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Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 5, 2023

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Real Estate Investments in Qualified Plans (PDF)

"Although there are many complications involving the investment of real estate in a qualified plan, that is, it complicates administration, exposes the plan sponsor to additional requirements and risk of government scrutiny, can create prohibited transactions, and can raise qualification issues -- some trustees may still find the investment benefits outweigh the costs."  MORE >>

Harlowe & Fallk LLP, via Journal of Pension Benefits

[Guidance Overview]

Final Compliance Deadline for the DOL Fiduciary Rule and Prohibited Transaction Exemption Is Approaching

"For 2023 and annually thereafter, the Exemption also requires an annual retrospective review report of any transactions covered by the Exemption, certified by a senior executive officer of the financial institution providing the investment advice, no later than six months following the end of the relevant annual period. The report and any supporting data are subject to a six-year retention requirement and must be made available to the DOL upon request generally within ten business days of such request."  MORE >>

Haynes and Boone, LLP

District Court Denies Summary Judgment on Fiduciary Liability for Failure to Remove Investment Option After Just 36 Months of Alleged Underperformance

"The court relied on plaintiff's expert testimony that it is imprudent for fiduciaries to retain an investment that underperforms for twelve consecutive quarters. This is a warning to all plan fiduciaries that the retention of any investment that is underperforming -- even in the short-term -- can be second-guessed and lead to fiduciary liability. Despite five high-profile investment advisors and multiple investment tracking reports, the Court curiously held that there was no evidence that the plan considered the performance of the challenged investment." [Jacobs v. Verizon Communications Inc., No. 16-1082 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 20, 2023)]  MORE >>

Euclid Specialty Managers

Dismissal Streak Continues in BlackRock Target Date Fund Litigation

"A third district court has dismissed with prejudice a complaint alleging that defendants breached their fiduciary duties under ERISA by offering 401(k) plan participants the option to invest in BlackRock LifePath Index Target Date Funds.... Although the outcome of the court's ruling here is consistent with earlier decisions, the rationale underlying the Beldock decision arguably goes further than in prior rulings[.]" [Beldock v. Microsoft, No. 22-1082 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 24, 2023)]  MORE >>



Here's a Way to Save Social Security and Defer RMDs

"[W]hat if there was an easy way to get people who really don't need Social Security to suspend their Social Security benefits, which would help preserve the program for those who need it most and possibly preserve Social Security as we know it indefinitely? As conversations around these challenges are picking up in the U.S. Senate, this article presents a legislative proposal called the RMD Option Act, which could potentially preserve Social Security indefinitely."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2023-36: Public Recommendations Invited on Items to Be Included on the 2023-2024 Priority Guidance Plan (PDF)

"The 2023-2024 Priority Guidance Plan will identify guidance projects that the Treasury Department and the IRS intend to actively work on as priorities during the period from July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Notice CA-2023-04, for Victims of Severe Winter Storms, Straight-Line Winds, Flooding, Landslides, and Mudslides in California

"Victims of Severe Winter Storms, Straight-line Winds, Flooding, Landslides and Mudslides in California that began on Feb. 21, 2023, now have until Aug. 15, 2023, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... [I]ndividuals and households ... that reside or have a business in Modoc County qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Dodd-Frank Clawback Rules: Documenting Incentive Pay Decisions

"Companies should consider conducting a detailed inventory of all plan documents and other written communications that reference pay decisions. Once that is complete, each company can determine what changes are necessary and how the compensation committee, advisors and corporate secretary can prepare for when clawbacks are required."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
            for Strongpoint Partners

Retirement Plan Administrator

Strongpoint Partners


View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Strongpoint Partners

View job as Retirement Plan Coordinator
            for Capital Group

Retirement Plan Coordinator

Capital Group

Irvine CA / Indianapolis IN / Hybrid

View job as Retirement Plan Coordinator for Capital Group

View job as Benefits Consultant
            for The McKeogh Company

Benefits Consultant

The McKeogh Company

Conshohocken PA / Hybrid

View job as Regional VP - Retirement Plan Sales
            for Benetech, Inc.

Regional VP - Retirement Plan Sales

Benetech, Inc.


View job as Regional VP - Retirement Plan Sales for Benetech, Inc.

Selected New Discussions

Hardship Distrubtion Question

"A participant has an expense that is due immediately that would qualify under a safe harbor hardship distribution. Since payment is due, like, right now and they pay it with a credit card, can they use a hardship distribution to reimburse themselves for that cost?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Hardship Withdrawal for Refinancing to Purchase Half of Primary Residence

"We have a plan that allows hardship withdrawals and uses the safe harbor provisions. Participant purchased a home with a boyfriend (not married) and that relationship has ended. Participant has been court ordered to pay the ex-boyfriend an amount for his share of the home by way of the participant refinancing or selling the home. Participant is asking for hardship to purchase primary residence. Does refinancing fall under purchase of primary residence?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

PSCA Signature Awards: Recognizing Excellence in Retirement Plan Education

PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

PSCA Honors Annette Grabow with Lifetime Achievement Award

PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Choices Have Consequences: Pension Obligation Bonds

May 5, 2023 PODCAST


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Tax Credits for Starting Up Small Employer Plans: What You Need to Know

Faegre Drinker

IRS Releases Proposed Forfeiture Guidance


Ninth Circuit Appears Skeptical of DOL Arguments in Attorney Fee Battle

Hall Benefits Law

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

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