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May 24, 2006
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New Tax Law Will Eliminate $100,000 Income Cap for Converting Traditional IRAs to Roths
Excerpt: "The new law will allow those with annual adjusted gross incomes of $100,000 or more to convert their traditional individual retirement accounts into Roth IRAs, which allow tax-free withdrawals after age 59 1/2 and five years after the initial contribution. Those who own traditional IRAs must pay income tax on distributions at retirement." (Newsday.com)

House, Senate Pass Bill Allowing Military Personnel to Contribute to IRAs Based on Combat Pay
Excerpt: "The House of Representatives and the Senate recently passed H.R. 1499, the Heroes Earned Retirement Opportunities (HERO) Act, which allows certain combat pay to be treated as income for purposes of limits on contributions to IRAs. President Bush is expected to sign the bill into law." (Investment Company Institute)

IRS Employee Plans Official Says Focus Is on Improving Response Time
Excerpt: "Surveys conducted by IRS Employee Plans (EP) indicate that the main concern of plan administrators and practitioners is the length of the process and the amount of time that the EP spends on issues, according to Joseph Grant, Director of IRS Employee Plans, Office of Rulings and Agreements." (CCH Pension & Benefits)

PSCA Response to May 16, 2006 PBS Frontline Program, 'Can You Afford to Retire'
(Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America (PSCA))

Counter to PSCA's Response to PBS' Frontline Program 'Can You Afford to Retire'
Excerpt: "Frontline has done our nation a great service by being truthful. I believe the program was a fair and factual representation of reality." (Matthew D. Hutcheson via 401khelpcenter.com)

Opinion: Automatic 401(k) Plans Key to Boosting Retirement Savings
Excerpt: "With automatic enrollment, a small percentage of the employee's salary (perhaps 3 percent to start) would go into the plan and be invested in an appropriate investment option, according to standards that would be set by the U.S. Department of Labor. The company also would be required to either match contributions or make a minimum contribution to the employee's account. For all employees, this is 'free' money that should be maximized." (Charles R. Schwab via Chicago Tribune; one-time registration required)

Text of Comments by College of Pension Actuaries on FASB Exposure Draft Defining DB Plan Liabilities (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "We feel very strongly that adopting the [Projected Benefit Obligation] as the basic standard for determining an employer's pension liability would be a serious mistake. It would make financial statements less transparent and thus less helpful to the various users of these statements. Just incidentally, it could have a devastating effect on the future of defined benefit pension plans. For these reasons, we offer this further discussion." (College of Pension Actuaries)

PBGC Takes Over Pennsylvania Brewer's Pension Plan
Excerpt: "A government agency on Tuesday assumed responsibility for a pension plan at Pittsburgh Brewing Co., a major hurdle in the company's Chapter 11 bankrup.tcy reorganization." (AP via Houston Chronicle)

Workers Allege Philip Morris Fires those Who Withdraw Funds from Company Plan
Excerpt: "Philip Morris USA has been firing workers at its two U.S. cigarette manufacturing plants who have withdrawn money from the company's deferred profit-sharing plan, workers told The Charlotte Observer." (The Charlotte Observer via journalnow.com)

Involuntary Transfer of Prisoners' Pension Benefits Violates Anti-Alienation Rules
Excerpt: "ERISA's anti-alienation provision prohibits enforcement of a state law under which prison wardens were to notify pension plans to send prisoners' benefit payments to the inmate's institutional address, according to a 6th Circuit decision affirming a district court ruling. [DaimlerChrysler v. Cox, No. 05-1716]" (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Supreme Court Will not Hear Case on Posthumous QDRO
Excerpt: "The US Supreme Court has decided not to review a ruling from the 3rd US Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the validity of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) issued after a participant's death." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Cutting Pensions, New Jersey Assemblyman Leads by Example
Excerpt: "Assemblyman Christopher 'Kip' Bateman is putting his money where his mouth is. The 16th District legislator, in the Assembly since 1994, recently gave up pensions for serving as municipal prosecutor in the boroughs of Peapack-Gladstone and Bound Brook, and is in the process of giving up a third pension for holding the same position in Bridgewater." (Courier News)

Group of Retired Delta Pilots Asks Court to Reject Deal
Excerpt: "A group that represents some retired Delta Air Lines pilots wants a bankrup.tcy court judge to reject the latest wage concession agreement with active pilots." (AP via Times Daily)

One Minute Memo: Social Security Mismatch Letters (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "Recently a number of employers throughout the United States have received a 'mismatch letter' from the Social Security Administration (SSA). In essence, the letter advises that one or more employees have a social security number (SSN) that does not match the information appearing in the SSA database. In most instances, the employee's name is not consistent with the name in the SSA database for an otherwise valid SSN." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Defined Benefit Plans 'Do Not Destroy Companies'
Excerpt: "Defined Benefit (DB) plans do not financially destroy companies and are good for both employers and employees, a Center for American Progress report has found. The report defended DB plans and pointed out 'distinct advantages such plans offered over more favoured DC plans." (Global Pensions)

Discussion Paper: Working for a Good Retirement (PDF)
42 pages. Excerpt: "[The authors] estimate the effect of increased work using the Urban Institute's Dynamic Simulation of Income Model (DYNASIM3). Among other items, DYNASIM calculates retirement wealth from earnings, pensions, and Social Security. It also calculates payroll tax and federal and state income tax at the individual and family level from 1992 to 2050. These projections account for the dramatic heterogeneity of individual demographic and economic circumstances and ...." (The Urban Institute)

Plan Participation for Pre-Retirees Dips During Three-Year Cycle of Survey
Excerpt: "The number of workers under age 65 participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans fell between 2001 and 2004, from 49.6% to 47.9%, according to a survey of households taken every three years by the Federal Reserve Board." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Backdated Options, Future Rules?
Excerpt: "The latest accounting investigations could lead to a new round of regulations for corporations and undermine investor confidence" (BusinessWeek Online)

Discussion Paper: Work Impediments at Older Ages (PDF)
43 pages. Excerpt: "This report describes how changes to private pensions, Social Security, Medicare, and tax and discrimination law can promote work at older ages." (The Urban Institute)

Perspectives on Productive Aging: Enjoying the Golden Work Years (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "This Perspective offers additional insight into work at older ages. Data from the 2002 Health and Retirement Study (HRS)1 are used to examine job characteristics and attitudes about work among adults age 60 and older and to explore whether richer and poorer workers differ." (The Urban Institute)

Two Ohio Public Pension Funds Sue UnitedHealth Over Options
Excerpt: "Two Ohio pension funds filed a shareholder lawsuit against UnitedHealth Group, Minneapolis, for allegedly allowing its chairman and chief executive officer, William McGuire, to dictate his own compensation through the 'secret manipulation' of stock-option grants over the past decade." (Modern Healthcare; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Beginner IRA Seminar
in Arkansas on June 20, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Assumes Pension Plan Of Pittsburgh Brewing Co.
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

Financial Literacy and Education Commission Launches Spanish Version of Financial Education Strategy
(U.S. Department of Treasury)

Millions of American Workers Ill-Prepared and Unsupported by Their Employer as More Take Ownership of Retirement Funds - New Study From Edward Jones
(Edward Jones)

Responding to Baby Boomer and Retiree Needs for Retirement Income Solutions, MassMutual Unveils Retirement Management Account
(MassMutual)

CPI Qualified Plan Consultants Adds American Independence Funds to Retirement Platform
(CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Relationship Manager II
for AST Trust Company
in AZ

Pension Paralegal / Employee Benefits Paralegal
for Pension Corporation of America
in OH

Account Managers
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Employee Benefits Associate - Retirement Plans
for Ward Rovell, Professional Association
in FL

Compliance Administrator
for Pension Corporation of America
in OH

Senior Employee Benefits Program Analyst (Ref.# JP23961-JN)
for Southern California Edison
in CA

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Nova 401(k) Associates
in TX

Assistant General Counsel -- ERISA Experience Required
for Nationwide Insurance
in OH

Defined Contribution Administrator
for BKD, LLP
in CO




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