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Our Perspective

Ninth Circuit upholds dismissal of 401(k) fee case in White v. Chevron

On November 13, 2018, in an unpublished 3-page opinion, a three-judge panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal of plaintiffs’ claims in the White v. Chevron 401(k) fee litigation. The court sided with defendants on one of the critical issues in current 401(k) fee litigation: whether a plaintiff may state a claim…Read More

November 2018 Pension Finance Update

After an awful October, pension finances stabilized in November, with both model plans we track [1] treading water during the month. Plan A eked out a fractional improvement in November and is now up 6% for the year, while the more conservative Plan B was unchanged last month and remains ahead by less than 1%…Read More

IRS proposes new hardship withdrawal rules

On November 14, 2018, IRS proposed amendments to current 401(k) hardship withdrawal rules, implementing changes made by the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 (BBA 2018), providing a new and more flexible hardship withdrawal “safe harbor” and expanding the amounts that may be withdrawn from a 401(k) plan in a hardship withdrawal. The new rules would…Read More

RCH clearinghouse PTE and Advisory Opinion

On November 7, 2018, DOL published a Notice of Proposed Exemption Involving Retirement Clearinghouse, LLC (RCH), addressing a potential prohibited transaction issue presented by RCH’s clearinghouse “locate, match, and transfer” model. In this article we discuss the recently proposed Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) for RCH’s clearinghouse, its significance for sponsors generally and for ongoing issues…Read More

Regulatory update — November 2018

In this regulatory update, we briefly review ERISA Advisory Council recommendations for rule changes to encourage the inclusion of lifetime income options in QDIAs, the effect of the new Society of Actuaries MP-2018 mortality improvement scale on liability valuations, and a recent IRS “Program Letter” identifying qualified plan distributions as a compliance target. ERISA Advisory…Read More

Top Three Ways Pension Risk Transfer is Lowering Plan Costs

If you’ve been looking for ways to lower your plan costs, annuitizing could be the right move. Pension Risk Transfer not only transfers liability, but also lowers the costs you pay on your plan.  Plan Administration Fees The larger your plan’s participant population, the greater your already costly administration fees can be. Companies are finding…Read More

October 2018 Pension Finance Update

October was a scary month for pensions – treats turned to tricks as stock markets gave back most of what they had earned this year. Interest rates “rising from the dead”, so to speak, softened the blow a bit, but both model plans we track[1] suffered their worst month of the year, with traditional Plan…Read More

Top Five Reasons Why the Time is Right to Annuitize

Many companies including International Paper and FedEx, says the Wall Street Journal’s – CFO Journal, are taking advantage of the unique factors making now an ideal time to annuitize. Transferring plan liabilities to insurance companies through an annuity purchase is an effective way to decrease risk and reduce costs, and today’s market is an especially…Read More

DOL clarifies what groups may adopt MEPs

On October 22, 2018, the Department of Labor released a proposed regulation that clarifies (and in some regards expands) rules for which groups may adopt multiemployer plans (MEPs) under ERISA. In this article we provide a brief note on the proposal. We begin with a discussion of the ERISAstatutory/regulatory issue that has made MEPs in…Read More