Current Events

2017 Increases for Retirement Plans, Social Security

October 19, 2016

The Social Security Administration just announced benefit increases effective in 2017. These changes will affect benefits for currently retired individuals, as well as those contemplating retirement. Employers who sponsor retirement plans that are ‘coordinated’ with Social Security in some fashion will also see an impact on benefits earned and payable under such plans. Read More

Update: stock drop litigation and inside information

October 11, 2016

“Stock drop” cases involve company stock held in a defined contribution plan that has lost significant value (hence, “drop”), in which the plaintiff argues that the plan’s fiduciaries had an obligation to sell plan stock, or at least discontinue buying it, before or during the “drop.” In what follows we review where the courts are coming out on this issue. Read More

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

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