Reducing PBGC variable rate premiums: contribution timing

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation variable-rate premiums have been going up dramatically. The simple way to think about this premium is as a tax on underfunding. That tax went from 0.9% in 2013 to 2.4% in 2015. In 2016 it will be 2.9% or 3.0% (the percentage is indexed to average national wage increases) – more… Read More

GAO issues de-risking report

On February 26, 2015, the Government Accountability Office issued a report: Participants Need Better Information When Offered Lump Sums That Replace Their Lifetime Benefits. The report provides a useful summary of the current state of de-risking, focusing on transactions in which participants are offered a ‘lump sum window’ – a limited-time offer to certain participants… Read More

2015 Pension de-risking

In this article we discuss how changes in interest rates, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation premiums, the new Society of Actuaries mortality tables and regulatory developments may affect plan sponsor decisions to de-risk (or not de-risk) defined benefit plan liabilities in 2015. For purposes of this article, by de-risking we mean paying out a participant’s benefit… Read More

Final funding notice regulation released by DOL

On January 30, 2015, the Department of Labor released a final regulation on the content and form of the annual funding notice generally required to be provided by plan administrators of defined benefit plans. The regulation is effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2015. In this article we review the final… Read More

Obama Administration 2015 budget: Retirement Provisions

On February 2, 2015 the Administration released its 2016 fiscal year budget. The 2016 budget includes a number of proposals affecting retirement plans. In this article we briefly review those proposals. New this year Many of the Administration’s proposals have been included in prior budgets. Some, however, are new, and we begin with those. Encourage… Read More

2015 Retirement savings proposals from the Obama administration

The Administration’s middle class tax initiative, announced by President Obama in his 2015 State of the Union speech, includes several retirement savings-related proposals. In connection with the State of the Union speech, the White House released a fact sheet describing the Administration’s proposals. In this article we briefly review those that relate to retirement savings…. Read More

2014 review of defined benefit plan issues

In 2014 there were several major DB policy developments, including a significant extension of MAP-21 funding relief, new mortality tables and the finalization of the hybrid plan regulations on ‘market rate of return.’ In addition, the year-end federal spending deal included ERISA section 4062(e) legislation. In this article we review these developments, beginning with the… Read More

ERISA Advisory Committee on Outsourcing Employee Benefit Plan Services

In a related article we discussed the ERISA Advisory Council’s (EAC) recommendations on Facilitating Lifetime Plan Participation. In this article we very briefly review and evaluate its findings and recommendations with respect to Outsourcing Employee Benefit Plan Services. (We recently discussed outsourcing issues in detail in our article Outsourcing of defined contribution plan fiduciary function.)… Read More

PBGC’s 2014 Annual Report

On November 17, 2014, the PBGC released its FY 2014 Annual Report (PBGC operates on a September 30 fiscal year). PBGC’s annual reports have in recent years, to some degree, become lobbying instruments, highlighting PBGC’s deficit and arguing for changes in PBGC’s premium structure. The size of the PBGC deficit, highlighted in the 2013 annual… Read More

Society of Actuaries releases updated mortality tables

On October 27, 2014, the Society of Actuaries published its (new) RP-2014 Mortality Tables and Mortality Improvement Scale MP-2014, related reports, and two documents responding to comments on its exposure draft from earlier this year. We will refer to this group of documents as the SOA Report. The base mortality tables/improvement scale are unchanged from… Read More

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