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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 21, 2022

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


Class Certified in Lawsuit by 401(k) Plan Trustees Against John Hancock

"The plaintiffs allege John Hancock breached [ERISA] fiduciary duty of loyalty by receiving and retaining foreign tax credits (FTCs) for the international investment options, resulting in an alleged reduction in the value of the plan's assets. The plaintiffs also allege that John Hancock caused the plan to enter into an ERISA-prohibited transaction by not crediting it with the value of the FTCs." [Romano v. John Hancock Life Ins. Co., No. 19-21147 (S.D. Fla. Jan. 14, 2022)]  MORE >>


Arbitration Clause Pauses Excessive Fee Suit

"It's not the first--or only--time that this type litigation has been 'paused' for arbitration.... But what does seem unique--at least in this type of litigation--is the application/adoption of the arbitration clause by the plan, applied to those bringing suit on behalf of the plan. That said, the likelihood of more such clauses appearing would seem to be ripe for increase[.]" [Holmes v. Baptist Health South Florida Inc., No. 21-22986 (S.D. Fla Jan. 20, 2022)]  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Second Circuit: Benefit Reduction Amendment Applicable on Annuity Start Date, Not Claim Filing Date

"The Second Circuit determined that the plain language of the Pension Plan unambiguously states that Cannady's benefits are to be calculated based on the [annuity starting date].... The Plan makes no reference to the claim filing date with respect to the relevant date for when determining which benefits are impacted by [the amendment]." [Cannady v. Bd. of Trustees of the Boilermaker-Blacksmith Nationl Pension Trust, No. 20-3141 (2d Cir. Jan. 18, 2022)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

Projected Impact of Legislative Proposals and Industry Innovations on Retirement Income Adequacy

"The combination of Automatic Contribution Plan/Arrangement (ACPA) provisions and an enhanced Saver's Credit program are projected to have a material impact on reducing retirement deficits when analyzed for households simulated to have a retirement deficit.... The addition of auto portability significantly improves retirement savings shortfalls for all races studied, with families headed by workers falling in the 'other' category impacted the least."  MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Northwestern ERISA Case Highlights Lessons for Monitoring Plan Service Providers

"Documentation, including a committee charter that provides a road map for initial and ongoing fiduciary compliance is crucial to avoidance of fiduciary breach issues.... Plan fiduciaries should carefully memorialize their active engagement to ensure service provider fees are reasonable.... Retirement plan decision makers should carefully review and understand whether investments outside the current plan investment lineup provide similar returns with lower management fees."  MORE >>

Hall Benefits Law

Not Spending Enough in Retirement? Now May Be Good Time to Spend More

"In light of recent greater than expected returns on equities and spending restrictions imposed by the pandemic, you may find that your current year spending budget developed using the Actuarial Financial Planner is greater than annual amounts you have been recently spending. If that is the case, you may wish to consider consciously increasing your spending for the near future rather than simply watching your Rainy-Day Fund accumulate."  MORE >>

Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

Benefits in General

New Audit Responsibilities for Plan Sponsors Take Effect

"Under SAS 136, plan sponsors must acknowledge their responsibility for the plan's administration in the audit engagement letter ... [and] provide written representations at the end of the audit regarding their responsibilities.... Tips for working with benefits plan auditors[:] ... [1] Take a hard look at your auditors.... [2] Invest time and effort to prepare.... [3] Discuss the audit plan.... [4] Be available and involved during your audit.... [5] Seek actionable feedback from the audit report.... [6] Keep your auditors informed all year."  MORE >>

Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Product Support Specialist
for part of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory Product Support Specialist part of Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory


View job as Sales Account Executive
for Capital Services, Inc. Sales Account Executive

Capital Services, Inc.

Towson MD / DC / VA

Selected New Discussions

Plan Is Subject to ERISA If Only Retirees Are Covered?

"If an employer wants to establish a new program to make lifetime payments only to former employees who retired long ago, would the program be considered an ERISA-covered pension plan?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

USI Consulting Group Launches New Retirement Readiness Calculator Program for Retirement Plan Participants


Corporate Insight Announces Annual User Experience Awards in Insurance and Annuities

Corporate Insight

Stephen P. Wilkes Appointed as Chief Legal Officer of The Wagner Law Group

Wagner Law Group P.C.

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Practical and Tactical Actions for Plan Sponsors

February 23, 2022 WEBCAST

The Retirement Advantage [TRA]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

New Retirement Payment Withholding Procedure Is (Finally) Final


Text of IRS Notice 2022-07: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for January 2022 (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Employee Benefits Due Diligence Should Be at Top of M&A Checklist

Fisher Phillips LLP, via Crain's Cleveland Business; free registration required

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

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