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May 11, 2006
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(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

New York Attorney General to Investigate 401(k) Investments
Excerpt: "Investigators for New York's Attorney General Eliot Spitzer have decided to dig deeper into the investment activities of public and private pension plans, particularly how these investments are chosen for 401(k) and other accounts." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Legislative Outlook -- Update on Pension Reform Conference Progress
Excerpt: "In this article, [CCA Strategies reviews] briefly where, as [they] understand it, the pension bill conferees are on key issues." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Article Summary: Asset Allocation Issues in Lifecycle Fund Selection and Design
Excerpt: "This article seeks to assist plan sponsors and participants in their understanding of the issues surrounding fund selection and design. [Access to 9-page PDF is on the target page.]" (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

Opinion: Public Pension Bills Will Come Due
Excerpt: "Public pensions are a critical issue especially as baby boomers retire, but they are fraught with confusing technical details. Two new studies shed much light on pensions for citizens interested in public policy." (TwinCities.com)

Overview: Withholding State Income Taxes from Pension and Annuity Payments (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Each state has different income tax withholding requirements. Generally, there are three types of state withholding requirements: mandatory withholding, voluntary withholding and no withholding." (Prudential Retirement)

State Can Strip Rights to Public Pension
Excerpt: "In California, it takes specific felony convictions. In Rhode Island, certain misdemeanors could be enough. While in New York, merely 'administrative misconduct' can be the trigger. Taxpayer-subsidized pension funds in at least 13 states are subject to what are known as ''forfeiture laws' -- regulations that allow public employers to withhold pensions from employees who misbehave." (Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Summary of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (PDF)
Item #10 on page 8 of 10 pages. Excerpt: "Eliminate the Income Limitations on Roth IRA Conversions [Conference Provision] The conference agreement eliminates the income limits on conversions of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs." (U.S. Senate Finance Committee via American Benefits Council)

Energy Department Will No Longer Reimburse Contractors for Defined Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "The DOE will negotiate an effective date with each contractor, which must be no later than March 1, 2007. Contractors may continue providing pensions to new employees, but it will have to be on their own dime. For collectively bargained plans, the new policy will become effective when benefits are next negotiated. Reimbursable DC plan benefits for new hires may not exceed the market average - as determined by the DOE - by more than 5 percent." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

House Approves Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities Act
Excerpt: "The U.S. House of Representatives unanimously approved the Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities Act (HERO) ..., giving military personnel increased opportunities to contribute to their retirement savings and increased tax benefits." (InvestmentNews.com)

Survey Results Reveal Global Views in Retirement's Future
Excerpt: "A new study finds a global desire by workers to have a productive and self-sufficient retirement, but that business has been slow to help them realize those wishes." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Overview: Optional Forms of Payment, Wearaway and Cash Balance Plans
Excerpt: "[CCA Strategies reviews] three key interrelated issues: the technical issues in the recent optional form disclosure regulations, Congress's current struggle to agree on how to handle cash balance plans and litigation over cash balance plan legality." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Speech: Pension Rights Center Official Calls for Support of Defined Benefit Pension Plans
Luncheon Address by Karen Friedman, Policy Director, Pension Rights Center, at the IRS/ASPPA Mid-Atlantic Benefits Conference on May 9, 2006, in Philadelphia, PA. (Pension Rights Center)

Hartford Settles Pension Charges Insurer Paid Brokers to Get Business
Excerpt: "The Hartford Financial Services Group has agreed to pay $20 million to settle charges that it secretly paid brokers to steer pension funds to the insurer's annuities even though they may not have been the best choice." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Home Equity May Be Baby Boomers' Retirement Salvation
Excerpt: "It's no secret that baby boomers have not been very diligent about saving for retirement, but that doesn't mean they don't have assets. Many live in homes that have appreciated greatly in value in recent years as real estate prices have soared. Some financial experts believe that's going to be the boomers' salvation because they will be able to tap that home equity to help fund their retirements." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

SPD Must Describe Procedures for Proving Benefit Entitlement, According to 2nd Circuit
Excerpt: "If a multiemployer plan has a policy requiring an employee to prove entitlement to benefits in a situation where an employer may have underreported covered employment, then that policy must be stated in the plan's summary plan description, according to a 2nd Circuit decision vacating a district court decision on that issue. [Wilkins v. Mason Tenders District Council Pension Fund, 05-2303-cv, 4/21/06]" (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Survey Report: 2006 HR Practices in Executive-Level Compensation (PDF)
39 pages. Excerpt: "HR professionals were asked questions about general compensation plans of employees who fit under the category of executives and were requested not to include compensation practices for the CEO/ president/owner. The purpose of this delineation was to understand the components of pay philosophies for executives who tend to be distinct both from rank-and-file employees and the organization's top leader." (Society for Human Resource Management)

Text of Small Correction to Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "On page 20283, in the Table, under the column, '1st day' in the first entry, '14/14/01' should read '4/14/01'." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Pension Plan 5500 Filing Web Seminar
Nationwide on June 6, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Employers Using Web to Meet Increasing Pension Administration Demands
(Watson Wyatt)

California Giving Working Moms Needed Time With Families
(Paid Family Leave Coalition)

The Culture of Overwork is Global
(Alfred P. Sloan Foundation)

Acclamation Systems Selects Evolution Benefits As Their Card Technology Partner
(Evolution Benefits)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Divisional Vice President- Western Region Sales
for Transamerica
in CA

Compliance Specialist
for A market leader in the Retirement Industry
in GA

Retirement Plan Specialist
for Tax Favored Benefits, Inc.
in KS, MO

Conversion / Implementation Specialist
for A market leader in the Retirement Industry
in GA

Client Services Manager
for A market leader in the Retirement Industry
in ANY STATE

Senior Benefits Consultant, Health and Welfare
for Top-Tier Global Human Resources Consulting Firm
in NY

Plan Enhancement Specialist
for A market leader in the Retirement Industry
in ANY STATE

Retirement Plan Administrator
for PEN-CAL Administrators, Inc.
in CA

401(k)/Pension Administrator
for Pension Consulting and Administration Firm
in NY




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