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Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 23, 2022

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

EBSA Will Scrutinize 401(k) Cryptocurrency Investments

"While the [EBSA] guidance is not an explicit ban, the agency makes clear that fiduciaries who are considering including cryptocurrencies within 401(k) menu options ... should expect an EBSA investigation if they decide to include such an offer.... If, upon investigation, EBSA believes that a particular digital asset investment option in a 401(k) plan is imprudent, the Solicitor's Office may file a lawsuit against the fiduciaries of the plan in federal court."  MORE >>

Fisher Phillips


It’s Not Too Late – Select ASC for your Cycle 3 DB plan docs!

It is not too late to choose ASC for your Cycle 3 DB plan documents. View the DB restatement timeline here and email us at to get started!

Sponsored by ASC

[Guidance Overview]

Successor Beneficiaries: 'You Have Got to Be Kidding Me'

"The new SECURE Act regulations dictate that there may or may not be annual RMDs within the 10-year period for successor beneficiaries. Whether or not RMDs apply within the 10 years is predicated on how old the original IRA owner was in relation to the required beginning date (RBD).... How many beneficiary IRAs exist that were inherited prior to the SECURE Act in 2020? Hundreds of thousands? A million? Every single one that is left to a successor beneficiary will have to go through this exercise."  MORE >>

Slott Report

DOL Asks Appeals Court to Reverse Northwestern Ruling

"The DOL [amicus statement] focused on the District Court's ruling -- and the appeals court's concurrence -- that a plan fiduciary didn't have to monitor all investments in the menu as long as some met ERISA's prudence standards." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 19-1401 (S. Ct. Jan. 24, 2022; remanded to 7th Cir. Divane v. Northwestern Univ, No. 18-2569)]  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Another Suit Targets 'Untested' TDFs

"The $741 million, 15,686 participant [Molina Healthcare] plan is accused primarily of causing the plan to invest in flexPATH's 'untested target date funds, which replaced established and well-performing target date funds used by participants to meet their retirement needs.' " [Mills v. Molina Healthcare, Inc., No. 22-1813 (C.D. Cal. complaint filed Mar. 18, 2022)]  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Key Risks for 401(k) Fiduciaries Investing in Collective Investment Trusts

"Today, in reading some of the headlines, you'd think [Collective Investment Trusts (CITs) are] greater than sliced bread. They may be. They may not be. In some ways, they're just like that old standby, the mutual fund.... [1] Transparency risks ... [2] Revenue sharing risks ... [3] Legal/contractual risks ... [4] Fee risks ... [5] Regulatory protection risks."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Some Plans Are Seeing More Assets Distributed Than Contributed

"Participants' swelling account balances from stock market gains in previous years might have masked the urgency for plan sponsors to fortify their plans against the potential for asset losses.... To keep assets in plan, encourage savings and attract talent, plan sponsors have bolstered plan design features -- adding lifetime income options and the ability to repay student loans and save for emergencies."  MORE >>


Financial Wellness Assessments Set Leading Programs Apart

"[P]articipant assessments represent a key opportunity for providers to build participant trust, drive engagement, and set the tone for the overall participant experience.... With many providers asking the same types of questions and focusing on similar aspects of financial wellness, the way they present these questions may represent a key competitive differentiator in an increasingly crowded field."  MORE >>

Corporate Insight

Social Responsibility Is High Priority for Executives Across For-Profit Companies and Nonprofit Organizations

"While four in 10 (40%) say that their company or organization currently does at least some investing through an ESG lens, nearly as many (39%) aren't currently engaging in ESG investing but are in the planning process. Further, most executives are optimistic that the growth in ESG investing can have a positive influence on corporate behavior (91%)."  MORE >>


Continued European Litigation Over Disparate Tax Treatment of Non-EU and EU Pension Funds

"Another development has arisen in the ongoing concerns regarding whether local tax rules in EU countries unfairly favor investment by local pension funds over those established outside the EU.... Some large non-EU pension funds with sizable investments in some EU countries have found it worthwhile to litigate in this area to recover taxes they have paid. A recent case has involved the College Pension Plan of British Columbia."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Associate, Compensation and Benefits Tax
for Alvarez & Marsal Senior Associate, Compensation and Benefits Tax

Alvarez & Marsal


View job as Senior Associate, Compensation and Benefits Tax
for Alvarez & Marsal

View job as Assistant General Counsel, Plan Administration
for Transamerica Assistant General Counsel, Plan Administration



View job as Assistant General Counsel, Plan Administration
for Transamerica

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

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA]

Remote / New York NY

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

Selected New Discussions

Coverage Testing -- Terminated Participant Has Zero Hours But Has Post-Severance Comp

"PS plan has no allocation requirements for contribution. Participant terminates in December of 2020, has eligible post-severance comp the next year (2021) so receives 2021 allocation, but has zero hours. Would you include in coverage testing for 2021, or toss out?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Can an Already-Filed 2021 Tax Return Be Amended to Accommodate a New Plan?

"A one-person employer has a 401k plan. For 2021, he's already put in max deferral and PS. Also filed the corporate tax return before 3/15/2022. Now he wants to set up a DB plan for 2021 but take the deduction in 2022. If the corporate return is filed without any extension, is it too late to amend for 2021 and have a low DB deduction as well as adjusting any other deductions?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Spectrum CEO to Deliver Testimony to Senate HELP Committee

Spectrum Pension Consultants, Inc.

Winners Announced -- New Competition and Award: Innovative Public Pension Funding Strategies

National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

Transamerica, FuturePlan by Ascensus, and Natixis Investment Managers Debut Group Plan Solution with Focus on ESG Investments


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Financial Wellness Assessments: Best Practices and Industry Overview

March 29, 2022 WEBCAST

Corporate Insight

Emerging Issues for Retirement Plan Fiduciaries

March 31, 2022 WEBCAST

Groom Law Group

Innovative Public Pension Funding Strategies

April 5, 2022 WEBCAST

National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

Fiduciary Considerations for Collective Solutions: MEPs, PEPs, GOPs, Clone Plans and CITs

April 14, 2022 WEBCAST

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Fiduciary Hot Topics

April 14, 2022 WEBCAST

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Fiduciary Update

April 28, 2022 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

2022 Legislative, Regulatory and Judicial Outlook for Retirement Plans


Cryptocurrency Holders Beware: Regs Are Coming!

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

Professional Employer Organizations and the Transformation of Workplace Benefits

Natalya Shnitser, via SSRN

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

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