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Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 13, 2023

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes Expanded Definition of Investment Advice Fiduciary

"The proposed rule expands the definition of fiduciary; requires that advice being given to a broader range of retirement investors meet fiduciary standards; and treats more rollover recommendations as fiduciary advice."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

The New Fiduciary Rule, Part 3: Fixed Indexed Annuities

"The proposals, if adopted, will require that thought be given to the processes that a fiduciary adviser or agent should use for determining if a fixed indexed annuity is in the best interest of a retirement investor. Insurance companies will probably support insurance agents by providing education, forms and processes, and data to support best interest processes."  MORE >>

Ninth Circuit Denies En Banc Rehearing in Controversial 401(k) Prohibited Transaction Ruling

"[T]he denial of a rehearing leaves the case where it was; with a directive for the lower court to reconsider the issue(s) already presented, but with the 'new' interpretation of the issue provided by the appellate court. Or -- and as seems likely considering the sweeping impact of this decision, and its argued divergence from similar cases in other districts -- to appeal to a higher court." [Bugielski v. AT&T Servs., Inc., No. 21-56196 (9th Cir. Nov. 8, 23)]  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Handling 401(k) Plan Forfeitures in Light of Recent Lawsuits

"In all four cases, the plans permitted forfeitures to be used to pay for administrative expenses and to reduce future employer contributions, as is permitted under IRS regulations.... Given that the litigation is based on ERISA (rather than the Internal Revenue Code) ... employers may want to eliminate any discretionary language regarding the use of forfeitures and instead mandate that forfeitures first be used to reduce employer contributions and then be used to pay administrative expenses (if any forfeitures remain)."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

New Audit Rules for 2023 5500 Forms

"For plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2023, only participants with an account balance at the beginning of the year ... are counted for purposes of requiring an audit.... If you are still close to the participant count threshold, consider looking at your terminated participants with account balances and make efforts to force out small account balances as your plan may allow."  MORE >>

Watkins Ross

Using Income Replacement Ratios to Track Retirement Readiness

"With a glance, an income replacement ratio can help you assess how much progress individuals, groups, or an entire participant population is making toward generating adequate retirement income. This, in turn, can help show if changes to the plan design or participant experience may be worth pursuing."  MORE >>

John Hancock

UAW Goes All in on Building Cadillac DC Plans for Members

"[T]he union won enough concessions to make members' defined contribution plans a plausible alternative for securing a comfortable retirement.... The centerpiece of those retirement gains was a 'huge' boost of more than 70% in the annual contributions Ford, GM and Stellantis make to workers' 401(k) accounts by the end of the new contract, to 10% of salaries from 6.4% at present ... The contributions are automatically made and do not require an employee match."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

CIT Providers Target Mid-Sized to Large DC Plans in 2024

"Collective investment trusts (CITs) have surpassed mutual funds as the top investment vehicle by defined contribution investment-only (DCIO) assets.... CIT providers see lower cost as a top benefit of the vehicle ... The ability to negotiate fees is also ranked as a significant benefit."  MORE >>

Cerulli Associates

RMDs When Your IRA Investments Are Not Liquid

"If you have one IRA that is illiquid, you could simply take the RMD for that account from another IRA that is liquid.... You cannot satisfy your RMD for your IRA from a workplace plan or a Roth IRA. Another possibility is to make a tax year IRA contribution if you are eligible to inject some cash into an IRA.... [Y]ou would need to have earned income and you would be limited to the annual IRA contribution allowed. That may not be enough to satisfy the RMD."  MORE >>

Slott Report

Good News on Safe Withdrawal Rates

"[The authors estimate that] retirees drawing down income from an investment portfolio can now afford to withdraw as much as 4.0% as an initial spending rate ... That figure is the highest safe withdrawal percentage since Morningstar began creating this research in 2021. (The highest starting safe withdrawal rate based on similar assumptions was 3.3% in 2021 and 3.8% in 2022.)"  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant - Combo Plans
            for Definiti

Retirement Plan Consultant - Combo Plans



View job as Retirement Plan Consultant - Combo Plans for Definiti

View job as Jr. Account Manager
            for 401KInABox

Jr. Account Manager



View job as Jr. Account Manager for 401KInABox

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 Sr. Manager/Director - Qualified Plan Administration & Consulting
            for Clark Schaefer Hackett

Sr. Manager/Director - Qualified Plan Administration & Consulting

Clark Schaefer Hackett

Remote / IN / KY / MI / OH

View job as Sr. Manager/Director - Qualified Plan Administration & Consulting for Clark Schaefer Hackett

Selected New Discussions

Cash Balance Plan: In-Service Distribution (Rollover to IRA) Permitted?

"We have a Cash Balance Plan. A participant has asked about in-service distribution (rollover). Specifically, he is asking if he makes a contribution in 2023, and reaches age 59 1/2 in 2024, can he rollover the funds into a traditional IRA as an in-service distribution and continue to participate in the plan. My understanding is that this is not permissible. This seems like it would directly go against the concept of a cash balance plan and almost treat it like a 401k. But my understanding of cash balance plans is definitely lacking. The participant says he has been told by others that this is allowed. Can anyone help?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Does AFN Replace SAR in a PBGC-Covered DB Plan?

"I prepare the AFN and also provide a mini-SAR (software does it this way). Taking over a plan where the other TPA insists that AFN is sufficient i.e. no SAR is required and they have never provided to the plan sponsor. Am I missing something here?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

2024 Quick Benefit Facts (PDF)


Adoption of Annual Written Confirmation for Discretionary Matching Contribution

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

A Long and Winding Road: The DOL's Fiduciary Rule 4.0 Proposal (PDF)

Eversheds Sutherland

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

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