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Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 6, 2022

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Recent SEC Disclosure Guidance Highlights Growing Concern Surrounding the Risks of User Assets Held by Various Crypto Custodians (PDF)

"Recent turmoil in the cryptocurrency market has brought issues related to crypto-asset custody to the forefront of the cryptocurrency discourse ... Many crypto-asset investors are now wondering how their assets may be treated if their crypto-asset exchange of choice were to file for bankruptcy.... [SEC Staff Accounting Bulletin No. 121] issued on April 11, 2022 ... regarding platforms that safeguard or hold crypto-assets on behalf of users may require additional disclosures on this topic."  MORE >>

Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon 2022 Year End Amendment Deadlines for 401(k) Plans

"The [SECURE Act] changes for which plans must adopt a formal amendment are: [1] Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) ... [2] Distribution rules for non-spouse beneficiaries ... Any optional changes implemented pursuant to the CARES Act must also be adopted by a formal amendment by December 31, 2022. Some of the key optional provisions the CARES Act includes are: [1] Suspension of RMDs ... [2] Coronavirus-related distributions ... [3] Increased limits on plan loans and extended loan repayment period."  MORE >>

Michael Best

Third Circuit Becomes First Appellate Court to Consider Thole's Application to Defined Contribution Plans

"[T]he Third Circuit limited the scope of its holding ... The court explained that in some ERISA cases, a proposed class may present an 'intra-class conflict,' depending on 'the type of claim and the contours of the class.' " [Boley v. Universal Health Serv. Inc., No. 21-2014 (3d Cir. Jun. 1, 2022)]  MORE >>

Sidley Austin LLP

Third Circuit Affirms Certification of ERISA Class Though Named Plaintiffs Had Not Invested in All Challenged Investment Options

"By tying alleged injuries to root decisions or broader courses of conduct, participants and beneficiaries may more readily be able to challenge a defined-contribution plan's investment lineup on a class basis, even if those participants and beneficiaries have not invested in each of the options about which they seek to complain." [Boley v. Universal Health Serv. Inc., No. 21-2014 (3d Cir. Jun. 1, 2022)]  MORE >>

Baker Botts L.L.P.

IRS Announces Pre-Audit Compliance Pilot Program

"Under the Pilot Program, the IRS will send a pre-audit letter to plan sponsors whose retirement plans have been selected for upcoming audits and the plan sponsor will have 90 days to identify and correct any compliance issues with their plans and to notify the IRS of the corrective actions taken."  MORE >>

Kilpatrick Townsend

Crypto in a 401(k): Benefits to Employers

"By giving their employees access to modern investment choices like cryptocurrency, sponsors can use their 401(k) plans to boost their ability to find and retain top-notch talent. In addition, a 401(k) with exciting features could help increase plan participation rates, particularly among younger people, and thus help ensure plan health."  MORE >>


Pension Indicator, May 2022

"Ongoing inflation concerns, supply-chain issues, geopolitical risks, and uncertainty regarding slowing economic growth drove a continued sell-off in equities through most of May before a strong late month rally led to a very modestly positive month.... Despite the increased volatility in risk assets this year, plan sponsors should find themselves in a much-improved funded status position compared to year-end."  MORE >>


Vermont Highlights DB/DC Split in Public Plans

"As states look to solve long-term funding shortfalls in their defined benefit plans, some are either offering new employees a DC plan as an alternative to a traditional pension or closing the plan to new hires altogether and giving them a defined contribution plan instead. To date, nine states offer a defined contribution plan as an alternative to a defined benefit plan, and three -- Alaska, Michigan and Oklahoma -- have taken the broader measure of offering a DC plan as the only option for new workers[.]"  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments


The Reg BI 'Reasonably Available Alternatives'/ERISA 'Fiduciary Prudence' Liability Trap

"[A]ctively managed mutual funds still dominate 401(k) and 403(b), largely because ... those are the investment products stockbrokers recommend, primarily from their broker-dealer's preferred provider list.... Plan sponsors should assess the cost-efficiency of any recommended investment option using a universal 'reasonably available alternatives' menu, not Reg BI's unduly restricted 'reasonably available alternatives' standard."  MORE >>

The Prudent Investment Fiduciary Rules


The Case for Letting States Experiment with Private Sector Retirement Savings Plans

"[In] the post-Jarvis world, Congress should eschew any mandate that private employers adopt IRAs or other retirement programs for their employees. The states should continue to experiment in this area ... Different states will pursue different courses, thereby testing alternative possibilities.... To facilitate such experimentation by the states, the federal government should clarify two legal issues concerning state-run retirement programs for the private sector."  MORE >>

Prof. Edward A. Zelinsky, via SSRN

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
          for Pension Plan Specialists Retirement Plan Consultant

Pension Plan Specialists


View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
          for Pension Plan Specialists

View job as Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst
          for Empower Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst



View job as Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst
          for Empower

View job as Senior Retirement Analyst
          for Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc. Senior Retirement Analyst

Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

Remote / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Senior Retirement Analyst
          for Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

Selected New Discussions

RMD Needed for Year of Death of Participant Who Was Exempt During Life (Because Not a Business Owner)?

"A full-time employee old enough to need an RMD but not required to take one because she isn't an owner (just an employee) died in December 2021. Technically she wasn't employed as of her date of death. That wouldn't mean that her estate needs to get an RMD for 2021 based on the participant's 2020 balance, would it?

Maybe the short question to ask is, do deceased plan participants (who have not been paid out yet) need to take RMDs? I guess technically they still aren't owners, so no?

I just read that 'once a participant starts taking an RMD they must continue taking one, even after death. The twist is that this participant was never required to take one due to the fact that she was an employee but not an owner. Would that mean that her account is not required to distribute an RMD for 2021 because she was just an employee? Am I answering my own question?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Trustees Left the Company, New Trustees Not Yet Named -- Who Approves Distributions?

"A plan that we administer has 2 trustees and has a major mutual fund company as its recordkeeper. Both trustees have left the company (acrimoniously) for reasons that are not relevant here, but both of them have put in online requests for distributions from the plan. At this point, the company has not yet named new trustees, and the old trustees remain on the recordkeeper contract, and would be the ones responsible for 'approving' the withdrawals on the recordkeeper website. Trying to figure out whether, as the TPA, to approve the withdrawals, and let the now terminated trustees approve them. Would there be some legal recourse from the plan sponsor as to why we allowed these funds to be distributed, even though they cannot be assigned?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

DRO But No Divorce: Can Plan Approve as QDRO?

"I got a DRO today for a participant in Louisiana. The DRO says there is no divorce and that in LA, a community property state, the DRO can be a mechanism by which a participant can 'donate' to the spouse 'of his undivided interest in a thing forming part of the community.' Anybody ever come across anything like that? Everything else in the Order lines up nicely to form a QDRO."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

PenChecks Trust, ASPPA Renew Partnership and Expand QKA Scholarship Program

ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

IRI Announces Four New Members of Board of Directors

Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

EPIC Adds to Life and Executive Benefits Platform with the Acquisition of Dixon Wells, Inc.


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Negotiating a Pension Risk Transfer Deal – What's the Process?

June 15, 2022 WEBCAST

Eversheds Sutherland

Employee Benefits Considerations in Mergers and Acquisitions

June 21, 2022 WEBCAST

Williams Mullen

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Proposed Regs for Inherited IRAs Bring Unwelcome Surprises

Meaden & Moore

IRS Employee Plans News: New 90-day Pre-Examination Compliance Pilot (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Sponsors of Traditional Defined Benefit Plans with Lump Sum Distribution Option Should Prepare for Challenging Year-End

Morgan Lewis

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

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