Current Events

Current outlook – October 2016

October 06, 2016

In this Current outlook we discuss three issues raised in the recent complaint filed against fiduciaries of the Northrop Grumman DC plan that are atypical of 401(k) fee litigation – reimbursement of sponsor direct expenses, use of a flat recordkeeping fee and Financial Engines payments. We then review the recent GAO report 401(K) PLANS: DOL Could Take Steps to Improve Retirement Income Options for Plan Participants. We conclude with a brief note on two recent IRS Notices, extending temporary closed group nondiscrimination relief and publishing mortality tables for 2017. Read More

IRS finalizes partial annuity regulation

October 05, 2016

On September 9, 2016 IRS published final regulations providing rules for “partial annuity distributions” in defined benefit plans, e.g., distribution of part of a participant’s benefit as a lump sum and part as an annuity. In this article we discuss the final regulation. Read More

Senate Finance Committee approves bipartisan retirement savings legislation

October 04, 2016

On September 21, 2016, the Senate Finance Committee unanimously approved the Retirement Enhancement and Savings Act of 2016. The bill includes a number of provisions affecting both defined contribution and defined benefit plans. In this article, we begin with some background on the bill’s genesis and prospects and then focus on four of the more significant proposals in it. Read More

Retirement policy agenda 2017: contributions

September 13, 2016

This is the second in our series of articles on the issues that, beginning in 2017, the new Administration and the new Congress may consider, if they choose to make retirement policy a priority. In this article we discuss contribution policy. Read More

District Court dismisses Chevron fee complaint

September 08, 2016

On August 29, 2016, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California dismissed plaintiffs’ complaint in White v. Chevron. The court rejected (among other things) plaintiffs’ argument that the plan’s fiduciaries’ inclusion in a 401(k) plan fund menu of “high-priced share classes of mutual funds, instead of identical lower-cost share classes of those same mutual funds” constituted a breach of ERISA’s prudence standard. In this article we discuss the court’s analysis and holding with respect that issue. Read More

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