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May 22, 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)

Industry Hopeful on Pension Bill Breakthroughs
Excerpt: "Congress is working intensely to complete work by its Memorial Day recess on pension benefit reform legislation that contains a number of provisions eagerly sought by the life insurance industry because they will extend product offerings." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Text of Retirement News for Employers, Spring 2006 (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "[The edition includes articles titled:] A New and Improved EPCRS; Product Profiles - 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plan for Sponsor and 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity for Participant; We're the Big Oh-Two; Critical FewPoints...by Michael Julianelle (Director, EP Examinations); The Filing Cabinet; New DVD on Identity Theft; Net Gains; The Fix Is In: Common Plan Mistakes; This Way to the Forums; Let's Just Take It One Three-Month Period at a Time; 'Timing is Everything' Flyer." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Opinion: New Tax Law Alters Retirement-Planning Scenarios
Excerpt: "The good thing about new tax bills, such as the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 or TIPRA for short, is that it keeps accountants, lawyers and financial journalists in business." (MarketWatch.com)

Opinion: Those Pesky Pension Actuarial Assumptions
Excerpt: "The board of administration of the San Diego City Employees' Retirement System (SDCERS) is about to hand its 2007 bill to the mayor and City Council. Stand by for a barrage of opinions about whether the actuarial assumptions incorporated into that bill are or aren't reasonable." (April Boling via voiceofsandiego.org)

Shortfall at Exxon -- All Those Profits -- but Underfunded Pensions
Excerpt: "Scroll through the financial data of the biggest U.S. corporations and a surprising fact appears: Arguably the mightiest of them all, Exxon Mobil ..., has left its employee pension plans with the biggest funding deficit. Its assets are $11.2 billion short of projected obligations, according to company figures as of Dec. 31 ...." (BusinessWeek Online)

Maximizing a Firm's Retirement Efforts (PDF)
Excerpt: "Organizations should have a thorough campaign for marketing their retirement plan. While it may start with the new-hire orientation, there should be targeted tools and materials for ongoing communication with all employees." (Benefits & Compensation Solutions)

404c: What You Think You See May Not Be What You Get
Excerpt: "Next to the prudent man rule, 404(c) is perhaps the most discussed -- and perhaps least understood -- provision in ERISA. Does 404(c) offer mythical hope or magical protection for fiduciaries? As you might suspect, it is some of both: Read on. First, if the conditions for 404(c) protection are satisfied, it is a defense to some, but only some, claims of fiduciary breach in participant-directed plans, like 401(k)s and 403(b)s." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Overview: Beneficiary Designations and Divorce
Excerpt: "Litigation between the designated former spouse and other likely beneficiaries (e.g., children, subsequent spouse) is costly, difficult and, sad to say, largely avoidable. .... A fairly simple plan provision, together with parallel language in the SPD and on the beneficiary designation forms, should largely eliminate confusion, ambiguity and litigation in this context." (Dorsey & Whitney LLP)

Ex-wife's Pension Share Not Lessened by New Wife's Survivor's Benefits
Excerpt: "A Virginia appellate court rejected a man's claim that the civil service pensions due to his former wife should be reduced by the cost of providing survivor benefits to his new wife." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Transition Trade-Offs: Options for State Pension Reform in the United Kingdom (PDF)
73 pages. Excerpt: "This paper analyses in detail 8 alternative state pension reform options that make different trade-offs to those made by the Pensions Commission, and evaluates them against the Government's 5 tests for state pension reform." (Pensions Policy Institute)

Welcome to BenefitsLink advertiser Bidwell Consulting Services
Excerpt: "Are you looking for an efficient solution that can give you a complete view of all your client information? NexusTPA helps you deliver superior customer service, increase overall efficiency and leverage your data. We invite you to discover how NexusTPA can help you: Cultivate and manage client relationships more easily -- all from one place, Improve productivity by simplifying and automating key processes, Gain insights into new opportunities and measure effectiveness." (BenefitsLink.com)

Report: Future Retirement Income Security Needs Defined Benefit Pensions (PDF)
44 pages. Excerpt: "The only hope for older middle income Americans (the 60 percent in the three middle quintiles $20,000-70,000) to have retirement security is a diversified portfolio of retirement wealth to produce income from different sources: from Social Security, from DB type coverage, and from personal assets, including DC plans." (Center for American Progress)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Corrected Link: Further IRS Section 409A Guidance and Possible Impact on 2006 Amendment Deadline (PDF)
2 pages. (Gardner Carton & Douglas)

Clean Up Deferred Compensation Arrangements with IRS 'Formula' 409A
Excerpt: "As in-house counsel, you should already know that § 409A imposes a host of new rules regarding elections, distributions, funding and reporting of nonqualified deferred compensation. In the event any of these rules are violated, §409A imposes immediate taxation, a 20 percent additional tax and interest on affected employees/workers." (Gordon Klepper and Boyd Brown via Law.com)

5th Circuit Holds that USERRA Does Not Preclude Enforcement of Arbitration Agreement
Excerpt: "The Fifth Circuit held that USERRA did not preclude the arbitration agreement's enforcement, reversing a lower court's ruling in favor of the employee." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Employee's Internal Complaint of Plan Violations May Be Protected by ERISA Section 510
Excerpt: "ERISA Section 510 makes it unlawful to 'discharge... any person because he has given information or has testified or is about to testify in any inquiry or proceeding related to' ERISA. The court first determined that the employee's actions fell within ERISA Section 510 because the phrase 'inquiry or proceeding' includes internal company complaints to management and isn't limited to legal or administrative proceedings." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Employee Complaints about Plan Violations Protected by ERISA
Excerpt: "The US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that an employee's complaint to management about plan violations was an 'inquiry or proceeding' that is protected from retaliation by Section 510 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Study Shows 17 US Firms 'At Risk' for Options Dating Problems
Excerpt: "A Maryland research company reported in a new study that 17 of 100 companies examined were deemed 'at risk' for having back dated option grants issued between 1997 and 2002." (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!)

Fundamentals of Employer Health Management
in Washington on May 9, 2006
presented by International Society of CEBS - Pacific NW Chapter

Webcast: Has Massachusetts Solved The Health Insurance Puzzle?
Nationwide on May 22, 2006
presented by KaiserNetwork.org


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey Offers Self-Insured Employers Resolution Health's Direct-to-Member Communications Suite
(Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Retirement Plan Coordinator
for American Funds, a part of The Capital Group Companies, Inc
in TX

Benefits Administrator
for CCA Strategies
in CO, IL

401(k)/Defined Contribution Valuation Processor
for National Retirement Services, Inc.
in CA, NC

Attorney - Counsel: Retirement Plans
for Transamerica
in CA

401(k) Administrator/Recordkeeper
for Scottsdale Pension Systems, Inc.
in AZ

Team Leader, Regional Service Team
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Pension Administrator
for Benetech, Inc.
in CA, GA

Retirement Services Relationship Manager
for Fulton Financial Advisors
in PA

Signing Bonus / Senior DC Plan Administrator
for Berlin, Ramos & Company
in ANY STATE

Client Service Pension Administrator
for San Diego Pension Consultants, Inc.
in CA

Account Executive - Retirement
for Lockton Dunning Benefits Company
in TX

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for Pension Specialists, Inc.
in AZ

401 K/Defined Contribution Daily Valuation Administrator
for Pension Parameters, Inc.
in NJ

National Account Executive for Insurance Carrier
for Great-West Heatlhcare
in CO

Western Regional Manager - Client Relationship Management
for Transamerica
in CA

Sr. Operations Manager
for CitiStreet
in FL

Customer Manager
for CitiStreet
in FL

Customer Relationship and Operations Manager
for CitiStreet
in FL

Sr. Customer Relationship and Operations Manager
for CitiStreet
in FL

Pension Administrator
for Full Service Employee Benefit Consulting Firm
in NY

Senior Plan Administrator
for American National Insurance Company
in TX




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