Retirement Plans
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March 2, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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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

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

Retirement News for Employers, Winter 2006 Edition -- Revised (PDF)
9 pages. (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Avoid 401(k) Neglect: Paying Attention Can Pay Off
Excerpt: "Do you see your 401(k) as the chief source of income in retirement? Many Americans don't but really should." (AARP)

Spectrem Study Shows More Participant Education is Needed for Alternative Investments
Excerpt: "While increasing numbers of plan sponsors have reached out for lifestyle and lifecycle funds as well as ETFs as investment options, that doesn't mean participants know that much about them. In fact, according to a new Spectrem Group study, most 401(k) participants do not even know what the latest options are or how they might fit into their overall retirement savings accounts." ( one-time registration required)

Considering a DROP? A PLOP May Fit Better (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "With the recent press concerning the surprising cost effects of what were intended to be 'cost-neutral' Deferred Retirement Option Plans (DROPs), now is a good time to revisit DROPs and how they affect retirement decisions. Further, this article will discuss how a Partial Lump-sum Option Plan (PLOP) could be a better fit for employees, employers, and the pension plan." (Milliman)

OPM Unveils Federal Employee Retirement Education Prototype
Excerpt: "The Office of Personnel Management ... unveiled a prototype of a new retirement preparation tool for federal employees [yesterday]." (

Switzerland: Swiss Pension Funds' Investment Performance Best Since 2005
Excerpt: "The Swiss pension fund association ASIP's comparison of pension fund performance carried out in association with Watson Wyatt has revealed an average investment return for 2005 of 13 per cent for the participating funds." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Milliman's Comments Re: Multiemployer Pension Plans: Moody's Analytical Approach (PDF)
3 pages. (Milliman)

Corrected Link: ERISA Provisions Governing Termination of a Pension Plan (PDF)
46 pages. Excerpt: "The distress termination under ERISA of a pension plan in a chapter 11 case relieves the debtor of the contractual obligations arising from the pension plan agreement and the statutory obligations imposed by ERISA but results in a claim for accrued but unpaid funding contributions." (Gardner Carton & Douglas)

Commentary: 'Trust' in North American Qualified Retirement Plans (PDF)
Pages 22-24 of 40 pages. Excerpt: "English law is not worldwide. An obvious statement, perhaps, but much ignored in the field of retirement plans. In fact, the importance of trust law is pretty much ignored in North America where trusts form the primary vehicles of delivering qualified retirement plan benefits." (Society of Actuaries)

The Importance of Personal Financial Protection (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "While accumulating savings is a worthy goal, any changes contemplated in the tax system related to savings must not limit or disadvantage protection and security products, but rather should strengthen them. The current employer-provided and individually purchased protection and security products are a success story worthy of safeguarding." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

EBRI Notes Article: Retirement Annuity and Pension Income Among Individuals 50 and Over in 2004 (PDF)
Pages 6-11 of 12 pages. Excerpt: "Annuity income streams disappearing: Future retirees may not have a steady income stream in retirement, as defined benefit pensions decline, which means they will likely be more reliant on assets they must manage themselves instead of receiving a stream of income for life (i.e., an annuity)." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Notes Article: Retirement Plans and Retirement Confidence in Higher Education (PDF)
Pages 2-5 of 12 pages. Excerpt: "Faculty savings behavior and perceptions: The Retirement Confidence Survey of College and University Faculty was conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute ..., Mathew Greenwald & Associates, Inc. ..., and the TIAA-CREF Institute, and underwritten by TIAA-CREF, to better understand the retirement planning and saving behavior of college and university faculty, as well as to gauge perceptions regarding various aspects of their retirement preparations." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

EEOC Sues Railroad for Age Bias in Buyout Plan
Excerpt: "The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has filed suit against BNSF Railway Co., alleging that older workers were excluded from a recent buyout plan." ( one-time registration required)

Employers and Employees Are not Prepared for Aging Workforce Issues
Excerpt: "The 2005/2006 MetLife Employee Benefits Trend Study found that, while 34% of all employers (46% of employers with more than 25,000 employees) are concerned about the issues of an aging workforce, 79% have not taken steps to address their concerns." ( one-time registration required)

Overview: SEC Offers 2006 Proxy Season Guidance (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "This Client Memorandum highlights recent guidance from the Securities and Exchange Commission ('SEC') regarding the interpretation of the SEC's executive compensation disclosure rules as currently in effect. Public companies should heed this guidance in preparing their 2006 proxy statements." (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

SEC Plan Could Blur Executive Compensation Reports
Excerpt: "To the confusion of shareholders, strange rises and dips in the reported compensation of companies' highest-paid executives could be among the results of the new Securities and Exchange Commission pay-disclosure proposals." (

Ford Accused of Benefits Interference
Excerpt: "A former Ford Motor Company engineer has filed a lawsuit accusing the company of trying to deprive him of pension and other benefits. The Detroit News reports that the lawsuit was filed on behalf of William Armstrong and five other Ford employees. They, along with thousands of other white-collar workers, lost their jobs in January as part of Ford's North American restructuring." ( one-time registration required)

Clarified USERRA Guides Handling of Military Service
Excerpt: "The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act governs the rights and benefits of employees who serve in the military and how they are treated by their employers when they return to their jobs. The Labor Department issued final rules clarifying the law that went into effect in January." (Employee Benefit News)

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™

ASPPA's Exam Registration for Spring and Fall Exams Now Open

ASPPA’s exam registration is open for the 2006 spring and fall exam windows. The Spring window runs from May 15-June 30. Learn more about our exams at,
or register at
New exams include the Plan Financial Consulting (PFC-1 & PFC-2) exams that represent the advance level curriculum for the new Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) credential. Register 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!)

Annual Legal and Regulatory Update
in Ohio on March 16, 2006
presented by WEB (Worldwide Employee Benefits Network) Cleveland Chapter

ERISA Litigation Forum:Worker Benefit Claims
in California on March 7, 2006
presented by Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP

Processing Benefits Claims and Appeals for Self-Funded Health Plans, Health FSAs, and HRAs: How to Make Plan Decisions That Stand Up to Scrutiny
Nationwide on June 30, 2005
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Disaster Relief Announcements
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

Seligman TargetHorizon ETF PortfoliosSM Added to CPI Retirement Platform
(CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.)

Fidelity Investments Issues Boomer Retirement Savings Statistics as National Retirement Summit Opens in Washington D.C. Today
(Fidelity Investments)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Health & Welfare Associate
for Towers Perrin
in CA, FL, GA, NC

Employee Benefits Tax Senior
for Deloitte Tax LLP
in OH

Communications Consultant
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

DC Product Manager
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Litigation Attorney
for Slevin & Hart, P.C.
in DC

for Slevin & Hart, P.C.
in DC

Integrated Benefits Project Manager
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

529 Regional Plan Coordinator, AVP
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Sales Force Training Specialist
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Retirement Paycheck Service - Product Specialist
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

AVP - Sales Analyst
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Defined Benefit Data Analyst
for Diversified Investment Advisors, Inc.
in MA

New Client Services Manager
in CA

Benefits Orientation Representative
for Administaff
in CA

Plan Implementation Specialist
for Midsouth Pension Consultants, LLC
in TN

Retirement Plan Conversion Consultant
for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
in OH

Int'l/U.S. Research Consultant
for Hewitt Associates
in IL

Pension Administrator Assistant
for Scott, Tellier & Co., Inc.
in AZ

Handy Links:

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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Winter Park FL 32789
(407) 644-4146
Fax: (407) 644-2151

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