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Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 14, 2022

7 New Job Opportunities 7 New Job Opportunities


Individual and Pre-Approved 403(b) Plan Documents: Evaluating What to Do in 2022

"Should I continue to use a pre-approved plan document? ... Or should I switch to an individually designed plan? ... Or should I consider keeping my individually designed plan? ... Are there special document considerations for a church plan? ... What updates will be needed for a pre-approved plan document?"  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Allegedly Misclassified Independent Contractor Cannot Sue Under ERISA

"The court explained that only plan participants, beneficiaries, fiduciaries, and the Secretary of Labor are entitled to bring claims under ERISA Section 502(a). 'Participant' was the only possible fit for plaintiff but did not apply here because a former employee claiming participant status must have a colorable claim to benefits, not just allege in a conclusory manner, as plaintiff did, that he should have been a participant." [Alders v. YUM! Brands, Inc., No. 21-1191 (C.D. Cal. Feb. 1, 2022)]  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Court Rejects Motion to Dismiss in Case Alleging 401(k) Mismanagement

"The primary allegations in the suit involve the mismanagement of employees' 401(k) retirement plan, the breach of fiduciary duty under [ERISA], and self-dealing through the act of offering more expensive proprietary funds to retirees. The suit also contains allegations that about 60% of the fund options were proprietary funds, which performed poorly and were more expensive than other nonproprietary options." [Waldner v. Natixis Investment Managers, L.P., No. 21-10273 (D. Mass. Dec. 20, 2021)]  MORE >>

Hall Benefits Law

ERISA Advisory Council Suggests Reviewing Plan Leakage Penalties

"Novel recommendations from the council included that the DOL work with the Department of the Treasury and [IRS] to review penalties on involuntary small payments and hardship withdrawals, and to relieve the penalty tax for early distributions of small amounts."  MORE >>


All CITs Are Not Created Equal from a Fiduciary's Perspective

"The burgeoning collective investment trust marketplace is creating new opportunities for retirement plan investors and trust companies alike -- as well as new due diligence requirements for fiduciaries."  MORE >>


Lessons from the Rise and Fall of America's First Funded Pension Plan

"Aided by more than a decade of strong investment returns across most asset classes, the aggregate funded status of U.S. public pension plans [has] improved meaningfully.... [However,] periods of exceptional returns are often followed by leaner years.... [T]he very first funded pension plan in the United States, the U.S. Navy Pension Plan, faced similar challenges in the early 1800s. Their failure to address them skillfully led to full liquidation of the portfolio by 1841.... [S]everal valuable lessons remain applicable today."  MORE >>

Mark Higgins, CFA, CFP®, via SSRN

Update on the Special Financial Assistance Program: One New Filer

"The PBGC Special Financial Assistance program for troubled multiemployer plans weekend update ... [shows] one new plan applying -- Mid-Jersey Trucking Industry and Teamsters local 701 Pension and Annuity Fund out of North Brunswick, NJ, unusual in that the latest 5500 filing reports the plan as being 96.7% funded using plan rates ... Another (Local Union No. 466 Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers Pension Plan) withdrew so [an] updated summary shows 30 plans in the system -- 5 approvals and 25 under review:"  MORE >>


Benefits in General

Audit of DOL Cybersecurity Finds Deficiencies

"More than eight months after the [DOL] issued a list of best cybersecurity practices for ERISA practitioners, the department's Inspector General has released a report that found Labor's own IT security seriously lacking.... IG Carolyn Hantz said the department had not conducted annual security control assessments for 30 systems during FY21.... Hantz also said the [DOL] has not instituted an effective supply chain risk management program and has failed to keep an accurate record of computer hardware. The department also did not log or review DOL user accounts."  MORE >>

BenefitsPro; free registration required

Designing Benefits for Uber Drivers and Other Platform Workers

"[W]orkers are willing to trade off additional income for benefits; after accounting for the tax advantage of benefits, workers are roughly indifferent on average between the two. While there are some trends in valuation, such as higher valuation for pension than for health contributions, the most notable feature of the data is the wide variation across workers in their preferences across benefits types and relative to income."  MORE >>

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document

Investing and Retiring in an Unknown Future: How Companies Can Support Employees Today and Tomorrow (PDF)

"Upheaval in the economy and marketplaces presents companies with a mandate -- and a meaningful opportunity -- to discover the value of creating programs that contribute to their employees' financial wellness and, by extension, their mental well-being. With a focus on reimagining employee benefits, employers can make a meaningful difference in the lives of their employees ... now and in the future."  MORE >>

Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Client Services Manager
for Newport Retirement Client Services Manager


Remote / Folsom CA / Chicago IL / Saint Petersburg FL / Lake Mary FL / La Crosse WI / Charlotte NC / Mobile AL / Overland Park KS / Dallas TX / West Des Moines IA / Los Angeles CA / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Benefits Advisor (English and/or Spanish)
for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA] Benefits Advisor (English and/or Spanish)

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Remote / Dallas TX

View job as Benefits Advisor (English and/or Spanish) (Recent Graduates Program)
for Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA] Benefits Advisor (English and/or Spanish) (Recent Graduates Program)

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Remote / Dallas TX

View job as DB/DC Consultant
for Nova 401(k) Associates DB/DC Consultant

Nova 401(k) Associates

Remote / Houston TX / Dallas TX / Scottsdale AZ

View job as Defined Benefits Retirement Plan Consultant
for Economic Group Pension Services (EGPS) Defined Benefits Retirement Plan Consultant

Economic Group Pension Services (EGPS)


View job as Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Consultant
for Economic Group Pension Services (EGPS) Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Consultant

Economic Group Pension Services (EGPS)

Remote / Burnsville MN

View job as Preparation and Consulting Support Project Leader
for WTW Preparation and Consulting Support Project Leader



Selected New Discussions

Partner Has Negative K-1 and a W-2 -- Combine?

"Company is LLC, taxed as a partnership. A partner was issued a W-2 for $150,000 from which she deferred $20,000. The partner's K-1 shows a loss. Do I combine them for plan purposes?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Same Dollar Amount Deducted from Each Account for Admin Fees -- Problematic?

"401(k) plan has no HCE or Key participants. Plan allocates TPA fees among all participants in equal amounts. So those with large accounts will have less than 1% taken out, but a new participant will have 20% taken out. Some kind of discrimination issue?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Lower 401(k) Plan Fee Trend Continues

401k Averages Book

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Should a 401(k) Participant Front Load Their Deferrals?

Retirement Management Services, LLC

Pensionizing the 401(k) with Annuities

Retirement Income Journal

Text of DOL Request for Information: Possible Agency Actions to Protect Life Savings and Pensions from Threats of Climate-Related Financial Risk

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

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

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