Defined contribution plan

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
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
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
Industry & Regulatory News
SEC Extends Comment Period for ESG Reporting Proposal

May 9, 2022 – The SEC has extended the period to comment on its proposed rule regarding climate-related disclosures initially released in March, and published in the federal register on April 11, 2022. The proposal would require publicly traded companies to include certain climate-related disclosures in registration statements and periodic reports such as the annual Form 10-K. Additional details were previously announced in March. The comment deadline was extended from May 20 2022, to June 17, 2022.

May 09 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
Proposed Lump-Sum Buyout Disclosure Legislation Reintroduced

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA), Tina Smith (D-MN), and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) reintroduced the Information Needed for Financial Options Risk Mitigation (INFORM) Act of 2022. The proposal would require pension plan sponsors to provide retirees and participants with certain information when being offered a lump-sum buyout from their defined benefit plan.

April 29 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
Washington 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.

May 02 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
DOL Launches Roundtable Discussions on Retirement

The Department of Labor (DOL) has kicked off what is to be a series of roundtable discussions on how to improve retirement security for workers. Labor Secretary Marty Walsh and Kathleen Kennedy Townsend, the Secretary’s representative for pensions and retirement, joined several state officials, trade group representatives, educators, and others in New York City to review current retirement security policies.

In the coming months, Kennedy Townsend will host similar discussions around the country to promote retirement security reform and open a dialogue between various stakeholders. Topics of focus will include encouraging automatic enrollment, improving portability of benefits as workers move from job to job, and leveraging affordable lifetime income options.

April 26 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
IRS Announces Applicable Federal Rates for May 2022

The IRS has issued Revenue Ruling 2022-9, which contains the applicable federal rates (AFR) for May 2022. These rates are used for such purposes as calculating distributions from retirement savings arrangements that meet the requirements for substantially equal periodic payments (a 10 percent early distribution penalty tax exception), also referred to as “72(t) payments.”

April 19 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
House Passes Retirement Reform Proposal

The House of Representatives has passed the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022 (which lawmakers are coining SECURE 2.0) by a 414-5 vote. H.R. 2954 was first introduced by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) and Ranking Member Kevin Brady (R-TX) in October 2020, and subsequently amended by the Ways and Means Committee last year. The bill now includes provisions from the Retirement Improvement and Savings Enhancement (RISE) Act that came out of the House Education and Labor Committee last November.

Several key provisions are highlighted below.

  • Requires automatic enrollment of eligible employees in 401(k) and 403(b) plans with certain exceptions and grandfathering provisions
  • Enhances the three-year small retirement plan start-up credit, with a maximum credit of 100 percent (vs. the current 50 percent) for employers with no more than 50 employees, and phasing out for employers that have between 51 and 100 employees
  • Provides a new credit for employer contributions to defined contribution plans of up to $1,000 per employee
  • Enhances the saver’s credit by replacing the three-tier formula with a single 50 percent credit percentage on contributions up to $2,000, with phase outs beginning at certain AGI thresholds
  • Increases the age for required minimum distributions (RMDs) from age 72 to age 73 in 2023, then age 74 in 2030, and finally age 75 in 2033
  • Increases the catch-up contribution limit for plan participants who have attained ages 62-64 to $10,000 ($5,000 for SIMPLE plans)
  • Clarifies pooled employer plan (PEP) trustee duties by indicating that any fiduciary of a pooled employer plan may be responsible for collecting contributions
  • Permits 403(b) plans to participate in multiple employer plan (MEP) arrangements, including PEPs
  • Reduces from three years to two years the period of service requirement for long-term, part-time workers, and disregards pre-2021 service for vesting purposes
  • Reduces excise tax from 50 percent to 25 percent for failures to take RMDs, and further reduces tax to 10 percent if an RMD from an IRA is corrected within a certain time frame
  • Establishes a national online “lost and found” database to connect individuals with unclaimed retirement account benefits
  • Increases the cash-out limit from $5,000 to $7,000
  • Requires defined contribution plan sponsors to provide paper benefit statements at least once annually, unless a participant elects otherwise
  • Allows employers to permit employees to elect Roth treatment of both employee and employer contributions to SIMPLE and SEP plans
  • Requires catch-up contributions made to a 401(k), 403(b), or 457(b) plan to be made on a Roth basis
  • Permits defined contribution plan sponsors to provide participants with the option of receiving match contributions on a Roth basis

Additional proposals include the following.

  • Requires the IRS to promote the saver’s credit
  • Permits 403(b) plans to invest in collective investment trusts
  • Provides for indexing of IRA catch-up contributions
  • Permits certain student loan repayments to qualify for employer retirement plan matching contributions
  • Allows a small employer joining a MEP or PEP arrangement to potentially claim a small plan start-up credit during the first three years of the MEP/PEP arrangement’s existence
  • Provides a new small employer tax credit for enhanced plan eligibility for military spouses
  • Permits immediate de minimis financial incentives, in addition to a matching contribution, to individuals for contributing to a retirement plan
  • Enhances options for correcting employee salary deferral errors
  • Defers tax for certain sales of employer stock to an employee stock ownership plan sponsored by an S Corporation
  • Expands securities treated as publicly traded in the case of employee stock ownership plans
  • Removes RMD barriers for life annuities by updating applicable actuarial test
  • Reforms qualifying longevity annuity contract rules by repealing 25 percent limit for premiums and addressing spousal survivor rights after a divorce
  • Directs agencies to review reporting and disclosure requirements and report to Congress
  • Exempts defined contribution plans from sending otherwise required notices to certain individuals who are eligible but do not participate in the plan
  • Expands failures eligible for self-correction under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System
  • Eliminates “first day of the month” deferral election requirement for governmental 457(b) plans
  • Expands types of distributions that can be considered IRA qualified charitable distributions and excluded from income
  • Adds private sector firefighters to those qualified public safety employees eligible for distribution penalty exception at age 50
  • Excludes certain disability-related first responder retirement payments from income after retirement age
  • Clarifies the statute of limitations for taxes on prohibited transactions with regard to IRAs to include the date such return would have been due
  • Allows otherwise excludable employees from a defined contribution plan to be excluded from determination of whether top-heavy requirements are met
  • Limits repayment of qualified birth or adoption distributions to three years
  • Permits participants to self-certify that deemed hardship distribution conditions are met in certain circumstances
  • Permits participants who self-certify that they have experienced domestic abuse to withdraw the lesser of $10,000 or 50 percent of their account without being subject to the 10 percent early distribution penalty tax. The funds could be repaid to the plan over three years.
  • Makes changes to stock attribution rules under family attribution for coverage and nondiscrimination testing
  • Permits discretionary amendments that increase benefits to participants to be adopted by the due date of the employer’s tax return
  • Permits new 401(k) plans established after the end of the taxable year but before the employer’s tax filing date to receive elective deferrals up to the due date of the employee’s tax return for the initial year when they are sponsored by sole proprietors and single-member LLCs
  • Limits only the portion of an IRA used in a prohibited transaction to be treated as distributed, as opposed to current rules disqualifying and treating the entire IRA as distributed
  • Directs the DOL to review pension risk transfer interpretive bulletin relative to conditions for discharging defined benefit plan liabilities

The legislation also includes minor technical corrections to the SECURE Act. One such correction clarifies that defined benefit plan participants other than 5 percent owners who retire after the year they turn 70½ are entitled to actuarial adjustment for the period in which they do not receive distributions. Plan amendments would be required by the last day of the first plan year beginning on or after January 1, 2024 (2026 for governmental and collectively bargained plans), and would extend these new deadlines to the SECURE Act, CARES Act, and the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act.

The bill will now head to the Senate for consideration. Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) who chairs the Senate HELP committee indicated that she and ranking member Senator Burr intend to advance companion legislation later in the spring.

March 30 2022