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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 20, 2023

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2023-33: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for April 2023 (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates ... and the 24-month average segment rates ... [as well as] the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities ... as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate[.]"  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon SECURE 2.0 Changes to Retirement Plan Corrections

"In SECURE 2.0, Congress has ... [tried] to resolve certain correction issues that bedevil plan administrators.... [1] Correction methods formerly approved either by the IRS or the DOL, but not both, have [now] been written into the IRC and ERISA ... [2] Overpayment errors made by the plan can be corrected without creating hardship for participants and also without exposing plan fiduciaries to a fiduciary violation. [3] The safe harbor correction method for certain automatic contribution and elective deferral failures ... has been made permanent. [4] Self-correction is given broader scope than the agencies apparently felt they had authority to provide."  MORE >>

Frost Brown Todd LLC

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE 2.0: Student Loans and 401(k) Plan Matching Contributions

"[S]tarting in 2024, employers may also make matching contributions to retirement plans ... based on the employee's qualified student loan payments. In order to receive this new type of matching contribution, eligible employees must simply certify that eligible loan payments have been made on an annual basis -- the plan sponsor is not required to conduct an independent review."  MORE >>

Foley & Lardner LLP

Potential for Increased Participant Litigation Looms After Appellate Court Decision on Excess Recordkeeping and Investment Fee Claims

"This decision holds that a participant pleading a breach of ERISA's fiduciary duty of prudence need only plausibly allege fiduciary decisions outside a range of reasonableness, with a context-specific inquiry into that range. This standard may open the door to increased litigation by participants, who would not have to show that a prudent alternative action was actually available to survive a motion to dismiss (plausible availability would be enough)." [Hughes v. Northwestern Univ., No. 18-2569 (7th Cir. Mar. 23, 2023)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Economic Consequences of Pension Bailouts: Evidence from the American Rescue Plan

56 pages. "Consistent with the [American Rescue Plan] inducing moral hazard, [the authors] find that [multiemployer pension plans (MEPPs)] increase risk taking in investment allocations, increase benefit payments, and increase administrative fees relative to single-employer pension plans which did not receive bailout funds. The economic magnitudes ... are significant, with MEPPs collectively increasing their holdings of high-risk assets by at least $10.1 billion. [The authors find] evidence consistent with MEPPs deploying opportunistic actuarial assumptions to increase the likelihood of qualifying for bailout relief."  MORE >>

Michael Dambra, Phillip J. Quinn, and John Wertz, via SSRN

Creating Retirement Income for Life: A Case Study

"In 2016, the University of California (UC) began offering new hires a choice ... [between] a defined benefit pension plan or a defined contribution plan.... [A] growing portion of the employee population is covered by the DC retirement plan.... [UC] wanted to make sure that guaranteed income was available for all participants to consider.... This solution is built for the long term [for] future generations of retirees who have chosen the defined contribution benefit and who don't have access to guaranteed income through the pension."  MORE >>

Segal Benz

A Step Towards Guidance Instead of Regulation by Litigation in the ESOP Space

"[The DOL] has committed to move forward with public notice-and-comment rulemaking to establish a clear definition regarding the 'adequate consideration' requirement for ESOP acquisitions ... The absence of formal valuation guidance has proved challenging not just for plan fiduciaries but even for the DOL itself."  MORE >>

Goodwin Procter

Comcast Facing 401(k) Climate Change Resolution

"Comcast Corporation shareholders appear set to vote on a proposal about the company's retirement plan and how it may be impacted by climate change.... The resolution at issue, which was filed by As You Sow, requests that Comcast's board 'publish a report… disclosing how the company is protecting plan beneficiaries with a longer investment time horizon from climate risk in [Comcast's] default retirement options.' "  MORE >>

Corporate Secretary

Serial Acquirers of Retirement Plan Businesses Eyeing Regional Banks for Buying Opportunities

"[T]he challenges facing banks in the wake of the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank and widespread concern of a banking crisis [have] intensified opportunities.... [One] partner at Wise Rhino added that banks and other financial institutions are realizing that they don't have the expertise or focus to build out their retirement plan businesses."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Public Sector Pension Plans Bank on Inflation Moderation

"[O]ver half (52%) of the public sector pension plans questioned believe inflation could be 3.3% or lower within a year compared with 6.4% at the time of the research in February 2023.... Some 70% of those interviewed said their plans had increased their allocation to commodities to help [hedge against inflation] compared with 52% who had increased allocations to infrastructure and 40% who put more into gold. Just 42% said they had increased allocations to inflation-linked bonds."  MORE >>

Ortec Finance


A Proposal for Redesign of the SECURE Act 2.0

14 pages. "Retirement equity ... would be better achieved by four amendments to redesign the SECURE Act 2.0: [1] Eliminate the Roth catch-up mandate and the ... catch-up limit increases.... [2] Eliminate both RMD age increases.... [3] Require ... retirement plans to give the IRS annual notices of their use, if any, of the self-correction program (SCP) ... [4] Expand the excise taxes imposed under Code Section 4974 on a person(s) whose RMD was late to apply to the earnings associated with the late RMDs ... and require the distribution of those earnings and all delayed RMDs ... for a retirement plan to preserve its tax qualification despite an RMD violation[.]"  MORE >>

Albert Feuer, via Bloomberg Tax Management Compensation Planning Journal

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Your Employee Benefit Plans May Need a Check Up: Nearing the End of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

"[E]mployers that do not want to risk having to do things like send COBRA notices for their employee assistance programs will want to take the COVID-related provisions out of those plans.... With the PHE came suspension (practically speaking) of required blackout notices; relaxed rules for distributions and loans from employee retirement accounts; permissible COVID-related distributions; and remote notarizations.... [It] is essential that employers check up on their plans to see if any COVID-related provisions that were placed into various benefit plans, including through the actions of insurers or other vendors, may now need to be removed."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Implementation Specialist
            for Nova 401(k) Associates

Implementation Specialist

Nova 401(k) Associates


View job as Implementation Specialist for Nova 401(k) Associates

View job as Proposal Writer - Retirement RFP
            for The Standard

Proposal Writer - Retirement RFP

The Standard


View job as Proposal Writer - Retirement RFP for The Standard

View job as Actuarial Analyst
            for Metro Benefits, Inc

Actuarial Analyst

Metro Benefits, Inc

Remote / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Actuarial Analyst for Metro Benefits, Inc

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
            for EPAB

Retirement Plan Administrator


Cherry Hill NJ / Hybrid

Selected New Discussions

Pension Plan Benefit Statements for Terminated Participants

"For term vested pension plan participants who receive a copy of their benefit statement at or about termination, is there some kind of minimum that the Plan Sponsor is supposed to provide them with benefit statements when asked, like say once per year or 3 years? Is it fair for their prior employer to charge them for multiple requests?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Retroactive Change to Plan Year

"Client wants to retroactively change plan year to calendar year for the 2023 Year. Previously plan used a 7/1 to 6/30 year, so we would need to amend plan to have a short year of 7/1/2022 to 12/31/2022, making the plan year be the calendar year for 2023. I am recommending that the plan year be changed for 7/1/2023 to end 12/31/2023 but investment advisor is pushing to do the change retroactive as noted above for 2022. Any comments will be appreciated."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Is the Ability to Elect the Source of a Distribution a Protected Benefit?

"Is electing the source of an in-service distribution a protected benefit? Potentially an optional form of benefit? Or maybe not protected as an 'administrative procedure for distributing benefits'? I'm not asking about removing in-service distributions entirely. This is a scenario were currently participants are able to elect which account (e.g. pre-tax, after-tax, rollovers) the distribution comes from. Would it be impermissible to eliminate this election and instead institute a policy whereby any in-service distribution is taken from all accounts on a pro-rata basis?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Robinson+Cole Continues Growth in New York with Addition of Partners in Capital Markets + Securities, Construction, and Managed Care + Employee Benefit Litigation


State Street Global Advisors, Global Trust Company, and Annexus Retirement Solutions Launch Target Date Series That Aims to Deliver Lifetime Income

State Street

Council Announces New Board Leadership

American Benefits Council

CEO Annette Guarisco Fildes of The ERISA Industry Committee Retires

ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

Quantum Health Joins With HPI and Employers Health Network to Offer New Healthcare Navigation and High-Performance Networks Platform to Self-Insured Employers

Quantum Health

aequum LLC Names Brandon Heusey as National Director of Sales

aequum LLC

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Social Security Update and New Research

April 26, 2023 WEBINAR

National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS]

SECURE Act 2.0 and the Future of EPCRS

May 24, 2023 WEBINAR

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Fiduciary Best Practices for Plan Sponsors

May 24, 2023 WEBINAR

TRA [The Retirement Advantage]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

SECURE 2.0: Guidance Needed

October Three Consulting

New Form 5500 Rules Permit More Plans to Qualify for Audit Exemption

Polsinelli PC

Cautions for Plan Fiduciaries and Service Providers: Cybertheft, Fraud, and Potential Liability

Mayer Brown

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

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