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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 13, 2022

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

401(k) Plan Investments: ESG, Private Equity and Cryptocurrency

"[F]iduciaries should be wary of relying on the DOL's position to apply ESG factors when they are not directly tied to the financial risk and return of an investment.... Fiduciaries should ... consider whether a fund with a PE allocation is appropriate considering the plan's features and participant profile and whether sufficient information will be available for participants to make informed investment decisions.... Fiduciaries considering offering cryptocurrency investments or funds with cryptocurrency exposure should be able to document that they have followed a robust process that takes into account the DOL's concerns."  MORE >>

Kilpatrick Townsend


Don’t Miss This ASC CE Webcast – Fiduciary Update

Understand the current fiduciary issues with expert John Griffin, J.D., LL.M. This webcast provides important updates on recent DOL and court developments relating to ERISA fiduciary responsibilities and liability. Register Now!

Sponsored by ASC

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes Stricter Standards for Prohibited Transaction Exemptions

"The proposal would increase DOL's scrutiny of PTE applications, require expanded disclosures, and impose stringent conditions for standards of conduct and avoidance of conflicts. Applying for an exemption would likely involve increased time and costs."  MORE >>


Most U.S. Retirement Savers Oppose Annuitization Mandates

"About 79% of all participants in the latest survey said they disagreed with the idea of an annuitization mandate ... up from 71% in 2009 ... Participants 50 or older with household income of $50,000 per year or higher were the most negative about the annuitization mandate statement."  MORE >>

Credit Union Times

Is a Safe Harbor 401(k) the Right Choice?

"Choosing the right retirement plan offering, whether it's a traditional 401(k) or a safe harbor plan, comes down to several factors, including employee count and demographic, participation levels, company cash flow, previous compliance issues (if any), and desired plan design."  MORE >>


Real Estate in DC Plans: Key Considerations

"There is growing support and interest from DC plan fiduciaries for daily-valued private real estate offerings. There are approximately 16 daily-valued solutions totaling roughly $50 billion available, and additional product launches are expected. Some retirement income solutions are evolving to include private real estate. There is also emerging interest in private real estate debt."  MORE >>

Lew Minsky, for PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Don't Be Fooled by These 401(k) Conflicts of Interest!

"Here are four ways a 401(k) provider can profit unduly at the expense of plan participants -- not to mention, the employers sworn to protect their interests -- in plain sight.... [1] Limiting funds to a 'preferred' list.... [2] Serving as the named fiduciary.... [3] Limiting plan designs to cookie-cutter options.... [4] Discounting other corporate services."  MORE >>

Employee Fiduciary

Auto-Enrollment Retirement Plans in OregonSaves

"Younger employees and employees in larger firms have been less likely to opt out of the OregonSaves program, but participation rates fall over time. The most common reason given for opting out is 'I can't afford to save at this time,' but the second most common is 'I have my own retirement plan.' As of April 2020, 67,731 accounts had positive account balances, holding $51.1 million in total assets. The average balance was $754, but with considerable dispersion[.]"  MORE >>

Michigan Retirement and Disability Research Center, Univ. of Michigan

OECD Issues Recommendations for 'Good' Design of Defined Contribution Retirement Plans

"Design DC plans that are consistent with their long-term purpose and role in the retirement system.... Design financial incentives to maximize the impact on enrollment and contributions.... Promote low-cost and cost-efficient retirement arrangements in both the accumulation and pay-out phases.... Ensure that all individuals have access to appropriate and sustainable investment strategies and a well-designed default, where applicable.... Ensure protection against longevity risk in retirement.... Promote awareness and support financial education about retirement and pensions."  MORE >>

Georgetown University Center for Retirement Initiatives

Using 'Spending Risk Curves' to Visualize Retirement Income

"[O]ne of the real challenges [with] conventional methods for displaying simulations is that results are often conveyed in a manner that doesn't allow for easy comparison across various spending or risk levels. An alternative method to ameliorate this problem is to leverage technology to graphically display curves that relate a client's spending levels with corresponding risk outcomes. These 'Spending Risk Curves' can be far more insightful than a single probability-of-success result[.]"  MORE >>

Nerd's Eye View

Retirement Planning: A Major Blind Spot for Business Owners

"Nearly half of the business owners [surveyed] either plan to work in their businesses beyond 10 years from now or have no idea when they plan to retire. Two-thirds are waiting for the right buyer to come along. Most say it will be an almost even split between funding retirement with both the business and assets outside the business."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

Multiemployer Plan Trustee Tools for Monitoring and Preventing Fraud

"Analyzing and mining data can help plans find interesting or questionable patterns that may be a sign of fraud or waste.... External auditors should take certain steps to detect material errors and irregularities in the plan financial statements.... Multiemployer plan policies detail plan compliance with government regulations, mandate consistency in plan operations, help plans avoid legal liability and give assurance to others that that the plan is well run."  MORE >>

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

How Many Participants Is Too Many for a Top Hat Plan?

"[The DOL] interprets the phrase to apply 'select group' and 'management or highly compensated employees' as distinct requirements, both of which must be met to establish the top hat status of a deferred compensation plan.... For the most part, federal courts have found that a 'select group' exists with coverage percentages ranging from about 5% to about 15%, and at least one federal court has declared that a plan covering 18.7% of the employer's workforce could not be considered a top hat plan."  MORE >>

Verrill Dana LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as DB/DC Administrator
          for Primark Benefits DB/DC Administrator

Primark Benefits

Remote / San Mateo CA

View job as DB/DC Administrator
          for Primark Benefits

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
          for Retirement Plan Specialists, Inc. Retirement Plan Administrator

Retirement Plan Specialists, Inc.

Remote / Oviedo FL

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
          for Retirement Plan Specialists, Inc.

View job as Client Relationship Manager
          for The Benefit Advantage Client Relationship Manager

The Benefit Advantage


View job as Client Relationship Manager
          for The Benefit Advantage

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
          for Warren Averett Retirement Plan Administrator

Warren Averett


View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
          for Warren Averett

Selected New Discussions

Resuming Deferrals After 6-Month Break After Hardship

"A participant in one of our plans received a hardship distribution in March of 2019 from her 401(k) account. At that time, she was required to 'sit out' from making subsequent deferrals for 6 months. The question is, whose responsibility was it to resume her deferrals?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Solo(k) Still Works When Minor Children Become Employees?

"A client has maintained a SOLO K for a few years -- with just him and spouse participating. There is NO age/service requirement. Now they've hired their minor kids. Because it's still family, is there any requirement to change to a regular 401k at this point? There are NO non-family employees."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Joint Life and Last Survivor Expectancy Table Available in Excel Format?

"Anyone have the new table available in Excel?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

What Legal Authority Allows for Immediate Disbursement to an Alternate Payee?

"What is the legal authority that allows an Alternate Payee to immediately take a full disbursement of their portion of the participant's benefit assigned to them through a QDRO, when the participant's benefit is not in pay status, the participant has not attained the earliest retirement age, and the participant does not otherwise qualify to take a withdrawal from the plan pursuant to the plan's rules."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Jessica Palvino Joins Jackson Walker’s ERISA Practice in Austin

Jackson Walker

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

What 10 State Auto IRA Programs Means for Your Business

May 6, 2022 WEBCAST

Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association [DCIIA]

Fiduciary Compliance in ESOP Transactions: Recent DOL Settlement Agreements and Best Practices for Counsel

August 4, 2022 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Administration Budget Proposals Tighten Rules for 409A Violations, VEBA Funding and Indemnity Health Plans

Groom Law Group

Proposed IRS RMD Regs Present Challenges, Risks for 403(b) Plans

McDermott Will & Emery

Retirement Plan Landscape Report: An In-Depth Look at the Trends and Forces Reshaping U.S. Retirement Plans


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

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