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Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 3, 2022

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

DOL 'Clarifies' Guidance on Private Equity Investments in Defined Contribution Plans

"While the Supplemental Statement does not modify any of the legal positions in the 2020 Information Letter, it will certainly have a chilling effect on a plan sponsor's inclination to include private equity investments in its investment platform. Moreover, while the Supplemental Statement was limited to private equity investments, the same legal analysis would also apply to other types of complex investments, such as bitcoin or other cryptocurrency investments."  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 79: Insurance Distribution Issues

"[M]any insurance companies have decided against using PTE 2020-02 primarily because of the requirement that the insurance companies accept fiduciary status for the recommendations. Instead, most insurance companies are relying on agents using PTE 84-24, and some are providing forms and educational materials to support that usage. Meanwhile, the DOL is working on a further expanded fiduciary definition and a more demanding PTE 84-24 that will increase the oversight responsibilities for covered recommendations by insurance agents."  MORE >>

Industry Trade Group Sues DOL Over Encroaching Fiduciary Standard

"The lawsuit asserts the [DOL's] latest rule 'carries forward the core problem the Fifth Circuit identified in vacating the Fiduciary Rule the first time,' adding that 'pouring the same old wine into a new bottle does not change the result.' " [Federation of Americans for Consumer Choice Inc. v. DOL, No. 22-00243 (N.D. Tex. complaint filed Feb. 2, 2022)]  MORE >>

House Education & Labor Committee Releases Tracker of ARPA Special Financial Assistance Applications

"[T]he House Committee on Education and Labor unveiled a new Multiemployer Pension Rescue Tracker to highlight the hard-earned pensions saved and businesses protected under [ARPA] ... To date, the [PBGC] has approved five applications from plans based in New York, New Jersey, and Oregon that were either already insolvent or projected to run out of money this year. As of today, the SFA program has saved 8,088 pensions and protected an estimated 170 businesses[.]"  MORE >>

Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives

Teacher Pension Bills During 2021: What They Were, What Became of Them (PDF)

"This issue examines enacted and proposed legislation intended to affect public school teacher retirement plans across the country. Each of the 50 states (and District of Columbia) has at least one plan that covers public school K-12 teachers, whether designed specifically for teachers or covering public employees including teachers. Several city teacher retirement plans are included for purposes of this review."  MORE >>

Still River

2021 NCPERS Public Retirement Systems Study (PDF)

40 pages. "NCPERS has collected and analyzed the most current data available on funds' fiscal condition and steps they are taking to ensure fiscal and operational integrity. [This study] includes responses from 156 state and local government pension funds with more than 17.7 million active and retired members and assets exceeding $2.6 trillion."  MORE >>

National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems [NCPERS]

Supreme Court Holds ERISA Requires Plaintiffs to Allege Context-Specific Breaches of Fiduciary Duty to Monitor Investments

"By emphasizing that at the pleading stage this standard applies with full force to plaintiffs in ERISA excessive fee cases, and underscoring that the viability of such a claim depends on a fact specific inquiry, the Supreme Court's unanimous opinion suggests cookie cutter allegations of fiduciary breach drawn from other cases may not suffice. Rather, going forward, courts may require plaintiffs to plead facts showing that the specific decisions fiduciaries have made, under the then-existing circumstances, plausibly amount to a violation of ERISA's fiduciary standard of care." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 19-1401 (S. Ct. Jan. 24, 2022)]  MORE >>

Greenberg Traurig

SCOTUS Vacates and Remands Seventh Circuit's 403(b) Decision in Northwestern

"The Supreme Court ... directed the Seventh Circuit to reconsider the plausibility of the plaintiff's complaint, but without relying solely on the principle that fiduciaries meet their ERISA obligations by offering a diverse menu. Instead, each option must be prudent, in the context of the plan's overall menu of options." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 19-1401 (S. Ct. Jan. 24, 2022)]  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Minimizing Taxes on Employer Stock in Your 401(k) Plan

"Generally, distributions from 401(k) plans or traditional IRAs are taxable as ordinary income. But under the NUA rules, you can elect to defer paying tax on the appreciation in value of employer stock until the shares are liquidated. At that time, appreciation may be taxable at favorable long-term capital gain rates."  MORE >>


The Misunderstood Cash Power of Deferred Annuities

"Deferred annuity contracts are not checking accounts, but they do offer contract owners a number of options to gain access to cash. Deferred annuities are medium- to long-term contracts, but they have limited access to liquidity available through the options described [in this article]."  MORE >>

Does Financial Education in High School Affect Retirement Savings in Adulthood?

"Among the overall population, there is no evidence financial education in high school improves the likelihood of having a retirement account ... There is no clear evidence that such education decreases stress related to retirement savings, increases the likelihood of planning for retirement, or reduces the likelihood of borrowing from one's retirement account."  MORE >>

TIAA Institute

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Conversion & Installation Manager
for ERISA Services, Inc. Conversion & Installation Manager

ERISA Services, Inc.


View job as Retirement Account Administrator
for Alerus Retirement Account Administrator



View job as ESOP Retirement Account Administrator, Senior
for Alerus ESOP Retirement Account Administrator, Senior



Selected New Discussions

Vesting at Plan Termination for Former Employees Who Have a 5 Year Break in Service

"A terminating plan has a few former employees with account balances who were terminated 6 to 10 years ago. Should they be 100% vested?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan Terminated Mid-Year-- How to Fill in the Employee Census?

"A 401k plan terminated on 4/25/2021. All participants were paid out by 10/15/2021. The plan is/has been over 100 participants at time of termination due to a sale of the business. Do we as TPA just need to request census information through 4/25/2021 because all contributions ceased then, or instead through a later date, such as 10/15/2021?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

HUB International Acquires the Assets of kornerstone, Inc. to Expand Retirement Capabilities in California

HUB International

American Trust Leverages iJoin to Fuel Growth


IRI Unveils New Logo and New Website

Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

ERISA for Employers: An Overview of EB's Overarching Legal Framework

February 15, 2022 WEBCAST


IRA Contributions and Tax Time

March 8, 2022 WEBCAST


Multiemployer Pension Plan Withdrawal: An In-Depth Examination

March 23, 2022 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

A Practical Guide for Selecting DC Plan Lifetime Income Options (PDF)

Groom Law Group

DOL Issues Final 5500 Rules for MEPs and PEPs

Groom Law Group

Hughes v. Northwestern: Key Takeaways for 401(k) and 403(b) Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

Ropes & Gray LLP

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

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