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May 19, 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)

The IRS Self-Correction Program -- Plan Eligibility Flowcharts
Excerpt: "[The target page provides a] flowchart to assist you in determining if your qualified or 403(b) plan is eligible for the Self-Correction Program [and a] flowchart to assist you in determining if your SEP or SIMPLE IRA plan eligible for the Self-Correction Program." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Overview: Moody's Proposes Methodology to Disclose Multiemployer Plan Underfunding
Excerpt: "To more accurately quantify the cost of participating in multiemployer pension plans, Moody's Investors Service has proposed a methodology for estimating a contributing employer's share of plan underfunding and reflecting it on the company's financial statement. This information would be used for credit analysis purposes." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

2006 Merrill Lynch New Retirement Study -- A Perspective from Individuals and Employers
Excerpt: "To gain insight into the shifting notions of retirement and what they mean, Merrill Lynch undertook a landmark study of baby boomers and retirement in 2005. Expanding on that study, the 2006 Merrill Lynch New Retirement Study, A Perspective from Individuals and Employers, has gone beyond boomers to probe deeper into the attitudes and perspectives of people in the broader adult population age 25-70." (Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated)

Overview: Proposed Changes to U.S. Pension Accounting Standards
Excerpt: "The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) is on course to overhaul employers' accounting for pension, retiree medical and other postretirement benefits-- a proposal many fear could add hundreds of billions of dollars of liabilities to corporate balance sheets and reduce shareholder equity." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

Understanding Investor Preferences for Mutual Fund Information: Summary of Research Findings (PDF)
20 pages. Excerpt: "Shareholders consider a wide range of information before purchasing mutual fund shares. They most frequently review or ask questions about a fund's fees and expenses and its historical performance." (Investment Company Institute)

Corrections to Final Labor Regulations on Termination of Abandoned Individual Account Plans (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "A preparer of the model notices is required to check certain boxes, indicating whether or not certain events have occurred or exist. Inadvertently, the boxes did not appear in the published document. This correction adds the appropriate boxes and makes three unrelated typographical edits." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

Settlement Proposed for BellSouth Company Stock Suit
Excerpt: "BellSouth has agreed to settle with employees who claim the company breached its fiduciary duties in relation to company stock retirement savings investments." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

What Does the Pension Landscape Look Like in the Netherlands?
Excerpt: "Employer-sponsored retirement benefits are an essential component of the Dutch retirement income. While social security is fairly generous, employees rely heavily on employer-sponsored pensions during their retirement." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

Can Changing Attitudes Towards Pensions in the U.K. Teach the Rest of the World a Lesson?
Excerpt: "Over the past three years, the U.K. has been at the forefront of changing attitudes about the cost of pensions. There have been many heated debates about several issues, notably between those who argue that benefits should be fully funded and invested in bonds with minimum risk and those who advocate a minimum current cash flow commitment from a company combined with exposure to higher-performing asset classes." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

Overview: International Retirement Plans and Other Global Mobile Retirement Delivery Approaches
Excerpt: "[T]he most common approach to dealing with globally mobile employees is to maintain participation of those employees within the home country arrangements when they are moved on assignment. In fact, many multinationals base their entire expatriate benefits policy on this 'one-size-fits-all' approach." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

Illegals Granted Social Security Benefits
Excerpt: "The Senate voted yesterday to allow illegal aliens to collect Social Security benefits based on past illegal employment -- even if the job was obtained through forged or stolen documents." (The Washington Times)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: Further IRS Section 409A Guidance and Possible Impact on 2006 Amendment Deadline (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The next round of IRS guidance is expected to deal with the distribution requirements of Section 409A among many other things. Senior IRS officials have consistently predicted that such guidance would be published 'this summer.'" (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

Watson Wyatt Comments on the SEC's Proposed Disclosure Regulations
Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed new rules for disclosing executive compensation to make compensation information easier to find, understand and compare. The new transparency should give corporate stakeholders a clearer picture of all elements of executive pay, including its rationale, practice and results." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Federal Workforce is 'Elite Island of Secure and High-Paid Workers'
Excerpt: "[A] report from the Cato Institute entitled 'Federal Pay Outpaces Private-Sector Pay ... contends that federal employees are significantly overpaid--perhaps by as much as 50%. Here is a quote from the report that captures its essence: 'The average federal worker earned $100,178 in wages and benefits in 2004, which compared to $51,876 for the average private-sector worker, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data.'" (FebSmith.com)

ACLI Promotes Annuity-LTC Hybrid Concept
Excerpt: "Congress should help workers save for ordinary retirement costs and the cost of long term care at the same time. Greg Jenner, an executive vice president at the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, made the case for that position Wednesday at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Ohio Regulators Investigate Benefits Brokers
Excerpt: "The Ohio Department of Insurance is still checking to see whether insurance brokers told government agency clients enough about their compensation arrangements." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Current Pension and Employee Benefits Law and Practice Webcast
Nationwide on July 3, 2006
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

The 2006 Pensions & Retirement Conference: Redefining & Reinventing Retirement - The Primacy Shift
in New York on November 6, 2006
presented by The Conference Board

U.S. Labor Department Sponsors New York Seminar on Retirement Solutions for Small Businesses under Federal Employee Benefits Law
in New York on June 20, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Two Step Release Corporate Focus Version 5.1; New Executive Dashboards Improve Corporate Governance Transparency as SOX Continues to Influence Best Practices at All Companies
(Two-Step Software, Inc.)

National Sales Consultant Added to Growing Gilsbar, Inc. Team
(Gilsbar, Inc.)

CFDD Announces Partnership With The McHenry Group To Offer A Discount On The PlanTools(tm) Fiduciary Reporting System
(Metrics Partners)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Plan Document and Administration Consultant
for Southern Pension Services
in FL

Actuarial Analyst
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in IL

Employee Benefits Compliance Specialist II
for Union Bank of California
in CA

Senior Actuarial Analyst
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in IL

Health and Benefits Team Leader
for Mercer HR Services
in MA

Consulting Associate
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in MN

Account Manager - Employee Benefits
for Kelley & Swain, Inc.
in CA

Employee Benefits Attorney
for Frost Brown Todd LLC
in OH

Retirement Planning Consultant-- Team Lead
for Invesmart, Inc.
in OH




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