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March 31, 2006
Today's sponsor: www.ftwilliam.com

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(Help BenefitsLink to provide this newsletter at no charge to you -- our sponsors pay our way. Remember to visit them periodically; we try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Working Paper: Personalized Advice & Managed Accts: Usage & Affect on Behavior in 401(k) Plans (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)

Shocks Seen in New Math for Pensions
Excerpt: "The board that writes accounting rules for American business is proposing a new method of reporting pension obligations that is likely to show that many companies have a lot more debt than was obvious before." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Legislative Outlook -- Pension Reform Conference Progress
Excerpt: "When it appointed its conferees, the House also provided them with instructions to (1) agree to airline funding relief, (2) insist on the House proposal making the Savers' Credit permanent, and (3) 'insist on a conference report that imposes the smallest additional funding requirements ... on companies that sponsor pension plans if there is no reasonable likelihood the termination of the plan would impose additional liabilities to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation or ...." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

CSRS vs. FERS -- A Discussion
Excerpt: "Which federal retirement system is better? If you ask most employees, they seem to think the Civil Service Retirement System provides more generous benefits than its newer counterpart, the Federal Employees Retirement System." (National Journal Group Inc. via GOVEXEC.com)

Boehner Says Expect Pension Compromise after Congressional Break
Excerpt: "The closely watched negotiations between members of the US House and Senate have apparently gotten so bogged down that a final pension reform compromise will not be available until late April." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

DOL Speaks on ERISA Responsibilities of Financial Planners and Advisers (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Financial planners and investment advisers ... whose clients include participants of self-directed employee benefit plans were the subject of a recent Advisory Opinion issued by the U.S. Department of Labor ...." (Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP)

House Proposal Would Allow Firms that Run the Pension Plans to Also Give Advice to the Investors
Excerpt: "House leaders want to eliminate a longtime safeguard against conflicts of interest in retirement planning, creating a major sticking point in efforts to overhaul the U.S. pension system." (Sun Sentinel)

Opinion -- David M. Strauss Letter: As the Baby Boomers Age, a Retirement Crisis Looms
Excerpt: "As the first of 76 million baby boomers (including about 115,000 in North Dakota) get ready to retire, the foundations of the U.S. retirement system are crumbling." (In-Forum Opinion)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: FASB Exposure Draft of New GAAP for Pensions and OPEBs
Excerpt: "The Financial Accounting Standards Board has published its exposure draft of a new accounting standard for employers' accounting for defined benefit pension plans and other post-employment benefits." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Text: FASB Exposure Draft to Improve Accounting for Postretirement Benefit Plans, Including Pensions (PDF)
115 pages. Exposure Draft: Proposed Statement of Financial Accounting Standards -- Employer's Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Plans -- an amendment of FASB Statements No. 87, 88, 106, and 132(R) (March 31, 2006) (Comment period ends May 31, 2006) (Financial Accounting Standards Board)

Overview: USERRA Requires Health Coverage Options for Military Leaves
Excerpt: "More military personnel are being called to active duty, leaving their civilian jobs and families behind. What responsibility with regards to health care coverage does the employer have to the service personnel leaving their employ for a tour of duty?" (Infinisource, Inc.)

GAO Testimony: Social Security Numbers: More Could Be Done to Protect SSNs
24 pages. Statement of Cynthia M. Fagnoni, managing director, education, workforce, and income security issues, before the Subcommittee on Social Security, House Committee on Ways and Means. Highlights are at http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d06586thigh.pdf. (U.S. Government Accountability Office)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Washington Legislative Update Media Advisory
in District of Columbia on May 22, 2006
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Compels Renco Group To Pay Pensions At WCI Steel
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

New Academic Research Suggests That Different Advisory Services Appeal to Different Employee Segments; Offering Advice Through Multiple Channels Reaches Different Types of Investors
(Financial Engines, Inc.)

The Principal Financial Group Brings Employee Financial Resource Program to Field Force; Educational, Informative Financial Analysis Resources Help to Benefit Employers and Employees, Alike
(Principal Financial Group)

Cardinal Bank Named Trustee and Custodian for NADART
(NADART)

Newkirk Introduces The Required Minimum Distribution Solution
(Newkirk Products Inc.)

Legislation to Benefit Small Businesses Supported by Professional Employer Organization; H.R. 4985 Introduced by U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady
(National PEO)

Mutual Fund Performance 'Significantly Overstated' in 41 of 42 Morningstar Categories
(Savant Capital Management, Inc.)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

TPA Relationship Manager (Eastern Region)
for Transamerica
in MA

Benefits Administrator
for CCA Strategies
in CO, IL

Pension and Retirement Specialist
for Aerojet
in CA

Defined Benefit Calculation Developer
for Diversified Investment Advisors, Inc.
in MA

Product Manager
for Administaff
in TX

Manager, Processing Team
for Administaff
in TX

401k / DC Administrator
for Sentinel Benefits Group
in CT, MA, RI

Junior Attorney/Corporate Counsel
for Prudential Financial
in NJ




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