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April 4, 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™

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)

Lawsuits Targeting 401(k) Fees Have Yet to Emerge
Excerpt: "In contrast to the concern over defined contribution retirement plan fees expressed by consultants, lawmakers and regulators, there has been surprisingly little legal action from participants suing sponsors over high fees." (Employee Benefit News)

Opinion: Pension Accounting: Catalyst for Change?
Excerpt: "I have long wondered when people would really start to pay attention to what some describe as the 'pension perfect storm'. Could new accounting rules be the catalyst for change? Just recently, the Financial Accounting Standards Board unveiled the first of several changes in how companies will have to portray pension fund finances." (Pension Risk Matters)

Overview: IRS Issues Final Changes to Relative Value Disclosure Regulations
Excerpt: "The IRS on March 24, 2006, issued final modifications to the relative value disclosure regulations promulgated in 2003. 71 FR 14798 (March 24, 2006). The final regulations 'close the loop' on the partial delayed effective date for the relative value disclosure rules, and make a series of other changes to those rules." (Deloitte's Washington Bulletin via BenefitsLink.com)

The Pension Forum -- April 2005 Edition (PDF)
67 pages. This issue contains articles titled: Pension Deficits: An Unnecessary Evil; Fixing the Pension Plan Funding Rules; and, Reaffirming Pension Actuarial Science, and various published comments on them with author responses. (Society of Actuaries)

U.K. Panel Defends Demand for Higher Pension Spending
Excerpt: "The U.K. Pensions Commission urged the Treasury to back an increase in the retirement age and a more generous state pension to make up for lengthening life- spans and falling birth rates." (Bloomberg News)

Pension Pointers: Calculation of At-Risk Liability (PDF)
Excerpt: "This document ... focuses on [the] issue [of] the measurement of liability of an at-risk plan." (American Benefits Council)

Overview: IRS Finalizes Changes to Regulations on QJSA and QPSA Explanations
Excerpt: "IRS has issued final regs on required explanations of qualified joint and survivor annuities (QJSAs) and qualified preretirement survivor annuities (QPSAs) payable under retirement plans. The new regs adopt, with modifications, proposed reliance regs that made changes to the effective date and other provisions of previously issued final regs." (Pension & Benefits Week via RIA News Briefings - Pension & Benefits)

Three-Member Decisions Issued Since October 1, 2002, Are Available on PBGC Site
Excerpt: "The Appeals Board issues decisions that resolve specific disputes involving individual parties. Therefore, while you may find the decisions helpful in understanding the positions of the agency, the decisions are not binding on other parties. Additionally, PBGC cautions that each appeal is decided based on its own individual facts, and therefore the holding in a particular case may not be applicable to another appeal that may involve a different factual situation." (U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

The Sky Is Falling, Except When It Isn't: Boomer Retirement Histrionics Good for Everyone
Excerpt: "Some say that baby boomer retirements will cripple the American economy. Others say the twin trends of anemic retirement savings and longer life spans will ensure there will be legions of wrinkled workers to man all posts. Either way, the workforce is changing, and boomer retirements (or lack thereof) will have a significant impact." (Employee Benefit News)

Government Workers Not Covered by Social Security or Medicare Need Specific Retirement Planning
Excerpt: "According to the National Council on Teacher Retirement (NCTR), roughly 4 million state and local government employees are not covered by Social Security. That number includes teachers and other public employees in 14 states: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Missouri, Nevada, Ohio and certain local governments in Georgia, Rhode Island and Texas." (Financial Planning and SourceMedia, Inc.)

Angelides Proposes New Use for California's Pension Funds -- Infrastructure Repair and Building
Excerpt: "State Treasurer and Democratic candidate for governor Phil Angelides on Monday inserted himself into the hot election-year debate over how to pay for new roads, schools and other infrastructure projects: use pension money." (The Mercury News; one-time registration required)

Montana Public Pension Officials Hold Summit Meeting
Excerpt: "Officials at Montana's two public pension funds are putting their collective heads together ... in an effort to find ways the plans and the panel that invests their assets can better work together." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Bill Seeks Payroll Deductions for IRAs
Excerpt: "A bill was introduced in mid-March that would let certain workers contribute to their individual retirement accounts through payroll deduction. Called the Savings Competitiveness Act of 2006 and introduced by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., S 2431 would, among other provisions, allow employees not covered by an employer-sponsored retirement plan steer payroll dollars into IRAs." (Investment News; registration or subscription may be required)

Bill Seeks Rule Changes for Certain Retirement Contributions
Excerpt: "A bill introduced in December would let disabled workers continue contributing to IRAs by allowing workers' compensation payments and disability benefits to be contributed to those accounts. Called The IRA Equity Act of 2005, S 2086 was co-sponsored by Sen. Frank Lautenberg, D-N.J., and Gordon Smith, R-Ore." (Investment News; registration or subscription may be required)

Optimism about Pension Prospects May Not Be Realistic
Excerpt: "Given the recent moves by General Motors, IBM and other major employers to slash their pension benefits, counting on a pension is like continuing to believe in Santa Claus after catching your dad putting presents under the tree." (USA TODAY)

Pension Pointers: Myths and Facts Regarding Recent Press Coverage of Pension Reform (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The pension bills pending before Congress, if modified in certain critical respects, would strengthen the pension system without pushing some companies toward bankrup.tcy and without leading other companies to stop providing pension benefits. Unfortunately, recent press coverage of pension reform has painted a misleading picture based on incomplete and inaccurate information." (American Benefits Council)

Advisors Urge Caution on 412(i) Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "Small business owners playing catch-up on retirement savings might reach their goals with 412(i) plans, if they are aware of possible IRS pitfalls and tax savings in those programs. That is an overview from several financial advisors who say that some but not all age 50-plus business owners should consider those plans." (South Florida Business Journal via bizjournals.com; one-time registration required)

Workers Have Retirement 'Overconfidence,' According to EBRI Survey
Excerpt: "The majority of American workers think they'll be able to retire comfortably, but most aren't saving nearly enough to meet that goal, according to a new study. The Employee Benefit Research Institute's annual retirement confidence survey, released Tuesday, found that about 68 percent of workers are confident about having adequate funds for a comfortable retirement, up slightly from 65 percent in 2005." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

MetLife Study of Retirement Aged Workers Reveals New Definition of Retirement
Excerpt: "MetLife Mature Market Institute study, Living Longer, Working Longer: The Changing Landscape of the Aging Workforce, conducted by David DeLong & Associates, Inc. and Zogby International, found that 78% of respondents age 55-59 are working or looking for work, as are 60% of 60-65 year-olds and 37% of 66-70 year-olds." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

'Specific Reasons' for Adverse Benefit Determination Must Be Reviewed under ERISA Claims Procedure
Excerpt: "Courts have interpreted the full and fair review requirement as calling for a 'meaningful dialogue' between ERISA plan administrators and claimants. In this case, such a dialogue was lacking because the employee was unable to respond to the insurer's new basis for its decision." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Overview: The SEC's Proposed Proxy Disclosure Regulations (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued proposed regulations that would significantly change the current executive and director compensation, stock ownership, director independence and related-party disclosures that must be included in the proxy statements of publicly-held companies. In addition, the proposed regulations call for changes to several other executive compensation disclosures required in public filings such as Form 8-K." (Buck Consultants)

Social Security and Medicare in an Impasse Over Trustees
Excerpt: "President Bush and the Senate are at an impasse over the appointment of trustees for Social Security and Medicare, crippling the panel that supervises the two programs. This, in turn, has delayed the annual reports on the financial condition of the programs, which together account for more than one-third of all federal spending. Under federal law, the reports are supposed to be sent to Congress by April 1." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Listing of IRS Published Guidance for January 2006 - March 2006
Excerpt: "The target page links to guidance published by the Service relating to retirement plans: Treasury Regulations; Revenue Rulings; Revenue Procedures; Notices; and, Announcements." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Text: EBSA March 1, 2006, Information Letter Sent to Washington Office of Insurance Commissioner
Excerpt: "[DOL was asked w]hether a professional employer organization (PEO) and its client companies would be deemed a single employer for purposes of ERISA section 3(40) by reason of the PEO obtaining options to purchase an 80% interest in each client company." (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)


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 Events
(Post Yours!)

Beginner IRA Seminar
in Georgia on May 2, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall Forum 2006
in Illinois on September 18, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Fall Forum 2006
in Georgia on October 2, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Fall Forum 2006
in Maryland on October 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Fall Forum 2006
in California on November 13, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Key Issues Facing Boards Of Directors: The Challenge Of Executive Compensation Under The New SEC Rules
in California on April 12, 2006
presented by Directors Roundtable

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Pennsylvania on May 23, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Illinois on June 13, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Missouri on July 11, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Massachusetts on August 8, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Ohio on September 26, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Maryland on November 20, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Retirement Plan Insights - Strategic Retirement Planning Seminar
in Nevada on November 28, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Second Quarter 2006 Update
Nationwide on May 18, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Second Quarter 2006 Update
Nationwide on May 19, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

The IRA Institute - CIP
in Illinois on June 19, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

The IRA Institute - CISP
in Illinois on June 19, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

The IRA Online Institute 2006 - CIP
Nationwide on May 8, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

The IRA Online Institute 2006 - CISP
Nationwide on May 8, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

USERRA Regulations Application to Retirement Plans
Nationwide on June 6, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman

Web/Telephone Seminar: 72(t) Payments
Nationwide on May 9, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
Nationwide on May 25, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Direct Rollovers and Other Portability Issues
Nationwide on May 18, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: General Traditional IRA Distributions
Nationwide on May 11, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Handling IRA Legal Issues
Nationwide on May 16, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to 401(k) Plans
Nationwide on May 25, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to Qualified Retirement Plans Part I and II
Nationwide on May 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Reporting
Nationwide on May 4, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Roth IRA Distributions
Nationwide on May 2, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Helius Inc. to implement new generation of corporate training technology for JCPenney
(Helius, Inc.)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) / Defined Contribution Administrator
for Campbells Administration Inc.
in CA

Health & Welfare Client Representative
for Strategic Employee Benefit Services of New York, Inc.
in NY

Qualified Retirement Plan Administrator
for Retirement Plan Services, Inc.
in FL

Retirement Plan Marketing Team Manager
for American Funds
in IN

Retirement Plan Coordinator (Conversion/Implementation Process)
for American Funds
in IN

401(k)/Defined Contribution or Defined Benefit Compliance Analyst
for National Retirement Services, Inc.
in CA

TPA DC Plans Specialist
for 401k Administrators, Inc.
in CA

Client Relationship Manager
for Swerdlin & Company
in GA

Relationship Manager
for Fidelity Investments
in TX




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Copyright 2006 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.; except that you may reprint this newsletter in full (including this sentence) without obtaining our permission.

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

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