Retirement Plans
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March 15, 2006
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Sal L. Tripodi’s 2006 ERISA Outline Book now available

The ’06 ERISA Outline book will give you what you need to succeed. Now with five volumes, these are the books that will tell you what you need to know, including:

Revised comprehensive 415 regulations
Expanded information on Roth 401(k) contributions
Final USERRA regulations

Order The ERISA Outline Book today!

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

Overview: Elective Deferral Limits for 2006 for Employees of Non-Profit and Governmental Employers (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Code sets limits on elective contributions made under retirement plans offered to employees of non-profit and governmental employers. Some non-profit and governmental employers can choose to offer one or more plans, including 403(b), 401(k), and section 457(b) plans. Generally, contributions made to 403(b) and 401(k) plans are aggregated when applying the contribution limits, while those made to section 457(b) plans are subject to separate limits." (Prudential Retirement)

401(k) Provider Directory (PDF)
3 pages. The directory information includes number of plans and assets handled by each provider in addition to contact info. (Benefits & Compensation Solutions)

Promoting Retirement Plan Participation (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Beyond wanting employees to benefit in the long run from a long, productive work life, employers need to promote retirement saving because plan satisfaction helps to attract and retain quality employees and can positively influence" (Benefits & Compensation Solutions)

Working Paper: Personalized Retirement Advice and Managed Accounts (PDF)
35 pages. Excerpt: "This paper investigates two methods for improving participants' asset allocations in their 401(k) plans: personalized online advice and managed account services. This paper uses a unique new dataset of individual-level administrative data from one 401(k) plan and recommendation data from an advice provider." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

How You Can Safeguard Your Own 401(k)
Excerpt: "While Enron and other scandals have politicians on Capitol Hill clamoring for legislative changes, many of the proposed changes are cosmetic. Here's our look at some of the worst problems and potential solutions. A sidebar offers advice for anybody wanting to improve his or her own 401(k) performance." (MSN Money)

Argentina: Accounting Standard for Pensions Released
Excerpt: "The Argentine Federation of Accountants recently released Technical Rule 23, establishing the guidelines for recognizing liabilities and expenses related to long-term benefits. This rule is mandatory for all financial statements dated after Jan. 1, 2006." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Working Paper: Working for a Good Retirement (PDF)
38 pages. Excerpt: "Drawing on the Urban Institute's Dynamic Simulation of Income model (DYNASIM3), this report examines how delaying retirement for non-disabled workers would affect individual retiree benefits, the solvency of the Social Security trust fund, and general revenues." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Pension Funding Conference Begins for H.R. 2830 (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "After much debate in the Senate over the number of conferees that would reconcile the House and Senate versions of pension reform legislation, Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-TN) finally named conferees on March 3. The House named its conferees on March 8 and the conference began that evening. Senator Michael Enzi (R-WY) was chosen as the chairman of the conference committee." (Buck Consultants)

U.S. Investigates Pension Fund Activity at Northwest Airlines
Excerpt: "The Labor Department is investigating whether Northwest Airlines systematically shortchanged its employee pension fund over three years, then avoided having to make a $65 million payment to the fund by filing for bankrup.tcy protection just one day before the payment was due." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Implications for Multiemployer Plans of Pension Reform Bills Congress Is Considering (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The Bulletin does not discuss specific provisions of the Senate bill (S. 1783) or the House bill (H.R. 2830) because changes are possible during the conference committee process. Rather, the Bulletin presents the big-picture implications for trustees and plan sponsors." (The Segal Company)

Planning possibilities with IRA-to-Qualified Plan Rollovers
Excerpt: "[A]s a result of a relatively recent law change that became effective in 2002, many individuals may be surprised to learn that rolling over funds from a traditional IRA to a 401(k) plan or other employer-sponsored qualified plan that accepts such rollovers may offer numerous planning possibilities." (Pension & Benefits Week via RIA News Briefings - Pension & Benefits)

Current Developments in ERISA
Excerpt: "The ... list tracks important guidance that has been released since January 1, 2006." (TRI Pension Services/)

Germany Opts Against Pensions Compulsion, According to Reports
Excerpt: "According to reports emerging from a conference in Berlin, the German government has no plans to make corporate pensions contributions compulsory." (Insurance Business Review Online)

United Kingdom Mothers and Caregivers to Get Improved Pension Provision
Excerpt: "Pension provision for women in the UK is set to be overhauled by the government, reports suggest. However the reforms are unlikely to be as far-reaching as those advocated by the Pensions Commission." (Insurance Business Review Online)

Argentina: Reduction in Employers' Social Security Contributions Extended
Excerpt: "The Argentine government has extended through Dec. 31, 2006, the reduction in mandatory employers' contributions first established by law in March 2004. The law and its complementing decrees, including the recently announced Decree 31/2006, put into place a 33 percent cut for each new employee hired and a 50 percent discount for new workers included in the 'Jefes y Jefas del Hogar' plan, a government program that provides financial aid to unemployed heads of household." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Opinion: 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 via Cato Institute)

Retirement Plan Community Letter to Senate Regarding EGTRRA Permanency (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The EGTRRA pension and retirement savings provisions, which will expire at the end of 2010 or earlier unless Congress acts, permit Americans to save more in employer plans and IRAs; ease portability among various plans; and provide significant administrative relief to employers who sponsor plans." (American Benefits Council)

FDIC to Cover up to $250K in Retirement Accounts
Excerpt: "A new law taking effect April 1 will raise the deposit insurance coverage on retirement accounts held at banks or savings institutions from the current $100,000 to $250,000." ( one-time registration required)

Target-Date Funds May Be Retirement Answer
Excerpt: "A growing number of investors are finding convenience and instant diversity in target-date funds, which offer one-stop shopping for retirement savers who don't want to worry about asset allocation and rebalancing." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Blog: Final Open Issues of FASB Pension/OPEB Project Phase 1 Include Tax-Exempts
Excerpt: "At it Board meeting [today], the Financial Accounting Standards Board will discuss the final remaining issues toward issuance of an exposure draft of new financial accounting standards under phase 1 of its project on employers' accounting for pensions and other post-employment benefits (OPEBs)." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Benefits Perspectives -- Current Issues in Employee Benefits, Winter 2005-2006 (PDF)
12 pages. This issues includes articles on Medicare Part D, global pension plans, and reducing retirement plan benefits. (Milliman)

2006 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "The Segal Company's 2006 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans summarizes compliance requirements for qualified, single employer benefit plans. [A] brief description of each requirement and information about such details as the plan(s) affected, filing requirements and due dates [is provided]. An easy-to-print, multiple-page PDF version of this calendar is available on the following Web page:" (The Segal Company)

Few Companies Planning Executive Compensation Changes in Light of SEC Proposals
Excerpt: "In spite of the Securities and Exchange Commission's (SEC) recent proposal requiring better disclosure of executive pay programs, most US companies are not planning any changes to theirs, according to a recent survey." ( one-time registration required)

An Analysis of the President's Budgetary Proposals for Fiscal Year 2007 (PDF)
71 pages. Excerpt: "The most significant changes involve provisions of EGTRRA and JGTRRA, the alternative minimum tax (AMT), the research and experimentation tax credit, tax deductions for certain premiums paid for health care plans with high deductibles, and various types of savings accounts. [p. 18]" (U.S. Congressional Budget Office)

What's the Biggest Change Facing Business in the Next 10 Years? A Look at the Future by 10 Experts
Excerpt: "Fewer and fewer people will want to be employees of corporations, because corporations don't have anything to offer. Corporations don't provide security and provide fewer and fewer benefits. People may find new ways to sell their skills. I can imagine eBay or the equivalent of eBay being in the business of letting people bid on work all day long. Office buildings may turn into housing, or maybe individuals will rent office space as you would rent a hotel room. [Avram Miller]" (Fast Company)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Benefit Advisors Network Members Shine in Industry Benchmarking Survey
(Benefit Advisors Network)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Plan Administrator
for Third Party Administration Firm
in FL

Financial Specialist
for Wachovia Corporation
in PA

Client Communications Consultant
for The Newport Group, Inc.
in FL

Senior Pension Administrator
for Pen-Cal
in CA

Defined Contribution Business Analyst
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Defined Benefit Client Account Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Plan Administrator
for The Newport Group, Inc.
in FL

Marketing Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Assistant Administrator
for So. Calif. UFCW Unions & Drug Employers Trust Funds
in CA

Benefits Analyst
for Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

Funds Management Supervisor
for First Mercantile (SunTrust Bank)
in TN

Handy Links:

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