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Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 7, 2024

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Draft of IRS Publication 590-B: Distributions from Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), for Use in Preparing 2023 Returns (PDF)

70 pages; Feb. 6, 2024. "What's New: [1] Certain distributions from a long-term tuition pro- gram to Roth IRAs.... [2] Distributions to victims of domestic abuse.... [3] Simplified Employee Pensions (SEP).... [4] Deemed IRAs."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Pensions on Peachtree is ALMOST SOLD OUT – Register Now!

Don’t miss out – Register Now to secure your spot at the POP Conference on April 15-16, 2024 in Atlanta, GA. Earn 15 CE credits and attend the renowned BBQ hosted by Alison.

Sponsored by Ferenczy Benefits Law Center

[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Submission to OMB and Request for Comments on Information Collection Enabling PBGC to Pay Benefits to Participants and Beneficiaries.

"PBGC is proposing the addition of three new forms ... Form 713RBD and Form 714RBD relate to elections to withdraw employee contributions for participants and beneficiaries who are at or beyond their Required Beginning Dates. Form 721RBD relates to elections of single payments for non-spouse beneficiaries who are at or beyond their Required Beginning Dates. PBGC is proposing to remove Form 718, 'Installment Payment Agreement,' because PBGC no longer administers installment agreements for benefit overpayments. PBGC is proposing to remove Form 719 for electing or changing tax withholding from annuity benefit payments since participants are using [IRS] Form W-4P, 'Withholding Certificate for Periodic Pension or Annuity Payments.' "  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Employee Plans News: Pre-Examination Compliance Pilot 2.0 (PDF)

"The IRS Employee Plans function has started the second phase of the Pre-Examination Retirement Plan Compliance Program pilot. As a part of this program, plan sponsors are notified by letter that their retirement plan was selected for an upcoming examination.... During the first phase of this program, 100 pre-exam compliance letters were mailed to plan sponsors which resulted in a 72% response rate, indicating plan sponsors are eager to take advantage of this program."  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Proposes Long-Term, Part-Time Worker 401(k) Eligibility Rules (PDF)

"The regulation would apply to plan years starting on or after Jan. 1, 2024 ... The proposal doesn't address Section 403(b) plans that are covered by ERISA, which must comply with SECURE 2.0's LTPT eligibility requirements starting in the 2025 plan year.... [T]his updated article includes a discussion of certain plans that could see employees satisfy the LTPT eligibility rules prior to 2024, as well as recent informal IRS guidance recommending action steps for employers."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Finalizes More Stringent Procedures for Requesting Prohibited Transaction Exemptions

"Among other things, the Final Amendments would increase the information applicants for an exemption would need to provide; impose more requirements on independent fiduciaries, appraisers, accountants and auditors representing plans or IRAs in connection with exemption transactions; and provide more discretion for the DOL to deny an application for an exemption. These changes will be effective for prohibited transaction exemption applications filed with the DOL on and after April 8, 2024."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group


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]

[Guidance Overview]

What Distribution Rules Apply to ESOPs?

"The Internal Revenue Code recognizes the need for ESOP companies to have flexibility in managing distributions and the resulting demands on cash. However, this need is balanced by the retirement needs of participants who may be best served by accessing and diversifying their retirement funds tied up in company stock sooner rather than later."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

IRS and DOL Provide Guidance on Pension-Linked Emergency Savings Accounts

"DOL implies that the selection of PLESA investment products that provide for such liquidity constraints could be an imprudent choice. DOL cites surrender charges as an example, but the same concept could similarly apply to products with a market value adjustment ('MVA') feature.... t DOL has authority under the statute to permit 'reasonable restrictions' but, apparently, has declined to exercise the authority (at least for now)."  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

Federal Auto-IRA Bill for Uncovered Workers Introduced in the House

"House Ways and Means Committee Ranking Member Richard Neal (D-Mass.) introduced a bill to establish a federal auto-IRA for employers with more than 10 employees who do not currently sponsor a retirement plan.... Neal said [the Automatic IRA Act of 2024] would 'essentially be costless' to smaller employers since it would create a new tax credit of $500 per year for three years for employers of up to 100 employees that offer either a state or national automatic IRA, in addition to other existing tax credits."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

DOL Obtains Emergency Court Order to Protect Assets of 17 Retirement Plans Served by TPA Whose Owner Allegedly Embezzled Over $5.5M from Plans

"The temporary restraining order ... [1] Forbids the defendants from any further involvement with trust assets. [2] Enjoins them from serving as fiduciaries or service providers to any ERISA plans. [3] Forbids the defendants from withdrawing any funds from their two corporate accounts into which they had illegally transferred the plan assets ... [4] Requires the defendants to preserve all relevant records for the purpose of transferring to an independent fiduciary appointed by the court. [5] Requires the independent fiduciary to oversee an accounting of the 17 mismanaged plans." [Su v. RiversEdge Advanced Retirement Solutions, LLC., No. 24-0104 (W.D. Penn. complaint filed Jan. 26, 2024)]  MORE >>

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

Pension Funding Index, February 2024

"The funded status of the 100 largest U.S. corporate defined benefit pension plans increased by $12 billion during January ... Pension liabilities fell due to an increase in the benchmark corporate bond interest rates used to value those liabilities. As of January 31, the plans' funded ratio climbed to 103.1%, up from 102.1% at the beginning of the year."  MORE >>


'Portability' Is Set to Boost and Solidify $9.3 Trillion 401(k) System by Eliminating Cash-Outs, Rollovers and Orphaned Plans

"The [DOL] has announced ... a proposed rule to make 401(k) investing into more of a pension system where money follows the worker and not the worker's old employer.... The rule allows an automatic portability provider to receive a fee in connection with executing an automatic portability transaction for certain distributions into Safe Harbor IRAs ... It's a step to give workers autonomy but with a political will born from paternalism, because it is almost sure to make the $9.3 trillion, 401(k) world more like an old-line pension system."  MORE >>



The Unclaimed Retirement Benefits Problem, and What to Do About It

"[R]ecent headlines [put] the total amount of lost or forgotten [retirement plan] assets well north of a trillion dollars. The sheer size of the number has the retirement plan industry's attention, as well as concern from politicians and policymakers. There's an increasing consensus that something should (MUST) be done."  MORE >>


Benefits in General

Selected Problems with Multiemployer Plan Reciprocity (PDF)

"Many multiemployer employee benefit plans use reciprocity agreements to allow workers to have benefit contributions earned by traveling workers transferred back to their home plans.... [P]lans may misunderstand how [these agreements] work.... Plan fiduciaries can reduce their risks in connection with reciprocity by requiring travelers to sign a reciprocity authorization agreement that includes a waiver of claims against the plan. Plan fiduciaries should establish policies to ensure that they have a sensible and defensible reciprocity program."  MORE >>

benefits magazine, a publication of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Stress Rx: Treat HR Burnout with Better Benefits Administration

"Embracing a modern benefits administration solution, particularly through a knowledgeable partner, proves to be a powerful strategy in combating HR burnout. By reducing the administrative load, improving budget efficiency, enhancing the employee experience, smoothing knowledge gaps and providing data-based insights, HR leaders can not only reduce burnout within their teams but also contribute to a healthier, more productive workplace on a broader scale."  MORE >>


401(k) and HSA Account Balances Increased in 2023

"[A]verage 401(k) account balances rose 15% to $86,280 in 2023, increasing from $75,045 at the end of 2022, due to a combination of participants contributing higher amounts to their plans, and increases in the value of investments.... [Y]ear-end 2023 Health Savings Account balances increased 11% over the prior year.3"  MORE >>

Merrill Lynch

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

NQDC Plans Are Key Recruitment Tools

"[W]hile retaining employees remains a top goal of the NQDC plan by more than half of respondents, 'helping employees accumulate assets' jumped to the second most common plan goal, cited by 61.2 percent of respondents and up from 43.5 percent the year before. This goal shift is coupled with an increased percentage of companies [providing] NQDC plan specific education and an increased percentage of companies including that education as part of a comprehensive financial wellness program."  MORE >>

Plan Sponsor Council of America [PSCA]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Manager, Defined Contribution for MGKS

Manager, Defined Contribution


AZ / Hybrid

View job as Manager, Defined Contribution for MGKS

View job as Internal Wholesaler for Alerus

Internal Wholesaler


Hopkins MN

View job as Internal Wholesaler for Alerus

Selected New Discussions

How to Correct Fees Paid from Participant Accounts Contrary to Plan Sponsor Intent

"Plan switched investment platforms and during the switch the way fees were paid got changed. The client usually pays the fees directly from the company not the participant accounts but when it moved it got set up to pay from participant accounts. This has been going on for about 4-5 months. Client realizes this and wants to fix but platform says you signed the form, it's not a mistake so we can't reverse this. Client wants to find a way to rectify this mistake. Any suggestions? It involves about $3000, averages about $50-$100 per person."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Loan Repayment Window for Terminated Employee

"A client of mine had an employee who requested a loan which was approved for $20,000 The employee received and cashed the check a couple of days after being fired. It is unlikely that the employee could afford to repay the loan to the plan, but, if he could afford it, is there a period of time during which he could repay the loan?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Add a PS Plan for 2023 to an Existing 401(k) Plan with EACA

"Looking at a takeover and a combo plan design. Existing plan has deferrals, basic match, EACA and PS. PS is comp-to-comp with last day rule but no hour requirement so not a good option for combo plans. I was asked to look into a possible 2023 CB plan addition. Is it possible to add a new PS only plan and not utilize the existing plan's PS provisions? Also, as I never worked with EACA, does it affect any combo designs?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Experienced Employee Benefits, ERISA Lawyer Craig Spenner Joins Armstrong Teasdale

Armstrong Teasdale

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Benchmark Study on Recordkeeping Fees

February 20, 2024 WEBINAR

Encore Fiduciary

Understanding Common Fiduciary Pitfalls to Help Make You a Better Fiduciary Advisor for Your Clients

February 20, 2024 WEBINAR


Fundamentals of Qualified Retirement Plans (2024): Session 5

March 21, 2024 WEBINAR


Effects of Rising Interest Rates on Pension Plans

March 27, 2024 WEBINAR

Conference of Consulting Actuaries

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Form 5500 Updates: Participant Count Win and Large Plan Filer Warning


SECURE 2.0 Required Interim Amendment Deadline Changes (Again)

KLB Benefits Law Group

IRS Releases Final Guidance on Penalty Exceptions for Failure to File Correct Information Returns or Furnish Payee Statements


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

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