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Retirement Plans Newsletter

November 16, 2023

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

Exploring Penalty-Free Distribution Provisions Under SECURE 2.0

"Plan sponsors now have the ability to allow participants who are going through or have experienced a natural disaster, terminal illness, domestic abuse situation or an immediate financial need to take a penalty free distribution from their employer-sponsored retirement plan."  MORE >>

Spectrum Consultants


Unrivaled Authority in ERISA Knowledge

EOB sets the benchmark for ERISA expertise. With comprehensive updates and in-depth analysis, it's the resource of choice for professionals. From SECURE 2.0 to intricate compliance details, EOB is your trusted guide in the ever-evolving world of ERISA.

Sponsored by ASPPA

[Guidance Overview]

SECURE 2.0: ESOP Updates

"SECURE 2.0 expands Section 1042 treatment to S corporation shareholders who sell to an ESOP beginning in 2028. This will allow S corporation shareholders to use tax-favored succession planning strategies that are similar to C corporation shareholders.... The WORK Act appropriates $50 million over five years to the Ownership Initiative, which also will support existing state employee ownership programs and, eventually, nonprofits."  MORE >>

Foley & Lardner LLP

Cornell Retirement Plan Win Adds to Growing Circuit Split

"Cornell University's recent victory in a lawsuit alleging retirement plan mismanagement added to the growing debate over whether routine contracts between employers and retirement plan service providers can be challenged under ERISA rules aimed at curbing conflicted and self-interested transactions.... The Second Circuit's opinion ... added to a widening circuit split over how easy it is to challenge these arrangements in court." [Cunningham v. Cornell Univ., No. 21-0088 (2d Cir. Nov. 14, 2023)]  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

Navigating an EBSA Investigation: Proactive Steps for Plan Sponsors

"[1] Regularly update and ensure plan operations are in compliance with current regulations and best practices to remediate areas that might be flagged during an investigation.... [2] Maintain thorough and meticulous records of all plan activities, decisions and rationale.... [3] Ensure that relevant parties are well-trained and updated on the latest in regulations, investigative processes and industry best practices ... [4] Implement robust risk mitigation practices[.]"  MORE >>


Suddenly Funded DB Plans: What's a Plan Sponsor to Do?

"For plan sponsors, having a fully funded plan, or ... one with a significant surplus, opens up a number of ... options. Without the need to outpace the interest rates incorporated in the calculation of liabilities, the plan may move to an investment strategy that trades higher returns for lower risk. Risk may also be transferred out of the plan through a lump sum offer to participants, an annuity purchase from an insurer, or a complete termination, which may involve both."  MORE >>


Bipartisan Bill Introduced to Extend 401(k) Plans to Younger Savers

"[The] Helping Young Americans Save for Retirement Act ... would modify the [ERISA] age threshold from 21 to allow these younger workers to access their employer's defined contribution plans under certain circumstances.... The legislation would also delay ERISA provisions that require employers to conduct mandatory audits if they allow employees younger than 21 years-old to contribute to their plans."  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

Retirement Plan Contributions Pull Back in 2022, Still Strong

"85.6 percent of eligible employees made contributions, down from 89.2 percent in 2021. ...  Participants contributed an average of 7.4 percent of pay, and companies contributed 4.8 percent average employer contribution. ...  6.4 percent of plans offer an ESG fund, up from 4.2 percent in 2021 and 10.8 percent offer an in-plan lifetime income product, up from 8.1 percent."  MORE >>

Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

PBGC 2023 Annual Report (PDF)

157 pages. "The PBGC Single-Employer Program's financial status showed improvement and has been in a positive net financial position, which is projected to grow over the next 10 years. The PBGC Multiemployer Program improved during FY 2023 to a positive net position and is likely to remain solvent for more than 40 years.... As of the end of FY 2023, PBGC had received 135 SFA applications requesting a total of $71.0 billion in SFA and had approved 100 applications for $53.5 billion in SFA"  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Audit of the PBGC's Fiscal Year 2022 and 2021 Financial Statements (PDF)

81 pages. "The financial statements present fairly, in all material respects, the financial position of the Single-Employer and Multiemployer Program Funds administered by the PBGC at September 30, 2023 and 2022 ... PBGC maintained, in all material respects, effective internal control over financial reporting as of September 30, 2023 ... No instances of reportable noncompliance or other matters with certain provisions of laws, regulations, contracts, and grant agreements, noncompliance with which could have a direct and material effect on the financial statements."  MORE >>

Office of Inspector General [OIG], Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Benefits in General

HSA Impact on Retirement Income Adequacy for Future Retirees

"[I]ncreasing access to HSAs and encouraging investment among HSA account holders can help reduce the cumulative retirement savings shortfall, particularly for demographic cohorts projected to face the largest deficits.... Maximizing HSA enrollment accounts for more than half of the difference in the retirement saving shortfall relative to the baseline with HSA. Maximizing contribution and limiting distribution behavior have minor impacts."  MORE >>


GAO Report on EBSA: Systematic Process Needed to Better Manage Priorities and Increased Responsibilities

"[EBSA] resources have generally remained unchanged while oversight responsibilities have increased over the last decade.... Although EBSA officials said they use several strategies to manage declining resources, the agency does not have a clear or systematic decision-making process for doing so.... Without [such a] process, EBSA officials may not have adequate information for making informed decisions about how to manage resource reallocations to meet its increased responsibilities." [GAO-24-105667 Published Oct 24, 2023; Released: Nov 16, 2023.]  MORE >>

U.S. Government Accountability Office [GAO]

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

The SEC's New Clawback Rules: Deadline Approaching for Adoption of Compliant Policies

"[1] Nearly all listed issuers are subject to the new clawback rules.... [2] Misconduct or knowledge is not required for the clawback rules to apply.... [3] Companies cannot indemnify or insure officers against required clawbacks.... [4] There are new disclosure requirements for when a clawback is triggered.... [5] The new rules will likely impact internal investigations related to accounting restatements.... [6] There are exceptions to the clawback requirements, but they are limited.... [7] The compensation could be deemed 'received' and subject to clawback even before payment."  MORE >>

Nelson Mullins

Ascensus, Newport Nonqualified Platforms Hit by Infosys Cybersecurity Issue

"Ascensus and its subsidiary, Newport Group Inc., have had their nonqualified retirement plan services affected by a cyberattack on business processes firm Infosys McCamish Systems LLC. The platform that Ascensus and Newport use has not been able to update nonqualified user accounts since November 2."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Contribution Consultant
            for AimPoint Pension Group

Defined Contribution Consultant

AimPoint Pension Group


View job as Defined Contribution Consultant for AimPoint Pension Group

View job as Document Specialist
            for Definiti

Document Specialist


Remote / The Woodlands TX

View job as Document Specialist for Definiti

Press Releases

Prime Pensions Acquires Pension Benefits Unlimited

Prime Pensions

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Planning for Your Employees' Retirement: How to Design a DC Plan That Adds Up



Employee Benefits Briefing, Fall 2023


Nixon Peabody LLP

Year-End 2023 Financial & Tax Planning For Equity Comp

November 30, 2023 WEBINAR

Ask A Benefits Attorney

December 20, 2023 WEBINAR

Miller Johnson

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IBM Makes Retirement News: What They Did and What It Means for You

October Three Consulting

DOL Denies Request to Extend Fiduciary Rule Comment Period, as House Moves to Block Rule

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Text of EBSA Announcement of Hearing on Retirement Security Rule: Definition of an Investment Advice Fiduciary and Associated Prohibited Transaction Exemption Amendments (PDF)

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

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

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