Retirement Plans
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March 17, 2006
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Overview: Proposed Roth Distribution Regulations -- Part Two
Excerpt: "The IRS has issued proposed regulations on distributions, taxation, and reporting procedures for the new Roth 401(k) plan option. This second article deals with the rollover rules." (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Bank of America Announces IRS Finding of Illegal 401(k) Plan Asset Transfers
Excerpt: "Bank of America Corp. ran afoul of US tax laws in 1998 and 1999 by permitting workers to move assets from the company's 401(k) plan to its defined benefit pension plan." ( one-time registration required)

Boehner Backs Pension Help for Older Industries
Excerpt: "The U.S. Congress needs to help troubled industries such as automobiles, steel and airlines work their way out of crippling ``legacy'' costs resulting from large numbers of retirees, House Majority Leader John Boehner said [yesterday]." (Reuters via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Sears Chairman Says PBGC System Unfair
Excerpt: "The head of one of the nation's largest retailers says the pension insurance system is unfair to companies that do not pose any risk to that system." (Business Insurance)

Survey Question: How Many States in the U.S. Now Extend Retirement Benefits to Domestic Partners?
Excerpt: "[This s]urvey of legislative staff who work on state retirement system issues, and public employee retirement systems staff in the 50 states [was conducted February 13, - March 16, 2006]." (National Conference of State Legislatures)

Letter to House and Senate Conferees on Pension Bill Sent by Interested Associations (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The House and Senate members are meeting to work out the differences between the pension bills passed by each chamber. There are many critical issues in this large bill affecting public pension plans and their participants. Read the letter sent to the conferees about these issues (the attached letter is a copy sent to one member, but the same letter was sent to all members)." (National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems)

Some Massachusetts State Workers Request Pension Shift through Reclassification, Raising Costs
Excerpt: "Benefit changes could be in store for the state's 88,000 public employees expecting a pension when they retire. Lawmakers unveiled a plan yesterday to review and reform the classification system that determines when employees are eligible for retirement, and what benefits they will receive at that time." (

Overview: Pan-European Pensions -- Final Cross-Border Regulations in the United Kingdom (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "All Member-States were required to implement Directive 2003/41/EC - known as the EU Pensions Directive into their domestic law by 23 September 2005." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Overview: IRS Provides Guidance on Part-time Employee Exclusions
Excerpt: "The IRS has issued a new internal bulletin dealing with plan exclusions of part-time, temporary, and seasonal (collectively 'part-time') employees. The February 14, 2006 Quality Assurance Bulletin ('QAB') changes the way document examiners will look at certain plan clauses." (SunGard Corbel)

Overview: Off-Calendar-Year Plan Limit
Excerpt: "Off-calendar-year plans pose many administrative challenges; and determining which year's limits apply is one. Do you use the limits in effect when the plan year starts or the limits in effect when the plan year ends?" (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Overview on the Subject of Favorable Determination Letters
Excerpt: "Although a qualified plan is not legally required to have a favorable determination letter, it may nonetheless be important to have one. This issue is not new but [the target page presents] the latest twists in this back-to-basics concept." (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

SmartMoney Magazine's Cover Story -- Retire Happy
Excerpt: "FORGET PLANNING FOR ONE RETIREMENT: Chances are you should be planning for three. Thanks to Americans' longer life spans, many retirees can expect their postcareer years to cycle through distinct stages of work, play and rest. SmartMoney shows you how to navigate the new three-act retirement." (SmartMoney)

Text of Pension Rights Center Letter to Pension Reform Bill Conferees (PDF)
Excerpt: "We urge you to oppose provisions that would ... weaken protections against conflicts of interest in plan investments; allow multiemployer plans to eliminate the special early retirement benefits ...; and permit companies to deplete essential pension plan cushions by increasing the amount of 'surplus assets' that can be transferred to retiree health plans." (Pension Rights Center)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Tailoring Benefit Communications for Spanish-Speakers
Excerpt: "Spanish-speaking employees have different attitudes toward insurance and respond to different communication styles than their English-speaking counterparts, something that benefit managers may wish to consider in planning and designing their benefit communications." (BenefitNews Connect)

National Employee Benefits Day
Excerpt: "The White House has issued a Presidential Message sending greetings to the International Foundation members as we celebrate the third National Employee Benefits Day. Today, the International Foundation encourages you to take pride in the critical role you play to ensure benefits coverage for plan participants. As a trustee, administrator, advisor or benefits manager, your duties are complex and carry significant gravity." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2005 Form 5500, Schedule A to SSA and Back Again - Audio Conference
Nationwide on April 27, 2006
presented by Thompson Interactive, A Division of Thompson Publishing Group

Catch-Up Contributions - Basics and Beyond
Nationwide on April 25, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

New Options for Part-timers - The Best of Both Worlds
Nationwide on April 6, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Spring 2006 Webinar Series
Nationwide on March 28, 2006
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Analyst II
for SouthEastern Employee Benefit Services, Inc. a subsidiary of First Charter Bank
in NC

Manager, Operations
for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA

Retirement Services Associate
for 401kExchange
in FL

Retirement Plan Administrator
for PensionOne Advisors
in CA

Senior Benefits Specialist
for Olympus America
in PA

Lead Retirement Plan Specialist
for Financial Services Company (c/o Gundersen Partners Executive Search)

Benefits Analyst (Retirement Plans)
for Scripps Health
in CA

Senior Pension Administrator/Consultant
for Chambers Benefit Group, APC
in NM

Document and Fiduciary Compliance Coordinator
for Actuarial Consultants, Inc.
in CA

Senior Administrator
for CJA and Associates
in IL

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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(407) 644-4146
Fax: (407) 644-2151

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