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June 12, 2006
Today's sponsor: Penchecks, Inc.

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Penchecks, Inc.

The National Registry has arrived!

It is a web-based service designed to reunite plan participants with their unclaimed retirement benefits. Since going live on May 27, 2005, over 10,000 participant names with unclaimed pension benefits have already been registered. Plan Administrators and IRA custodians may register their missing participants in the National Registry's database for a nominal fee. Participants are able to check the database online. If a match is found, contact information is provided. There is no charge to individual participants to use the service to search for unclaimed retirement benefits that are owed to them. The National Registry facilitates Win-Win situations - Plan Sponsors alleviate themselves of reporting burden and fiduciary responsibility when lost participants claim their money and Former Plan Participants end up with more money!

All Automatic/Default/Missing Participant IRAs established through PenChecks, Inc. are automatically included in the National Registry database at no additional cost.

For more information, click on the link above or call (877) 462-2745.


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

PBGC Premium E-Filing Webcast Will be Held June 28, 2006
Excerpt: "To help premium filers prepare for mandatory premium e-filing ..., the PBGC will conduct a Webcast on Wednesday, June 28, 2006, from 2:00 to 3:00 pm Eastern Time. The purpose of the Webcast is to demonstrate the premium e-filing options that are available to premium filers through PBGC's online application, My Plan Administration Account (My PAA). If you would like to participate in the Webcast (which PBGC is providing free of charge), ... register with your name and e-mail address." (U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Opinion: It's Time for Spitzer to Probe 401(k) Plan Costs
Excerpt: "Not only is it difficult to find out how much your 401(k) is costing you in total expenses, it's hard to make the right choice in terms of the mutual funds within the plan. You would think after the Enron Corp. accounting scandal and trial that Congress would be eager to fix some of the flaws in the 401(k) system." (John F. Wasik via Bloomberg News)

Overview: Proposed Roth Distribution Regulations (PDF)
20 pages. Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service ..., having recently finalized one set of regulations providing basic guidance on the establishment and maintenance of Roth accounts under a Section 401(k)plan has now issued proposed regulations providing guidance regarding distribution and taxation issues. [Fed. Reg., vol. 71, No. 17, January 26,2006, 4320-4331] This outline will address the proposed regulations as they would impact Section 401(k) plans maintaining Roth accounts." (ALI-ABA; Free access to article for limited time)

ERISA and the 401(k) Plan Fiduciary -- May 2005 Article (PDF)
43 pages. Excerpt: "ERISA imposes certain obligations on the individuals or entities who are responsible for the administration and management of employee benefit plans such as 401(k) plans. The fiduciaries of a 401(k) plan are required to observe ERISA's 'Exclusive Benefit Rule' and its 'Prudent Man Rule,' .... A 401(k) plan fiduciary also must administer the plan in accordance with its terms and is subject to ERISA's co-fiduciary liability and prohibited transaction rules." (ALI-ABA; Free access to article for limited time)

From Vanguard's President: 'The Untold 401(k) Story'
Excerpt: "Today a growing number of firms are shifting from defined benefit (DB) to defined contribution (DC) plans. In a recent talk, Vanguard Chairman and CEO John J. Brennan examined some myths about traditional pension plans and explained why a well-managed DC plan can meet employees' retirement needs most effectively." (The Vanguard Group, Inc.)

New Hampshire Bureau of Securities Regulation Accuses ING of Fraud
Excerpt: "State securities regulators are charging ING with mishandling state employees' 401(k) plan monies by: delaying actions against market timing, moving retirement savings from a mutual fund into another garnering higher fees for ING without permission, making unwritten revenue sharing deals with other mutual fund companies, and failing to retain emails relating to the state's charges." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Tax Exempt Organizations Compensation Audits: 403(b) and 457(b) and (f) -- June 2005 Article (PDF)
18 pages. Excerpt: "This outline will first review the new IRS audit programs and related initiatives. It will then describe the IRS arsenal of additional taxes and penalties that the IRS can impose when problems are discovered. Paramount among these are the 'intermediate sanction' excise taxes imposed personally on the directors and officers of an exempt organization under Section 4948 of the Code. Finally, this outline will summarize steps that can be taken to prepare for, ...." (ALI-ABA; Free access to article for limited time)

Public Pension Outlook Gloomy: Support of Funds an Ongoing Concern for Local, State Governments
Excerpt: "A panel of investment experts drew a grim picture of public employee pension plans Saturday, saying a mix of new debt, higher taxes or cuts in government service may be needed to shore up accounts that in some cases are underfunded by billions of dollars." (AP via DailyNews.com)

San Diego Settles $173M Pension Lawsuit
Excerpt: "San Diego resolved a pension lawsuit in a multi-million dollar settlement, but the $1.5 billion debt-ridden retirement system still faces 11 more suits." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Considerations for Selecting the Appropriate Qualified Plan for a Specific Client -- July 2005 (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "Three distinct factors govern the choice of a retirement arrangement for a business or professional client: 1. The advantages and disadvantages of tax qualified status for the retirement arrangement; 2. Defined contribution vs. defined benefit plans--the pros and cons of each type; 3. Plan Design Features--How to tailor the plan to fit the needs of your client." (ALI-ABA; Free access to article for limited time)

U.K. Pension Benefit Cuts Should Be Allowed, According to NAPF
Excerpt: "A leading British pension body said employers faced with rising pension costs and crippling liabilities should be allowed to trim some of the benefits offered to workers in order to avoid a crisis." (Reuters via Business Insurance)

Finance Act Changes Tax Treatment on Some Pension Contributions and Payments in Ireland
Excerpt: "The Finance Act of 2006, approved by the Irish legislative body, the Oireachtas, on March 29, 2006, and signed by the president on March 31, 2006, sets limits on the amount of pension funds or lump-sum payments that can be accumulated tax-free and makes a host of other changes to pension tax law." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Standard Scheme Expected to Result in Higher Pensions for Thousands in Ireland
Excerpt: "A new social welfare law reform and pensions act, approved by the Irish legislative body, the Oireachtas, on March 23, 2006, and signed by the president on March 24, 2006, will combine all non-contributory payments for people 66 years of age and older into one standard pension scheme." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

The Market for COLI -- Still Strong and Robust
Excerpt: "In view of expanded Internal Revenue Service restrictions on executive compensation plans, and still more action pending in Congress, advisors have good reason to question whether the current vehicle of choice for funding these plans -- corporate-owned life insurance -- will remain so." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Different Retaliation Claims Warrant Different Court Conclusions
Excerpt: "The US District Court for the District of Minnesota recently sent one retaliation claim to trial while granting summary judgment to the defendant in the other." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Third Circuit Issues Decision in Favor of Groom Client in Top Hat Plan Lawsuit
Excerpt: "The United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit recently issued a decision that promises to be one of the leading cases on executive compensation arrangements commonly referred to as 'top hat' plans. In re IT Group, Inc. ___ F.3d ___, 2006 WL 1421016 (decided May 25, 2006)." (Groom Law Group)

Severance -- It's Not What It Used To Be
Excerpt: "This Commentary explains the new deferred compensation rules, provides a synopsis of Code § 409A's treatment of severance pay and what to be on the lookout for in crafting severance arrangements." (Thomas M. Greene, Esq. Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C. via BNA Tax Management)

SEC Chief to Push for Fuller Disclosure of Executive Stock Options
Excerpt: "Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Christopher Cox said he plans to force corporate boards to disclose more information about executive stock options after some companies backdated grants to increase their value." (Bloomberg News via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Americans Living Abroad Face Higher U.S. Income Taxes
Excerpt: "The tax bill President Bush recently signed places a cap on the amount of housing allowances U.S. residents living abroad can receive tax-free from their employer. As a result of the change and others in the bill, many expatriates will pay more income tax to the U.S. Treasury in 2006 and thereafter." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

CalPERS Issues Request to Companies Concerning Stock Options
Excerpt: "The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) has sent a letter to 25 companies asking them to respond to questions about media allegations of stock option backdating practices." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

Lifting the Lid: Threat of Selling Shares Can Force Change
Excerpt: "Large shareholders can bring about corporate governance reform by threatening to sell their stake in a company -- known as taking the 'Wall Street Walk' -- according to a university study, but others argue there are better ways to bring about change. .... [M]any view selling a large holding in a company as ineffective. CalPERS, the largest U.S. pension fund even has a policy against it." (Reuters via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

The Briefing: Employee Benefits Developments -- May 2006 (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "A brief look at developments in Employee Benefits law for May 2006, including cases, rulings, opinions ...." (Hodgson Russ LLP)

The Next Options Scandal: How to Pay Executives Under the Table
Excerpt: "Executives and directors from at least 20 companies are under investigation for options timing by federal or state officials. But this scandal, coming on top of the long-running reluctance of firms to count options as a business expense, may broaden enough to raise questions about the use of executive options across corporate America." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

A Brookings Institution-New America Foundation Forum: Employment-Based Health Insurance: A Prominent Past, but Does it Have a Future?
in District of Columbia on June 16, 2006
presented by Brookings Institution


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Benefit Software Inc. Debuts Latest Version of eEnroll Online (tm)
(Target Marketing Solutions, Inc.)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Complex Claims Director
for AIG, Inc
in NY

Strategic Relationship Manager- Retirement Planning Services
for JPMorgan
in AL, AR, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, TN, VA, VT, WV

Senior FASCore Service Delivery Associate
for Great-West Financial Services
in CO

Pension Administrator
for Jack A. Cross & Associates, Inc.
in CA

Pension Administrator
for Pension Administrator
in NJ

Manager, Benefits Administration
for Gevity
in FL

401(k) Defined Contribution Administrator
for The Heritage Group LLC
in NY




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