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  BENEFITS IN FOCUS
 


The Benefits in Focus newsletter is designed to highlight various employee benefit matters of general interest to our readers.

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IRS COST OF LIVING ADJUSTMENTS FOR 2017
The Internal Revenue Service has announced annual cost-of-living adjustments applicable to pension and profit sharing plans, effective January 1, 2017. In accordance with legislative guidelines, these limitations are adjusted annually to reflect changes in the cost-of-living index. The guidelines are similar to those used to adjust Social Security benefits...
 
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR FINALIZES NEW RULES ON THE DEFINITION OF FIDUCIARY INVESTMENT ADVISER
The current regulations governing retirement investment advice, which were created shortly after the enactment of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in 1974, have been essentially unchanged since they were first put into place in 1975. However, since that time there has been a dramatic shift from employer-sponsored defined benefit plans to participant-directed defined contribution plans, and a widespread growth of retirement savings in Individual Retirement Accounts and Annuities (IRAs)...
 
2016 Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar
Retirement plan sponsors are responsible for compliance with many ongoing reporting, disclosure and notice requirements. This Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar summarizes the major requirements that apply to Defined Benefit (DB) and Defined Contribution (DC) plans for 2016...
 
October 2015 Employer Update
Defined Benefit Pension Plans - Update on Mortality Tables
In October 2014, the Society of Actuaries (SOA) released a new set of mortality tables titled RP- 2014 with multiple variations and a mortality improvement scale that they labeled MP-2014. On October 8, 2015, the SOA released an update to the mortality improvement scale called MP-2015. This update results in some good news and some bad news...
 
October 2015 Employer Update
IRS Cost of Living Adjustments for 2016

The Internal Revenue Service has announced annual cost-of-living adjustments applicable to pension and profit sharing plans, effective January 1, 2016. In accordance with legislative guidelines, these limitations are adjusted annually to reflect changes in the cost-of-living index. The guidelines are similar to those used to adjust Social Security benefits...
 
4th Quarter 2015 Employer Update
On July 21, 2015, the IRS issued Announcement 2015-19, announcing that they will be making several changes to the determination letter program, including eliminating the 5-year determination letter remedial amendment cycles (Cycles A-E) for individually designed plans...
 
3rd Quarter 2015 Employer Update
In 2007, Tibble and other plan participants (plaintiffs) sued the plan fiduciaries of Edison Internationals 401(k) plan (defendants) to recover losses suffered by the plan from alleged breaches of fiduciary duties...
 
Form 5500 Reminder
Audit season is here again! Contact your Independent Qualified Public Accountant (IQPA) to initiate the process now as they typically require 4-6 weeks before Form 5500 is due to complete their work. The audit must be performed by an IQPA. Audited financial statements and the IQPAs report must be filed with Form 5500...
 
DOL Provides Flexibility for the Timing of Annual Fee Disclosures
On March 18, the Department of Labor released a new final rule that provides plan administrators with flexibility as to when they must furnish annual fee disclosures to participants and beneficiaries...
 
2015 Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar
Retirement plan sponsors are responsible for compliance with many ongoing reporting, disclosure and notice requirements. This Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar summarizes the major requirements that apply to Defined Benefit (DB) and...
 
2015 Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar - Defined Contribution
Retirement plan sponsors are responsible for compliance with many ongoing reporting, disclosure and notice requirements. This Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar summarizes the major requirements that apply to Defined Contribution (DC) plans for 2015...
 
November 2014 Employer Update
DOL ISSUES GUIDANCE ON LOCATING MISSING PARTICIPANTS IN TERMINATED DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLANS (FIELD ASSISTANCE BULLETIN 2014-01)
Under the Internal Revenue Code, a plan administrator must distribute all plan assets as soon as administratively feasible following plan termination. When terminating a defined contribution plan, the plan fiduciary must notify the plan participants that the plan is terminating and that all benefits will be distributed.
 
November 2014 Employer Update
Defined Benefit Pension Plan Finances in 2015
This bulletin describes the expected financial outlook for year-end 2014 and 2015 for Defined Benefit (DB) plans. The main drivers which will impact FASB ASC 715 accounting figures, as well as IRS minimum required contributions (MRCs) and PBGC Premium calculations are:...
 
October 2014 Employer Update
IRS Cost of Living Adjustments for 2015
The Internal Revenue Service has announced annual cost-of-living adjustments applicable to pension and profit sharing plans, effective January 1, 2015. In accordance with legislative guidelines, these limitations are adjusted annually to reflect changes in the cost-of-living index. The guidelines are similar to those used to adjust Social Security benefits...
 
Glossary of Required Participant Notices & Participant Documents For Qualified Defined Contribution Retirement Plans
 
August 2014 Employer Update
Stable Value Q & A
Stable value funds are a staple in defined contribution plans, with $701.3B invested across 189,000 plans, which account for approximately 14% of total defined contribution assets1. These unique investments offer several attractive benefits...
 
August 2014 Employer Update
The House and Senate passed legislation with certain rule changes for single employer ERISA defined benefit plans, as part of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act (HATFA). The President is expected to sign the bill shortly...
 
July 2014 Employer Update
Stable Value Q & A

Stable value funds are a staple in defined contribution plans, with $701.3B invested across 189,000 plans, which account for approximately 14% of total defined contribution assets1. These unique investments offer several attractive benefits including principal preservation and benefit-responsive participant liquidity...
 
June 2014 Employer Update
This article is the third in our series of Employer UPDATEs discussing the new GASB Statements No. 67 and 68. They are designed to help plan sponsors prepare for implementation, beginning with GASB Statement No. 67 for fiscal years ending on or after June 15, 2014...
 
Quarterly News - Second Quarter
Audit season is here again! Contact your Independent Qualified Public Accountant (IQPA) to initiate the process now as they typically require 4-6 weeks before Form 5500 is due to complete their work. The audit must be performed by an IQPA. Audited financial statements and the IQPAs report must be filed with Form 5500...
 
May 2014 Employer Update
GASB Statements No. 67 and 68: A Deeper Dive
 
May 2014 Employer Update
IRS Issues Further Guidance on Same-Sex Marraige and Qualified Retirement Plans (Notice 2014-19)
Final Regulations Issued on Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Contributions to Defined Contribution Plans
IRS Issues Guidance for In-Plan Roth Rollovers
 
April 2014 Employer Update: What do they mean?
GASB Statements No. 67 and 68
 
Quarterly News - January 2014
The Savers Tax Credit provided by the Internal Revenue Service helps offset part of the first $2,000 that employees contribute to 401(k) plans and 403(b) plans. Like other tax credits, the savers credit can increase a taxpayers refund or reduce the tax owed...
 
2014 Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar
Retirement plan sponsors are responsible for compliance with many ongoing reporting, disclosure and notice requirements. This Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar summarizes the major requirements that apply to Defined Benefit (DB) and Defined Contribution (DC) plans for 2014...
 
2014 Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar - Defined Contribution
Retirement plan sponsors are responsible for compliance with many ongoing reporting, disclosure and notice requirements. This Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar summarizes the major requirements that apply to Defined Contribution (DC) plans for 2014....
 
December 2013 Employer Update
Defined Benefit Pension Plan Finances in 2014
This bulletin describes the expected financial outlook for year-end 2013 and 2014 for Defined Benefit (DB) plans. The main drivers which will impact FASB ASC 715 accounting figures, as well as IRS Minimum Required Contributions (MRCs) and PBGC Premium calculations are:...
 
November 2013 Employer Update
IRS Cost of Living Adjustments for 2014
The Internal Revenue Service has announced annual cost-of-living adjustments
applicable to pension and profit sharing plans, effective January 1, 2014. In accordance
with legislative guidelines, these limitations are adjusted annually to reflect changes
in the cost-of-living index. The guidelines are similar to those used to adjust Social
Security benefits...
 
September 2013 Employer Update
IRS and Department of Labor Issue Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage
On August 29, 2013, the IRS issued a Revenue Ruling stating that for federal tax purposes, it will recognize all lawful same-sex marriages regardless of where the couple resides. Similarly, on September 18, 2013, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued guidance stating that under the ERISA provisions, same-sex marriages will be...
 
July 2013 Employer Update
U.S. Supreme Court DOMA Decision Impact on Retirement Plans
On June 26, 2013, the Supreme Court issued its decision in the matter of United States v. Windsor. The court held that the definition of marriage under the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), which is defined as a legal union between one man and one woman, is unconstitutional...
 
2013 Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar
Retirement plan sponsors are responsible for compliance with many ongoing reporting, disclosure and notice requirements. This Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar summarizes the major requirements that apply to Defined Benefit ("DB") and Defined Contribution ("DC") plans for 2013...
 
October 2012 Employer Update
IRS Cost of Living Adjustments for 2013
The Internal Revenue Service has announced annual cost-of-living adjustments applicable to pension and profit sharing plans, effective January 1, 2013. In accordance with legislative guidelines, these limitations are...
 
July 2012 Employer Update
Pension Funding Stabilization Signed by President Obama
Certain rule changes for single employer ERISA defined benefit plans have been included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), which was signed by President Obama on July 6...
 
June 2012 Employer Update
Changes in Pension Plan Accounting for Government Employers
On Monday, June 25th, 2012 the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) ratified two new standards for the accounting and financial reporting of public employee pension plans.* The new standards substantially change the methods used in the past for the purpose of "more faithful representation of the full impact of these obligations...
 
2012 Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar
Retirement plan sponsors are responsible for compliance with many ongoing reporting, disclosure and notice requirements. This Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar summarizes the major requirements that apply to Defined Benefit ("DB") and Defined Contribution ("DC") plans for 2012...
 
February 2012 Employer Update
Ten Differentiators of the USICG Provider Search Process
USI Consulting Group, in conjunction with its wholly owned subsidiaries* (collectively "USICG"), specializes in retirement plan management support, investment consulting and provider search initiatives for corporations, professional firms and not-for-profit organizations. A previous Employer Update from USI Consulting Group set forth "Ten Reasons to Review 401(k) Plan Fees, Services & Investments"...
 
October2011 Employer Update
Defined Benefit Pension Plan Finances in 2012
This bulletin will discuss the potential ramifications of recent market conditions on Defined Benefit ("DB") plans as we head into 2012. Three main drivers will impact ASC 715 accounting figures (formerly FAS 87/158), as well as IRS minimum required contributions...
 
October2011 Employer Update
IRS Cost of Living Adjustments for 2012
The Internal Revenue Service has announced annual cost-of-living adjustments applicable to pension and profit sharing plans, effective January 1, 2012. In accordance with legislative guidelines...
 
October2011 Employer Update
DOL Fee Disclosure Regulations: What Plan Sponsors Need to Know
Retirement plan fees and their impact on the retirement savings of plan participants is a topic that has received a lot of attention over the last several years. It is no secret that the fee and expense structures of retirement plans...
 
2011 Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar
Retirement plan sponsors are responsible for compliance with many ongoing reporting, disclosure and notice requirements. This Retirement Plan Compliance Calendar summarizes the major requirements that apply to Defined Benefit ("DB") and Defined Contribution ("DC") plans for 2011...
 
January 2011 Employer Update
IRS Issues Procedures to Elect Pension Funding Relief
Plan sponsors must act before January 31st in order to use relief for 2010 calendar year plan year contributions. The IRS has recently issued Notice 2011-3, which includes procedures for electing funding relief for single employer defined benefit plans...
 

   
       
 
 
     
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