Individual Retirement Accounts
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Save It for a Rainy Day: Recent Amendment Extensions for Qualified Retirement Plans, 403(b) Plans and Individual Retirement Accounts

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued needed relief to extend some amendment deadlines for non-governmental qualified retirement plans and 403(b) plans, and for individual retirement accounts (IRAs) under the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019 (SECURE Act), the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 (Miners Act), and certain provisions of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) until December 31, 2025. However, the IRS did not provide relief for all required amendments for the 2022 plan year. Plan sponsors that elected to offer COVID-related distributions or loan relief (or utilized disaster-related relief for loans or distributions under the Taxpayer Certainty and Disaster Tax Relief Act of 2020) still need to amend their plans by the end of 2022 plan year.

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When Are Cryptocurrencies Appropriate Investments for Retirement Plans and IRAs?

The US Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance for the first time on the investment of retirement plan assets in cryptocurrencies. Compliance Assistance Release No. 2022-01 cautions 401(k) plan fiduciaries to “exercise extreme care” before allowing participants to invest plan assets in cryptocurrencies because cryptocurrencies “present significant risks and challenges to participants’ retirement accounts, including significant risks of fraud, theft, and loss.” In this Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal article, McDermott Partners Andrea S. Kramer and Brian J. Tiemann outline what retirement plan fiduciaries need to know about cryptocurrency investments in the current market.

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View From McDermott: DOL Re-Proposes Regulations to Expand ERISA ‘Fiduciary’ Definition

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued proposed regulations on April 14, 2015 that would expand the types of investment advice covered by fiduciary protections under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as amended (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code). The proposed regulations would require advisers to ERISA-governed retirement plans and individual retirement accounts (IRA) to act as ‘‘fiduciaries’’ within the meaning of ERISA and the Code, subject to certain carve-outs identified by the DOL for nonfiduciary adviser services. Advisers that become fiduciaries under the proposed regulations would be subject to ERISA fiduciary duties and prohibited from engaging in certain non-exempt transactions. The proposed regulations are accompanied by two new class prohibited transaction exemptions and amendments to several existing class exemptions, which recognize the expanded scope of ERISA’s fiduciary protections under the proposed regulations while allowing advisers to continue certain types of transactions and existing fee arrangements that would otherwise be prohibited for ERISA fiduciaries. While the proposed regulations likely would have the greatest impact on the IRA marketplace, advisers to plan sponsors, and therefore plan sponsors themselves, are likely to be impacted. Comments on the proposed regulations are due by July 21, 2015.

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Treasury Department and IRS Release Initial Lifetime Income Guidance; Additional Guidance Expected Shortly

by Joseph S. Adams, Stephen Pavlick and David Diaz

Two years after the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) jointly issued a high-profile Request for Information regarding how defined contribution plans can better provide lifetime income, the IRS and Department of the Treasury have issued some initial guidance.  DOL guidance, expected to further underscore the importance of the issue, is anticipated “in the near future.”

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