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Regulatory Compliance

Plan fees often elicit complaint and sometimes serious action, as lawsuits and court rulings attest. A recent article discusses the Department of Labor (DOL) rules for controlling fees and what they require, as well as how to protect employees from excessive fees. There is a range of reasons for... READ MORE
We really hadn’t been focused on making a change, though the subject had come up from time to time.  In fact, considering how long we had been thinking about making a change without actually doing anything about it, the change itself felt almost accidental in its suddenness. So sudden, in fact,... READ MORE
The IRS has determined that if an individual receives a distribution check from a qualified plan and does not cash the check, that individual cannot exclude the amount of the designated distribution from gross income and the employer remains subject to withholding and reporting obligations. The IRS... READ MORE
Multiple employer plans (MEPs) figure prominently in many discussions about workplace retirement plans today. And with those discussions including changes that would expand their availability and use, an Aug. 6 webinar provided a useful refresher on the federal rules governing MEPs. In the... READ MORE
A missed deferral has ripple effects and is not an isolated event. The sooner it is addressed the better, argued an industry expert in an Aug. 7 ASPPA webcast. “It is important to get it right and ger the participant where he/she would have been if the error had not happened,” said Mike Smith, a... READ MORE
Sir Isaac Newton’s Third Law of Physics says that, “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” That also apparently applies to ERISA litigation. On August 5, the law firm of Schlichter Bogard & Denton, LLP filed papers opposing a motion by fiduciary defendants of the MIT... READ MORE
As Congress headed out of town for the August recess, retirement’s “Dynamic Duo” have teamed up on legislation designed to help stave off nondiscrimination testing issues for frozen defined benefit plans. U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Ben Cardin (D-MD), both members of the Senate Finance... READ MORE
The Department of Labor announced a final rule today that expands the availability of some multiple employer plans (MEPs) – and an RFI that seeks more information on “open” MEPs.  Acknowledging that Association Retirement Plans (ARPs) and MEPs exist now, the Labor Department notes that in addition... READ MORE
A recent federal court decision should remind us all of the importance of plan committee education. The case involved a suit by participants in the SunTrust 401(k) plan that challenged the initial selection of, and subsequent acquiescence with, an ostensibly imprudent plan investment menu. The... READ MORE
ASPPA is always providing information and insights that will be valuable to its members! Following is a summary of upcoming webcasts and events. Live Webcasts  ASPPA Webcast: Correcting Missed Elective Deferral Opportunities under EPCRS Wednesday, August 7, 2019 2:00 – 3:40 p.m. ET Speaker:... READ MORE
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued temporary penalty relief related to certain Form 5500 requirements for multiple employer plans (MEPs) subject to ERISA §103(g). The relief is contained in Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB) 2019-01, which the DOL issued on July 24.  Under §103(g) of ERISA,... READ MORE
A senior Labor Department official suggests keeping an eye out for proposed guidance addressing electronic disclosure of retirement plan information.  Jeanne Wilson, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary with the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), said the... READ MORE
At the opening session of the 2019 NAPA D.C. Fly-in Forum on July 23, ASPPA Executive Director (and American Retirement Association CEO) Brian Graff noted that it’s a “hot mess” in Washington – both literally and figuratively.  Expressing his frustration that the bipartisan Setting Every Community... READ MORE
Legislation the House of Representatives passed on July 24 is intended to assist financially troubled multiemployer DB plans that meet specified criteria, but that help would come with a hefty price tag, according to the Congressional Research Service (CRS). In a two-page report updated July 19,... READ MORE
A federal judge has weighed in on a question relevant to new plan committee fiduciaries: When and how does their liability for the decisions of previous committee members begin? This case (Fuller v. SunTrust Banks, Inc., N.D. Ga., No. 1:11-cv-00784-ODE, 7/16/19) arises out of a suit brought by... READ MORE
  A more personal approach is key to better engaging with individuals and building clientele and sales, argues the head of an organization that provides retirement education in a recent webcast. In “Three Ways to Improve Client Engagement and Increase Sales,” Edward Dressel, President of ... READ MORE
Missing participants, and the problems they occasion, are becoming a more prominent problem for plan administrators, argues ERISA attorney Heather B. Abrigo, Esq. “It’s really come to the forefront,” said Abrigo, a partner at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP, in a July 16 ASPPA webcast. “Plan... READ MORE
While there’s likely a rocky confirmation road ahead, President Trump has announced (via tweet) his choice as the next Secretary of Labor. “I am pleased to announce that it is my intention to nominate Gene Scalia as the new Secretary of Labor,” Trump tweeted Thursday evening. “Gene has led a life... READ MORE
  Patrick Pizzella, the current Deputy Secretary of the Department of Labor, will take over as the Acting Labor Secretary in the wake of Alexander Acosta’s July 12 resignation.   Pizzella, who has served as the Deputy Secretary since April 2018, will likely serve as the Acting Secretary until a... READ MORE
American Retirement Association Chief Government Affairs Officer Will Hansen and past ASPPA President Stephen Dobrow offered testimony concerning benefit plan audits and how they may be improved at the June 25 meeting of the Department of Labor’s Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension... READ MORE