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Retirement Plans Newsletter

July 6, 2022

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Employee Stock Ownership Plans: Whatcha Gonna Do When the DOL Comes After You? (PDF)

"The DOL has for a very long time had a certain cynicism over employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and officially in 2005 created an ESOP National Enforcement Project to tar- get ESOPs.... This article will delve into the background on ESOPs, ERISA's fiduciary standards, the flow of a typical ESOP transaction, what is considered [fair market value (FMV)], and how courts construed FMV."  MORE >>

Fox Rothschild LLP, via Bloomberg Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal


ASC CE Webcast: Prevent Protected Benefits "Gotchas"

Forgetting to account for protected benefits, including "optional forms of benefit", when amending a qualified plan can cause a violation of the so-called "anti-cutback" rules. Prevent this mistake made by employers and plan drafters. Register Now!

Sponsored by ASC

[Guidance Overview]

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 95: Effective Dates for PTE 2020-02

"The DOL's fiduciary interpretation and the PTE and its requirements were not all effective at the same time, causing some confusion. This article discusses the four effective dates or, more appropriately, enforcement dates."  MORE >>

[Guidance Overview]

PTE 2020-02, the Definition of Investment Advice Fiduciary, and Enforcement Deadlines

"The DOL delayed enforcement of PTE-2020-02's specific requirements for rollover advice until July 1, 2022. On and after that date, if the advice involves a rollover recommendation, then advisors must [1] Document the reasons that a rollover recommendation is in the best interest of the retirement investor; and [2] Disclose the justification for the rollover in writing to the retirement investor."  MORE >>

Retirement Learning Center, LLC

Defendants Obtain Case Dismissals in Three Post-Hughes Decisions

"While it may be too soon to declare a reversal of that trend, three recent decisions dismissing these types of claims present some hope for plan sponsors and fiduciaries that in appropriate cases they may be able to avoid the costs and burdens of class action discovery. In particular, the Sixth Circuit became the first Court of Appeals to affirm the dismissal of a 401(k) fee litigation since the Supreme Court's decision in Hughes v. Northwestern University ... and two district courts dismissed similar claims."  MORE >>


Cross-Testing in Qualified Profit Sharing Plans: Brief Overview

"If an employer meets all three of the following criteria, [a cross-tested plan will typically] justify contributions for the HCEs which are significantly larger than under other traditional contribution methods. [1] The company has at least 12 to 20 employees eligible for a qualified plan ... [2] The average age of the HCEs is at least 8 to 12 years above that of all other eligible employees. [3] There are no HCEs among the youngest third of all eligible employees."  MORE >>

Retirement Management Services, LLC

Are Target Date Index Funds the Best Investment for Most 401(k) Participants?

"[T]he one-size-fits-all investment strategy of TDIFs is not the best fit for every 401(k) participant. Some participants will be better served by a more custom mix of investments. Here's what you need to know to determine whether a TDIF is right for your 401(k) account."  MORE >>

Employee Fiduciary

How Should Pre-Retirees Define 'Comfortable' Retirement?

"Rather than asking them, perhaps it's better to tell pre-retirees how to define 'comfortable' when it comes to retirement. It starts with telling them one size doesn't fit all. What's comfortable for one person might not be comfortable for another. This doesn't mean they can't specific, measurable, and reasonable."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Cannabis Companies Look for Ability to Legally Sponsor 401(k) Plans

"Retirement service providers want to make sure that the cannabis industry's growing workforce has access to a retirement plan -- and that they capitalize on the market opportunity.... For now, though, the retirement industry has its hands tied. With cannabis considered an illegal drug under federal law, record keepers are steering clear of cannabis-related businesses even if operating legally under state law."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

CRS Report: The Social Security Retirement Age (PDF)

28 pages. "Some lawmakers have called for increasing the Social Security retirement age in response to the system's projected financial imbalance, citing gains in life expectancy for the population overall. Other lawmakers, however, express concern that increasing the retirement age would disproportionately affect certain groups within the population, citing differences in life expectancy by socioeconomic groups. Differential gains in life expectancy are important in the context of Social Security because the actuarial adjustments for claiming benefits before or after the full retirement age are based on average life expectancy." [R44670, updated Jul. 6, 2022]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon CRS Report: Social Security Primer (PDF)

18 pages. "This report provides an overview of Social Security financing and benefits under current law. Specifically, the report covers the origins and a brief history of the program; Social Security financing and the status of the trust funds; how Social Security benefits are computed; the types of Social Security benefits available to workers and their family members; the basic eligibility requirements for each type of benefit; the scheduled increase in the Social Security retirement age; and the federal income taxation of Social Security benefits." [R42035, updated Jul. 6, 2022]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Disaster Relief Notice MT-2022-01, for Montana Severe Storm and Flooding Victims

"Victims of a severe storm and flooding beginning June 10, 2022, now have until October 17, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.... Individuals and households affected by severe storms and flooding that reside or have a business in Carbon, Park and Stillwater counties qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

IRS Disaster Relief Notice OK-2022-02, for Oklahoma Severe Storms, Tornadoes and Flooding Victims

"Victims of severe storms, tornadoes and flooding beginning May 2, 2022, now have until September 1, 2022, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... Individuals and households affected by severe storms, tornadoes and flooding that reside or have a business in Adair, Cherokee, Muskogee, Okmulgee, Pottawatomie, Seminole, and Tulsa counties qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Cybersecurity in the Benefit Plan Committee Room (PDF)

"This article discusses 10 questions that can equip leaders with insights that fuel a comprehensive response to regulatory pressure and threats in the cyber landscape. [It also provides] eight steps for upgrading a committee's management framework."  MORE >>

Roland Criss, via Journal of Compensation and Benefits

It's Form 5500 Season: Five Common Mistakes That Plan Sponsors Should Avoid

"[1] Failing to file a health and welfare plan Form 5500 when necessary.... [2] Failing to accurately report participant counts.... [3] Failing to answer fidelity bond coverage question.... [4] Marking a form 5500 as 'final' when the plan still has assets.... [5] Failing to comply with the retirement plan audit rules."  MORE >>

Dickinson Wright

ERISA Litigation Roundup: The End of Firestone?

"The Employee and Retiree Access to Justice Act [HR 7740; S 4219] would create a huge shift in how ERISA benefit claims are adjudicated. The Act would prohibit a court from giving any deference to a fiduciary's benefit determination, requiring de novo review of benefit claim lawsuits, and inevitably increasing the cost and length of litigation. Notably, the bill excludes multiemployer plans from these proposed changes."  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Benefit Plan Consultant
          for Planned Retirement Consultants & Administrators, LLC Defined Benefit Plan Consultant

Planned Retirement Consultants & Administrators, LLC

Remote / Ridgewood NJ

View job as Defined Benefit Plan Consultant
          for Planned Retirement Consultants & Administrators, LLC

View job as 401k & Defined Contribution Plan Consultant
          for Planned Retirement Consultant & Administrators, LLC 401k & Defined Contribution Plan Consultant

Planned Retirement Consultant & Administrators, LLC

Remote / Ridgewood NJ

View job as 401k & Defined Contribution Plan Consultant
          for Planned Retirement Consultant & Administrators, LLC

View job as Manager, Participant Service Center
          for Definiti LLC Manager, Participant Service Center

Definiti LLC


View job as Manager, Participant Service Center
          for Definiti LLC

View job as Retirement Recon & Distributions Specialist
          for Alerus Retirement Recon & Distributions Specialist



View job as Retirement Recon & Distributions Specialist
          for Alerus

Selected New Discussions

Is Leaving for an Employer's Non-U.S. Affiliate Considered a Severance from Employment?

"XYZ US and XYZ UK are commonly controlled business organizations. XYZ US maintains a 401(k) plan. XYZ UK is not a participating employer under that plan. Martha ends her employment with XYZ US on June 30, and becomes XYZ UK’s employee on July 1. If employment by a business organization commonly controlled with the 401(k) plan's sponsor otherwise would mean a change is not a severance-from-employment, is there anything that varies such a rule if the next employing organization is outside the USA?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Principal® Launches New Variable Annuity Buffer Funds to Help Safeguard Investors From Market Volatility

Principal Financial Group

Carver Edison and Morgan Stanley at Work Launch API Integration to Boost Equity Ownership Among Stock Plan Participants

Carver Edison

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Cryptocurrency Investments in Retirement Plans


Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Fortifying Main Street: The Economic Benefit of Public Pension Dollars in Small Towns and Rural America

July 14, 2022 WEBCAST

National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

Best Practices Awards Conference

September 22, 2022 in MA

New England Employee Benefits Council [NEEBC]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

In Groundbreaker, DOL Opposes Arbitration in ERISA Suit by ESOP Participant

Pensions & Investments

How Blockchain Could Change 401(k)s


Keeping Retirees' Assets in Your Plan: Considerations for Your Retirement Plan Committee


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

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