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March 14, 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)

Finding & Maintaining the Best 401k Investments
53 pages. Excerpt: "The workshop [was] presented by Michael Malone on March 7, 2006." (MJM Financial, LLC)

Exchange-Traded Funds Help Employees Avoid High Annual Fees in 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "ETFs have been around for more than a decade but have become a good option for retirement plans only in the past few years. ETFs consist of a set basket of stocks, bonds, or other securities that track a benchmark such as the Dow Jones industrial average or the Lehman Brothers U.S. Aggregate bond index. That way, investors know exactly what they're buying. And management expenses are lower than those of most mutual funds, a big plus in the recent low-return market." (BusinessWeek Online)

Measuring and Monitoring the Long-Term Succeess of Defined Contribution Plan Participants (PDF)
44 pages. Excerpt: "Most plan sponsors, plan participants and service providers do not know how to 'benchmark' plan participant progress towards accumulating sufficient assets to provide an adequate retirement income. We believe all programs should be based upon actual outcome improvement over time -- and the ultimate outcome -- is accumulating sufficient assets to fund retirement income. This paper describes the methodology to accurately benchmark participant progress over time." (Unified Trust Company)

Are Mutual Fund Fees Best Set by Market Rather than Directors?
Excerpt: "Mutual fund industry leaders, desperate to end what they view as a push toward overregulation, are talking about dusting off an old idea: allowing fund fees to be determined by market forces and not by negotiations involving fund boards." (InvestmentNews.com; one-time registration or subscription required)

Overview: SEC Proposes Changes to Market Timing Rules
Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has issued proposed amendments to the final mutual fund market timing rules it released last year. The proposed amendments would clarify certain issues relating to information sharing agreements that mutual funds must enter into with financial intermediaries, including 401(k) and other retirement plans, and, to a limited extent, streamline the rule's application when 'chains' of intermediaries are involved." (Deloitte's Washington Bulletin via BenefitsLink.com)

Blog: Pension Reform Focus on 4010
Excerpt: "H.R. 2830 §503 would require 4010 reporting if either - (a) the aggregate funding ratio of single-employer defined benefit plans maintained by controlled group members is less than 60%; or (b) the aggregate funding ratio of single-employer defined benefit plans maintained by controlled group members is less than 75%, and the plan sponsor is in an industry with respect to which the PBGC determines that there is substantial unemployment or underemployment and ...." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Draft of a 'Dear Colleague' Letter Regarding Pension Funding Reform (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Provisions in the Senate-passed bill, including the use of a company's credit rating and lack of an adequate smoothing period, have the potential to adversely impact the pensions of millions of Americans from large manufacturing and telecom companies to smaller, high-tech firms." (American Benefits Council)

Report Set to Blame Government for United Kingdom Pension Losses
Excerpt: "A report due out this week from the UK parliamentary ombudsman is expected to blame the government for occupational pension scheme collapses that have affected 85,000 workers. The report by Ann Abraham, due to be published on March 15, may land the Department for Work and Pensions with a GBP5 billion bill to compensate workers who lost their pensions when the companies they worked for went bust." (Insurance Business Review Online)

Blog: Withdrawal Liability Claim Against Barbados Subsidiary Revived
Excerpt: "Central States, Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund is permitted to conduct discovery regarding general personal jurisdiction over a Barbados subsidiary of a bankrupt U.S. corporation that withdrew from the pension fund without making withdrawal liability payments required by ERISA, according to a 7th Circuit decision reversing a district court ruling." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

To Draw Pension, Some Must Hunt for It -- Sleuthing, Challenges Help Recover Millions
Excerpt: "Statistics are scarce about the general profile of the owners of this money, but many people don't even start monitoring the benefits they're due until they approach the typical retirement age of 65. By then it can be hard to track down an employer that has been sold or perhaps closed shop decades ago, even with the help of the free counseling services that have sprung up since the 1990s." (The Boston Globe)

6th Edition of Mercer's Global Retirement Perspective, March 2006
Excerpt: "[Global Retirement Perspective is] Mercer's home for thought-provoking insights on retirement and pension issues facing multinational companies." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

File Maintenance Guidelines: 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 | Bankers Systems)

Editorial: IRAs and Tax Madness
Excerpt: "Some senators are itching to temporarily allow all Americans to convert their old I.R.A.'s to Roths. Tax would be due up front on the amount that would be transferred, so -- voilà! -- the government would get a quick jolt of revenue. But later, the tactic would be a big revenue loser, as wealthy Americans made tax-free withdrawals that otherwise would have been taxable." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Blog: 190,000 Small Employers to Receive Letter from the IRS Regarding SIMPLE IRA Plans
Excerpt: "The IRS has been busy auditing SIMPLE IRA plans and discovering a great deal of noncompliance as far as whether or not the plans have been properly amended for EGTRRA. At a recent Mid-Atlantic Pension Liaison meeting, IRS announced their intent to notify all 190,000 employers across the country who maintain SIMPLE IRA plans in an effort to motivate employers to get the amendments done." (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via Benefitsblog.com)

ABC Talking Points on Hybrid Plans' Inclusion in Final Retirement Legislation (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "As noted, companies have been leaving the defined benefit plan system at an accelerating rate. If costly new mandates are added to plans, either retroactively or prospectively, it will increase these departures and thus severely hurt participants. In short, mandates intended to help participants will badly hurt them. If that happens, tomorrow's concern will be the alarming lack of employer-sponsored retirement plans." (American Benefits Council)

Commentary: Slippery Social Security Slope
Excerpt: "Contrary to conventional wisdom, the debate over Social Security's future is not over. Indeed, it may take a new path that could fundamentally change our economic system." (The Washington Times)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Text: Description of Revenue Provisions Contained in the President's Fiscal Year '07 Budget Proposal (PDF)
322 pages. Excerpt: "This document ... provides a description and analysis of the revenue provisions modifying the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the 'Code') that are contained in the President's fiscal year 2007 budget proposal, as submitted to the Congress on February 6, 2006." (Joint Committee on Taxation)


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 Massachusetts on April 25, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

401(k) Plans
in Oregon on May 9, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

401(k) Plans
in Illinois on May 16, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Massachusetts on April 26, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Oregon on May 10, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Illinois on May 17, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Massachusetts on April 28, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Oregon on May 12, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Illinois on May 19, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Massachusetts on April 27, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Oregon on May 11, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Illinois on May 18, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Massachusetts on April 28, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Oregon on May 12, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Illinois on May 19, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Houston Employee Benefits Society Sponsors Seminar on the Future of Consumer Driven Healthcare
in Texas on March 23, 2006
presented by Houston Chapter of the International Society of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Massachusetts on April 27, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Oregon on May 11, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Illinois on May 18, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

NIPA Members Now Eligible to Receive CFP Board-Approved CE Credit
(National Institute of Pension Administrators)

Alger Funds Added to CPI Retirement Platform
(CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Attorney – Group Healthcare
for Great-West Corporate
in CO

Relationship Manager II
for Wachovia Corporation
in NC

Sales Support Specialist
for Union Bank of California
in CA

Manager of Health & Welfare
for Gaylord Entertainment
in TN

Retirement Plan Administrator
for ERISA Services, Inc.
in TN

Benefit Analyst
for Ameriprise Financial
in MN

Benefit Service Representative
for Leggette Actuaries, Inc.
in TX

Investment Advisor/Communications Specialist
for Invesmart, Inc.
in MA, ME

Relationship Manager
for EPIC Advisors Inc
in NY

Corp. Transaction Consult/ERISA Attorney
for Hewitt Associates
in NJ




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