Our View

Lump Sum Windows: Focus on the Participants' Experience

Written by Katherine Tange-duPré, CEBS and Sarah Powers

Lump sum windows have become extremely popular among defined benefit plan sponsors thanks to increasing PBGC premiums, expected improvement to future mandated mortality tables, interest rate changes, and the desire to de-risk. This article focuses on best practices to optimize the participants' experience, as this will influence the overall success of the lump sum window.

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Note to Employers and Group Health Plan Sponsors - Take a Post-election Deep Breath

Written by Jason Rothman, J.D. and Bruce Davis

Throughout the past twelve to eighteen months, the American public has been hearing about the actions different presidential candidates would take with regards to health insurance (i.e., Obamacare), minimum wages and various other labor, employment and employee benefits matters. Today, Donald Trump is officially our new President-Elect. This raises an important question — what should employers be considering today related to such employee benefit matters?

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Society of Actuaries Updates Mortality Table

Written by David Davala, EA, MAAA

On October 20, 2016, the Society of Actuaries released their annual update to the RPEC_2014 mortality table model and improvement scale. The new model incorporates three additional years of U.S. mortality data (2012-2014). The model's year-over-year stability was also enhanced by modifying two input variables. The updated improvement scale based on this version is named MP-2016.

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DB to DC Plan Transitions: Thinking Long Term

Written by Alex Kamm, QPA

When designing an appropriate DB to DC transition strategy, a plan sponsor must address the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) coverage and nondiscrimination requirements with their proposed plan design. Meeting these conditions may be relatively easy at the outset, but turnover in the organization over time may result in compliance issues in future years. In such a case, the plan sponsor may eventually need to seek alternative—and perhaps costly—testing options as well as changes in plan design in order to stay compliant.

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Hot Topics in Executive Compensation

Written by Brad Smith

A recent annual symposium on Executive Compensation reveals several observations.

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HR Process Optimization: Get Rid of the Crappy Stuff

Written by Tara Morey

What's the "crappy stuff" in your business? Sometimes the crappy stuff is hard to discern amongst multiple processes, deadlines, heavy workloads, stretched resources and even the routines that make up our workdays. Transforming an organization – making it better, even best in class – can start by taking four actions.

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Mortality Table Update

Written by Matt Klein

On September 2, 2016, the IRS announced in Notice 2016-50, the mortality basis to be used for 2017 minimum funding requirements calculations as well as for lump sum determinations. The guidance confirmed what many experts had been predicting for the last couple months - no meaningful changes to the mortality table will be made for 2017. The mortality tables will continue to use 2000 as the base year, with a projection for mortality improvements using a static scale.

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When Selecting HR Technology, Don't Rule Out the RFP Process

Written by Tara Morey

An RFP exercise, to help narrow down the number of potential technology vendors, can be very helpful for organizations looking to make a technology transition or upgrade.

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Changing Pension Service Administration: When It Makes Sense and How to Get Started

Written by Mark Ohnsted

The decision to outsource or change pension benefits administration providers is not reached on a whim. Most organizations that self-administer or already outsource their defined benefit plans rightly take the view that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But maybe it is broken and time to consider your options.

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