Retirement Plans
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April 7, 2006
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Text of Amendment to PTE 80-26 Permitting Interest-Free Loans from Sponsor to a Benefit Plan
Excerpt: "[T]he final amendment to PTE 80-26 adopted by this notice adds a condition to availability of the exemption that requires any loan with a duration of more than sixty days to be made pursuant to a written loan agreement that contains all of the material terms applicable to such loan.... On December 15, 2004, the Department proposed to remove the three- day duration limit that applied to loans engaged in under PTE 80-26 for a purpose incidental to the ordinary operation of a plan." (U.S. Department of Labor)

3-Day Limit Removed for Interest-Free Loans to Plans
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor has revised PTE 1980-26 to remove its 3-day limit on interest-free loans to employee benefit plans from a disqualified person or party in interest, such as an employer or union sponsor." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Lawmakers Looking at Broader Pension Help
Excerpt: "U.S. congressional negotiators are considering an option that would give companies struggling to fund pensions more time to do so, House Republican Leader John Boehner said [yesterday]. Previously, lawmakers focused on giving just the airline industry special help to pay off its pension obligations over a longer period of time. Boehner said negotiators were trying to map out a broader approach." (Reuters via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Father and Son Held Liable for Not Forwarding Employee 401(k) Contributions
Excerpt: "The US District Court for the Northern District of New York has held a father and son both liable for failing to forward employee deferrals to their company's 401(k) plan." ( one-time registration required)

Projected Pension Income: Equality or Disparity for the Baby-Boom Cohort? (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "This article presents data from the Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT 3) system to address the question of what is in store for the baby-boom cohort once it reaches age 62. The primary objective is to examine disparities in projected pension eligibility and income among the various baby-boom subgenerations upon reaching 62 years." (Monthly Labor Review)

Labor Official Notes Pension Disparities
Excerpt: "The AFL-CIO, pushing for more federal regulation of lucrative corporate salaries and pensions, released information Thursday about some of the sweetest executive retirement deals in the country." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Judge Denies General Motors' Motion to Dismiss Employee Suit over Retirement Plan Investment
Excerpt: "A U.S. judge in Michigan refused a motion by General Motors Corp. to dismiss a lawsuit claiming it had failed in its responsibility to properly manage employees' retirement accounts, attorneys for the plaintiffs said ...." (Reuters via MSN.Money)

CSRS vs. FERS: The Reaction
Excerpt: "Last week's column comparing CSRS to FERS certainly attracted a lot of feedback. I expected some skepticism, but not the level of hostility in some of the responses." (National Journal Group Inc. via

Reforming the Canadian Retirement System: Investing Social Security Assets in Equities (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "With respect to public pensions, Can.ada has faced a long-term financial challenge due to an aging population. In 1997, the nation responded by deciding to pre-fund its earnings-related public pension program -- the Can.ada Pension Plan (CPP) -- and investing a major portion of the accumulated assets in equities. The goal was to set a contribution and benefit that would be the same for each generation, using equities to minimize the cost of the program." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Judge Allows Lawsuit Against Fleet Bank
Excerpt: "An employee of the former Fleet Bank can move ahead with a lawsuit accusing her company of discriminating against thousands of older workers when it switched to a new type of pension plan, a federal judge has ruled." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

House Instructs Its Conferees on Cash Balance Plans
Excerpt: "[B]y a vote of 248-178, the House has instructed its conferees on the pension bill to accept the Senate's version of the cash balance plan provisions, which reflect Administration positions on safeguards needed against benefit wearaway in the conversion of a traditional defined benefit plan to a cash balance plan." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Motion to Instruct Pension Bill Conferees on Hybrid Plan Provisions in H.R. 2830 (PDF)
1 page. (American Benefits Council)

Fact Sheet on the PBGC 2005 Fiscal Year Report: An Agency Facing Continuing Financial Challenges (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The fiscal year 2005 Performance and Accountability Report for PBGC indicates that the agency's deficit for its insurance program for single employer plans was reduced by $529 million compared to the end of the 2004 fiscal year. At the end of fiscal year 2005 (September 30, 2005), the PBGC's single-employer insurance program had a deficit of $22.8 billion." (AARP)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Companies Still Want Investors to Pretend There's No Cost for Paying Employees with Stock Options
Excerpt: "Nearly a third of the Standard & Poor's 500 have yet to revise their public earnings forecasts to reflect the payroll expense of employee stock options even though most will be required to report their first-quarter earnings that way later this month. More broadly, almost 500 major-exchange traded companies also haven't made the switch, judging from the latest analyst forecasts compiled by Thomson Financial." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Trucker Huss Benefits Report, March 2006 (PDF)
6 pages. This edition contains two articles titled: Proposed Executive Compensation Proxy Disclosure Rules: What to Do Before the Rules Become Final and DOL Provides New Guidance Regarding IRA Investments and the Prohibited Transaction Rules (ERISA Opinion Letter 2006-01A)." (Trucker Huss)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Labor Department Expands Exemption for Interest-Free Loans to Employee Benefit Plans
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Deadline Nears For Companies To Enter National Employee Benefits Recognition; Prestigious Judging Panel Unveiled for The Principal 10 Best Companies 2006
(Principal Financial Group)

The U.S. House Of Representatives Has A Chance To Protect Older Workers
(Pension Rights Center)

FASB Emerging Issues Task Force Invites Public Comment On Three Draft Abstracts
(Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB))

'Retirement Planning is a Woman's Issue' States New York Life's Executive Vice President Ted Mathas at AARP Women's Leadership Circle Launch
(New York Life Insurance Company)

Health and Technology Leaders Release the Connecting for Health Common Framework for Initiating Private and Secure Health Information Sharing
(Connecting for Health)

Senior Finance Executives Want Stronger Pension Rules Than Congress
(Grant Thornton LLP)

GM's Motion-to-Dismiss ERISA Suit Denied
(Hagens Berman Sobol Shapiro LLP)

Pioneering Health Insurer Kicks Off Another Revolution With Industry Firsts in Affordable Coverage
(American-Community Mutual Insurance Company)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Operations Specialist III
for AST Trust Company
in AZ

External Wholesaler, North Carolina
for Transamerica
in NC

Benefits Administrator
for Independent Benefit Services
in MD

for Basil Castrovinci Associates, Inc.
in NJ

Regional Sales Consultant
for Benetech, Inc.

401k Plan Administrator
for Consulting Actuarial Group, Inc.
in IL

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