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Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 17, 2022

6 New Job Opportunities 6 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2022-09: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for February 2022 (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates ... and the 24-month average segment rates ... [as well as] the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities ... as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate[.]"  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 81: Annual Retrospective Review

"In FAQ 17, the DOL discusses both the implications of payout grids and mitigation techniques to minimize compliance risks. The review must be reduced to a written report and signed by a senior executive officer of the firm. The report is available to the DOL on request. The failure to satisfy that requirement results in the loss of the exemption. That would mean that the conflicted recommendations were prohibited transactions, resulting in penalties and costs."  MORE >>

DOL Seeks Input on Climate Change's Impact on Retirement Security

"[W]hile the DOL works on finalizing the ESG Rule, it is simultaneously searching for additional information about other ways that climate change may impact the retirement industry, and whether the DOL should take additional, broader action on top of the pending ESG Rule.... This action affirms a persistent focus of the DOL on the intersection of ESG and retirement savings."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

Pension Trustees Responsible for Actions of Employees Who Were Instructed to Be Evasive and Misleading

"Courts often conclude that plan fiduciaries are not responsible for the actions of employees or contractors who make mistakes, even when the consequences of such mistakes are devastating to plan participants. However ... fiduciaries cannot hide behind a 'ministerial exception' where their employees are not making mistakes but are instead acting on instruction to behave in an evasive and misleading manner when dealing with plan participants." [Smarra v. Boilermaker-Blacksmith National Pension Trust, No. 20-860 (W.D. Pa. Feb. 8, 2022)]  MORE >>

Kantor & Kantor

Hughes v. Northwestern University: Lessons for Retirement Committees and Other Fiduciaries

"Based on Hughes, retirement committee members and other fiduciaries should ... [1] Practice good fiduciary hygiene.... [2] Limit, monitor and curate the plan's menu of investment options.... [3] Pay particular attention to sales loads, management fees and administrative charges." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 19-1401 (S. Ct. Jan. 24, 2022)]  MORE >>


Retirement Industry Rallies Around LIFE Act Proposal to Allow Annuities as QDIAs

"[The Lifetime Income For Employees Act (HR 6746)] would amend the DOL's current default investment safe harbor regulations to allow, but not require, a retirement plan's default investment to include a limited investment in a non-liquid annuity component that provides a guaranteed return on investment."  MORE >>


Despite the 'Great Resignation,' Saving for Retirement Is Still a Priority

"The average 401(k) balance climbed to a record $130,700 in Q4, up 4% from Q3 2021 and 8% from a year ago.... A record 38% of individuals increased their 401(k) contributions in 2021, with an average increase of more than 3%.... By the end of 2021, 83% of workers had their employer make a contribution in addition their own 401(k) contributions, with the average employer contribution reaching $4,080 in 2021."  MORE >>


State and Local Pension Plan Funding Levels Again Tick Upward

"[T]he funded status of state and local pension plans nationwide has improved to 75.4% in 2021, up from 72.2% in 2020.... In the 2021 data available, plans have averaged contributions between 97% and 106% of the [actuarially determined employer contribution (ADEC)].... The portion of total portfolios invested in real estate, hedge funds, commodities, and alternative investments has grown from 9% in 2001 to 29% in 2020.... The ratio of active workers to plan beneficiaries continues to decline across all public plan sizes."  MORE >>

Mission Square Research Institute

Where Is Information About Social Security Retirement Benefits Provided to the Public?

"This article explores the presence and extent of Social Security information provided to employees in workplaces, to servicemembers in military facilities, to students in secondary and postsecondary schools, and to participants in religious and community organization settings."  MORE >>

Lois A. Vitt and Barbara A. Smith, via SSRN

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Account Executive
for Kluwer Account Executive Kluwer


View job as Account Executive
for Kluwer

View job as Senior Counsel, IRA
for Guideline, Inc. Senior Counsel, IRA

Guideline, Inc.

Remote / CA / CO / FL / GA / IN / MA / MD / ME / MI / NC / NY / OH / OR / PA / SC / TX / VA / WA

View job as Legal Counsel
for Guideline, Inc. Legal Counsel

Guideline, Inc.

Remote / CA / CO / FL / GA / IN / MA / MD / ME / MI / NC / NY / OH / OR / PA / SC / TX / VA / WA

View job as Offboarding Manager
for Guideline, Inc. Offboarding Manager

Guideline, Inc.

Remote / CA / CO / FL / GA / MA / MD / ME / MI / NC / NY / OH / OR / PA / SC / TX / VA / WA

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 / Boston MA

View job as 401(k) Plan Administrator
for 401k Generation 401(k) Plan Administrator

401k Generation

Altamonte Springs FL

Selected New Discussions

Self Employed Paired Plan with Possible After-Tax Contribution for Use with Roth Conversion

"I have a self employed client that has DB/DC combo plan. They are maxing out their deferral and contributing 6% to the profit sharing account and putting $200k into the DB plan. He asked if they can also contribute after-tax money with the intent of a Roth conversion."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

2022 Enrollment Technology Strategy Seminar

March 27, 2022 in FL


Fiduciary Investment Advice and the Evolving Retail Investor Landscape 2022

April 25, 2022 WEBCAST

PLI [Practising Law Institute]

ERISA Litigation and Employee Stock Ownership Plans: The Evolving Landscape of Claims Against Fiduciaries & Non-Fiduciaries

April 27, 2022 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

401(k) Compliance Check: Depositing Employee Contributions on Time

Foley & Lardner LLP

Aligning Payroll with Plan 'Compensation' -- The Importance of Wage Code Reviews (PDF)

Groom Law Group, via Bloomberg Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal

CRS Report: Traditional and Roth Individual Retirement Accounts (PDF)

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

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

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