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Pension News - What's New in 2022?

The following list tracks important guidance that are released during 2022. Except where noted, these items are summarized in detail, with appropriate commentary, in our quarterly newsletter, eRISA Update. See our Newsletters page to sign up for eRISA Update.

Last Updated: August 19, 2022

Legislative Developments

  • None

Treasury Regulations

  • Proposed regulations would incorporate SECURE Act changes into RMD regulations, including post-death distribution rules under IRC §401(a)(9)(H), the new eligible designated beneficiary definition, and the transition to age 72 mandatory commencement age; update of rules relating to rollovers, 403(b) plans and governmental 457(b) plans and other clarifications [Citation: Prop. Treas. Reg. §§1.401(a)(9)-1 through 1.401(a)(9)-8, 1.402(c)-2, 1.403(b)-6(e), 1.408-8, and 54.4974-1, 87 F.R. 10504 (February 24, 2022)]
    Text available at: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-02-24/pdf/2022-02522.pdf
  • IRS proposes to increase renewal user fee for ERPAs from $67 to $140 [Citation: Prop. Treas. Reg. §300.6, 87 F.R. 11366 (March 1, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-03-01/pdf/2022-04303.pdf
  • Proposed regulations would provide qualification protection for MEPs where a participating employer’s actions might otherwise disqualify the entire plan [Citation: Prop. Treas. Reg. §1.413-2(a)(2), (a)(3)(iv), (a)(4), and (c), and 1.413-3, 87 F.R. 17225 (March 28, 2022)]
    Text available at: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-03-28/pdf/2022-06005.pdf
  • Update to regulatory mortality assumptions under IRC §430(h)(3) proposed for post-2022 plan years [Citation: Prop. Treas. Reg. §§1.430(h)(3)-1, 1.431(c)(6)-1, 1.433(h)(3)-1, 87 F.R. 25161 (April 28, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-04-28/pdf/2022-06330.pdf

IRS Guidance

  • 2022 annual update of general procedures for obtaining Employee Plans private letter rulings, determination letters and opinion letters, and setting user fees for these rulings and letters as well VCP submissions [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2022-4, 2022-1 I.R.B. (January 3, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-irbs/irb22-01.pdf#page=164
  • IRS issues 2022 covered compensation table [Citation: Rev. Rul. 2022-2, 2022-4 I.R.B. (January 24, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-22-02.pdf
  • IRS revises calculation methods for “substantially equal payments” under IRC §72(t)(2)(A)(iv) to incorporate new RMD life expectancy tables [Citation: Notice 2022-6, 2022-5 I.R.B. (January 31, 2022; advance release on January 18, 2022)]
    Text available at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-22-06.pdf
  • 2022 Cumulative List issued for review of 403(b) pre-approved plans submitted for Cycle 2 approval [Citation: Notice 2022-8, 2022-7 I.R.B. (February 14, 2022); advance release on January 28, 2022]
    Text available at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-22-08.pdf
  • Form 8915-F issued to handle all qualified disaster distribution reporting after 2020 [Form 8915-F/Instructions for Form 8915-F (Rev. January 2022)]
    Text available at:
    https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/f8915f--2022.pdf (Form 8915-F)
    https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-prior/i8915f--2022.pdf (Instructions to Form 8915-F)
  • IRS temporarily suspends its IRA pre-approval program [Citation: Announcement 2022-6, 2022-13 I.R.B. (March 28, 2022) (advance release on March 14, 2022)]
    Text available at: https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/a-22-06.pdf
  • Static mortality tables for IRC §430(h)(3) funding calculations for 2023valuation dates; applicable mortality tables for IRC §417(e) determinations for annuity starting dates that occur in stability periods beginning in 2023; mortality improvement rates for 2023 valuation dates [Citation: Notice 2022-22, 2022-20 I.R.B. (May 16, 2022)]
    Text available https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-22-22.pdf
  • Temporary relief that waives physical presence requirement for spousal consent if certain conditions are met is extended to December 31, 2022 [Citation: Notice 2022-27, 2022-22 (May 31, 2022; advance release on May 12, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-22-27.pdf
  • IRS will not rule on certain spinoff/termination transactions involving excess assets [Citation: Rev. Proc. 2022-28, 2022-27 I.R.B. (July 5, 2022; advance release on June 21, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-22-28.pdf
  • IRS issues guidance regarding the changes made by section 9707 of the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (the ARP), Pub. L. 117-2, to the election of alternative minimum funding standards under IRC §430(m) for a defined benefit pension plan that is a community newspaper plan or any other plan that is sponsored by an eligible newspaper plan sponsor [Citation: Notice 2022-31, 2022-29 I.R.B. (July 18, 2022; advance release on June 29, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-22-31.pdf
  • IRS extends amendment deadlines for the SECURE Act, the 2020 RMD waiver under the CARES Act, and the age 59½ in-service distribution rules under the Miner’s Act to December 31, 2025 [Citation: Notice 2022-33, I.R.B. 2022-34]
    Text available at https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/n-22-33.pdf

DOL Regulations

DOL Formal Guidance/Prohibited Transaction Exemptions

  • DOL finalizes amendments to several class exemptions to eliminate references to credit ratings, as required by the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation [Citation: Amendments to Class Prohibited Transaction Exemptions to Remove Credit Ratings Pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, 87 F.R. 12985 (March 8, 2022)]
    Text available at: https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-03-08/pdf/2022-04866.pdf
  • Proposed amendments to PTE 84-14 would clarify effect of foreign convictions and add requirements aimed at better protecting the interest of plan participants [Citation: Proposed Amendment to Prohibited Transaction Class Exemption 84-14 (the QPAM Exemption), 87 F,R, 45204 (July 27, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2022-07-27/pdf/2022-15702.pdf

PBGC Regulations and Other Guidance

EBSA Advisory Opinions, Field Assistance Bulletins and other informal guidance from the DOL

ERISA Litigation

  • Pleading sufficient to try ERISA §502(a)(3) claim seeking recovery from employer-fiduciary for alleged misleading statements regarding life insurance benefit elections made by a now-deceased participant [Citation: Delker v. MasterCard International, Inc., No. 20-3600, ___ F.3d ___ (8th Cir. January 5, 2022)]
    Text available at: https://ecf.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/22/01/203600P.pdf
  • Supreme Court vacates Seventh Circuit rejection of plaintiffs’ claims in excessive fee case because it did not consider the Tibble holding that failure to prudently monitor investment options and plan expenses is not excused by offering a sufficient number of prudent investment options [Citation: Hughes v. Northwestern University, No. 19-1401, 595 U.S. ___ (Sup.Ct. January 24, 2022)]
    Text available at: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/21pdf/19-1401_m6io.pdf
  • Arbitration agreement did not apply to ERISA §502(a)(2) claims for fiduciary breach because the claims belong to the plan, not to the employees who are subject to the arbitration agreement [Citation: Hawkins v. Cintas Corporation, No. 21-3156, ___ F.3d ___ (6th Cir. April 27, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.opn.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/22a0089p-06.pdf
  • Deficiencies in insurer’s benefit election procedures supported lower court’s grant of summary judgment in ERISA §502(a)(3) claim for additional insurance coverage [Citation: Skelton v. Radisson Hotel Bloomington, No. 21-2641, ___ F.3d ___ (8th Cir. May 6, 2022)]
    Text available at https://ecf.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/22/05/212641P.pdf
  • Named plaintiffs do not have to be invested in all of the investment options for which excessive fees are alleged in order to certify the class [Citation: Boley v. United Health Services, Inc., No. 21-2014, ___ F.3d ___ (3rd Cir. June 1, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www2.ca3.uscourts.gov/opinarch/212014p.pdf
  • Merely offering actively-managed funds as an option, which bear higher expense ratios, is not itself a violation of fiduciary prudence [Citation: Smith v. CommonSpirit Health, No. 21-5964. ___ F.3d ___ (6th Cir. June 21, 2022)]
    Text available at https://www.opn.ca6.uscourts.gov/opinions.pdf/22a0134p-06.pdf
  • Eleventh Circuit also recognizes equitable surcharge as an appropriate remedy under ERISA §502(a)(3) even though it provides for monetary relief [Citation: Gimeno v. NCHMD, Inc., No. 21-11833, ___ F.3d ___ (11th Cir. June 28, 2022)]
    Text available at https://media.ca11.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/files/202111833.pdf
  • Actuary’s assumptions to calculate withdrawal liability must be a reasonable assumption regarding the plan’s historic investment experience [Citation: United Mine Workers of American 1974 Pension Plan v. Energy West Mining Company, No. 20-7054, ___ F.3d ___ (D.C.Cir. July 8, 2022)]
    Text available at: https://www.cadc.uscourts.gov/internet/opinions.nsf/C03826AEB3E517B68525887900595CAE/$file/20-7054-1954079.pdf

Miscellaneous Guidance

  • None

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