Updates – Defined Benefit Plans

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protected content FASB Adds Project on DB Plan Measurement Dates, but Not Cash Balance Project

The Financial Accounting Standards Board on August 13 added a project to its agenda to permit an employer with a fiscal year-end that does not fall on the end of a month to measure its defined benefit (DB) plan assets and liabilities as of the month end that is closest to the employer’s fiscal year-end.… More

protected content IRS Provides Pension Discount Rates to Incorporate Changes from Highway Funding Bill

The Internal Revenue Service on August 12 released Notice 2014-48 providing the 2013 and 2014 stabilized pension funding segment rates under the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (HTFA), which was enacted into law on August 8. … More

protected content JCT Tax Expenditure Report Demonstrates Risk to Benefits

On August 5, the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) released its tax expenditure report for 2014 through 2018. The tax expenditure report discusses and assesses forgone federal tax revenue values for the tax rules that exempt taxpayers from (or allow them to defer into the future) otherwise taxable income. … More

protected content Pension Smoothing Extension Signed Into Law

President Obama on August 8 signed into law an extension of the pension smoothing provisions enacted under MAP-21, as part of the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (H.R. 5021). The new law includes a five-year delay in the phaseout of the MAP-21 interest stabilization provision … More

protected content Representative Tiberi Introduces Frozen Plans/Nondiscrimination Testing Relief Legislation

On July 31, 2014, Representative Pat Tiberi (R-OH), introduced H.R. 5381, which would provide relief from ongoing nondiscrimination testing for frozen defined benefit plans, subject to certain conditions. … More

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House and Senate Pass Highway Funding Bill with Pension Smoothing Provision, but No PBGC Premium Increases

This evening, the Senate passed H.R. 5021, the “Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014” by a vote of 81 to 13. As we reported recently, the House recently re-passed H.R. 5021. The bill is on its way to the President for signature. … More

protected content SEC Adopts Money Market Fund Reform Rules Requiring Floating NAV

After a long-running battle for the past several years, the Securities and Exchange Commission on July 23 adopted changes to the rules that govern money market mutual funds to address “risks of investor runs.” … More

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Senate Committee Advances Legislation to Revise 4062(e) Definition, while PBGC Announces Moratorium

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) on July 8 announced that it is imposing a moratorium from July 8 – December 31, 2014 on the enforcement of ERISA section 4062(e) cases. … More

protected content House Approves the Highway and Transportation Funding Act with No PBGC Premium Increases

On July 15, House of Representatives approved H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act, which extends the funding of highway and other federal transportation projects through May 31, 2014. … More

protected content GAO Offers Recommendations to Ease Burden and Improve Usefulness of Form 5500 Information

A new report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) recommends that the Departments of Labor and Treasury, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) consider modifying Form 5500 to improve the usefulness, reliability, and comparability of the data for all stakeholders while limiting the burden on the filing community.… More

protected content PBGC Director Gotbaum Announces Resignation

Josh Gotbaum, who has been Director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) for the past four years, on July 11 announced that he will be stepping down from the position in August to return to the private sector. … More

protected content IRS Advisory Committee Recommends Expansion of Pre-Approved Plan Program

The Internal Revenue Service’s Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) recently recommended that the agency consider expanding the pre-approved plan program, and changes to the determination letter program. … More

ERIC Applauds House and Senate Tax-Writing Committees for Not Including PBGC Premium Increase in Highway Bill

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) applauds the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee for not including in the highway funding legislation another increase in premiums paid to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) by companies that sponsor pension plans. … More

protected content House Ways & Means and Senate Finance Committee Approve Highway Trust Fund Legislation

The House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee on July 10 approved separate legislation to extend funding for the highway trust fund that includes similar provisions to extend the pension smoothing provisions under MAP-21, but does not include another increase in PBGC premiums.… More

ERIC Welcomes Announcement by PBGC Imposing Moratorium on Enforcement of 4062(e) Cases

Kathryn Ricard, ERIC Senior Vice President for Retirement Policy, today made the following statement in reaction to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) announcement… More

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Stretch IRA Provision under Consideration for Highway Bill, While MAP 21 Interest Stabilization Extension in Unemployment Bill

The congressional tax-writing committees have been working over the last few weeks on legislation to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, which… More

protected content Treasury Issues Lifetime Income Final Regulations (QLACs) for 401(k) Plans

The Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service have released final regulations on longevity annuities in 401(k) plans. In February 2012, the Treasury Department issued proposed regulations relating to the required minimum distributions rules and the purchases of deferred annuities. … More

protected content PBGC Releases FY 2013 Projections Report

Today, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation released its FY 2013 Projections Report (formerly called the Exposure Draft). This report highlights the reversing trend of concerns within the single employer system (underscored in past reports) to a growing and more immediate concerns related to the multiemployer pension plan system. … More

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MAP 21 Interest Stabilization Extension and PBGC Premium Increase Not Included in Highway Trust Fund Legislation

As you are aware, Congress is working on legislation to replenish the Highway Trust Fund, which is scheduled to “run out of money” (for legislative purposes) late July or early August 2014. Discussions related to the revenue provisions have included an extension of the MAP-21 interest stabilization… More

protected content Cantor Primary Loss Upends House GOP

Danea Kehoe, Esq., ERIC’s External Government Affairs Consultant, takes a look at what Representative Eric Cantor’s unexpected loss in his primary race might mean for overall tax reform and legislation impacting retirement plans, health plans and other employer-provided benefits.… More

ERIC Files Comment Letter on Fee Disclosure Guide

ERIC has submitted a comment letter to the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) on its proposed amendment to add a guide requirement to the ERISA section 408(b)(2) fee disclosure regulation. … More

IRS Phone Forum to Review Impact of Windsor Decision

The Internal Revenue Service has scheduled a phone forum for June 26 to discuss the impact from the U.S. Supreme Court’s June 2013 decision in United States v. Windsor … More

protected content Agencies Release Semiannual Regulatory Agendas Showing Further Delays

The Department of Labor (DOL) and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation on May 23 released their semiannual regulatory agendas, which include a number of projects on the retirement-related front.… More

protected content The Need for Offsets Pulls Camp Tax Reform Proposals into 2014 Debate

Conventional wisdom in Washington is that tax reform is going nowhere this year. That may turn out to be prophetic—but there is significant risk this year that tax writers will pluck certain elements—including some that impact retirement and/or health benefits—from the Camp tax reform plan to use as offsets in other legislation. … More

protected content Plan Sponsors Make Errors When Filing Final Form 5500 Return, IRS Finds

The Internal Revenue Service’s Employee Plans Compliance Unit (EPCU) found errors in the majority of the final Form 5500-series returns it reviewed as part of its Final Return with Assets project, according to an article in the IRS’s Employee Plans News. … More

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