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May 25, 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)

Second Tax Cut Package: Could It Speed Up Passage of Pension Bill? (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "President Bush has signed H.R. 4297, the 'Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005 (TIPRA)' into law. The House and Senate conferees agreed to the passage of this legislation with the understanding that another bill containing non-controversial extensions of expiring tax provisions would be passed shortly thereafter. This second bill may very well be attached to the pension funding reform bill, which could help ensure its passage." (Buck Consultants)

Transcript of Frontline Interview with Brooks Hamilton on Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "Put in a 401(k) plan. ... The company's contribution generally was structured to be a match based on whatever the employee put in. They might say, 'You put in a dollar, we'll put in 50 cents.' Well, suddenly the company had a great deal to gain if not 100 percent of the people joined the 401(k) plan. They probably were only putting in 2 or 3 percent of payroll because not everybody was in the plan. ..." (Public Broadcasting Service)

EBRI and ASEC Recommend PBS Retirement Program as an Opportunity for Education and Driver of Increased Savings
(Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), American Savings Education Council (ASEC))

EBRI and ASEC Cite the Benefits in PBS Documentary, 'Can You Afford to Retire'
Excerpt: "While acknowledging certain differences in approach with the points of emphasis in the recent Frontline documentary 'Can You Afford to Retire', a leading pension expert still thinks Americans should watch-- and learn." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Opinion: Frontline Piece Suffered from a Certain Myopia
Excerpt: "(As a side note, I'm waiting for the documentary that calls to task the advisor/provider community for promoting devices like auto-enroll, contribution acceleration, and lifestyle funds-- all of which, individually and in combination, greatly enhance their fees. Remember, you heard it here first.)" (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Overview: Roth 401(k)-- IRS Issues Guidance on Distributions, Rollovers and Plan Amendments
Excerpt: "The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued two new pieces of guidance regarding Roth 401(k) contributions under 401(k) plans." (McDermott Will & Emery)

PBGC Objects to Delta Deal
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. objected Wednesday to key terms of Delta Air Lines Inc.'s settlement with its pilots union on contract concessions intended to help revive the bankrupt carrier." (The Cincinnati Post)

Retiree Benefits Growing Into 'Monster'
Excerpt: "Taxpayers owe more than a half-million dollars per household for financial promises made by government, mostly to cover the cost of retirement benefits for baby boomers, a USA TODAY analysis shows. Federal, state and local governments have added nearly $10 trillion to taxpayer liabilities in the past two years, bringing the total of government's unfunded obligations to an unprecedented $57.8 trillion." (USA TODAY)

Overview: IRS Releases Long-Awaited Update to Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System
Excerpt: "In the past, EPCRS had been limited to correcting a plan's qualification defects. It did not relieve employers or participants from income or excise taxes that those defects might entail.... Rev. Proc. 2006-27 provides relief from income taxes that would otherwise result from improper plan loans. It also authorizes the waiver of excise taxes in three situations." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

State Ceases Pension Booster -- `Longevity Pay' Benefited Teachers
Excerpt: "A union benefit that allowed public school teachers to boost their annual pensions by several thousand dollars has been killed by the state agency that oversees public pension funds. A ruling by the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission means that the provision would not be allowed in future contracts, although the ban does not affect the teachers to whom it's already been granted." (The Boston Globe)

Blair's Government Plans Biggest Pension Overhaul Since 1946
Excerpt: "Prime Minister Tony Blair's government will propose the biggest changes to the U.K. pension system in 60 years, forcing employees to work longer in exchange for higher benefits." (Bloomberg News)

UK's Hutton Proposes 2B Bailout for Workers' Lost Pensions
Excerpt: "Thousands of UK workers who lost pensions when their firms went under will get 2 billion in compensation under a government deal that will benefit workers who are up to 15 years from retirement." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Report Says Boomer Women Face Most Dire Retirement Situation
Excerpt: "A report from the Harvard Generations Policy Program in conjunction with the Global Generations Policy Institute suggests that baby boomer women, especially minority women, will face a 'never-ending' struggle in their retirement years." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Opinion: Congress Should Take Up Pension Reform Before It's Too Late
Excerpt: "No rational person could argue that pension reform can wait. The pension system is a catastrophe waiting to happen. At the same time, it is hard to argue that the fixes offered by the House and the Senate are more than Band-Aids on a flimsy system. And some argue that the proposed fixes actually make the system more precarious, not less." (Norman J. Ornstein via American Enterprise Institute)

Working Paper: The Impact of Misperceptions about Social Security on Saving and Well-being (PDF)
Excerpt: "The analysis is based upon US data from the Health and Retirement Study, following individuals over a long time period from their fifties into retirement. We find clear evidence that people who over estimated their Social Security benefits are worse off according to several measures of well being in retirement. This relationship seems to be more pronounced for respondents who claimed benefits earlier than anticipated than for those who were simply misinformed." (University of Michigan Retirement Research Center)

How Lower Middle-Class Workers Obtain Employer Pensions
August 15, 2005. 39 page Word document. (University of Notre Dame)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Comments and Recommendations on the 2006-2007 IRS Guidance Priority List
Excerpt: "The Employee Benefits portion of the Guidance List comprehensively lists important guidance areas, but does not include three areas of particular concern to ASPPA members: (1) issuing an updated IRC § 402(f) notice, (2) providing governmental 457(b) plan correction guidance, and (3) provide guidance regarding the distribution of settlement proceeds from a terminated plan." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Advanced 401(k) Conference - Last Chance!
in Massachusetts on June 27, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Code Section 409A Workshop
in Minnesota on June 15, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Code Section 409A Workshop
in District of Columbia on July 12, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Code Section 409A Workshop
in New York on July 13, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Dependent Care-- What Expenses Qualify for Reimbursement?
Nationwide on June 22, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Estate Planning Considerations for Qualified Plans and IRAs
in District of Columbia on July 13, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Estate Planning Considerations for Qualified Plans and IRAs
in New York on July 14, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

New! Fundamentals of 401(k) and Other Qualified Plans
in Kansas on July 19, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

New! Fundamentals of 401(k) and Other Qualified Plans
in Illinois on July 19, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Consultants/Administrators
for Northern NJ Mid-Size Pension Consulting Firm
in NJ

Health Insurance Account Manager
for Great-West Healthcare
in CA, MI, NJ, OH

ERISA Attorney - Health and Welfare
for Eggertsen & Associates, P.C.
in MI

ERISA Paralegal
for Eggertsen & Associates, P.C.
in MI

Employee Benefits Associate
for Lewis, Overbeck & Furman, LLP
in IL

Senior Communications Consultant
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in NJ

Health Insurance Sales Executive for Insurance Carrier
for Great-West Healthcare
in MI

Retirement Plan Consultant
for Nicholas, Hicks & Farmer, Inc
in TX

Compliance Associate
for The 401(k) Company
in TX

Retirement Specialist
for AON [A Fortune 250 company]
in FL

Director of Benefit Outsourcing
for A Leading Global Insurance Brokerage Firm
in PA

Defined Contribution Administrator
for Merit Benefits Group, Inc.
in IL

Plan Specialist - Plan Sponsor Desk
for Transamerica
in CA




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