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June 22, 2006
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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)

NY Teachers Union Explains Settlement with Spitzer Over 403(b) Practices
Excerpt: "'It is clear now the Trust, despite its best intentions, could have -- and should have-- historically provided more disclosure of the fees paid to the Trust by [the annuity company endorsed by the union] and more regularly reviewed investment options,' said NYSUT President Richard Iannuzzi. 'Mistakes were made. They will not be made again.'" (New York State United Teachers)

Autoworkers Union Opposes Proposed At-Risk Pension Rule
Excerpt: "The United Auto Workers would oppose a bill to overhaul the traditional U.S. pension system if it kept a current proposal for identifying pension plans at risk of default, a union official said on Wednesday." (Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Rising Rates Ease Pressure on Defined Benefit Retirement Plans
Excerpt: " Rising interest rates, the bane of the stock market, could be the cure for what ails Corporate America's pension plans.'It literally could make them funded,' said Howard Silverblatt, senior equity index analyst at Standard & Poor's. 'We could swing the other way.'" (MarketWatch)

Single-Employer Plan Termination Issues Under the PBGC's Plan Termination Insurance Program (PDF)
24-page overview by attorney David R. Levin; originally published March 2005. Excerpt: "Within less than two decades after its enactment, ERISA was significantly modified to impose substantial limitations upon the ability to initiate voluntary plan terminations. These limitations were designed to restrict employers from shifting all or a portion of the unfunded liability for guaranteed benefits onto the termination insurance program." (Gardner Carton & Douglas)

United Pilots to Receive Shrunken Pension Checks; PBGC Covers Only So Much
Excerpt: "Pilots face a double whammy: Their high salaries mean their expected pension payout is big compared to other workers (pension checks are calculated based on earnings), far exceeding the PBGC's maximum payout. On top of that, federal law requires pilots retire at age 60, but the PBGC considers that early retirement -- 65 is 'normal' -- and dings their benefits." (MarketWatch via Human Resource Executive Online; free one-time registration required)

Innovative Artists' Pension Plan Flourishes
Excerpt: "[E]ach trust is structured as a limited liability corporation with no tax benefits ... Each [participating artist] agrees to contribute up to 20 works over 20 years, more in the early years, fewer in the later years.... The artist acquires a pro-rata interest in the trust, sort of like shares in a mutual fund. The trusts have collected more than 500 paintings, sculptures and other pieces." (San Francisco Chronicle via Scripps Howard News Service)

The End of a Dream: Defined Benefit Plans Disappearing
Excerpt: "Today's low long-term interest rates, combined with a stock market that's no higher than it was six years ago, have made traditional defined-benefit plans a crushing financial burden to many firms-- just as they're feeling the heat from foreign businesses that don't have plans. In addition, research shows that young employees increasingly don't care about traditional pensions ... And a raft of coming regulatory changes will make those plans even more burdensome to employers." (Fortune via

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Labor Department Sponsors Tucson Workshop on Federal Pension and Health Law
in Arizona on August 1, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

ASPPA Retirement Plan Fundamentals (RPF) Examinations to Replace PA Examinations Effective Midnight, June 30, 2006
(ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries))

Blue Cross of California Launches BMI Training and Promotion Program to Make Childhood Obesity Screening a Statewide Standard
(Blue Cross of California)

Nation's Insurance Commissioners Help Consumers Cope With Cost, Confusion Regarding Health Insurance
(National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC))

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Account Executive- Philadelphia
for Transamerica
in PA

401(k) Administrator
for Continental Benefits Group, Inc.
in NJ

Data Project Administrator
for Vanguard
in PA

TPA Relationship Manager - South East Region
for Transamerica
in GA

Pension Administration Analyst-Entry
for Hewitt Associates
in GA

VP, Retirement Plans Product Manager
for J & W Seligman & Co Incorporated
in NY

Cafeteria Plan Administrator (Section 125)
for Polycomp Administrative Services (Roseville, CA)
in CA

Retirement Program Manager - DB, DC, and NQP Plans
for Vanguard
in PA

Assistant Plan Administrator
for Compensation Planning, Inc.
in OK

Pension Administrator
for Andraos Capital Management
in CA

Daily Valuation Recordkeeper
for Associates in Excellence
in CA

TOC Design Consultant Advanced
for Hewitt Associates
in IL

Associate Account Manager, Human Resource Services
for Paychex
in NY

Plan Analyst
for McGraw Wentworth - Group Benefits Broker/Consultant
in MI

Account Manager
for McGraw Wentworth - Group Benefits Broker/Consultant
in MI

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