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February 9, 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™

New from ASPPA Benefits Conference of the South

The Benefits Conference of the South provides an opportunity to discuss employee benefits issues with colleagues and local, regional and national government representatives from the Internal Revenue service, Department of Labor as well as private sector experts.

Register today at http://www.asppa.org/archive/conf/2006/2006bcos.htm


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

Administering Pension Plans: Freeze 'Em and Forget 'Em is Not a Practical Strategy
Excerpt: "In this article [CCA Strategies provides] an overview of the two distinct types of plan freezes and their implications for plan administrators. [CCA Strategies also includes] a checklist of the steps employers must take in order to effectively support a frozen pension plan." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Oregon PERS Proposes Using Reserves to Help Cut Employer Pension Costs
Excerpt: "Fresh from several court rulings about the operation of the state's public pension program, Oregon pension officials want to plough nearly all of their $1.9 billion stockpile back into the system to help employers save on pension costs." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Pension Fund Finances for 2005: Losing Ground
Excerpt: "During the last five years, most defined benefit plan sponsors have watched their plans' funded status topple from overfunded to significantly underfunded and then slowly recover lost ground. The aggregate funded status of FORTUNE 1000 pension plans has crept up in recent years -- from 82 percent in 2002 to 89 percent in 2003 to 90 percent in 2004. To take the current temperature of these companies' pension funding, Watson Wyatt projected their aggregate plan funding for 2005." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Overview: PBGC Premiums Increased Significantly by the 2005 Deficit Reduction Act
Excerpt: "On February 1, 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (S. 1932)1, which the Senate passed late last year. A provision of the bill that received little attention outside of the benefits community increases Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums for both single employer and multiemployer defined benefit plans, starting with the 2006 plan year." (The Segal Company)

What's New for Practitioners -- PGBC Premium-Related Legislation Signed
Excerpt: "On February 8, 2006, President Bush signed omnibus budget legislation that increased the per-participant flat-rate premium to $30 for single-employer plans and to $8 for multiemployer plans, effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2006." (U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

ERISA's Bonding Requirements -- Misunderstood and Misapplied (PDF)
Excerpt: "While they may seem straightforward, ERISA's bonding rules are perhaps the most misunderstood and misapplied of all of ERISA's fiduciary requirements. Rarely, if ever, do we see a bond that complies fully with ERISA's technical rules. Insurers bear much of the responsibility for this." (PLANSPONSOR via Groom Law Group)

Plan Governance -- Some Key Legal Strategies and Principles (PDF)
Excerpt: "The old adage, 'The devil is in the details,' aptly applies to plan governance. Like so many other things in life, success in governing a plan depends on how well the details are handled. From clearly defining and streamlining who is exercising fiduciary authority to making sure that the plan documents, minutes and other paperwork accurately reflect the correct fiduciary structure and decisionmaking, ...." (PLANSPONSOR via Groom Law Group)

Watson Wyatt Pensions News Filter, January 2006
Excerpt: "[T]his issue of Filter deals with the portability of pension rights both within the UK and across Member States. It also considers the proposals to extend the rights of working parents." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Update on Latin America/Caribbean: Countries Announce Social Security Multilateral Agreement
Excerpt: "Workers who have made contributions to social security systems in Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay or Uruguay are now eligible to claim social security benefits in any of the MERCOSUR countries." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

UK Pension Mediation Service Launched
Excerpt: "The National Association of Pension Funds (NAPF) and the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution have announced a new service to help pension fund trustees and employers resolve disputes over methods to reduce funding deficits." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Web Site: EGTRRApermanency.org
THis is a new web site which has been established to focus on making EGTRRA provisions permanent. (EGTRRApermanency.org)

Watson Wyatt Insider Special Edition -- Trends in Pensions, 2005 (PDF)
54 pages. (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Long-Term Analysis of the Liebman-MacGuineas-Samwick Social Security Proposal
Excerpt: "[T]he Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has analyzed the Social Security proposal developed by Jeffrey Liebman of the Kennedy School of Government, Maya MacGuineas of the New America Foundation, and Andrew Samwick of Dartmouth College. Their LMS proposal would reduce traditional Social Security retirement benefits, increase revenues, and create a new system of individual accounts." (U.S. Congressional Budget Office)

Opinion: Would Major Tax Reform Be Good for Retirement Programs? (PDF)
Excerpt: "Notably, the tax reform panel's recommendations include re-packaged versions of the Employer Retirement Savings Account (ERSA), Retirement Savings Account (RSA), and Lifetime Savings Account (LSA) proposals contained in previous Bush Administration budget proposals and make other fundamental changes to the tax treatment of employer-provided retirement and health plans. [Originally published November 2005]" (PLANSPONSOR via Groom Law Group)

Overview: Amendments to PTE 75-1 and Amendment to PTE 84-24 (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "On Friday, February 3, 2006, the Department of Labor ('DOL') issued final amendments to two class exemptions commonly used in plan transactions involving the purchase or sale of mutual fund shares. 71 Fed. Reg. 5885, 5887 (Feb. 3, 2006)." (Groom Law Group)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Rethinking Deferred Compensation for Tax-Exempt and Governmental Employers
Excerpt: "The new section 409A rules -- along with more aggressive IRS enforcement -- will require tax-exempt and government sponsors of section 457(f) plans to review their existing deferred compensation plans and to consider new plan designs carefully. Existing plan designs that include 'rolling risks of forfeiture' or noncompete agreements may no longer pass muster in an IRS audit." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Judge Backs Employer for Benefits Forfeiture
Excerpt: "A federal judge in Illinois has rejected allegations that an employee was due significantly higher benefits after being promised them by one of the employer's executives." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated as of February 7, 2006
Excerpt: "Hewitt's Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding health and welfare benefit plans, retirement plans, and human resources and employment law." (Hewitt Associates)

Benefits Activity During 2005 Session Will Continue Into 2006
Excerpt: "Benefit issues will remain active during the 2006 legislative session. Retirement issues -- including funding reform and hybrid pension plans -- will remain in the spotlight, but health care and other issues may attract more attention, too." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Overview: USERRA Provides Reemployment Rights
Excerpt: "USERRA protects the rights of persons who voluntarily or involuntarily leave employment positions for duty in the uniformed services. The Final Regulations, which went into effect on January 18, 2006, provide employers with direction on their responsibilities relating to returning soldiers in practically every area of employment, including preserving seniority, hiring, promotion, health care, pensions, other benefits and notice requirements." (Infinisource, Inc.)


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™

NEW! Qualified Plan Financial Consultant

Qualified Plan Financial Consultant, QPFC, is a new professional credential for financial professionals who sell, advise, market or support qualified retirement plans.
QPFC will keep you abreast in an ever-changing marketplace while expanding your referral network.
Register for exams 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!)

Advanced IRA Issues
in Maryland on March 8, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Florida on March 8, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in District of Columbia on March 10, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Florida on March 10, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

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

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

Advanced IRA Issues
in Tennessee on March 22, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Ohio on March 22, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Texas on March 22, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Pennsylvania on March 22, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Ohio on March 24, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in New Jersey on March 24, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Oklahoma on March 24, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Advanced IRA Issues
in Massachusetts on March 31, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

CT Chapter of NIPA Quarterly Educational Seminar; (Fiduciary Issues, Automatic Enrollment, Loans and M&A Issues)
in Connecticut on March 22, 2006
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators-CT Chapter

IRA Essentials
in Florida on March 7, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Maryland on March 7, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in District of Columbia on March 9, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Florida on March 9, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

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

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

IRA Essentials
in Tennessee on March 21, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Ohio on March 21, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Texas on March 21, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Pennsylvania on March 21, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Ohio on March 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in New Jersey on March 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Oklahoma on March 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

IRA Essentials
in Massachusetts on March 30, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Premiums Rise With Enactment Of Budget Reconciliation Bill
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

Newport Offers Quicken(R) Download to Executive Benefit Plan Participants
(Newport Group, The)

President Bush Signs Bill Into Law Containing Long-Term Care Partnership Provision
(American Council of Life Insurers)

Labor Department Announces Web Page and Media Registration for 2006 SAVER Summit
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Associate Attorney
for Findley Davies, Inc.
in OH

Benefits Relationship Coordinator
for Agent Management
in AZ

Legal Administrative Assistant
for The Newport Group, Inc.
in FL

Administrator/Consultant
for Benefit Plans Plus, L.L.C.
in MO

Administrative Assistant
for Benefit Plans Plus, L.L.C.
in MO

Sr. Proposal Consultant
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Senior Employee Education Consultant
for PNC Financial Services
in PA

Benefits Specialist
for Professional Service Company
in FL

Benefits Director
for Professional Services Company
in FL




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