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Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 9, 2023

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Long-Awaited 2024 Mortality Table Updates Released

"[L]iabilities will typically decrease one to two percent as a result of changing from the 2023 static mortality to the 2024 updated generational mortality.... The ability to pay benefits under certain payment options may be affected by the proposed changes.... For plans that might otherwise be under restrictions, a decrease triggered by the new mortality table could increase the plan's AFTAP above one of the thresholds that trigger a benefit payment restriction."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon DOL's Latest Update to Fiduciary Rule Focuses on Relationships

"One of the most significant changes in the proposed regulation is to identify certain relationships ... in which the retirement investor may have a reasonable expectation that the investment advice fiduciary is acting in his or her best interest.... [T]he proposed rule shifts the regular basis test from whether the investor starts a relationship for the advisor to whether the advisor provides investment advice on a regular basis. This aspect of the rule will likely be the subject of future litigation[.]"  MORE >>

Kilpatrick Townsend

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Grants Two-Year Grace Period to Get Roth Catch-Ups All Caught Up (PDF)

"[IRS Notice 2023-62] addresses the two most critical questions: [1] can we make catch-up contributions next year? YES, and [2] do I need to comply with the Roth catch-up rule for 2024? NO, the IRS provided a two-year grace period to implement the new rule.... [T]he Notice previewed the IRS' initial thinking on a number of open issues that plan sponsors and recordkeepers have been asking all year."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group, via TAXES the Tax Magazine

Tenth Circuit Overturns Sanctions for Plaintiffs' Law Firms in Complex ERISA Case

"The firms were ordered in August 2022 to pay [$1.5 million] because the district court judge said they 'recklessly proceeded to trial in violation of their duty to objectively analyze their case.'... The law firms represented plaintiffs in several sponsors' retirement plans against Empower ... saying allegedly excessive record-keeping fees and investment fees violated ERISA.... The sponsors were not defendants." [Obeslo v. Empower Capital Mgmt., Nos. 22-1291, 22-1292 (10th Cir. Oct. 31, 2023)]  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

Trade Groups Say 60-Day Comment Period Is Not Long Enough for the Fiduciary Rule

"Stakeholders in the retirement, insurance and investment industries published an open letter to the DOL [on November 8], calling on the department to double the comment period for a new fiduciary rule proposal from 60 days to 120.... The industry letter also points out that previous iterations of the proposal, in 2010 and 2016, had 90-day comment periods with extensions."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

DOL Fiduciary Proposal Allows Class Action Suits Against B-Ds and Insurers

"If a broker or insurance agent making a rollover recommendation receives any compensation ... they would be subject to ERISA enforcement provisions, which include a private right of action ... Both [the brokerage and insurance] industries have enjoyed exemptions from the fiduciary standard of ERISA, but many of those exemptions have been removed in the agency's latest proposed package."  MORE >>

Financial Advisor

Updates on the Financial Status of Social Security and Proposals (PDF)

31 slides from presentation to 2023 SOA Annual Conference. "[1] What's new in the 2023 Trustees Report (released March 31) regarding Social Security's actuarial status? [2] What options can be considered for closing the financing gap? [3] How do Social Security and Medicare ('entitlements') figure in the fiscal status of the federal government and the economy?"  MORE >>

Office of the Chief Actuary, U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA]

2023 IRSAC Public Report (PDF)

230 pages.  Tax Exempt and Government Entities Subgroup Report begins at page 113, and includes:  [1] Recommendations on self-correction guidance for employee plans; [2] Recommendations for the non-bank trustee program; [3] Recommendations for more effective engagement between IRS and exempt organizations.  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Benefits in General

2023 HSA Benchmarking Survey

"Nearly 90 percent of eligible employees had an HSA in 2022 with 80 percent making contributions to it, up from 72.8 percent in 2021.... Three-quarters of employers make contributions to the HSA. Most provide a set amount per coverage level.... Sixty percent of responding organizations offer investment options for HSA contributions, though most participants choose not to use this option -- 70 percent of all HSA assets remain in cash."  MORE >>

Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

The Law on ERISA Plan Arbitration Provisions Remains Unsettled

"Courts continue to disagree over the enforceability of mandatory arbitration provisions containing class action waivers set forth in benefit plans governed by [ERISA]. In the absence of U.S. Supreme Court resolution, uncertainty will persist ... Plan sponsors should expect to see more litigation over the arbitrability of ERISA Section 502(a)(2) claims in the near term, and thoughtfully drafted arbitration provisions are key to minimizing the risk of potential class action litigation.'

[Harrison v. Envision Mgmt. Holding, Inc. Bd. of Directors, No. 22-1098 (10th Cir. Feb. 9, 2023; Argent Trust Co. v. Harrison, No. 23-30, cert. denied Oct. 4, 2023); Henry v. Wilmington Trust NA, No. 21-2801 (3d Cir. Jun. 30, 2023; cert. denied Oct. 16, 2023); Merrow v. Horizon Bank, No. 22-123 (E.D. Ky. Oct. 24, 2023)]  MORE >>

Holland & Knight

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Sr. Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst
            for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

Sr. Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst

FuturePlan, by Ascensus


View job as Sr. Retirement Plan Compliance Analyst for FuturePlan, by Ascensus

View job as DC Operations Analyst II
            for EGPS

DC Operations Analyst II



View job as DC Operations Analyst II for EGPS

Selected New Discussions

Alternate Payee Wants to Cancel QDRO

"Alternate payee Ms. M does not want the fund distributed to her, because it will affect her Medicaid benefits. She requested that the fund to be returned to her ex-spouse. She will send in the documents to cancel the QDRO. Is it possible to? I would like to find out what are the steps or things that need to be watched out for. Are there guidelines that we need to follow?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Applying Limits to Davis Bacon Contributions

"Are Davis Bacon contributions considered employer contributions to a plan and if so, would they count towards the 25% deductible employer contribution limit? I assume they count towards an employee's 415 limit."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Directors Have Compensation Reported on W-2 But Work Zero Hours

"I have a cross-tested profit sharing plan whereby the company is owned by 3 siblings who inherited the stock after their father became deceased. 2 of the owners earn W-2 pay but do not work for the company. The PS formula requires 1000 hours to receive a contribution. Since they do not work any hours, can they be legally disqualified from receiving a contribution? This plan does not include a 401k component and is not safe-harbor."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

DataPath Granted Non-Bank HSA Custodian Status

DataPath, Inc.

Fiduciary Decisions Addresses Benchmarking Managed Accounts Within Retirement Plans

Fiduciary Decisions

Businesses Fight to Keep Health Plan Rates Down, Benefits Up, Paying Off in Employee Loyalty


MissionSquare Retirement to Provide Retirement Services to City of La Palma and New Orleans Public Facility Management

MissionSquare Retirement

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and WorldatWork Announce New Partnership


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Auto-Portability: A New Way to Keep Retirement Savings Growing


Williams Mullen

Stock Option Repricing Considerations for Public Companies



Interview with EBSA’s Tim Hauser on the DOL’s Retirement Security Rule


American Retirement Association [ARA]

Ethics for Retirement Actuaries

December 6, 2023 WEBINAR

Society of Actuaries

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS Updates Filing Instructions for Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

DOL's 2023 Retirement Security Proposal: A Deeper Dive

Groom Law Group

The New Fiduciary Rule, Part 2: The Impact

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

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