Retirement Plans
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June 13, 2006
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ASC helps retirement plan professionals increase efficiency and profitability through its software systems, documents and education. Software includes DC 401(k) administration & valuation, Defined Benefit, Compliance Testing, DV Direct daily valuation, AIM case management and more. With ASCi plan documents you can quickly and easily create customized prototype/volume submitter plan documents, efficiently maintain historical plan information, create complete amendment packages for all your clients at one time and more. Click to learn more or email

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Best Practices: The Automatic 401(k) Plan -- An Overview for Employers
Excerpt: "Some employers have taken over the wheel and helped their employees put their retirement plans on 'autopilot.' The simple approach is an 'automatic' 401(k) sometimes called an autopilot plan." (AARP)

Capitalizing on Inertia: Automation Boosts Retirement Savings (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "This paper provides a survey of academic research that explores the impact of certain plan features that lead to greater participation and contribution rates, and, ultimately, to greater financial security in retirement. Through the design of their DC plans, employers play a critical role in assisting their employees accumulate retirement assets." (TIAA-CREF Institute)

Study Shows Mutual Funds Trump Planners in 401(k) Market
Excerpt: "Among mid-sized 401(k) plan sponsors who have switched providers in the past two years, mutual funds increased their take of the market while financial planners lost ground, according to a survey released [yesterday] at the national conference of the Society of Professional Administrators and Recordkeepers in Washington." (

Public Employee Pension Merger Delay to Cost State of West Virginia
Excerpt: "For each year a lawsuit blocks the merger of West Virginia's two teacher retirement plans, the state will have to come up with an extra $19 million, lawmakers were told Monday." (The Charleston Gazette)

Overview: IRS Updates Voluntary Correction Program for Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "Revenue Procedure 2006-27 was released on May 5, 2006 and generally becomes effective September 1, 2006, with certain provisions effective May 30, 2006. Prior to September 1, 2006, plan sponsors may elect to follow the new EPCRS under Revenue Procedure 2006-27." (Poyner & Spruill LLP)

U.S. Pension Liabilities Fair Better in First 5 Months of 2006, According to Mellon Index
Excerpt: "According to the Mellon Pension Liability Indexes the average US pension plan finished the first five months of 2006 with significant improvement. The liabilities owned by a typical US pension plan fell 7.5% during the first five months of 2006 while assets of a moderate-risk benchmark portfolio climbed by 2.2%, Mellon said in a press release." ( one-time registration required)

PBGC Disaster Relief Announcement: Storms and Landslides in Hawaii
Excerpt: "[The relief is available] as a result of the severe storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that occurred February 20 through April 2, 2006, in the city of Honolulu and the counties of Honolulu and Kauai, Hawaii." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

PBGC Disaster Relief Announcement: Storms and Flooding in Maine
Excerpt: "[The relief is available] as a result of the severe storms and flooding beginning May 13, 2006, in the following Maine county: York." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

PBGC Disaster Relief Announcement: Storms and Flooding in Massachusetts
Excerpt: "[The relief is available] as a result of the severe storms and flooding beginning May 12, 2006, in the following Massachusetts counties: Essex, Middlesex, and Suffolk." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

PBGC Disaster Relief Announcement: Storms and Flooding in New Hampshire
Excerpt: "[The relief is available] as a result of the severe storms and flooding beginning May 12, 2006, in the following New Hampshire counties: Belknap, Carroll, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, and Strafford." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Estimating the Value of Changes in OASI Benefits Under Social Security Reforms (PDF)
Pages 1-10 of 12. Excerpt: "The new article, appearing in the June 2006 EBRI Notes, examines the changes in the distribution of benefit levels Social Security recipients would receive under each of five different reform alternatives. In addition, the article calculates for each beneficiary the amount of savings that would need to be accumulated in order to purchase a payout annuity ... to compensate for the decrease Social Security benefits that would occur under these alternatives ...." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Text of Rev. Proc. 2006-31: Rules for Revoking Section 83(b) Election (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "Section 83(b)(2) and § 1.83-2(f) provide that an election under § 83(b) may not be revoked without the consent of the Commissioner. The regulations also provide that such consent will only be granted where the person filing the election is under a mistake of fact as to the underlying transaction and must be requested within 60 days of the date on which the mistake of fact first became known to the person who made the election." (Internal Revenue Service)

Deloitte 2006 Employee Rewards Survey: Rewards Design and Measurement, Currently and in the Future
Excerpt: "More than two-thirds of human resources (HR) professionals we surveyed don't have the tools they need to assess the link between rewards programs and return on investment (ROI) ..." (Deloitte)

Tales of Two Retaliation Claims: One Moves Forward, the Other Does Not
Excerpt: "ERISA Section 510 claims are difficult to win because of judicial deference to the business decisions made by companies regarding their employee benefit plans. But as the court reminds us in the first case, if a violation is found, the individual who did the firing could be personally liable." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Exclusion Based on Language Stated Only in SPD's Glossary Found to Be Unreasonable
Excerpt: "This plan's ambiguous plan language and the TPA's failure to follow the plan's written procedures negatively impacted the outcome of this case, reminding us again of how important the written word is in ERISA plan administration." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Speech by SEC Commissioner Cox Addresses Backdating of Stock Options
Excerpt: "In an address to the New York Financial Writers Association (which you can access here), SEC Chairman Christopher Cox discusses upcoming rules for disclosure of executive compensation as well as what he sees on the horizon as far as addressing the current issue of back-dated options." (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via

The Principal Financial Well-Being Index Executive Summary -- Second Quarter 2006
Excerpt: "The Principal Financial Group ... commissioned Harris Interactive (r) to conduct online research with employees (ages 18+) of small and mid-sized (SMB) U.S. businesses (firm size 10 1,000 employees) about their attitudes and perceptions regarding their financial well being and their current employee benefits. To compare responses, Harris Interactive also interviewed a group of retirees." (Principal Financial Group)

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E.B. Trust Administrator
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in CA, MA

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Benefits Consulting Group, LLC
in CT, MA

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