Industry & Regulatory News
Industry & Regulatory NewsBill Would Provide Permanent Retirement Distribution Relief for Federal Disasters
Senators Bill Cassidy (R-LA) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) have introduced legislation that would make permanent certain rules for distributions and loans from retirement plans and IRAs in connection with federally declared disasters. This legislation is intended to aid victims by providing consistent treatment of and improving response times associated with disaster relief.
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 NewsSeries of Retirement Security Bills Reintroduced
Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Todd Young (R-IN) reintroduced four bills in the Senate this week designed to address retirement security.
Industry & Regulatory NewsPlans Retroactively Adopted Under SECURE Act Do Not Have to File 2020 Form 5500
The IRS stated in its August 6, 2021 edition of the Employee Plans newsletter that employers that adopt retirement plans during the 2021 tax year, but before their 2020 tax filing deadline (including extensions) and elect to treat the plan as effective as of the last day of the 2020 tax year, as permitted by the SECURE Act, are not required to file a Form 5500 series for the 2020 tax year.
Industry & Regulatory NewsRetirement Spotlight: IRS Finalizes Mandatory 60-Day Postponement Period for Federally Declared Disasters
The average number of natural disasters continues to rise. As a result, Congress and the IRS have tried to keep pace by providing relief for those affected by major disasters and emergencies. In December 2019, the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2019 amended Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Sec. 7508A by requiring a new mandatory 60-day postponement period for certain tax-related acts following a federally declared disaster. To help clarify the new rule, the IRS issued final regulations in June 2021. The regulations 1) explain how the new mandatory 60-day postponement period is determined, and 2) clarify how the term “federally declared disaster” is defined under IRC Sec.165.
Industry & Regulatory NewsGuidance Issued for Single-Employer Defined Benefit Funding Rules
The IRS has issued Notice 2021-48, providing guidance about changes to the funding rules for single-employer defined benefit pension plans that were made by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA). ARPA included provisions that addressed amortization relief by allowing existing shortfall amortization bases to be reduced to zero and extending funding shortfall installments for new shortfall bases to 15 years. In addition, ARPA amended segment rate minimum and maximum percentages and created an interest rate “floor” of five percent in a period of lower interest rates. These provisions are to be applied to all plans with plan years beginning in 2022 and, by election, may be adopted sooner.
Industry & Regulatory NewsProposed Tax Benefits for Retirement Saving Distributions Used for LTC Insurance
Senator Patrick Toomey (R-PA), has re-introduced the Long-Term Care Affordability Act, legislation that would permit tax-free retirement saving distributions of up to $2,500 per year—indexed for inflation—that are used to purchase long-term care insurance. The arrangements to which the legislation applies would include qualified retirement plans, 403(a) and 403(b) plans, governmental 457(b) plans, and IRAs.
Industry & Regulatory NewsGomez Nominated for EBSA Post
President Biden has nominated Lisa M. Gomez for Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA). Ms. Gomez is a partner at the law firm of Cohen, Weiss and Simon and chair of the firm’s management committee. The law firm focuses on labor, employee benefits, union governance practice, and other employment areas. Ms. Gomez has represented Taft-Hartley multiemployer pension and health plans, as well as single employer, supplemental, and federal health plans. She is a graduate of the American Bar Association’s (ABA) Labor and Employment Law’s Leadership Development Program and has held several board or committee positions with the ABA and other organizations.
Industry & Regulatory NewsWomen’s Retirement Protection Act Re-Introduced in House/Senate
Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) and Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL) have introduced the Women’s Retirement Protection Act of 2021 in their respective chambers. The legislation is intended to address what some have identified as a gap between the retirement preparedness of women compared to their male counterparts—a gap seemingly exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic. Key provisions of the legislation are as follows.
Industry & Regulatory NewsEncouraging Americans to Save Act Introduced in Senate
Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden (D-OR) and six other Democratic Senators have introduced the Encouraging Americans to Save Act (EASA).
The legislation is similar to past proposals introduced by Senator Wyden and other co-sponsors and includes the following.