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May 12, 2006
Today's sponsor: InvestLink

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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)

H.R. 4297, Tax Increase Prevention & Reconciliation Act of 2005: Detailed Summary of Conference Rept (PDF)
Page 5 of 6 pages. Excerpt: "10. Conversion to Roth IRAs: The provision allows more taxpayers to convert to Roth IRAs by removing the modified adjusted gross income limitations on rollovers from an IRA to a Roth IRA. Under the provision, taxpayers can elect to pay tax on amounts converted in 2010 in equal installments in 2011 and 2012." (U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means)

Provision in Tax-Cut Bill Effectively Eliminates Income Limits on Roth IRAs: Report Revised 5/12/06
Excerpt: "The tax reconciliation bill conference agreement gives the appearance of retaining the current $100,000 income limit on who can make contributions to Roth IRAs. In reality, however, the legislation changes the Roth IRA rules in a way that effectively eliminates the income limits on these contributions. As a result, all income limits on the use of Roth IRAs would in effect be dismantled by the legislation." (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

The IRA Conversion Provision in the 2006 Tax Reconciliation Bill (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "To meet that revenue target while still including all of the tax cuts that Congressional leaders wanted, several tax increase provisions were also included in the package. One of the largest is the provision allowing taxpayers to convert IRA balances into so-called Roth IRAs. The Joint Committee on Taxation reckons that this provision would raise $6.4 billion in revenues over the 10-year budget window." (Urban Institute)
Pitfalls of Borrowing from 401(k)
Question: A reader asks what the penalty is if a 401(k) plan loan is not repaid. (Bankrate.com)

Overview: Relative Value of Optional Form of Benefit
Excerpt: "The IRS has released final guidance detailing plan sponsors' obligations with respect to the disclosure of the relative value of optional forms of payment available under their plan documents. The final regulations are generally effective for qualified joint and survivor annuity (QJSA) explanations related to distributions that occur on or after February 1, 2006." (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Overview: IRS Issues Updated EPCRS
Excerpt: "The IRS has issued the long-expected update of the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System ('EPCRS'). The new procedure, Rev. Proc. 2006-27, replaces Rev. Proc. 2003-44, and generally is effective September 1, 2006. However, practitioners may apply the procedure on or after May 30, 2006." (SunGard Corbel)

Overview: Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System Revised
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has been working on updating the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System (EPCRS), Rev. Proc. 2006-27. The update was released May 5, 2006. The program was last updated in June of 2003 (Rev. Proc 2003-44). The general effective date is September 1, 2006 although some provisions are effective May 30, 2006." (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

An Actuarial Perspective on the 2006 Social Security Trustees' Report (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "This issue brief provides an actuarial perspective on the most recent report, together with sufficient background material for readers to obtain a good understanding of (1) what the trustees are saying about the future financial condition of Social Security and (2) the limitations of the trustees' assessment." (American Academy of Actuaries)

Trustee's Actions Found to Fall Within Implied Exception to ERISA's Non-Delegation Provision
Excerpt: "The trustee of a profit-sharing plan that gave participants discretion to direct the investments in their accounts, but which did not meet the conditions of ERISA §404(c), was still shielded from a breach of fiduciary duty claim by an implied exception to ERISA's non-delegation provision, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago (CA-7)." (CCH Pension & Benefits)

Text of EBSA Advisory Opinion 2006-04A
Excerpt: "[DOL was asked] for an advisory opinion on behalf of the I.B.E.W. Local 910 Pension Fund ... regarding the application of the fiduciary responsibility provisions of Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to the trustees' amendment of the Local No. 910 I.B.E.W. Pension Plan ... to permit a retroactive contribution to the Fund on behalf of an owner of a corporation that contributes to the Fund as an employer." (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Worker Retirement Savings Holding Steady, According to Fidelity Index
Excerpt: "The average American working household has held steady in its retirement savings effort, according to a recent index that tracks retirement readiness. American workers are on track to replace 57% of their income in retirement, up from 56% last fall, according to a news release about Fidelity's Retirement Index for Spring 2006." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

PSCA Pension Conferee Letter on EGTRRA Pension Permanency (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "[The pension conferees are urged] to resolve the differences in the House and Senate pension bills and to produce a conference report as soon as possible. Both pension bills contain several provisions that will benefit workers who save in employer provided defined contribution plans. However, the provision in the House bill that makes the savings and pension provisions enacted in 2001 permanent is, by an overwhelming margin, the single most important provision ...." (Profit Sharing / 401k Council of America)

In Can.ada, Federal Budget Would Provide Temporary Funding Relief for Pension Plans
Excerpt: "The 2006 federal budget Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty proposed May 2, 2006, includes a series of measures that would provide temporary solvency funding relief for federally regulated defined benefit plans. The proposal must be put into regulations and passed before it becomes law." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

In Germany, Plan Sponsors Would See Increased Contribution Rates from Pension Reform
Excerpt: "A draft of the Second Pension Reform Act ... agreed to by the German federal government on May 3, 2006, would change the financing method for legal insolvency insurance and convert the current 'pay-as-you-go' plus partial funding system to a fully funded system." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

New Rules Set for Actuarial Valuations of Pension Plans in Brazil (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "Companies in Brazil with closed entity pension plans are subject to new regulations on the assumptions used in actuarial valuations to determine cash funding." (Towers Perrin)

In the United Kingdom a New Tax Regime for Pensions Comes Into Effect
Excerpt: "On April 6, 2006, 'A day', a new tax regime, came into effect for all tax-privileged pension arrangements. Under the new regime, few restrictions will apply to contributions to, and benefits from, registered schemes. However, an upper limit has been set on the tax advantages available." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated as of May 9, 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 regarding health and welfare benefit plans, retirement plans, and human resources and employment law." (Hewitt Associates)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Executive Briefing on Employee Benefits
in District of Columbia on June 6, 2006
presented by Bingham McCutchen LLP, UBS, Beers & Cutler, Legacy Partners


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

BOLI Ownership Popular Among Quality Community Financial Institutions
(The Todd Organization)

CPI Qualified Plan Consultants Adds John Hancock Funds to Retirement Platform
(CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.)

Investment Flexibility and Meaningful Cost Savings are Key to Winning Total Retirement Outsourcing Business
(Chatham Partners)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

National Account Manager - Retirement : AIM Investments
for AIM Investments - Houston TX
in TX

Regional Account Manager, #0601434
for John Hancock
in MA

Regional Marketing Director,TPA Services (#0601288)
for John Hancock
in MA

Self-Direct Brokerage Product Manager
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Integrated Benefits Product Manager
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

PAS Representative
for Wachovia
in MN

Benefit Analyst/Consultant (Travel Required)
for CCA Strategies
in CO, GA, IL, MA, TX

VPs Sales - Employee Benefits (producer)
for CBIZ
in CA

Vice President/Retirement Plan Manager
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Enrolled Actuary
for Angell Pension Group, Inc.
in CT, MA, RI

Regional Sales Director
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in NJ

Benefits Analyst
for The Estee Lauder Companies
in NY




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