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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 7, 2022

7 New Job Opportunities 7 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Comprehensive Premium Filing Instructions for 2022 Plan Years (PDF)

68 pages. "This document provides information for plans paying premiums for plan years beginning in 2022, including instructions for each data element that must be reported.... If you are filing for a previous year or amending a filing for a previous year, you must follow the instructions for that year ... However, because contact information and information about electronic funds transfers change periodically, the most recent information should be used instead of the information included in an instructions booklet for a prior plan year."  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Official Guidance]

Draft of IRS Publication 590-B: Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), for Use in Preparing 2021 Returns (PDF)

"What's New: [1] Life expectancy tables updated.... [2] Form 8915-F replaces Form 8915-E for reporting qualified 2020 disaster distributions and repayments of those distributions made in 2021 and 2022... [3] Qualified charitable distributions (QCDs) may be reduced."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of EBSA Proposed Exemption for Certain Prohibited Transaction Restrictions Involving Credit Suisse Group AG

"This document provides notice of the pendency before the [DOL] of a proposed individual exemption from certain of the prohibited transaction restrictions of [ERISA] and/or the Internal Revenue Code ... If this proposed exemption is granted, certain entities with specified relationships to Credit Suisse AG (CSAG) and Credit Suisse Securities (Europe) Limited (CSSEL) will not be precluded from relying on the exemptive relief provided by Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 84-14, notwithstanding the judgments of conviction against CSAG and CSSEL[.]"  MORE >>

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

[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Notice: Appointment of Performance Review Board Members

"The following individuals have been designated as members of PBGC's 2021 Performance Review Board: [1] Gordon Hartogensis, Director; [2] Kristin Chapman, Chief of Staff; [3] David Foley, Chief of Benefits Administration; [4] Patricia Kelly, Chief Financial Officer; [5] Alice Maroni, Chief Management Officer."  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

100% ESOP-Owned Government Contractors Eligible for Sole Source Awards on Follow-On Contracts

"[The National Defense Authorization Act] ... creates a Department of Defense pilot program which allows companies that are or become 100% ESOP-owned to qualify for a sole source award on a follow-on contract. This is a game-changer for ESOP-owned government contractors."  MORE >>

Kaufman & Canoles, P.C.

PEPs: A New Outsourcing Plan Option for Employers

"While PEPs can shift a lot of responsibility from the employer to the PPP and plan investment fiduciaries, adopting a PEP is not a get-out-of-jail-free card for employers. They must still prudently select the PEP and its array of service providers, evaluating conflict and risk mitigation, and all PEPs are not equal. There are professionals who can assist in this process. Also, if an employer has a qualification problem, it must respond to correct it, as directed by the PPP."  MORE >>

Carol Buckmann, via RPA Convergence

DC Plans: Top Ten Strategies for In-House Fiduciary Committees in 2022 (PDF)

"This paper first reviews strategies to navigate the onerous legal and regulatory issues faced by plan fiduciaries today, which will understandably take precedent over any other plan consideration. [It then examines] tactics to better fund future 'liabilities,' including increasing savings and creating more efficient investment strategies for both active participants and retirees, with an overall objective of increasing the likelihood that employees will have successful retirement outcomes."  MORE >>

Russell Investments

Write This Down ... Participants Have to Follow the Plan's Beneficiary Designation Procedures

"If the participant was clear and followed the plan's procedures for naming a beneficiary, the fiduciaries of the plan are bound by ERISA to follow that result.... The plan language may have requirements or exceptions. For example, some plans will provide that a divorce automatically revokes a beneficiary designation that was previously filed. Any specific rules or exceptions found in the plan language must be followed scrupulously by the fiduciaries."  MORE >>

Holland & Hart LLP

Supreme Court Poised to Decide What Allegations Make the Grade in University Fee Case, with Broader Implications for ERISA Retirement Plan Fiduciaries

"At oral argument in Hughes, the Justices grappled with several interrelated issues that will shape whether, and how high, they set the bar for excessive fee claims: [1] What's the standard for prudent fiduciary conduct? ... [2] Excessive fees versus excessive options.... [3] What is an appropriate comparator?.... [4] Are subsequent plan changes fair game?" [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 18-2569 (7th Cir. Mar. 25, 2020; oral arg. transcript Dec. 6, 2021)]  MORE >>

King & Spalding

New Defendants Added in Refiled ERISA Complaint

"[T]he new complaint levels allegations against several financial services providers involved in the operation of the retirement plan in question ... It also includes new allegations against the plan sponsor for alleged failures in its process of monitoring the actions and performance of these providers.... [It alleges] that certain advisory professionals ... were not properly licensed or were not otherwise in good standing with regulators but were nonetheless still allowed by the plan sponsor defendants -- which include various individuals and plan committees -- to work with the plan and its participants." [Fleming v. Rollins, Inc., No. 21-5343 (N.D. Ga. complaint filed Dec. 30, 2021)]  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

What Will Retirees and Their Financial Advisors Do, Now That the 4% Rule Is Dead?

"Despite the demise of the 4% Rule implied in Dr. Finke's article title, ... the 4% Rule, and its many iterations and 'safe withdrawal rate' cousins, are, unfortunately, not dead. The rule is just too popular with retirees, financial advisors and the financial services media to be killed.... [The authors] recommend a dynamic actuarial approach that involves building a Floor Portfolio of non-risky investments to match household investment risk with household spending (in)flexibility."  MORE >>

Ken Steiner, FSA Retired


'Do No Harm' Is Not Nearly Enough for Plan Sponsors

"Under the fiduciary standard, plan sponsors can't default to simplistic rules of thumb when selecting investments for a retirement plan.... Benefits to plan participants, not litigation risk or convenience, should be [the] focus.... Active or passive, plan sponsors have the same responsibility.... Active and passive are not diametrically opposed.... Active investments add value.... Plan sponsors should focus on 'value for cost' of specific investments."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon CPAs Shift Audit Risk to Plan Fiduciaries

"Auditing standard SAS 136 ... [adds] new procedures to CPAs' audits beginning December 15, 2021. The burden for producing the added plan-related documentation required will likely fall to employers' human resources departments. SAS 136 transfers a significant amount of liability for an audit's accuracy from an auditor to a plan's fiduciaries, increasing the need for error-free payroll files and impeccable compliance in areas like compensation, distributions, and vendors' fees."  MORE >>

Roland Criss

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Great Lakes Pension Associates, Inc. Retirement Plan Administrator

Great Lakes Pension Associates, Inc.


View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Great Lakes Pension Associates, Inc.

View job as Legal Assistant / Paralegal / Plan Document Specialist
for Witman Stadtmauer, P.A. Legal Assistant / Paralegal / Plan Document Specialist

Witman Stadtmauer, P.A.

Remote / Florham Park NJ

View job as Compliance Consultant I, Retirement and Compliance
for CUNA Mutual Group Compliance Consultant I, Retirement and Compliance

CUNA Mutual Group


View job as Testing Specialist I
for FuturePlan, by Ascensus Testing Specialist I

FuturePlan, by Ascensus


View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Hilb Group Retirement Plan Administrator

Hilb Group


View job as Retirement Plan Director
for Unitarian Universalist Association Retirement Plan Director

Unitarian Universalist Association

Remote / Boston MA

View job as Tax Exempt Retirement Plan Interpreter
for Nova 401(k) Associates Tax Exempt Retirement Plan Interpreter

Nova 401(k) Associates

Remote / Houston TX / Dallas TX / Scottsdale AZ

Selected New Discussions

Dental Practice with 3 Plans

"A dental office consisting of two dentists and about 5-6 employees. Currently there is one profit sharing plan and all the money is pooled. Each dentist wants to take his portion of the pooled account and open up a new plan (not account, but plan) as well as creating a new plan (not account, but plan) with a pooled account for the participants. Does not make any sense to me, keep the existing plan and amend to allow for individuals to direct their own investments; but the dentists do not want to do that. Is this discriminatory?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Money Purchase Plan Can Receive a 401(k) Plan's Safe Harbor Contribution?

"I understand that a safe harbor contribution can be made to a plan other than the plan where the 401(k) salary deferral was made. Is a money purchase plan considered an eligible plan to receive a safe harbor contribution? I guess I am getting hung up on the pension aspect and minimum funding standard of a money purchase plan."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

SMM Needed When Plan Amended to Name a New Trustee?

"Plan being amended to change trustee (a corporation). Would you do an SMM or not?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

The Ol' Multiple Use Test

"Happened to walk by my old DC-2 study guide and saw those words flip by and wondered if I remembered what it meant. Luckily yes. Anyone got any favorite no-longer-rules they miss? 415(e) perhaps?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Lincoln Financial Launches New Retirement Plan Participant Experience

Lincoln Financial Group

2021 TIAA Paul A. Samuelson Award Ceremony

TIAA Institute

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Structuring Deferred Compensation: Plan Options and Key Considerations for Employee Benefits Counsel

March 9, 2022 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

MSN News

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

National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

How The ERISA Landscape May Shift This Year (PDF)

Groom Law Group, via Law360

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

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