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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 12, 2024

3 New Job Opportunities 3 New Job Opportunities


[Guidance Overview]

403(b) Universal Availability Requirement and Exclusions for Student-Employees and Part-Time Employees

"As SECURE 2.0 is drafted, both the part-time exclusion and the student-employee exclusion are subject to the LTPT rule.... IRS issued proposed regulations about the LTPT rules for 401(k) plans, but they have not provided clarification for 403(b) plans.... [We] can hope that the IRS will provide more definitive guidance on the intersection of the rules before operational compliance is due next year."  MORE >>

Bricker Graydon

'Prohibited Transaction' Cases Head to the Supreme Court

"[T]he Supreme Court [has been] asked to resolve a circuit split concerning what a plaintiff must plead to assert a 'prohibited transaction' under ERISA.... [T]he Court [faces] three [such] petitions at once." [Bugielski v. AT&T Servs., Inc., No. 21-56196 (9th Cir. Nov. 8, 2023; cert pet. filed Apr. 5, 2024); Cunningham v. Cornell Univ., No. 21-0088 (2d Cir. Nov. 14, 2023; cert. pet. filed Mar. 13, 2024); D.L. Markham DDS, MSD, Inc. 401(K) Plan v. Variable Annuity Life Ins. Co., No. 22-20540 (5th Cir. Dec. 14, 2023; cert. pet. filed Mar. 18, 2024)]  MORE >>

Miller & Chevalier

Seventh Circuit Holds Withdrawal Liability Cannot Be Based on Extra-Contractual Contributions

"The arbitrator and the district court [held] that by remitting contributions for the hauling work, the employer by its conduct effectively amended the CBA to require contributions for the hauling work, and therefore, those contributions were properly included in calculating the employer's withdrawal liability. The Seventh Circuit reversed, explaining that ... 29 U.S.C. Section 1145 requires that any changes regarding the obligation to contribute to an ERISA plan must be in writing." [Bulk Transp. Corp. v. Teamsters Union No. 142 Pension Fund, No. 23-1563 (7th Cir. Mar. 22, 2024)]   MORE >>


District Court Allows Lawsuit to Proceed Against 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Alleged to Have 'Hand in the Cookie Jar' (PDF)

"The court allowed the participants' claims to proceed, holding that there were genuine disputes of material fact as to whether the employer had breached its duties under ERISA by investing its employees' 401(k) savings in underperforming funds for more than a decade and allowing its business relationship with the fund provider to influence the retention." [Snyder v. UnitedHealth Group, No. 21-1049 (D. Minn. Mar. 12, 2024)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

'Surplus' Considerations for Public Pension Plans (PDF)

"A 'surplus' management strategy may include contribution adjustments, risk reduction strategies, and benefit enhancements, which are intended to preserve the current plan 'surplus' and/or reduce the risk of future funded status and contribution volatility."  MORE >>

American Academy of Actuaries

2024 Report on State Retirement Systems: Funding Levels and Asset Allocations

"Wilshire estimates that the aggregate funded ratio was 74.8% at FYE 2023, which represents an 0.4% decrease from FYE 2022. Wilshire's estimate of the aggregate funded ratio as of March 31, 2024 (i.e., the most recent quarter-end as of this publication) is 83.2%. The 8.4% increase from our FYE 2023 measurement stems primarily from strong performance across most asset classes. This rise was notably driven by the FT Wilshire 5000 Index, which saw its best quarterly return in the fourth quarter of 2023 since the fourth quarter of 2020."  MORE >>


Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Compliance Officer for New York City District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds

Compliance Officer

New York City District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds

New York NY

View job as Compliance Officer for New York City District Council of Carpenters Benefit Funds

View job as Senior Health Benefits Consultant for The Segal Group

Senior Health Benefits Consultant

The Segal Group


View job as Senior Health Benefits Consultant for The Segal Group

View job as Retirement Plan Consultant for Definiti

Retirement Plan Consultant



View job as Retirement Plan Consultant for Definiti

Selected New Discussions

Correcting Missed Deferral Opportunity

"An employee turned in her paperwork and payroll missed setting her up. We are fixing with the 50% amount of missed deferral plus income. My question is does the plan safe harbor match apply?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan Mergers/Safe Harbor Election

"I have a situation where one company was bought. Both have plans, one being a safe harbor match plan and the other discretionary match. They have apparently missed the deadline to merge the plans/make the plans equal with same benefits. Is it possible to elect safe harbor option for the non safe harbor plan before the end of the year (each plan is calendar year) given that the plan is out of compliance or do we need to wait until the start of the next plan year with notifications provided in the 4th quarter?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Plan Termination After Annuity Purchase, No Participants Left

"We have a new client that recently purchased annuities for all of its participants (small plan with under 20 participants, all either retired or term vested at time of purchase). This leaves the plan with zero participants and about $500K in assets that will be used to pay the remaining administrative expenses (final valuation, government forms filing, audit fees, etc.), with whatever is left over after that being reverted to the employer (with applicable taxes due on the reversion at that time). The client now wants to officially terminate the plan. Obviously this approach is opposite of what we usually see (i.e., usually we formally terminate the plan first, then move on to the purchase towards the end of the process). Has anyone ever dealt with a plan termination after all participants have already left the plan? Does this change the typical IRS and PBGC filing timeline/requirements?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

IRALOGIX Announces CEO Transition


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Understanding SECURE 2.0: A Deeper Dive into the Rothification of Employer Contributions


Seyfarth Shaw LLP

2024 Preview: ERISA Class Action Litigation


Duane Morris

State-Sponsored Retirement Plans: An Overview

April 24, 2024 WEBINAR


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

OMB Concludes Fiduciary Rule Review, DOL Release Expected Soon

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Pension Risk Transfer 2.0: Current Talking Points in the Marketplace


Key Benefits Issues to Watch During the Remainder of 2024

Bass Berry & Sims, via JDSupra

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

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