Tag Archives: Bureau of Labor Statistics

Regulatory roundup

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

BLS publishes chart on lump-sum distributions related to DC plans
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) has published a new chart highlighting the most common payment option for participants in defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. According to the BLS, “As workers approach retirement, they might wonder how their retirement savings will be paid out. Among private industry workers in defined contribution plans in 2017, most participated in savings and thrift plans (73 percent). Other common plan types include deferred profit sharing (25 percent) and money purchase pensions (18 percent). A lump sum was the most common payment option available to workers in these plans. A lump sum provides retiring workers the full amount of their retirement savings and earnings with no further benefits received from the plan.”

To learn more, click here.

Final rule aimed at improving investors’ experience issued by SEC
The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a final rule aimed at improving investors’ experience when investing in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and other investment vehicles. The rule permits asset managers to deliver shareholder reports by making them publicly accessible on a free website and sending investors a paper notice of each report’s availability via mail. If an investor prefers to continue receiving shareholder reports by mail, they may do so. The new rule goes into effect January 21, 2021.

To learn more about the final rule, click here.

Regulatory roundup

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

IRS releases guidance on withholding rules for 2018
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has published Notice 2018-14 providing guidance on withholding rules. This notice extends the effective period of Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, furnished to claim exemption from income tax withholding under section 3402(n) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) for 2017 until February 28, 2018.

For more information, click here.

Nearly one in five workers had access to financial planning benefits
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about one-fifth of private industry workers were offered free or subsidized financial planning services from their employers in 2017. These services help employees make decisions about savings, borrowing, investing, home buying, education expenses, or retirement. While union and nonunion workers had similar rates of access to financial planning services, access varied based on size of establishment, wage level, and industry.

For more information, click here.

COLAs for retirement, Social Security, and health benefits for 2018

With the release of the September 2017 Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) figures for Social Security and retirement plan benefits, respectively, for 2018. The 2018 adjusted figures for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) included in this Client Action Bulletin were released by the IRS earlier this year and are provided here for convenience.

Regulatory roundup

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

IRS issues memo on the application of section 409A to back-to-back arrangement
The Office of Chief Counsel of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has issued a memorandum (No. 201725027) on the application of section 409A to back-to-back arrangement. According to the memo, “Treas. Reg. Section 1.409A-3(i)(6) provides that the amount of the payment under the ultimate service recipient plan may not exceed the amount of the payment under the intermediate service recipient plan. Therefore, the USR Plan fails to meet the requirements of section 409A because the USR Plan provision providing for a payment to Taxpayer in the event of a Participant’s separation from service before vesting is an impermissible payment event.”

For more information, read the entire memo here.

Higher-paid workers more likely to have access to retirement benefits
According to data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “Sixty-six percent of private industry workers had access to employer-provided retirement plans in March 2016. Having access means employers offered the benefit, regardless of whether employees chose to participate. Forty-nine percent of private industry workers participated in retirement plans in March 2016. That results in a take-up rate—the percentage of workers with access to a plan who participate in the plan—of 75 percent. Access, participation, and take-up rates were all higher for workers in higher wage groups than for workers in lower wage groups.”

To learn more about the BLS’s data, click here.

Regulatory roundup

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

BLS article explores defined contribution retirement plans
A new article from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) takes a look at five types of employer-sponsored defined contribution retirement plans in private industry. The Beyond the Numbers article shows the overall employee participation rates, employee participation rates by type of plan, and overall employer costs and worker participation costs for all types of plans. All defined contribution plans described in this article have some form of employer cost. Plans are categorized by type on the basis of Internal Revenue Code requirements and variations in contribution methods. The data are from the BLS National Compensation Survey (NCS) and are presented by selected worker and establishment characteristics and geographic areas.

To read the entire article, click here.

CBO releases options for reducing the deficit, 2017 to 2026
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released “Options for reducing the deficit: 2017 to 2026,” presenting 115 options that would decrease federal spending or increase federal revenues over the next decade. The options included in this volume come from various sources. Some are based on proposed legislation or on the budget proposals of various administrations; others come from Congressional offices or from entities in the federal government or in the private sector. The options cover many areas—ranging from defense to energy, Social Security, and provisions of the tax code.

To download the report, click here.

GASB issues guidance on certain asset retirement obligations
The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) issued guidance for state and local governments addressing liabilities known as “asset retirement obligations.” An asset retirement obligation (ARO) is a legally enforceable liability associated with the retirement of a tangible capital asset. GASB Statement No. 83, Certain Asset Retirement Obligations, establishes guidance for determining the timing and pattern of recognition for liabilities and corresponding deferred outflows of resources related to AROs.

Existing laws and regulations require state and local governments to take specific actions to retire certain capital assets, such as the decommissioning of nuclear reactors and the dismantling and removal of sewage treatment plants. Other obligations to retire certain capital assets may arise from contracts or court judgments.

To read the entire GASB statement, click here.

COLAs for retirement, Social Security, and health benefits for 2017

With the release of the September 2016 Consumer Price Index (CPI) by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) have announced cost-of-living adjusted figures for Social Security and retirement plan benefits, respectively, for 2017. The 2017 adjusted figures for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) included in this Client Action Bulletin were released by the IRS earlier this year and are provided here for convenience.