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March 7, 2006
Today's 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™

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 http://www.asppa.org/archive/conf/2006/2006bcos.htm


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

Opinion: Bush Tax Reform Panel Wants to Kill the 401(k)
Excerpt: "You can beat them with a stick, but tax cuts for the rich just won't go away. The president's advisory panel on tax reform issued its report in November and championed a provision that would effectively trash what was arguably the greatest success of the Reagan administration. The accident of legislative history I'm referring to is the invention of the 401(k) plan." (The Contra Costa Times; one-time registration required)

Social(k) Funds Aim for Greener Portfolios
Excerpt: "The socially responsible 401(k) program was launched last fall by a Massachusetts company calling itself Social(k). The platform the company offers includes mutual funds that invest in companies screened for their corporate citizenship, environmental practices and sustainability, for example. Some funds in the Social(k) plans also filter out companies that sell or produce tobacco, alcohol or weapons." (The Oregonian; one-time registration required)

Chart: Comparison of Pension Funding and PBGC Provisions of House and Senate Bills
Excerpt: "In this chart [CCA Strategies provides] a side-by-side comparison of House and Senate bills on pension funding and PBGC provisions." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

American Benefits Council's Views with Respect to Pension Funding Legislation (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "[T]his document summarizes the key concerns of the American Benefits Council ... with respect to the funding proposals in the Senate (S. 1783) and the House (H.R. 2830). Also included ... is a list of other significant issues." (American Benefits Council)

Pennsylvania Taxpayers to Face Unaffordable Pension Costs for Public Employees
Excerpt: "'Without significant changes in the design of both pension and retiree health care benefits plans, the taxpayers of Pennsylvania will likely be facing unaffordable costs,' said Rick Dreyfuss, a former Hershey Co. benefits manager after reviewing the state's two major public employee pension systems." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Could PBGC Reform Cause Excessive Claims on the Agency?
Excerpt: "Tighter funding obligations being considered as part of the US single-employer pension funding reform proposals could have the reverse effect of forcing 'borderline' companies onto the federal insurance program, industry experts have claimed." (Global Pensions magazine)

Connecticut Pension Officials Appeal Pension Benefit Increase Ruling
Excerpt: "The Connecticut State Employees' Retirement Commission (SERC) is appealing a lower court ruling granting a pension bump of nearly $10,000 to a state lawyer for the value of unused vacation time." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Court Enforces Plan's Indemnification of Fiduciaries and TPAs
Excerpt: "In this case, the court found that ERISA allows plan fiduciaries to recover under benefit plan indemnification provisions when the parties settle before fiduciary liability is judicially determined." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Blog: Treasury Using Federal Pension Funds to Avoid Debt Limit
Excerpt: "Here's a disturbing report from Daily Kos about how the Treasury Department is tapping federal retirement funds so as not to reach the national debt limit." (Workplace Prof Blog)

Real Estate Investment Trusts: Can They Improve The Thrift Savings Plan? (PDF)
254 pages. Transcript of the April 19, 2005, hearing on H.R. 1578 before the Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce and Agency Organization of the Committee on Government Reform of the House of Representatives. (House Committee on Government Reform)

Blog: Pension Forfeiture for Private Employees?
Excerpt: "Consistent with a [previous] post ... on the difference between pension forfeiture in public versus private employment, here is a story where a public employee did lose a large pension for engaging in criminal conduct." (Workplace Prof Blog)

Working Paper Abstract: Some Answers to the Retirement-Consumption Puzzle
Excerpt: "Using panel data, [the authors] find that prior to retirement workers anticipated on average a decline of 13.3% in spending and after retirement they recollected a decline of 12.9%: widespread surprise is not the explanation for the retirement-consumption puzzle. Workers with substantial wealth both anticipated and recollected a decline. Therefore, for many workers the decline is not necessitated by the fall in income that accompanies retirement." (National Bureau of Economic Research; paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve full-text)

Current Pension Legislative Outlook as of March 6, 2006
Excerpt: "The general sense in Washington is that defined benefit funding legislation will pass this spring. Current thinking is that legislative work on the DB funding bill may be completed at the earliest by early April and at the latest by the end of May. Between now and then, the House and Senate bills will have to be conferenced." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Chart: Comparison of Cash Balance Provisions of House and Senate Bills
Excerpt: "In this chart [CCA Strategies provides] a side-by-side comparison of House and Senate bills on cash balance provisions." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

IRS Weighted Average Interest Rate Table Updated for March 2006
Weighted average for March 2006: 4.83% (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: Section 409A Compliance: Equity Compensation
Excerpt: "The Treasury Department and IRS are currently working on finalizing regulations under Section 409A. They have received a significant number of public comments on the proposed regulations, including many requests to reconsider some of the proposed rules on stock options and other forms of equity compensation. However, it is not clear how the Treasury Department and IRS will respond or when they might issue final regulations or other definitive guidance." (Poyner & Spruill LLP)

Blog: Milofsky Cleared for Take-Off
Excerpt: "The Fifth Circuit as a whole has revived the Milofsky lawsuit. As previously reported here in For Your Benefit, American Airline pilots claimed that they lost money because plan fiduciaries botched the transfer of certain plan assets." (Michael H. Rosenthal via for your benefit)

Fifth Circuit Sends Milofsky Case Back to District Court
Excerpt: "The Fifth Circuit, sitting en banc on an appeal from a three-judge panel, issued a decision per curiam March 2, vacating a district court's dismissal of a claim for breach of fiduciary duty under section 502(a)(2) of ERISA." (The ERISA Industry Committee)


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 http://www.asppa.org/education/ed_ed.htm,
or register at http://www.asppa.org/exam.
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!)

401(k) Plans
in Washington on March 28, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

401(k) Plans
in California on April 11, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

401(k) Plans
in Minnesota on April 18, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Washington on March 29, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in California on April 12, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Minnesota on April 19, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Washington on March 31, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in California on April 14, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Minnesota on April 21, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Washington on March 30, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in California on April 13, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Minnesota on April 20, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

GASB #45 Webcast: Pitfalls and Solutions
Nationwide on March 29, 2006
presented by Aon Consulting

GASB #45 Webcast: The Basics
Nationwide on March 28, 2006
presented by Aon Consulting

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Washington on March 31, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in California on April 14, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Minnesota on April 21, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Washington on March 30, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in California on April 13, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Minnesota on April 20, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Pension Reform Legislation (Tax Series)
in District of Columbia on March 7, 2006
presented by District of Columbia Bar

Web/Telephone Seminar: Advanced HSAs
Nationwide on April 20, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Basic IRAs
Nationwide on April 6, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Nationwide on April 11, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

CPI Announces New Director of Broker Dealer Relationships
(CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.)

Harris, Rothenberg International LLC Honored With iNOVA Awards for Exceptional EAP-Work/Life Website
(Harris, Rothenberg International (HRI))

Fidelity Estimates $200,000 Now Needed to Cover Retiree Health Care Costs; Five Percent Increase over 2005 Estimate of $190,000
(Fidelity Investments)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Retirement Plan Coordinator
for American Funds
in VA

401(k) Administrators
for Pension Development Corporation, Ltd.
in NY

Defined Contribution Plans Administrator
for Benefit Associates Inc.
in CA

DB Analyst Open House Wednesday, March 8th 4pm-7pm
for Mercer HR Services
in MA

Health & Benefits Team Leader-Job Fair Wednesday, March 8th 4pm-7pm
for Mercer HR Services
in MA

Health & Benefits Analyst Please join us at our Job Fair Wednesday, March 8th 4pm-7pm
for Mercer HR Services
in MA

Global Wealth & Investment Management (GWIM) -- ERISA Attorney
for Bank of America
in MA

Pension Administrator
for FBD Consulting, Inc.
in KS

Defined Contribution Software Customer Support
for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.
in IL

Defined Benefit Software Customer Support
for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.
in IL

Trust Administrator - Employee Benefits
for Old Point Trust and Financial Services
in VA

Pension Administrator
for Moran & Associates, Inc.
in WA

ARS Business Analyst
for Alerus Retirement Solutions
in MN




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