Retirement Plans
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February 28, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASC & The ASC Institute

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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

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

Is Your 401(k) Plan Roth Ready? (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

Considering the Roth 401(k) (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "On December 30, 2005, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued the final Roth 401(k) regulations allowing plan participants to make after-tax Roth IRA-like contributions to their 401(k) plans. 401(k) plan sponsors were allowed to offer this optional feature starting in 2006. These regulations finalized the proposed regulations that were issued in March 2005." (Invesmart, Inc.)

Workers Offered Roth 401(k)s - Slowly
Excerpt: "General Motors, Delphi, Vanguard and A.G. Edwards are among the first major employers this year to begin rolling out Roth 401(k) plans, which let workers withdraw money tax-free in retirement." (USA TODAY)

Minnesota Plan Would Fix Teachers' Pension Fund
Excerpt: "A legislative pension commission on Monday unanimously recommended a $36 million-a-year fix for the dramatically underfunded Minneapolis Teachers' Retirement Fund Association. The bailout recommended by the House-Senate Legislative Commission on Pensions and Retirement would merge about 8,500 current and retired teachers in Minneapolis into a much larger statewide pension plan, the Minnesota Teachers Retirement Association." (Pioneer Press)

Spouse's Consent to Non-Spouse Beneficiaries Was Invalid -- Form Lacked Informed Consent Info
Excerpt: "By not having properly drafted designation forms and by not following the plan's terms, this plan was forced to file an interpleader action and have the court determine the proper beneficiary." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Blog: Pre-ERISA Pre-Age 22 Service Excludable for Vesting
Excerpt: "Pre-ERISA years of service prior to age 22 can be excluded in applying ERISA's vesting standards, according to a 7th Circuit Court of Appeals decision affirming the district court's ruling. [Silvernail v. Ameritech Pension Plan, CA7, 05-1535]" (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

UK Government Says Low Pensions Charges Necessary to Boost Saver Confidence
Excerpt: "A reduction in pension management charges is needed to help boost the confidence of savers and encourage them to plan for the future, said Work and Pensions Secretary John Hutton." (AFX News Limited via

Survey Documents Changes in UK Pension Offerings
Excerpt: "A new survey documents the changes in types of retirement schemes offered by UK employers." ( one-time registration required)

Social Security Changes in China Reinforce Need for Supplementary Benefits
Excerpt: "The State Council has announced new regulations that would make several changes to the retirement component of China's social security system but the implementation details need to be sorted out by local provinces. Because the changes would reduce future retirement benefits, the law reinforces the need for supplementary retirement benefits, consistent with the continuing promotion of Enterprise Annuities." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

2006 IRA Contribution and Deduction Rules -- A Mid-Season Reminder
Excerpt: "We are in the midst of an IRA season once again. At this time, most individual retirement account (IRA) owners concentrate their contribution activity on completing their regular 2005 contributions before the April 17 deadline, but many are also contributing for 2006." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services | Bankers Systems)

Welcome to BenefitsLink advertiser Fiserv ISS Institutional Retirement Plan Services
Excerpt: "Fiserv ISS Institutional Retirement Plan Services provides back office, electronic trading support and personal service for retirement plan professionals, including Third Party Administrators, Recordkeepers, Investment Advisors, Broker/Dealers, Actuaries, Consultants and CPAs. We offer directed trustee and custodial solutions and full back office support for daily valued, defined benefit and defined contribution retirement plans." (

Wall Street Complains Compliance Costs Too High
Excerpt: "Wall Street, after investigations into one-sided research, illegal mutual fund trades and other malfeasance, is complaining about the cost of what it calls 'inefficient regulation.' A survey released on Monday by the Securities Industry Association, which looks after industry interests, found the cost of compliance has nearly doubled in the past three years, to more than $25 billion in 2005, up from $13 billion in 2002." (Reuters via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

DOL Extends Form 5500 Reporting Deadline for Hurricane-Affected Employers
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor's Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) is extending the deadline for filing 5500 reports to August 28, 2006 for employers affected by Hurricane Katrina." ( one-time registration required)

Burden of Retirement Planning Is Shifting to the Individual
Excerpt: "As more companies cut back on defined-benefit pension plans and place greater emphasis on 401(k) and other alternatives, greater responsibility for retirement planning falls on the shoulders of individual workers." (Birmingham Business Journal via

Investor Thinking on Retirement Income Has Changed
Excerpt: "More than one-fourth (28%) of investors say they will not have enough money when they retire to last their lifetime, according to the UBS/Gallup Index of Investor Confidence for February." ( one-time registration required)

Human Emotions and Impulses Contribute to Bad Retirement Planning Decisions
Excerpt: "A report released by ING US Financial Services examines data that shows how human psychology and emotion can cause barriers to adequately preparing for financial security in retirement." ( one-time registration required)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

A Roadmap for Convergence between IFRSs and US GAAP - 2006-2008 (PDF)
4 pages. A Memorandum of Understanding between the FASB and the IASB, 27 February 2006, recognizes employers' accounting for pensions and other postemployment benefits as viable projects. (Financial Accounting Standards Board)

Opinion: Hiring Older Workers: A Solid and Sound Investment Proposition
Excerpt: "Mature workers are inflexible, not up-to-speed with today's technology and most importantly, they're too expensive. But are they really? The Business Case for Workers Age 50+: Planning for Tomorrow's Talent Needs in Today's Competitive Environment attempts to address the specific issue of cost. The study highlights the need for employers to consider costs with a broader lens and demonstrates that hiring 50+ workers is a solid and sound investment proposition." (AARP)

Overview: New York City Domestic Partner Law Preempted by ERISA
Excerpt: "This decision is the result of the Mayor of New York City's refusal to enforce the Equal Benefits Law that was adopted, over the Mayor's veto, by the New York City Council." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Overview: SEC Provides Guidance on Definition of 'Perquisites' (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "While the SEC continues to take the position that it is not appropriate for the securities rules to give a bright line definition of perquisite, the SEC recently provided interpretive guidance as to what is and is not a perquisite and therefore required to be reported as an element of executive compensation." (Powell Goldstein LLP)

Obtaining Quality Employee Benefit Plan Audit Services (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "The AICPA Employee Benefit Plan Audit Quality Center has prepared this document to assist plan sponsors and other stakeholders in the proposal and evaluation process to obtain quality audit services for employee benefit plans." (The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)

Overview: DOL Final Rules Interpreting USERRA
Excerpt: "On December 19, 2005, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published final rules interpreting the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), 38 U.S.C. §§4301 et seq. The rules are the first issued regarding USERRA since it was enacted in 1994. They became effective on January 18, 2006. This advisory highlights key aspects of the new rules and the major rights and obligations created by USERRA." (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Cafeteria Plan Election Changes--What's Permitted, What's Not?
Nationwide on February 9, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

IRS Update and Enforcement Initiatives for 2006
in Massachusetts on March 15, 2006
presented by WEB Worldwide Employee Benefits Network MA Chapter

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

SunGard Introduces Relius Document Management Services
(SunGard Corbel)

CitiStreet Year Marked By Growth in Sales and Services

U. S. Labor Department Extends Filing Deadline for Annual Report Filers in Gulf Coast Region
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Improved Productivity and Lower Employer Health Costs are Hallmarks of New Health Coaching Phenomenon
(Leade Health)

BellGroup L.L.C. Announces Formation of BellBenefits, New Employee Benefits Company For North Texas
(BellGroup L.L.C.)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Benefit Pension Administrator
for RSM McGladrey Inc.
in AZ

Retirement Plan Consultant
for Pension Benefits Unlimited, Inc.
in CA

Pension Administrator I
for Flynn, Shojinaga & Associates, Inc.
in CA

Employee Benefits Administration
for Primary Consulting, Inc.

Marketing Consultant II
for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
in AZ

Life & Health Agent - Group Benefits
for Hancock Insurance Agency
in LA, MS

Business Development - Retirement Coordinator
for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA

Retirement Plan Specialist
for Benefit Consultants Group
in NJ

Data Input / General Office Clerk
for Creative Benefit Strategies, Inc.
in OH

Retirement Services Manager
for National Telecommunications Cooperative Association
in NC

Senior Communications Consultant
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Client Services Manager: Health & Welfare
for Fidelity Investments
in MA, NH

Defined Benefit Conversion Project Leader
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

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

Published by:, Inc.
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Fax: (407) 644-2151

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