Ongoing Litigation Against Colleges and Universities – Duke Settles But It’s Hardly a Windfall for Participants

Since 2016, more than 20 lawsuits have been filed against fiduciaries of university retirement plans. The defendants are among the largest and most prestigious schools in the country, as they present very visible targets. Many of these suits were filed by the same law firm, Schlichter, Bogard & Denton of St. Louis, one of the leading plaintiffs’ firms in ERISA litigation. Plaintiffs have not fared … Continue reading Ongoing Litigation Against Colleges and Universities – Duke Settles But It’s Hardly a Windfall for Participants

The PBGC Assumes Responsibility for Sears Pension Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (the PBGC) is a government insurance program that guarantees all private defined benefit pensions. There is no comparable insurance for defined contribution plans. The PBGC pays benefits to almost a million participants covered by 4,800 failed pension plans and is responsible for future payments to another half a million individuals. The PBGC faces an uncertain financial future and its challenges … Continue reading The PBGC Assumes Responsibility for Sears Pension Plans

Hardship Withdrawals – The Internal Revenue Service Issues Proposed Regulation Reflecting Statutory Changes

This past November, the IRS issued proposed regulations to effectuate changes made for hardship withdrawals in the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018. Comments were due by Jan. 14, 2019. Although the statutory changes are effective beginning in 2019, the proposed regulations do not require any changes in how hardships are administered until 2020. Plan documents must be amended to reflect changes to the safe harbor … Continue reading Hardship Withdrawals – The Internal Revenue Service Issues Proposed Regulation Reflecting Statutory Changes

IRS Guidance Indicates Employer Contributions to Retirement Plans may be Linked to Student Loan Payments

In August, the Internal Revenue Service issued a private letter ruling (PLR) clarifying that employer contributions to retirement plans may be tied to student loan payments. Since the great recession of 2008-09, student loan debt in the U.S. has mushroomed. It is estimated that Americans now hold approximately $1.5 trillion in student loans. As a result, many employers are looking for ways to assist their … Continue reading IRS Guidance Indicates Employer Contributions to Retirement Plans may be Linked to Student Loan Payments

IRS Announces 2019 Retirement Plan Limits

IRS Limits on Retirement Benefits and Compensation As published in IRS News Release IR-2018-83, Nov. 1, 2018   2019 2018 2017 401(k), 403(b), 457 Elective Deferral Limit $19,000 $18,500 $18,000 Catch-Up Contribution Limit (age 50 and older) $6,000 $6,000 $6,000 Annual Compensation Limit $280,000 $275,000 $270,000 Defined Contribution Limit $56,000 $55,000 $54,000 Defined Benefit Limit $225,000 $220,000 $215,000 Definition of Highly Compensated Employee $125,000 $120,000 … Continue reading IRS Announces 2019 Retirement Plan Limits

The Cartography of Innovation – NAGDCA Keynote Session

The opening keynote session at the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) addressed innovations around the world, and specific to this conference, how to make people take retirement seriously. Keynote speaker Scott Wayne suggested that the more we talk of innovation, the less innovative we are. When addressing problems such as retirement savings or other problems such as legal immigration, reproductive rights, gun … Continue reading The Cartography of Innovation – NAGDCA Keynote Session

NAGDCA Weighs in on Securities and Exchange Commission’s Proposed Fiduciary Rules

We previously have reported on the evolution of the Department of Labor’s (DOL) Fiduciary Rule, widely considered among the most important consumer protection changes in recent history.  In March, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 that the DOL had exceeded its authority when issuing the fiduciary regulations, which stopped the rules protecting an investor’s best interests from being implemented.  In the meantime, the … Continue reading NAGDCA Weighs in on Securities and Exchange Commission’s Proposed Fiduciary Rules

News is Slowly Emerging From Capitol Hill

The Tax Cuts & Jobs Act, passed in December 2017, and while some changes to defined contribution plans were discussed, none were included upon passage. In mid-September, the House Ways and Means Committee voted to forward the first major overhaul of the Tax Cuts Act – HR 6757, “The Family Savings Act of 2018” – to the full House for consideration by the end of … Continue reading News is Slowly Emerging From Capitol Hill

National Retirement Security Week

To elevate the importance of personal retirement planning, NAGDCA is working with the House and Senate to pass a congressional resolution supporting National Retirement Security Week (NRSW) in October 2018. Plan administrators can take advantage of NRSW to promote awareness of their plans and their many benefits. Promotions can come in a variety of ways, including increased participant education, retirement / benefit fairs, enrollment campaigns … Continue reading National Retirement Security Week

Washington Update

While Capitol Hill is customarily very active when addressing pension and retirement savings reform, they have been remarkably quiet since the passing of the Tax Cuts & Jobs Act at the end of last year. Several changes were on the table, primarily “Rothification” which could have resulted in retirement savings plans being changed to only offering post-tax deferral options. However, the final regulations made minimal … Continue reading Washington Update