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May 16, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

Two Great ASPPA Conferences

You pick the focus and let ASPPA present the material.

Attend the new Advanced Actuarial Conference June 9-10 in Boston, MA. Targeting unique and specialized issues, this Conference is designed for practicing actuaries.

Attend the Northeast Area Benefits Conference in either Tarrytown, NY on June 7th or in Boston, MA on June 8th and get the most recent legislative and regulatory information available.

Better yet, attend them both! Sign up now at www.asppa.org


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

IRA Swaps Could Cost U.S. Billions in Tax Revenue
Excerpt: "President Bush is scheduled to sign into law tomorrow an extraordinary deal for high-income people with retirement savings accounts. By paying $1 in income taxes before the taxes are due, these investors may be able to avoid future taxes equivalent to $3.50." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Impact of the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act on Retirement Planning
Excerpt: "For tax years beginning after December 31, 2009, the Act: (1) eliminates the $100,000 modified AGI limit on conversions of traditional IRAs to Roth IRAs, and (2) permits married taxpayers filing a separate return to convert amounts in a traditional IRA into a Roth IRA. Thus, taxpayers may make such conversions without regard to their AGI." (Pension & Benefits Week via RIA News Briefings - Pension & Benefits)

PBS Special Addresses Looming Retirement Crisis Facing Workers
Excerpt: "Television specials sometimes have the power to change public perceptions and to move Congress and presidents to action. As the Employee Retirement Income Security Act sat stalled by interest-group debates, NBC ran a one-hour special on the pension crisis. Shortly thereafter ERISA became law. Maybe the same dynamic will begin this week." (Dallas Salisbury via Human Resource Executive Online)

Study Show Auto Enrollment Improves Quantity, not Quality, of Participation
Excerpt: "Hewitt Associates '2006 Hewitt Universe Benchmarks - How Well Are Employees Saving and Investing in 401(k) Plans' research report indicates that 401(k) participation rates are slowly increasing for younger, lower-tenured, and lower-salaried workers." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Overview: Seventh Circuit Confirms that ERISA 404(c) Not Exclusive Means to Satisfy Fiduciary Duty (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit has held that following the safe harbor under ERISA Section 404(c) is not the exclusive means by which a plan trustee may avoid fiduciary liability with respect to a participant-directed 401(k) plan." (Buck Consultants)

Overview: Final Rules Allowing Entities Other than Plan Sponsors to Terminate Abandoned DC Plans (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "These regulations and class exemption respond to increased requests for help from participants of abandoned plans, financial institutions holding plan assets, and other service providers that do not have the authority to terminate a plan and authorize distributions." (Buck Consultants)

Summary of Buck Consultants' Global Survey of Year-End 2005 U.S. GAAP Assumptions (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Buck Consultants has released a survey of the year-end 2005 accounting assumptions for benefit plans that were used for U.S. GAAP disclosures by their clients. This For Your Information highlights the results of this survey." (Buck Consultants)

Pension Pointers No. 6: A Fresh Look at the PBGC (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "This brief examines concerns about the future viability of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation and the role those concerns have played in the current debate." (American Benefits Council)

Survey Finds 10% of Americans Recognize Retirement Spending Limits
Excerpt: "The survey by New York Life released Monday found that some Americans were overestimating how much they can safely withdraw from their retirement nest egg and still have enough to live on." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Rejects DOL's Position on Standard of Review for Trustee's Decision (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "In a very important decision for ESOP trustees and other ERISA fiduciaries in a case involving an allegation of an erroneous valuation of employer securities held by an ESOP, the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has held that the standard of judicial review of the decisions of an ERISA trustee is deferential unless there is a conflict of interest. Armstrong v. LaSalle Bank National Association, Case No. 053417 (7th Cir. 2006)." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Employee Ownership Update for May 15, 2006
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses the news: Virginia Smith of the U.S. Department of Labor recently stated that ESOP violations are one of five high-priority DOL enforcement projects. A February 2006 survey of 90 high-tech companies shows 38% of them are cutting back on eligibility for equity-based pay. At the NCEO's annual conference, Dr. Laura Nash of Harvard Business School suggested that the factors that create success for individuals can apply to employee ownership companies. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Overview: ERISA Fiduciary Issues for Plan Sponsors (PDF)
Excerpt: "[The target page] is a brief overview of some of the [fiduciary and high liability issues facing plan sponsors]." (Groom Law Group)

Portugal Plans Pension Reforms
Excerpt: "Workers with fewer than two children will have to contribute more to their government pensions under planned reforms to prevent the collapse of Portugal's retirement system, the prime minister said in an interview published [yesterday]." (AP via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Overview: IRS Revision of Its Corrections Programs for Retirement Plans (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

Overview: EBSA Updates to Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "The VFC Program was adopted by the EBSA on a permanent basis in March 2002. It is designed to encourage plan fiduciaries to voluntarily bring their plans into compliance with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and provides direction for plan fiduciaries' corrective actions in order to avoid agency enforcement actions and/or penalties." (Hewitt Associates)

Opinion: The End of Retirement
Excerpt: "Scarcely a day passes without a new pension nightmare: Social Security privatization, pension terminations by corporations that are household names (such as Delphi and United Airlines), household saving reaching another new low, canceled retiree health benefits, and 401(k) accounts becoming '201(k)s' while replacing traditional pensions." (Teresa Ghilarducci via Monthly Review)

Investment Advice Helps Boost 401(k) Participant Returns, According to Study
Excerpt: "A study sponsored by Carroll College of Waukesha, Wisconsin has found that employees who received face-to-face investment advice for their retirement accounts achieved an annual investment return 2.5 percentage points greater than those employees who did not receive any education or advice." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Many Americans May Encounter Detour in Their Expected Career Paths -- Early Retirement
Excerpt: "McKinsey & Co. said its study found that four out of 10 retired workers left their jobs sooner than they had planned, usually because of health problems or the loss of employment, according to a Los Angeles Times report." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)


We thank and invite your attention to our additional sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

EPCRS Updated Webcast
Nationwide on June 6, 2006
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Carroll College and Francis Investment Counsel Announce Study Finds 401(k) Advice Improves Employee Investment Returns
(Francis Investment Counsel)

Fifth Annual National Retirement Planning Week Scheduled for the Week of Nov. 13
(National Retirement Planning Coalition (NRPC))

Major Employer Group Supports Effort to Block DOE Benefits Mandate
(ERISA Industry Committee)

Employee-Owned S Corporations of America Comment on Corporate Tax Reform for Ways and Means Hearing
(Employee Owned S Corporations of America)

National Association of Manufacturers Letter to Congress Debunks Misperceptions About Pension Bill
(National Association of Manufacturers (NAM))

Planners and Advisors Have New Option for Creating Investment Policy Statements
(Metrics Partners)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension and Retirement Specialist
for Aerojet
in CA

Benefits Coordinator
for The Henry M. Jackson Foundation
in MD

Vice President - Client Services (Insurance)
for Zenith Administrators
in WA

Operations Manager (Insurance)
for Zenith Administrators
in CA

Operations Manager - Medical Outreach Program
for Zenith Administrators
in WA

Account Specialist
for Princeton Retirement Group
in NC

Contract Assignment -- Pension Administrator
for The Allocation Company, Inc.
in TX

Part Time Accounting Clerk
for 401(k) Advisors
in CA

Sr. Benefits Compliance Rep.
for Aerojet
in CA

Technical Consultant, Employee Benefits
for ABD Insurance and Financial Services
in CA

Pension Analyst II
for SouthEastern Employee Benefit Services, Inc. a subsidiary of First Charter Bank
in NC

Client Services - Account Manager
for ExpertPlan, Inc.
in NJ

401(k) Plan Recordkeeper/Specialist
for Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates, Inc.
in MS

Regional Vice President - NC, SC and VA
for BISYS Retirement Services
in NC, SC, VA




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