Updates – Defined Benefit Plans

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protected content Congress Approves One-Year Extension of Expired Tax Provisions, Including Multiemployer Provisions

The House of Representatives on December 3 overwhelmingly approved the Tax Increase Prevention Act (H.R. 5771) to retroactively extend for the 2014 tax year approximately 50 expired or soon-to-be-expiring tax provisions, including provisions relating to multiemployer defined benefit pension plans and individual and business tax provisions. … More

protected content Congress Approves Government Funding Bill with Multiemployer and 4062(e) Provisions

Following a significant amount of drama over whether the House and Senate would approve a government funding bill (H.R. 83, the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015) in time to avert a government shutdown, both chambers eventually approved the $1.1 trillion omnibus funding legislation … More

ERIC Supports Approval of Legislation Clarifying “Substantial Cessation of Operations” in Relation to PBGC Enforcement Activity

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) applauds the approval of an amendment to section 4062(e) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) clarifying the definition of “substantial cessation of operations” relating to when the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) can initiate enforcement activity after a company downsizes, reorganizes or relocates its workforce. … More

protected content Harkin 4062(e) Provision Included in Kline-Miller Multiemployer Amendment to Omnibus Legislation

Yesterday, key members of Congress reached a deal on the omnibus government funding legislation. There is a reference to section 4062(e) in the legislation as follows… More

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IRS Releases 2014 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements; Extends Deadline for Pre-Approved DB Plans

The Internal Revenue Service on December 5 released Notice 2014-77 providing the 2014 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification… More

protected content DOL Seeks to Establish Focus Groups to Evaluate Service Provider Disclosure Requirements

The Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register a notice seeking approval to establish focus groups for evaluating the effectiveness of the service provider disclosure requirements under section 408(b)(2) of ERISA. … More

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

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) finalized regulations regarding the treatment of rollovers into defined benefit plans if the plan is terminated and trusteed by the PBGC (the “rollover regulations”). … More

ERIC Offers Recommendations on PBGC Information Collection Request on De-Risking Activities

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC), the Washington, D.C.-based trade association representing America’s major employers, today in a letter to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) urged the agency to support plan sponsors’ efforts to maintain their defined benefit pension plans, including methods used by companies which enable them to continue to sponsor these plans.… More

protected content ERIC Submits Letter on PBGC Information Collection Request on Payouts to Certain Former Employees

ERIC on November 24 submitted a comment letter in response to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s (PBGC) Information Collection Request on payouts to certain former employees. … More

protected content ERIC to Hold December 8th FocusOn Call on De-Risking and Defined Benefit Plans

ERIC has scheduled a FocusOn call on De-Risking and Defined Benefit Plans: Current Trends & Employer and Participant Considerations. With the continued trend of companies shifting portions of their pension benefits to an insurance company, we thought it would be helpful to ERIC members to offer an in-depth discussion on the process and considerations of de-risking pension plans.… More

protected content PBGC 2014 Annual Report Shows Improvement in Single Employer System

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on November 17 released its Annual Report, showing that the agency’s deficit increased to about $62 billion in fiscal year 2014, mostly due to the declining condition of a limited number of multi-employer plans. … More

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ERISA Advisory Council Offers Recommendations on Lifetime Income, PBM Disclosure, and Outsourcing Plan Services

The ERISA Advisory Council recently presented its recommendations to the Department of Labor (DOL) on the topics it studied in 2014, which included facilitating lifetime plan participation, whether to extend DOL’s service provider fee disclosure regulation to pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), and outsourcing employee benefit plan services.… More

protected content GOP Mid-Term Election Sweep Will Impact Legislative Agenda

Vast tomes could (and will) be written about what went wrong for the Democrats or right for the Republicans. Anti-Obama sentiment, bad polling, lack of interest among young and retired voters, disgust with a gridlocked Congress, a flood of outside money, and local factors all probably played a role. But the fact remains that the GOP Congress will have to deal with a Democratic President for the next two years. So, what does that mean for the legislative agenda?… More

ERIC Joins Letter to House and Senate in Support of Frozen Plan and Nondiscrimination Testing Legislation

ERIC is advocating for the passage of legislation that would amend the nondiscrimination provisions of the Internal Revenue Code applicable to frozen defined benefit plans. … More

protected content GAO Issues Report on Measuring Pension Plan Liabilities

The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) recently issued a report on determining the current value of defined benefit plans titled “Pension Plan Valuation: Views on Using Multiple Measures to Offer a More Complete Financial Picture”. … More

protected content Society of Actuaries Releases Report on Mortality Tables for Defined Benefit Plans

The Society of Actuaries released its report on selecting mortality assumptions for employer accounting purposes in the following reports: RP-2014 Mortality Tables and Mortality Improvement Scale MP – 2014. As you may recall, the actuaries are updating mortality tables that are used for various purposes relating to the administration of defined benefit plans… More

protected content IRS Announces 2015 Pension Plan Limits; PBGC Updates Website Showing 2015 Premiums, Maximum Benefits

The Internal Revenue Service on October 23 released the annual cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limitations for pension plans and other retirement-related items for tax year 2015. Meanwhile, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) updated its website to show the premium rates and maximum guaranteed benefit for 2015. … More

protected content Senators Harkin and Wyden Send Letter on De-Risking to Regulatory Agencies

Yesterday, Senator Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions (“HELP” Committee), and Senator Wyden (D-OR), Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to the Treasury Department, Department of Labor (DOL), the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau regarding the issue of de-risking transactions in defined benefit plans.… More

protected content PBGC Provides Reporting Relief for Plans Using HATFA Funding Rates for 2013

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) recently issued Technical Update 14-2 advising that so-called 4010 filings do not need to be amended solely to revise actuarial information that changed because of a decision to use Highway and Transportation Funding Act (HATFA) rates for the 2013 plan year.… More

protected content DOL Issues Report on Pension Plan Coverage; Fuels Congressional Interest in Coverage Issues

On October 8, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued a report on 2012 participation in defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) pension plans. The report is based on Form 5500 annual reports. Not unexpectedly, the report shows a continuing shift from DB plans to DC plans. It will very likely fuel the interest … More

ERIC Signs on to Letter to Society of Actuaries on Mortality Tables

ERIC has signed on to a letter to the Society of Actuaries with various other business trade associations expressing concern over the process and timing of the release of the final reports on RP-2014 Mortality Tables. … More

protected content ERIC Focus on Benefits for Executives—Third Quarter—October 2014

This quarterly publication is designed to alert company management about several of the most important recent developments in the benefits arena that warrant their attention.… More

protected content Covington & Burling Summary of Hybrid Plan Regulations

Richard Shea and Robert Newman of Covington and Burling have released a brief summary of the long-awaited final regulations on hybrid plans that address the market rate of return issue. … More

protected content IRS Releases Final Regulations Requiring Retirement Benefit Plan Returns on Magnetic Media

The Internal Revenue Service on September 29 published in the Federal Register final regulations detailing the requirements for filing on magnetic media certain benefit plan statements, returns, and reports for plan administrators and employers … More

ERIC Joins Letter to Congress Honoring the 40th Anniversary of ERISA

The undersigned organizations, representing plan sponsors, service providers, and plan administrators who deliver retirement benefits to millions of American workers, ask you to join us in celebrating the passage of this law and the success of the private retirement system that has been created around it.… More

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