Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: Some Big Changes May be in Store for the Davis-Bacon Act
The Davis-Bacon Act (DBA) has played a major role in the construction industry for over 90 years. Passed in 1931, it has been described by the Supreme Court as a “minimum wage law designed for the benefit of construction workers.” The DBA generally requires payment of locally prevailing wages under direct federal contracts and for covered contractors and their subcontractors. The employer’s obligation can be met by paying the applicable prevailing wage entirely as cash wages or by a combination of cash wages and employer-provided, bona fide fringe benefits—including pension and health benefits.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: IRS Issues Proposed MEP Rule
Employers of all types have expressed interest in learning more about multiple employer plans (MEPs). But the unified plan rule, sometimes known as the “one bad apple rule,” has discouraged some employers from pursuing MEP participation.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: U.S. House Passes Significant Retirement Bill
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (SSRA) by a 414-5 vote on March 29, 2022. H.R. 2954 (also commonly referred to as “SECURE 2.0”) contains over 50 retirement plan provisions—nearly double the number as the original Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019. The U.S. Senate is expected to take up a similar bipartisan bill later this year, which could result in the need for a conference committee to reconcile differences between the two bills.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: IRS Releases Proposed Required Minimum Distribution Regulations
After a two year wait, we have guidance regarding certain changes brought about by the SECURE Act. On February 23, 2022, the IRS released proposed regulations that revise the existing required minimum distribution (RMD) regulations and other related regulations.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: New Retirement Payment Withholding Procedure is (Finally) Final
The IRS released a new withholding form on January 4, 2022: Form W-4R, Withholding Certificate for Nonperiodic Payments and Eligible Rollover Distributions. The IRS also issued a revised Form W-4P, Withholding Certificate for Pension or Annuity Payments. As a result, payers and individuals will have a new process for calculating and electing federal income tax withholding on retirement distributions. Although the IRS will not require payers to use the new and revised forms until January 1, 2023, payers may start using them in 2022.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: House Version of "Build Back Better" Act Contains Retirement Plan and Benefits Provisions
On November 19, 2021, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 5376, the Build Back Better Act ("BBB Act" or "the Act"). Following quickly on the heels of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, the BBB Act contains several retirement and benefits provisions that may affect financial organizations, service providers, and consumers. This bill has gone through numerous revisions as it made its journey to the House floor for a vote. It will now go to the Senate, which will likely make further revisions. So the Act’s final version—if passed by both the House and Senate—may be different from the current version.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: Infrastructure Act Includes Additional Pension Funding Relief, Disaster Relief Changes, and New Digital Asset Reporting Requirements
The Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (the Act), signed by President Biden on November 15, 2021, includes extensions to the single employer pension funding relief originally provided in the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). Other provisions include modifications to the mandatory 60-day postponement period, which grants relief to taxpayers for certain tax-related acts due to federally declared disasters and new reporting requirements for transactions involving digital assets. The effective dates vary—pension funding relief provisions apply to plan years beginning after December 31, 2021; the disaster relief changes are effective for federally declared disasters that occur after November 15, 2021; and the new reporting requirements for digital assets apply to information reports required to be filed after December 31, 2023.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: Form 5500 Changes Proposed
In September 2021, the DOL, IRS, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), collectively referred to as the “Agencies”, released proposed changes to Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan. The changes are designed to implement certain provisions under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act of 2019, which require multiple employer plans (MEPs) to report additional information and allow a group of defined contribution plans to file a consolidated Form 5500. The DOL has also issued a proposed rule that would amend regulations relating to annual reporting requirements under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Other proposed changes are aimed at improving financial reporting, expanding eligibility for small plan reporting, and encouraging compliance with Internal Revenue Code-based requirements.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: IRS Makes Important Changes to Plan Correction Program
The IRS has released Revenue Procedure (Rev. Proc.) 2021-30, which contains significant updates to the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS). Employers use EPCRS to correct certain retirement plan qualification failures so that they can continue to maintain a tax-favored retirement plan. EPCRS consists of the Self-Correction Program (SCP), the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP), and the Audit Closing Agreement Program (Audit CAP). Rev. Proc. 2021-30 supersedes the previous EPCRS guidance (in Rev. Proc. 2019-19) and affects each of these three programs.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWashington Pulse: SECURE Act: The Wait is Finally Over
For the past three years, Congress has attempted to pass major retirement reform legislation. It has finally succeeded with the year-end passage of two spending packages meant to avert a government shutdown. One of the packages, the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020 (FCAA), includes multiple bills—including the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act, which contains several major retirement-related provisions. These provisions are nearly identical to those included in an earlier version of the SECURE Act that was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2019. At the time of this publication, the President had not yet signed these bills into law. But it is widely anticipated that he will.