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February 14, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASC & The ASC Institute

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ASC YOUR PREMIER SOURCE FOR RETIREMENT PLAN SOFTWARE, DOCUMENTS & EDUCATION

If you missed the IRS deadline, contact ASCi today! ASC helps retirement plan professionals increase efficiency and profitability through its software systems, documents and education. Software includes DC 401(k) administration & valuation, Defined Benefit, Compliance Testing, DV Direct daily valuation, AIM case management and more. With ASCi plan documents you can quickly and easily create customized prototype/volume submitter plan documents, efficiently maintain historical plan information, create complete amendment packages for all your clients at one time and more. Click to learn more or email asci@asc-net.com.

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

Michigan 401(k) Plan Only Needs $100K to Start
Excerpt: "A Michigan state official has told lawmakers that Governor Jennifer Granholm's recent proposal to start a state-run 401(k) plan for state residents without one would only need $100,000 to get started." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Global Capital Market Update: Fourth Quarter 2005 Results for Defined Benefit Pension Plans (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "This Update reviews how global capital market performance in the fourth quarter of 2005 affected pension plans in major retirement markets worldwide. We cover defined benefit pension plans in Australia, Brazil, Can.ada, the Euro-zone, Japan, the U.K. and the U.S." (Towers Perrin)

West Virginia Public Employee Retirement Programs Close Funding Gaps by $355 Million
Excerpt: "Aided by better-than-expected investment returns, West Virginia closed the funding gaps in its retirement programs by a combined $355 million during the last budget year, recently released figures show." (Charleston Daily Mail)

Overview: PBGC Flat-Rate Premium Hiked to $30 under Deficit Reduction Act
Excerpt: "Pension reform legislation, currently pending in the House and Senate ... contain a number of changes that, if enacted, could result in further premium changes (for example, changing how liabilities are calculated for the PBGC variable-rate premium)." (CCH INCORPORATED)

Japan's Welfare Ministry Rejects Pension Cut Request
Excerpt: "Japan's Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare has rejected Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation's (NTT) request to cut the defined benefit pension plan payments of retirees." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Pension Fund Trustee Competence: Decision-Making in Problems Relevant to Investment Practice (PDF)
33 pages. Excerpt: "Government-sponsored inquiries into trustee competence, and legislation regarding the protocols and practice of trustee decision-making, have raised questions about the competence of trustees to make investment decisions consistent with the long-term interest of defined benefit pension plan beneficiaries. In this paper, we report the results of an analysis of trustee competence in solving problems relevant to their investment responsibilities." (National Association of Pension Funds via University of Oxford)

Plan Sponsors Contemplate the Outsourcing Decision for Pension Assets
Excerpt: "While the decision to outsource the management of pension assets is often associated with trimming costs, plan sponsors at a recent panel discussion saw that as only a secondary reason." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

The Disclosure of Soft Dollars by Investment Advisors
Excerpt: "Greater clarity about costs should ultimately enable fund investors to obtain investment services at lower cost. If such disclosures were mandatory and hard to ignore, it is likely that the ultimate outcome will be that the investment advisor pays for research expenses and the investment funds pay for trading expenses." (American Enterprise Institute)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: New GASB 43 & 45 Requirements: Governments' Credit Ratings & Borrowing Costs Are At Risk (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Government employers face critical and immediate challenges with respect to their OPEB liabilities. It is imperative that these employers address the pressing issues immediately and begin planning and implementing measures that will enable associated costs and liabilities to be properly managed and controlled." (Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels LLP)

Blog: Follow Up to Civil Union Laws and ERISA Preemption
Excerpt: "[A previous post] concluded ... ERISA preemption would likely be the result in light of the Supreme Court's decision in Pilot Life v. Dedeaux, and the broad preemption found there with regard to state contract and tort laws impacting employee benefits. [J]eff Sherman (Chicago Kent) had written a law review article disagreeing with [that] conclusion. Jeff has now graciously agreed to summarize the gist of his law review article on domestic partnership laws and ERISA preemption." (Workplace Prof Blog)

Overview: SEC Proposes Overhaul of Executive Compensation Disclosure (PDF)
19 pages. Excerpt: "This Client Memorandum focuses on the proposed rules as they apply to domestic public companies that do not qualify for the SEC's small business reporting scheme. The proposed rules, however, would generally require less detailed disclosure by small business issuers." (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

Brief: Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc., U.S. No. 05-260, cert. granted 11/28/05 (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "On November 28, 2005, the United States Supreme Court granted petitioners' request for review in Sereboff v. Mid Atlantic Medical Services, Inc., U.S. No. 05-260. This case gives the Court an opportunity to resolve the circuit split on how to apply the Court's 2002 decision in Great-West Life & Annuity Inc. v. Knudson, 534 U.S. 204 (2002), and determine what types of remedies constitute 'equitable relief' available under ERISA 502(a)(3)." (Groom Law Group)

Overview: Department of Labor Releases Final USERRA Regulations (PDF)
Excerpt: "These regulations finalize the proposed regulations released on September 20, 2004, and the interim final rule governing notice requirements released on March 10, 2005. The final regulations became effective January 18, 2005." (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser D'Amato & Associates, LLLC
Excerpt: "D'Amato & Associates, LLLC, is a boutique law firm concentrating in the area of benefits, particularly with respect to benefit plans covered by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 ('ERISA'). We represent pension and welfare benefit plans, plan fiduciaries, and plan participants and beneficiaries with respect to benefit claims, fiduciary issues, and related matters." (BenefitsLink.com)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2006 Employee Benefits Conference
in New York on May 16, 2006
presented by New York State Society of C PAs

Who's a Dependent and Why Does It Matter? What Employers Need to Know for Medical Plans, Cafeteria Plans, and DCAPs
Nationwide on March 14, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

401kLoans Teams with Envisage to Deliver Loan Product Offering
(Metrics Partners)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Health & Welfare Associate
for Towers Perrin
in NC

Senior Actuarial Analyst
for Leading Full Service Retirement Financial Services Firm
in OH

Employee Benefits Products Manager
for CUNA Mutual Group
in WI

Senior Account Manager
for The 401(k) Company
in TX

Client Service Representative / Conversions Specialist
for Decimal, Inc.
in CA

Defined Contribution Business Analysts
for High Point Consulting & Staffing, LLC.
in ANY STATE

Communications Consultant
for Pitney Bowes
in CT, NJ, NY

Compliance Administrator
for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA




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Copyright 2006 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.; except that you may reprint this newsletter in full (including this sentence) without obtaining our permission.

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Editor and Publisher: David Rhett Baker, J.D.

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