Retirement Plans
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March 16, 2006
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High 401(k) Fees Can Trim Your Retirement Goals
Excerpt: "Annual fees tend to be lower in large plans, according to David Huntley of, a Baltimore-based consulting firm that helps companies with their retirement plans. Fees average 1 percent for plans with 2,000 participants and 1.26 percent for plans with 100 participants, Huntley said." (

Senator Baucus to Introduce 401(k) Reform Measure
Excerpt: "Legislation expected to be introduced [today] by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., would make it easier for employers to automatically enroll employees in 401(k) plans and would simplify distribution rules for 401(k) plans." (Business Insurance)

Comments on the Revised Regulations Concerning Section 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Contracts
Excerpt: "The Proposed Regulations would update the current Code §403(b) regulations to conform to numerous legislative changes made to 403(b) plans since the current regulations were issued in 1964-including §1022(e) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) -and would incorporate other interpretive guidance." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Experts Predict Shape of Retirement Plans to Come
Excerpt: "The report, 'Prescience 2010: Expert Opinions on the Future of Retirement,' underwritten by Diversified Investment Advisors, polled 42 retirement experts across the country. The experts indicated that, of companies with 1,000 employees or more, 55% offer a defined-benefit pension plan today. By 2010, they anticipate that only 36% will do so. Pension watchers expect 30% of existing pensions to be frozen and 15% to be terminated by that year." (BenefitNews Connect)

Northwest Won't Fight Pension Fund Probe
Excerpt: "Northwest Airlines Corp. said yesterday that it will cooperate with a Labor Department investigation into its underfunded pension plan. The department is investigating 'whether any person has violated or is about to violate' pension law, according to a letter sent with the subpoena issued in January." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Hearing on Bridging the Gender Gap: Eliminating Retirement Income Disparity for Women
The target page provides links to Member Statements and Witness Testimony. (U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging)

Study Says Annuities Add Value to Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "A study from the National Association for Variable Annuities (NAVA) assesses the value annuities provide when held in qualified retirement plans. In its press release, NAVA said the study found financial advisors feel it is the combination of income guarantees and insurance benefits that annuities provide that are driving their clients to include annuities in qualified plans or IRAs." ( one-time registration required)

United Kingdom Pension Officials Release Draft Plan Distribution Rules
Excerpt: "In a move that echoes regulatory developments in the US, UK pension officials are seeking approval from Parliament for new rules on how retirement plan participants can get a lump sum distribution or carry out an asset transfer." ( one-time registration required)

Discussion with Editor of 'A Quarter Century of Pension Reform in Latin America and the Caribbean'
Excerpt: "A Quarter Century of Pension Reform in Latin America and the Caribbean: Lessons Learned and Next Steps,' the book contains 12 essays by 16 authors analyzing pension issues in Latin America and the Caribbean." (Inter-American Development Bank)

British Government Will Not Take Responsibility for Pension Losses
Excerpt: "England's Prime Minister Tony Blair said the government could not take on a 15 billion pensions commitment suggested by a report by Parliamentary Ombudsman Ann Abraham." ( one-time registration required)

Talking Points on Legislation Affecting Multiemployer Plans (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Major Issues to be Reconciled in Conference between the Pension Security and Transparency Act of 2005 (S. 1783) and the Pension Protection Act of 2005 (H. R. 2830)" (American Benefits Council)

Analysis: Three Generations Prepare for Retirement (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "More responsibility for retirement financial preparedness is shifting directly to employees. In this analysis, we examine how employees are reacting and their sentiment regarding retirement saving and investing across three generations: Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Generation Y. The report findings show that each generation faces its own unique challenges in preparing for retirement." (Hewitt Associates)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Blog: Accounting for OPEB Split-Dollar Arrangements
Excerpt: "At its meeting [today], the FASB Emerging Issues Task Force will address employers' recognition of liability and relater compensation costs for endorsement split-dollar life insurance policies that provide an employee benefit that extends to postretirement periods. [EITF Issue No. 06-4]" (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Nationwide ERISA Suit Survives Challenge
Excerpt: "A federal judge in Connecticut has rebuffed efforts by two financial services companies seeking dismissal of a lawsuit filed by trustees of five 401(k) plans claiming the financial services firms breached their fiduciary duties." ( one-time registration required)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated as of March 14, 2006
Excerpt: "Hewitt's Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding health and welfare benefit plans, retirement plans, and human resources and employment law." (Hewitt Associates)

Beating the Fade: Optimizing Human Capital Investments for Superior Shareholder Returns (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "Traditional capital budgeting and financial planning frameworks offer very little to guide human capital investment decisions; yet payroll and benefits typically constitute 30%-70% of operating expenses, with training, recruiting, and other such expenses adding substantially to this cost. In spite of the magnitude of these investments, most companies are without a compass when it comes to people issues." (Valuation Issues via Hewitt Associates)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Individual Health Insurance Policies in the Workplace-- Avoiding Pitfalls and Limiting Employer Obligations
Nationwide on April 6, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Employer Interest in Consumer-Directed Health Plans Growing, Watson Wyatt/National Business Group on Health Survey Finds
(Watson Wyatt)

PSCA Joins In Group Effort To Urge Senate To Enact Permanency Of The EGTRRA Savings And Pension Provisions
(Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America (PSCA))

New Survey Finds 56% of Employers Have a HIPAA Privacy/Security Committee
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Remember to Celebrate National Employee Benefits Day on April 3
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Administrator
for Creative Pension Consultants, Inc.
in NY

Employee Benefit/Employment Tax Specialist Position in Cincinnati or Columbus
for Deloitte Tax LLP
in OH

Employee Benefit Tax Specialist Position in Cincinnati
for Deloitte Tax LLP
in OH

Health Benefits Analyst
for Segal Company
in MA

401(k) Administrator - Analyst
for The Pension Group, Inc.
in CA

Plan Administration Specialist
for Boston Financial Data Services
in MA

Processing Clerk
for Chicago TPA Firm
in IL

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