Defined benefit plan

Industry & Regulatory News
IRS Issues Yield Curves and Segment Rates for DB Plan Calculations

The IRS has issued Notice 2022-29, which contains updated guidance on factors used in certain defined benefit (DB) pension plan minimum funding and present value calculations. Updates include the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates for May used under Internal Revenue Code Section (IRC Sec.) 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under IRC Sec. 430(h)(2). IRC Sec. 417 contains definitions and special rules for minimum survivor annuity requirements in DB plans. IRC Sec. 430 addresses minimum funding standards for single-employer DB plans.

June 22 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
Senate HELP Committee Releases Retirement Bill Discussion Draft

Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Richard Burr (R-NC)—chair and ranking members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee respectively—have released a discussion draft of compiled retirement provisions from several bills into the Senate’s latest version of what has been coined SECURE Act 2.0. The RISE & SHINE Act shares some similarities to, and builds upon the Securing a Strong Retirement Act bill that passed the House in March.

 

May 27 2022
Industry & Regulatory News
IRS Issues Yield Curves and Segment Rates for DB Plan Calculations

The IRS has issued Notice 2022-25, which contains updated guidance on factors used in certain defined benefit (DB) pension plan minimum funding and present value calculations. Updates include the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates for May used under Internal Revenue Code Section (IRC Sec.) 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under IRC Sec. 

May 20 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
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
IRS Proposes Update to Mortality Tables Used for DB Plans

May 3, 2022 - The Department of Treasury and Internal Revenue Service have released proposed regulations to update the mortality tables that are used to calculate minimum required contributions for single-employer defined benefit pension plans. The regulations are proposed to be first effective for plan years beginning in 2023.

Comments must be received by June 9, 2022. A public hearing on these proposed regulations has been scheduled for June 28, 2022. The regulations will be reviewed, and additional details provided as warranted.

May 03 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 Issues Yield Curves and Segment Rates for DB Plan Calculations

The IRS has issued Notice 2022-16, which contains updated guidance on factors used in certain defined benefit (DB) pension plan minimum funding and present value calculations. Updates include the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates for April used under Internal Revenue Code Section (IRC Sec.) 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under IRC Sec. 430(h)(2). IRC Sec. 417 contains definitions and special rules for minimum survivor annuity requirements in DB plans. IRC Sec. 430 addresses minimum funding standards for single-employer DB plans.

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