Defined contribution plan

Industry & Regulatory News

Senate Proposes Proxy Vote Changes for Index Funds

Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK), along with co-sponsors Pat Toomey (R-PA), Mike Crapo (R-ID) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), have introduced S. 4241 the “Investor Democracy is Expected Act” or INDEX Act. The bill would require investment advisors of passively managed funds to vote proxies in accordance with the instructions of fund investors – not at the discretion of the adviser. The adviser would be responsible for passing through the proxies, collecting the instructions, and voting according to the investors’ wishes. With the exception of routine matters, the investment advisor cannot vote on the proportion of shares for which voting instructions were not received. The proposal provides for a safe harbor whereby investment advisors would not be in violation of duties by choosing not to solicit voting instructions or voting the particular proxy.

May 26 2022

Industry & Regulatory News

IRS Explains Impact of Missed Deadline for Plan Restatements

In the May 23, 2022, issue of Employee Plans News, the IRS explains the applicability of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS) for pre-approved plans that are not restated by appropriate deadlines. Generally, 401(a) and 403(b) plans that fail to timely restate their plans on a pre-approved plan document could correct resulting defects under the EPCRS Self Correction Program if the defect has existed for less than the past three years. Older defects can be pursued by filing a Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) application with the IRS to correct the failure. The IRS indicates that the failure to qualify as a pre-approved plan is not in and of itself a qualification issue. 

May 26 2022

Industry & Regulatory News

Emergency Savings Proposal Introduced

Senators Todd Young (R-IN), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) have introduced the Emergency Savings Act of 2022. The proposal would allow “pension-linked” savings accounts for participants of up to $2,500 (subject to cost-of-living adjustments) to be used for unexpected expenses. The accounts would be treated in the same manner as after-tax contributions, and plan sponsors could automatically enroll a participant with a compensation deferral percentage not to exceed three percent. The account can be invested as cash, in an interest-bearing deposit account, or an investment product designed to preserve principal and provide a reasonable rate of return—and is not subject to any unreasonable fees, restrictions, expenses or charges in connection with the account or withdrawals.

May 26 2022

Industry & Regulatory News

SEC Proposes Enhanced Disclosures About ESG Investment Practices

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued a proposed rule that would add reporting requirements for registered investment advisors, registered investment companies, certain advisers that are exempt from registration, and business development companies to provide additional information regarding their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment practices.

May 26 2022

Industry & Regulatory News

Final Form 5500 Revisions Guidance Issued

The Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), IRS, and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have released final forms revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan and Form 5500-SF Short Form Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, and related instructions, that apply to plan year reports beginning on or after January 1, 2022. A proposed rule was issued last September.

May 20 2022

Industry & Regulatory News

Proposed: Employee and Retiree Access to Justice Act

Representative Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) has introduced HR 7740 – the Employee and Retiree Access to Justice Act. The bill proposes to amend ERISA to provide that any mandatory predispute or coerced postdispute arbitration clause, class action waiver, representation waiver, or discretionary clause with respect to a plan is unenforceable. The bill would also amend ERISA to prohibit any such clause or waiver from being included in a plan document or other agreement with participants. A Senate companion bill was introduced by Senator Tina Smith (D-MN).

Representative DeSaulnier is the Chair of the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions. Senator Smith is a member of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

May 18 2022

Industry & Regulatory News

IRS Further Extends Temporary Relief from Physical Presence Requirement for Retirement Plan Consents

The IRS today issued Notice 2022-27, extending guidance released previously under Notice 2020-42 and extended by Notice 2021-03 and Notice 2021-40. The Notice provides additional temporary relief from the physical presence requirements for certain elections that are made by participants and beneficiaries in qualified retirement plans and other tax-favored retirement arrangements.

May 13 2022

Industry & Regulatory News

IRS Issues Deadline Relief for New Mexico Victims of Wildfires and Straight-Line Winds

The IRS has issued a news release announcing the postponement of certain tax-related deadlines for victims of wildfires and straight-line winds in New Mexico. The tax relief postpones various tax filing deadlines that began April 5, 2022.

May 13 2022

Industry & Regulatory News

Small Business Retirement Proposals Introduced in Senate

May 11, 2022 – Senator John Hickenlooper (D-CO) has introduced two retirement bills in the Senate. The Simplifying Small Business Retirement Savings Act, co-sponsored by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), would require a group of plans filing a single Form 5500 under the SECURE Act to have an individual audit opinion for each plan that would otherwise be subject to an audit requirement. Additionally, the proposal would allow the designation of a fiduciary (other than an employer) to be responsible for collecting contributions to the plan in a pooled employer plan (PEP). The bill also directs the Secretary of Labor to conduct a study on PEPs.

The Incentivizing Small Business Retirement Savings Act would provide a tax credit for employer contributions of up to $1,000 per non-highly compensated employee, with a 2 percent reduction or phaseout of the credit for each employee that exceeds 50 employees. The credit would equal 100 percent in the first tax year and would be reduced by 25 percent each tax year for years 2-4.

May 11 2022

Industry & Regulatory News

Financial Freedom Act Proposed in Senate

May 10, 2022 – Senator Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) has introduced the Financial Freedom Act, legislation aimed at prohibiting the Department of Labor (DOL) from restricting the types of investments that plan participants can choose through participant directed accounts and self-directed brokerage accounts. The bill is in response to regulatory guidance released by the DOL and announced in March.

May 10 2022