Public Sector 401, 403 and 457 Plans Course Outline

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The management of government deferred compensation and defined contribution plans has changed significantly during the past decade. With these changes have come unprecedented new responsibilities for decision makers, as these plans are not only subject to federal legislative requirements, IRS audits and often state-specific law but also public scrutiny. This session was developed specifically to educate public sector decision makers on the practical application of fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities under the Internal Revenue Code and state law as it applies specifically to retirement plans.

This session covers the foundation of plan due diligence and educates decision makers on the practical application of fulfilling their fiduciary responsibilities. We cover fiduciary responsibilities as they relate to client-specific plans as well as the broader fiduciary functions of plan sponsors. 

This session explores proven tools and strategies for efficiently navigating fiduciary responsibilities as well as understanding plan design and investment options, regulatory requirements, successful plan provider negotiations and RFPs. Attending this session will provide new ideas and proven examples of how to approach complex responsibilities strategically and successfully to improve employee retirement security.

Day 1

A. Course Introduction 

1. Introductions of instructors and students
2. Housekeeping items
3. Course overview

B. Historical Public Sector Characteristics
1. Defined benefit (DB) plans
2. Defined contribution (DC) plan options
3. Hybrid pension plans
4. Social Security alternative 

C. Defined Contribution Oversight and Responsibilities 
1. Roles of federal government, state government, provider/employer
2. Eligibility 
3. Enrollment 
4. Beneficiaries 
5. Qualified domestic relation orders (QDROs)
6. Employment changes 
7. Distributions

D. Changing Employer Responsibilities
1. Small Business Job Protection Act
2. IRS Interpretive Bulletin 96-1
3. Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA)
4. Treasury regulations
5. Sarbanes-Oxley Act
6. Pension Protection Act 
7. Worker, Retiree and Employer Protection Act
8. Small Business Jobs Act of 2010
9. DOL regulations 
10. Prospective legislation/regulation 

E. Employer Trends in Meeting Responsibilities
1. Organization of function
2. Management of responsibilities
3. Using marketplace competition

Day 2

F. Options and Trends

2. Loans
3. Sidecar/deemed IRAs
4. Investment advice
5. Asset allocation models
6. Employer matching
7. Multi- to single provider
8. Automatic enrollment
9. Managed accounts
10. GASB (retiree health accounts)

G. Managing Investment Oversight
1. Investments 101 
2. Internal oversight
3. Importance of coordinating with DB plan
4. Coordinating with DB plan
a. Calculation of DB amount
b. Integration with DC assets
5. Discussion with DB/DC managers

H. Developing Educational Programs
1. Decision maker education and training 
2. Participant education 

I. Case Study
Attendees will discuss a fictional city’s DC plan, addressing various challenges, including a disengaged, dysfunctional oversight committee that has not received training for over six years; an outdated plan document; no contracts on file for the three providers, who also have no structure or coordination; 120 investment choices with extremely high fees; low participation among the city’s employees; inconsistent legal requirements; and more. Attendees will apply learnings from the course to identify and recommend strategies for the city to meet these challenges.