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May 10, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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Don't miss the 2006 Western Benefits Conference!

The famed Bellagio Hotel is the site of this year's WBC, held July 16-19. Sponsored by the Western Pension & Benefits Conference and ASPPA, there are more than 50 educational sessions on retirement, health, welfare, fiduciary issues and more plus networking activities such as an exhibit hall, golf outing, Sunday reception and entertainment on Monday evening.

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

Xerox Loses Another Retiree Benefit Challenge
Excerpt: "The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a district court decision for Xerox Corporation in a challenge to benefit calculations under its Retirement Income Guarantee Plan." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Republicans Announce Agreement on Tax Cuts, Including Roth IRA Provision
Excerpt: "In order to keep the net size of the package to less than $70 billion, negotiators included a number of revenue-raising measures. These include a provision that allows wealthier people to convert retirement savings into Roth IRAs. That's expected to provide a short-term revenue boost because money moved out of traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs is taxed immediately." (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

FASB Rule Shift on Defined Benefit Pension Plan Accounting May Unravel Covenants
Excerpt: "FASB's proposed 'mark to market' rule changes for the accounting of defined benefit plans could have a negative impact on loan agreements between plan sponsors and lenders, according to several actuaries." (BenefitNews Connect)

Overview: PBGC Issues Semiannual Regulatory Agenda
Excerpt: "The PBGC has issued its semiannual regulatory agenda, which lists regulations that are currently under development or review, or which will be under development or review within the next twelve months." (CCH Pension & Benefits)

Overview: Cash Balance Litigation
Excerpt: "On March 31, 2006, United States District Court for the District of Connecticut, in Richards v. FleetBoston Financial Corp., found for plaintiff-employees in a cash balance plan age discrimination claim. The case is another in a series addressing the issue. In this article, we review the age discrimination challenge to cash balance plans and how the courts have responded." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Are Annuities Back in Fashion?
Excerpt: "Annuities have been shunned by retirement plans for a number of reasons. The income stream from an annuity often compares unfavorably to the expected income one can receive through investing over the same period of time. This is due both to high expected returns in the stock market over the last decade or so and the cost the insurance company applies in exchange for guaranteeing the income." (Arnerich Massena Education via Kibble & Prentice)

Court Upholds Pensions for Negro Leaguers
Excerpt: "Professional baseball players who are retired and white players are not entitled to the pension benefits Major League Baseball bestowed on former Negro Leagues players, a federal appeals court ruled [yesterday]. " (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Colorado Bill Leaves Current PERA Benefits Intact
Excerpt: "The state's pension fund will become a little less generous for future hires under new legislation, but members of the Public Employees' Retirement Association have essentially dodged a bullet." (Rocky Mountain News)

New York State Teachers' Retirement System -- Getting the Pension Credit Deserved
Excerpt: "[The union has] been getting lots of e-mails inquiring about the revival of an early retirement incentive or 55/25 legislation that would allow 55-year-old members to retire with full benefits with 25 (not 30) years of service. So far, there's no news to report. However, NYSUT will, of course, continue to lobby for benefits for members. Here are some questions [NYSUT has] received on other topics of general interest." (New York State United Teachers)

Retirement Plan Firm Rejected : A Maryland School System Is Suing to Extricate Teachers' Accounts
Excerpt: "The Montgomery County school system has severed ties with and is suing a company that administers retirement plans for hundreds of teachers after an investigation into the company's financial practices raised concerns about its reliability." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts -- Retirement -- Updated May 8, 2006 (PDF)
10 pages. These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employee benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors. (Towers Perrin)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: IRC Section 409A: Transitional Relief for Offshore Trusts & Plans with Financial Triggers (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The purpose of IRS Notice 2006-33 is to provide transitional guidance for amounts that would be includible in income because of an offshore trust or financial trigger. All deferred compensation plans, even if otherwise grandfathered under Section 409A, must comply with the offshore trust and financial trigger rules of Section 409A by December 31, 2007." (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

Executives Use Company Planes as if Their Own
Excerpt: "Chief executives' salaries have risen sharply. On top of that, new government data show, shareholders are paying more for executives' personal travel on corporate jets, long criticized as a symbol of excess." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Milliman's Monthly Benefit News and Developments, May 2006 (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The newsletter provides a summary of the previous month's legislative, regulatory, and judicial information on employee Benefits." (Milliman)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts - Human Resources -- Updated May 8, 2006 (PDF)
10 pages. These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employee benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors. (Towers Perrin)

Overview: Changes to the Department of Labor's Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
Excerpt: "The newly updated VFCP simplifies the correction process that was last revised in 2005 and creates an option that allows for corrections without the plan sponsor having to reverse certain transactions." (CCA Strategies, LLC)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

ERISA Litigation Now Available As Webcast
Nationwide on May 11, 2006
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

The Massachusetts Health Plan: How Did They Do It?
Nationwide on May 10, 2006
presented by Alliance for Health Reform


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Wood Honored as Recipient of NIPA Special Recognition Award
(National Institute of Pension Administrators)

DeSpain Honored as Recipient of NIPA Excellence in Education Award
(National Institute of Pension Administrators)

Wegesin Honored as Recipient of NIPA Lifetime Achievement Award
(National Institute of Pension Administrators)

Vaughn Honored as Recipient of NIPA Excellence in Education Award
(National Institute of Pension Administrators)

NIPA Honors Outstanding Volunteers at 2006 Annual Forum & Expo
(National Institute of Pension Administrators)

AARP, Senate Leadership and Health Care Insurance Industry Leaders Hold Press Briefing on Dangers of S. 1955
(AARP)

The ESOP Association Submits Testimony to Ways and Means Subcommittee Hearing
(ESOP Association)

Fleetwood Selects CitiStreet As 401(k) Administrator
(CitiStreet)

UVEST Financial Services Launches Retirement Destinations: Program Provides Financial Institutions With Industry-Leading Retirement Planning Solutions
(UVEST Financial Services)

Health Savings Accounts May Pressure Health Care Organizations to Reduce Administrative Costs, Improve Efficiencies, Finds PNC Survey
(PNC Financial Services Group)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401 (k) Administrator
for Compliance/Administration Company
in NJ

Tax Reporting Supervisor - PA
for Vanguard
in PA

Director
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Financial Planner
for ICMA-RC
in DC

Assistant Manager-Marketing
for Great-West Financial Services
in CO

401(k) / Defined Contribution Administrator
for Economic Group Pension Services
in NY

Group Insurance Administrator
for Hanson Building Materials America
in TX

Relationship Manager
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MI

Benefits Supervisor
for First Indiana Bank
in IN

Employee Benefits Consultant - Tax
for BDO Seidman, LLP
in NY

Pension Manager
for Premier Recruiters & Associates
in IA, PA

Pension Analyst
for The Taylor Companies
in TN




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