Today's Update

IRS Guidance

Extension of Special Nondiscrimination Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans

Notice 2017-45 extends the temporary relief under Notice 2014-5 from Section 401(a)(4) nondiscrimination testing for closed defined benefit plans through plan years beginning before 2019. Document Excerpt This notice extends the temporary nondiscrimination relief for closed defined benefit plans that is provided in Notice 2014-5, 2014-2 I.R.B. 276, by making that relief available for plan […]

IRS Announces Relief for Participants Affected by Hurricane Harvey

Announcement 2017-11 provides guidance for participants and beneficiaries affected by Hurricane Harvey including with respect to loans and hardship distributions. Document Excerpt This announcement provides relief to taxpayers who have been adversely affected by Hurricane Harvey and who have retirement assets in qualified employer plans that they would like to use to alleviate hardships caused […]

Model Amendment for payment of Bifurcated Benefits from DB Plans

The IRS has released model amendments that defined benefit plans that wish to allow for the payment of bifurcated benefits, for example, part annuity and part lump sum, can use to comply with the requirements of Section 417(e). Document Excerpt This notice provides model amendments that a sponsor of a qualified defined benefit plan may […]

Computation of Maximum Loan Amount in the case of Multiple Loans

After issuing guidance earlier this year, the IRS has issued superseding guidance to agents on calculating the maximum loan amount in the event of multiple loans. Document Excerpt This memorandum supersedes interim guidance TE/GE-04-0417-0016 entitled Computation of Maximum Loan Amount under IRC § 72(p)(2)(A), issued April 20, 2017. This memorandum directs EP Examinations staff to […]

Updated Suspension of Benefit provisions for Plans in Critical and Declining Status

Revenue Procedure 2017-43 provides updated guidance for multiemployer plans in critical or declining status applying for Treasury approval of suspension of benefits. Document Excerpt This revenue procedure contains revised procedures for applications for a suspension of benefits under a multiemployer defined benefit pension plan that is in critical and declining status under § 432(e)(9). These […]

Cumulative List of Changes for Lead Pre-approved Defined Contribution Plans

Notice 2017-37 sets forth the Cumulative list of Plan changes required for pre-approved defined contribution plans. Document Excerpt This notice contains the Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements for Pre-Approved Defined Contribution Plans for 2017 (2017 Cumulative List). As described in section 17 of Rev. Proc. 2016-37, 2016-29 I.R.B. 136, 146, Cumulative Lists […]

DOL Guidance

Text of DOL Proposed Extension of BICE Transition Period

After approval by OMB, the DOL has now released the text of its proposed 18 month extension of the applicability date of the Best Interest Contract Exemption and other prohibited transaction exemptions transition periods. Document Excerpt This document proposes to extend the special transition period under sections II and IX of the Best Interest Contract […]

DOL Enforcement Policy on Arbitration Limitation in Best Interest Contract Exemption

DOL Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-03 provides guidance on the DOL’s nonenforcement policy on the arbitration limitation in Best Interest Contract Exemption. Document Excerpt Accordingly, the Department of Labor will not pursue a claim against any fiduciary based on failure to satisfy the BIC Exemption or the Principal Transactions Exemption, or treat any fiduciary as being […]

DOL Compliance Guidance for Harvey Affected Plans

The DOL has issued compliance guidance for plans impacted by Hurricane Harvey. Document Excerpt The Department understands that plan fiduciaries, employers, labor organizations, service providers, and participants and beneficiaries may encounter issues complying with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) in the foreseeable future as the effects of Hurricane Harvey become apparent. The guidance […]

DOL FAQs for Participants and Beneficiaries affected by Harvey

The DOL releases Frequently Asked Questions for participants and beneficiaries affected by Hurricane Harvey and/or its flooding. Document Excerpt Link https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/about-ebsa/our-activities/resource-center/faqs/faqs-for-participants-beneficiaries-following-hurricane-harvey.pdf

DOL to Review Final Amendments to Disability Claims Regulations

The DOL announced it is reviewing the changes made to the disability claims regulations for possible amendment or delay. Document Excerpt Link https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eAgendaViewRule?pubId=201704&RIN=1210-AB39

DOL Seeks Additional 18 Month Delay of Full BICE

The DOL is proposing an additional 18 month delay, until July 1, 2019, for fiduciaries to comply with the full requirements of the Best Interest Contract Exemption. Document Excerpt Link https://www.reginfo.gov/public/jsp/EO/eoDashboard.jsp

PBGC Guidance

PBGC Disaster Relief Announcement in the wake of Harvey

PBGC releases Disaster Relief Announcement 17-09 in the wake of hurricane Harvey and its flooding. Document Excerpt Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to severe storms and flooding from Hurricane Harvey that began on August 23, 2017, in Texas. Link https://www.pbgc.gov/prac/other-guidance/dr/dr17-09

PBGC Projections Report

The PBGC’s report on projected solvency is released. It projects that the PBGC’s multiemployer pension plan program will likely run out of money by the end of 2025 while the financial picture for single-employer plans will likely continue to improve. Document Excerpt This year’s projections for PBGC’s multiemployer program show less uncertainty regarding the year […]

Qs and As on Risk Mitigation and Early Warning Program

The PBGC releases a series of Questions and Answers on its Risk Mitigation and Early Warning Program. Document Excerpt As part of posting our updated Risk Migration & Early Warning Program information, we asked stakeholders for feedback. Below are some Questions and Answers for the most common questions and comments we received. Link https://www.pbgc.gov/prac/risk-migration-q-and-a

PBGC Penalties Updated

The PBGC announces updates to its civil penalties. Document Excerpt The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is required to amend its regulations annually to adjust the penalties provided for in sections 4071 and 4302 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. This action is being taken in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation […]

ABA Committee Q & A Session with PBGC

The American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits releases its annual Q & A session with the PBGC. Document Excerpt The following questions and answers are based on informal discussions between private-sector representatives of the JCEB and PBGC staff members. The questions were submitted by ABA members in advance to the agency and the […]

Allocation of Assets; Interest Assumptions for Valuing Benefits

The PBGC releases updated guidance on the applicable interest rate to be used to value benefits in a single employer plan under Section 4044 for the first quarter of 2017. Document Excerpt This final rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans to prescribe interest assumptions under the […]

Articles, White Papers & Other Information

CBO Estimates of the Cost of Terminating Cost Sharing Subsidies

The Congressional Budget Office released its report on the impact on the budget of terminating the Affordable Care Act’s cost sharing payments. Document Excerpt At the request of the House Democratic Leader and the House Democratic Whip, the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have estimated the effects […]

Supreme Court rules in Favor of Religiously Affiliated Entities

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of an expanded church plan definition that includes certain plans established by religiously affiliated entitles. Document Excerpt Instead, it added language whose most naturalreading is to enable a plan “maintained” by a principal-purpose organization to substitute for a plan both “established” and “maintained” by a church. And as […]

Small Business will be allowed to Bypass the ACA Marketplace

CMS has announced that small businesses will be allowed to bypass the SHOP, the Affordable Care Act Marketplace designed for small businesses. Document Excerpt CMS will be exploring a more efficient implementation of the Federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplaces in order to promote insurance company and agent/broker participation and make it easier for small employers to offer […]

Fourth Circuit’s Decision on Removal of Reynolds Stock

The Fourth Circuit affirms the district court’s decision concluding that the fiduciaries’ decision to remove Reynolds stock did not cause the losses because a prudent fiduciary would have made the same divestment decision at the same time. Document Excerpt The “would have” standard does not demand such an impossible feat. Having a standard in which […]

CBO Estimates Of American Health Care Act

The CBO has released its estimates of the direct cost and effect of the American Health Care Act passed by the House. Document Excerpt CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have prepared an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, as […]

Section-by-Section Summary of American Health Care Act

The House, on a partisan vote, passed the American Health Care Act designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Document Excerpt Link http://strategichealthcare.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/AHCA-Section-by-Section-Summary-FINAL.pdf

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