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Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 28, 2022

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Relief from the One Bad Apple Rule Is Coming, But Not Without a Price (PDF)

"The rather complex (and onerous) process of obtaining relief from the 'one bad apple' rule in the revised proposed regulations ... picks up the numerous notice requirements that were in the initial proposed regulations and adds more complications with a participant election and required plan amendments."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group, via Taxes the Tax Magazine

[Sponsor] – New RMD Chapters

Between CARES, SECURE, and new proposed regulations, a lot has changed with RMDs. Derrin Watson, JD has authored a completely new RMD chapter for the Qualified Plan and 403(b) Plan eSources. Use ERISApedia to make sure you keep up-to-date.

Sponsored by

Pooled Employer Plan Design: Flexibility vs. Mandates

"Some PEP providers provide greater flexibility in terms of the employer-provided contribution formulas, and plan features, while others provide little-to-no flexibility in plan design. Ultimately a PEP provider is balancing the extra services involved in managing various provisions against keeping a streamlined service."  MORE >>

River and Mercantile

Senate Panel Approves SECURE 2.0 Bill, Spurs Talks on Final Package

"Key differences in the EARN Act include proposals for a major expansion of the Saver's Credit that would make the credit payable only to workplace plans and IRAs, a new automatic enrollment safe harbor, and an array of incentives for small employers to offer savings plans. The EARN Act drops a House proposal to require most new 401(k) and 403(b) plans to adopt automatic enrollment. Instead, it offers a tax credit to small businesses that adopt auto enrollment in their plans."  MORE >>


The Big Thaw: Why Now Is the Time to Consider Unfreezing Your Defined Benefit Plan

"In this hiring climate ... a DB plan can make the difference in someone choosing one company over another.... [W]ell-managed plans offer potential financial benefits. Starting with plan design, future DB plan accruals can be based on hybrid plan designs that mimic DC plan accruals, all the while costing less as a percentage of pay. Furthermore, surplus funding levels can be preserved using modern investment strategies that match pension assets with plan liabilities."  MORE >>


Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses, 2021 (PDF)

28 pages. "401(k) plan participants investing in mutual funds tend to hold lower-cost funds.... The expense ratios that 401(k) plan participants incur for investing in mutual funds have declined substantially since 2000.... The downward trend in the expense ratios that 401(k) plan participants incur for investing in mutual funds continued in 2021.... Employers and employees generally share the costs of operating 401(k) plans."  MORE >>

Investment Company Institute [ICI]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Emerging from the COVID-19 Pandemic: The Retirement Outlook of the Workforce (PDF)

111 pages. "Almost two in three employed workers (63 percent) indicate their financial situation has stayed the same amid the pandemic while 22 percent say it worsened.... 39 percent of employed workers have dipped into their retirement accounts, including 29 percent who have taken a loan and 27 percent who have taken an early and/or hardship withdrawal. Just three in 10 'strongly agree' they are building a large enough retirement nest egg (30 percent)."  MORE >>

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

DOL Brief Says Legal Challenge to Its Investment Advice Rule Is 'Downright Bizarre'

"Government attorneys filed a lengthy response Friday asking a Florida federal judge to toss one of two lawsuits challenging the [DOL] investment advice rule.... DOL attorneys cite 64 court cases, nine federal statutes and five regulations in making its arguments.' [American Securities Assoc. v. DOL, No. 20-0330 (M.D. Fla. defendant's motion to dismiss filed Jun. 24, 2022)]  MORE >>

Sixth Circuit Strikes Blow for Sponsors of 401(k) Plans in Fiduciary Litigation

"[T]he Sixth Circuit released a powerful opinion in defense of fiduciaries managing employees' investment options in 401(k) plans, stating that [ERISA] 'does not give the federal courts a broad license to second-guess the investment decisions of retirement plans.'... The decision provides cause to hope that in the future employer plan sponsors will find greater success at having such fees cases dismissed at the pleadings stage." [Smith v. CommonSpirit Health, No. 22-5964 (6th Cir. Jun. 21, 2022)]  MORE >>

Miller Johnson

Pension Funds Plunge Into Riskier Bets Just as Markets Are Struggling

"More than 100 state, city, county and other governments borrowed for their pension funds last year, twice the highest number that did so in any prior year ... Nearly $13 billion of these pension obligation bonds were sold last year, which is more than in the prior five years combined."  MORE >>

The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required

New Federal Thrift Savings Plan Website Faces Criticism

"New plan features include an updated participant log-in interface, a TSP mobile app and virtual assistant, the ability to electronically sign documents and complete transactions online, and the opening of a mutual fund window, which gives eligible TSP participants access to more than 5,000 mutual funds. Since the transition ... some participants have expressed issues with logging into their accounts, long customer service wait times and transaction difficulties."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Pension Administrator
          for MGKS Pension Administrator


Remote / Phoenix AZ

View job as Pension Administrator
          for MGKS

View job as Defined Benefit (DB) Plan Administrator
          for CEP Consultants Inc. Defined Benefit (DB) Plan Administrator

CEP Consultants Inc.

Remote / NY

View job as Defined Benefit (DB) Plan Administrator
          for CEP Consultants Inc.

View job as 401(k) Plan Administrator
          for Duncan Financial Group, LLC 401(k) Plan Administrator

Duncan Financial Group, LLC


Selected New Discussions

Controlled Group Situation for Spouses' Proprietorships; File Form 5500-EZ or Form 5500-SF?

"Spouses in California own separate sole prop businesses without employees and each has a solo 401(k) plan document. May I file a 5500-EZ for each separately, or must I file a 5500-SF for each due to controlled group status after the $250k ceiling is reached. I recall that used to be the case in 2008 but I believe the rules have changed."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Restructuring Into Component Plans

"Our firm uses ftwilliam. As far as I know, it can't do restructured testing (breaking the plan into component plans and testing separately). How are you doing your testing? Do other software programs do it? Must such testing be done with a software program like Excel?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Federal Court Sentences Florida Addiction Recovery Doctor to Prison, to Pay $31.3 Million in Restitution After Submitting $106 Million in Fraudulent Benefits Claims

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

Transamerica Enhances Coverage Within Its Workplace Supplemental Health Benefits Suite


Ubiquity Retirement + Savings® Adds 3(16) Administrative Fiduciary Services to Select 401(k) Products

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings

Prime Pensions Acquires Northwest Retirement Plan Consultants

Prime Pensions

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

The Future of In-Plan Lifetime Income Options


Multnomah Group

IRA Trust Beneficiary Issues and How to Handle Them

August 11, 2022 WEBCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Notes from Meeting of Actuaries 'Intersector Group' with Treasury and IRS, May 2022 (PDF)

American Academy of Actuaries, Conference of Consulting Actuaries, Society of Actuaries, and ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries [ACOPA]

IRS No Longer Issuing Rulings on Spin-Term DB Plan Reversions


Sixth Circuit Confirms That ERISA Is a Law of Process, and Does Not Allow Hindsight Second-Guessing of Fiduciary Decisions

Euclid Specialty Managers

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

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