Updates – Defined Benefit Plans

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protected content New GAO Report Examines Contribution Limit Practices in Retirement Plans

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) just issued a report to Senator Ron Wyden, Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, on “Private Pensions: Pension Tax Incentives Update.” … More

protected content Senate Approves Unemployment Bill with Pension Smoothing Provision, but Outlook in House Unclear

The Senate on April 7 approved by a vote of 59-38 legislation to restore emergency unemployment insurance benefits for five months that also includes provisions to extend the interest stabilization under MAP 21, and would allow single-employer pension plans to pre-pay flat-rate premiums to the PBGC for up to five years. … More

protected content Senate Finance Committee Approves Extension of Expiring Multiemployer Funding Rules

The Senate Finance Committee under new Chairman Ron Wyden (D-OR) on April 3 approved a series of tax provisions that expired in 2013 but are generally renewed on an annual basis -- dubbed the “tax extenders.” … More

ERIC as Part of CPR Coalition Writes to Chairman Camp on Tax Reform Draft

ERIC, as part of a coalition of trade associations (Coalition to Protect Retirement) focused on tax reform and retirement incentives, recently sent House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) a letter regarding his “discussion draft” on tax reform. … More

protected content Treasury and IRS Release Windsor Decision Guidance on Retirement Plans

Today, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service released Notice 2014-19, which provides guidance on the application of the decision in U.S. v Windsor on the federal tax treatment of same-sex married couples to retirement plans.… More

protected content PBGC Issues Proposed Rules Regarding the Treatment of Rollover Amounts in DB Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued proposed regulations relating to the treatment of rollovers into defined benefit plans if the plan is terminated. … More

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Senate Emergency Unemployment Bill Includes Pension Smoothing Provision, but House Speaker Boehner Skeptical

A bipartisan group of 10 Senators on March 13 reached an agreement to restore emergency unemployment insurance for five months. The pay-for includes some retirement provisions, including an extension of the interest stabilization under MAP-21 and allowing single-employer pension plans to pre-pay flat-rate premiums to the PBGC … More

protected content NTIS Opens Temporary Certification Program for Death Master File Access

The National Technical Information Service on March 24 released an interim final rule establishing a certification program under which persons may obtain immediate access to the Social Security Death Master File (DMF). … More

IRS Issues Reminder about Withdrawal of Cycle C Cash Balance Applications

Cycle C determination letter applicants who intend to adopt a pre-approved cash balance plan may withdraw their applications for… More

protected content U.S. Senators Reach Bipartisan Agreement to Restore Emergency Unemployment Insurance for Five Months

Today, a group of 10 Senators reached a bi-partisan agreement to restore emergency unemployment insurance for five months. The pay-for includes some retirement provisions, including an extension of the interest stabilization under MAP-21 and allowing single-employer pension plans to pre-pay flat-rate premiums to the PBGC … More

protected content DOL Releases Proposed Regulations on Fee Disclosure Guide

Today, the Department of Labor released a proposed regulation that would amend the final fee disclosure regulations (issued on February 3, 2012) requiring service providers to provide a “guide” to plan fiduciaries to assist them in reviewing the detailed fee disclosures. … More

protected content Pension Smoothing Resurfaces in Senate Bill to Extend Unemployment Benefits

A proposal to extend the interest stabilization provision included in the previously enacted MAP-21 legislation has resurfaced in another bill to extend unemployment benefits, but this time in legislation sponsored by Senate Republicans.… More

protected content PBGC Releases Final Rule on Premium Rates, Payment of Premiums & Reducing Regulatory Burden

The Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) on March 10 released a final regulation on Premium Rates, Payment of Premiums and Reducing Regulatory Burden. … More

protected content President Obama’s FY 2015 Budget Once Again Includes Troubling Retirement Proposals

President Obama on March 4 released a $3.9 trillion budget proposal for fiscal year 2015 that includes several retirement-related proposals that raise concerns. The retirement “themes” are consistent with prior year budget proposals including… More

ERIC Urges Treasury to Expand Options and Provide Permanent Nondiscrimination Relief for Closed Defined Benefit Plans

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) today submitted comments to the Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service (IRS) urging the Agencies to provide permanent relief and additional options for frozen defined benefit plans to satisfy the nondiscrimination testing requirements under the Internal Revenue Code.… More

protected content ERIC Submits Comment Letter on Treasury Notice 2014-5 on Frozen DB Plans

ERIC has submitted a comment letter to the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service regarding Notice 2014-5 relating to frozen plans and nondiscrimination relief. … More

protected content New Treasury FATCA Guidance Amends and Clarifies Previously Issues Guidance

The Department of Treasury and IRS on February 20 issued two sets of temporary and final regulations to make additions and clarifications to the previously issued Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) regulations and provide guidance to coordinate FATCA with preexisting due diligence, reporting, and withholding requirements. … More

protected content IRS Publishes Frequently Asked Questions on Large Plan Audits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently revised its Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on its Employee Plans Team Audit (EPTA) program. … More

IRS Phone Forum on Determination Letters Scheduled for March 13

The IRS’s Employee Plans Technical Guidance division plans to hold a phone forum on March 13 to provide an overview of the 2013 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements. … More

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Senate Defeats Extension of MAP-21 Interest Stabilization as Part of Unemployment Benefits Extension, but Proposal May Resurface

The Senate on February 6 did not obtain the 60 votes necessary to move forward on legislation to extend emergency unemployment insurance benefits that also included an extension of the interest stabilization provision contained in MAP-21. … More

protected content Will Congressional Personnel Changes Impact Pension, Health Policy?

An unusual number of key pension and health policymakers—members and staff—are leaving Congress by the end of this year. These personnel changes will likely impact retirement savings policy. The changes will be less noticeable in the health arena—most Democrats will continue to fight to keep the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in place, and most Republicans will battle just as hard to repeal or weaken it. … More

protected content Response from Commerce Department on Letter on Access to Death Master File

We wanted to provide an update regarding the letter that ERIC and other trade associations sent to the Commerce Department on access to the Death Master File (“DMF”). The Commerce Department confirms that user access to the DMF will continue uninterrupted under the existing process. … More

protected content Senator Harkin Introduces USA Retirement Funds Act

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Tom Harkin (D-IA), along with Senator Brown (D-OH), on January 30 introduced the USA Retirement Funds Act. ERIC has been working with Senator Harkin’s staff on various provisions of this bill, especially the provisions involving hybrid plan clarifications … More

protected content Milliman Releases 2014 Administrative Calendars for DB and DC Plans

To help plan sponsors keep up with key reporting and compliance deadlines for calendar-year single-employer defined benefit plans and defined contribution retirement plans, Milliman has released two calendars detailing the key administrative dates and deadlines for 2014. … More

protected content IRS Extends Deadline for Pre-Approved Defined Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service in Announcement 2014-4 extended the deadline until February 2, 2015, to submit on-cycle opinion and advisory letter applications for pre-approved defined benefit plans for the second six-year remedial amendment cycle. … More

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