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Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 21, 2024

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

Text of ASOP No. 27: Selection of Assumptions for Measuring Pension Obligations

"Throughout the past few revisions, the ASB has adopted identical language in ASOP Nos. 27 and 35 where practical ... When [this] adopted revision to ASOP No. 27 is effective as the single assumption standard for pensions, ASOP No. 35 will be repealed.... This standard is effective for any actuarial report that meets the following criteria: (a) the actuarial report is issued on or after January 1, 2025; and (b) the measurement date in the actuarial report is on or after January 1, 2025."  MORE >>

Actuarial Standards Board


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[Guidance Overview]

IRS FAQs Address SECURE 2.0 Disaster Relief

"Although SECURE 2.0 is silent on whether sponsors must offer [qualified disaster recovery distributions (QDRDs)], the FAQs state explicitly that this is optional.... QDRD repayments are treated as rollover contributions.... Plans that pay QDRDs report the distributions on IRS Form 1099-R ... for the year the distribution is made. Reporting is required, even if the employee repays the distribution in the same year.... The FAQs clarify that sponsors can treat plan loan relief like QDRD ... [T]he FAQs stop short of saying whether plans must accept repayment of unused hardship distributions."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

The DOL's Final Fiduciary Rule: What Private Fund Managers Need to Know

"[T]he risk of providing inadvertent fiduciary advice can be lowered by making it clear that advice is being addressed to a counterparty in its general capacity, and not in its capacity as a retirement investor with respect to a particular plan or IRA.... While most private fund managers are unlikely to make rollover recommendations, caution should be exercised in discussing potential changes in IRA custodian or similar account changes as part of facilitating an investment into a private fund."  MORE >>

Ropes & Gray LLP

[Guidance Overview]

CRS Report: Military Retirement

"The military retirement system is a government-funded system that provides a defined benefit to all retirees and matching government contributions to the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for eligible servicemembers.... The system includes monthly compensation for qualified active and reserve retirees, disability benefits for those deemed medically unfit to serve, and a survivor annuity program for the eligible survivors of deceased retirees." [IF10483 May 20, 2024]  MORE >>

Congressional Research Service [CRS]

Is Your DC Plan Retirement Ready? Helping Participants Get to and Through Retirement (PDF)

18 pages. "Incorporating lifetime income options into a DC plan can help fiduciaries improve participant outcomes.... [A] fiduciary's selection of a lifetime income option is not fundamentally different from the selection of any other DC plan investment.... [F]iduciaries should understand how design choices impact overall legal risk. Lifetime income options come in a variety of flavors, and fiduciaries can determine which approach will result in the best outcomes for participants. "  MORE >>

Groom Law Group

How Has Pension Plan Participant Behavior Changed Within a High Interest Rate Environment?

"[Since 2022, the authors]have observed a marked decrease in the election rates for lump-sum windows when offered outside of plan termination; almost 10% lower. ... [S]ince 2022 [the authors] have observed a marked increase in the percentage of window participants electing a monthly lifetime annuity. Whereas we previously saw an average election rate of 2% or less, we are now seeing an average election rate between 3% and 5%."  MORE >>


High Interest Rates in 2023 Present Another Lump Sum Opportunity for DB Plans in 2024

"[C]alendar-year plan sponsors that have the flexibility to select a lump sum basis as part of a derisking effort would be best served by choosing an annual reset and October lookback.... 2024 may represent the last opportunity for plan sponsors to implement lump sum windows under the old, pre-SECURE 2.0 rules.... But before proceeding with a lump sum offer, [there] are a few important questions to ask[.]"  MORE >>


Retirement Plan Notices: Views of Adults Age 50-Plus

"Fewer than half (45%) of adults 50-plus who have employer-sponsored retirement plans say that they completely understand the notices they receive from their plans ... [W]hen asked to describe their understanding of the fees that they pay in their retirement plan, 40% of participants 50-plus in all types of retirement plans say that they don't pay fees on their retirement plan[.]"  MORE >>



Can Social Security Be Saved?

"What could Congress do that might assure our children and grandchildren that they too will receive Social Security benefits? Consider replacing the present pay-as-you-go system where current employees pay the benefit costs of current retirees. Replace it with a program where the Social Security taxes paid by both employees and their employers (each currently contributes 6.2 percent of an employee's annul income up to $168,600.00) are directed into a private investment account similar to a Section 401(k) account."  MORE >>

Golan Christie Taglia


The Fiduciary Futility of 401(k) Fees

"The answer isn't who charges the lowest fee. It's who charges the fairest fee. In order to answer that question, you need to know what you're looking for, what your goals and expectations are, and how much you're willing to give up to get what you want. And by 'give up,' it doesn't mean in terms of the fees paid. It means what are you willing to sacrifice today to ensure you have a better tomorrow (i.e., a more comfortable retirement). That's a plan participant choice, not a fiduciary decision on the part of the plan sponsor."  MORE >>

Fiduciary News; free registration required

Benefits in General

Benefits: A Boon for Employers

"To feel confident you're offering the best financial benefits for a wide range of employees, start by asking them about the financial obstacles they're currently facing and how they would rate their own financial health or financial confidence.... Do the benefits you offer today align with what your employees need? Are you offering a variety of benefits for different demographic groups? Where are the gaps between your current benefits and the things employees are asking for?"  MORE >>


Toward an Employee Value Proposition in the Healthcare Sector

"The three most important job features among healthcare employees are salary (69% chose this), benefits (45%) and work-life balance (44%). The three most important benefits are paid time off (83%), health insurance (83%) and retirement savings plan (76%). Respondents age 60 and older are more likely to prioritize an employer’s benefits, culture and mission, while those under 40 more frequently cite work-life balance, advancement opportunities and professional development."  MORE >>


Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Section 457(f) Plans and Noncompete Clauses: What the IRS Gave, the FTC May Take Away

"[T]here is a significant question about the extent to which the FTC's Final Rule applies to tax-exempt employers and their deferred compensation plans and agreements.... [T]ax-exempt employers need to consider the possibility that the Final Rule, if it takes effect on September 4th, may render unavailable the use of a noncompete to delay the vesting and payment of deferred compensation beyond the cessation of employment."  MORE >>

Verrill Dana LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as DB/CB Retirement Plan Administrator for CMC Pension Professionals

DB/CB Retirement Plan Administrator

CMC Pension Professionals


View job as DB/CB Retirement Plan Administrator for CMC Pension Professionals

View job as Combo Qualified Retirement Plan Administrator for Karel-Gordon & Associates

Combo Qualified Retirement Plan Administrator

Karel-Gordon & Associates

Remote / Deerfield IL

View job as Combo Qualified Retirement Plan Administrator for Karel-Gordon & Associates

Selected New Discussions

QDRO for Alimony

"Can you draft a QDRO for Alimony payments?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Seeking Acquisition Opportunities for Small to Mid-Size 401(k) TPA Firm

"I have a client interested in acquiring or merging with a small to mid-size 401(k) TPA firm. Their services include, but are not limited to, plan designing, plan valuation, preparing renewal packages, census scrubbing, contribution calculation (including profit sharing), and compliance testing (Coverage, ADP/ACP, 416 top-heavy tests, 401(a)(4), and top-heavy). They are open to opportunities in any location."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

PSCA Announces Winners of Its 2024 Lifetime Achievement and Industry Awards

PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

Ameritas Launches a Pooled Employer Plan for Nonprofit Organizations


PBGC Ranked Top 5 Among Best Places to Work in Federal Government

PBGC [Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation]

Norton Rose Fulbright enhances employment and labor practice with Washington, DC partner Greg Ossi

Norton Rose Fulbright

Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

Deferred Compensation: A Primer on Section 409A of the Code and Why it Matters


Lowenstein Sandler

Benefit Trends in the Use of Pension Surplus Assets


Fidelity Workplace

Virtual Compliance & Education Summit

June 11, 2024 WEBINAR


Connecting the Retirement and Life Insurance Perspectives of Pension Risk Transfer

June 20, 2024 WEBINAR

Society of Actuaries

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

SEC Adopts New Incident-Response Requirements for Cyberattacks

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Are 401(k) Managed Accounts a Misunderstood Value Proposition?

American Retirement Association [ARA]

The New Fiduciary Rule, Part 33: The DOL’s Final PTE 84-24

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

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