Retirement Plans
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February 17, 2006
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Overview: Roth 401(k) Guidance from IRS (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

Freezing a Pension Plan Doesn't Make It Go Away
Excerpt: "Freezing a pension plan is not as simple as closing the door to new benefits, though. The sponsor must continue to manage the assets to provide for retirees and for currently active employees who have accrued pension benefits. It also doesn't provide immediate relief." (CFO Magazine)

PBGC Stock Sale Gives Boost to United Airlines Pension Plans
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) sale of UAL Corp. stock produced a $135 million boost for the UAL pension plans the agency took over." ( one-time registration required)

Overview: Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 Increases PBGC Premiums (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "On February 8, 2006, President Bush signed the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 into law. The new law increases Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums for both single employer and multiemployer defined benefit plans. The increased premiums are effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2006." (Prudential Retirement)

DOL Unveils Latest Enron Repayment Deal for Retirement Plan Participants
Excerpt: "The US Department of Labor (DoL) announced Thursday that workers and retirees at Enron would get $133.9 million in cash distributed through the company's retirement plans." ( one-time registration required)

Federal Government Acts to Avoid Hitting Debt Limit -- Uses Federal Employees Retirement System Fund
Excerpt: "The Bush administration told Congress [yesterday] it had begun to use a government pension fund to keep from hitting the $8 trillion debt limit." (Chicago Sun-Times)

CalPERS Opposes Plan to Change State Pension
Excerpt: "A constitutional amendment, proposed by Assemblyman Keith Richman, R-Northridge, would give future state and local government workers both a guaranteed pension benefit and a voluntary, employer-matched 401(k)-style account. The defined benefits would be less generous than those offered today." (The Sacramento Bee)

Shifting IRAs to Automatic -- A Plan for Workers with No Other Retirement-Savings Vehicle
Excerpt: "Under [the] automatic IRA plan, small employers that have more than 10 employees and that have been in business for more than two years would offer employees the ability to direct payroll deposits into a low-cost IRA. Employees could, for instance, when completing their W-4 forms that dictate federal withholding taxes could also elect to opt in or out of the automatic IRA." (MarketWatch)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts Retirement -- Updated February 14, 2006 (PDF)
17 pages. Excerpt: "These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employee benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors." (Towers Perrin)

Apprehension over Corporate Pensions? Not a Problem for Brokers
Excerpt: "Some seminars are designed to educate employees on plan switches--usually to a defined contribution from a defined benefit setup. Others are geared to those withdrawing money from company plans to invest on their own, fertile ground for a financial adviser." (

Commentary: Social Security Privatization Revived in 2007 Budget
Excerpt: "While this year's State of the Union looked to many like final proof of the death of Social Security privatization, you wouldn't know it from reading the FY 2007 budget released last week. The budget documents read like a Cliff's Notes to last year's debate, replete with cost estimates for a version of the plan floated and later abandoned by the White House." (The Century Foundation)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

The Fuzzy Math on Executive Pay
Excerpt: "The SEC's 370-page proposal for executive compensation disclosure could create more questions than answers. Companies point to difficulties placing a value on perks and future benefits while claiming that competitive information could be compromised." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

FASB Response to SEC Study on Arrangements with Off-Balance Sheet Implications, Special Purpose .... (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "[The Report and Recommendations Pursuant to Section 401(c) of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 on Arrangements with Off-Balance Sheet Implications, Special Purpose Entities, and Transparency of Filings by Issuers] identifies several key initiatives aimed at improving the transparency of financial reports and makes several recommendations to accounting standard setters." (Financial Accounting Standards Board)

Dissenter Say High Court Shouldn't Have Decided Issue NYC Mayor Posed vs. Equal Benefits
Excerpt: "Presenting a reverse Valentine to g.ay and les.bian New Yorkers on February 14, a bare majority of the state's highest court ruled that the Equal Benefits Law (EBL) passed by the New York City Council in 2004 over the veto of Republican Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is invalid." (G.ay City News)

Overview: SEC to Revamp Disclosure of Executive Compensation
Excerpt: "It's not too early to begin planning for the 2007 proxy season. Consider who will be best able to determine all the elements of executive compensation. Consider how you will determine the Named Executives and other disclosed employees. While collection of data related to cash compensation is relatively easy, some of the new tabular disclosures related to retirement benefits, change-in-control provisions, and equity offerings require more lead time and unique skill sets." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts Human Resources -- Updated February 14, 2006 (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employee benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors." (Towers Perrin)

How Finance Executives Are Confronting Rising Benefit Costs, the Aging Workforce, Recruiting, ...
Excerpt: "[CFO Magazine] asked 249 senior finance executives from a diverse range of companies to share their views on these challenges and tell us how they are responding. As our second annual human-capital survey shows, CFOs are taking the challenges seriously -- in particular, they are showing new willingness to experiment with remedies for their human-capital ills." (CFO Magazine)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Coverage - Basics and Beyond
Nationwide on March 9, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Nondiscrimination Testing - Basics and Beyond
Nationwide on March 16, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Group Benefits Sales Position
for Alliance Benefit Group-MidAtlantic,, LLC
in MD

Healthcare Underwriter
for Alliance Benefit Group-MidAtlantic, LLC
in MD

ERISA Compliance & Consulting Analyst
for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
in OH

Client Participant Services Manager
for Mercer HR Services

Senior Due Diligence Analyst
for Vanguard
in PA

Health Benefits Consultant / Underwriter - Washington, DC
for Watson Wyatt Worldwide
in DC

Actuary (Enrolled Actuary -- Part-time position)
for Pacific Coast Actuaries, Inc.

Non-Qualified Benefit Plan Administration Specialist
for McCamish Systems, LLC
in GA

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