logo logo

Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 1, 2022

New Job Opportunity Today New Job Opportunity Today


[Guidance Overview]

Proposed RMD Regs: Initial Highlights

"If an account owner dies after the required beginning date, the proposal would require that the 10-year rule include annual payments. Although the SECURE Act is silent regarding the applicability of annual distributions under the 10-year rule, the IRS is contending that the old 'at least as rapidly' rule applies in conjunction with the new 10-year rule.... An exception has been added that allows an automatic waiver of the 50 percent excess accumulation penalty tax if a year-of-death RMD was missed and the beneficiary removes the required amount by his tax return due date, plus extensions for the year that the RMD should have been taken."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 83: Enforcement of PTE 2020-02

"By its very nature, regulatory enforcement tends to begin a few years after a rule is effective. While that may seem to be far in the future, firms shouldn't take any comfort in the delay. The consequences of failure could be significant."  MORE >>

Supreme Court Provides Fee Litigation Victory to Plaintiffs, But Just How Big of a Win Is It?

"While [the] holding provides a clear instruction to ERISA fiduciaries, what remains unanswered is the standard that plaintiffs must satisfy in their pleadings to survive a motion to dismiss. Some of the language in the court's opinion suggests this standard could be a high one, resulting in this decision potentially being a Pyrrhic victory for plaintiffs." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 19-1401 (S. Ct. Jan. 24, 2022)]  MORE >>

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

On the Hunt for Good Fiduciary Processes? What to Do After the Supreme Court Decision in Hughes

"Be sure the plan committee operates under a charter or other clear governing rules.... Prepare meeting materials that include all the information necessary for the committee to properly compare investment alternatives ... Confirm that the governance program is supported by plan documents. If they aren't properly coordinated, change something! ... The same procedures should fit the hiring and monitoring of service providers such as recordkeepers."  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

Behavioral Finance and Employee Retirement Savings

"[M]any employees need help with budgeting, financial planning and saving. And perhaps the most effective financial wellness programs combine education with elements that are similar to what the PPA did for retirement savings."  MORE >>

HUB International


2022 CCA Enrolled Actuaries Conference

Choose from 39 sessions covering topics in single-employer, multiemployer, public, and small plans and other topics relevant to pension professionals. Earn up to 18.5 hours of continuing education credits, which includes 2.0 EA Ethics credits.

Sponsored by Conference of Consulting Actuaries [CCA]

Strategies to Help Employers Prevent Plan Leakage

"There are several strategies ... to reduce leakage ... [1] [S]etting a limit on the number of outstanding loans at a time, allowing only one loan per year and setting a minimum loan amount.... [2] [A]llowing only one hardship distribution per year or reducing the sources available for hardship distributions. [3] Offering an emergency savings account associated with payroll deduction to help participants better prepare to manage a financial emergency."  MORE >>

Newport Group

DC Plans to Keep Sharp Focus on Fees

"The SECURE Act led 31% to say they will increase their automatic escalation rate and 13% to say they are very or somewhat likely to add an annuity option.... 83% benchmarked plan fees, with consultant databases the most commonly used method. ... 33% of respondents reduced fees after their most recent fee analysis.... 86% of employers offered financial wellness support.... 86% of sponsors took steps to prevent plan leakage."  MORE >>


Self-Directed 401(k) Balances Higher as Investors Remain Resilient Through Volatility in 2021

"Participant holdings remained similar to the fourth quarter of 2020, with a slight decrease in cash holdings and slight increases in equities and ETFs. The majority of participant assets were held in equities (37% in 2021 vs 35% in 2020). Mutual funds were the second largest holding at 30% (vs 31% in 2020), followed by ETFs (21% vs 18% in 2020), cash (11% vs 14% in 2020), and fixed income (1% vs 2% in 2020)."  MORE >>

Charles Schwab

Issue Brief: Raising the Social Security Retirement Age (PDF)

17 pages. "Some reform package, likely including changes to both system benefits and related taxation, will be necessary to ensure system solvency through the 2030s and beyond.  The fact that increased longevity is among the root causes of Social Security's financial problems suggests that raising the normal retirement age is a likely--perhaps even necessary--component of any package of program changes that addresses them."  MORE >>

American Academy of Actuaries


The Biden Administration’s ERISA Work-Around

"The May 2021 executive order illustrates the very danger that ERISA's exclusive-purpose rule is designed to guard against. To achieve the goals set out in the order, DOL is instructed to 'suspend, revise or rescind' two Trump-era rules designed to uphold ERISA's exclusive-purpose rule.... The effect of the rule -- if finalized as proposed -- is to embed ESG investing in retirement plans and nullify the clear, unambiguous intent of ERISA's exclusive-purpose rule."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Benefit Plan Deadlines Extended (Again) Due to COVID-19

"On February 18, 2022, President Biden formally extended the COVID-19 National Emergency. [E]mployees continue to have an additional year to meet certain deadlines.... [1] COBRA election notice, enrollment, and payment; [2] COBRA notifications for divorce, legal separation, child aging out, or disability; [3] HIPAA special enrollment notifications ...  [4] Claims procedure and appeals; [and] [5] External review process."  MORE >>


House HELP Subcommittee Hearing: Improving Retirement Security and Access to Mental Health Benefits

Video of February 17, 2022, House HELP subcommittee hearing, with testimony by: [1] Amy Matsui, National Women's Law Center; [2] Karen Handorf, Berger Montague; [3] Andrew Biggs, American Enterprise Institute; and [4] Aron Szapiro, Morningstar, Inc. and Morningstar Investment Management LLC.  MORE >>

Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions [HELP] Subcommittee, Committee on Education and Labor, U.S. House of Representatives

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Confused About Equity-Based Compensation? Ask Yourself These Questions

"For companies that want to get stock into the hands of only one or a few employees, an ESOP isn't the right tool for the job. There are other options (pun intended) that provide equity-based compensation to a small number of employees."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Law Group

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as New Business Conversion Manager - Retirement Solutions
for Securian Financial Group New Business Conversion Manager - Retirement Solutions

Securian Financial Group

Saint Paul MN

Selected New Discussions

What About Using '$0.00' Allocations for Purposes of Ratio Testing?

"The plan has each participant in their own allocation group. Is it okay to allocate $0.00 to NHCEs and $0.00 to HCEs and test them on an accrual basis, and test the NHCEs and HCEs receiving the same flat dollar amount on a contribution basis providing that the ratio testing passes?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

IRS Notice CP214 Seems to Say Form 5500-SF Can Be Used by One-Participant Plan

"One of our clients just received an IRS Notice CP214, which describes the circumstances under which a one-participant plan must file a Form 5500-EZ. The last line of the notice states, 'Alternatively, you may be able to file Form 5500-SF online using EFAST2's web-based filing system or through an EFAST2 approved vendor.' The 2021 Form 5500-EZ specifically states that a one-participant plan cannot file a Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF. Am I misinterpreting the CP214?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Short Plan Year Pro Rata Rules Apply Even If Business Has Just Started?

"If a newly formed business started March 16, 2021 and adopted the plan effective March 16, 2021, is it subject to the short plan year proration rules? Or is it exempt from the rule because their business was formed later in the year?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

The Cerrado Group Celebrates Its One Year Anniversary

The Cerrado Group

Tax Season 2022: Offers Crucial Guidance On IRS Reporting Changes

DOL Alleges Fiduciaries for a Chicago-Area Employee Benefit Plan Misappropriated More Than $2.8M of Plan Assets

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

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Cash Balance Plans for Advisors


Nova 401(k) Associates

ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims Challenging Retirement Plan Investments and Fees

March 3, 2022 WEBCAST


Handling the New CPA Audit Rules for Benefit Plans

March 22, 2022 WEBCAST

Boutwell Fay LLP

IRA Reporting Requirements

April 5, 2022 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Proposed RMD Regs Reflect SECURE Act Changes

Thomson Reuters Practical Law

Retiring at 65 'Doesn't Make Sense Anymore'

The 'Fiduciary Responsibility Trinity': ERISA Fiduciary Law After the Hughes/Northwestern Decision

The Prudent Investment Fiduciary Rules

Unsubscribe  |   Change Email Address

Search Past Issues   |   Privacy Policy

Submit an Article   |   Contact Us   |   Advertise Here

Copyright 2021, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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

Links to web sites other than and are offered as a service to our readers. We are not involved in their production and are not responsible for their content.