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January 27, 2006
Today's sponsor: APSCREEN, Employee Locator

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for APSCREEN, Employee Locator

Benefit Administrators & HR Managers Easily Locate Lost Plan Participants

In business since 1980, APSCREEN is a full-service, highly respected Consumer Reporting Agency. We quickly locate current addresses, name changes, and living/deceased status for your lost plan participants and/or past employees.

Easily meet IRS/GATT/ERISA compliance regulations for $10 per name within 24 hours and pay no sign-up fees or minimums.

"APSCREEN's employee locator service makes our lives so much easier. Our industry desperately needs this service!" --Judy Simons, TRI-AD, Escondido, CA


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

Overview: More Regulations Pertaining to Designated Roth Accounts
Excerpt: "Hot off the press--proposed regulations providing 'comprehensive guidance on the taxation of distributions from designated Roth accounts under section 401(k) and section 403(b) plans.'" (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

Overview: Roth Distribution Regulations
Excerpt: "The long-awaited Roth distribution proposed regulations are out, with more than we expected. [This overview provides] some highlights from the proposals: ...." (SunGard Corbel)

Defined Contribution Industry Still Struggling with Fundamental Concept of Being a Fiduciary
Excerpt: "Over the last five years, our nation has seen favorable progress in the understanding of fiduciary concepts by those who have responsibility over qualified defined contribution plans. Thanks to many organizations such as the Center for Fiduciary Studies, ASPPA, the American Bar Association, EBRI, and the ERISA Fiduciary Guild to name a few, lay fiduciaries have a better grasp of fiduciary standards and practices than ever before." (401khelpcenter.com, LLC)

More Focus Needed on Effects of Boomer Retirements
Excerpt: "Corporate executives are not sufficiently focused on a potential worker shortage caused by Boomer retirements-- possibly because they underestimate its impact. That was a key conclusion of 'The Aging of the U.S. Workforce: Employer Challenges and Responses,' a new survey conducted by Ernst & Young LLP, ExecuNet Inc., and the Human Capital Institute." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Fewer Employers Offer Pensions
Excerpt: "Today, fewer than 13 percent of American workers rely on pensions as their primary retirement plan. Major corporations like Verizon, Lockheed Martin, and I.B.M. have all announced they will no longer offer pensions to new employees. And earlier this year, United Airlines made news when the company announced it was defaulting on its existing pension obligations. The federal government is now assuming partial responsibility for those payments." (Voice of America)

Pension Worry Piles Pressure on American Consumers
Excerpt: "Pension concerns may be the last straw for free-spending U.S. households that have been a mainstay of the economy since the 2001 recession, particularly with wages refusing to budge, costly health care and a cooling housing market." (Reuters via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Overview: Access to Retirement Plan Funds for Victims of Hurricanes Rita and Wilma (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "On December 22, 2005, President Bush signed into law the Gulf Opportunity Zone Act of 2005 (GO Zone), Public Law 109-135. The GO Zone permits individuals affected by Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, and/or Hurricane Wilma easier access to funds in retirement plans." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Living with the Cash Balance Burden -- Time to Act
Excerpt: "Despite their enormous prevalence, cash balance pension plans are under very serious attack. Cash balance plan sponsors have stood, first in disbelief and then in horror, as the judge in the IBM ruling asserted that $1 to one is not equal to $1 to another. Most plan sponsors have been waiting on the Courts or Congress to resolve the dispute, banking that the laws of math (i.e., $1 = $1) would surely prevail over a narrow reading of an arcane section of pension law." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Research Brief: Changes in Consumption and Activities in Retirement (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Economists have used the term retirement-consumption puzzle to refer to the finding that individuals seem to reach retirement not adequately prepared and appear to reduce spending in response. Following workers over time, this study shows that fewer than half of those who retire recollect a spending decline at retirement. Actual spending change also does not decline at retirement." (University of Michigan Retirement Research Center)

Summary and Comparison of Leading Hybrid Pension Plan Reform Proposals As of January 20, 2006 (PDF)
9 pages. Side by Side Chart Comparing Hybrid Provisions of Retirement Bills (H.R. 2830/S. 1783), Administration Proposals and Current Law (The Benefits Group of Davis & Harman LLP via American Benefits Council)

Opinion: The Importance of EGTRRA Permanence to the Retirement System (PDF)
2 pages. Council Talking Points on EGTRRA Permanence (American Benefits Council)

Remarks by ICI Government Affairs Officer on the Financial Services Challenges in the New Year
Excerpt: "At the beginning of each new Congress, the Institute's government affairs team asks a very simple question - 'What public policy changes would be consistent with the interests of mutual fund investors, as well as fund managers, and what can we do to achieve them?'" (Investment Company Institute)

Working Paper: Demographic Private Transfers in a Cross Section of Developing Countries
Excerpt: "[The authors] find evidence that public and private transfers interact; private old age support tends to be smaller for countries with relatively generous public pension systems. This result has important policy implications, for it implies that the benefits of pension systems could spill over to persons whose burden of care is eased by social insurance. [The full paper in PDF format (4,792 KB) is available from the target page.]" (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Working Paper: Policies to Promote Labor Force Participation of Older People (PDF)
62 pages. Excerpt: "Combine the retirement income crunch with the dramatic increase in life expectancy, and continued employment in later life appears like a promising option for ensuring the financial security of older Americans. .... This paper explores the potential supply of and demand for older workers and looks at some proposals to help increase the labor force participation of this group." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

SEC's Spotlight on Executive Pay: Will It Make a Difference?
Excerpt: "[T]he Securities and Exchange Commission on January 17 took the first step toward adopting rules to better show shareholders how much their top executives and directors are paid. .... Disclosure would include the values of stock options, retirement and severance plans and perks worth over $10,000, all of which are difficult or impossible to assess currently." (Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Brief: Health Problems and Job Layoffs Crack Retirement Nest Eggs (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Health, employment, and marital shocks can have serious financial consequences -- out-of-pocket health bills, reduced earnings, disrupted retirement saving -- forcing people as young as 50 or 60 to dip into their nest eggs." (Urban Institute)

Financial Consequences of Health Problems, Marital Status Changes, and Job Layoffs at Older Ages (PDF)
42 pages. Excerpt: "This report examines different types of negative events that strike at older ages. The study reports the prevalence of health problems among adults age 51 to 61 and those age 70 and older. It then computes the incidence of widowhood, divorce, job layoffs, disability, nursing home entry, and various medical conditions over time and examines their impact on wealth and income." (Urban Institute)

Overview: Labor Department Clarification of Employers' LMRDA Reporting Obligations (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Early last year, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced its intentions to begin enforcing certain filing requirements under the Labor Management Reporting Disclosure Act (LMRDA), 29 U.S.C. § 401 et seq. Under the LMRDA, both employers and unions must report when anything of value is given to a labor organization or its representatives. Employers must report transactions on a DOL Form LM-10 and unions must report such transactions on a DOL Form LM-30." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)


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™

Sal L. Tripodi's 2006 ERISA Outline Book now available

The '06 ERISA Outline book will give you what you need to succeed.
Now with five volumes, these are the books that will tell you what you need to know, including:

  • Revised comprehensive 415 regulations
  • Expanded information on Roth 401(k) contributions
  • Final USERRA regulations

Order The ERISA Outline Book today!


(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!)

2006 National Health Policy Conference
in District of Columbia on February 6, 2006
presented by AcademyHealth

Compensation - Basics and Beyond
Nationwide on February 9, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Roth - The Pieces Are Coming Together
Nationwide on February 14, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

U.S. Defined Contribution Plans Overview Program
in New York on April 26, 2006
presented by Society of Professional Administrators and Recordkeepers (SPARK)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Enhances Web-Based "e-4010" Application
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Health & Welfare Consultant
for Towers Perrin
in LOCATION OTHER THAN U.S., CA, CT, DE, FL, IL, MA, NJ, NY, PA, TX

Employee Benefits Conversion Specialist II
for Union Bank of California
in CA

Financial Services Operations Manager
for ALCOS
in MI

ESOP Corporate Associate
for Steiker, Fischer, Edwards & Greenapple, PC.
in RI

Retirement Plan Processing Specialist
for ALCOS
in MI

Head of Employee Benefit Operation & Underwriting
for ING U. S. Financial Services
in MN

Compensation & Benefits Manager
for RCR Companies
in CA

Manager of 401(k) Daily Valuation Plans Group
for Alliance Benefit Group-MidAtlantic, LLC
in MD

Sr. Retirement Plan Consultant - 401(k) Representative
for NRECA
in VA

Client Services Associate
for Brady Ware
in OH




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