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Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 2, 2023

New Job Opportunity Today New Job Opportunity Today


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Employee Plans News, September 29, 2023

"You can find out if your Voluntary Correction Program [VCP] submission has been assigned to a specialist at [on the IRS website].... The IRS updated several fill-in VCP forms to revise outdated information, provide clarity, and make it easier to present some late amender failures that impact 401(a) and 403(b) retirement plans."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE 2.0 Spurs DC Plan Participation with Small Incentives

"SECURE 2.0 ... allows sponsors to offer employees small financial incentives -- like gift cards -- for making contributions to Internal Revenue Code Section 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Although this provision is effective for plan years beginning after Dec. 29, 2022, sponsors may hesitate to offer these incentives without agency guidance."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Student Loan Repayments to Resume: SECURE 2.0 Student Loan Matching Contributions to the Rescue?

"The student loan matching contribution is one way for employers to attract and retain employees as it helps employees manage the tension between making student loan repayments and saving for retirement. Employers who are interested in adopting this feature for 2024 should start working with legal counsel, plan recordkeepers, and other providers now to establish the necessary processes and procedures to implement the program and to communicate it to employees."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE 2 0 Provisions Affecting Defined Benefit Pension Plans

"SECURE 2.0 includes provisions requiring reporting, disclosure, and updated fiduciary guidance regarding de-risking activities. These provisions will not become effective until [DOL] regulations have been issued.... In addition to the de-risking provisions ... [SECURE 2.0] changes include: [1] PBGC variable rate premiums.... [2] Cash balance and hybrid plan interest crediting rates.... [3] Deadline for amendments that increase benefit accruals.... [4] Annual funding notice revisions.... [5] Section 420 transfers.... [6] Mortality assumptions.... [A]number of secure 2.0 provisions apply to both pension and defined contribution plans[.]"  MORE >>

Kilpatrick Townsend

What's at Risk in a Cyberattack on a DC Plan?

"For DC plan sponsors, incorporating cybersecurity response processes into the plan's governing documents is the most important facet of cybersecurity oversight, should a breach occur ... [P]lan sponsors [should] have their own cyber policy similar to an investment or compliance policy.... Education is key to supporting the efficacy of government and corporate systems put in place ... Corporate and government plan sponsors should also explore mitigating the risk of cyberattack by stress testing plans in transactional audits[.]"  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

A 10-Year Checklist for Retirement Planning

"If you're on the back end of your fifties today, you're in the final stretch of the rat race.... [N]avigating this stretch is easier said than done as you juggle work, saving, investing and helping the kids leave the nest. If you're unsure where to begin, here's a 10-year, year-by-year checklist suggesting when to handle different parts of your financial plan as you approach the retirement finish line."  MORE >>


CRS Report: Social Security Primer (PDF)

18 pages. "This report ... covers the origins and a brief history of the program; Social Security financing and the status of the trust funds; how Social Security benefits are computed; the types of Social Security benefits available to workers and their family members; the basic eligibility requirements for each type of benefit; the scheduled increase in the Social Security retirement age; and the federal income taxation of Social Security benefits." [R42035, updated Oct. 2, 2023]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]


Hard to Compare Pension Apples While Picking Cherries

"Most defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors would agree that pension accounting can be the pits, which makes it tempting to do a bit of cherry-picking when it comes to supporting the discount rates used in calculating their annual accounting liability, aka 'projected benefit obligation' (PBO)."  MORE >>

Principal Financial Group

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

IRS Disaster Relief Announcement LA-2023-01, for Taxpayers Impacted by Seawater Intrusion in Parts of Louisiana

"Taxpayers affected by seawater intrusion ... that began Sept. 20, 2023, now have until Feb. 15, 2024, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments ... [I]ndividuals and households affected by the Seawater Intrusion that reside or have a business in Jefferson, Orleans, Plaquemines, and St. Bernard parishes, qualify for tax relief."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Split Dollar Helps Attract and Keep High-Value Employees

"Split-dollar arrangements are a type of nonqualified agreement between two parties to allocate the rights and responsibilities of a life insurance policy. Although no single strategy fits all situations, this nonqualified type of plan is particularly effective at providing valuable life insurance protection for key employees while securing cost recovery for a business."  MORE >>

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Retirement Analyst
            for Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

Senior Retirement Analyst

Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

Remote / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Senior Retirement Analyst for Dunbar, Bender & Zapf, Inc.

Selected New Discussions

When Is Contribution Credited?

"Is there a definition of when a contribution can be credited? Must it be the date that the contribution has cleared the account or can it be the date that the contribution has left the control of the sponsor? In this case, the sponsor sent a check on 9/14, was received by the trustee on 9/15, but it did not clear until 9/18."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Abandoned Large Plan Filer

"We have been servicing a rather large plan for many years. The business went belly up and we terminated the plan. ... Problem is the 5500, which requires an Accountant's Opinion. We did the Draft 5500 in March and sent to the CPA who did it in prior years, but they said 'no thanks'. They are owed a great deal of money, and will not do any more work until the account is paid up. We advised the Client of the problem at that time and have been waiting, with intermittent contact, on the need to get us the Opinion to allow for the 2022 filing. (There will be another 2023 Filing due which will also need an opinion.) ... While our service obligation as defined by service agreement has been completed, we don't want the client to get slammed with late filing penalties. Thus far, in addition to other contacts, we have sent an email detailing the penalties and availability of DFVCP, given the impending 10/15 deadline. I have even sent Facebook messages to the profile of the business owner! I am trying to get an address for a certified mailing, but am not faring well on that. Any suggestions?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Ameritas Retirement Plans Announces 403(b) Pooled Employer Plan


Ascensus Pooled Employer Plans (PEPs) Surpass $1 Billion in Assets Under Administration


NPPG to Serve as Pooled Plan Provider to the Hub Retirement Select 100+ Pooled Employer Plan


TRA Reunites with Stephen Switzer as the Newest Regional Plan Consultant

TRA [The Retirement Advantage]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Long-Term Part-Time Workers: More Questions Than Answers for Defined Contribution Plans

Trucker Huss

Department of the Treasury 2023-2024 Priority Guidance Plan (PDF)

U.S. Department of the Treasury and Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Life in Retirement: Pre-Retiree Expectations and Retiree Realities (PDF)

Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies

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

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