Pension Risk Transfer Violations

"New York state investigations ... found that, in 2016 and 2019, the company bid on and won two large transactions with a New York-based sponsor, in violation of state insurance laws.... This enforcement action is the third penalty from DFS against unlicensed insurance businesses that have solicited and engaged in violations connected to PRT businesses. "  MORE >>


Pension Finance Update, December 2021

"Pension finances improved in December due to higher stock markets and higher interest rates. Both model plans ... gained ground last month: Plan A improved almost 2% in December, ending the year up 11%, while the more conservative Plan B gained less than 1% last month, ending 2021 up 3%. Overall, 2021, was the best year for pensions since 2013 and the second-best year this century."  MORE >>

October Three Consulting

Q4 2021 Pension Monitor

"The funded status of most U.S. corporate pension plans increased in the fourth quarter, driven by strong asset class returns. With Treasury yields flattening and credit spreads inching higher, estimated plan liabilities based on long-duration fixed-income yields remained stable in the three months ended December 31.... During the fourth quarter, the funded status of a total-return plan increased 4% and the LDI-focused plan funded status rose 4.5%."  MORE >>


What Lower Withdrawal Rates Mean for Retirement Savings

"Ratcheting down the sustainable withdrawal rate has major implications for retirement savers. On the positive side, investors who are currently close to retirement age have benefited from favorable market tailwinds over the past three to four decades. But younger investors may need to save considerably more to build up enough savings to sustain withdrawals when they eventually retire."  MORE >>


A Month-By-Month Guide to Retiring by the End of 2022

"If you're planning to retire at the end of 2022, congratulations -- now get ready to get busy. With less than a year to go and counting, you've got more to do than you could possibly imagine in the next 50 weeks or so. With so many T's to cross and I's to dot, you'll have to spread out the load across all 12 months -- this article will show you how."  MORE >>

MSN News

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Agencies Release 2021 Form 5500 Series with Instruction Changes Finalized by DOL

"The preamble to the DOL's action finalizing its revisions to the 2021 instructions notes that other changes in the September 2021 proposal -- i.e., those with later effective dates -- will be finalized later in one or more separate actions. As a reminder, the informational copies of Form 5500 cannot be used for filing; Forms 5500 and 5500-SF must be filed electronically."  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

How The ERISA Landscape May Shift This Year (PDF)

"Within the next few months, the U.S. Supreme Court will weigh in for the first time on the pleading standard for challenges to excessive fees in retirement plans.... At the circuit court level, there were important new decisions in 2021 regarding the enforceability of arbitration agreements and class action waivers under ERISA, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit agreed to hear an important interlocutory appeal regarding whether defined contribution plan participants can challenge investment options in which they were not invested. And there continues to be a steady flow of health plan-related lawsuits in several areas, including with respect to [COBRA] notices and mental health parity."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group, via Law360

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Account Manager
for Pentegra Account Manager


Remote / West Harrison NY

View job as Account Manager
for Pentegra

View job as Client Service Specialist
for EPIC RPS Client Service Specialist


IL / IN / MA / MD / ME / NC / NH / NY / PA / TN / VA / VT

View job as Client Service Specialist

View job as Senior Retirement Plan Consultant
for July Business Services Senior Retirement Plan Consultant

July Business Services

Remote / Waco TX

Selected New Discussions

Both Companies Are Foreign-Owned -- Results in a Controlled Group for 401(k) Purposes?

"Company A is 100% owned by a non-US company. Company B is 100% owned by the same non-US company. Is there a controlled group for 401k purposes?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Did the Death Rate Skyrocket in 2021?

"The CEO of OneAmerica Life insurance company said in 2021 deaths were up 40%. The most in history he said. It was surprising because I had heard death claims were up 1.5%. He said all life insurance companies have experienced the same increase. Does anyone have information that refutes or supports this 2021 statistic?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

New 5500 Search Website is Pretty Cool!

"The new Form 5500 Search web site from the DOL is pretty cool! See

The interface is much better and there is a new feature to allow filtering by all sorts of criteria."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

W-4P or W-4R for RMDs?

"I always assumed that W-4P was used for RMDs. I just became aware of the existence of W-4R. W-4P is for periodic distribs from a plan and the -4R is for non-periodic payments. Are RMDs considered periodic from DC plans?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Backdating Plan Amendments

"I am advising a TPA firm that unfortunately had an employee who helped backdate a plan amendment for a plan customer. This means that the plan client and TPA missed a plan amendment deadline but backdated the signature date to be within the deadline. This happened fairly recently. The question is, how to correct this."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Domestic Relations Order Assigns Part of Alternate Payee's Benefits Back to Participant

"Short DRO incorporates the much longer Marital Settlement Agreement by reference. The MSA awards 50% of the funds accrued from date of marriage to date of the divorce, adjusted for earnings (marital portion). The MSA further states that participant shall receive $20,000 from the alternate payee's share of the marital portion of participant's retirement account by virtue of the same DRO that divides the marital portion. I may be grumpy due to the lazy DRO which made me go through the MSA to find the relevant language, but this doesn't sound right to me."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

NFP Acquires Improved Funding Techniques Inc., Expanding Retirement Footprint in Northeast Region

NFP Corp.

Global Retirement Technology Provider Smart Enters Into Agreement to Acquire Stadion Money Management


DOL Recovers More Than $9.3 Million for Minnesota Employee Stock Ownership Plan After Investigation Finds Plan Overpaid for Shares

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

EBRI Announces Volunteer Leadership Changes

EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

Hub International Enhances Employee Benefits and Retirement Services with Acquisition of Raffa Financial Services, Inc. in Maryland

HUB International

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Better Bang for the Buck 3.0

January 13, 2022 WEBCAST

National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

Developments in Retirement Plan Investment and Excessive Fee Litigation: A View From the Trenches

March 2, 2022 WEBCAST


Form 5500 Workshop

March 16, 2022 WEBCAST

FIS Retirement Education

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

2022 Retirement Plan Compliance Calendars for DB and DC Plans


Text of IRS Rev. Proc. 2022-4: Procedures for Requests for Determination Letters and Private Letter Rulings from TE/GE Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements Office (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

New 2022 IRS Life Expectancy Tables

Slott Report

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

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