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Focus 03: Benefits, Rights, and Features '14
Presentor: Derrin Watson Recorded Date: 4/7/2014 Duration: 60 Min.


This program was recorded during a live presentation on April 7, 2014.

Focused Topic 03: Benefits, Rights, and Features
Mondays with Derrin and Steve

Understanding the rules regarding benefits, rights, and features is an essential part of retirement plan administration and plan design. The rules regarding benefits, rights and features are among the least understood areas of retirement plan law. The anti-cutback rule generally prohibits eliminating or reducing optional forms of benefit with regard to a participant’s existing account balance or accrued benefit. The nondiscrimination rules require that optional forms of benefit, ancillary benefits, and plan rights and features be available to a nondiscriminatory group of participants. This web seminar takes a detailed look at these rules.

When can the plan impose an age condition? When can a plan eliminate a benefit form? How can seemingly uniform transition rules associated with plan amendments end up being discriminatory? When might a feature fail the effective availability test? The speaker will address these questions and more.

Prerequisites: There are no prerequisites and no advance preparation required for this program.

Level: Intermediate

Instructional Delivery Method
Group – Internet-Based

Speaker – S. Derrin Watson, J.D., APM
Recipient of ASPPA's 2006 Educator of the Year Award

Objectives: After the seminar, attendees should be able to:

  1. Explain what is an optional form of benefit
  2. Apply the anti-cutback rule to benefit forms
  3. Determine if an exception to the anti-cutback rule applies to an amendment
  4. Distinguish between benefits, rights, and features
  5. Determine if a condition applicable to a benefit, right, or feature is exempt from nondiscrimination testing

Hardware System Requirements:

  • Windows Vista, Windows 7, or Windows 8
  • Internet Explorer 8 or later, and set browser to allow pop-up windows.
  • High-speed Internet connection.
  • 1023 x 768 or higher display resolution.
  • Soundcard and Speakers.

Software Requirements:

Program related requests, questions, or concerns may be emailed to: