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Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 7, 2023

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Finalizes Significant Form 5500 Changes for 2023 Year

"Most notably, this package of Form 5500 changes includes reporting rules related to defined contribution 'groups of plans' or DCGs, changes to Schedules MB, SB and R for defined benefit plans, the addition of IRS compliance questions, and a change to the counting method for determining whether a defined contribution plan is subject to audit."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

[Guidance Overview]

Proposed Treasury Regs on Forfeitures Would Require Changes to Tax-Qualified Retirement Plans

"The deadline for using plan forfeitures has never been clear.... The new proposed regulations provide some flexibility for plan administrators but also may require plans to be amended ... If finalized, the new proposed regulations would be effective for plan years beginning on and after January 1, 2024."  MORE >>

Ballard Spahr LLP

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE 2.0's New QDRO Rules: The Mainstreaming of the QLAC?

"[There is a] potential 'downstream' impact of this provision on a wide number of plan participants, legal and professionals who represent plan participants in divorce proceedings. Where there is a QLAC in a plan, this means that a wide swath of professionals of all sorts may need to be involved in sorting through this issue in resolving a domestic relations matter. Handling QLACs in QDROs may well force the whole idea of DC LI into a significant number of professional 'portfolios' as a matter of necessity."  MORE >>

National Tax-Deferred Savings Association [NTSA]

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE 2.0 FAQs for Employers

"The SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 will expand the retirement plan toolkit available to employers that desire to enhance the plans available for their employees.... [This article] provides brief answers to 20 of the most frequently asked questions."  MORE >>

Qualified Plan Advisors [QPA]

District Court Vacates DOL Interpretation of Investment Advice

"[A] United States District Court [ruled that] recommendations to employee benefit plans must be analyzed separately from recommendations to IRAs to determine whether the regular basis prong of the five-part test has been met.... [T]he Court vacated the policy underlying guidance DOL issued in 2021 ... which stated advice to rollover from a plan may be part of an ongoing advice relationship that satisfies the regular basis prong." [American Securities Association v. DOL, No. 22-0330 (M.D. Fla. Feb. 13, 2023)]  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

States' Suit to Block ESG Investment Rule Could Have Far-Reaching Implications for the Anti-ESG Movement

"In addition to providing a venue for the courts to clarify the scope of the duties of fiduciaries under [ERISA], these cases present an opportunity to address whether and to what extent ESG considerations relate to pecuniary interests and financial risk and return -- a premise of the 2022 Rule and a key question raised by Republican-led states' ongoing resistance to ESG‑based investing." [Utah v. Walsh, No. 223-00016, (N.D. Tex. complaint filed Jan. 26, 2023)]  MORE >>

Kramer Levin

The Plan Sponsor's Guide to Pension Risk Transfer

"PRT is a valuable tool for plan sponsors seeking to protect participants and transfer financial risk. PRT annuitants benefit from enhanced security in annuities backed by a more stable, diverse asset pool. The market has evolved to provide the capacity and operational capabilities required to support even the largest and most complex PRT transactions. Regulatory and market infrastructure has matured to enable seamless deal execution and benefits administration."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

U.S. Corporate Pension Plans Funding Status, February 2023

"The aggregate funded ratio for U.S. corporate pension plans increased by an estimated 1.0 percentage point month-over-month in February to end the month at 100.2 percent ... The monthly change in funded ratio resulted from a 4.8% decrease in liability values partially offset by a 3.9% decrease in asset values. The aggregate funded ratio is estimated to have increased by 2.7% and 4.2% year-to-date and over the trailing twelve months, respectively."  MORE >>

Wilshire Associates


NTSA Works Against Teachers' Best Financial Interests

"[The author] recently detailed how the National Tax-Deferred Savings Association uses almost comically flawed research and white papers to argue why K-12 403(b) plans should remain multi-vendor.... Let's look at three concrete ways they lead the charge to keep the K-12 403(b) in the Dark Ages."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

DOL Appoints New Members to ERISA Advisory Council

"The appointees and their areas of expertise are as follows: [1] Accounting: Gwen Mazzola is a partner and the ERISA Practice Leader of HoganTaylor LLP.... [2] Employee Organizations: Mayoung Nham is a principal with the law firm of Slevin & Hart PC.... [3] Employers: John M. Towarnicky has ... [held] leadership positions at four Fortune 500 employers and at the Plan Sponsor Council of America.... [4] General Public: Mark D. DeBofsky is the principal member of DeBofsky Law Ltd.... [5] Insurance: Alice Palmer is vice president and chief counsel for Retirement Plan Service for the Lincoln Financial Group."  MORE >>

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

Modernizing Benefit Practices to Enhance the Employee Experience

"Benefits need to meet individuals where they are by allowing enough flexibility to appeal to employees -- of any generation -- at all life stages.... Employees have become more vocal about needing more flexibility, including time away from work.... A retirement study can help determine if plan contribution matching practices and vesting schedule parameters are market competitive.... Precision medicine, which considers a person's genetics, environment and lifestyle, also brightens the horizon for cost control and population health."  MORE >>


Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Rethinking Approaches to Executive Compensation

"Considering differentiated and individualized incentives supports the goals of both HCEs and the organization. By offering more uniform access points and investment allocation choices -- and ensuring that employees understand how to use their plan features -- employers can enhance income planning. When that happens, the outcomes of efforts to attract and retain key employees are likely to improve."  MORE >>


DOJ Targets Executive Compensation in Compliance Failures: A Novel Approach Becomes Standard Practice

"The DOJ's new pilot program makes more explicit a theme that has permeated the current administration's regulatory posture, namely, that compensation will be targeted within the context of compliance failures. Risk managers, in-house counsel, and HR and compensation consultants should ... begin thinking through how this impacts the development and maintenance of new and/or existing compliance and executive performance-assessment programs."  MORE >>

Husch Blackwell

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Analyst – Defined Contribution Plans
            for M2B Retirement Consulting, LLC

Retirement Plan Analyst – Defined Contribution Plans

M2B Retirement Consulting, LLC

Remote / Wexford PA

View job as Retirement Plan Analyst – Defined Contribution Plans for M2B Retirement Consulting, LLC

View job as Benefits Analyst II
            for B. Braun Medical

Benefits Analyst II

B. Braun Medical

Bethlehem PA / Hybrid

Selected New Discussions

New Start Up Solo Plan That Was a Mistake

"This is a new start up solo 401k plan eff 1/1/23, only 2 months ago. The owner is a sole prop. While his compensation to be used for the plan was supposed to come from his sole prop business, a miscommunication somewhere resulted in him believing he could use income from other sources that would not be eligible for use in the plan. He already made a few deposits in 2023 (not sure whether they were to be 401k, Roth or after-tax). But at this point, all parties involved just want to 'walk away from the plan'. IE, take the money back out of the plan account and pretend it never happened. Given that he is the only participant and there have been no government filings, is this acceptable or is there a better way to handle this? What about earnings in the account? If there is no tax deduction being used for any of the deposits, I would assume any earnings that were associated with the deposits would just be non-retirement earnings, just like it came from savings account or something similar."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Date for Top Heavy Contribution

"Have a plan that was top-heavy at 12/31/22 (62%). From my understanding the plan is top-heavy for 2023. The prior service provider calculate TH minimum contribution for the sponsor based on 2022 census/contributions but told them it would need to be deposited by March 15, 2024. Wouldn't the top heavy minimum be based on the 2023 census/contributions instead of 2022 census/contributions?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Direct Rollover Even Without Distribution Event?

"A participant in a pure profit sharing plan is claiming that a direct rollover must be permitted at any time and for any reason regardless of whether the participant is otherwise eligible for a distribution (which the participant is not). The participant relies on Treas. Reg. § 1.401(a)(31)-1, Q/A-1. The rules I've reviewed do not explicitly say that a distribution must otherwise be available under the terms of the Plan. Anyone come across some authority to rely upon that an eligible rollover distribution is not permitted at any time and only if a distribution is otherwise available under the terms of the Plan? The direct rollover section of the Plan is not helpful."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Biosimilars Key to Lowering Drug Prices; National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions Releases Playbook to Help Employers Adopt

National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)


March 16, 2023 WEBINAR

Qualified Plan Advisors [QPA]

SECURE 2.0 Deep Dive

March 29, 2023 WEBINAR

Thompson Hine LLP

HR Trends/Retirement Programs

April 13, 2023 in OH

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Northeast Ohio Chapter

15th Annual Qualified Plan Fiduciary Summit

April 24, 2023 in KS

Qualified Plan Advisors [QPA]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

SECURE 2.0 Provisions Effective in 2024 and Beyond (PDF)

Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

IRS Proposed Regs May Simplify Administration of Plan Forfeitures

Holland & Hart LLP

SECURE 2.0: 403(b) Plan Expansion and Enhancement

McDonald Hopkins

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

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