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April 11, 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)

Overview: Final Amendments to PTE 75-1 and PTE 84-24 (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "On Friday, February 3, 2006, the Department of Labor ('DOL') issued final amendments to two class exemptions commonly used in plan transactions involving the purchase or sale of mutual fund shares. 71 Fed. Reg. 5885, 5887 (Feb. 3, 2006)." (Groom Law Group)

Text of Comments by The SPARK Institute on Mutual Fund Redemption Fees, Rule 22c-2 Amendment (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "The Rule should not be narrowly focused on redemption fees as the preferred approach for controlling or preventing abusive trading but should also consider and authorize other approaches ... (e.g., trade blocking and round trip limits).... Rule 22c-2 should be revised to allow mutual fund companies to authorize retirement plan intermediaries to monitor for market timing and excessive trading ... as an alternative to the cumbersome and costly information sharing requirements." (The SPARK Institute)

Comments Submitted to the SEC on Mutual Fund Redemption Fees
Excerpt: "[R]equirements under Rule 22c-2 -- including new mutual fund redemption fee programs, other limits on short-term trading in mutual fund shares, and the rule's information-sharing requirements -- continue to pose significant issues for the retirement plan services industry." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

ABC Comment Letter Sent to SEC on the Proposed Amendments to the Final Redemption Fee Rule (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "The Council recommends that [SEC] efforts be enhanced by the following additional actions ...: (1) delay the effective date to allow sufficient time for implementation, (2) modify the proposed rule applicable to situations where funds and intermediaries have not yet reached an agreement, (3) provide uniform standards for implementation of the rule's requirements, (4) direct assurance that information provided by intermediaries can be used for no other purpose by fund ...." (American Benefits Council)

Are Pensions Destined for Retirement?
Excerpt: "Many companies freeze pensions in an effort to cut compensation, citing competition from companies in countries where the government provides many pension benefits and from U.S. companies that don't offer defined-benefit plans. Companies also freeze pensions to eliminate the risk that they won't be able to fulfill their obligations, as employees live longer and draw benefits, sometimes for decades, in retirement." (U.S. News & World Report)

New York Public Pension Funding on Roller-Coaster Ride
Excerpt: "[P]ension costs have helped push local taxes up in recent years as officials try to make up for mediocre investment returns on the state's retirement funds during the bear stock market in the early part of the decade. But by comparison, the demands placed on taxpayer wallets aren't nearly as bad as in past decades, and the pension system itself is remarkably healthy." (Newsday Inc.)

Audio: Pension Problems
Excerpt: "America's federal pension agency --the ultimate backstop of millions of retirements -- is in trouble. Now, the head has resigned. [Bradley Belt joins the program] to explain why." (On Point via National Public Radio)

Rehired Employees' Pension Benefits Not Affected by 'Phantom Account' until Plan Properly Amended
Excerpt: "A pension plan's 'phantom account' method for calculating pension benefits for rehired employees who had already received lump-sum pension distributions did not become part of the plan until the method was fully explained in a summary plan description (SPD), the Second Circuit has held." (Pension & Benefits Week via RIA News Briefings - Pension & Benefits)

Transitioning Pensions from a Company-Sponsored Retirement Plan
Excerpt: "[E]mployer-sponsored plans are still available and there is a large percentage of the population that will be transitioning benefits from their company plan to individually sponsored retirement investment vehicles. The largest segment of people that will be transitioning their pensions in the next several years will be the baby boomers, which make up 79 million Americans born between 1946 and 1964." (San Diego Source / San Diego Daily Transcript)

Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser Kmotion, Inc.
Excerpt: "Kmotion is a full service provider of retirement plan communication and education materials. We provide fully customized proprietary design and editorial work as well as ready to go solutions. Our talent pool of designers, writers, and project managers have yrs of experience in their fields to ensure you the highest level of service and products created to meet your needs. Our services are available ala carte basis, as well as a bundled, full service one stop shopping approach." (BenefitsLink.com)

The 11th Hour for Pension Reform
Excerpt: "The House-Senate conference committee will try to reconcile the pension reform bills before April 15, when the next round of corporate pension contributions for calendar-year plans are due. But what will happen if pension reform doesn't pass this year?" (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Overview: Additional Hurricane Katrina Disaster Relief -- IR-2006-30 and Notice 2006-20 (PDF)
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has further extended individual and business taxpayer filing and certain payment deadlines for taxpayers hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. The penalty for failure to deposit taxes timely will be waived, and the deadline for the collection and assessment of tax will be extended for these taxpayers." (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)

Reid Statement on the Pension Reform Conference (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Floor Statement of Senate Minority Leader Reid on Pension Reform Conference" (American Benefits Council)

Key Findings and Issues: 2005 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey Report
16 slides. Excerpt: "This report provides key findings from the 2005 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey related to what people mean by retirement and how they retire. It also examines the significance of potential labor shortages and the possibility of people working longer. The discussion sections in this report include input from all organizations that supported the studies." (Society of Actuaries)

Full Report of Findings: 2005 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey
112 pages. Excerpt: "The purpose of the study was to evaluate Americans' awareness of potential financial risks, how this awareness impacts the management of their finances with respect to retirement and how Americans are managing the process of leaving the workforce." (Society of Actuaries)

The New York Times April 11, 2006, Retirement Edition
The articles cover subjects ranging from retirement relocation to employment training to health care coverage and costs. (The New York Times; one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Congressional Proposal would Limit Bankrupt Company Executive Compensation Plans
Excerpt: "Companies in US Bankrup.tcy Court reorganization would have to seek court approval of any executive compensation package, such as stock option grants, before implementing them under a new bill introduced in Congress." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Watson Wyatt Comments on the SEC's Proposed Compensation Disclosure Regulations
Excerpt: "Watson Wyatt believes that the SEC's proposal represents a vast improvement in corporate disclosures. In the interest of further improvements, however, we submitted recommendations to the SEC that we believe would enhance corporate stakeholders' understanding of companies' compensation practices and how they tie to corporate results." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Pensions at the Top
Excerpt: "April 10 closes the comment period for the SEC's proposed rule about executive compensation reporting. As we await the final version, we have some indication about what lies ahead. According to the Wall Street Journal ('Adding It All Up' by Joann S. Lublin, April 10, 2006), directors are shocked to learn how much C-level executives are really making." (Pension Risk Matters)

Mercer Survey Shows More Pay for Performance Schemes for CEOs
Excerpt: "A survey by Mercer Human Resource Consulting of recently filed corporate proxy statements shows that CEO pay and corporate performance are closely aligned." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

DOL Advisory Council to Meet; Will Determine Topics to Be Addressed in 2006
Excerpt: "[T]he 133rd open meeting of the full Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans will be held on May 5, 2006." (U.S. Department of Labor)


We thank and invite your attention to our 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™

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)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

ERISA Litigation Forum: Executive Severance Litigation
Nationwide on May 2, 2006
presented by Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Benefit Software Inc. Helps Communicate the Value of Employee Benefits
(Benefit Software Inc.)

The SPARK Institute Files Comment with SEC on Redemption Fee Rule
(Society of Professional Administrators and Recordkeepers (SPARK))

Workplace Options Announces Acquisition of HelpHorizons.com, Inc.
(Workplace Options)

CitiStreet Rolls Out Multi-Domain Service With American Family
(CitiStreet)

Pearl Meyer & Partners Issues Commentary on SEC's Proposed Rules on Executive Compensation and Related Party Disclosure
(Pearl Meyer & Partners)

Institute for Health Freedom: What Every American Should Know about the Massachusetts Mandatory Health Insurance Legislation
(Institute for Health Freedom)

NAR Launches National Ad Campaign To Push For Small Business Health Plan Legislation
(National Association of Realtors)

Average Investor Does Not Understand Importance of Mutual Fund Fees in Investment Decisions Finds Yale School of Management Study
(Yale School of Management)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Administrative Accountant 2 (Defined Contribution Analyst)
for First Mercantile
in TN

Senior Benefits Administrator (Sr. HR Rep.)
for Aerojet - Sacramento
in CA

Benefits Administrator- Orlando, FL
for Tews Company
in FL

Benefits Specialist
for Watson Wyatt
in CT




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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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