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Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 2, 2023

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Accountant's Opinion Selection on Form 5500

"[S]ome Form 5500 preparers of retirement plans ... are answering Part III -- Accountant's Opinion, Line 3(a) and 3(b) of the Schedule H of Form 5500 incorrectly by selecting an incorrect type of audit opinion and/or failing to indicate whether the audit was performed in accordance with ERISA Section 103(a)(3)(C). Confusion may be warranted because after the Form 5500 was updated to reflect auditing standard changes, the Audit Standards Board postponed the implementation of Statement on Auditing Standards 136 due to the COVID-19 pandemic."  MORE >>

Belfint Lyons Shuman


2023NAFE General Sessions Now Available

The 2023NAFE is the premier industry event for TPA professionals. With exciting general sessions & 50+ breakouts across four tracks, you’ll find insights you need to move your business forward. Browse the 2023NAFE Schedule and secure your spot today!

Sponsored by NIPA {National Institute of Pension Administrators]

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE 2.0: Catch-Up Changes and After-Tax Employer Contributions

"Although these changes may bring more opportunity and flexibility to participants, ... [p]lan Sponsors must balance these benefits with the burden of administering new and complex provisions. More than ever, Plan Sponsors will need to evaluate and communicate plan design choices to participants who may be unaware or confused by these new rules."  MORE >>

Kilpatrick Townsend

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Updates Operational Compliance List for Retirement Plans

"The IRS provides the List periodically, to help qualified retirement plan sponsors and practitioners achieve operational compliance by identifying material changes in qualification requirements for qualified retirement plans (including Section 403(b) plans) that become effective during a calendar year. The List ... is particularly helpful to qualified plan sponsors as a compliance checklist since the IRS has closed its determination letter program to most qualified retirement plans."  MORE >>

Sidley Austin LLP

Challenges to DOL's ESG Rule in Congress and Courts

"Neither the CRA resolution, nor the federal lawsuits, nor the state regulations would result in outright bans on the consideration of ESG factors in investing ... [T]hese legislative and judicial challenges may clarify the lens through which fiduciaries and companies consider ESG, encouraging fiduciaries to document why the ESG factors they rely on are financially relevant to an investment's risk and return characteristics."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

Senate Clears Resolution to Nullify 'ESG' Rule; Biden Plans Veto

"The Senate on [March 1] cleared a resolution that would disapprove of a [DOL] rule allowing retirement plans to consider climate factors in their investment decisions.... The Senate's 50-46 vote on the resolution comes one day after the House voted 216-204 to pass it.... The resolution would nullify a [DOL] rule that allows retirement plans to consider environmental, social and governance factors in their investment decisions."  MORE >>

Roll Call

Pension Plan Annuity Purchase Update, Q4 2022

"[P]ension buyout sales totaled $7.1B in Q4 2022. Despite this representing the lowest fourth quarter amount since 2016, total 2022 sales of $48.3B shattered the previous annual record of $36B set in 2012 ... and were a 42% increase from the 2021 total of $34.2B. The total number of buyout contracts of 562 in 2022 also broke the old record of 500 set in 2019."  MORE >>


Funded Status for Largest Pension Plans Hits Highest Level Since 2007

"The average global funded status for the largest pension plans jumped to 96.9% in 2022, reaching the highest level since 2007, according to [an] analysis of 20 publicly listed U.S. corporations with more than $20 billion in pension liabilities.... [T]hese large plans, which represent nearly 40% of all pension and liability assets of U.S. listed corporations, also experienced the largest asset losses since 2008 ... and the largest decrease in liabilities since 2009 as discount rates hit the highest level since 2010."  MORE >>

Russell Investments

Benefits in General

How Employee Benefits Help Growing Businesses

"A record 43% of businesses classify themselves as 'growing.' These businesses are concerned with retaining talented employees and want to offer more employee and key employee benefits. Almost 80% of growing businesses say their benefit package improves the ability to recruit and retain employees. And 74% say it improves productivity."  MORE >>

Principal Financial Group

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Account Executive
            for U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners

Account Executive

U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners

Rockwall TX / Hybrid

View job as Account Executive for U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant DB/DC
            for Long Island Employee Benefits Group Ltd.

Retirement Plan Consultant DB/DC

Long Island Employee Benefits Group Ltd.

Remote / Huntington NY / Hybrid

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant DB/DC for Long Island Employee Benefits Group Ltd.

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.

View job as Retirement Plan Specialist
            for Globe Life

Retirement Plan Specialist

Globe Life

McKinney TX / Hybrid

View job as Retirement Plan Specialist for Globe Life

Selected New Discussions

Participant Changed Election to 0% But Payroll Continued Deductions -- for Two Years

"The participant changed their election in 2021 from 3% to 0% but the payroll continued to deduct 3%. The failure was discovered in 2023. The plan has no match and is subject to ADP testing. How should we correct. technically, these were impermissible deductions. Are we supposed to return the contributions + earnings/losses to participant and re-run the ADP testing?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

403(b) Plan Employer Contribution Limits and Timing

"Since 403(b) plan Employers generally don't file tax returns, is there a 404(a) limit to what the Employer can contribute? Is it the same a for-profit companies, 25% of pay? And when are the ER contributions due, since there is no tax form deadline? 12/31 the following year? (assuming calendar year) Is any of this discussed in the regs? Where?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Did the DOL Just Change the Audit Requirement?

"After considering the public comments, the Agencies decided to adopt the proposed counting method change for defined contribution individual account plans by adding a new line item on both the Form 5500 and Form 5500-SF for defined contribution pension plans to report participants with account balances at the beginning of the plan year ... Instead of using all those eligible to participate, defined contribution plan filers will look at the number of participants/beneficiaries with account balances as of the beginning of the plan year (the first plan year would use an end- of- year measure) when determining if they are eligible for small plan reporting options, e.g., the Form 5500-SF. Conforming changes are also made to the short plan year filings and the '80-120' Participant Rule instructions to reflect this new counting method."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

The ERISA Industry Committee Appoints Melissa Bartlett to Senior Vice President for Health Policy

ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

IslerDare Welcomes Jessica E. Kuester as Counsel

IslerDare PC

Ilene Ferenczy Selected to 2023 Georgia Super Lawyers List

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center LLP

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

SECURE 2.0 Highlights for Tax-Exempt and Church Plans

March 8, 2023 WEBINAR

Groom Law Group

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Senate Sends Bill Nullifying Biden's ESG Investing Rule to President's Desk

The Hill

Treasury Proposes Rule on Retirement Plan Forfeitures


CPA Dismay Over Form 5500 Changes May Be Misplaced

E is for ERISA

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

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