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Retirement Plans Newsletter

October 31, 2023

5 New Job Opportunities 5 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Proposed Regs: Retirement Security Rule: Definition of an Investment Advice Fiduciary (PDF)

277 pages. "The Department proposes that a person would be an investment advice fiduciary under Title I and Title II of ERISA if they provide investment advice or make an investment recommendation to a retirement investor (i.e., a plan, plan fiduciary, plan participant or beneficiary, IRA, IRA owner or beneficiary or IRA fiduciary); the advice or recommendation is provided 'for a fee or other compensation, direct or indirect,' as defined in the proposed rule; and the person makes the recommendation in one of the following contexts: 

  • The person either directly or indirectly (e.g., through or together with any affiliate) has discretionary authority or control, whether or not pursuant to an agreement, arrangement, or understanding, with respect to purchasing or selling securities or other investment property for the retirement investor;
  • The person either directly or indirectly (e.g., through or together with any affiliate) makes investment recommendations to investors on a regular basis as part of their business and the recommendation is provided under circumstances indicating that the recommendation is based on the particular needs or individual circumstances of the retirement investor and may be relied upon by the retirement investor as a basis for investment decisions that are in the retirement investor's best interest; or
  • The person making the recommendation represents or acknowledges that they are acting as a fiduciary when making investment recommendations....

The proposals' compliance obligations are generally consistent with the best interest obligations set forth in the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC's) Regulation Best Interest and its Commission Interpretation Regarding Standard of Conduct for Investment Advisers (SEC Investment Adviser Interpretation), each released in 2019."  MORE >>

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


New! Download ASC’s 2024 Mortality Tables Update

ASC brings you up-to-date industry-related information first! Final Regulations 1.430(h)-1 were issued by the IRS on Oct. 20th, and our actuaries quickly compiled the essentials you need to know. Download ASC's 2024 Mortality Tables Update here.

Sponsored by ASC

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Proposed Amendment to PTE 2020-02 (PDF)

81 pages. "This proposed amendment would build on these existing conditions to provide more certainty for Retirement Investors receiving advice and Financial Institutions and Investment Professionals complying with the exemption's conditions. In this regard, the Department is proposing additional disclosures to ensure that Retirement Investors have sufficient information to make informed decisions about the costs of the investment advice transaction and about the significance and severity of the investment advice fiduciary's Conflicts of Interest. The proposed amendment also would provide more guidance for Financial Institutions and Investment Professionals complying with the Impartial Conduct Standards and implementing their policies and procedures."  MORE >>

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

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Proposed Amendment to PTE 84-24 (PDF)

92 pages. "The Department is proposing to amend PTE 84-24 to address specific issues that Insurers confront in complying with the current conditions of PTE 2020-02 when distributing annuities through independent agents.... The proposed amendment would provide exemptive relief to fiduciaries who are Independent Producers that recommend annuities from an unaffiliated Insurer to Retirement Investors on a commission or fee basis if certain protective conditions are met."  MORE >>

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

[Official Guidance]

Text of DOL Proposed Amendment to PTEs 75-1, 77-4, 80-83, 83-1, and 86-128 (PDF)

44 pages. "The Department is hereby proposing amendments to existing PTEs 75-1, 77-4, 80-83, 83-1, and 86-128 that currently provide relief for investment advice fiduciaries to receive compensation when plans and IRAs enter into certain transactions recommended by the fiduciaries as well as certain related transactions.... The proposed amendments would remove fiduciary investment advice, as defined under ERISA and in a proposed regulation issued by the Department that is found elsewhere in this issue of the Federal Register, from the covered transactions in each exemption and make certain other administrative changes"  MORE >>

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

[Official Guidance]

2024 Present Values of PBGC Maximum Guarantee

PBGC [has] posted a table showing the applicable present values for 2024 plan years. A two-column spreadsheet version of the table is also available.  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Fact Sheet: Retirement Security Proposed Rule and Proposed Amendments to Class Prohibited Transaction Exemptions for Investment Advice Fiduciaries

"This proposed fiduciary definition would apply to recommendations to roll over assets from a workplace retirement plan to an IRA if every element of the proposed fiduciary definition is satisfied.... The new proposed fiduciary definition ... focuses directly on the nature of the relationship between the advice provider and the investor. It is intended to extend to the type of interactions retirement investors commonly have in the financial services marketplace with trusted advisers.... The new proposed investment advice fiduciary definition is more narrowly tailored than the 2016 fiduciary rule, which applied to virtually all paid recommendations to retirement investors. In addition, the proposed amendments to the Department's exemptions do not impose any new contract or warranty requirements.... Under the proposal, the Department would make two exemptions available for the management of conflicts of interest with respect to advice. One exemption (PTE 2020-02) would be broadly available for advice with respect to the wide universe of investments recommended to retirement investors. A second exemption (PTE 84-24) would be tailored for use by independent insurance agents and is intended to facilitate their ability to make best interest recommendations under their business model."  MORE >>

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

[Guidance Overview]

Livestream Video of White House Remarks on Protecting Americans’ Retirement Security

Link is to YouTube live broadcast of White House announcement of DOL proposed regs, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET on October 31, 2023.  Recording should be available after the event; BenefitsLink will update this link if necessary.  MORE >>

The White House

[Guidance Overview]

Overview of PBGC’s Fiduciary Breach Investigations

"As the statutory trustee of a terminated pension plan, PBGC is authorized under [ERISA] to recover money owed to the plan and to bring lawsuits on the plan's behalf. PBGC has three years from the date it becomes trustee to bring a legal action against former fiduciaries who breached their duties to the plan at any time during the plan's existence." [42-minute video of PBGC officials' presentation at the Office of Small Business Development Centers' state directors call, with detailed text outline.]  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Secure a Retirement Plan's Future by Proactively Self-Correcting

"[T]he retrospective period in which a plan sponsor can self-correct 'eligible inadvertent failures' is effectively open-ended ... [T]he level of detail and the narrative [a plan sponsor chooses] to share is entirely in their hands.... An operational failure in this context is 'inadvertent.' In other words, it is human error and unintentional, and such fact should be highlighted."  MORE >>

Hall Benefits Law

[Guidance Overview]

Converting a Simple IRA to 401(k) Midyear

"Starting in 2024, a SIMPLE IRA can be replaced with a safe harbor 401(k) plan mid-year. The replacement plan can be either a traditional safe harbor plan or a Qualified Automatic Contribution Arrangement (QACA) safe harbor 401(k) plan. The replacement ... plans must be effective as of the termination date of the SIMPLE IRA."  MORE >>

Retirement Management Services, LLC

Avoid the Year-End Rush: Proactive 401(k) Plan Administrative Steps to Take Now

"[1] Talk to your employee benefits counsel about any changes to the ownership of the plan sponsor or related companies.... [2] Determine if any plan changes ... need to be incorporated into a formal plan amendment by year-end ... [3] Cash out terminated participants with vested account balances under $5,000 ... [4] Decide how forfeitures will be used.... [5] Consider who is making discretionary decisions concerning your 401(k) plan, and confirm that those individuals have been delegated that authority by the company or the plan's administrative committee."  MORE >>

Dickinson Wright

What's Holding Small Business Owners Back from Offering Retirement Savings Plans? (PDF)

"Nearly 75% of owners [surveyed], who don't currently offer a plan, indicated an intention to do so within the next two years, but only 13% of them said that was likely to happen in the next six months ... The SECURE 2.0 Act marked a significant stride towards enabling more small business owners and employees to pursue retirement stability. How can financial professionals and retirement plan recordkeepers help them take the next critical step?"  MORE >>

Capital Group

Significant Benefit Increases Expected from Tentative UAW Deals

"While the automakers did not agree to restore the workers' defined benefit pension plan, which shut down in 2007, they conceded to significant increases in benefits for workers with pensions and 401(k) plans ... For current employees in the defined contribution plan, Ford and Stellantis offered to increase 401(k) contributions to 9.5% of pay from 6.4%. For retirees on the defined benefit plan, the automakers agreed to a $5 credit per month for each year of service."  MORE >>


Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

The Pitfalls of Performance Stock Units

"[N]avigating the world of [Performance Stock Units (PSUs)] can be tricky, and mishandling them can have significant financial consequences. Here are some common mistakes executives make with their PSUs, along with ways a financial advisor can potentially help executives keep more of their PSU proceeds."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Manager, Defined Contribution Plans
            for M2B Retirement Consulting LLC

Manager, Defined Contribution Plans

M2B Retirement Consulting LLC

Remote / PA

View job as Manager, Defined Contribution Plans for M2B Retirement Consulting LLC

View job as Sales Consultant
            for The Pension Source

Sales Consultant

The Pension Source

Remote / Stuart FL / Hybrid

View job as Sales Consultant for The Pension Source

View job as Pension Plan Administrator
            for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

Pension Plan Administrator

DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

Remote / Overland Park KS / Hybrid

View job as Pension Plan Administrator for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

View job as VP, General Manager (Retirement)
            for HowardSimon (Strongpoint Partners)

VP, General Manager (Retirement)

HowardSimon (Strongpoint Partners)

Deerfield IL / Hybrid

View job as VP, General Manager (Retirement) for HowardSimon (Strongpoint Partners)

View job as PensionPro Expert
            for Nova 401(k) Associates

PensionPro Expert

Nova 401(k) Associates


View job as PensionPro Expert for Nova 401(k) Associates

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Stay Competitive with Smart Automation

November 14, 2023 WEBINAR

NIPA [National Institute of Pension Administrators]

Considerations for Defined Contribution Plan Design

November 15, 2023 WEBINAR

Western Pension & Benefits Council

ASPPA Winter Symposium

December 4, 2023 WEBINAR

ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

Ethics (2023)

December 5, 2023 WEBINAR


When's That Due? Planning Your 2024

December 6, 2023 WEBINAR

American Society of Enrolled Actuaries [ASEA]

Helping Employees Cope with Fluctuating Workplace Environments

December 14, 2023 WEBINAR

NIPA [National Institute of Pension Administrators]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

DOL to Roll Out New ‘Retirement Security Rule’ on Tuesday, October 31

American Retirement Association [ARA]

IRS Issues Eagerly Awaited 2024 Defined Benefit Mortality Tables


Plan Sponsors: Take a Close Look at Forfeiture Compliance

Boutwell Fay LLP

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

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