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The Fiduciary Duties of 457(b) Plans and How to Mitigate Potential Risks

Fiduciaries of 403(b), 401(a) and 457(b) retirement plans have come under increased scrutiny in recent years, in part due to participant lawsuits filed against plan sponsors and the resulting media attention. In this presentation with the 457 Consulting Group, McDermott Partner Todd Solomon discusses the fiduciary duties of plan sponsors and how to mitigate potential risks. The content in these slides applies to governmental 457(b) plans.

Access the slides.




IRS Announces 2023 Limits for Health Savings Accounts, High-Deductible Health Plans and Excepted Benefit HRAs

Recently, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) announced (See Revenue Procedure 2022-24) cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for health savings accounts (HSAs), high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and excepted benefit health reimbursement arrangements (HRAs) for 2023. All of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2022 will change for 2023, with the exception of one limit. The HSA catch-up contribution for individuals ages 55 and older will not change as it is not subject to cost-of-living adjustments.

The table below compares the applicable dollar limits for HSAs, HDHPs and excepted benefit HRAs for 2022 and 2023.

NEXT STEPS

Plan sponsors should update payroll and plan administration systems for the 2023 cost-of-living adjustments and incorporate the new limits in relevant participant communications, such as open enrollment and communication materials, plan documents and summary plan descriptions.

For further information about applying the new HSA, HDHP and excepted benefit HRA plan limits for 2023, please contact your regular McDermott lawyer or one of the authors below.




New IRS Guidance for Tax-Qualified Pension Plans with Rehired Retirees Due to COVID-19

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently updated its guidance for retiree distributions under a defined benefit plan. Specifically, the new IRS guidance addresses rehires following a bona fide retirement due to COVID-19.

As a background, a defined benefit plan may make distributions to a retiree only in the case of a “bona fide retirement,” which is a facts and circumstances analysis. In prior rulings, the IRS indicated that retiree distributions without a bona fide retirement can cause a defined benefit plan to lose its tax-qualified status, where both all contributions and earnings become immediately taxable.

According to the IRS, a rehire due to COVID-19-related “unforeseen circumstances” generally would not disqualify an individual’s prior retirement from being considered a bona fide retirement under a defined benefit plan. However, the IRS cautioned that such a rehire cannot include any prearrangement to rehire the individual prior to the individual’s retirement. Such a prearrangement still yields a retirement that is not “bona fide.”

Finally, although the IRS issued this guidance in question and answer format primarily for defined benefit plans, plan sponsors should be able to apply the same rationale to distributions from defined contribution plans. In short, the new IRS guidance provides welcome relief to plan sponsors and employers who are looking to rehire retirees in a tight job market.




IRS Announces 2022 Employee Benefit Plan Limits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for various employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans for 2022. Most of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2021 will increase.

View the adjustments here.




IRS Announces 2022 Retirement Plan Limits

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for retirement plans for 2022. Most of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2021 will increase, with only the catch-up contribution limit remaining the same for 2022.

View the adjustments here.




Missing Participants, Cybersecurity Top Challenges for Plan Advisors

Missing participants and cybersecurity are among the top challenges for retirement plan advisors, according to participants at the National Association of Plan Advisors’ 2021 NAPA 401(k) Summit in Las Vegas. During the Summit’s opening day workshop session, McDermott Partner Erin Turley said advisors should make an effort to discuss cybersecurity with clients in advance of a US Department of Labor audit.

“The plan document says X, the recordkeeping agreement says Y, and maybe the (summary plan description) says something different—if it’s even addressed in the SPD,” Turley noted. “So make sure all those documents sync and your process actually matches your documents as equally.”

Read more here.




IRS Provides Further Guidance on COBRA Election and Payment Deadlines

In Notice 2021-58, the Internal Revenue Service clarified that the one-year tolling relief periods for Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) elections and initial premium payments run concurrently, not consecutively. This means that a qualified beneficiary generally will have only one year of total disregarded time for the election and initial payment periods.

Read more here.




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