Financial health of large corporate pension plans improved modestly in 2017

The funded status of the nation’s largest corporate pension plans improved modestly at the end of 2017 compared with the end of 2016, according to recent research from Willis Towers Watson. This improvement was due to strong market returns and larger-than-expected employer contributions. According to the Willis Towers Watson analysis, the aggregate pension funded status […]

Yard-Man inferences can’t create ambiguity in CBA to find lifetime vesting for retiree health benefits

In a per curiam decision concerning vested rights to lifetime health care benefits for retirees, the Supreme Court reversed and remanded a Sixth Circuit decision that had held that the same Yard-Man inferences it once used to presume lifetime vesting could be used “to render a collective bargaining agreement ambiguous as a matter of law, […]

Democratic staff of Joint Economic Committee warns Americans’ retirement security is headed for disaster

Americans’ retirement future is shaky and Congress must immediately enact policies to secure it, according to a February 2018 report from the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee. Challenges to planning and saving for retirement include inadequate savings, stagnant wages, and limited access to low-cost and high return accounts, according to the recently-released “Retirement […]

IRS proposal to remove 298 unnecessary, obsolete regs affects retirement plan regs

The IRS has proposed removing 298 regulations, which are considered unnecessary, duplicative or obsolete. In addition, the Treasury proposes to amend another 79 regulations to reflect the proposed removal of the regulations. The regulations affected by this proposed rulemaking include retirement plan regulations. Background The Treasury began reviewing IRS regulations in response to two Executive […]

Trump’s budget cuts DOL funding by 21%, requests $15 billion in IRS funding

On February 12, 2018, the White House released President Trump’s proposed budget for fiscal year 2019, entitled “Efficient, Effective, Accountable An American Budget,” which seeks a 21% reduction in funding at the Department of Labor from the Agency’s 2017-enacted level. Trump’s 2019 request for the DOL is $9.4 billion, $2.6 billion less than the 2017-enacted […]

PBGC announces OMB approval of new forms for missing participant programs

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved a new collection of information consisting of new forms and instructions for its missing participant programs. In December 2017, the PBGC issued final regulations that expand its existing missing participants program to cover terminated 401(k) and most […]

Retirement plan dollar limitations not changed by Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017, IRS says

The IRS has announced that the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 (P.L. 115-97) does not affect the 2018 cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) for retirement plan dollar limitations. According to the IRS, the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 made no changes to the section of the tax law that limits benefits and contributions […]

EBSA highlights results of enforcement and compliance activity in FY 2017

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued the results of its enforcement and compliance activity for employee benefit plans and participants in fiscal year (FY) 2017. EBSA’s oversight authority extends to nearly 681,000 retirement plans, approximately 2.3 million health plans, and a similar number of other welfare benefit plans, such as those providing life […]

IRS provides guidance on 2018 withholding rules, issues withholding tables for 2018

The IRS has issued guidance on the federal income tax withholding rules in response to recent changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97). The IRS also has released IRS Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide for 2018, which includes the withholding guidance and tables. Background The Act made significant changes […]

Federal budget agreement includes a number of retirement-related provisions

President Trump on February 9, 2018 signed the Bipartisan Budget Act (P.L. 115-123) into law after a brief government shutdown occurred overnight. The House approved the legislation, which contains a continuing resolution to fund the government and federal agencies through March 23, in the early morning hours of February 9, by a 240-to-186 vote. The […]