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March 29, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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DOL Speaks: The 2006 Employee Benefit Conference

This is the conference for Title I ERISA issues. DOL Speaks is co-sponsored by The Department of Labor/EBSA and ASPPA.
Discuss employee benefits issues with colleagues. Interact with local, regional and national government employees from the Department of Labor.

Register Today!


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

How Many Roth Clocks Does A Plan Have to Track?
Excerpt: "A 5-taxable year period (sometimes called 'the 5-year clock') must expire before a participant can receive a tax-free Roth distribution (a qualified distribution). The newly proposed Roth tax regulations require a Roth 401(k) plan to keep track of the 5-year clock for each Roth participant." (SunGard Corbel)

Report: Methods for Stabilizing Public Retirement Plan Contribution Rates (PDF)
Excerpt: "A major goal in actuarially funding a retirement plan is to accumulate monies in a systematic manner so that contribution rates remain reasonably stable and the funds can earn long-term investment returns. Stable contribution rates are an important component in funding retirement plans, since they help governments budget effectively for plan contributions." (Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company)

Can.ada Considers Solutions for Struggling Pensions
Excerpt: "Historically low interest rates, stricter standards and rising pension costs are worsening an already difficult situation for pension plans, the Canadian federal pension regulator warns in documents obtained by The Kitchener Record under the Access to Information Act." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

OPM Director Asks Congress for Help in Pruning Back Retirement Paperwork
Excerpt: "The president's chief civil service adviser appeared before a House subcommittee yesterday with a file cabinet drawer. It was stuffed with paperwork -- a symbol of the rising number of retirement requests from federal employees." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

New San Diego Mayor Gets Pension Proposals on November Ballot
Excerpt: "The San Diego City Council has agreed to place two of Mayor Jerry Sander's campaign proposals on the November 7 ballot." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Maryland Legislators at Odds on Public Employee Pension Reform
Excerpt: "Both sides of the Maryland Legislature are holding firm that their pension reform proposals are better suited to enhance retirement paychecks." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Overview: EGTRRA Determination Letters: IRS Issues Instructions for Reviewing Certain Exclusions
Excerpt: "[T]he IRS has issued instructions ... regarding the review of eligibility exclusions in the determination letter process. The IRS ... has expressed its concern that excluding part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees from plan eligibility imposes indirect service requirements that violate Code Section 410(a) (which generally prohibits plans from imposing a service requirement of more than one year of service, defined as 1,000 hours in a 12-month period)." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Report: Shaping a Stable Pensions Solution -- How Pension Experts Would Reform UK Pensions (PDF)
82 pages. Excerpt: "[A] series of seminars in which pensions experts debated papers written by specia.lists on the most critical and topical pension policy issues [is summarized in the report chapters]. Points of consensus from the seminar debates are presented at the end of each chapter in a box. Points raised during the seminar discussions are shown in italics, boxed and presented at various stages through the chapters." (Pensions Policy Institute)

Eddy Award Winners Got the Message to Employees
Excerpt: "The awards recognize the best practices among corporate, public and union plan sponsors in delivering creative and effective investment education messages to defined-contribution plan participants. Winning plan sponsors do the best job at creatively offering employees a thorough education in investing." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Overview: SEC Proposes Amendments for Mutual Funds Imposing Redemption Fees (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The proposed changes to the final rule, published March 7, 2006, would make amendments to clarify and detail the requirements associated with the information-sharing agreements." (Hewitt Associates)

Opinion: Undermining the Ownership Society
Excerpt: "Today, trillions of shares of stock are owned by pension funds and 401(k) plans -- that is, owned by millions of workers. Politicians say we need to move toward an 'ownership society' -- but, we, the citizens, already own a pretty big share of Corporate America." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Retirement Savings Permanence Bulletin, Issue 2 -- Keep Increased Limits Provisions (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "ACTION REQUESTED: Make permanent the retirement savings increased benefit limit provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) so that the retirement security of future retirees will be strengthened. These increased limits, which apply to both employer-sponsored plans and IRAs, are scheduled to expire in 2011." (American Benefits Council)

Nest Egg Study Shows Lack of Preparedness for Retirement
Excerpt: "A survey conducted by Harris Interactive for the A.G. Edwards Nest Egg Score found that, among US adults not yet retired but planning to, 58% do not know what size their nest egg will need to be to live comfortably in retirement." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Cautionary Tales: Penalties for Failure to Timely Provide Requested Documents
Excerpt: "ERISA requires a plan administrator to furnish certain plan documents within 30 days after a written request by a participant or beneficiary; a plan administrator that fails to comply may be liable in an amount up to $110 per day from the date of the failure or refusal." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Text of EBSA Advisory Opinion 2006-03A of February 28, 2006
Excerpt: "[DOL was asked] for an advisory opinion concerning the applicability of Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 92-6, as amended,(1) to a transfer from an employee benefit plan of a second to die life insurance contract to the husband and wife whose lives are insured under the policy and who are both participants in the plan." (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Suit over Fiorina Severance Questions Pay Practices
Excerpt: "Four union pension funds have filed a lawsuit alleging that Hewlett-Packard breached its company policy to seek shareholder approval before authorizing the payment of executive severance benefits." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Overview: New Deferred Compensation Rules -- Traps for the Unwary (PDF)
Pages 1, 4, and 6 of 6 pages. Excerpt: "While Code Section 409A applies to 'deferred compensation plans,' the definition of what constitutes a plan is very broad and, as such, applies to arrangements most of us would not generally consider to be deferred compensation plans." (Reish Luftman Reicher & Cohen)

Transcript: Nonqualified Deferred Comp -- Validating a Section 409A Transition and Compliance Plan (PDF)
31 pages. A 90-Minute Webcast Sponsored by the Corporate and Securities Law Committee Of the Association of Corporate Counsel, February 22, 2005 (Association of Corporate Counsel via Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)

Overview: 409A Funding Rules -- IRS Issues Additional Guidance
Excerpt: "The IRS has just released Notice 2006-33, which addresses the Code Section 409A rules regarding offshore trusts and payment restrictions affecting nonqualified deferred compensation." (SunGard Corbel)

409(a) Rules Not Expected Until Fall
Excerpt: "After getting flooded with public comments regarding Section 409(a) rules on non-qualified deferred compensation plans, federal officials now caution not to expect final regulations until fall 2006." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2006 Spring Conference
in Arizona on May 11, 2006
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Phoenix Chapter


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Sr. New Business Representative
for BISYS Retirement Services
in MN

Pension Analyst
for T Rowe Price
in MD

Sr Pension Analyst
for T. Rowe Price
in MD

Plan Administrator
for The Pension Alliance, Inc.
in PA

FASCore Service Delivery Associate
for Great-West Financial Services
in CO

Wachovia Retirement Solutions Relationship Manager II
for Wachovia
in PA




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