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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 10, 2022

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

SEC Staff Publishes Statement Regarding Form CRS Disclosures

"Among the Committee's observations ... [1] firms are not permitted to include disclosures in the relationship summary beyond those that are required or permitted by the Form CRS instructions ... [2] firms must summarize the principal fees and costs that retail investors will incur; [3] investment adviser firms that offer wrap fee programs must adequately describe these programs ... and [4] firms must disclose how their professionals are paid and describe potential conflicts related to such compensation in a way that helps investors understand how conflicts may impact a financial advisor's motivation."  MORE >>

Shearman & Sterling LLP


The Basics You Need for Success!

Are you new to the retirement plan industry or a professional looking for a review? ASCi’s Fundamentals of Qualified Retirement Plans 5-Part Series will give you a solid foundation in the rules applicable to qualified retirement plans. Register Now!

Sponsored by ASC

T. Rowe Price to Pay $7 Million, Add Brokerage Window to 401(k)

"The deal carries a total value of $18 million and provides all class members with minimum payments of $20 and additional money based on the size of their investments in the 39 T. Rowe Price funds challenged by the lawsuit ... The settlement also reflects a $6.6 million payment T. Rowe Price made to more than 6,000 class members in 2019." [Feinberg v. T. Rowe Price Group, Inc., No. 17-0427, (D. Md. proposed settlement agreement Jan. 7, 2022)]  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

Considerations for Plan Sponsors Mulling SDBAs

"While the current environment appears ripe for self-directed brokerage accounts (SDBAs) as various plan participants welcome the opportunity to select investments that reflect their values and priorities, plan sponsors should carefully consider the tradeoffs, a new study suggests."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Employer Support Makes Meaningful Difference in Boosting Employee Financial Wellness

"Employees who have taken part in an employer-sponsored financial wellness program ... are twice as likely as other employees to have a high financial wellness score ... They also are much more confident about their progress on key markers of good retirement planning ... Those benefits hold true especially for Gen Z workers[.]"  MORE >>


Transferring Risk Through Annuity Purchases for Retirees

"Even if you cannot afford plan termination, there may be several ways to mitigate your risk by reducing size, cost or volatility associated with your pension plan. One common strategy in recent years is a risk transfer transaction through the purchase of annuities for retirees[.]"  MORE >>


Pension Briefing, December 2021

"Discount rates continued to inch higher with Treasury yields making the biggest moves. Equity returns were once again up, despite concerns from the Omicron variant. Most plan sponsors should see positive funded status improvements during December and meaningful increases since the beginning of the year."  MORE >>

River and Mercantile

SFA Update from PBGC: Six New Multiemployer Plans

"The PBGC Special Financial Assistance program for troubled multiemployer plans ... [has added] six new plans with three others withdrawing and refiling while one simply withdrew. That sorts out to 2 approved and 25 under review."  MORE >>


New Mexico Issues RFI for Retirement Plan Marketplace

"The New Mexico State Treasurer's Office has announced that it is developing protocols by which financial service providers will be approved to offer retirement savings plans to individuals, small businesses and employees through the Work and $ave Retirement Plan Marketplace."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Factoring Inflation Into Your Retirement Plan

"Social Security, pension income and annuity payments provide guaranteed income for life and become the foundation of your plan.... While occasional 'corrections' in financial markets grab headlines and are cause for concern, you can manage your income plan by reducing your income's dependence on these returns.... [Y]ou need to build in an explicit margin for inflation risk on your total income. The easiest way to do that is to accept lower income at the start."  MORE >>



While Teachers Agitate for Remote Teaching, They Should Remember Their Underfunded Pensions

"Some teachers unions, such as in Chicago, are pushing for remote schooling as omicron cases of COVID spread.... Teachers and their union representatives need to think longer-term -- they may minorly reduce a short-term risk of a disease most of them (vaccinated) can deal with, while greatly increase the risk of undermining the future of their pension funds [due to people moving away from the cities or states]."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

Text of DOL Inspector General Report to Congress, Including Findings and Recommendations for EBSA (PDF)

116 pages. "OIG continues to recommend the following legislative actions: [1] Repeal ERISA's limited-scope audit exemption.... [2] Expand the authority of [EBSA] to correct substandard benefit plan audits and ensure that auditors with poor records do not perform additional plan audits.... [3] Require direct reporting of ERISA violations to DOL ... [4] Strengthen criminal penalties.... The OIG remains concerned over [EBSA's] ability to protect the benefit plans of about 158 million workers, retirees, and their families under [ERISA]. In particular, the OIG is concerned about the statutory limitations on EBSA's oversight authority and inadequate resources to conduct compliance and enforcement."  MORE >>

Office of Inspector General [OIG] for the U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Creating a Communication Strategy to Increase Benefits Literacy Among Your Employees

"Typically, the conversation about benefits is a once per year event, and usually only over the brief course of Open Enrollment. Employees use their benefits 365 days a year, so developing a communication and education strategy that is ongoing will maximize their benefits and allow both them and the employer to get the most bang for their buck."  MORE >>

Assured Partners

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as 401k Testing Analyst
for Slavic401k 401k Testing Analyst


Remote / AL / AR / FL / GA / IL / MA / MI / MS / NC / NJ / OH / OK / TN / TX / VA

View job as Economist
for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] Economist

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

Remote / Bethesda MD / Woodlawn MD

View job as Health Insurance Specialist
for Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS] Health Insurance Specialist

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS]

Remote / Bethesda MD / Woodlawn MD

View job as Retirement Operations Specialist
for Alerus Retirement Operations Specialist


Remote / MN

Selected New Discussions

2021 RMD for Over-72 Participant

"We have a participant who terminated service in 2020. He is 75 years old and not a 5% owner (so he didn't have to take any RMDs in the past). I understand that he did not have to take the first RMD for 2020 due to the CARES Act Waiver. However, what is the date by which he had to take the 2021 RMD. Would it be 12/31/2021 or 4/1/2022?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Service with Temp Agency -- Treatment Under Relius Corbel Document

"By any chance can someone point me to the language in the Relius Corbel Doc that includes the provision to recognize the service of a temp-to-hire performed under the agency, i.e., 414(n)(4)(B)? This is the provision that says that if someone is under the primary direction and control of the recipient, pursuant to an agreement, but does NOT meet the 'substantially full time for a year' requirement, we nonetheless need to recognize their service for eligibility and vesting."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Make-Up Contributions Allowed Under This 457(b) Plan?

"Non-governmental 457(b) plan. Participant becomes eligible in 2021 and is age 62. NRA is age 65. Because participant is within 3 years of NRA, the participant can make a catch-up contribution. Because there is no under-utilized amounts from prior years (given that the first year of participation is 2021), is the participant able to make catch-up contributions?

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Cohen & Buckmann adds BNY Mellon Leader in Executive Compensation to Firm

Cohen & Buckmann P.C.

Vanguard Expands Target Retirement Lineup for Youngest Retirement Investors


Groom Law Group Announces New Principal

Groom Law Group

Central PA 401(k), by Conrad Siegel Launches for Small Businesses

Conrad Siegel

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

ERISA Benefit Claim Procedure and Litigation: Best Practices and Strategy to Avoid Potential Pitfalls

January 18, 2022 WEBCAST

Western Pension & Benefits Council - San Diego Chapter

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

CPAs Shift Audit Risk to Plan Fiduciaries

Roland Criss

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

Russell Investments

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

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