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January 18, 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)

Retirement News for Employers -- Special Edition, January 17, 2006 (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "Answers to Roth 401(k) Questions are Here!" (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Can a 401(k) Make Up for a Lost Pension?
Excerpt: "IBM, like many corporations, is euthanizing traditional pensions. Here's how one worker can use IBM's exceptional 401(k) plan to make up the difference -- though at a high price." (MSN Money)

Public Workers' Pensions Swelling
Excerpt: "Public employee pensions have become increasingly generous since 2000, promising a more comfortable retirement for civil servants but a serious financial challenge for future taxpayers." (USA TODAY)

Slow-Motion in D.C. on Retirement Issues
Excerpt: "The past year saw plenty of debate but few results on matters from Social Security to pension protection. Here's what 2006 may bring." (Ellen Hoffman via BusinessWeek)

Congress Expected to Move Early to Fix Pension Funding (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Among the major legislative issues that remain from the first session of the 109th Congress, is a bipartisan effort to enact major pension reform legislation that would revamp the nation's pension laws. That effort is expected to be renewed once Congress reconvenes later this month. The Senate is expected to return on January 18th and the House on January 31." (Buck Consultants)

Overview: New Law Exempts Plan Loans from Bankrup.tcy (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "The Bankrup.tcy Abuse Prevention and Consumer Protection Act of 2005, which became effective on October 17, 2005, exempts loans to an employee from a tax-qualified retirement plan, such as a 401(k) plan, from the bankrup.tcy process. As a result, plan administrators who are notified that a participant has filed bankrup.tcy after October 17 are no longer required to stop payroll withholding in order to repay a plan loan, or to declare the plan loan in default." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Overview: DOL Issues Final Regulations on Annual Funding Notice for Multiemployer DB Plans
Excerpt: "The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released final regulations implementing the annual funding notice requirements for multiemployer defined benefit plans added by the Pension Funding Equity Act of 2004 (PFEA, P.L. 108-218)." (CCH INCORPORATED)

Netherlands: Implications for Pension Schemes of the New Disability System under the WIA Act
Excerpt: "In October 2005, a Watson Wyatt Global News Brief reported on the changing scenario with respect to the state provision of disability benefits in the Netherlands effective 1 January 2006 under the Wet Werk en Inkomen naar Arbeidsvermogen (WIA)." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Council Testimony on Proposed Rule on Dividends Paid Deduction for Stock Held in ESOP (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Statement of Joseph E. Marx On Behalf of the American Benefits Council at the U.S. Treasury Department/Internal Revenue Service Hearing On Proposed Rule on Dividends Paid Deduction for Stock Held in ESOP [on] January 18, 2006" (American Benefits Council)

Employee Ownership Update for January 17
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses a major Indian tea plantation where 92% of employees have purchased stock to buy the company from its owner; a major employee ownership initiative at Electricite de France; and IRS Announcement 2005-80, which sets out the details of a proposed settlement procedure for a number of improper transactions, including three abusive applications of S corporation ESOP rules. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Consultants Advise TSP Not to Change Investment Mix
Excerpt: "An outside consulting firm on Tuesday advised Thrift Savings Plan administrators to stay the course with all investments. The TSP, which is a 401(k)-style retirement savings plan for federal employees with assets of almost $175 billion, hired Chicago-based consulting firm Ennis Knupp & Associates to perform the first-ever external review of the plan's investment practices." (GovExec.com)

Changing Paradigm for Pensions
Excerpt: "In the past year, right-wing think tanks have published many justifications for slashing costs by replacing 'defined benefit' pension systems for educators with private savings plans that would have little or no employer contributions. In New York, the calls for drastic change have come even as administrators of the pension plans for public school employees say the plans are in excellent financial shape." (New York Teacher)

In Korea, Tax Incentives for Employees Confirmed
Excerpt: "A new tax law took effect January 1, 2006 that will encourage individuals to save for retirement by increasing the deduction for personal savings and annuity income, among other changes." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

EBRI Notes: IRA and Keogh Assets and Contributions (PDF)
Pages 2-9 of 16. Excerpt: "Combined, IRAs and Keoghs account for a sizable portion of the assets held by Americans in tax-preferred plans designed for retirement, and surpass the assets held in private-sector defined contribution plans." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Baby Boomers Demand New Definition of Retirement
Excerpt: "This month, the baby boomers ... will turn 60. That leaves a mere two years before they are eligible to start collecting Social Security, and just five years before they can flash their Medicare cards in the doctor's office. By 2030, when the gang will be over 65, the baby boomers could sink the body politic in a sea of red ink. But the graying of America may not be the fiscal disaster that the deficit hawks project." (Los Angeles Times via Salt Lake Tribune)

NASRA Response to the Reason Foundation Study, 'The Gathering Pension Storm' (PDF)
26 pages. Excerpt: "NASRA believes the Reason study makes its case by 1) distorting the true financial condition of public pensions in general; 2) mistakenly extrapolating a handful of public pension problems onto the entire public pension community; 3) failing to consider the many negative consequences that would result from terminating DB plans; and 4) advancing arguments that reflect an incomplete understanding of public pension issues." (National Association of State Retirement Administrators)

Gender, Marriage, and Asset Accumulation in the United States
Excerpt: "Wealth accumulation has important implications for the relative well-being of households. In this paper, [the authors] describe how household wealth in the United States varies by gender and family type." (Michigan Retirement Research Center)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Higher Valuation of Stock Causes Tension at United Airlines
Excerpt: "The actual amount that the 400 executives will eventually receive will depend upon the share prices over the next four years as the stock vests. Union officials have sharply criticized the allocation, even at the lower estimates, because their members have made roughly $4 billion in annual compensation concessions." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Overview: DOL Issues USERRA Notice Final Regulations -- Employers Must Provide Notice
Excerpt: "On December 19, 2005, VETS published final regulations, and, in response to comments on the interim guidance, made two minor modifications in the text of the notice." (SunGard Corbel)

Transcript: Disclosing Executive Pay and Perks
Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission said Tuesday that companies must spell out total pay and benefits for top executives, including stock options. Following a background report, two experts discuss the possible ramifications for companies." (NewsHour with Jim Lehrer via PBS)

SEC to Require More Disclosure on Executive Pay
Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to overhaul the way companies report their pay packages for senior executives, a move that is expected to lead to greater disclosure but not to any significant decline in executive compensation." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

SEC Unveils Proposed Executive Compensation Disclosures Mandate
Excerpt: "Federal securities regulators have unanimously backed proposed new rules that would require companies to disclose new executive pay information and couch those disclosures in plain English." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Lessons from Enron Re-visited: Liability of Fiduciaries
Excerpt: "Most people think of the Enron lawsuit as a company stock case. While that is true, it is much more. It awakened -- or should have awakened -- plan sponsors to the need for corporate governance for ERISA plans, much as Sarbanes-Oxley has forced publicly traded companies to focus on corporate governance and risk management." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Government Charges American Airlines with USERRA Violations
Excerpt: "The Department of Justice has filed a class-action lawsuit against American Airlines for violations of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit filed on behalf of three Naval Reserve and Air National Guard pilots claims the airlines illegally denied benefits to the pilots while they were serving their duty." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)


Additional 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™

The ERISA Outline Book -- New Edition -- Only from ASPPA!


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

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Final USERRA Regs: What Benefit Plans Must Do by January 18--What's New, What's Different, What's Been Clarified
Nationwide on January 12, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Health and Wellness Programs-- Creating a Positive Business Impact
in Texas on February 27, 2006
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress

Introduction to Work-Life Effectiveness-- Successful Work-Life Programs to Attract, Retain and Motivate Employees
in Arizona on July 24, 2006
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress

Introduction to Work-Life Effectiveness-- Successful Work-Life Programs to Attract, Retain and Motivate Employees
in California on August 9, 2006
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress

Introduction to Work-Life Effectiveness-- Successful Work-Life Programs to Attract, Retain and Motivate Employees
in Illinois on September 18, 2006
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress

Introduction to Work-Life Effectiveness-- Successful Work-Life Programs to Attract, Retain and Motivate Employees
in Massachusetts on November 13, 2006
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress

Navigating the Government Audit: Help from the Fix-It Team
in Pennsylvania on February 9, 2006
presented by PEBA --Penjerdel Employee Benefits & Compensation Assn.

Pandemic Preparedness: What Do You Say to Your Man in Malaysia?
in Pennsylvania on February 24, 2006
presented by PEBA --Penjerdel Employee Benefits & Compensation Assn.

Retirement Plans: What Every Employer Must Know
Nationwide on March 22, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

The Flexible Workplace-- Strategies for Your Organization
in Texas on February 27, 2006
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress

The Flexible Workplace-- Strategies for Your Organization
in Georgia on April 10, 2006
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress

The Flexible Workplace-- Strategies for Your Organization
in California on June 12, 2006
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress

The Flexible Workplace-- Strategies for Your Organization
in New York on July 10, 2006
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Pacific Life Funds Added to the CPI Retirement Plan Platform
(CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.)

State of Missouri Selects CitiStreet as Administrator for Plan
(CitiStreet)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Consultants/Administrators
for Northern NJ Mid-Size Pension Consulting Firm
in NJ

401k Account Executive
for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA

Senior Plan Administrator
for WESPAC
in CA

Human Resources Benefits Associate
for The D. E. Shaw group
in NY

Retirement and Securities Specialist
for NRECA
in VA




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