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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 9, 2024

4 New Job Opportunities 4 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

PBGC Announces Upcoming Changes to E-Filing Portal

"On February 1, 2024, PBGC will launch a new and improved e-Filing Portal. Key changes include a new, more secure, login process and a streamlined look and feel across all applications (e.g., 4010 and reportable event filings, certain multiemployer plan filings, SFA applications)."  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]


Pensions on Peachtree IN PERSON April 15-16, 2024 – Register Now!

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center presents the Pensions on Peachtree (POP) Conference on April 15-16, 2024 in Atlanta, GA. Earn 15 CE credits and attend the renowned BBQ hosted by Alison. Space is limited - Don't miss out. Register Now!

Sponsored by Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

[Official Guidance]

Draft 2023 Instructions for IRS Form 5329: Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (Including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts (PDF)

11 pages; Jan. 8, 2024. "Beginning on December 29, 2022, the 10% additional tax on early distributions will not apply to a corrective IRA distribution.... The additional tax on early distributions doesn't apply to qualified disaster distributions nor does it apply to qualified disaster recovery distribution.... The age restriction for contributions to a traditional IRA has been eliminated." [Also available: Draft 2023 Form 5329 (Dec. 21, 2023)]  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Miscellaneous Implementation Guidance for SECURE 2.0 Changes

"The Question & Answer format addresses a limited number of provisions under SECURE 2.0, and the IRS noted that the Notice is intended to assist plan sponsors in commencing implementation of these provisions rather than provide comprehensive guidance.... Comments for Notice 2024-2 are requested by February 20, 2024, in particular with respect to the de minimis financial incentives."  MORE >>

Ice Miller LLP

[Guidance Overview]

Retirement Plan Correction Solution: Life After Late Deposits

"Because the late deposit of elective deferrals constitutes a prohibited transaction and is usually unrelated to the plan's tax-qualification, it cannot be corrected through IRS [EPCRS]. The Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP) is the DOL's program for correcting the fiduciary breach associated with certain eligible prohibited transactions.... [In] limited circumstances (including a requirement that all late deposits have been corrected within 180 days of occurrence), the VFCP filing can result in a waiver of the excise taxes that would otherwise have been due."  MORE >>

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

[Guidance Overview]

The New Fiduciary Rule, Part 14: The Timeline for the Final Regulation and Exemptions

"The comment period for the proposed regulation and exemptions is over. The DOL now starts the process for finalizing the guidance and determining the effective date.... This article is [the author's] best guess about the timing of the process to complete the DOL's work."  MORE >>

Summary of 2023 Excess Fee and Performance Litigation

"2023 was a year of significant activity in pending cases, with a record forty-two settlements, a record number of motions to dismiss, summary judgment, and appellate rulings, and at least five cases being tried, including one before a jury. With new plaintiff firms entering the fray, all signs point to a continued high volume of excess fee cases and heightened risk exposure for sponsors of America's large retirement plans, especially jumbo-sized plans."  MORE >>

Euclid Specialty Managers

Lawmakers Release SECURE 2.0 Corrections Bill for Beta Testing

"A draft bill aims to debug many provisions of the SECURE 2.0 Act ... All changes would apply as if they had been included in SECURE 2.0. Leaders of congressional committees with retirement policy jurisdiction are seeking public input before formally introducing legislation but haven't specified any deadline.... Some provisions in the draft are already addressed by IRS guidance, including recently issued Notice 2024-02."  MORE >>


50 House Reps Push Back on DOL Fiduciary Proposal

"A group of 50 U.S. representatives have joined dissenters weighing in on the [DOL's] retirement security rule proposed in October 2023.... In the letter, the lawmakers argued the proposed rule would ultimately harm lower- and middle-income workers by forcing financial professionals who currently operate as insurance agents or registered representatives to act as investment advisers -- thus increasing their fees."  MORE >>


Pension Funding Index, January 2024

"The funded status of the country's 100 largest corporate pension plans ... experienced a modest improvement in 2023, driven by annual investment returns of 9.94%. Declining discount rates, particularly in the fourth quarter, and the corresponding liability increase of 8.33% served to partially offset the asset gains, resulting in a funded status improvement of $4 billion for the year."  MORE >>



Will Actuaries Come Clean on Public Pensions?

"By overwhelming consensus, financial economists and even a good number of actuaries have understood for decades that traditional expected‐​return discount rates are inconsistent with finance principles. But binding actuarial professional standards ... endorse using unjustifiable expected‐​return discount rates. Federal pension law and accounting standards have forced actuaries to use more appropriate discounting for private sector pensions. But state and local governments ... have held on tightly to the discredited methodology."  MORE >>

Cato Institute


No Bonus Points for Complexity: Simplifying Fiduciary Risk Management

"Prudent plan sponsors keep it simple. They comply with ERISA without exposing themsleves to unnecessary risks or potential fiduciary liability exposure.... The only thing that really matters from a risk management and legal liability standpoint, and that is truly in the plan participants best interest, is that the plan sponsor provide them with prudent investment options that are both cost-efficient, and that allow them to properly diversify their plan investments to hopefully reduce the risk of large investment losses."  MORE >>

The Prudent Investment Adviser Rules


Loaded with Teeth and Better Crafted, the Latest 'DOL Rule' Attracts 19,000 Comments

"The new rule is significant because it attempts to sort out financial services industry titles that are indistinguishable to main street investors but may carry important distinctions within the industry ... The issue boils down to how much investors should trust the advice they're receiving and the obligation of “advisors” to provide advice that avoids conflicts of interest."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of Final DOL Regs: Employee or Independent Contractor Classification Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

339 pages. "[A]fter considering the views expressed by commenters, the Department is finalizing its [October 2022 proposal] with some modifications.... [T]his final rule returns to a totality-of-the-circumstances analysis of the economic reality test in which the factors do not have a predetermined weight and are considered in view of the economic reality of the whole activity."  MORE >>

Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

What Would Overruling Chevron Mean for Labor and Employment Law?

"The Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on two cases challenging the deference given to federal agencies' interpretations of statutes they are charged with enforcing. If Chevron is overruled or pared back, federal agencies enforcing labor and employment laws will likely face more challenges to their rules and other interpretive guidance. Overruling Chevron may cause agencies to issue fewer new regulations, take more modest positions in the regulations they do issue, or both."  MORE >>


Living to 100: Strategic Benefits Planning for Employers (PDF)

"A s many as half of today's five-year-olds can expect to live to the age of 100 ... This article looks at the implications this change will have on employment, from changing attitudes toward career paths and career development to the physical and cultural environment of the workplace. Considerations include adapting to changing needs in the areas of employee health and well-being, benefits and financial planning."  MORE >>

Benefits Quarterly, published by the International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists [ISCEBS]

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Reminder to Perform Annual ISO/ESPP Reporting in January 2024

"If in 2023 an employee exercised an ISO, the Employer must provide the employee with a written information statement by January 31, 2024. Form 3921 should be used for this purpose ... If in 2023 legal title to stock purchased under an ESPP was transferred from the employee to a third party, and such transfer was the first transfer of such shares, the employer must provide the employee with a written information statement by January 31, 2024."  MORE >>


District Court Finds Morgan Stanley's Deferred Compensation Program for Advisors Is Subject to ERISA

"[A] federal judge granted Morgan Stanley's request to force a group of former Morgan Stanley advisors suing the company over deferred compensation to take their claims to private arbitration. However, in that same order, the judge found that Morgan Stanley's deferred compensation programs are governed by ERISA ... Morgan Stanley [has asked] the judge to reconsider his ruling." [Shafer v. Morgan Stanley, No. 20-11047 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 21, 2023)]  MORE >>

MSN News

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Enrolled Actuary for Steidle Pension Solutions

Enrolled Actuary

Steidle Pension Solutions

Remote / NJ

View job as Enrolled Actuary for Steidle Pension Solutions

View job as Managing Consultant for CBIZ

Managing Consultant


Torrance CA / Hybrid

View job as Managing Consultant for CBIZ

View job as Sr. Managing Consultant for CBIZ

Sr. Managing Consultant


Philadelphia PA

View job as Sr. Managing Consultant for CBIZ

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

Selected New Discussions

Ordering of Returned Contributions When 402(g) Limit Exceeded

"High earner under age 50 works for two employers. For 2023, he electively deferred $22,500 into one employer's 401k plan as Roth. In the other, he electively deferred $7,500 as tax deferred. He will have to have $7500 returned to him. Is there any ordering of such, i.e., Roth before tax deferred or tax deferred before Roth, that must be followed or can he choose whichever?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

WTW Appoints David Eisenreich to Lead Its Retirement Business in North America


OneDigital Announces Acquisition of Houska Insurance in California


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

The DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal: How Fiduciary Standards Will Apply to Retirement Income Solutions

January 18, 2024 WEBINAR


SECURE 2.0: Catching up With Catch-Ups

February 1, 2024 WEBINAR


Fundamentals of Qualified Retirement Plans (2024): Session 3

February 8, 2024 WEBINAR


Retirement Plan Options for Small Businesses

February 8, 2024 WEBINAR

New York City Bar Association

Emerging Trends in Retirement Plan Programs

February 14, 2024 WEBINAR

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Plan Design: Is the New SECURE 2.0 Cash Out Limit Mandatory or Not?

Retirement Learning Center, LLC

IRS Confirms E-Filing of Form 5558 Through EFAST2 Postponed Until Jan. 1, 2025

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

It's That Time of Year: Retired Households Should Perform Their Actuarial Valuations

Ken Steiner, FSA Retired

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

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