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Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 22, 2022

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of SEC Proposed Rule: The Enhancement and Standardization of Climate-Related Disclosures for Investors (PDF)

510 pages. "The [SEC] is proposing for public comment amendments to its rules ... that would require registrants to provide certain climate-related information in their registration statements and annual reports. The proposed rules would require information about a registrant's climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on its business, results of operations, or financial condition. The required information about climate-related risks would also include disclosure of a registrant's greenhouse gas emissions ... [C]ertain climate-related financial metrics would be required in a registrant's audited financial statements."  MORE >>

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2022-14: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for March 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]

[Official Guidance]

PBGC Interest Rate Update: March 2022

"Updated information is now available on PBGC's website regarding the following interest rates: [1] Variable Rate Premiums ... [2] ERISA 4044 Annuities ... [3] Late Premium Payment Interest Charges ... [4] Late or Defaulted Withdrawal Liability."  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

SEC Proposes Rules to Enhance and Standardize Climate-Related Disclosures

"The SEC has proposed rules that would require registrants to provide certain climate-related information in their registration statements and annual reports. The proposed rules would require information about a registrant's climate-related risks that are reasonably likely to have a material impact on its business, results of operations, or financial condition."  MORE >>

[Guidance Overview]

SEC Proposes Public Company Cybersecurity Disclosure Rules

"The proposed amendments would require: [1] Current reporting of material cybersecurity incidents and periodic updates regarding the developments of previously reported cybersecurity incidents, as well as the reporting of cybersecurity incidents which, in the aggregate, become material. [2] Periodic reporting about: [a] A company's policies and procedures for identifying and managing cybersecurity risks; [b] Oversight of cybersecurity management by the board of directors; [c] Management's role and expertise in implementing a company's cybersecurity policies, procedures and strategies; [d] Annual reporting about the board of directors' cybersecurity expertise."  MORE >>

Stinson LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Cryptocurrency Holders Beware: Regs Are Coming!

"Whether you are like [the author] (and a number of prominent economists) and believe that these 'Tinkerbell' assets are dangerous and shouldn't be in retirement plans, or you believe that it is the future of currency and trading and want to be part of it, know that we are in the infancy stages of this phenomenon. The more that regulatory guidance is issued, the less ambiguity there will be for investors. We welcome both the guidance and future regulations that clarify how cryptocurrency should be treated in retirement plans."  MORE >>

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Release Targeting Crypto as an Investment Option in Participant Directed 401(k) Plans

"[It] is (more or less) axiomatic that ERISA does not prohibit any particular sort of investment but simply requires prudent diversification. [Compliance Assistance Release 2022-01 (CAR]] seems to be saying that ... offering crypto in a fund menu is not prudent.... DOL has for some time ... recognized that investments offered in a brokerage window are not subject to the 'scrutiny for prudence' that is required for a 'designated investment alternative.' ... Nevertheless, in the CAR DOL suggests that offering crypto in a brokerage window is 'subject to duties of prudence and loyalty.' "  MORE >>

October Three Consulting

Manufacturers Leveraging Technology to More Efficiently Distribute Retirement Plan Documents

"The DOL's updated electronic distribution regulation expands the categories of employees who can receive retirement plan documents electrically, allowing a broader range of manufacturers to use technology to more easily comply with the requirement to distribute benefit documents to employees."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

2022 Legislative, Regulatory and Judicial Outlook for Retirement Plans

"Before the upcoming midterm elections, Congress appears poised to move forward with broad, bipartisan 'SECURE 2.0' legislation ... The [DOL] and IRS will continue working on guidance to implement the SECURE Act ... The trajectory of the many excessive-fee claims percolating through the federal courts may change after the US Supreme Court's recent ERISA ruling. This GRIST summarizes expected 2022 legislative, regulatory and judicial developments affecting retirement benefits."  MORE >>


Pensions Matter When Buying a Business

"When acquiring a business, significant risk exists within the pensions space -- legally and financially -- and within the HR space.... Failing to look ahead at pension options during due diligence may result in complex and expensive pension solutions post-close. ... [These] tips will help you avoid pitfalls and get your next deal right vis a vis pension plans, including identifying risks associated and moving towards implementation."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

International Pension Plan Survey 2022

"This year's survey includes an overview of key trends, including ESG investment considerations, the sovereign debt crisis and the increased use of IPPs and ISPs for certain regions."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

Benefits in General

Professional Employer Organizations and the Transformation of Workplace Benefits

"While PEOs respond to long-standing challenges faced by smaller employers and have the potential to increase access to workplace benefits, this Article argues that they also introduce new and significant governance concerns that are not adequately addressed by the existing regulatory framework."  MORE >>

Natalya Shnitser, via SSRN

Supreme Court Will Not Resolve Circuit Split on Availability of Equitable Relief from ERISA Co-Fiduciaries

"Although some circuits have not taken a position on this issue, as it currently stands, the U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Second and Seventh Circuits allow a fiduciary to seek contribution and indemnification from co-fiduciaries under ERISA, while the Eighth and Ninth Circuits do not. [This alert examines one] case and provides key considerations for ERISA fiduciaries in its aftermath." [First Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co. v. Giorgio Armani Corp., Nos. 20-55314, 20-55581 (9th Cir. Jul. 9, 2021; cert. pet. denied Feb. 22, 2022)]  MORE >>

Holland & Knight

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Tax Returns: Mistakes to Avoid with Stock Options, RSUs, and Stock Sales

"[1] Not reporting stock sales on Form 8949/Schedule D ... [2] Not reporting your cost basis correctly ... [3] Double-counting income from Form W-2 ... [4] Forgetting about the share withholding for restricted stock/RSUs."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Jobs

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Selected New Discussions

Handling Lifetime Income Illustrations for Plans with Brokerage Accounts

"My understanding is for self directed 401(k) accounts-- that the Income illustrations must be reflected on the June 30 statement. What are administration firms doing that have plans that utilize brokerage accounts?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Service Provider Agrees to Pay Fees of Another Service Provider on Behalf of the Plan

"Can a service provider agree to pay fees that would have otherwise been charged by a different provider and taken from plan assets?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Tiny 402(g) Excess. Any 'De Minimis' Exception to Withholding Requirement?

"Is there a minimum 402g excess that does not require the Plan Administrator to provide a notice to the participant regarding making a withholding election? We have a 402g excess of $12."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Sale of Artwork by an ERISA-Covered Plan -- Avoids State Sales Taxes?

"A Money Purchase Plan invested in artwork that has appreciated in value. The artwork will be sold by the plan in a particular state. Typically when artwork is sold within a state, state-imposed sales tax must be paid. Are there any justifications for a qualified plan subject to ERISA being exempt from state sales tax upon sale of such a plan asset?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

How to Define the Pay Credit under a Cash Balance Plan That Rises Each Year?

"What's the best way to word the definition of the pay credit in a Cash Balance Plan, if you want to allow it to rise each year?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

PBGC Licenses Annuity Buyout Pricing Data from BCG to Support Monitoring of Group Annuity Pricing for Us Defined Benefit Pension Plans

BCG Pension Risk Consultants | BCG Penbridge [BCG]

New Schwab Data: Virtual 401(k) Education Is on the Rise, Reaching More Workers More Efficiently Than Ever

Charles Schwab Corporation

Voya Financial Announces New Enhancements to Its 'Voya Retire' Mobile App for Plan Participants

Voya Financial

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

401(K) Loan and Distribution Basics

April 14, 2022 WEBCAST

Nova 401(k) Associates

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Can Sellers Be Liable for ERISA Fiduciary Breaches in ESOP Transactions?

Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP

District Court Finds Biden Administration's Withdrawal of Independent Contractor Final Rule Was Unlawful

Jackson Lewis P.C.

DOL Calls for 'Extreme Care' Before 401(k) Plans Dive Into Cryptocurrency Investments

Morgan Lewis

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

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