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This digest contains a wide variety of the freshest source material dealing with current trends, opinion, news, legislative action, investments, marketing, sales, consulting, and legal issues regarding 401k, 403b and other retirement plans. Each listing contains a headline (hyperlinked to the source document), description, source of the item, and the month and year posted to this digest.

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Five Simple Strategies for Retirement Investing

Investing for retirement can be intimidating, especially when you're first starting. With hundreds of tips and suggestions and even more investment options, many people procrastinate because they simply do not know how to begin. Here are these five simple strategies for retirement investing.

Source: Unifiedtrust.com, September 2020

Schlichter Targets Another MEP

The law firm of Schlichter Bogard & Denton has a new target, multiple employer plans. They've just filed their second excessive fee suit in that genre. This time the target is the Pentegra Defined Contribution Plan for Financial Institutions, a multiple employer plan, or MEP.

Source: Napa-net.org, September 2020

Webinar Recording: Recordkeeping Vendor Searches: More than Just Fees

Recordkeepers are a critical partner in a successful retirement plan and monitoring their services and fees is one of the most important duties of a fiduciary. Periodic benchmarking can help keep a plan's fees in line with the marketplace but is not a replacement for a full vendor search process, especially in light of the recent findings in the Banner Health case. This webinar covers the benefits of running a vendor search, the timeline for running a search, and best practices.

Source: Multnomahgroup.com, September 2020

What's Next After Empower's Acquisition of MassMutual's Retirement Unit?

The sale of MassMutual's retirement business feels different than all the other transactions in well over a decade of defined contribution business consolidation. Retirement plan advisers should pay close attention. Here are a few thoughts on how they should react.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), September 2020

How One 401k Firm Says It Is Bulking Up Amid the Pandemic

An online 401k provider is striving for growth during the recession and part of its strategy is to eliminate all transaction fees. Human Interest, which has raised more than $80 million in funding since its 2015 inception, according to data from Crunchbase, has been adding new clients during the pandemic and has pledged not to lay off any staff, CEO Jeff Schneble has said.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), September 2020

Are Cybercriminals Stalking Your 401k Plan?

The answer is yes. The assets of 401k and other retirement plans represent a significant financial asset and present an inviting target for cybercriminals. Employers who sponsor these plans are almost always plan fiduciaries and likely targets of suits over unauthorized plan withdrawals. Plan sponsors should consider their cybersecurity protective measures and make sure that plan service providers have taken appropriate steps to secure the confidentiality of participants' personal information.

Source: Gct.law, September 2020

Time Is Running Out for Expanded 401k Loans Under CARES Act

The expanded 401k plan loan provisions included in the CARES Act are quickly coming to an end! The last day to take advantage of the increased 401(k) loan limits is Tuesday, September 22, 2020.

Source: Compliancedashboard.net, September 2020

Why "Six is the New Three" When It Comes to Automatic Enrollment

Instead of auto-enrolling participants at a 3% salary deferral rate, which traditionally has been the case, why not auto-enroll them at a more meaningful 6%? After all, they can still opt-out, and 6% will provide a far more meaningful benefit at retirement than a 3% default rate ever could. While this could backfire if more participants opt-out of auto-enrolment because of the higher rate automatic deferral rate, according to John Hancock's State of the Participant 2020 report, the opposite is the case.

Source: Cammackretirement.com, September 2020

IRS Provides Additional SECURE Act Guidance

The SECURE Act's primary goals include expanding retirement savings, simplifying existing rules, and preserving retirement income. As with any major legislation, the SECURE Act created numerous outstanding questions. While the IRS has previously provided some answers, no SECURE Act guidance has been as detailed as the recently released IRS Notice 2020-68.

Source: Ascensus.com, September 2020

Lifetime Income Disclosures for DC Plans: Interim Final Rule

The clock is ticking for DC plans to begin to provide a "lifetime income disclosure" on at least one benefit statement a year. Beginning in 2021, plan administrators must show each participant an estimate of the single life annuity and joint and 100% survivor annuity that the participant's current account balance could purchase. Importantly, account-based plans are still not required to offer an annuity form of distribution option or investment.

Source: Vorys.com, September 2020

New Defined Contribution Plan Disclosures

Retirement plan participants may soon better understand how account balances translate to retirement readiness. The SECURE Act requires DC plans to show participants the value of their account balances if converted into a monthly lifetime stream of income. The disclosures are aimed at reminding participants that retirement plan balances are meant to last for life and busting the "wealth illusion" that single sum account balances present. The details on the disclosures are starting to take form following an interim final rule recently released by the DOL.

Source: Employeebenefitslawblog.com, September 2020

Americans Are Raiding Retirement Savings During Coronavirus Pandemic

As households struggle to make ends meet, more Americans have been forced to halt or raid their retirement savings in this coronavirus-induced recession. Nearly 3 in 10 people have decreased the amount of money they're setting aside for retirement or stopped saving altogether due to the economic fallout of Covid-19, according to a FinanceBuzz survey published in August.

Source: Cnbc.com, September 2020

2020 401k Participant Survey Part II: Retirement Saving and Spending

The area where 401k participants say they could most use help is understanding how much they'll need to save for retirement, according to a nationwide survey of 1,000 401k plan participants from Schwab Retirement Plan Services. Over two thirds (68%) of participants gave an estimate of how long their retirement savings will last, with the average being 24 years. The remaining 32% say they do not know how many years their retirement savings might last, and the level of uncertainty is higher among women (40%) than men (25%).

Source: Schwab.com, September 2020

T. Rowe Price Publishes Latest Findings On 401k Investor Behavior During Recent Economic Downturns

A recent study by T. Rowe Price found retirement savers who were saving at an adequate rate before the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, and who continued to save throughout the crisis, saw the best outcomes. The 67% of retirement savers who practiced this behavior were able to weather the volatility and stay on track with their savings. Meanwhile, 44% of individuals who lacked retirement savings before the GFC and increased their savings in response to it, still had to consider delaying their retirement 10 years after the downturn.

Source: Prnewswire.com, September 2020

Relief for Distributing Summary Plan Descriptions

2020 is the year that ERISA 403b plan must issue summary plan descriptions to plan participants. Experts from Groom Law Group and Cammack Retirement Group answer questions concerning SPD distribution due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2020

More Sutter Health 403b Plan Participants Challenge Plan Investments

A second lawsuit has been filed against fiduciaries of the Sutter Health 403b Savings Plan for breaches of their fiduciary duties under ERISA. As in a lawsuit filed in July, the plaintiffs in the recent case challenge the use of an actively managed TDF suite over an index suite.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2020

New Fiduciary Rule Ahead

The main theme of the DOL's new rule proposal is in alignment with other regulators -- the SEC and FINRA in particular -- but the agency is not surrendering its jurisdiction over tax-qualified retirement plans.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2020*

People of Color Report Limited Retirement Investments

Americans who identify as people of color report that they have limited retirement investments and say they're not making progress toward achieving important retirement goals, according to the 2020 Retirement Risk Readiness Study from Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2020

IRS Issues Guidance on Qualified Birth or Adoption Distributions

In recent guidance, the IRS addressed several issues under the SECURE Act, including qualified birth or adoption distributions (QBOADs). While QBOADs have been permissible since January 2020, many employers have been waiting for some IRS guidance on how these distributions would be implemented before deciding as to whether to include a QBOAD as a plan feature.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, September 2020

401k Plan Concerns From the Auditor Perspective

401k plans are often missing key items and are therefore exposing both management of the plan sponsor, as well as the fiduciaries of the plan, to potential litigation and corrective actions in the case of a DOL or IRS exam. This article shares several concerns from a plan auditor perspective which are leaving plan sponsors and fiduciaries exposed in the current environment to litigation and regulatory scrutiny.

Source: Linkedin.com, September 2020

Good Ideas for 401k Plans That Don't Get Enough Attention

This article highlights some features which can benefit participants in 401k plans which we don't see used enough. Employers and plan sponsors should consider adding these four features to their plans to provide additional benefits to their employees.

Source: Linkedin.com, September 2020

IRS Expands List of Qualified Individuals Eligible for Coronavirus-Related Distributions

The IRS issued Notice 2020-50 to update and clarify certain provisions of Section 2202 of the CARES Act, which deals with the tax treatment of coronavirus-related distributions from eligible retirement plans for qualified individuals. The Notice expands the definition of a "qualified individual" eligible to take coronavirus-related distributions from their retirement plans.

Source: Hallbenefitslaw.com, September 2020

UPDATE: SECURE Provides New Option to Help Pay for Birth or Adoption

The IRS has again directed our attention back to the SECURE Act by issuing guidance related to qualified birth or adoption distributions. Withdrawals from a qualified retirement plan before age 59 ½ are generally subject to a 10% tax for early distribution, but the SECURE Act created a new distribution option that permits plan participants to take distributions of up to $5,000 as a penalty-free early withdrawal to help cover expenses related to the adoption or birth of a child. The IRS has now issued further guidance on these qualified birth or adoption distributions in Notice 2020-68.

Source: Graydon.law, September 2020

Implementing Long-Term Part-Time Employee 401k Elective Deferrals

Notice 2020-68 includes guidance for implementing the mandatory participation of long-term part-time non-union employees in 401k plans for plan years beginning Jan. 1, 2021. The IRS also announces that it is seeking taxpayer questions and comments about the SECURE Act and Miner Act provisions referenced in the Notice. The deadline for submitting comments and questions is Nov. 2, 2020.

Source: Bhfs.com, September 2020

How to Minimize Judicial Review of ERISA Fiduciary Decisions

The courts have stated that their review of fiduciary decisions is both exacting and deferential. A recent decision from the Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit offers help to ERISA benefit professionals who prefer to maximize judicial deference in favor of the fiduciaries.

Source: Beneficiallyyours.com, September 2020

Average 401k Continued to Sizzle in August

Temperatures and major U.S. stock indexes, notably the S&P 500, continued to rise. The markets had their best August since 1986 and it was a pretty good month for the average 401k balance as well.

Source: Asppa.org, September 2020

IRS Revenue Procedure 2020-40 Provides Extensions of Retirement Plan Amendment Deadlines

Revenue Procedure 2020-40 (Rev. Proc. 2020-40) expands the situations in which the plan amendment deadline may be extended for discretionary amendments made to pre-approved qualified retirement plans and pre-approved Internal Revenue Code Section 403b plans.

Source: Westlaw.com, September 2020

Small Business Retirement Plans and the SECURE Act

The SECURE Act passed at the end of 2019 had several features that affected individuals and their retirement accounts. For financial advisers serving small business owner clients, the SECURE Act also offers several opportunities for small business retirement plans.

Source: Thestreet.com, September 2020

Retirement Plan Update: New DOL Disclosures and Updated IRS Notices

The DOL recently issued interim final regulations requiring new information to be included on ERISA-covered defined contribution plan participant account statements under the SECURE Act. The guidance only applies to defined contribution plans, such as 401k and 403b plans. The IRS also recently updated safe-harbor explanations that can be used to satisfy the tax notice requirements in Code Section 402(f). These requirements generally require plan administrators to provide a written explanation of tax consequences when making eligible rollover distributions from a qualified retirement plan.

Source: Shermanhoward.com, September 2020

MassMutual 401k Deal Wins Empower Valuable Clients

Empower Retirement's deal to buy MassMutual's defined-contribution business represents the latest iteration of the company's growth-by-acquisition strategy. But it also hints at a larger goal of winning over the workers who could be tomorrow's wealth management clients. The agreement also gains Empower a valuable potential relationship with Edward Jones.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), September 2020

Cybersecurity Risk Considerations for 401k Plans

Cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated when targeting organizations holding significant assets and personal data. As a result, complaints have been filed and case law is developing that should motivate plan sponsors to satisfy their fiduciary duty to enact prudent procedures and safeguards to protect plan assets and plan data.

Source: Cpajournal.com, September 2020

Biden Plan to Improve the 401k Does the Opposite

The author writes, "I've written a couple of recent columns on fixes needed to restore the value of 401k and other deferred tax retirement plans for young median-wage workers. The presidential campaign of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris has a proposal aimed at that issue. It's a step almost exactly in the wrong direction."

Source: Advisorperspectives.com, September 2020

Election 2020: Retirement Policy Positions

We are nearing the final stretch of the 2020 campaign. What have the parties proposed for the future of the U.S. retirement system? Here is a chart that summarizes the policy documents prepared by the parties outlining their goals for both the private retirement system and Social Security.

Source: Groom.com, September 2020*

How Might Coronavirus-Related Distributions Impact Retirement Benefits?

The CARES Act allows greater access to defined contribution plan balances. In this 1-page report, EBRI considers the impact on the future retirement security of American workers.

Source: Ebri.org, September 2020

A "Vaccine" for COVID-19 ERISA litigation

ERISA litigation tends to spike when economic uncertainty or turmoil rises. Although many things contribute to this historically verifiable trend, it is easiest for employers to think about just two of them. First, an employer-sponsored retirement plan, like a 401k or pension plan, is likely to suffer from market volatility. Second, employer-sponsored health and welfare plans will see upticks in claims issues during a health crisis. Here are some key considerations and preventive measures that every plan sponsor and fiduciary can monitor and implement to avoid a COVID-19-related spike in ERISA litigation.

Source: Constangy.com, September 2020

DOL Warms Up to Private Equity in 401k Plans

On June 3, 2020, the DOL provided insights addressing private equity investment within defined contribution retirement plans. The letter addressed a scenario in which PEI would be a part of a larger, diversified asset allocation fund (such as a balanced fund or target-date fund). The DOL did not consider the use of PEI as a separate direct investment option, noting that "direct investments in private equity investments present distinct legal and operational issues for fiduciaries of ERISA-covered individual account plans."

Source: Carltonfields.com, September 2020

SECURE Act Compliance Q&A Published by IRS

The IRS this week published supplemental guidance related to significant policy changes made as part of the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act. Presented in Q&A format, the guidance addresses issues under several sections of the SECURE Act.

Source: Plansponsor.com, September 2020

GAO: DOL Could Do More to Help Make QDROs More Accessible

A new report from the Government Accountability Office looks at the barriers people face when seeking to obtain a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) and offers recommendations on how the process can be improved.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, September 2020

DOL Takes Fire From All Sides on Fiduciary Advice Proposal

The Department of Labor heard from an array of witnesses on its proposed fiduciary advice rulemaking package, ranging from calls to withdraw the proposal altogether to making significant changes before proceeding. In the nearly six-hour-long virtual hearing -- which experienced a few technical difficulties -- the DOL heard from six panels comprised of 21 witnesses where the arguments could generally be broken into four groups.

Source: Napa-net.org, September 2020

Guidance to Make Us Feel More SECURE

Notice 2020-68 from the IRS provides valuable clarification for sponsors of qualified plans, 403b plans, and 457b governmental plans, as well as IRA holders, related to certain provisions in the SECURE Act and the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019.

Source: Jacksonlewis.com, September 2020

Coronavirus-Related Relief for Retirement Plans

Section 2202 of the CARES Act, enacted on March 27, 2020, provides for special distribution options and rollover rules for retirement plans and IRAs and expands permissible loans from certain retirement plans. In these questions and answers, the IRS provides Coronavirus-related relief for retirement plans and IRAs.

Source: Irs.gov, September 2020

401k Plan Terminations Could Produce Wave of Leakage

During the COVID-19 crisis, massive job losses combined with economic hardship and relaxed restrictions on withdrawals have created the conditions for a perfect storm of 401k cashout leakage. Unfortunately, this storm may soon gain more strength, when a surge in end-of-year 401k plan terminations could trigger a new flood of cashouts, as participants are forced to leave their former employers’ plans. Sponsors of terminating 401k plans can take steps to avoid excessive cashout leakage by ensuring that participants receive an enhanced standard of care, including education and consolidation assistance during the plan termination process.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2020

Qualified Plan Loan Offsets

The IRS issued proposed regulations that define qualified plan loan offsets as well as confirm the extended rollover period for these amounts as outlined within the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed into law on December 22, 2018. The proposed regulation impacts participants, beneficiaries, plan sponsors and plan administrators of 403b, 401k, and governmental 457 retirement plans.

Source: Principal.com, September 2020

Important Considerations for the RFP Process

Selecting a defined contribution plan recordkeeper, financial adviser, or another service provider through a request for proposals process can ensure it is best suited to the plan. When conducting a service provider request for proposals, being specific can help ensure the plan and participant needs are met, as well as compliance with fiduciary duties.

Source: Plansponsor.com, September 2020

IRS Requesting Comments on Form 5500

The IRS is soliciting comments concerning the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan. Proposed changes include adding a new checkbox to Form 5500, Form 5500-SF, and Form 5500-EZ for an initial plan retroactively adopted as permitted by the SECURE Act Section 201 and adding checkboxes for requesting an extension of time.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2020

IRS Q&As Tackle Auto-Enrollment Credit, Part-time Vesting, Adoption

The IRS has provided some answers to questions concerning the small employer automatic enrollment credit, part-time vesting rules, and other provisions under the SECURE Act. IRS Notice 2020-68, issued September 2, provides guidance on some of the outstanding SECURE Act issues in a questions and answers format.

Source: Napa-net.org, September 2020

401k Plan Savings Challenge Has Been Solved

Helping people save for retirement isn't a mystery. Automatic enrollment and auto-escalation lead to better outcomes for employees, and those features are used by most institutional 401k and 403b plan sponsors, but not smaller plans. What's the resistance and why aren't retirement plan advisers and recordkeepers pushing harder?

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), September 2020

Latest 401k Lawsuit Filed in an Avalanche of COVID-19 Litigation

B. Braun Medical is among the latest companies sued so far this year in an unusual wave of 401k litigation. That company, which was sued Aug. 26 in U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, is among more than 60 others facing new claims this year, according to an analysis by Bloomberg Law.

Source: Investmentnews.com (registration may be required), September 2020

New SECURE Act Guidance: Lifetime Income Disclosures for 401k and 403b Plans

The DOL announced new guidance on lifetime income disclosures that must be included in pension benefit statements furnished to participants in defined contribution plans, such as 401k and 403b plans. This guidance, issued in the form of an interim final rule, sets forth the rules that plan administrators must follow in implementing the lifetime income disclosure requirement that was added to ERISA by Section 203 of the 2019 SECURE Act.

Source: Insidecompensation.com, September 2020

Plan Sponsors Hold the Keys to Boosting Retirement Readiness

Employers play a critical role in motivating their employees to begin saving for retirement. Cerulli's research finds that an employer's matching contribution is the most influential factor motivating participants to begin saving for retirement. Two-thirds (66%) of 401k participants indicate they would be very likely to increase contributions if their employer increased the matching formula (e.g., matches up to 5% instead of up to 3%).

Source: Cerulli.com, September 2020

DOL Releases Interim Final Rule on Lifetime Income Illustrations

The SECURE Act of 2019 modified the defined contribution plan benefits statement rules to require the inclusion of lifetime income. On August 18, the DOL released an interim final rule, including model disclosures and the assumptions plan administrators must use to calculate estimated lifetime income amounts. Using the model disclosures may limit fiduciary liability. The rule is expected to be effective by the end of the third quarter, 2021.

Source: Buck.com, September 2020

The Rising Tide of the Roth 401k

Many employer-sponsored retirement plan participants are conflicted in deciding which type of account is best for their 401k contributions: traditional or Roth? Often having no idea which is best for their situation, they need the help of an advisor. You can advise them with confidence if you know just two things.

Source: 401kspecialistmag.com, September 2020

The Uncertain Legal Landscape for Plan Fiduciaries Over Cybersecurity Challenges

It is hard to imagine that the drafters of ERISA envisioned a day would come when retirement plans would be administered electronically and distribution of paper notices and disclosures to plan participants might become a thing of the past. However, the retirement industry seems to be swiftly moving that direction. This creates a new liability source for the plan and its service providers.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, September 2020

Abbott Data Breach Suit Provides Lessons for Plan Sponsors to Protect Against Potential Liability

On April 3, 2020, a participant in the Abbott Corporate Benefits Stock Retirement Plan, Heide Bartnett, filed a complaint against her employer and Alight Solutions, the Plan's contract administrator and recordkeeper, for allegedly processing a fraudulent $245,000 distribution from Ms. Bartnett's Plan account to an unknown person that impersonated her. In response and further demonstrating the lack of clarity on who is liable when a plan suffers a data breach, on June 30, Abbott Laboratories and Alight Solutions pointed fingers at each other in dueling motions.

Source: Wagnerlawgroup.com, September 2020

Few Divorcing Couples Know About QDROs

The GAO sent a report to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee, "Retirement Security: DOL Could Better Inform Parties About Dividing Savings," in which it explored how often divorcing parties seek access to their spouse’s retirement savings. The overwhelming result was that very few do. Older couples and women, in particular, are often put at a retirement disadvantage when faced with a divorce, a GAO report finds.

Source: Planadviser.com, September 2020

Pandemic Prompts Shifts in Attitudes About Employee Benefits

Employees are mostly satisfied with their company's response to COVID-19, but there has been a change in sentiment concerning employee benefits, according to a series of surveys. The Hartford's Future of Benefits Study, which polled U.S. workers and human resources benefit decision-makers in early March 2020 just before the COVID-19 outbreak and again in mid-June, found that many employees continue to view their benefits positively, but their perceived value of the benefits provided and their trust in the company to make the best benefits decisions have declined.

Source: Ntsa-net.org, September 2020

The Real "Coverage" Gap

Teresa Ghilarducci doesn't give American employers or advisors much credit. She recently penned an article in Forbes titled "Employers Can't Provide Retirement Plans. Let's Stop Pretending They Can." The article's premise is false on its face, of course. Her point appears to be that all employers won't provide retirement plans, or at least to date haven't. She attempts to prove her case by pointing to the coverage gap. But the author suggests that the "real 'coverage' gap is that [employers] often don't get the credit they deserve for doing so."

Source: Napa-net.org, September 2020

Average 401k Continued to Sizzle in August

The markets had their best August since 1986, and it was a pretty good month for the average 401k balance as well. Temperatures and major U.S. stock indexes, notably the S&P 500, continued to rise. The latter not only enjoyed its fifth consecutive month of gains but recorded seven record highs during the month.

Source: Napa-net.org, September 2020

Advisors Talk About Fraud in 401k Plans

It is well known that fraud follows the money, so it may seem like it was only a matter of time before fraudsters expanded into what are many consumers' largest individual accounts: their 401k plans. The Secure Retirement Institute has been exploring the evolution of this threat with consumers, plan sponsors, and major recordkeepers. In a recent survey, the SRI asked more than 250 financial advisors in the defined contribution industry to describe the impact of financial fraud and the importance of fraud prevention programs within the institutional retirement space.

Source: Insurancenewsnet.com, September 2020

The CareerBuilder 401k Decision: Three Key Lessons for Plan Sponsors and ERISA Attorneys

Currently, we have different federal courts handing down various interpretations of ERISA. As a result, in some cases, the public's guaranteed rights and protections under ERISA are dependent on where the plan participants reside. These inconsistent interpretations and rulings are unnecessarily exposing plan sponsors to potential liability exposure. The purpose of this post is to alert plan sponsors, as well as attorneys, to these "traps" to ensure that plan participants are properly protected.

Source: Iainsight.wordpress.com, September 2020

DOL Could Better Inform Divorcing Parties About Dividing Savings

Many Americans don't have enough savings for a secure retirement and divorce can make it worse if one spouse can't claim some of the other spouse's retirement benefits. A legal tool called a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (known as a "QDRO") can be used to establish such a claim. Getting an order can be complex and costly. Many aren't approved, largely because the submitted orders lack the basic information needed for approval. Fees can be unaffordable for people with low incomes. Information from the DOL may be insufficient to facilitate the order process or determine reasonable fees. This GAO report recommends improving the information available.

Source: Gao.gov, September 2020

Retirement Plan Records: To Purge, or Not to Purge

Record retention rules are found in both the DOL Regulations and ERISA, plus there are statutes of limitation concerning plan sponsor liability for just about everything administrative in a retirement plan. While most plans have policies for loans, investments, and qualified domestic relations orders, very few plan sponsors seem to have a record retention policy to provide guidance on what to retain, what to purge, and when to do it all. Depending on the document category, there are different standards for how long documents need to be kept.

Source: Ferenczylaw.com, September 2020

ESG Investments and the Impact of Recent DOL Proposed Regulations on Retirement Plans - Podcast

Discusses the new set of proposed regulations from the DOL guiding retirement plan fiduciaries about investing plan assets in ESG Investment Vehicles. The group discusses what ESG investments are, what's different about considering them for retirement plans, what the DOL's proposed regulations will do, and what they wouldn't. Also talks about the reaction to the rules, how they impact retirement plans, and the next steps for plan fiduciaries.

Source: Ballardspahr.com, September 2020

Communication Best Practices

Communication with employees about benefits is always critical. And now there's an added wrinkle, the pandemic. It's changed the rulebook, at least in some ways, and a recent blog entry offers suggestions on communicating in this upended environment.

Source: Asppa.org, September 2020

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