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Retirement Plans Newsletter

July 14, 2023

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2023-54: Transition Relief and Guidance Relating to Certain Required Minimum Distributions (PDF)

13 pages. "This notice provides transition relief for plan administrators, payors, plan participants, IRA owners, and beneficiaries in connection with the change in the required beginning date for required minimum distributions (RMDs) under Section 401(a)(9) of the Internal Revenue Code pursuant to Section 107 of the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022 ... This notice also provides guidance related to certain specified RMDs for 2023. In addition, this notice announces that the final regulations that the [Treasury Department and the IRS] intend to issue related to RMDs will apply for purposes of determining RMDs for calendar years beginning no earlier than 2024."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Official Guidance]

Text of OPM Proposed Regs: Federal Employees' Retirement System; Present Value Conversion Factors for Spouses of Deceased Separated Employees

"[OPM] is issuing a proposed rule to revise the table of reduction factors for early commencing dates of survivor annuities for spouses of separated employees who die before the date on which they would be eligible for unreduced deferred annuities. The annuity factor for spouses of deceased employees who die in service when those spouses elect to receive the basic employee death benefit in 36 installments under the Federal Employees' Retirement System (FERS) Act of 1986 remains unchanged."  MORE >>

U.S. Office of Personnel Management [OPM]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Confirms the Expansion of Self-Correction Under the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022

"Plan sponsors desiring to use self-correction, as modified, should still consider the requirements of EPCRS and document the date the operational error was discovered, how it is corrected, and when it is corrected, so that the plan sponsor can demonstrate that the operational error was promptly corrected upon discovery and that steps to prevent the recurrence of the operational error have been implemented."  MORE >>

Jackson Walker

[Guidance Overview]

The New Eligible Inadvertent Failure: A 'Catch-Most' for Self-Correcting Plan Errors

"[SECURE 2.0] gave us the brand new Eligible Inadvertent Failure [EIF].... Although the correction window for EIFs is now more or less open-ended, there are a couple limitations that still make time of the essence.... it's not enough to have simply conducted a general compliance audit or to state that any errors that are discovered will be corrected. Instead, a plan sponsor must have identified a specific error and taken concrete steps toward correction of that error."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

The Long-Term Part-Time Rule and 403(b) Plans: Unintended Consequences or Intentional Transformation

"With respect to the student exclusion, section 125, read strictly, appears to impose the long-term part-time rule as a condition for excluding students.... Similarly, the part-time employee exclusion from universal availability appears to have been subsumed by the long-term part-time rule.... It is not clear if Congress intended to apply the amendment to student employees in this way and to convert what previously had been a classification exclusion into a service requirement."  MORE >>

Boutwell Fay LLP

[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Finalizes Rule on Asset Valuation and Benefit Payments

"The final rule -- which is largely unchanged from the proposal -- primarily codifies PBGC's own procedures for paying benefits from trusteed plans. The rule shouldn't directly affect ongoing plans, but some sponsors with hard-to-value plan assets may need to adjust their asset valuation methods in certain circumstances."  MORE >>


Qualified Retirement Plan Considerations in Corporate Transactions

"Mergers and acquisitions raise numerous issues, including whether to terminate or maintain a target company's qualified retirement plan. The decision to terminate or maintain a plan involves various considerations, which can affect both employers and employees. Terminating the target company's plan is the most common approach in a stock deal or merger, but practical issues sometimes require maintaining the plan."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Advisers Should Lean Into 401(k) Cost-Cutting Conversations

"Plan advisers should be ready for, if not prompting, conversations with plan sponsors who are scrutinizing their defined contribution retirement plans, including pricing transparency ... Reducing retirement plan costs is a core focus for 50% of defined contribution plan sponsors with more than $100 million in plan assets ... That's up from 35% from the same survey in 2021, showing increases in both cost pressure and in focus on better provider performance[.]"  MORE >>



(Some) ESG Supporters Should Oppose the DOL's Tie-Breaking Rule

"DOL's tie-breaking rule implicitly casts ESG investing, not as loyally enhancing the financial welfare of employee benefit plans and their participants, but, rather, as the most recent attempt to attenuate ERISA's duty of loyalty by enabling plan trustees to pursue third party and social benefits. Advocates of profit-maximizing ESG investing would bolster their case by opposing the tie-breaking rule as inconsistent with ERISA's fiduciary duty of loyalty to plans and their participants."  MORE >>

Prof. Edward A. Zelinsky, via SSRN

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Notice VT-2023-01, for Victims of Vermont Flooding

"Victims of flooding in Vermont that began on July 9, 2023, now have until Nov. 15, 2023, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... [I]ndividuals and households affected by flooding that reside or have a business anywhere in Vermont qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Can an Employer Offer Executive Physicals as Taxable Perks?

"Executive physical programs can be more complex than they appear. Numerous laws can affect the program design from both a tax standpoint and a group health plan standpoint. Employers must consider multiple compliance issues before implementing a program. Merely “taxing” a reimbursement of medical expenses as a benefit does not exempt the benefit from meeting the requirements of other laws that apply to group health plans."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Contribution Administrator
            for Third Party Administrator

Defined Contribution Administrator

Third Party Administrator


View job as Senior Pension Consultant
            for National Benefit Services, A "Remote First" Company

Senior Pension Consultant

National Benefit Services, A "Remote First" Company

Remote / Sandy UT

View job as Senior Pension Consultant for National Benefit Services, A "Remote First" Company

Selected New Discussions

Owner-Only Plan and Top Heavy

"Plan is owner and spouse only. They have 100% of assets (obviously). Is the plan top heavy? I know this question sounds dumb, but I thought maybe top heavy was an ERISA requirement to which they are EXEMPT, but I don't see owner-only plans listed as a plan type not subject to top heavy. I also considered that there would be no non-key employee balances giving us a denominator in our top heavy ratio of 0, making the plan not top heavy. But I can't find what I thought would be an easy answer! Here is why I ask -- the plan was NOT written to exclude keys from the top heavy minimum and both the owner and spouse deferred the max, but they were not wanting to do an ER contribution. Do they have to put in a top heavy contribution for themselves?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Forfeiture Account for Terminating Plan

"I have a plan terminating that had about $20k in the Forfeiture Account. They used some of it to pay plan expenses, but even after that there's about $12k left in there. So who does that money get split up between? Is it:

  1. Anyone still actively employed at the time of termination (I believe it was just the owner)
  2. Any person who had a balance at the time of termination"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Segal Promotes 6 SVPs


Ascensus Announces Nick Good to Join as President


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Merging Retirement Plans During M&A Transitions


Sapers & Wallack, Inc.

Retirement Plan Fiduciary Fundamentals: Exploring the Foundation of Fiduciary Duty and Governance Requirements

July 26, 2023 WEBINAR

Multnomah Group

Fiduciary Training Part III: Retirement Plan Investment Menus

August 2, 2023 WEBINAR

CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Facilitating Conversion of 401(k) Participant Balances to Lifetime Income


A Retirement Readiness Checklist


The Looming Retirement Crisis: Are Workers Saving Enough?

Insured Retirement Institute [IRI]

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

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