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April 19, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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Attend the 2006 ASPPA Mid-Atlantic Benefits Conference!

On May 8-9, the Marriott Philadelphia Downtown Hotel will be the site of this valuable conference, sponsored by the IRS and ASPPA.

Attorneys can earn Ethics Credits and ASPPA members can earn 15 CE credits. Register NOW at http://www.asppa.org/reroute/mabc/mabc06-001.htm


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

Text of Amended and Restated Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program from DOL (PDF)
25 pages. Excerpt: "This Notice includes an updated and streamlined version of the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFC Program or the Program) under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The VFC Program is designed to encourage the voluntary correction of fiduciary violations by permitting persons to avoid potential civil actions and civil penalties if they take steps to correct identified violations in a manner consistent with the Program." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

Text of Amendment to PTE 2002-51 to Reflect Changes in Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "The amendment expands the relief under the exemption to additional transactions included in the final VFC Program.... The amended PTE 2002-51 provides excise tax relief for six of the transactions identified in the final VFC Program." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

DOL Updates Voluntary Correction Program
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor (DoL) has announced it has expanded and simplified the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFC) that allows employers and professional advisors to voluntarily correct violations of the law pertaining to employee benefit plans." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Overview: DOL's Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Updated
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration has expanded and streamlined its Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program. [News Release 06-689-NAT; 71 FR 20261] Concurrently, EBSA has revised and extended PTE 2002-51 relating to certain transactions identified in the VFC Program. [71 FR 20135]" (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

401(k) Investment Options Beyond Mutual Funds -- 10 Things to Keep in Mind
Excerpt: "Lifestyle funds, managed accounts, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) have all been hyped recently as valuable additions to 401(k) plans. Each of the three potentially can be just that, and yet each has challenges for plan sponsors thinking about utilizing them. Here are 10 things you should think about if you are considering adding these options, sources say: ...." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Collective Funds Offer Retirement Plan Alternative
Excerpt: "The search for lower-cost alternatives to mutual funds in the wake of trading scandals has more plan sponsors turning to collective funds." (Employee Benefit News)

Overview: Accounting Rule to Require Balance Sheet Reporting of Pensions (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

U.S. Pension Funds Still Underfunded, but Better than Last Year
Excerpt: "The pension funds of the S&P 500 companies saw an improvement last year, but are still underfunded by $145 million, according to one analyst." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Managing Risk for Frozen Pension Plans (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "Many companies are choosing to freeze their defined benefit plans to eliminate volatility and financial risk. But unless done properly, freezing can actually increase risk, as explained in this report by Mellon Asset Management experts." (Mellon Asset Management)

Small Business Podcast: Employee Ownership Options
Excerpt: "Martin Staubus, of the Beyster Institute talks to us about offering company equity to employees. Martin gives small business owners several things to consider before granting ownership rights to employees and why setting strict benchmarks on day one may not be the best route." (Small Business Podcast)

Georgia Law Lets Black Officers Get Pensions
Excerpt: "Gov. Sonny Perdue signed legislation Tuesday granting compensation to black Georgia police officers who were barred under a Jim Crow-era law from taking part in a state pension fund." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Legal Report Expected on City of Marquette's Retirement Policy
Excerpt: "Marquette city attorney Ron Keefe on Monday said he has been looking into the possibility of reducing the city's liability from a policy that allowed short-term employees to 'retire' after only two years with lifetime, open-ended health benefits, and should have a report for the commission soon." (The Mining Journal)

Union Files Suit Against Lab to Block Pension Plan Changes
Excerpt: "A labor union that also represents Lawrence Livermore Laboratory workers has filed a lawsuit aimed at blocking Los Alamos National Laboratory's new management from 'coercing' workers to transfer out of their current pension fund in exchange for future job guarantees." (Contra Costa Times via The Mercury News; one-time registration required)

Overview: Cash Balance Plan Decision
Excerpt: "A federal district court in Connecticut has opined in [the recent case of Richards v. FleetBoston Financial Corp] that an employee could continue with a claim that the company's cash balance plan violates the age discrimination prohibitions under ERISA." (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

Issue Brief: Modernizing America's Retirement Programs to Keep Pace with Longevity (PDF)
7 pages. (American Academy of Actuaries)

Investment Strategies for Late-Start Retirement Saving -- Four Methods to Help Make Up for Lost Time
Excerpt: "I'll focus on a few more specific investment strategies to help you on your way toward retirement security." (Morningstar)

Retirement Income Planning, Part 9 of a Series: Are New Products a Solution or a Stopgap? (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "The likely answer to this question is: some of both. While it is heartening to see creativity being applied, especially by insurance and securities firms, recent product introductions offer more sizzle than real substance. And even at their best, products can be only part of the solution in this market. Some companies realize this already, but many are acting as if they don't." (Still River Retirement Planning Software, Inc.)

Searching for Hidden Treasure -- Retirement Plan Decision-Makers at Companies
Excerpt: "Simply put, [the author wants] to know who has responsibility for making multi-million dollar decisions that affect thousands of employees and retirees. Once identified, [she]'d like to read their bios, understand how they were selected, read about how they are evaluated and identify to whom they report." (Pension Risk Matters)

What Is the Price of Retiring Early?
Excerpt: "Economists, it is said, know the price of everything and the value of nothing. We disagree. When it comes to financial planning, economists are in the same boat as everyone else. They know the value of everything but the price of nothing." (Scott Burns and Laurence J. Kotlikoff via The Dallas Morning News; one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Integrating Benefit Claims Processing Appears Popular
Excerpt: "A whopping 80% of employers integrate or coordinate their benefit programs, according to a new Integrated Benefits Institute survey (http://www.ibiweb.org/publications/download/581) of 624 employers." (BenefitNews Connect)

New edition of Equity-Based Compensation for Multinational Corporations
The NCEO presents excerpts from the new edition of Equity-Based Compensation for Multinational Corporations. Now in its eighth edition, the book features a country-by-country overview for 45 countries, plus extensive coverage of implementing plans, maintaining compliance, and communicating plans to employees worldwide. It also includes a case study. Most of the material is on stock options and related plans, but the book also includes a chapter on phantom stock and SARs. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Wachovia Holders Seek Severance Pay Control
Excerpt: "Wachovia Corp. shareholders want the right to sign off on any severance packages worth three times more than the departing executive's annual salary and bonus, according to a nonbinding proposal approved during the bank's annual meeting Tuesday." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

UnitedHealth Chief Seeks End to Options
Excerpt: "William W. McGuire, the chairman and chief executive of the UnitedHealth Group, said on Tuesday that he had asked his board to stop awarding new stock options to senior executives." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2006 SPARK National Conference
in District of Columbia on June 11, 2006
presented by SPARK -- Society of Professional Asset-Managers and Record Keepers

Current Pension and Employee Benefits Law and Practice
in Massachusetts on July 3, 2006
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Fiduciary Education Seminar: Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities
in California on May 11, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration

Focus on Health and Welfare Plans 2006
in Virginia on May 9, 2006
presented by Capital Chapter ISCEBS

New! - Fundamentals of 401(k) and Other Qualified Plans
Nationwide on June 7, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

White Horse Advisors, LLC puts on Educational Workshop for CPAs
in Georgia on May 3, 2006
presented by White Horse Advisors, LLC


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Freezing a Pension Plan May Not End Cash Drain, Cautions a New Mellon Financial Corporation Analysis
(Mellon Financial Corporation)

Former Co-Founder of AWLP and CEO of Mulberry Child Care Centers Joins Workplace Options
(Workplace Options)

CitiStreet Launches Brokerage Account for Small Professional Firms
(CitiStreet)

Updated: Labor Department Updates Voluntary Fiduciary Compliance Program
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration)

2nd Podcast Now Available: The New Retirement Mindscape(SM) In The Workplace
(Ameriprise Retirement Services)

ICMA-RC Pushes for Permanency of Reforms Enacted in 2001
(ICMA-RC)

Medica Launches myHealthManager(SM) Online Health Management Tool; Rewards Healthy Behavior; Designed to Help Hold Down Health Care Costs
(Medica)

CEOs Unite to Fight Cancer in the Workforce in Far-Ranging Initiative to Save Employee Lives
(CEO Cancer Gold Standard)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Administrator
for Long Island Employee Benefits Group, Ltd.
in NY

401k TPA Account Executive
for Thesco Retirement Planning Services LLC - TPA
in NJ, NY

Employee Benefits Associate
for Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly LLP
in MN

Relius Administration Sales Representative
for SunGard Relius
in FL

Retirement Plans Associate
for RG Wuelfing & Associates
in NC

Benefits Financial Analyst
for BeneTemps, Inc, a Human Resources Placement Firm
in NY

E.B. Trust Administrator
for BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust)
in NC

Retirement Plans Administrator
for AutoNation, Inc
in FL

Internal Wholesaler
for ePlan Services
in CO

Direct Sales
for ePlan Services
in CO

Benefits Supervisor
for St. Mary's/Duluth Clinic Health System
in MN

Senior Due Diligence Analyst
for Vanguard
in PA

401k Administrator - PA
for Vanguard
in PA

Data Project Administrator - PA
for Vanguard
in PA

Director Retirement Plans
for BNSF Railway Company
in TX




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