Experts in Personalized Retirement Plan Design & Administration Newsletter 11.27.17

Changes Coming to Your 401k in 2018 As the calendar flips to 2018, do you need to make any adjustments to the amount of money you’re depositing monthly into your 401k? You might and there are other significant change to 401ks in 2018. Source:

Don’t Forget 401k Deadlines During the Holiday Bustle Even though the holidays loom large in most people’s minds this time of year, retirement plan sponsors and participants also need to keep an eye on the fast approaching Dec. 31 deadline for certain moves they’ll want to make with their 401ks or other retirement plans. Source: (registration may be required)

Procrastination Pays! Why You Should Delay Retirement for as Long as Possible By working through your 60s, you give yourself a much better shot at a secure retirement. Boston College found that financial readiness for retirement would improve from around 30 percent at age 62 to nearly 80 percent at 70. Why? Source:

Three Plays Women Can Make to Up Their Retirement Game Only 12% of women are very confident in their ability to retire comfortably versus 16% of men. Women need to up their retirement game and save more money. Luckily, there is no better time than now for women to dive in and learn about how to effectively plan for their futures. Here are three plays women can make to do just that. Source:

Four Reasons to be Thankful for 401ks While 401ks may not be the perfect retirement plan vehicle, they do have a number of important attributes that most of us probably take for granted. Here are four of them. Source:

Comparing Small Law Firm 401k Plans Law firm benefits are a difficult thing to track. Salary and bonuses are easy because firms race to match each other, but benefits have a more nebulous impact on recruiting applicants and they just aren’t standardized like pay. Here’s key information on small law firm 401k plans, broken down by state. Source:

Fiduciary and Plan Governance Material

These 401k Lawsuits Show the Value of Investment Policy Statements An investment policy statement is essentially the business plan for a portfolio. For 401k fiduciaries, the IPS serves as a critical governing document, one that should be carefully crafted, periodically reviewed and updated, and diligently followed. Two recent lawsuits against plan sponsors powerfully illustrate this valuable lesson. Source: (registration may be required)

Stealing Plan Assets Is Easier Than You Think Stealing plans assets is simpler than you think. Why is it so easy for TPAs and financial advisors to steal plan assets? The problem is you have plan custodians assumes that orders to liquidate and transfer are on the up and up. Source:

Simplify Your Investment Menu – Help Improve Participant Outcomes Several key goals are critical to ensuring participants can adequately invest and grow their retirement savings. It’s also important for sponsors to think about providing enough investment options for participants to diversify, yet keep the lineup simple enough so that participants don’t get confused or overwhelmed. Source:

There Are No Mulligans in Fiduciary Law Author writes, “Secretary Acosta’s newly created loopholes, “good faith” and “willful” are inconsistent with long-standing fiduciary law, and the burden on Secretary Acosta and the department is to do their job and truly enforce the new fiduciary rule in order to carry out the department’s mission.” Source:

Insight: Studies, Research, and White Papers

GAO/CBO Weigh In: State of Retirement in America Two reports recently released by the Government Accounting Office and Congressional Budget Office reflect the current state of the nation’s retirement system and explore how adequate retirement income is measured. In tandem, the reports offer insight for employers and policy makers looking to achieve a sustainable retirement system and adequate retirement income for the U.S. workforce. Source:

How Does Your 401k Compare? Article identifies some of the common performance characteristics and features offered by many 401k plans and compiled the statistics below from a variety of sources that will allow you to benchmark your plan. Source:

Majority of Canadians Worried About Level of Retirement Savings A survey, which polled more than 1,500 Canadian adults, found the vast majority (85 per cent) agreed they need to save more money, but 64 per cent aren’t making it a priority. The top obstacles to saving are: not earning enough income (46 per cent); getting derailed by unexpected expenses (29 per cent); and struggling to pay everyday expenses (24 per cent). Source:

CIT Interest Rising Among 401k Sponsors For over a decade now, pundits have been predicting a mass movement of 401k plans away from mutual funds and toward collective investment trusts. Migration numbers have not borne that out, yet. But now, some forecasts suggest the time of mass conversions has finally come. Source: (registration may be required)

Spending, Relationship Quality, and Life Satisfaction in Retirement This research explores how spending and relationship quality contribute to life satisfaction in retirement, controlling for financial and human capital factors. The results provide evidence to suggest that leisure spending, health status, and spousal and friend relationships have the greatest impact on creating life satisfaction during retirement, while other type of spending and children relationships do not. Source:

Court and Legal

NYU Hit with Second Excessive Fee Suit If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again seems to be the motto used in a new class action lawsuit filed against New York University alleging breach of fiduciary duties for excessive plan fees in the school’s retirement plans. Source:

Wells Fargo Sued Over In-House 401k Funds, Again Wells Fargo is once again in the crosshairs of a proposed class action challenging the in-house investment funds in the company’s 401k plan. Source: (registration may be required)

Legislative and Washington DC

Tax Reform and Employee Benefits Proposed employee benefits changes in the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” will make a significant imprint for many companies if they remain in the bills as they work through the legislative process. This article provides the highlights of the House Bill, as passed, compared to the current version of the Senate proposal. Source:

Tax Reform Legislation Moves Through the House and Senate The House and Senate Bills would provide for the most sweeping changes to the U.S. Tax Code since 1986. Both bills also contain several provisions that would change the tax rules with respect to retirement plans, executive and nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements, employee fringe benefits, and health and welfare plans. This is a side-by-side summary comparing the retirement, executive compensation, fringe benefit and health and welfare provisions in the House and Senate bills. Source:

State-Based Retirement Programs

OregonSaves Serves as a Test for State-Sponsored Auto-IRAs As the first state-sponsored retirement savings program rolls out in Oregon, here’s what employers in Oregon and other states that are planning such programs should know. Source:

Compliance and Regulatory

2017 End of Year Plan Sponsor “To Do” List Qualified Retirement Plans This is a qualified plan “to do” list of items on which you may want to act on before the end of 2017 or in early 2018. The list is broken into five categories. Source:

IRS Plan Examiner Memo Confirms Proper RMD Recipient Search Procedure The IRS recently posted an internal memorandum for retirement plan examination staff at its website, concerning procedures retirement plans are expected to use when seeking missing participants or beneficiaries who are required to take distributions. Source:

DOL Guidance and Relief for Plans Impacted by Hurricane Maria and California Wildfires The U.S. Department of Labor announced employee benefit plan compliance guidance and relief for victims of Hurricane Maria and the October 2017 California Wildfires. Source:

DOL, IRS Release Information Copies of 2017 Forms 5500 The IRS and the Department of Labor have announced what they describe as “advance informational copies” of 2017 plan year annual return Forms 5500 and 5500-SF. Also included are information copies of the accompanying schedules commonly filed with these forms. Source:

Are Retirement Plan Fee Disclosures Being Ignored? Several years ago, the Department of Labor engaged in a major regulatory effort to improve retirement plan fee disclosures, but new research suggests that many workers are not reading their plan disclosures and are unfamiliar with the fees being charged for managing their funds. Source:


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