Regulatory roundup

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

IRS extends temporary nondiscrimination relief for closed pension
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) released Notice 2017-45, which extends temporary relief under Notice 2014-5 from section 401(a)(4) nondiscrimination testing for closed defined benefit pension plans through plan years beginning before 2019. Taxpayers may continue to rely on the proposed regulations for the same period.

To read the entire notice, click here.

DOL proposes fiduciary rule delay
The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposal to extend the special transition period under sections II and IX of the Best Interest Contract Exemption and section VII of the Class Exemption for Principal Transactions in Certain Assets Between Investment Advice Fiduciaries and Employee Benefit Plans and IRAs. The document also proposes to delay the applicability of certain amendments to Prohibited Transaction Exemption 84-24 for the same period.

To learn more about the DOL’s proposal, click here.

DOL states fiduciary rule’s arbitration ban won’t be enforced
The DOL released Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-3, “Enforcement Policy on Arbitration Limitation in the Best Interest Contract Exemption and Principal Transaction Exemption.” The bulletin states that the DOL will not pursue a claim against any fiduciary based on failure to satisfy the Best Interest Contract (BIC) Exemption or the Principal Transactions Exemption, or treat any fiduciary as being in violation of either of these exemptions, if the sole failure of the fiduciary to comply with either the BIC Exemption or the Principal Transactions Exemption is a failure to comply with the Arbitration Limitation in section II(f)(2) and/or section II(g)(5) of the exemptions.

This policy will continue to apply as long as the exemptions include the Arbitration Limitation now found in section II(f)(2) and/or section II(g)(5). To the extent that circumstances give rise to the need for other relief, including prohibited transaction relief, the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) will consider taking such additional steps as necessary.

For more information, click here.

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