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week ending April 17th, 2020
Now may be a good time to review all the retirement-plan related decisions plan sponsors are contemplating right now. Reminding defined contribution (DC) plan participants to stay the course in their investments cannot be repeated enough; there is evidence that participants listen. The message to stay the course is also relevant to defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors that may be wondering what they should do with their investments during this unprecedented time. For plan sponsors contemplating a change to employer contributions to their DC plans, if they’ve been able to participate in the paycheck protection program, that money can cover retirement plan contributions as well, the government confirmed. If plan sponsors are still contemplating whether they will allow for COVID-19 distributions and expanded loan limits, they should consider the needs of their workforce and be sure to include messaging to let participants know how their decisions may impact their long-term financial goals. And, some plan sponsors with non-calendar year plan year-ends have been given relief on Form 5500 filing deadlines, but for those with calendar year-ends, the July deadline so far has not been changed—it’s business as usual on that front. Information to help guide plan sponsor decisions can be found in this edition of PLANSPONSOR Weekend.
Editor's Choice
Investing
Money Manager’s COVID-19 Message: Stay the Course
“Rather than panic and act on their emotions, the vast majority of participants allowed their DC plans to do the job they were meant to do,” says Katherine Roy at J.P. Morgan, recalling the lessons learned from the Great Recession.
Investing
Past Bear Market Strategies No Comfort for DB Plans Right Now
Pension plan consultants are tweaking recommendations for DB plan sponsors during the unprecedented volatility created by the coronavirus pandemic.
Administration
Few Plan Sponsors Planning Retirement Benefit Cuts Right Now
Experts say firms are focused on making sure their business survives, hopeful that the economy will bounce back when the coronavirus is eradicated.
Compliance
PBGC Extends Certain Premium Payment and Filing Deadlines
The action is in response to an IRS extension of some retirement plans’ Form 5500 filing deadlines.
Compliance
Form 5500 Basics: What Sponsors Need to Know
The purpose of Form 5500 is to obtain information regarding plan design and basic plan sponsor information, and the regulatory penalties for failures in filing the form can be severe.
Popular Reads
Compliance
Supreme Court Decision in Thole v. U.S. Bank Has Major Implications for Pensions
The ruling effectively establishes that individual pension plan participants cannot sue their employer for a fiduciary breach if their own benefit has not been cut or otherwise altered.
Compliance
Heroes Act Now In the Hands of a Skeptical Senate
The Heroes Act, passed by a narrow majority in the House, includes union pension partition relief and a waiver for the reinvestment of 2019 and 2020 RMDs.
Compliance
Court Finds Plan Sponsor Could Be Found Liable for Retirement Plan Cyberfraud
The plan sponsor had sued plan providers, but the providers in a counterclaim said the plan sponsor was equally liable.
Compliance
Plan Sponsor, Provider Sued for Adding Untested CITs to 401(k)
The 92-page complaint includes a number of other allegations, including that the plan sponsor was motivated by its relationship with the provider for its defined benefit plans.
Data and Research
COVID-19 Has Made the Retirement System Weaker
A working paper discusses how the pandemic has affected retirement plans and what needs to be done for the retirement system to emerge stronger.
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