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Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 24, 2023

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Updated 417(e) Mortality Table Will Decrease 2024 Lump Sum Values in Most Defined Benefit Plans

"Preliminary analysis shows that the new table will reduce lump sums by approximately 1.25% to 1.5% for participants in plans with a normal retirement age of 65. This reduction is significant, but may be lost in the effect of increasing corporate bond rates trending higher than those in place for 2023 lump sums."  MORE >>

Cowden Associates, Inc.

[Guidance Overview]

2023 Year End: SECURE 2.0 Operational Compliance, But Plan Amendments Not Yet Required

"This year ... no amendments are required to comply with [SECURE 2.0] or any other legislative action or Treasury Department guidance. There are also no required changes on the IRS's Required Amendments List or its Operational Compliance List. However, because SECURE 2.0 retroactive corrections require operational compliance, plans are likely to have to implement operational changes in 2024, along with those already applicable in 2023. Even though no amendments are required, some plans may want to make amendments."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Approves Citi's 'Diverse Asset Program' for 401(k). What Could Go Wrong?

"The [DOL] just issued an Advisory Opinion that permits Citigroup to select 'diverse managers' without regard to fiduciary duty if it pays those managers directly rather than through the plan.... On its face, the DOL seems to use the same metric that it earlier employed in its statement on the Fiduciary Rule.... the Advisory Opinion is very precise in what it allows. Citi will have to tread carefully to not cross the line into the realm of fiduciary."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

[Guidance Overview]

CRS In Focus: 403(b) Pension Plans -- Overview and Legislative Developments

"Despite distinct legislative histories, there has been a move toward harmonizing rules for 401(k) and 403(b) plans. This In Focus provides background on 403(b) plans, highlights areas in which they differ from 401(k) plans, and discusses current legislative developments surrounding 403(b) plans." [IF12518 Oct. 24, 2023]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

The Long Arm of ERISA Falls Short: How a Foreign Affiliate Escaped Withdrawal Liability

"Despite ERISA's statutory language, no court has found that ownership alone is sufficient to result in liability. In order to collect, plaintiffs must either establish jurisdiction in a United States court or convince a foreign court to apply ERISA. In both situations, collecting from foreign entities is an uphill battle. The difficulties are illustrated by ... a recent decision in which a U.S. federal court refused to entertain a suit by a multiemployer plan to collect withdrawal liability from a foreign entity." [Holland v. Cardem Ins. Co, Ltd, No. 19-02362 (D.D.C. Sep. 11, 2023)]  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

'Gates Have Opened' for In-Plan Annuities, LIMRA Analyst Says

"Legislative changes, product development and an enthusiastic industry are opening the gates to annuity products inside retirement plans.... Complexity and availability remain the two biggest hurdles ... Thirty percent of advisors said the products are 'difficult for a sponsor to understand,' while another 28% said 'products are not available on all recordkeeping platforms.' Not surprisingly, better-educated advisors is a big key to connecting lifetime income products with eager plan participants."  MORE >>

The SEC's 2024 Examination Priorities: Impact on IRAs and Retirement Plans

"Among the concerns of the Division of Examinations is whether conflicts are adequately disclosed so that investors can provide informed consent. Off-the-shelf disclosures may not have sufficient information to pass that test. The starting point for making an investment recommendation or providing investment advice is to develop a profile of the investor ... Questionnaires and other information-gathering materials should be reviewed to ensure their adequacy for purposes of investors who will regularly withdraw cash for lifelong retirement income from their accounts."  MORE >>

When Your SIMPLE IRA No Longer Fits, Maybe It's Time for a 401(k) Plan

"If you have a SIMPLE IRA, ... [but] want to change to a 401(k) plan in 2024, you need to take action by November 2. That's the date that employers must provide notice to their employees that 2023 will be the last year for the SIMPLE IRA, and that it will be replaced by a 401(k) plan in 2024."  MORE >>

The Retirement Plan Blog

Automatic Enrollment and Automatic Escalation in State and Local Government Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)

"While the number of governments adopting automatic enrollment or automatic escalation continue to slowly grow, resistance or indifference also persist ... [T]his report considers the current environment for automatic enrollment and automatic escalation and explores their success over time by revisiting case studies from previous reports as well as examining two governments that have more recently adopted them."  MORE >>

Center for State & Local Government Excellence

U.S. State Pension Plans Funding Status, Third Quarter 2023

"The aggregate funded ratio for U.S. state pension plans decreased by an estimated 3.0% during the third quarter of 2023 to end the quarter at 75.2% ... The quarterly change in funding resulted from a 3.0% decrease in asset value and a 0.8% increase in liability value."  MORE >>

Wilshire Associates


One Piece of a UAW Strike Solution: Lifetime Income

"During its strike, one of the UAW's demands has been that the auto companies restore traditional pensions. Less well-known ... is that the negotiations have also contemplated adding a lifetime income option in their 401(k) plans. It should be a no-brainer for auto companies because numerous lifetime income solutions are available. The auto companies and thousands of other employers should use them."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Text of DOL Fact Sheet 66e: The Davis-Bacon and Related Acts – Compliance with Fringe Benefit Requirements

"The following practices may lead to violations under the DBRA, resulting in failure to pay the applicable prevailing wage rate ... [1] Misclassifying laborers and mechanics for the type of work performed; [2] Failing to obtain prior approval from the [DOL] for unfunded fringe benefit plans; [3] Failing to annualize (or incorrectly annualizing) the hourly equivalent of fringe benefit amounts ... [4] Paying hourly rates and/or fringe benefit amounts pursuant to a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA), where the CBA specifies rates lower than those required in the applicable wage determination; and [5] Improperly taking credit towards fringe benefit obligations for certain expenses"  MORE >>

Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
            for Striegel Knobloch & Co, LLC

Retirement Plan Administrator

Striegel Knobloch & Co, LLC

Remote / Bloomington IL / Hybrid

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Striegel Knobloch & Co, LLC

View job as Compliance Administrator II
            for Associated Pension Consultants

Compliance Administrator II

Associated Pension Consultants


View job as Compliance Administrator II for Associated Pension Consultants

Selected New Discussions

Age Based Match Formulas?

"Can a plan have an age based match formula? Assuming it would pass BRF testing. For example: 50% of deferrals up to 6% of comp for those under 45 75% of deferrals up to 6% of comp for those over 45."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Does a TPA's or Recordkeeper's Employee Represent a Plan Sponsor in a VCP Submission?

"I'm developing a lesson for my multidisciplinary course on Professional Conduct in Tax Practice. For a Voluntary Correction Program submission to the [IRS], a plan sponsor might want a representative, and might find it efficient and effective to be represented by a practitioner who works for the recordkeeper or third-party administrator. Do some offer this service? Must a submission be prepared, or at least supervised, by an owner or employee who is an attorney, accountant, actuary, or enrolled retirement plan agent recognized for practice before the IRS? If the practitioner's employer was at fault for the to-be-corrected failure, does the practitioner have a conflict of interests? What ways do you use to avoid or manage such a conflict? If the practitioner's employer was not at fault for but was involved about the to-be-corrected failure, does the practitioner have a conflict of interests? What ways do you use to avoid or manage such a conflict? If a recordkeeper or TPA does not offer a service of letting its employee serve as a plan sponsor's representative, is that because you see a conflict that can't be avoided or managed?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Deceased Employee with Over $5000 Balance. No Beneficiary, No Kin to Be Found

"Anyone have an answer to this question? Or is the sponsor stuck with this deceased participant balance indefinitely? Based on balance, he cant be forced out (over $7000 as well). I don't think transferring to states unclaimed property division is answer either."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

2023 PenChecks Trust ASPPA Scholarship Recipients Selected

ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

2023 Martin Rosenberg Academic Achievement Award Recipients Recognized

ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Nevin Adams 2023 Recipient of Harry T. Eidson Founders Award:

ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Executives Honored for Efforts to Improve Retirement Security

Pensions & Investments

Principal Financial Group® Chairman, President & CEO Dan Houston Recognized with the 2023 Ray Lillywhite Award by EBRI at the Defined Contribution West Conference in San Diego, CA

EBRI [Employee Benefit Research Institute]

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Talking DOL Retirement Saving Priorities with EBSA Head Lisa Gomez


401(k) Specialist Magazine

SECURE 2.0: Review & Preview -- 2023 and 2024

November 29, 2023 WEBINAR

Thompson Hine LLP

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Now Is the Time to Adopt Discretionary and Required 2023 Amendments

Calfee, Halter & Griswold LLP

Draft of 2023 Instructions for IRS Form 8955-SSA: Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants With Deferred Vested Benefits (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

2024 Mortality Tables Update


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

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