ERISA Roundup - Q3 2022

October 2022

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A NOTE FROM BDO’S NATIONAL ERISA PRACTICE LEADER
As the leaves change colors and we head into Fall, it is the perfect time to take stock of those retirement plan-related tasks that you may have been putting off during the plan audit and Form 5500 filing rush.

In this edition of our ERISA Roundup, we explore the benefits of clear communications during open enrollment and the importance of monitoring employee deferral limits before the end of the year. We dive into cryptocurrency investments and the impact this may have on retirement plans. Updates from the IRS and PBGC on recent program changes and amendment deadlines.
 
Staying current on ERISA topics like these is simplified with BDO as we invite you to follow along with our regular insights at www.bdo.com/erisa and our podcast series BDO Talks ERISA.

Wishing you all the best,
Beth Garner
National Practice Leader, EBP and ERISA Services
 
 

2022 Deadlines and Important Dates

Sponsors of defined benefit and defined contribution plans should keep the following deadlines and other important dates in mind as they work toward ensuring compliance for their plans in 2022. Dates assume a calendar year plan.

   
 

Stay Up to Date with Our Podcast, BDO Talks ERISA

Our ERISA Center of Excellence releases a monthly podcast - BDO Talks ERISA! This series covers best practices around all things ERISA and any other HR-related topics, including:
  • How to avoid common compliance issues
  • How to navigate the ins-and-outs of ERISA’s fiduciary provisions
  • Our own experiences working for BDO’s ERISA Services group
  • A deeper dive into the insights we share through our BDO ERISA Center of Excellence
Listen to new episodes at BDO.com/BDOTalksERISA or subscribe on Apple Podcast or Spotify. If you have suggestions for future topics or have a question for us to answer, send us an email.
 

Recent Episodes

Episode 21: SECURE 2.0, RISE & SHINE Act, and Your Retirement Savings Plan

Host Beth Garner talks to Norma Sharara, Managing Director, National Tax Office — Compensation & Benefits at BDO regarding the SECURE 2.0 Act of the House, the RISE & Shine Act of the Senate HELP Committee, and the as-yet-unnamed bill from the Senate Finance Committee, all aiming to supply greater access to workplace retirement. Beth and Norma discuss some of the provisions of each bill and how they differ, including a SECURE 2.0 provision for student loan debt.

  
Episode 22: Cryptocurrency – Understanding the Basics (Part 1)
Are you thinking about offering cryptocurrency in your retirement plan? Learn the basics. Co-hosts Beth Garner and Joanne Szupka sit down with Sterling Ingui, who is a Product Area Leader for Next Gen Retirement in Workplace Investing and NC Regional Leader at Fidelity Investments. They discuss the fundamentals of cryptocurrencies, including the definition and different types available, as well as the interesting history behind this digital currency.

 

Episode 23: Cryptocurrency – What Plan Sponsors Should Know (Part 2)

Continuing our two-part series, co-hosts Beth Garner and Joanne Szupka is joined by Dave Gray, who is on the Workplace Investing Executive Management Team and serves as the Head of Workplace Retirement Platforms, Workplace Investing for Fidelity, along with Sterling Ingui, who is a Product Area Leader for Next Gen Retirement in Workplace Investing and NC Regional Leader at Fidelity Investments. Get answers to the key questions plan sponsors might have when considering cryptocurrency as 401(k) investment options.

    
 

Insights from the ERISA Center of Excellence

We’ve compiled a collection of our latest insights to help you stay current on emerging regulations, industry trends and key topics.
 

The Great Regret Urges Plan Sponsors to Review Their Benefits Lineup

We have all heard of the Great Resignation, a term coined to describe the millions of employees that left their jobs since the onset of the COVID pandemic in 2020. Many employees who moved on to another job are having second thoughts about their decision—a new phenomenon that is being referred to as the Great Regret.

   

Plan Sponsor Alert: Cryptocurrency Investments and the DOL’s Warning

Cryptocurrencies and the volatility of the digital currency market have garnered a lot of attention in the retirement plan industry over the past few years. The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a stern warning about cryptocurrencies on investment menus and brokerage platforms within 401(k) plans. Since the release of the warning, third-party plan providers have responded with differing stances on the guidance released.  Some 401(k) providers believe that the DOL has gone too far.

   

Plan Sponsor Alert: IRS 90-Day Pre-Examination Pilot Program

The Internal Revenue Service has provided selected qualified retirement plans a chance to inspect and potentially self-correct any compliance issues through a new 90-day pre-examination pilot program announced in the June 3 Employee Plans newsletter. The agency says the pilot program’s goal is to reduce taxpayer burden by lowering the number of full-scope examinations.

   

Plan Sponsor Alert: Avoid Employee Deferral Limit Excesses

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) determines how much 401(k) plan participants can defer into their plan accounts, but many plan participants sometimes fail to fully understand or keep these deferral limits top of mind. Participants exceed 401(k) deferral limits for a variety of reasons. While the filing deadline for on-time tax filers has passed for 2022, now is a good time to start discussing deferral limits so plan sponsors and participants can avoid any last-minute scrambling to correct issues in 2023.

   

Plan Sponsor Alert: Considerations for Clear Communication During Open Enrollment

In today’s labor market, benefits can be a valuable tool for employers to retain talent. Employers may feel that they are preparing employees for open enrollment by only offering the necessary information right before the open enrollment process. But a recent report from the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association (LIMRA) showed a significant lack of understanding of the benefits being offered. Thirty percent of employees said they didn’t know whether their employers offered major insurance benefits like medical, dental, and vision, while more than half were uncertain whether employers offered any retirement benefits.

   

Plan Sponsor Alert: PBGC Finalizes Rules to Assist Failing Multiemployer Plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) on July 6, 2022, announced a final rule implementing changes to the Special Financial Assistance (SFA) Program for financially troubled multiemployer pension plans. The final rule includes significant developments and amendments to the interim final rule (IFR).

   

Why HR Due Diligence is an Important Step in a Transaction

'Workforce in Transactions' or 'Human Resources Due Diligence' evokes different ideas for different people. We often get asked "what is Workforce in Transactions?" and "why do Human Resources Due Diligence?" This article will aim to cover both questions, including our top eight reasons why organizations should perform HR Due Diligence.

   

IRS Extends Retirement Plan Amendment Deadlines

The IRS on August 3 announced it would extend by three years the deadline for amending retirement plans or individual retirement arrangements (IRAs) to reflect certain provisions under the SECURE Act, the Bipartisan American Miners Act of 2019 and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.