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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 10, 2024


[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides SECURE 2.0 Act Guidance

"[Notice 2024-02 provides that] [1] [A] CODA is considered established on the date the plan terms providing for the CODA are initially adopted, regardless of the effective date.... [2] [While SECURE 2.0] provides for the exception to the 10% penalty, it does not provide for an exception to the distribution restrictions under 401(k) and 403(b).... [3] [M]atching contribution errors must generally be corrected within six months from when correct deferrals begin, or within the existing three-year correction period for errors occurring before 2024."  MORE >>



Virtual APC on Jan 31-Feb 2, 2024

Get the practical updates that matter to you from our ERISA panel at the virtual Advanced Pension Conference, Jan 31-Feb 2, 2024. The program features eleven sessions. Earn up to 13 CE credits. See complete agenda and register today!

Sponsored by FIS Retirement Education

House Capital Markets Subcommittee Hearing: Examining the DOL Fiduciary Rule -- Implications for Retirement Savings and Access

Video of Jan. 10 hearing, including testimony by: [1] Bradford Campbell, Faegre Drinker; [2] Susan Neely, American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI); [3] Jason Berkowitz, Insured Retirement Institute (IRI); [4] Marc Cadin, Finseca; and [5] Kamila Elliot, Collective Wealth Partners.  MORE >>

Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Committee on Financial Markets, U.S. House of Representatives

Streamlined Best Practices for Retirement Plan Committees (PDF)

"This guide seeks to describe, in simplified terms, the practices of effective and efficient retirement plan committees.... [The] goal is to provide a roadmap of best practices to remember when creating and operating a retirement plan committee."  MORE >>

Multnomah Group

2023 Financial Well-Being Index

13 pages. "Employees who want their employers to help with financial security rank retirement benefit offerings as having the biggest impact.... 33% of businesses that rated financial wellness programs as the No. 1 biggest impact are planning on adding financial wellness benefits within the next year.... A majority (61%) of businesses have experience with phased retirement -- most commonly large businesses.... The most common expected age for retirement is 65 years old.... Of those who responded with a specific age in mind, younger generations generally expect to retire at an earlier age."  MORE >>

Principal Financial Group

Auto-IRAs Among New Retirement Options for Underserved Savers

"[S]tate-sponsored auto-IRAs ... represent a modernized approach to retirement savings, designed to simplify the onboarding process by automatically enrolling eligible employees, and streamlining the enrollment and contribution process. The aim is to overcome barriers that often deter individuals, particularly those in part-time positions, from actively participating in retirement savings plans."  MORE >>

Corporate Insight [CI]


CCA Enrolled Actuaries Conference | Washington, D.C. | March 10-13, 2024

Choose from 48 sessions covering topics in single-employer, multiemployer, public plans, small plans and other topics relevant to pension professionals. Earn up to 18.5 EA credits, including 2.0 EA Ethics credits & 1.5 credits toward bias topics.

Sponsored by Conference of Consulting Actuaries [CCA]

What's Preventing More Small Businesses from Offering Retirement Plans?

"[S]mall firms have consistently cited the same three major barriers: uncertain revenues that make it hard to commit to a plan; employee preferences for wages and other benefits; and the costs associated with establishing and administering a plan.... Not only do small firms overestimate the cost of offering a plan, the vast majority -- particularly those with fewer than 50 workers -- are not aware that they can claim a tax credit of up to $5,000[.]"  MORE >>

Alicia Munnell, via Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

The IRA Whisperer

"In this interview ... [Denise Appleby] discusses Roth versus traditional IRAs, errors to avoid, required minimum distributions and SECURE 2.0."  MORE >>


Facebook Public Pension Groups Replace Unions, Protecting Worker Retirement Savings

"Combative and secretive, our nation's state and local government pensions more-often-than-not treat pension participants demanding transparency and accountability as the enemy. While unions fail to effectively advocate on behalf of workers and retirees, Facebook groups are emerging as powerful forces to protect retirement savings."  MORE >>

Edward Siedle


Protecting American Workers' Retirement Assets

"From the perspective of the wealth management industry, conflicts of interest are so deeply embedded in its phenomenally profitable customer service model, it cannot imagine another way to deliver investment advice.... Looking objectively at the situation, it's shocking how the high margin and conflicted compensation arrangements deployed by most investment advisers -- schemes that would cause other professional advice givers like accountants or attorneys to lose their professional license -- have become universally accepted practice."  MORE >>

Francis, Inc.

Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Announces Final Rule on Determining Independent Contractor Status

"The DOL announced the new final rule addressing worker classification under the FLSA. In addition to the six-factor test, the new rule allows for the consideration of additional factors relevant to the overall question of economic dependence, The new rule goes into effect on March 11, 2024."  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Final Rule on Independent Contractor Definition Under the Fair Labor Standards Act

"The Final Rule jettisons an earlier attempt under the prior Administration to modernize and simplify how to determine who is an employee and who is a contractor by focusing on two core factors. The Final Rule instead purports to return to an ambiguous totality-of-the-circumstances approach, while also placing a thumb on the scale in favor of more workers being deemed employees under the FLSA."  MORE >>

Seyfarth Shaw LLP

Fiduciary Liability: 2023 in Review and a Look Ahead to 2024

"2023 did see two relatively new types of lawsuits, one type being brought against plan sponsors and another type being brought by plans and their sponsors. Four suits brought by one law firm against four different plan sponsors, alleging improper use of forfeited plan funds, may not ultimately result in plaintiff recoveries and a resulting trend. The second potential trend, suits by welfare benefit plans against service providers, doesn't directly implicate fiduciary insurance since the plans are plaintiffs and not defendants."  MORE >>

Willis Towers Watson

Selected New Discussions

Flawed Beneficiary Designation, Pending Litigation and RMDs

"Decedent changed substantial IRA beneficiary designation to name his mental health therapist ... T.Rowe Price IRA beneficiary designation mixes up therapist's first and middle name and does not include date of birth and social security number. The form was submitted online, but seemingly 'accepted' by T.Rowe Price. Therapist wants to claim the money. TRP did freeze the account pending litigation. Does anyone know if this stays RMD requirements or the 9-month disclaimer? What is your experience with incomplete beneficiary designation forms?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan Permanency Rule

"We are currently working on ways to prevent unnecessary churn with our clients and one of the things we were looking at was making clients aware of the IRS Plan Permanency Rule that essentially states a plan must be established with the intent to be permanent, and if it is terminated within a few years, besides any of the approved reasons by the IRS, then they are at risk of violating that rule which could potentially lead to retroactively being disqualified. My questions are:

  1. Is this really something the IRS even checks? ...
  2. One of the approved termination reasons is a change in ownership. Does simply selling your business fall under that category?
  3. Lastly, is the 5310 form actually required or is that only if they essentially want the IRS's blessing that the termination reason is qualified?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

DOL Files Suit Against Defunct Maryland Computer Forensics Company for Unremitted Contributions to 401(k) Profit Sharing Plan

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

NFP Appoints Tony Greene President of Its Executive Benefits Division

NFP Corp.

Vitality and Tangelo Launch Partnership to Deliver Food as Medicine Benefits


DOL Files Suit Against Defunct Baltimore Payroll Processing Company for Failure to Remit Employee Contributions to 401(k) Plan

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

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

5 Retirement Trends to Watch in 2024

January 23, 2024 WEBINAR


SCOTUS Update: When Do Courts Defer to Agency Interpretations of Statutes

January 24, 2024 WEBINAR

Groom Law Group

Proposed Retirement Security Rule and Finalized ERISA Exemptions: Senior DOL Officials Discuss the Impact on Benefits Plans

January 25, 2024 WEBINAR

ALI CLE [American Law Institute Continuing Legal Education]

ERISA Litigation: Trends to Watch 2024

February 7, 2024 WEBINAR

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB]

State-Sponsored Retirement Plans: An Overview

February 21, 2024 WEBINAR

TRA [The Retirement Advantage]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS Issues Miscellaneous Implementation Guidance for SECURE 2.0 Changes

Ice Miller LLP

Retirement Plan Correction Solution: Life After Late Deposits

Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

Lawmakers Release SECURE 2.0 Corrections Bill for Beta Testing


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

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