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Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 27, 2024

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Athene-Linked Pension Cases Strike at Need for New DOL Guidance

"The lawsuits manifest an ongoing [DOL] project to revisit the nearly 30-year-old guidance that instructs plans to choose the 'safest available annuity' when shedding pension risks. Insurance lobbyists believe the rules should remain unchanged, while consumer activists want to protect savers from recent industry developments like private equity buy-outs and off-shore re-insurance investments.... Until regulators weigh in, the emerging trend of private-sector corporate litigation will grow."  MORE >>

Bloomberg Law

[Sponsor]

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Sponsored by Stax.ai

Aon Projects PRT Market Will Again Climb Above $40B in 2024

"Aon attributed the growing interest in PRT to three factors: funded status improvement, rising interest rates and increasing [PBGC] premiums.... However, newer entrants to the PRT market, backed by parent companies associated with private equity, have caused some stakeholders to ask for a closer review of the [DOL's] Interpretative Bulletin 95-1, which gives guidance on selecting the 'safest available' insurer for a PRT. "  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Time for a Tune-Up? Why Employers Should Self-Audit Retirement Plans

"Sometimes, self-audits get put on the back burner because they do not have a fixed deadline like Form 5500's or returning excess contributions, but they shouldn't be treated as low priority projects. In the long run, periodic checkups of plan operations can save plan sponsors both time and money."  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

Review Your Retirement Plan to Ensure Overall Alignment with the Plan's Objectives

"Conduct periodic reviews of the plan's features, investment options, fees and administrative procedures.... Compare the plan's fees against industry standards ... [C]onsider engaging a retirement plan advisor or consultant to help with investment selection and monitoring.... Regularly communicate updates, changes and investment options to participants.... Consider an annual compliance review to address any potential issues proactively."  MORE >>

HUB International

Investment Firms Reportedly Overlooking AI as a Cybersecurity Risk

"44% of respondents surveyed said they are uncertain about how the SEC will enforce the [new cybersecurity] rules, while 36% of compliance professionals cited concerns with complying with cyber-incident reporting requirements and timeframes.... While 38% of respondents have yet to identify AI as a cybersecurity risk, and 27% do not consider AI relevant to cybersecurity, roughly half (49%) said they are in the early stages of exploring AI as a tool for cybersecurity risk management."  MORE >>

American Retirement Association [ARA]

House Committee Subpoenas PBGC Director, Seeking Details About $127 Million SFA Overpayments

"In the cover letter accompanying the subpoena, [Committee Char Virginia Foxx (R-NC)] writes: 'PBGC's March 11 letter ... referred to what would appear to be an 11th-hour request for information from PBGC to plans. The [DOL's] subsequent statement on March 14 that multiemployer pension plans are obligated to repay these overpayments ... and does not explain the months of wasted resources and delay that PBGC perpetrated; nor does DOL's statement shed light on PBGC's reasoning for its position.' "  MORE >>

Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives

Minimum Funding 2024: Interest Rate Relief Is Over (for Now)

"For more than a decade, 'interest rate relief' has cushioned the effect of declining interest rates on defined benefit plan liability valuations, by providing a floor on rates equal to the average of rates over the prior 25 years. Recent increases in interest rates have, however, brought them in line with the 25-year average ... [If] rates continue to rise, 25-year average funding 'relief' may in some cases actually limit a DB plan's ability to recognize that increase."  MORE >>

October Three Consulting

Taking Stock: The Current State of Corporate Pension Plans

"A gamut of factors -- higher discount rates, shrinking pension liabilities, a continued focus on liability hedging, a reduced reliance on public equities, and greater market capitalizations for plan sponsors -- have diminished the volatility that was often associated with corporate pension plans. As a result, ... plans are less likely to impact the balance sheets of corporate plan sponsors."  MORE >>

NEPC

[Opinion]

BlackRock CEO: How Do We Afford Longer Lives?

"As a society, we focus a tremendous amount of energy on helping people live longer lives. But not even a fraction of that effort is spent helping people afford those extra years.... [Y]ounger generations, Millennials and Gen Z ... believe my generation -- the Baby Boomers -- have focused on their own financial well-being to the detriment of who comes next. And in the case of retirement, they're right.... [T]he retirement message that the government and companies tell their workers is effectively: 'You're on your own.' And before my generation fully disappears from positions of corporate and political leadership, we have an obligation to change that."  MORE >>

BlackRock

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Defined Benefit Combo Cash Balance Compliance Consultant for Loren D.  Stark Company (LDSCO)

Defined Benefit Combo Cash Balance Compliance Consultant

Loren D. Stark Company (LDSCO)

Remote

View job as Defined Benefit Combo Cash Balance Compliance Consultant for Loren D.  Stark Company (LDSCO)

Selected New Discussions

Timing for One-Time Irrevocable Election to Not Participate

"Does anyone know if there is a time frame in which it needs to be signed? for example even though there is a one year waiting period can this form be provided when the person starts employment or does it need to be within 90 days of their enrollment."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

OneAmerica Financial℠ and Broadridge Retirement and Workplace Team Up to Provide Female Advisors with Fiduciary Training

OneAmerica

MissionSquare Retirement Strengthens Commitment to Public Service Employees in California and Texas Through Renewed Partnerships

MissionSquare Retirement

Empower Readies New Digital Solution to Help Small Employers Create 401(k) Plans

Empower

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

ERISA at 50: How We Got Here and Where Employee Benefits Law is Headed

June 20, 2024 in NY

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - New York Chapter

ERISA at 50: How We Got Here and Where Employee Benefits Law is Headed

June 20, 2024 WEBINAR

Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

Penalties for Certain Employee Benefits Failures

KLB Benefits Law Group

AT&T and Lockheed Suits Mark First Real Test for Pension Transfers

Bloomberg Law

Schlichter Explores Pension Risk Transfer Lawsuit Against Alcoa

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

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