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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 15, 2024

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2024-21: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for January 2024 (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]

[Guidance Overview]

Implementing the New Forms W-4P and W-4R: One Year Later

"How is the correct withholding amount determined when only an old Form W-4P has been provided? IRS Publication 15-T includes a 'computational bridge' to assist payors in determining the proper amount of withholding for a given year.... It is not necessary to collect a new W-4R for every nonperiodic distribution provided that the subsequent payment is made from the same plan or IRA."  MORE >>

Morgan Lewis

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Posts Initial Employer Guidance on Emergency Savings Accounts

"Guidance on reasonable measures employers that offer PLESAs can take to discourage potential manipulation of the PLESA matching contribution rules can be found in Notice 2024-22 ... [P]rocedures outlined in [the Notice] that have been deemed unreasonable ... are: [1] Forfeiture of matching contributions; [2] Suspension of participant contributions to PLESA; [3] Suspension of matching contributions on participant contributions to the underlying defined contribution plan."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

[Guidance Overview]

Tracking Retirement Plan Hardship Withdrawals and Loans in 2024

"Hardship withdrawals and participant loans from retirement plans increased [in 2023] ... Even if you rely on a third-party administrator or delegate administrative duties, plan sponsors are ultimately responsible for meeting the IRS's guidelines for reporting these activities.... The IRS offers a 'Fix-It Guide' to help you resolve problems and make corrections."  MORE >>

Savant

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Notice Clarifies Several Provisions of SECURE 2.0

"[Notice 2024-02] provides an additional year for plans to adopt plan amendments pursuant to the Act. As a result, non-governmental qualified plans must be amended by December 31, 2026, while applicable collectively bargained plans have until December 31, 2028 to make the required amendments and governmental plans must be amended by December 31, 2029."  MORE >>

Slevin & Hart, P.C.

Could Have, or Would Have, That Is the ERISA Question

"Yale University employees asked the Second Circuit to find that a new trial is needed in their lawsuit accusing the school of mismanaging their $5.5 billion retirement plan.... The class claimed that the district court incorrectly instructed the jury that Yale and its fiduciary committee could avoid financial liability merely by showing that a prudent fiduciary 'could have' made the same decisions, rather than requiring defendants to prove that a prudent fiduciary 'would have' made the same decisions.... The DOL filed an amicus brief ... supporting the employees' request for a new trial emphasizing that deficient jury instructions let Yale avoid responsibility for violating ERISA." [Vellali v. Yale Univ., No. 16-1345 (D. Conn. Jun. 28, 2023; on appeal to 2d Cir. No. 23-1082)]  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

ERISA Fiduciary Concerns Relating to Cybersecurity: Theft of Plan Assets (PDF)

"[A] cyber breach is not a matter of if it will occur, but a matter of when ... This [article discusses] the [DOL] authority over cybercrimes, litigation involving cyber theft of participants' accounts, and risk mitigation techniques for plan fiduciaries.... [F]iduciaries should ascertain whether they are adequately insured to address a cybercrime.... [and] should diligently negotiate service provider contracts and be mindful of the cybersecurity."  MORE >>

Fox Rothschild LLP

ASA Calls on Congress to Name DOL Employees Involved with Fiduciary Proposal

"The American Securities Association asked Congress ... to identify DOL staff involved in the fiduciary proposal and to consider recusing them from its finalization, a request that drew condemnation from a former DOL Assistant Secretary."  MORE >>

planadviser

Annuity Purchase Update, January 2024

"The Pension Risk Transfer Market experienced unprecedented success in 2023 closing the year at approximately $43-$44 billion in premium.... Annuity Purchase Interest rates decreased roughly 45 basis points since last month however higher stock market returns increased asset values."  MORE >>

October Three Consulting

Benefits in General

Justice O'Connor Was Architect of ERISA's Lasting Success

"The Dec. 1 death of retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor ... allows us to reflect on her impact on [ERISA] as we look ahead to the statute's 50th anniversary later this year.... Two common themes in these cases are reliance on the principles of trust law and faithful adherence to the language in the controlling plan documents. Other ERISA issues shaped by Justice O'Connor's reasoning include the formal processes of plan operations, amendments to plans, vesting and nonforfeitable rights, welfare plans, interplay between ERISA and employment law, and finally, ERISA preemption."  MORE >>

Fox Rothschild LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as 401(k) Administrator for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

401(k) Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

Remote

View job as 401(k) Administrator for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

Selected New Discussions

Combo Plans: Form 5550-SF New Questions, Lines 14a, 14b, and 15

"Preparing my first 5500 for 2023. I heard some mixed comments about completing the new compliance questions. I am answering them but wanted to check what others think out there. No multiple employer plans."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Vesting Service in Governmental Plan

"May a governmental defined contribution plan exclude from vesting service time in which the employee was ineligible to participate in the plan? More specifically, an employee is in a category of employees excluded from the plan, works for a year or two, then is transferred to an eligible class. May the plan count only the employee's service for vesting purposes from the date he or she became eligible to participate?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

16th Annual Retirement Plan Essentials

January 24, 2024 WEBINAR

Western Pension & Benefits Council

Outsourcing Fiduciary Responsibility: Know Your Options

April 3, 2024 WEBINAR

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

IRS Notice Answers Outstanding Questions on the Rothification of Employer Contributions

Seyfarth

Text of IRS Notice 2024-22: Guidance on Anti-Abuse Rules and Certain Other Issues with Respect to Pension-Linked Emergency Savings Accounts (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

DOL Issues 2024 Adjusted Penalty Amounts (PDF)

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

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

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