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Retirement Plans Newsletter

July 8, 2024

2 New Job Opportunities 2 New Job Opportunities


[Official Guidance]

PBGC Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2024

Changes from the Fall 2023 PBGC Regulatory Agenda:

Added to Prerule stage: [1212-AB58] Request for Information: SECURE 2.0 Section 319 -- Effectiveness of Reporting and Disclosure Requirements  MORE >>

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC]

[Guidance Overview]

When Does a Corporate Transaction Trigger a 401(k) Participant's Right to a Distribution? (PDF)

"To accurately answer that question -- and to avoid potentially costly operation errors -- sponsors of 401(k) plans that intend to participate in corporate transactions should be well versed in the applicable distribution rules under the Internal Revenue Code and how they apply to various transaction scenarios. This article focuses on the rules applicable to 401(k) plans, although much of the guidance discussed is applicable to 403(b) and 457(b) plans as well."  MORE >>

Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c., via Benefits Law Journal

District Court Dismisses Challenge to Use of Plan Forfeitures

"Over the past several months, at least ten complaints have been filed against plan sponsors and administrators asserting very similar claims; the Hutchins court is the second to decide a motion to dismiss, and the first to grant such a motion." [Hutchins v. HP Inc., No. 23-5875 (N.D. Calif. Jun. 17, 2024)]  MORE >>


Is AI Spurring More ERISA Lawsuits?

"Even as the ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) urges curtailment of the frivolous litigation disrupting plan sponsors across the country, hungry AI enthusiasts are offering to provide plaintiff attorneys with potential new cases, using plan data which can now be more quickly and deeply mined than ever."  MORE >>

Colonial Surety Company

Upcoming Trends in Plan Design: From the Perspective of a Retiring Plan Sponsor

"Reflecting on his time in the industry and looking ahead to the future, [Cal Gagnon] predicts that upcoming trends in plan design will include more innovation with in-plan retirement income options, increased focus on emergency savings, creating more equitable match formulas and more."  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

Optimizing Plan Design in the Investment Menu

"[P]roviding fewer options may not necessarily be the smartest strategy ... [It] is more important to allow participants to create diversified portfolios that include things like long bonds, U.S. Treasury Inflation-Protected Securities, commodities and real estate.... [A] plan can 'cover the bases' by offering 20 fund options, excluding TDFs, but it is important that plan sponsors consider how they are picking those funds. "  MORE >>

PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required

A Guide to Sequence-of-Returns Risk for Public DB Plans

"Lowering ultimate net cost may be a priority for some public plans. Improving long-term investment returns is strongly associated with lower ultimate net cost. But it is not a guarantee of a better outcome, comes with high levels of risk, is subject to forces outside a plan's control -- and can even increase sequence-of-returns risk."  MORE >>


Plan Design and Participant Behavior in Defined Contribution Retirement Plans: Past, Present, and Future

"While adoption of automatic enrollment has significantly increased participation rates, recent studies find the long-run effects on savings are smaller than the short-run effects, with some savings financed via debt. [This paper reviews] efforts to expand access to employer-based retirement savings and liquid savings, the pros and cons of target date funds as default investment options, potential conflicts of interest in plan design, and potential benefits of customized defaults"  MORE >>

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase may be required for full document

Retirement Benefit Distributions for California Educators

"Women are much more likely to select a member-only annuity while a larger proportion of men select a J&S annuity that provide survivor benefits.... [B]enefit choices from the primary benefit plan are jointly determined with distributions chosen from the supplemental pension plan.... [A]bout half of retirees select a lump sum distribution from the supplemental plan while receiving an annuity from their primary plan."  MORE >>

Robert L. Clark, Denis Pelletier, and Beth Ritter, via SSRN

Practical Ideas to Boost Your Retirement Business

"[1] Develop a comprehensive prospect list ... [2] Write out a defined marketing strategy ... [3] Harness the power of LinkedIn ... [4] Optimize digital content naming ... [5] Cultivate relationships with centers of influence ... [6] Conduct a digital self-audit ... [7] Prioritize lead nurturing initiatives"  MORE >>

401(k) Specialist


American Benefits Council Comment Letter to DOL on Effectiveness of Reporting and Disclosure Requirements

"[T]he Council requests that the PBGC not require a terminating plan to send a notice of plan benefits to individuals who are no longer a plan participant as of the date the notice of plan benefits is sent. We believe that this change would streamline the plan termination process ... [A] terminating plan should not be required to send any communications to individuals who are not plan participants as of the date the notice of plan benefits is sent[.]"  MORE >>

American Benefits Council

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

DOL Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2024: Includes New Reg Project

Changes to benefits-related items from EBSA and from the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) from the Fall 2023 DOL Regulatory Agenda:

Added to Proposed Rule Stage: [1210-AC14] Requirements Related to Advanced Explanation of Benefits and Other Provisions Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021  MORE >>

U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

[Official Guidance]

IRS Regulatory Agenda, Spring 2024

Changes from the Fall 2023 IRS Regulatory Agenda:

Added to Prerule stage: [1545-BQ98] Request for Information: SECURE 2.0 Section 319 -- Effectiveness of Reporting and Disclosure Requirements

Added to Proposed Rule stage: [1545-BN47] Minimum Vesting Standards  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS], U.S. Department of the Treasury

Federal District Court Grants Preliminary Injunction Against FTC Rule Banning Non-Competes

"Absent an interlocutory appeal or a substantial change in the court's reasoning, it appears the Ryan court is poised to strike down the rule prior to its scheduled effective date when it issues its ultimate decision on the merits in August. While the FTC rule is technically still alive as to parties other than the plaintiffs in Ryan, it is on life support at best, and employers should be able to take some comfort that the rule will not survive." [Ryan LLC v. Federal Trade Commission (no. 24-0986 (N.D. Tex. Jul. 3, 2024)]  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

Supreme Court's Rejection of Chevron Deference Could Upend Employee Plan Compliance

"Plan sponsors who want to challenge regulations will have an easier job ... It will be easy to find new businesses to challenge even old regulations under the new limitations rule established in Corner Post. No regulation may be safe from challenge.... The practice of changing regulations as administrations change may be discouraged if there is no automatic deference." [Loper Bright Enterprises, Inc. v. Raimondo, Sec. of Comm., No. 22-451 (S. Ct. Jun. 28, 2024); Corner Post v. Bd. of Gov. of the Federal Reserve System, No. 22-1008 (S. Ct. Jul. 1, 2024)]  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

Supreme Court Decides That Parties May Facially Challenge Regs – No Matter How Old – Within Six Years of Injury

"By holding that accrual occurs when the party seeking to challenge final agency action is first injured by it, the Court has opened the courthouse doors to parties who have been newly injured by old regulations ... This means that regulations that are reviewable under the APA may always be subject to direct, facial challenge, so long as someone has newly experienced an injury from the regulation." [Corner Post v. Bd. of Gov. of the Federal Reserve System, No. 22-1008 (S. Ct. Jul. 1, 2024)]  MORE >>

Wiley Rein LLP

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Pension Plan Administrator for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

Pension Plan Administrator

DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

Remote / Overland Park KS / Hybrid

View job as Pension Plan Administrator for DeMars Pension Consulting Services, Inc.

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Retirement Solutions Specialists

Retirement Plan Administrator

Retirement Solutions Specialists

Remote / Jacksonville FL / Hybrid

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator for Retirement Solutions Specialists

Selected New Discussions

Improperly Excluded Employee: Employee Does Not Want a QNEC

"An employee was improperly excluded from participation in the employer's EACA 401(k) plan. In a matter of first impression (to me), the employee does NOT want to participate in the plan and does NOT want a QNEC for their own reasons; they are not being improperly influenced by the employer. I can hardly believe it myself. SCP is available, and if the plan sponsor does nothing, it risks penalties. That said, what are your thoughts regarding allowing the employee to retroactively opt out of the plan? The SCP correction would be to document the employee's voluntary opt-out."

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Form 5500 Extensions Returned by USPS

"We had 4 instances of this happening in the last month. We timely mailed extensions with the IRS. Sent them certified return receipt to IRS, Ogden, UT. We have documentation of the postage paid: USPS First class Mail Certified Mail Return Receipt. We also have documentation when it left our office and reached IRS office in Ogden. A month after the extensions were mailed, they were returned to us (unopened). 'Return to Sender. Refused. Unable to Forward' sticker was on the envelope. Unfortunately, the extensions are now late. Now what??"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

401GO Launches Mobile App to Enhance Retirement Planning Experience


Webcasts and Conferences
(Retirement Plans / Executive Compensation)

ERISA at 50! Where We Are, Where We’re Going

July 8, 2024 PODCAST

American Retirement Association [ARA]

Participant Disclosures and Notices

August 8, 2024 WEBINAR


401(k) Plans: Beyond the Basics

October 28, 2024 WEBINAR

FIS Retirement Education

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

The Fall of Chevron Could Mean Successful Challenges to Rulemaking and an Increase in Subregulatory Guidance

Thompson Hine LLP, via Lexology; free registration required

Supreme Court Opens Door to New Legal Challenges to Federal Regs, Both New and Old


FTC Noncompete Rule Enjoined – But No Nationwide Impact


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

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