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Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 14, 2023

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2023-76: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for November 2023 (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates ... and the 24-month average segment rates ... [as well as] the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities ... as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate[.]"  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Direct Answers to your ERISA & Retirement Plan Questions!

Our TAG experts average 25+ years of experience and comprehensively answer your retirement questions. TAG provides access to a database of 4,000+ FAQs, quick reference tools, and charts. Learn more!

Sponsored by Wolters Kluwer

What's the 'Over/Under' on the DOL's New Fiduciary Rule?

"Between the IRA Rollover matter and the redefinition of 'regular services,' there is no shortage of ways to chip away at the new Rule. What might be one way we can expect to see the industry attack the Rule in front of a judge?"  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

How Much Do People Value Annuities and Their Added Features?

"[H]alf of those surveyed want to annuitize at prevailing market annuity prices, a much higher share than the 12 percent of this group who actually do buy annuities.... [I]ndividuals are unwilling to pay more for a death benefit or a liquidity option ... The results find support for 'channel factors' -- difficulties associated with actually purchasing an annuity -- as a major impediment to annuitization."  MORE >>

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

Recent ESOP Developments

"While SECURE 2.0 and the DOL's new [Division of Employee Ownership (DEO)] initiative are positive developments for ESOPS, the DOL continues to challenge ESOP valuations aggressively.... The IRS indicated that its current compliance efforts have identified numerous concerns, such as valuation issues, prohibited allocations of shares to disqualified persons and a failure to follow Code provisions for ESOP loans ... The IRS also indicated that it has identified potentially abusive arrangements."  MORE >>

The Wagner Law Group

BlackRock's Ether ETF Plan Is Confirmed in Nasdaq Filing

"BlackRock wants to create an ETF that holds Ethereum's ether (ETH), a plan that deepens the world's largest asset manager's commitment to cryptocurrencies.... The company's plan was revealed in a filing by Nasdaq, the U.S. exchange where BlackRock will seek to list the product[.]"  MORE >>


Higher Bond Yields Mean Higher Corporate Pension Funding Levels

"The funding status of U.S. corporate pension plans increased in October, largely due to a reduction in liabilities stemming from an increase in discount rates, which were offset by negative investment returns. According to some trackers, pension funding status is at its highest point in decades."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Public Pensions Frequently Change Their Private Equity Benchmarks: Why It Matters

"[T]he benchmarking approach a pension uses tends to change after they bring in new external consultants -- which public plans do often. ... [T]hese changes often lead to pensions choosing benchmarks that are easier to beat than the measures they had been using.... Beating or missing return expectations can affect how pension boards determine the plan's asset allocation. Consultants, meanwhile, gain more business when their pension clients beat the benchmarks."  MORE >>

Institutional Investor

Confidently Boost Your Spending in Retirement with the Actuarial Approach

"[T]he Actuarial Approach is superior to Monte Carlo modeling for encouraging spending-hesitant households to increase spending is its ability to: distinguish between recurring vs. non-recurring expenses, anticipate reductions in expenses after the first death within the couple, and to assume lower than inflationary rates of increases in future discretionary spending."  MORE >>

Ken Steiner, FSA Retired


Uptick in Withdrawals Exposes the Inadequacy of Do-It-Yourself Retirement

"[A recent] Bank of America survey shows that of the 4 million participants who have accounts in the plans that BofA serves as recordkeeper, the number of participants taking a plan loan rose to about 75,000 (2.5%) participants in the second quarter of 2023, compared to about 56,000 (1.9%) participants in the previous quarter....Several other recent surveys have shown a similar trend of increasing hardship withdrawals."  MORE >>

Pension Rights Center [PRC]

Benefits in General

Common Mistakes in Communications to Employees About Benefits

"This is the age of information overload: don't assume that means everyone knows and understands what your message is about.... Are you placing an over reliance on one form of employee communication to the exclusion of all others? ... Transparency builds trust and helps eliminate the blank spaces that will be surely filled in with assumptions, rumors and misinformation."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Implementations Associate
            for Vestwell

Senior Implementations Associate


Remote / New York NY

View job as Senior Implementations Associate for Vestwell

View job as Senior Account Executive
            for Vestwell

Senior Account Executive


Remote / New York NY / Hybrid

View job as Senior Account Executive for Vestwell

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant
            for 401k Industry Matchmakers - CPS Inc

Retirement Plan Consultant

401k Industry Matchmakers - CPS Inc

Remote / Chicago IL / CA / CO / FL / IN / KY / OH / PA / TX / WA / WI

View job as Contribution Specialist
            for American Trust Retirement

Contribution Specialist

American Trust Retirement

Remote / Lexington KY / Hybrid

View job as Contribution Specialist for American Trust Retirement

Selected New Discussions

How to Correct Minimum Participation Failure in Cash Balance Plan

"We have a Cash Balance Plan. Under 401(a)(26), we must have 50 participants. We have a cycle where annual contributions are set for 3 years. Assume we have 51 participants in year 1, all receiving meaningful accruals. If we have 3 participants retire in year 2, putting us at 48 participants, how do we correct since we have fallen below the minimum participation threshold? Added fact: all participants are HCEs."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Notice Requirements for Terminating 401(k) Plan

"Company A with a 401(k) plan with a nondiscretionary SH is being acquired in a stock sale this coming week by company B which wants A to terminate their 401(k) plan B's lawyer insists that the plan can be terminated right away before the sale date but according to this IRS webpage ... 60 to 90 days notice of plan termination is required ... I have had another situation where an actuary for a DB plan not covered by the PBGC and where benefit accruals had already been frozen did a retroactive termination (ie. doing the termination paperwork in February, 2023 with a date of termination of June 30, 2022) believing that the 60-90 day notice rule only applied to PBGC-covered plans since that was in the PBGC's website instructions for terminating a DB plan. Their argument was that since the DB plan here was not subject to PBGC coverage it was not subject to the 60-90 notice requirement."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Determining HCEs for ADP Test

"So just a little background:

  1. There's a total of 37 eligible participants
  2. 4 are owners (including owners through family attribution)
  3. 19 HCE based on compensation

I know you can limit the HCE to the Top 20%, and all owners are considered HCE. So in this case, regardless of the compensation of the owners, would we use them and then the next 4 highest to create the 8? Or do you use the highest 8, and then add any owners who are not included (so you would be over 8)?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Empower Small Plan Sales Top $10 Billion for 2023


The ERISA Industry Committee President and CEO James Gelfand Named a Top Lobbyist of 2023

ERIC [ERISA Industry Committee]

Envestnet Launches Envestnet Retire Complete -- Providing Advisors Access to a Competitive Retirement Savings Program for Clients


2023 Executive and Board Comp Survey Results Now Available

National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Intuit QuickBooks Partners with Allstate Health Solutions to Bring Comprehensive Healthcare Coverage to Small Businesses


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Recent Developments and Key Considerations for Employers Participating in Multiemployer Plans

November 30, 2023 WEBINAR

Morgan Lewis

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

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

Willis Towers Watson

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

American Retirement Association [ARA]

New Audit Rules for 2023 5500 Forms

Watkins Ross

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

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