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February 12, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Defined Benefit Plan Administrator
for Chicago area TPA firm in IL

Business Development Representative
for Next Generation Trust Services in NJ

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Smaller but growing TPA Firm in CO

Pension Plan Administrator
for White Plains, NY in NY

Relationship Manager
for Verisight, Inc. in CA

DB Data Administration Analyst
for Milliman in TX

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Webcasts and Conferences

New EPCRS Procedures
in California on February 21, 2013 presented by Western Pension & Benefits Council - Orange County Chapter

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2013-11: 25-Year Average Segment Rates and Adjusted 24-Month Average Segment Rates Used for Pension Funding for Plan Years Beginning in 2013 (PDF)
"Based on the segment rates from October 1987 to September 2012, the 25-year averages for the period ending September 30, 2012, of the first, second, and third segment rates are 5.81, 7.23 and 7.95 percent, respectively. In prior notices, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service issued 24-month average segment rates that did not reflect the adjustment required ... for plan years beginning in 2013. The table [in this Notice] contains previously issued 24-month average segment rates without adjustment, and, for plan years beginning in 2013, the adjusted 24-month average segment rates taking into account the 85-115% corridor around the 25-year average segment rates[.]" (Internal Revenue Service)


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[Guidance Overview]

Corporate Shares Transferred in Trustee-To-Trustee Transfer to Retirement Plan in Corporate Spin-Off Were Employer Securities
"The two companies, after the spin-off, were no longer affiliated employers. In addition, the one corporation was no longer the employer of the participants in the retirement plan.... Thus, the investment restriction on these shares, which prevents the participants from purchasing more of the shares, does not cause the retirement plan to violate Code Sec. 401(a)(35)." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Small Businesses Can Still Fund a SEP IRA for 2012
"SEP IRAs can be established and funded as late as the business owner's tax filing deadline, including extensions. This means that your clients still have time to establish and fund a SEP IRA for 2012.... The maximum amount that can be contributed to an employee's account is the lesser of 25% of the employee's compensation- such as W-2 wages, or $50,000. For this purpose, compensation is capped at $250,000. Further, the percentage is reduced to 20% of the individual's modified net profit, for those whose contribution is based on Schedule C income." (Appleby Retirement Consulting Inc.)

'Serious Games' Help HR Explain Retirement Benefits
"Over the past several years, more companies have been using game mechanics -- referred to as gamification -- to help employees understand safety policies, adopt a healthy lifestyle and learn about the culture and values of their organization.... the same couldn't be said about those that address retirement, an often confusing and complex benefit. Until now, that is ... [Two companies] have recently introduced serious games for employees to better understand their retirement benefits and encourage participation in retirement plans." (Human Resource Executive Online)

CalSTRS Board Provides Options for Saving Teacher Pensions to California Legislature
"The choice that CalSTRS financial analysts recommend would boost [contributions], currently about $6 billion, by $4.5 billion per year, starting next year. That amount, a whopping 75 percent increase per year -- would be borne mostly by the state and by K-12 and community college districts, as employers and not by current employees." (EdSource)


[Advert.]

Register Today for PSCA's Premier One-Day DC Plan Conference

Sponsored by PSCA (Plan Sponsor Council of America)

Join top DC plan experts March 6 at this unique conference designed to educate plan sponsors about the latest issues and trends affecting the DC industry. Gain the tools you need to manage your plan effectively. Register by Feb. 15 and save $100.


SEC Fiduciary Delay Costing Retirement Investors $1 Billion per Month
"Two years ago, the SEC's botched proposal for a uniform fiduciary standard was greeted with a uniform chorus of derision from both Congress and the brokerage industry. The biggest complaint was the alleged 'cost' to investors should the SEC hold brokers to the same standard as it holds Registered Investment Advisers ... The SEC asked the industry to show evidence of this cost, but ... never seemed to provide the promised smoking gun.... [A recent] academic research study ... may have finally supplied the much anticipated evidence of cost -- but with a surprising twist." (Fiduciary News)

Recently Released PBGC Reports Focus on Multiemployer Plans
"This Bulletin summarizes the key points in three reports to Congress on the approximately 1,500 multiemployer defined benefit pension plans covered by the PBGC. The reports signal that the PBGC's multiemployer program has problems." (Segal)

FASB Testing the Water for Possible Pensions Accounting Project
"The Financial Accounting Standards Advisory Council plans to conduct a survey this year 'to gather information about potential agenda items for the FASB, including pensions,' [according to Christine L. Klimek, senior manager, media relations and executive communications]. 'Based on what we learn from the survey, it is possible that pensions will be identified as one of the areas that stakeholders want us to address by adding a project to our agenda.'" (Pensions & Investments)

Boomer Couples Should Work with a Financial Advisor to Boost Retirement Confidence
"While married Boomers appear to be more likely to save, exhibit better planning habits, and have a more positive disposition regarding their financial security in retirement, IRI found significant room for improvement as less than 40 percent of Boomer couples are confident in attaining financial security in retirement." (Insured Retirement Institute)

More and More, It's an Older Women's World
"[W]omen -- only 20 percent of the aged 55-plus labor force in 1948 -- were 39 percent in 1980 and 47 percent last year. So when we think about the older workforce, who those workers are, what they are doing, and the barriers they may face in finding and keeping a job, we need to keep in mind that nearly one in two of those workers now is a woman." (The Huffington Post)

Baltimore Mayor Proposes Major Pension Reform in Bid to Stave Off Bankruptcy
"In addition to ending pensions for new hires and implementing a defined-contribution retirement plan, [Baltimore Mayor Stephanie] Rawlings-Blake also proposed forcing current city employees to contribute to their pension plans for the first time.... New police officers would get a 50-50 split between a defined-benefit pension and a defined-contribution plan under the mayor's proposal." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Why More Americans Are Working Past Age 65
"A recent Conference Board survey found that 62 percent of people ages 45 to 60 plan to delay retirement, up from 42 percent in 2010.... [S]ome of the reasons people are increasingly working during the traditional retirement years:... Lingering effects of the recession.... Low interest rates.... Shift to 401(k)s.... Higher Social Security retirement age.... Longevity." (U.S.News and World Report)

[Opinion]

A Solution for Illinois Public Employee Pensions: Use Social Security Formula
"Social Security is based on inflation-adjusted earnings averaged over 35 years, while Illinois pensions are usually based on the (often spiked) four highest income years. Cost of living adjustments for Social Security are based on inflation while Illinois pensions increase 3 percent annually, in excess of recent inflation. Social Security replaces about 45 percent of average wages, compared to the Illinois pension's 75 percent. Finally, Social Security benefits increase very little on wage levels over $58,000 and there are no benefits on wages in excess of $113,000. Illinois provides the same 75 percent wage replacement on high incomes as it does on lower incomes -- and it is these higher income benefits that are bankrupting the pension system and the state." (The State Journal-Register)

[Opinion]

Article Critical of CalPERS Misses the Point
"I [Leo Kolivakis] can sum up the basic problem of what plagues CalPERS and many other U.S. public pension funds in one sentence: 'It's all about governance, stupid!!!'. And governance of a pension plan isn't just about getting pension investments right. It's much more comprehensive and includes administration of pension benefits, communication, and plan funding.... [M]y biggest beef with [a recent article by Steven Malanga, senior editor of City Journal and a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute] and all these articles is that they paint an overly dire picture of public pension funds and they propagate many myths to conveniently make their case." (Pension Pulse)

[Opinion]

IBM 401(k) Participants Need Their Own 'Shadow' Fiduciary to Guard Retirement Benefits
"The existing legal framework is, and has for decades been, failing participants in retirement plans of all stripes ([DB], as well as [DC]) ... [The author's] advice to IBM's 401(k) participants is that they establish their own 'shadow' 401(k) fiduciary, or retirement benefits guardian, whose role will be to vocally represent their interests solely.... The goal is to prevent an employer-retirement plan sponsor with infinite resources, assisted by expert advisors, and limited incentive to tell the truth, from using arcane devices to pursue its own objectives whilst workers are kept in the dark." (Forbes)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

IRS Reopens Online PTIN System
"On Friday, Jan. 18, 2013, the United States District Court for the District of Columbia enjoined the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing the regulatory requirements for registered tax return preparers. In accordance with this order, tax return preparers covered by this program are not required to complete competency testing or secure continuing education. The ruling does not affect the regulatory practice requirements for CPAs, attorneys, enrolled agents, enrolled retirement plan agents or enrolled actuaries. On Friday, Feb. 1, the court modified its order to clarify that the order does not affect the requirement for all paid tax return preparers to obtain a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). Consistent with this modification, the IRS has reopened the online PTIN system." (Internal Revenue Service)

Here Are The Benefits Same-Gender Military Couples Will Receive
"[T]he two most important benefits -- subsidized health care (TRICARE) and housing allowances -- were not included.... [A White House] memo helpfully lists the benefits that same-gender military spouses or domestic partners are entitled to immediately.... Those benefits [do include]: ... Thrift Savings Plan Beneficiary [and] Survivor Benefit Plan Beneficiary for Retirees." (Reuters via Yahoo News)

Press Releases

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