Regulatory roundup

More retirement-related regulatory news for plan sponsors, including links to detailed information.

Federal Reserve report shows DB and DC plan assets dip slightly in 4th quarter
On March 7, the Federal Reserve released its report, Flow of Funds Accounts for the United States, for the fourth quarter of 2012. The report shows that U.S. corporate defined benefit (DB) and defined contribution (DC) plans had combined assets of $6.584 trillion as of December 31, down 0.27% or $18 billion from the third quarter.

Corporate defined benefit plans had $2.332 trillion in assets as of December 31, and defined contribution plans had $4.252 trillion. DB plan assets dipped 0.51% over the previous quarter, while defined contribution assets dipped just 0.14%.

The entire report can be accessed here.

DOL issues field assistance bulletin on ERISA’s annual funding notice requirements
The Department of Labor (DOL) has issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2013-1, which provides guidance to the Employee Benefits Security Administration’s national and regional offices on compliance by plan administrators of single-employer defined benefit pension plans with section 40211(b)(2) of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Pub. L. 112-141, 126 Stat. 405. This section of MAP-21 amended the annual funding notice requirements of section 101(f) of ERISA to require additional disclosure of the effect of segment rate stabilization on the funding of single-employer defined benefit plans. This memorandum also includes a supplement to the model annual funding notice that plan administrators of such plans may use to comply with these new requirements.

Read the entire bulletin here.

IRS issues guidance/transition relief for employers on work opportunity tax credit (Notice 2013-14)
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued Notice 2013-14 providing guidance on § 309 of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, Pub. L. No. 112-240, enacted on January 3, 2013, and transition relief for employers claiming the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) under §§ 51 and 3111(e) of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code), as extended by the Act.

Section 309 of the Act amended § 51 to extend the WOTC through December 31, 2013, for taxable employers and for qualified tax-exempt organizations. Specifically, this notice provides employers that hire members of targeted groups additional time beyond the 28-day deadline in § 51(d)(13) of the Code for submitting Form 8850, Pre-screening Notice and Certification Request for the Work Opportunity Credit, to designated local agencies (DLAs).

Notice 2013-14 will be published on March 25 in Internal Revenue Bulletin 2013-13. To read the guidance, click here.

IRS releases draft Form 5300 and instructions (Revised February 2013)
The IRS released a draft revised 2012 Form 5300 and its instructions. Form 5300, the Application for Determination for Employee Benefit Plan, is generally used to request an IRS determination that an individually designed retirement plan meets the requirements for tax qualification.

The revised draft form and the instructions have undergone revisions in the format and the information required. Some of the revisions were made under Announcement 2011-82, 2011-52 I.R.B. 1052, which eliminated demonstrations regarding coverage and nondiscrimination requirements and limited Form 5307, Application for Determination for Adopters of Modified Volume Submitter (VS) Plans applications.

For a copy of the revised draft Form 5300, click here. Also, the instructions are available here.

PBGC/GAO testified on multiemployer pension plans at House Committee summary available
On Tuesday, March 5, the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions, chaired by Rep. Phil Roe (R-TN), held a hearing entitled, “Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension Plans; Reviewing the Latest Findings by PBGC and GAO.” Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Director Joshua Gotbaum and Charles Jeszech, with the Government Accountability Office (GAO), both testified.

To watch video footage of the hearing, click here.

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