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January 17, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

Register for the '06 LABC Conference Today! January 26-27, 2006

The Los Angeles Benefits Conference provides an opportunity to discuss and exchange information on employee benefit issues with colleagues and local, regional and national government employees from the Internal Revenue Service and the Department of Labor. And don't miss the special pre-conference conversations with the IRS and DOL on January 25, 2006.

Contact ASPPA to register for the LABC conference and the pre-conference event at www.asppa.org/labc.htm.


(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Alcoa Drops Traditional Pension for Most New Hires
Excerpt: "The world's biggest aluminum producer will instead offer a 401(k) defined contribution plan for new hires. Alcoa, which has 129,000 employees in 42 countries, said the changes are effective March 1, 2006." (Reuters via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Overview: Final Regulations for Designated Roth 401(k) Contributions
Excerpt: "The preamble reminds plan sponsors that 'there are other aspects of designated Roth contributions' not addressed by the final regulations that nevertheless must be reflected in the plan's terms." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Editorial: The Pension Deep Freeze
Excerpt: "A safe retirement based on a 401(k) account requires decades of discipline, something many people don't have. A recent study by Hewitt Associates, the employee benefits research firm, found that 45 percent of workers cashed out their 401(k)'s when leaving a company, instead of leaving the money in the plan or rolling it over into a new one. And some workers cannot or do not participate in the retirement plans available to them." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

This Hotline Contains New Information about the NWA Pension Freeze Ratification
Excerpt: "Via membership ballot concluded at 10:00 a.m. ET [January 12, 2006], NWA pilots approved the freezing of the NWA Pilots Defined Benefit Pension Plan by an 81.53 percent to 18.47 percent margin. Seventy percent of eligible voters participated." (Northwest Airlines Air Line Pilots Association)

Overview: IRAs Not Subject to Valuation Discounts
Excerpt: "In Kahn Est. v. Comr., 125 T.C. No. 11 (11/17/05), a decedent died owning two IRAs. The agreements governing the IRAs explicitly provided that the IRAs were not transferable. The decedent's executor claimed that the IRAs were subject to a valuation discount of about 22% because distributions from the IRAs would be income to the recipients (i.e., income in respect of a decedent)." (David L. Weinreb, Esq., Bernstein Investment Research and Management via BNA Tax Management)

Overview: Government May Levy Against Participant's Pension Funds to Pay Criminal Fines
Excerpt: "Should a pension plan administrator pay a government levy to collect a participant's criminal fines? Although pension plans, including 401(k) plans, must specifically provide that plan benefits may not be assigned or alienated, there are several important exceptions to the anti-alienation rule." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Can an Investor Rely on the Investment Advice of Their Advisor? (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "[I]t is not only not possible for the vast majority of advisors to acknowledge their fiduciary obligations but their supporting NASD member firm will not even acknowledge their advisors provide investment advice." (www.SRCONSULTANT.com)

Global Retirement: 2006 Issues and Ideas (PDF)
18 pages. Excerpt: "The 5th edition of Global Retirement Perspective, Mercer's home for thought-provoking insights on retirement and pension issues facing multinational companies is intended to stimulate debate around the challenges in designing and developing a global retirement benefits strategy." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

Text of PBGC Technical Update 06-1: Reporting Relief for Certain Employers
Excerpt: "This Technical Update waives reporting under section 4010 of ERISA for certain employers that would not have to file based on using an interest rate of 85% of the annual rate of interest on amounts invested conservatively in long term investment grade corporate bonds." (U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Congress May Focus on Retirement Funds -- Workers Could See More Incentives to Save
Excerpt: "Congress is expected to take steps when it reconvenes this month to shore up private pensions, but almost half the workers in private industry won't benefit since their employers offer no retirement plans." (The Wall Street Journal)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Text of Proposed FSP FAS 123(R)-d (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "This proposed FASB Staff Position (FSP) addresses the classification of options or similar instruments issued as employee compensation that allow for cash settlement upon the occurrence of a contingent event. The guidance in this proposed FSP would amend paragraphs 32 and A229 of FASB Statement No. 123 (revised 2004), Share-Based Payment." (Financial Accounting Standards Board)

Editorial: The Test for the Securities and Exchange Commission
Excerpt: "The question is whether the SEC's proposal will go as far as it should, especially on retirement compensation. At present, firms are not required to disclose the value of defined-benefit pension promises to executives, so reports of bosses' pay generally leave these out. But the value of these promises can be enormous." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

SEC to Vote Today on Rules for Executive Pay
Excerpt: "Federal securities regulators are moving to require companies to provide far greater detail about their executives' pay packages and perks in an effort to bring more transparency to an area that has provoked investor and public anger." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Accounting Changes May Squeeze Pensions
Excerpt: "[S]ome experts say new regulations requiring companies to more accurately calculate and show the cost of their retirement promises could speed up the move by employers away from guaranteed pensions and other benefits." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Executive Pay under Pressure from Many Quarters
Excerpt: "The SEC, institutional investors and Congress are bearing down on companies, demanding better executive performance and disclosure of perks." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

The 2 Faces of AARP
Excerpt: "Once, AARP mostly flew below corporate radar. That's when it was the American Association for Retired Persons, and so, by definition, it had nothing to do with anyone's employees. Now, however, AARP has banished 'retired' from its name, going simply by its former acronym. It is perhaps best known as the political behemoth that stopped private Social Security accounts cold." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Failure to Inform Participants of Material Information May Be Basis for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Excerpt: "The court ruled that although the employer had the right to terminate coverage, it did not have the right as an ERISA fiduciary to make material misstatements or to provide incomplete, inconsistent, or contradictory disclosures that misinformed beneficiaries." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Plans Have a Number of Funding Options for Deferred Compensation
Excerpt: "Much like the world of qualified plans, the prevalence of 'defined contribution' deferred compensation arrangements is proliferating rapidly. These plans, increasingly, have the look and feel of a 401(k) plan to participants ...." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Opinion: Bush and Congress Lack Courage to Fix Entitlements
Excerpt: "The irony was stark. On Jan. 1, the new Medicare drug program began. It is the most costly addition to federal entitlements in decades and was enacted with full backing by President George W. Bush. Then on Jan. 6, Bush issued another call for spending restraint to slow the growth of entitlements." (Bloomberg News & Commentary)


Additional sponsor: The ERISA OUTLINE BOOK -- 2006 Edition -- Only from ASPPA!

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)



Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2nd Annual All-Day ERISA Seminar
in Florida on April 27, 2006
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of South Florida

3rd Annual All-Day ERISA Seminar
in Florida on April 19, 2007
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of South Florida

Advanced IRA Issues
in Texas on February 8, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Texas on February 10, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in California on February 15, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Kansas on February 17, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in California on February 17, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in New Mexico on February 22, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Arizona on February 24, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Fiduciary Issues in Retirement Plans: The Duty to Protect Participants
in Florida on March 24, 2006
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of South Florida

Hurricane Katrina Relief
Nationwide on January 31, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

IRA Essentials
in Texas on February 7, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Texas on February 9, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in California on February 14, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Kansas on February 16, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in California on February 16, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in New Mexico on February 21, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Arizona on February 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

The Brave New World of Roth 401(k)
in Massachusetts on February 16, 2006
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council (ABC) of New England

Web/Telephone Seminar: Amending and Restating Qualified Plans for EGTRRA
Nationwide on February 7, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Individual(k) Plans
Nationwide on February 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to Roth 401(k)s
Nationwide on February 8, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Beneficiary Distributions
Nationwide on February 7, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Fundamentals for Frontline Personnel - Part I
Nationwide on February 14, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Fundamentals for Frontline Personnel - Part II
Nationwide on February 16, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Required Minimum Distributions
Nationwide on February 9, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Savings Incentive Match Plan for Employees of Small Employers (SIMPLE) Plans
Nationwide on February 16, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) Plans
Nationwide on February 14, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Withholding
Nationwide on February 2, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Developing ESOP Trends
Nationwide on February 9, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in Illinois on January 31, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in Wisconsin on January 31, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in Wisconsin on February 1, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in Missouri on February 2, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in Wisconsin on February 2, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in Illinois on February 7, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in Alabama on February 7, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in South Dakota on February 7, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in North Dakota on February 8, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in Georgia on February 8, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Intermediate IRA Seminar
in Missouri on February 8, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

World at Work T1-Total Rewards Management Course
in Texas on March 1, 2006
presented by WEB (Worldwide Employee Benefits Network) Dallas Chapter


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Two Quarterly Interest Rates Set
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

IRS Settlement Deadline Approaches
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))

California Follows IRS Tax Shelter Initiative
(Franchise Tax Board (FTB))

Morgan Lewis: Winner of the 2006 Litigation Department of the Year - Labor and Employment Category by "The American Lawyer"
(Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Contribution Conversion Specialist
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in NJ

Sr. Community Health Care Advisor
for NRECA
in VA

Pension Administrator
for Hunter Benefits Consulting Group
in IL

Tax/Employee Benefits Attorney
for Harter, Secrest & Emery LLP
in NY

Legal Consultant
for Hewitt Associates
in CA

401 (k) Administrator
for Scholz, Klein & Friends Enlightened Retirement Group, Inc.
in TX

Senior Pension Adminstrator
for American Fiduciary Corporation
in MA

Health & Welfare Benefits Administrator
for Toshiba America, Inc.
in CA

Retirement Plan Administrator
for TEGRA Financial Partners
in GA

Pension Administrator (Defined Benefit and/or Defined Contribution)
for Loren D. Stark Company, Inc. (LDSCO)
in TX

Senior Plan Administrator
for American National Insurance Company
in TX

Actuarial Associate
for Stephen H. Rosen & Associates, Inc.
in NJ

Pension Administrator (DC/401k)
for Pension Plan Services, Inc.
in IA

Business Development Officer - Retirement Plan Services
for Southeast Financial Institution
in NC, TN

Retirement Plan Case Manager/Administration
for Lifetime Benefits LLC
in MD

Product Manager
for Administaff
in TX

Actuary
for New York City Office of the Actuary
in NY

Retirement Plan Services Associate - Plan Controller
for Wells Fargo
in MN


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