Defined Benefit Plans

News & Analysis as of

IRS Issues Final and Proposed Hybrid Plan Regulations

On September 19, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS") released additional final regulations clarifying the rules regarding hybrid defined benefit pension plans. At the same time, the IRS also issued proposed regulations...more

The First Step to Maximizing DC Plan Value is to Understand the Problem (Part I)

These days when people who work in the pension industry talk about the various options available to develop an effective pension risk management strategy, they are fond of pointing out that when it comes to looking at the...more

Final and Proposed Regulations on Hybrid Pension Plans

Plan sponsors have been granted limited relief to bring cash balance interest crediting rates into compliance. On September 18, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published final and proposed regulations for cash...more

PBGC Intends to Monitor Lump-sum and Annuity Cashouts Under Defined Benefit Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) stated in a filing published in the Federal Register on September 23, 2014, that it intends to require that plan sponsors report to the PBGC “certain undertakings” to cashout or...more

For Pension Plans – To Risk or to De-Risk: That is the Question!

U.S. private-sector retirement plans are voluntary in nature. There is no legal requirement that employers adopt or contribute to retirement plans in addition to the social security system. However, once established,...more

When Did You Last Amend Your Section 125 Cafeteria or Flexible Benefit Plan? Now May Be A Good Time to Dust It Off and Update It

Section 125 Plans, which are commonly referred to as either cafeteria plans or flexible benefit plans, are much loved, and needed, if you want to allow employees to pay health insurance and other premiums on a pre-tax basis....more

Monthly Benefits Update

On August 8, President Obama signed legislation that extends certain “pension smoothing” provisions in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21) Act that was signed in 2012. This pension funding relief will...more

Monthly Benefits Update - July 2014

Two federal appeals courts issued contradictory rulings on the validity of subsidies for the purchase of health insurance under the federal marketplace established pursuant to the Affordable Care Act (ACA). On July 22, a...more

Advisors Advantage - August 2014

Dealing with adversity. It's about how you deal with it. I'm a huge Aerosmith fan since high school and it's because the music resonates with me because it reminds me of the experiences that I have gone through...more

Mitigating Longevity Risk in DC Plans

401(k) participants face the risk of outliving retirement assets. However, earlier this month, the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department issued final regulations that make it easier for 401(k) plans, individual...more

Quebec Proposes Reforms to Municipal Defined Benefit Pension Plans

On June 12th, the Quebec government introduced Bill 3 – An Act to Foster the Financial Health and Sustainability of Municipal Defined Benefit Pension Plans in Quebec (Bill 3). Bill 3 replaces Bill 79 – An Act to Provide for...more

Employee Benefits: ERISA Fiduciary Guidance - Fairness for Defined Contribution Fees (6/14)

There has been a tremendous amount of focus on participant-assessed fees in 401(k) and 403(b) plans over the last couple of years. This has come about, in part, because of lawsuits and the Department of Labor (DOL)...more

Discriminatory Defined Benefit Plans: Finding Retirement Gold in the Least Likely of Places

We live in politically charged times. Congress seems unable to reach a consensus on anything, including where to have the annual congressional Christmas ball! Years of political crossfire over the Affordable Care Act have...more

IRS Releases Additional Rulings on Lump-Sum Windows

The practice of offering lump-sum distributions has become increasingly popular among defined benefit plan sponsors looking to decrease volatility or other defined benefit plan risks. In some situations, plan sponsors offer...more

Full disclosure: A practical guide for the HR professional when preparing the retirement plan portions of a proxy statement

In 2006, the SEC adopted rules which created the Pension Benefits Table and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Table to supplement the Summary Compensation Table. The tables mandate certain specific disclosures with respect...more

Religious Institutions Update - Lex Est Sanctio Sancta

"Church plans" are pension plans (including defined benefit or defined contribution plans) exempt (without an irrevocable election) from many of the legal requirements of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)...more

Act Now Advisory: Unions Swim Against the Tide as Pension Issues Surface for Negotiations and Organizing

Contributions to multiemployer defined benefit pension plans have been a mainstay, legacy feature of union negotiations in many industries. But the fabric of such staples may be tearing apart as employers contemplate the...more

Differentiating Pension Issues: TBPs vs. CPP

We noticed last week after the federal government’s welcome announcement to commence a consultation process on target benefit plans (TBPs) that much of the media coverage and discussion focussed on the Canada Pension Plan...more

CalPERS Declares Wall Street Journal Wrong

The California Public Employees’ Retirement System has a well-deserved rap as a taxpayer drain. So to rehabilitate its image, the pension fund has produced a “study” purporting that public-worker pensions are California’s...more

Old Days – Remembering When Small Business Had Pension Plans

We lived in politically charged times. Congress seems unable to reach any consensus on anything including where to have the annual Congressional Christmas Ball! Years of political crossfire over the Affordable Care Act have...more

NJ Federal Court Rules Pension Plan Established By Church-Controlled Hospital Not an ERISA-Exempt Church Plan

On March 31, 2014 the U.S. District Court in New Jersey held that a defined benefit pension plan established by St. Peter’s Healthcare System was not a church plan exempt under ERISA despite the fact that St. Peter’s is...more

This is What a TPA Does and Why a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Hire a Good One

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Deer Hunter. It’s a story about the Vietnam War and the post-traumatic stress disorder a group of friends from Western Pennsylvania who were drafted together and fought alongside...more

The needs of the Plan outweigh the needs of the Plan Provider

A family member once said: “there are a lot of yous (sic) and only one me.” That may not be the nicest and most selfless thing to say, but that’s something retirement plan sponsors should think when it comes to the needs of...more

Court's Tentative Decision on San Jose's Pension Reform Measure Appears to Favor City

However, the Vested Rights Doctrine Proves Fatal to Core Pension Reform Measures - A tentative decision on the legal challenges to the City of San Jose’s pension reform measure, Measure B, was released late last month....more

CalSTRS Extends Time to Elect to have Service Count Toward CalSTRS Retirement

CalSTRS recently issued new guidance that applies when a CalSTRS member changes to a new position that may not be eligible for participation in the retirement system. The guidance, found in Employer Information Circular,...more

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