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March 22, 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™

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)

Individual Savings Provisions in the Savings Competitiveness Act of 2006 (PDF)
1 page. (U.S. Senate Committee on Finance)

12 Suggested Private Sector and Public Policy Initiatives to Facilitate Retirement Security (PDF)
18 pages. Excerpt: "HR Policy's Retirement Security Project unveiled its first significant work products and offered 12 different product and public policy options ...." (HR Policy Association)

Letter on Including Comprehensive Hybrid Plan Clarification in Pension Reform Conference (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Although hybrid plans provide workers with guaranteed, insured, employer-funded benefits that are both transparent and portable, current legal risks threaten their continued existence." (Senator Richard Burr via American Benefits Council)

Life-Cycle Funds Can Get Better
Excerpt: "The best thing that life-cycle funds do for investors is take them out of the mutual fund dartboard game. By making a decision for a single portfolio that contains a variety of manager-selected funds in different asset classes, the investor gets proper, age-related asset diversification." (The Dallas Morning News; one-time registration required)

Retirement Planning: Baby Boomers Not Playing Catch Up
Excerpt: "A study of 2,000 401(k) plans, administered by mutual fund giant Vanguard, shows that only 13 percent of the eligible participants made catch-up contributions in 2004. A study by the Washington, D.C.-based Investment Company Institute, or ICI, focused on IRAs: While about 41 percent of American households own IRAs, just 6 percent made catch-up contributions in tax-year 2004, according to the report." (Bankrate.com)

Corrected Data for New York Life Investment Management in 401(k) Provider Directory (PDF)
New York Life wrote to add this correction to a 401(k) provider directory we linked to on 3/15/06. (New York Life)

Policy Brief: Defined Contribution Pension Plans and the Supplemental Security Income Program (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "This policy brief analyzes changes in the employer-sponsored pension system and the relationship of these changes to the Supplemental Security Income program's treatment of retirement plans." (U.S. Social Security Administration)

Moody's May Look at Multiemployer Pension Plan Under-Funding when Rating Contributing Employers (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Earlier this year, Moody's Investors Service issued a Request for Comment (RFC) entitled, 'Multiemployer Pension Plans: Moody's Analytical Approach,' which describes a proposal to take into account the impact of under-funding in multiemployer plans when Moody's rates the creditworthiness of contributing publicly traded companies that elect to be rated. A Segal Company Bulletin which summarizes the proposal has been added to [Segal's] Web site: ...." (The Segal Company)

Blog: Where Did All the Pension Actuaries Go?
Excerpt: "I chuckled last month when an actuarial buddy sent me to an article with the headline Shortage Of Actuaries May Stall Pension Reforms, resisting the urge to take it as a cue for legislative strategy. Lately, I'm not laughing. With pension civil war looming inside the Beltway, have all the pension actuaries out there gone AWOL?" (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Are You Certain that Your Scheme Is an Occupational Pension Scheme?
Excerpt: "The DWP has confirmed that death-benefit-only schemes are not occupational pension schemes." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Update: Cross-Border Schemes
Excerpt: "Employers and trustees of UK schemes need to consider whether their deferred and seconded members could trigger the cross-border requirements." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

'Dear Colleague' Letter Regarding Transition Time in Pension Reform Bill (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "It is imperative that the final legislation give pension plan sponsors time to understand and adjust to the new rules and not drive employers out of the defined benefit system." (Rep. Phil English via American Benefits Council)

Experts Discuss Pension Reform Prospects
Excerpt: "While Congressional conferees were engaged in reviewing/reconciling pension reform bills – one passed by the House, the other by the Senate – a special edition of PLANSPONSOR's 'Plugged In' considered the implications." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

FASB Retirement Accounting Project Could Have Significant Effect on Companies' Financial Statements
Excerpt: "Changes in the accounting rules for pensions and other postretirement benefits planned by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) could have a major financial impact on many companies by requiring them to recognize an additional liability on their balance sheets, according to a Towers Perrin analysis." (Towers Perrin)

Study Highlights Business Case for Attracting and Retaining Workers Age 50+
Excerpt: "A study Towers Perrin recently completed for AARP sheds new light on the opportunities and challenges companies face in labor markets marked by aging populations and smaller numbers of new workforce entrants. The study suggests that companies are likely to face growing competition for talent in a broad range of occupations as the baby boomers retire and may benefit by deploying workforce strategies that place greater emphasis on attracting and retaining workers age 50+." (Towers Perrin)

Sixth Circuit Disallows Dow Chemical's Interest Deduction on Loans to Pay COLI Policies
Excerpt: "THE Sixth Circuit, reversing a district court, has found that Dow Chemical's corporate-owned life insurance (COLI) policies on the lives of employees were economic shams. Thus, the employer deductions for interest incurred on loans used to pay the COLI premiums, and for fees related to the administration of the policies, were disallowed. (The Dow Chemical Company v. U.S. (2006, CA6), 97 AFTR 2d ¶ 2006-385)" (Pension & Benefits Week via RIA News Briefings - Pension & Benefits)

Blog: Transition Relief for IRC §409A(b)
Excerpt: "Taxpayers have through 12/31/2007 to bring nonqualified deferred compensation plans into compliance with respect to rules under IRC §409A(b) relating to offshore trusts and financial health triggers, under transition relief announced by the IRS. [IRS Notice 2006-33]" (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Blog: Secular Trust Dead Horse Buried
Excerpt: "Finding the case moot, the 7th Circuit has affirmed dismissal of claims by two former executives against the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, seeking nonqualified pension funds promised under employment contracts with a failed savings institution." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Blog: More 409A Guidance -- IRS Notice 2006-33
Excerpt: "The transition relief provided by the Notice says that, with respect to assets set aside, transferred or restricted on or before March 21, 2006 so as to be subject to inclusion under sections 409A(b)(1) or 409A(b)(2), taxpayers shall be treated as not having triggered the inclusion or additional tax provisions of section 409A(b) if the NDCP comes into conformity on or before December 31, 2007, with the requirements of section 409A(b) and any guidance issued before such date." (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

Getting Auto Workers to Leave a Golden Job
Excerpt: "The departure package is a crucial element in enticing workers off the payrolls at both General Motors and Delphi, .... To be most effective, the package must convey to workers the bleak message that the companies they work for cannot prosper unless they leave. Workers must be convinced that this buyout deal is the best they can get -- that the offer will not get sweeter as time goes on at either Delphi or G.M." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)


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™

2006 Great Lakes Benefits Conference

Co-sponsored by the Internal Revenue Service and ASPPA. The Great Lakes Benefits Conference provides an opportunity to discuss employee benefit issues with colleagues and local, regional and national government employees from the IRS and the DOL.
The program focuses on exchanging information and educating attendees about current regulatory, legislative, administrative and actuarial topics.

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

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

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

Labor Department Announces New Mailing Addresses For Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Investment Education Consultant
for Fidelity Investments
in CA, NC, NJ, NY, SC, WI

Plan Document and Administration Consultant
for Southern Pension Services
in FL

401(k) Administrator
for Geller Group, LLC
in NY

Recordkeeping Services Manager
for Vanguard
in AZ




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

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