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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 3, 2024

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


PBGC Seeks Nominations for Advisory Committee Seat

"[PBGC] invites interested parties to submit nominations by February 16, 2024, for a spot on the agency's Advisory Committee representing the interests of the general public.... This position will be appointed by the president of the United States for a three-year term. Nominees must have experience with defined benefit plans, the administration or advising of pension plans, or in related fields."  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

Lawsuit Alleges Wells Fargo Advisor's Mistake Caused Costly RMD Shortfall

"A Wells Fargo advisor's error in entering an IRA trust beneficiary's birthdate caused a significant shortfall in required minimum distributions over several years, leaving the trust with over $130,000 in [IRS] penalties, according to a recent lawsuit[.]" [Lowe v. Wells Fargo & Co., No. 23-07380 (D. La. complaint filed Dec. 21, 2023)]  MORE >>


401(k) Checkup: Elective Deferrals

"Plan sponsors should focus on the following items when reviewing a 401(k) plan's elective deferral provisions and procedures: [1] How are elective deferrals determined? ... [2] How are off-cycle payments treated? ... [3] How are bonus payments treated? ... [4] How is compensation determined for purposes of calculating elective deferrals? ... [5] Are automatic enrollment and escalation provisions being properly administered?"  MORE >>

Haynes and Boone, LLP

Plan Sponsors Should Be Intentional When Adding Managed Accounts

"Managed accounts [are] highly customizable and can be used to offer anything from financial wellness programs to supporting dynamic QDIA programs. Because of this level of personalization, plan sponsors may have difficulty with benchmarking if comparable providers offer some, but not all, of the same solutions or capabilities."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

The Beauty of Taking Early IRA Distributions

"Why should you take money out of retirement accounts if you don't need it? ... [To] utilize lower tax brackets; for married couples, to take advantage of 'wider' tax brackets while both of you are alive; to provide a bigger cushion in your 'post-tax' accounts should you ever have a large cash flow need; and with the new 10-year withdrawal rule, to reduce the income tax your heirs may have to pay on your retirement accounts."  MORE >>

Forbes; subscription may be required

Funded Status of Largest U.S. Corporate Pension Plans Ends 2023 at 100%

"The aggregate pension funded status of these plans at the end of 2023 is estimated to be 100%, two percentage points higher than 98% at the end of 2022. The analysis found the funding deficit has closed, improved from the $25 billion deficit at the end of 2022. Pension obligations declined slightly (3%) from $1.23 trillion at the end of 2022 to an estimated $1.19 trillion at the end of 2023."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

FAS87 ASC715 Discount Rates and Moody's Rates, December 29, 2023

An unofficial monthly report of the Moody's Daily Long-term Corporate Bond Yield Averages and Moody's Daily Treasury Yield Averages (used as benchmarks by some corporate pension plans).  MORE >>

BenefitsLink Message Boards


American Benefits Council Comment Letter to DOL on Retirement Security Proposal

16 pages. "Employers report that the combination of the breadth of the redefinition of fiduciary advice and the challenging nature of the exemptions as proposed will force employers to remove tools that provide important benefits to plan participants. The new rules will make many plan operations more difficult and more expensive ... at a time when plan sponsors are trying to efficiently utilize internal and outside resources so they can continue to provide meaningful employee benefits for their employees."  MORE >>

American Benefits Council


U.S. Chamber of Commerce Comment Letter to DOL on Fiduciary Proposal (PDF)

46 pages. "As a fundamental matter, the Chamber believes an entity or person giving investment advice for a fee should do so under a heightened standard of care. However, the regulation of investment advice must be with the appropriate regulator overseeing such advice and each regulator applying the law as directed by Congress. [The Chamber believes that] some aspects of the Proposed Regulation and the Amended PTEs are not within DOL's powers."  MORE >>

U.S. Chamber of Commerce


ICI Comment Letter to DOL on Proposed Definition of an Investment Advice Fiduciary (PDF)

118 pages. "If the Proposal is adopted without significant revisions, retirement savers and plan sponsors will have access to less investment information at many critical points ... [ICI] recommend[s] a series of modifications to the Proposal that are essential to avoid a dramatically detrimental impact on retirement savers. Even with these modifications, however, [ICI does not] believe that the Proposal is justified[.]"  MORE >>

Investment Company Institute [ICI]


ARA Comment Letter to DOL on Proposed Retirement Security Rule (PDF)

"When ERISA was enacted and the 1975 Rule was promulgated, defined benefit pension plans of large companies dominated the market. The 401(k) plan did not even exist.... The ARA supports this expanded, transactional definition and believes it better aligns with the statutory language and intent of ERISA to protect all retirement investors. However, [ARA recommends] certain revisions to avoid unintended effects on certain parties and particular circumstances."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Benefits in General

Offering Competitive Benefits Amid Budget Constraints: A Balancing Act for Plan Sponsors

"[It] is crucial for companies to conduct frequent benchmarking and measure their benefits offerings against their industry peers. However, offering a competitive suite of benefits is often a juggling act for plan sponsors, as budgeting concerns come into play, and placing too much of a cost burden on the employee or the employer can be detrimental to the organization as a whole[.]"  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as ESOP Administrator for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

ESOP Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates


View job as ESOP Administrator for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

View job as Employee Benefits Account Manager for U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners

Employee Benefits Account Manager

U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners


View job as Employee Benefits Account Manager for U.S. Retirement & Benefits Partners

Selected New Discussions

Correcting Missed Deferral Opportunity for One NHCE When All Other Employees Are HCEs

"NHCE Participant in a small, successful office where all other employees are HCEs. Eligible for entry into the 401k Plan in July 2022. Terminated employment in October 2022. Participant claims they were never offered the opportunity to participate in 401k. No automatic enrollment, Safe Harbor Non-Elective contribution was made for the participant for the Plan Year. IRS Guidance says correction is a QNEC for 50% of the missed deferral, calculated on ADP of other NHCEs and applied to their compensation from the period of time in which they were excluded. How do I calculate that amount if there are no other NHCEs? Do I use the ADP for the HCEs, since they are the only group? Or is there a Safe Harbor percentage that I would use?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

'Cutback' for Increased Eligibility Provision?

"Plan has a 1-month of service eligibility provision. They are increasing that eligibility provision up to 1-year as of first day of next plan year. I believe then, anyone hired within one month (i.e. from 12/2-12/31 of a calendar plan year) before the eligibility change would be required to wait for the full year, since not being participants, plan rules don't yet apply."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Take a Deep Dive Into Benefits and Compensation Benchmarking

January 31, 2024 WEBINAR

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - DC Metro Chapter

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

SECURE 2.0 Provisions Will Affect Individuals Planning to Retire in 2024


DOL EFAST2 Website Updated for 2023 Plan Year Filings

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

Are You Prepared for the Evolution of Retirement?


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

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