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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 25, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Services (Operational / Technical) Project Manager
for Enterprise Iron Financial Industry Solutions in ANY STATE

Consultant, Defined Benefit/Defined Contribution (DB/DC)
for Sentinel Benefits & Financial Group in NY

Retirement Services Manager
for Doherty Employer Services in MN

Business Retirement Compliance Administrator
for COUNTRY Financial in IL

Retirement Plan Administrators
for MVP Plan Administrators, Inc. in NC

Part Time On Call Retirement Planning Consultant
for Diversified in CA, MO, NC, UT

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Webcasts and Conferences

"403(b) Plans for 401(k) Practitioners" - A 3-part Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 26, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"403(b) Plan Corrections: Correcting Under the New EPCRS Procedure" Web Seminar
Nationwide on March 21, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

WiPN Networking Events for members and those interested in membership - Seattle February 26 and Las Vegas March 3
Nationwide on February 26, 2013 presented by Women in Pensions Network

"Earned Income: Computing Compensation for the Self-employed 2013" Web Seminar
Nationwide on March 19, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"ERISA Recapture Accounts, Forfeiture Allocations & Lost Participants" Web Seminar
Nationwide on March 26, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Workshop: Code 409A and 457(f)" - A 3-part Web Seminar
Nationwide on March 19, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"VCP Under EPCRS 2013: Step-by-Step" Web Seminar
Nationwide on March 28, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Amendments: Procedures, Timing, Cutbacks & Other Issues" Web Seminar
Nationwide on April 2, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"IRS Form 5330: Line-by-Line" Web Seminar
Nationwide on April 4, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"Understanding 409A Change Elections" Web Seminar
Nationwide on April 3, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"409A Corrections" Web Seminar
Nationwide on April 5, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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[Guidance Overview]

New Commodity Pool Rules May Require Immediate Action by 401(k) Plans
"New regulations adopted in 2012 by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission ('CFTC') may require 401(k) plans that had previously registered as exempt from CFTC regulation to renew their exemption on an annual basis, with the first renewal being due by March 1. In addition, some plans which have not previously registered may need to do so.... The CFTC regulations provide that the fiduciaries of a retirement plan subject to ERISA are generally exempt from registration as commodity pool operators. However, if the plan provides for employee contributions, such as a 401(k) plan, the plan fiduciaries are required to file a statement with the CFTC claiming the exemption." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)


[Advert.]

Register Today! 401(k) Investment Lineup: SF 4/16 - Dallas 4/18 - CHI 4/23 - NY 4/25

Sponsored by Pensions & Investments

Free registration for qualified plan sponsors. Sponsored by Pensions & Investments - learn how to design a 401(k) offering that helps your participants generate lifetime retirement income.


[Guidance Overview]

Self-Employed Earned Income and the New Additional Medicare Tax
"Congress has imposed an additional Medicare payroll tax of 0.9% for wages above $200,000. If you are an employee, your employer will withhold that from your wages.... There is a corresponding provision for SE Tax. The questions and answers below describe this adjustment and its effect on retirement plans[.]" (SunGard Relius)

[Guidance Overview]

EPCRS Updated Under Rev. Proc. 2013-12 (PDF)
"This new version of EPCRS streamlines the Voluntary Correction Program application and submission procedure as well as making certain clarifications and modifications to the existing correction guidance." (ING)

U.S. Approves $6.8 Trillion in Pension Funds for Cleared Swaps
"The U.S. Labor Department said $6.8 trillion in pension funds can be invested in cleared swap transactions as long as certain conditions are met. The market for privately negotiated derivatives, with $639 trillion in notional value as of June, is being regulated for the first time in its three-decade history, requiring most trades to be backed by a clearinghouse where banks and brokers act as intermediaries." (Bloomberg)

IRS Retirement Plan Audit Trends and Issues
"[IRS officials at a recent meeting] gave these insights: Most audits are focused on 3 or 4 particular issues depending on the market segment (i.e., the business of the employer) and the size of the plan (generally less than 100 participants is a small plan while other plans are considered large).... There is no current targeted audit project for governmental plans. 403(b) plans will be an area of focus going forward. With regard to 401(k) audits, there will be a heavy emphasis on internal controls." (Benefits Bryan Cave)


[Advert.]

Retirement Symposium-2/12-2/13 - Special Discount $49 Registration Rate

Sponsored by Financial Advisor

Financial Advisor magazine assembles industry experts and advisors to share their insights and strategies and enhance the ability of the advisory community to assist clients who are planning for retirement or need help meeting their retirement needs.


As Economy Recovers, CalPERS May Lift Rate Lid
"CalPERS last week gave some 1,575 local governments a small increase in their annual pension costs, one of the last rates kept low by unusual actuarial policies adopted after a $100 billion investment loss five years ago.... CalPERS funding levels are low, around 70 percent. Officials fear another big investment loss could require unworkable rate hikes to get to 100 percent funding. So a risk-based investment policy is being considered to cut losses in future downturns." (CalPensions)

Ford's U.S. Pension Plans' Funding Levels Up in 2012
"At year-end 2012, the pension plans for the Dearborn, Mich.-based company, had a funding ratio of 81.3%, with $42.4 billion in assets and $52.1 billion in liabilities. That compares with a funding ratio of 80.7% at year-end 2011, when the U.S. plans had $39.4 billion in assets and $48.8 billion in liabilities[.]" (Pensions & Investments)

Seventh Circuit Holds Individuals Personally Liable for the Corporation's Withdrawal Liability from Multiemployer Pension Plan
"While passive investors are not trades or businesses for these liability purposes, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, citing a prior opinion, held that renting property to a withdrawing employer is 'categorically' a trade or business. It was undisputed that the Messinas rented property to their closely-held corporation; therefore, the Messinas were personally liable to the pension plan for the company's withdrawal liability." (Haynes and Boone, LLP)

A Trillion Dollars Later, Are Pensions Still Stuck in 2009?
"[A]s in each of the last four years, U.S. corporations began 2013 confronting a historic pension deficit. At $400 billion, the deficit is the same as in January 2009, despite sizable contributions and realized returns significantly exceeding expectations. Over the period, assets grew by $1 trillion dollars driven by $300 billion of contributions and an average investment return of 11%, realizing a premium of 3% over expected return on assets. Yet this gain was all but wiped out by the simultaneous 260 [basis points] decrease in discount rates, which pushed liabilities up by $1 trillion." (JPMorgan)

Survey Results: Multiemployer Pension Plans' 2012 Zone Status
"Between 2011 and 2012, the percentage of plans in the green zone decreased slightly to 60 percent (from 63 percent in 2011). In contrast, the percentages of yellow-zone and red-zone plans increased slightly over that period, from 13 to 14 percent and 24 to 26 percent, respectively. The average PPA '06 funded percentage for the surveyed plans was 84 percent in 2012, which represents a slight decrease from 87 percent in 2011." (Segal)

Australians Fear Retirement Nest Eggs Won't Be Big Enough
"[O]nly 30% of working Australians believing they will have enough savings to last past the age of 70, down from 36% two years ago. Only 23% felt they will have enough to last beyond 80 years of age, compared to 27% two years ago, and just 15% are confident they will have enough money to last beyond 90 years of age." (Mercer)

Worldwide Average: 48% Haven't Saved for Retirement
"The majority of non-savers reside in higher-income nations such as France, Australia and the U.K. Thirty-one percent of respondents from the U.S. indicated they have never specifically saved for retirement." (Pensions & Investments)

Cypen & Cypen Newsletter for February 21, 2013
"Covers employee benefit developments with an emphasis on governmental plans. Topics include: [1] Milliman Study Reflects Impact of Closing the Florida Retirement System Defined Benefit Plan To New Members Effective January 1, 2014, Including Projected Blended Rates for the Next 30 Fiscal Years; [2] Protecting Social Security From an Onslaught of Misinformation; and [3] Alabama's Bankrupt Jefferson County Makes Deal With Creditor." (Cypen & Cypen)

SEC Commissioners Keep Tweaking Fiduciary-Duty Cost Request
"The SEC has not moved on the rule for more than two years in part because it has nearly 100 mandatory Dodd-Frank rules to implement. Fiduciary duty is optional." (Investment News; free registration required)

Judicial Survivors' Annuities System Costs for 2008 to 2010
"GAO determined that to cover one-half of the projected JSAS costs, based on an average of the past three actuarial valuations, the participating judges' contribution rates would have to be increased 0.66 percentage points above the current rates. However, increasing the judges' contribution rates could adversely affect participation in the plan, which would be contrary to one of the major reasons for the structural changes made to JSAS over the years." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Retirement Security Newsletter from Phyllis Borzi, February 22, 2013
"America Saves Week [runs] from February 25-March 2, 2013, [and] provides an annual opportunity for organizations to promote good savings behavior and a chance for individuals to assess their own saving status.... Employee Benefits Security Administration will be hosting two webcasts during America Saves Week. The first is for small employers who do not yet offer a retirement plan.... The second webcast will also be for small employers and will focus on using the new retirement plan fee disclosures to select and monitor your retirement plan's service providers." (Employee Benefits Security Administration)

[Opinion]

Don't Weep for Boomers Close to Retirement
"Thanks to the brutal combination of the recent recession and boomer demographics, the words 'retirement' and 'penury' are practically synonymous.... Yet the financial foundation of leading-edge boomers looks stronger in the aggregate than commonly assumed, and it's likely to improve in coming years. A better grasp of boomer finances lets us see how a majority of boomers can improve their own circumstances when it comes to retirement -- and where policy makers should take a stand to help out the most vulnerable." (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

[Opinion]

San Diego Pension Burden Reaches Tipping Point
"[A] new report from the San Diego County Taxpayers Association that reveals 14 of 17 cities in San Diego County will see in an increase in their pension payments in the coming fiscal year, and that the total pension debt for those cities is now $800 million.... The taxpayer group broke down the cost of public pensions per household, and at the high end is Del Mar, whose residents are paying nearly $600 per household each year to support the city's retired workers." (San Diego Union-Tribune)

[Opinion]

Uncovering Hidden Fees in 401(k) Plans
"Disclosed fees, such as operating fees and advisory fees, account for only about 10% of the total fees attached to many retirement plans. Hidden fees account for the rest, and they are difficult to understand. Even highly trained fiduciaries and actuaries sometimes struggle to calculate the actual cost of undisclosed fees. While the fee-disclosure law is a step in the right direction, it will be helpful only if plan participants can decipher the information." (The Wall Street Journal)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Addressing the New Risk from 'Executive Compensation Disclosure' Lawsuits
"[C]ompanies facing these suits must choose between paying hundreds of thousands of dollars in 'attorneys' fees' to the plaintiffs' lawyers; filing enhanced compensation disclosures with the SEC and circulating to all shareholders; or fighting the matter through a preliminary injunction hearing. Any of the three choices will cost the company time and money. So what do you do now? You don't need to push the panic button or spend a million dollars to guard against a lawsuit that may never be filed. However, you can take a few inexpensive steps now, before filing the annual proxy statement." (Winston & Strawn LLP)

Reinhart Employee Benefits Update, February 2013 (PDF)
Articles include: Select Compliance Deadlines and Reminders; PBGC Releases Update Addressing Waivers and Missed Contributions; IRS Releases New Rules for Correcting Plan Errors Through EPCRS; HHS Issues Updated Regulations Under HIPAA and HITECH; HHS Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding Verification of Employee Eligibility for Advance Tax Credit and Employers' Limited Appeal Rights; Departments Release Additional PPACA Frequently Asked Questions. (Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)

Press Releases

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