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Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 18, 2024

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[Official Guidance]

Text of 2023 IRS Form 8955-SSA: Annual Registration Statement Identifying Separated Participants with Deferred Vested Benefits (PDF)

Fillable PDF. Also available: Draft Instructions for 2023 Form 8955-SSA (Jan. 12, 2024).  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Join ASC’s 'Fundamentals' CE Webcast Series!

New to the Retirement Plan Industry? Experienced professional looking for a refresher? Session 2 covers Limitations on Contributions & Benefits, Compensation Definitions, ADP/ACP Testing & more. Plus, kick off 2024 with 10 CE credits! Register Now

Sponsored by ASC

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Final Regs: Update to Minimum Present Value Requirements for Defined Benefit Plan Distributions

"These regulations provide guidance on changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 to the prescribed interest rate and mortality table and other guidance, including rules regarding the treatment of preretirement mortality discounts and Social Security level income options."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Justice Department Sues Nevada for Allegedly Overcharging Servicemembers on Pensions

"State employees can purchase pension credits in the NVPERS-operated system once they pass their five-year employment anniversary.... The federal complaint alleges NVPERS violated [USERRA] by charging reemployed servicemembers based on when they were re-employed, rather than when they passed their fifth anniversary." [U.S. v. Nevada, No. 24-0026 (D. Nev. complaint filed Jan. 17, 2024)]  MORE >>

KSNV 3News

45% of Plan Sponsors Look to Add Emergency Savings Feature

"Almost 1 in 4 (23%) plan to allow participants to take a $1,000 distribution directly from their retirement accounts once every three years without being subject to a distribution tax, as permitted under the SECURE 2.0 Act of 2022. Another 22% expect to add separate in-plan emergency savings accounts from which participants will be able to withdraw up to $2,500."  MORE >>

Pensions & Investments

How to Properly Document 2024 Plan Meetings

"To get your 401(k) plan advisement off to a good start in 2024, here are a few simple tips to either use with or provide to your clients on how to keep detailed and effective 401(k) committee meeting minutes.... Minutes should document key discussion topics, actions taken and decisions made."  MORE >>


Bitcoin ETFs and Workplace Retirement Plans: DOL Has 'Serious Concerns'

"Many of the big institutional investment firms that frequently see their products offered in 401(k) plans, like Fidelity and Blackrock, have created bitcoin ETFs, which will make it easier for investment fiduciaries to add these ETFs as an option in workplace retirement plans.... Plan sponsors should fully understand the fiduciary risk before allowing any plan assets (including through a brokerage window) to be invested in crypto -- including the new ETFs -- and expect to be questioned by the DOL about the prudence of the decision"  MORE >>

McAfee & Taft

IBM’s 401(k)-to-Pension Shift Is Hard Act to Follow for Plans

"Despite the hype, benefits experts say the move says less about the merits of a pension and more about single-employer pension plan market funding. Corporate pensions closed 2023 at more than 102% funding, a two-year long surplus, according to a Milliman Inc. analysis. A decade ago, funding percentages averaged around 80%."  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

Multiple Employer Plans May Help to Close the Coverage Gap

"MEPs reduce the administrative burden and fiduciary responsibilities of a stand-alone plan, and -- in theory -- could be cheaper. But it's not clear that they do cost less, and any such assessment should consider employee -- as well as employer -- fees. Overall, while MEPs could be attractive, adoption may be slow due to unfamiliarity with the product and uncertainty over any cost advantage."  MORE >>

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College


It's Time to Bury the 4% Rule for Good

"Higher inflation, lower projected market returns and longer life spans mean the rule is no longer reliable. Retirement researchers have made major strides in recent years on outlining new, flexible spending strategies."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

Supreme Court Appears Ready to End Deference to Federal Agency Expertise

"The Supreme Court appears poised to strip away at least some of the discretion federal agencies enjoy in interpreting and implementing federal law after hearing challenges to a decades-old doctrine that the judicial branch should defer to the executive when provisions of law are unclear.... Chevron has long been considered one of the most significant precedents in administrative law and its reversal, even if only partial, could cause major disruptions in how agencies operate." [Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Raimondo, Sec. of Comm., No. 22-451 (S.Ct. transcript of oral argument Jan. 17, 2024); Relentless, Inc. v. Dept. of Commerce, No. 22-1219 (S. Ct. transcript of oral argument Jan. 17, 2024)]  MORE >>

Government Executive

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadlines for Reporting ISO Exercises and ESPP Stock Transfers

"[R]egulations that ... become effective for filings made in 2024 and beyond will require more businesses to e-file Copy A of their Forms 3921 and 3922 ... [If] the corporation does not outsource the filing of Forms 3921 and 3922, it will need to ensure that it has obtained a transmitter control code, or TCC, to enable it to make the electronic filings on the IRS's Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system. Obtaining a TCC can take at least 45 days."  MORE >>

Wilmer Hale

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Lead Transition Consultant - Retirement Plans for Ameritas

Lead Transition Consultant - Retirement Plans


Remote / Lincoln NE

View job as Lead Transition Consultant - Retirement Plans for Ameritas

Selected New Discussions

Bonus Paid Post-Asset Sale

"I've got a plan (only deferrals and SHNEC money) where the employer is undergoing an asset sale on 1/31/24. We were all set to terminate the plan on that date pursuant to the business transaction (so they can keep the SH for 2024). Today they asked if, since it's an asset sale and therefore they will 'retain the company' after 1/31, they can pay out bonuses after 1/31 through payroll (since they'll suddenly have a lot of cash and they are very nice to want to share it with some of their former employees) and how would it affect any plan calculations. It's not clear yet if they prefer it to be counted or not, but first I want to make sure I've got all the pros and cons right.

"I think that as long as the 'payroll date' is in 2024, it will get brought in as plan compensation under the post-severance comp rules (which are included for plan compensation). The employees are considered terminated on 1/31/24. Also, since they are retaining their entity (they are an LLC taxed as a partnership), they can effectively say it is open until 12/31/24 and therefore the plan also goes along with that. I'm fine with terminating the plan effective 12/31/24 -- it might even give the partners some additional income if they collect money during 2024. But if they want to terminate the plan, say, 6/30/24, do they lose the benefit of the safe harbor since at that point, the plan termination is no longer connected to the business transaction? I suppose they could give a 30-day notice at that point -- there are no active employees to get it, so they could just stick it in their files. I'm sure I'm overcomplicating this...."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Jordan Mamorsky Appointed Partner at The Wagner Law Group

The Wagner Law Group P.C.

Trucker Huss Director Joseph Faucher Selected to 2024 Southern California Super Lawyers List

Trucker Huss

DOL Recovers $47K in Back Wages, Damages for 2 Workers Illegally Fired by Tennessee Healthcare Employer for Taking Protected Leave

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

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Plan Sponsor Predictions for 2024


CAPTRUST Financial Advisors

Understanding Fees in Retirement Planning

January 18, 2024 PODCAST

Williams Mullen

What Do PTEs 2020-02 and 84-24 Require for Rollover Recommendations?

January 18, 2024 WEBINAR

Faegre Drinker

SECURE 2.0 After One Year and the Future of Retirement Policy

January 24, 2024 in DC

Brookings Institution

Risks May Be Bigger Than They Appear: A Rearview Look at 2023 Labor and Employment Law Changes and a Guide to Potential 2024 Obstacles

February 6, 2024 WEBINAR

Davis & Gilbert LLP

SECURE Act 2.0 Update

February 15, 2024 WEBINAR

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

401(k) Retirement Benefit Plan Litigation: Recent Cases and Issues for Plan Sponsors and Fiduciaries

March 19, 2024 WEBINAR


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Text of DOL FAQs: Pension-Linked Emergency Savings Accounts (PLESAs)

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

Defined Contribution Pre-Approved Plans Listing of Required Modifications and Information Package (LRM) (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

Cash or Deferred Arrangement (CODA) Listing of Required Modifications and Information Package (LRM) (PDF)

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

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

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