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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 16, 2024


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes Information Collection to Build Online Search Tool to Help Workers Find 'Lost' Retirement Savings

"The SECURE 2.0 Act directs EBSA to establish a search tool to help missing participants and their beneficiaries find their retirement benefits by Dec. 29, 2024. The agency needs assistance from plan administrators to populate its online 'Retirement Savings Lost and Found' database. The notice of proposed information collection asks plan administrators to provide the information voluntarily, and it proposes that plan administrators can attach the requested information to their 2023 Form 5500 once they receive instructions on how to do so."  MORE >>

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


Learn All About DB Pre-Funding Balances with ASC’s Chief Actuary, Valerie Lopez!

How do Prefunding balances affect your valuation? Join Valerie Lopez, FSA, EA, MSEA, MAAA , on April 28th at the NIPA NAFE Conference to learn all you need to know. Additionally, stop by our booth to meet our team and see what ASC can do for you!

Sponsored by ASC

[Guidance Overview]

The DOL's Fiduciary Proposals

"These proposals will significantly impact recommendations of annuities, securities and other investments by insurance producers and securities professionals to retirement investors.... However, the impact will be greatest on the distribution of annuities, and regulatory attention is particularly focused on fixed indexed annuities (FIAs)."  MORE >>

Faegre Drinker

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Fine-Tunes Auto-Enrollment Exemption, Explains New Correction

"[Notice 2024-2] provides clarity on [SECURE 2.0's] new self-correction for auto-enrollment errors. However, sponsors of plans subject to the auto-enrollment mandate still need guidance on other implementation issues before the mandate takes effect with the 2025 plan year."  MORE >>


The Case for an RFP, Even for Happy Plan Sponsors

"Here are four reasons you might consider conducting a search even if you feel your fees and services are reasonable. [1] Leverage for further reducing fees ... [2] Fiduciary liability insurance ... [3] Better service ... [4] Fiduciary risk."  MORE >>

Multnomah Group

Don't Finalize Fiduciary Rule Now, Groups Urge DOL

"In a letter ... to acting Labor Secretary Julie Su [and] the Office of Management and Budget [OMB], the groups -- which include the Financial Services Institute and the Insured Retirement Institute -- state that Labor rushed its rule through and asked Labor and OMB to 'stand up for the integrity of the regulatory process and continue the public input process.' The groups' letter comes just days after [OMB] concluded on April 10 its review of Labor's final fiduciary rule."  MORE >>


BlackRock CEO Sees Annuities as Retirement Plans' Future

"[BlackRock] is preparing to launch the LifePath Paycheck defined contribution retirement plan investment program, which combines a family of target date funds with a chance for the plan participants to buy a lifetime income stream option, later this month.... The program will help ease the financial uncertainty that the shift to defined contribution plans, from defined benefit pension plans, has created for retirement savers, [BlackRock CEO Larry Fink] said."  MORE >>


Most Near-Retirees Doubt Feasibility of Retiring at 65

"[N]early seven in 10 pre-retiree investors (69%) say the 'norm' of retiring at age 65 doesn't apply to them ... [T]wo-thirds (67%) of pre-retirees expect to face more challenges in retirement than their parents and grandparents."  MORE >>

401(k) Specialist


Take It or Leave It

"A well-executed rollover can tip the balance toward financial security.... Today the 'easy' path for participants is to simply take the money -- net of taxes and penalties -- and run. But that puts millions of participants and their retirements at risk. The challenge for the industry today is to develop secure, prudent pathways that make it easy for participants to do what's best for their long-term retirement security -- and the nation's."  MORE >>

Nevin E. Adams, via PenChecks

Benefits in General

House HELP Subcommittee Hearing: ERISA’s 50th Anniversary: the Path to Higher Quality, Lower Cost Health Care

Video of Apr. 16 hearing. Opening statement, Rep. Bob Good (R-VA); testimony from [1] Mr. Russell DuBose, Phifer Inc.; [2] Ms. Mairin Mancino, Peterson Center on Healthcare; [3] Ms. Karen L. Handorf, Berger Montague; and [4] Mr. Scott Behrens, Lockton Companies.  MORE >>

Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, Committee on Education and the Workforce, U.S. House of Representatives

How Employers Can Help Employees with Student Loan Debt

"For qualified retirement programs ... SECURE 2.0 enabled employers to optionally count Qualified Student Loan Payments (QSLPs) as if they were a regular elective contribution to those plans, and therefore provide an employer matching contribution.... In addition, employers were also given a temporary tool through December 31, 2025 to provide a nontaxable benefit of up to $5,250 ... for not just the usual items of tuition, fees, books, and certain other expenses but also for the repayment of qualified student loans."  MORE >>

Kushner & Company


AI for Benefits Administration: What Can We Expect?

"[W]hile many vendors have spoken at length about how they're 'using AI,' it's often unclear exactly how. More importantly, it's unclear what advantages employers and benefits administrators can expect from AI in the coming years.... [Here are] three predictions for how AI will improve benefits administration: [1] Removing friction from incentives ... [2] Boosting employee engagement ... [3] Enhancing employee experience."  MORE >>


Selected New Discussions

Can a Loan Policy Prohibit Loans to Per Diem Employees?

"Can a plan loan policy have a provision that per diem employees are not eligible to take a loan? I've got a plan where they often move employees to per diem (I don't know the mechanisms or legality behind that, but let's assume it's kosher), so participants who are still considered active will want to access their money. So they take a loan.... and then don't work again for three months, so the loan gets behind and eventually far enough behind to need to be defaulted. Defaulting a loan is a process, and something that no one wants to deal with. Plus, there's the question of was it really a valid loan in the first place ... if the Loan Administrator know that it couldn't be paid back through regular payroll deductions. Maybe it was a fiduciary breach by the plan sponsor, maybe it was an intent to get around the distribution rules by the participant.... My gut reaction is no, but then is it OK for the plan administrator to continually deny loans to per diem employees and therefore create a de facto exclusion? [If it matters, we are in New York State, where participants have the right to request that their loan stop being paid through payroll deduction, regardless of what the loan policy says. This is not something that we recommend our clients make known.]"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Ophelia Designated as Pennsylvania's First Virtual-Oriented Center of Excellence for Opioid Use Disorder Treatment


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Employee Benefits Spring Update 2024

April 17, 2024 WEBINAR

American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Moving the Needle on Retirement Income

May 1, 2024 WEBINAR

Pensions & Investments

Definiti Academy: Plan Sponsor Track

May 7, 2024 WEBINAR

Definiti LLC

Definiti Academy: Advisor Track

May 7, 2024 WEBINAR

Definiti LLC

Plan Design and Compliance Testing Issues for Controlled Groups

May 16, 2024 WEBINAR


Last Issue's Most Popular Items

'The 401(k) Industry Owns Congress': How Lawmakers Quietly Passed a $300 Billion Windfall to the Wealthy


Text of DOL Comment Request on Proposed Collection of Data for Retirement Savings Lost and Found

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

ERISA Lawsuit Against Two Boston College 401(k) Plans Can Go to Trial

Pensions & Investments

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

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