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April 27, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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Banner ad for ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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)

Study: Many Want to Work in Retirement
Excerpt: "[A]bout two-thirds of the people interviewed would like some form of flexible working schedule as they near and enter retirement-- perhaps working fewer hours or taking extended breaks between projects. But just 30 percent of employers offer older workers the opportunity to work fewer hours, and only 37 percent say they offer older workers the opportunity to pursue 'new kinds of work.'" (AP via Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Policy Brief: Averaging and Smoothing Issues in Pending Pension Reform Bills (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The currently pending bills are the most significant reform bills since ERISA passed in 1974.... This brief examines whether the interest rate and asset values used to determine a plan's funded status should be averaged over time." (American Benefits Council)

Opinion: Perfect Pension Storm Revisited
Excerpt: "The pathetic legislation now being completed in a House-Senate conference committee, rather than strengthening the pension system, would actually weaken it, according to a little-noticed analysis by the government's pension agency.... Anyone who has ever watched the very brief moral struggle taking place behind the eyes of a CEO balancing quarterly profits against 30-year possible liabilities or, heaven forbid, a social responsibility, will not be surprised at this sorry outcome." (People's Weekly World)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide for Retirement Plans (PDF)
19 pages; April 25, 2006. Excerpt: "Hewitt's Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law ..." (Hewitt)

Public Workers Collecting Two Checks
Excerpt: "Marquette County has a growing population of 'un-retired' workers who are collecting both wages and pensions.... In January of 2005, the Michigan Employees Retirement System required that retirees be off the job for at least 30 days before being rehired.... 'The rehire policy helps the county's bottom line financially as well as keeping knowledgeable, experienced employees who are more efficient and more productive than younger, less experienced employees.'" (The Mining Journal)

French Exception: Experts Ponder High Birth Rate
Excerpt: "Experts say France's high birth rate-- women have an average of 1.9 children-- is probably due to the government's long-term policy of rewarding those who have children, offering medals, financial incentives and favorable work rules." (Reuters via Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Germany Headed for Demographic Disaster?
Excerpt: "German public pension outlays represent 12 percent of gross domestic product-- near the top of the EU. The Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates this will increase to 15 percent by 2050." (Reuters via Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Opinion: Illinois Pension Plan Woefully Underfunded
Excerpt: "By almost any measure, the Illinois government pension system is the nation's worst ... the state's unfunded pension liability stands at an estimated $38 billion, the largest unfunded liability in the nation ..." (The Heartland Institute)

GAO Report: Opportunities Exist to Further Improve the Transparency of PBGC's Financial Disclosures (PDF)
1 page summary. Excerpt: "Many [pension experts] stated that the press releases PBGC issues that announce newly terminated plans do not provide the public with enough information to determine the financial impact of such plans on PBGC's published deficit. In addition, these parties expressed concern about the lack of transparency regarding the methodology PBGC uses to determine its interest rate its uses to calculate its liabilities.' Full report at http://www.gao.gov/cgi-bin/getrpt?GAO-06-429 (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

NASD Warns Against Cashing Out of 401(k)s
Excerpt: "The NASD cited a recent study showing that 45 percent of employees cash out their 401(k) plans when they change jobs." (AP via New York Times; one-time registration required)

Alaska House Votes to Delay Retirement System Conversion to Defined Contribution Plan
Excerpt: "Lawmakers last year approved an overhaul of the state's retirement system. Beginning July 1, it would have switched benefits from a traditional pension plan to a 401(k) savings plan in an effort to help a [pension funding] shortfall ..." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Deal Struck to Revise Colorado's Largest Pension Plan
Excerpt: "Legislators, public-employee groups and the Colorado Public Employees Retirement Association have struck a late compromise to reform the state's largest pension plan.... The bill raises the minimum retirement age for new hires from 50 to 55. Employees can retire at that age with 30 years of service." (Denver Post)

DOL Chart: Access to Defined Contribution Retirement Plans among Workers in Private Industry, 2005
Excerpt: "53 percent of all workers in private industry have access to at least one employer-provided defined contribution retirement plan. Access to employer-provided defined contribution plans varies notably among worker and establishment characteristics." (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Text of IRS Official's Remarks on Pension and Healthcare Reforms to ASPPA Conference
Excerpt: "[T]his is an excellent opportunity to discuss the need for fundamental reform and to highlight some areas where the Administration believes the conference report must do better than either the House or Senate bills in order to ensure that pensions promises made are pension promises kept.... [T]he law unfortunately allows employers to comply with pension rules technically without adequately funding the pension promises they make." (Assistant Secretary Mark J. Warshawsky, Internal Revenue Service)

Text of Comments by American Academy of Actuaries on Proposed SEC Exec Comp Disclosure Rules (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "[T]he increase in the value of existing DC balances or DB accrued benefits due to the passage of time should not be included as current compensation because the increase in value has little relationship to the decisions/actions taken by the company's compensation committee in the current year ..." (American Academy of Actuaries)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide for Human Resources and Employment Law (PDF)
8 pages; April 25, 2006. Excerpt: "Hewitt's Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law ..." (Hewitt)

U.S. Chamber Study Finds Employee Benefit Costs Consume 40 Percent of Payroll Expenses
Excerpt: "Benefit costs, as a percentage of payroll costs, have increased on average close to 1 percent each year since 2000." (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

Overview: DOL Publishes Updated Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program and PT Exemption (PDF)
Excerpt: "The VFC Program now explicitly provides relief from civil penalties imposed under ERISA section 502(i). ERISA section 502(i) permits the DOL to assess a civil penalty on prohibited transactions in connection with welfare plans and nonqualified pension plans.... Although the 502(i) penalty is infrequently imposed, relief from the penalty is at least a tangible benefit for welfare plan fiduciaries of correction through the VFC Program." (Groom Law Group)

Online Year 2006 ERISA Reporting Calendars
Excerpt: "Plan administrators of single and multiemployer pension and welfare benefit plans can click ... to access concise information on where, when and how to file annual and special reports with the DOL, IRS and PBGC, with links to relevant forms and information at the agency sites." (Watson Wyatt)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Cafeteria and HSA Update Workshop
in Massachusetts on June 26, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Personal Health Records--A New Employee Benefit
Nationwide on May 2, 2006
presented by MediKeeper


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

IRS Names New Members to TE/GE Advisory Group
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))

New E-learning Courses Help Staff Get Up to Speed
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Scholarship Available for New York State Students, Recent Graduates
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Citigroup and CitiStreet in HSA Alliance
(CitiStreet)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401K Specialist
for AIG SunAmerica
in CA

Defined Contribution Operations Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in NJ

Paralegal Associate
for PreferredOne
in MN

Client Services Consultant
for July Business Services
in TX

Retirement Plan Administrator
for July Business Services
in TX

Relationship Managers
for John Mulligan & Associates, Inc.
in FL, NY, TX




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

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