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February 24, 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: Pension Accounting Rules Set for Major Overhaul (PDF)
Excerpt: "Employers that report under U.S. accounting rules will be keeping a close eye on the U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) in 2006, and probably beyond, as the FASB goes forward with a project to review and possibly revise long-standing accounting rules for pensions and other postretirement benefits." (Towers Perrin)

Opinion: Michael Evans on the Economy -- The End of Pensions: Most of Them Anyway
Excerpt: "In recent weeks, a number of name-brand companies, such as IBM Corp. and Alcoa Inc., decided to freeze their existing pension plans. Workers already covered will continue to get what they were promised. But others won't. This is just the tip of the pension iceberg." (Industry Week)

Attorneys Argue IRS 401(k) Regs Impermissibly Require Counting of Service Due to Elective Deferrals (PDF)
23 pages. Excerpt: "Code section 411(a)(2) relates to vesting of accrued benefits 'derived from employer contributions.' The pertinent substantive issue is whether an elective deferral contribution under Code section 401(k) is an accrued benefit derived from employer contributions for purposes of the vesting provisions of Code section 411(a)." (Attorneys Allen Buckley and T. Clayton Walts)

Working Paper: The Inattentive Participant -- Portfolio Trading Behavior in 401(k) Plans (PDF)
35 pages. Excerpt: "Most workers in defined contribution retirement plans are inattentive portfolio managers: only a few engage in any trading at all, and only a tiny minority trades actively. Using a rich new dataset on 1.2 million workers in over 1,500 plans, we find that most 401(k) plan participants are characterized by profound inertia." (Pension Research Council)

Illinois Lawmaker Unveils 401(k) Plan Proposal
Excerpt: "An Illinois state lawmaker has proposed allowing state employees to move their defined benefit retirement plan assets into a 401(k) plan." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Employee Benefits Accounting Update for Australia (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The February edition of Watson Wyatt Australia's publication, Bulletin, that focuses on current issues in retirement provision in Australia ... reviews recent developments in the Related Party disclosures, and accounting for employee benefits." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Underfunded Public Pension Funds Causing the States Budgetary Stress
Excerpt: "US states' budgetary stress is rising due to increasing pension fund contribution demands at a time when costs are also escalating in other areas, such as education and Medicaid, according to a report released by Standard & Poor's Ratings Services." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Smoking Ban to Increase Pension Deficits As People's Life Expectancy Extends, Study Says
Excerpt: "New research shows that the smoking ban to be implemented in the UK will increase pension deficits of its largest companies by billions of pounds." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Introduction to the Fifth Edition of 'Protecting Retirees' Money' by Cynthia L. Moore (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "This publication explains the structure of the retirement systems that serve K-12 teachers and other public employees. It details the composition of the boards that oversee most of the systems. It describes whether a board administers the pension plan and invests its assets or whether some other entity carries out the investments." (National Council on Teacher Retirement)

China Frets Over Pensions for Greying Population
Excerpt: "China's rapidly growing elderly population could surge as high as 430 million by 2051, when almost one in three citizens will be 60 or over, posing a grave challenge for already strained state social welfare and pension systems, Xinhua news agency said [today]." (Reuters via The Boston Globe)

Overview: 2006 IRA Contribution and Deduction Rules
Excerpt: "There has been no change to the IRA contribution limit for 2006, except for IRA owners who are age 50 or older. However, the modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) limit for determining deductible traditional IRA contributions for individuals who file joint federal income tax returns has increased, potentially increasing the number of individuals who are eligible for deductible contributions." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

File Maintenance Guidelines -- The IRA Establishment Process
Excerpt: "This article discusses the basic IRA establishment requirements, certain file maintenance requirements, and the potential penalties for improper establishment. The requirements for traditional IRA, Roth IRA, and SIMPLE IRA establishment are essentially the same." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

Rule 22c-2 Sample Contract Language -- Frequent Trading Policy for Retirement Plan Service Providers (PDF)
4 pages. (The SPARK Institute)

Rule 22c-2 Sample Contract Language with Data Standards for Retirement Plan Service Providers (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "[The February 21, 2006, document includes] Attachment 'A' -- Participant Transaction Reporting Data Standards for Retirement Plan Intermediaries." (The SPARK Institute)

Blog: Recent IRS Bulletin Warns about Part-Time Employees and Implications for Plans
Excerpt: "The Bulletin is an item that every benefits lawyer should have at his or her fingertips. Most enlightening, in my opinion, are the examples which clearly show the IRS's strong aversion (which has become even stronger now as indicated under this Bulletin) to any exclusion of employees by classification that looks and smells like an 'indirect service requirement that could result in the exclusion of an employee that completes 1,000 hours of service.'" (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via Benefitsblog.com)

Increasingly, the Home Is Paying for Retirement
Excerpt: "Americans have not traditionally used their homes to finance retirement, choosing instead to pay down the mortgage and bequeath the house to their children. But the increasing wealth that has concentrated in homes during the boom of the last decade, compared with dwindling pension benefits and lackluster market returns, means that many retirees are finding that their largest source of additional income could come, in fact, from their homes." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

More Americans Worry About Retirement -- Nearly Half Not Counting on Social Security System
Excerpt: "Most Americans fear they will not save enough money for retirement, and nearly half are not counting on the Social Security system to provide the money they need to retire comfortably, a new survey shows. Ninety percent of Americans say they worry how well prepared they are for retirement, up from the 89 percent who felt that way a year earlier, according to a survey released Wednesday by Wachovia Corp., ...." (Reuters via MSNBC.com)

The Security of Social Security Benefits and the President's Proposal
Excerpt: "The article begins by addressing the nature of the Social Security program's trust fund and explains how the federal government's ability to pay benefits is a function of political will more than the pecuniary intricacies of governmental trust fund accounting." (The Elder Law Report via SSRN)

Aloha Airlines under Federal Investigation
Excerpt: "Federal labor officials are investigating whether Aloha Airlines illegally used employee pension funds to pay bank loans." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: New York City's 'Equal Benefits Law' (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "New York's highest court has held that the City's Equal Benefits Law requiring contracting entities to provide domestic partner benefits is preempted by State and Federal law." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Salt Lake City Mayor Vetoes 'Adult Designee' Benefits Plan
Excerpt: "Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, a long-time champion of domestic partner benefits rights, has rejected a City Council proposal offering benefits to designated adults with a documented financial dependency on city employees." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated as of February 21, 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)


Additional sponsor: ASC & The ASC Institute

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for ASC & The ASC Institute

ASC - Your 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)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2006 PenServ Fall Seminar Series
Nationwide on September 26, 2006
presented by PenServ, Inc.


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Retirement Plan Administration Specialist
for Consulting Actuaries Incorporated
in NJ

Pension Administrator
for Pension Planners, Inc
in FL

Employee Benefits Associate
for Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP
in IL

Pension Consultant-State of Ohio
for Great-West Retirement Services
in OH

VP-Employee Benefits Product Service Quality
for CUNA Mutual Group
in WI

Manager of Consulting
for Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

Compliance Process Analyst - Federal Way, WA
for Weyerhaeuser Company
in WA

Sr. Compliance Analyst
for The Standard
in OR

401(k) Plan Benefits Administrator
for Phillips-Van Heusen Corporation
in NJ

Enrollment Specialist
for Capital Retirement Plan Services
in FL

Business Analyst
for HRworks
in ANY STATE

401k TPA Account Executive
for Thesco Retirement Planning Services LLC - TPA
in NJ, NY

Health Insurance National Account Executive
for Great-West Healthcare
in CO

Pension Marketing Associate leading to Pension Consulting (Sales ) in Woodland Hills (LA) CA.
for Polycomp Administrative Services, Inc.
in CA

Account Executive/Pension Consultant
for Compensation Systems, Inc.
in IN

Assistant Director Pension Analysis
for YMCA Retirement Fund
in NY




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