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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 27, 2023

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Alternatives for Sponsors of Defined Benefit Pension Plans

"This post summarizes options that may be available to employers that sponsor DB Plans to reduce administrative costs and risk factors ... [1] Stay the course for funded plans ... [2] Plan mergers ... [3] Freezing plan participation and benefit accruals ... [4] Lump sum windows and annuity purchases ... [5] Plan termination."  MORE >>

Verrill Dana LLP

Does Our Pension Plan Really Need an Experience Study?

"Experience studies, which look at a pension plan's valuation assumptions compared to recent actual rates, are an important part of pension plan actuarial practice. However, they cost money and require considerable effort. So it is fair to ask whether they are necessary and what an appropriate scope for review is. Here are several common arguments against an experience study, along with information indicating why these arguments may not make sense."  MORE >>


Americans' Confidence That They Will Have Enough Money to Live Comfortably Throughout Retirement Declines (PDF)

43 pages. "Key findings.... [1] Both workers and retirees report high concerns about inflation and its impact on their savings/spending.... [2] Workers' debt levels are on the rise and are negatively impacting their ability to save for retirement.... [3] Understanding of retirement plan investment options is lacking for some, and many don't consider their plan provider a go-to source for retirement planning information and advice.... [4] While workers are confident they know how much to withdraw from their retirement savings, they tend to overestimate the role many income sources will play."  MORE >>

Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI]

Higher Living Costs Force Americans to Cut Back on Retirement Savings

"One in four adults -- including those who are employed part-time and full-time -- said they decreased their retirement saving in 2022 because of inflation's impact on their finances[.]"  MORE >>

MSN News

Saving for Retirement, Even in a Bear Market

"[1] Don't abandon long-term retirement goals due to short-term market fears. [2] Make sure that you have the right balance of assets for growth and volatility management in your portfolio. [3] Consider the benefits of dividend stocks in your retirement account."  MORE >>

Motley Fool

The Science of Flexible Retirement Choices: Switching Retirement Savings Into an Annuity

"[In] a world of 'loss aversion', across a very wide range of assumptions, there is almost always a 'crossover point' during retirement at which moving out of drawdown into an annuity can be the optimal strategy. This suggests that the pensions industry should investigate the construction of a hybrid, 'flex-first, fix-later' pension product."  MORE >>

Andrew Clare, James Seaton, Peter N. Smith and Steve Thomas, via SSRN


SPARK Institute Letter to EBSA: SECURE 2.0 Guidance Requests (PDF)

"[1] Clarification of PEP trustee duties.... [2] Pension-linked emergency savings account.... [3] Recovery of retirement plan overpayments.... [4] Unenrolled participant disclosures.... [5] Paper statements and e-delivery modifications.... [6] Roth catch-up contributions.... [7] ERISA safe harbor for 403(b) plans."  MORE >>

The SPARK Institute


Fiduciary Governance for 401(k)s

"In the nearly five decades after the passage of ERISA, the United States has seen dramatic changes in how workers save for retirement and in the allocation of risk between employers and employees. In that time, ERISA's prudence and loyalty standards have become a central feature of the regulatory regime governing employer-sponsored retirement plans."  MORE >>

Natalya Shnitser, via The Regulatory Review


A World Without Pensions Would Eventually Be a World Without Public Employees

"In recent years, we have also seen an uptick in anti-pension legislation and messaging -- suggesting that moving away from defined benefit pensions is the best option for states and employees.... Eliminating defined benefit pensions only exacerbates retention problems and sends quality public employees looking for other jobs with better benefits -- leaving vital public services understaffed and key positions unfilled."  MORE >>

National Public Pension Coalition [NPPC]

Benefits in General

Julie Su’s Nomination to Head DOL Advances From Committee

"Su, currently the acting secretary, must now be confirmed by a vote of the whole Senate. No Republicans have yet supported her confirmation publicly, and ... it is unclear if Democrats, with 48 Senators and three who caucus with them, have the votes to confirm Su on a pure party-line basis. A floor vote has yet to be scheduled."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Tech Industry Holding the Line on Stock-Based Compensation

"Recent press articles have spotlighted a few marquee tech industry companies exploring a pull-back on their bonus payouts and/or stock-based compensation programs.... However, based on a Q1 survey ... the overall tech industry will most likely be holding the line on stock-based compensation -- both in terms of participation by job level and the dollar value of awards."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Retirement Plan Document Specialist
            for Empower

Senior Retirement Plan Document Specialist



View job as Senior Retirement Plan Document Specialist for Empower

View job as DB Retirement Plan Consultant
            for EGPS

DB Retirement Plan Consultant



View job as DB Retirement Plan Consultant for EGPS

View job as Employee Benefits Attorney
            for Bricker Graydon LLP

Employee Benefits Attorney

Bricker Graydon LLP

Cincinnati OH

View job as Employee Benefits Attorney for Bricker Graydon LLP

Selected New Discussions

Mid Year Amendments to Non Safe Harbor Plan

"Recently took over a non safe harbor plan and am looking at making two changes to improve the ADP test results. First, the plan has an ACA (not EACA or QACA) and the plan sponsor has agreed to increase the default percentage from 2% to 3% effective immediately. It's a minor change but I figure every little bit helps. Second, the plan uses compensation for the full year and I want to amend to exclude comp before date of entry. Eligibility is no minimum age, 1 YOS, monthly entry. The employer will not be making contributions of any kind this year. Given these circumstances, can the compensation definition be amended mid year, effective for participants entering on or after June 1? There will be no cutbacks with no ER contribution."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Excess Assets Used for Termination Expenses?

"DB plan expected to terminate in 2024. All remaining participants are VTs and all payments/lump sums are expected in 2024. Excess assets are anticipated. There is no possible Qualified Replacement Plan since there are no 'overlapping participants'. Plan sponsor want to maintain the plan's trust into 2025 so that such assets can be applied to anticipated 2025 audit expenses (PBGC audit or other agency). Review of DOL Advisory Opinion 97-03A indicates that reasonable such expenses can be covered by plan assets (at least that is my read of the AO). Since 12/31/24 assets are not zero, a 5500 will be required for 2025 plan year, but little or no other administrative tasks. If, after such audits, any remaining excess assets will be taken as a sponsor reversion, per the plan document.

  1. Is it reasonable for the sponsor to maintain the trust in anticipation of expenses?
  2. What if (for example), there is no 2025 audit, but the sponsor anticipates a PBGC audit will eventually occur in 2026; is there a time limit over which maintenance of the trust becomes unreasonable or in violation of some other rule?
  3. What other concerns have I overlooked?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Hinshaw Adds Experienced ERISA/LHD Litigators in Chicago

Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP

O3 PRIME: The Retirement Program of the Future for Your Workforce of the Future

October Three, LLC

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Best Practices on Handling Beneficiary Designations

April 27, 2023 WEBINAR

ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

AICPA & CIMA Employee Benefit Plans Conference

May 8, 2023 in CO

American Institute of CPAs [AICPA]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

401(k) In-Service Distributions: New SECURE 2.0 Options

Employee Fiduciary

New Rules on Retirement Plan Duty to Recover Benefit Overpayments

Golan Christie Taglia

RMD Evolution, Part 2

Bricker Graydon

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

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