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Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 27, 2023

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Draft of 2023 Instructions for IRS Form 8915-D: Qualified 2019 Disaster Retirement Plan Distributions and Repayments (PDF)

"What's New: The repayment period for a qualified 2019 disaster distribution ends 3 years and 1 day after the distribution was received. This is particularly important if your qualified 2019 disaster distribution was received in 2020. Repayments reported on 2023 Form 8915-D can be used to reduce the income reportable on your 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023 tax return, as applicable; if you have already filed your tax return for the year in question, you will need to amend that return.... Roth SEP and Roth SIMPLE IRAs have been added to the list of eligible retirement plans as of January 1, 2023."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Final Regs Update Pension Plan Mortality Tables and Proposed Regs Address COVID Impact on Substitute Tables

"The final regulations update both the base tables and improvement factors. The new base tables ... reflect updates through 2014. The new improvement factors, a modified version of Scale MP-2021, similarly are based on more recent data updated through 2019.... [T]he lump sum mortality tables will apply the same baseline mortality data and mortality improvement scales, so these trends may impact the value of lump sums in the future."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Coalition of 26 State Attorneys General Appeals ESG Ruling

"The notice of appeal ... comes roughly a month after Judge Matthew J. Kacsmaryk surprised many by ruling against the coalition of attorneys general, concluding that the [DOL] didn't exceed its regulatory limits or violate federal benefits law in establishing the regulation." [Utah v. Walsh, No. 23-0016 (N.D. Tex. Sep. 21, 2023; notice of appeal filed Oct. 26, 2023)]  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Ninth Circuit: Denial of Attorneys' Fees Was Not Abuse of District Court Discretion Where DOL Was Substantially Justified in Trial Position in ERISA Lawsuit

"[T]he DOL alleged [the owners] sold B+K to an [ESOP] at an allegedly inflated value.... The Appellants won after a five-day bench trial, but the district court denied them attorneys' fees and costs ... The Ninth Circuit held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying attorneys' fees upon determining that the government's position was substantially justified, where '[t]he government's expert, despite his errors, arguably had a reasonable basis -- at least at the time of trial -- in questioning whether the company's profits could surge by millions of dollars in just months.' " [Su v. Bowers, No. 22-15378 (9th Cir. Oct. 25, 2023)]  MORE >>

Roberts Disability Law

American Airlines Again Moves to Dismiss Suit Challenging Inclusion of ESG Funds in Retirement Plan

"The American Airlines putative class action demonstrates yet another approach to opposing ESG investments. ERISA litigation may be an effective mechanism to pressure companies to reconsider how they invest retirement funds." [Spence v. American Airlines, No. 23-0552 (N.D. Tex. motion to dismiss amended complaint filed Sep. 8, 2023)]  MORE >>

Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP

Personalized Solutions Help Plan Sponsors Address Retirement Readiness

"[In] addition to evaluating more-technical due diligence items (i.e., investment methodologies), sponsors should consider the potential benefits of providing access to human advisors, limiting potential conflicts of interest, and providing participants with a broader range of personalized advice via value-add programs, such as financial wellness and planning."  MORE >>

Cerulli Associates

Competitive Pension Risk Transfer Costs Rose Again in September

"During September, the estimated cost to transfer retiree pension risk to an insurer in a competitive bidding process increased from 100.5% of a plan's accounting liabilities (accumulated benefit obligation, or ABO) to 101.1% of those liabilities.... During the same period, the average annuity purchase cost across all insurers in our index also rose 60 basis points, from 102.9% to 103.5%."  MORE >>


Federal Auto-IRA Would Crowd Out Private-Sector Plans, Critics Say

"Sens. John Hickenlooper (D-Colo.) and Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) ... introduced the Retirement Savings for Americans Act [S 3102], which would establish portable, tax-advantaged retirement accounts sponsored by the federal government.... 'Why would any business owner maintain a retirement plan if the federal government is going to take over all the costs and responsibility of providing retirement benefits?' said Brian Graff, CEO of the American Retirement Association."  MORE >>

InvestmentNews; subscription may be required

GAO Report: Improved Communication Needed on Church Plan Eligibility for Federal Insurance Coverage

"Church plans are generally exempt from most ERISA requirements, including rules to fund plans, disclose information, and insure benefits.... This report addresses [1] data available on church plans and plan administration, [2] federal and state roles regarding church plans, and [3] expected outcomes for participant benefits from church plan litigation."  MORE >>

U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO]

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

Illinois and New Jersey Regulate Pay and Benefits of Temporary Workers

"[Illinois HB 2862 provides that,] if a temporary laborer is assigned to work for a third party client for more than 90 calendar days (non-consecutive), the temporary laborer must be paid at least the same rate of pay as the lowest paid comparable, directly hired employee, and provided equivalent benefits.... New Jersey also aims to provide covered temporary workers with equal pay and benefits to directly hired employees.... [G]uidance on determining whether benefits are comparable is very much needed."  MORE >>

HUB International

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Relationship Manager
            for Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc./Compass 360, LLC

Relationship Manager

Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc./Compass 360, LLC

Remote / NH / Hybrid

View job as Relationship Manager for Compass Retirement Consulting Group, Inc./Compass 360, LLC

View job as 401(k) Administrator
            for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

401(k) Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates


View job as 401(k) Administrator for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

View job as Regional Sales Director
            for AmericanTCS

Regional Sales Director


Remote / Butler PA / AL / AR / IA / IL / IN / KS / KY / LA / MN / MO / MS / ND / NE / OK / SD / TN / TX

View job as Regional Sales Director for AmericanTCS

Selected New Discussions

Blackout Required?

"I recently took over a plan for 2023. Each participant has his own account, which the trustee directs (?) with MS I convinced him the participants should be directing their own investments, the accounts will remain at MS. Is there a blackout period, or will a notice to each participant that, effective x date, they can have the option to direct the account."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Interns as LTPT Employees Under SECURE 2.0

"So I have a plan sponsor come back to tell me that their plan excludes interns (which it does) and she is asking if the interns they have would be considered Long Term Part Time Employees. So this is a good question. These interns are W-2 employees. I would think that we cannot exclude interns, unless they work less than 500 hours per year in the look back years? I have no clue who they are or what hours they have worked, she only said 'we do exclude interns and our interns stay on forever....' Would interns fall under the 'long term part time employee' category, or can they still be excluded?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Can a Plan Specify a Younger RMD Age?

"Can a plan have a younger RMD age than the age required by law? The RMD is age is the latest age at which a participant must begin taking distributions, but is there a reason a 401(k) plan couldn't use a younger age than required? Put another way, can a 401(k) plan require a participant that turns age 72 during 2023 to begin RMDs by 4/1/2024?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Student Loan Payment Match Anticipated Administration

"With this effective 1/1/24 and I think limited guidelines on how to enact this, I'm thinking that it can be administered as follows for a plan that deposits match on a payroll basis:

  • Participant provides a recent statement of the loan showing payment amount, and amortization schedule, or length of payment plan
  • Payroll then treats equivalent payment per payroll (loan pmt x 12 / (24 or 26) ) for standard payroll schedules.
  • Payroll then sums up 401(k) + equivalent match payment and applies match formula on payroll basis.

Note these are just initial thoughts."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Judge Appoints Independent Fiduciary to Distribute $781k in Assets to Participants in Defunct Michigan Company's Retirement Plan

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Mastering Economic Trends: Optimizing Cash Balance Strategies

November 1, 2023 WEBINAR

TRA [The Retirement Advantage]

Navigating DOJ Compensation Clawback Policy: New Rules, Revisions to DOJ Compliance Evaluation, SEC Standards

November 21, 2023 WEBINAR


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Common Mistakes in 457 Plans of Tax-Exempt Organizations

Hall Benefits Law

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Motley Fool

Will Gen Z Employees Be Able to Save Enough in Their Defined Contribution Plan to Retire? (PDF)


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

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