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June 26, 2006
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IRS Reminds Practitioners of New User Fees Going Into Effect July 1, 2006 (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "The Retirement Plans Community is reminded that many user fees will increase on July 1, 2006. To accommodate these updated fees, the IRS announces the revision of Form 8717, User Fee for Employee Plan Determination, Opinion and Advisory Letter Request.... The new fee schedule ... effective July 1, 2006, revised the fees for opinion and advisory letters and determination applications involving Forms 5300, 5307 and 5310." (Internal Revenue Service)

Court Tosses Out SEC Hedge Fund Rule
Excerpt: "In a major setback to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission's efforts to regulate the $1.3 trillion hedge fund industry, a federal appeals court on Friday tossed out a rule requiring the investment pools to register with the agency." (Reuters via Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Measuring Retirement Readiness of Employees with Retirement Income Replacement Ratios (PDF)
At pp. 1-3 of 8-page document. Excerpt: "Retirement income replacement ratios have helped employees understand and target how much money they will need for retirement. The replacement ratio is the percentage of pre-retirement income that employees need to continue their pre-retirement lifestyle during retirement.... As a communication tool, income replacement ratios are very helpful in setting a target that employees should view as a starting point to understanding their savings needs." (Aon Consulting)

Early-Warning System for Texas Public Pension Funds Meets Resistance
Excerpt: "The warning system would require the plans to report quarterly on the value of their assets, how many employees and retirees they serve, contributions coming in and benefit payments going out, among other items.... Pension fund lobbyists and officials said that they don't object to timely reporting but worry that the public and press will seize on quarterly numbers to make rash assumptions about the health of the plans." (Austin American-Statesman)

What's the Best Age to Begin Social Security Retirement Payments?
Excerpt: "How long does it take to break even in the game of taking benefits at early vs. normal retirement age? If two retirees are now 65 and one started collecting Social Security benefits at age 62 and the other starts now, they will collect the same total amount of money when they are 77 years old." (Journal of Accountancy)

Jane Bryant Quinn: A Requiem for Defined Benefit Pension Plans
Excerpt: "I want to speak up for the value of corporate pension plans, which are slowly slipping away. The country hardly seems to care." (Jane Bryant Quinn on MSNBC)

Encouraging and Optimizing 401(k) Retirement Savings for Your Employees (PDF)
Excerpt: "Some plans allow employees to place their account balances in the hands of professional money managers.... [M]any employers are aggressively offering investment seminars and preretirement planning workshops for employees ... [S]ome plans have an option to convert account balances into guaranteed annuities at retirement." (Milliman)

IRS Reminds Practitioners of Staggered Remedial Amendment Period Revenue Procedure
Excerpt: "Revenue Procedure 2005-66 provides critical procedural guidance necessary for the Service to implement a new determination letter program designed to provide staggered remedial amendment cycles. This revenue procedure describes the new remedial amendment cycles that apply to pre-approved and individually designed plans ..." (Internal Revenue Service)

Some Planning Pointers for Better Retirement Plan Design
Excerpt: "Various changes in tax law have had a positive impact on how much Americans can save in qualified retirement plans. By reviewing the different types of plan designs before the end of 2006, CPAs and their clients may be better able to capitalize on some of these changes. Here are some points to consider ..." (Journal of Accountancy)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Action Items and Common Concerns Over Proposed GASB Post-Retirement Benefit Accounting (PDF)
At pp. 6-7 of 8-page document. Excerpt: "The proposed changes constitute 'Phase 1' of FASB's two-phase review of accounting for pension and other post-retirement plans. Phase 2, which is expected in two-three years will require additional changes and could reverse some of the changes required by Phase 1. Some employers may want to wait for Phase 2 to make major changes based on accounting requirements." (Aon Consulting)

FASB to Hold Public Roundtable on Proposal to Improve Accounting for Postretirement Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) will hold two public roundtable meetings on June 27, 2006 to discuss the Board's proposal to improve the accounting for postretirement benefit plans, including pensions. In line with the Board's due process, the roundtable, which is open to the public, will provide a forum for the Board to listen to the views of and obtain information from constituents ..." (Financial Accounting Standards Board)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Retirement Income Industry Association (RIIA) Unveils Solution to Solve Financial Advisors' Income Planning Education Needs
(Retirement Income Industry Association)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Health & Welfare Associate
for Towers Perrin
in CT, GA, NJ, NY

Retirement Analyst - Retirement Service Center
for Mercer Human Resource Consulting
in KY

Retirement Service Center Team Leader
for Mercer Human Resource Consulting
in KY

Sr. Coordinator, 401(k) Recordkeeping
in VA

401(k) Recordkeeping Associate
in VA

Install/Conversion Consultant
for Wachovia
in NC

Operations Delivery Leader
for Fidelity Investments
in NC

Account Manager
for Preferred One Administrative Services, Inc.
in MN

Director of Operations
for Dyatech
in MS

Benefit Specialist
for Bergelectric Corporation
in CA

Senior Counsel
for Nationwide Insurance
in OH

EBS Actuarial Analyst
for EBS Benefit Solutions
in NY

Document Specialist
for Benefit Administration, Inc.
in WI

Vice President of Compliance
for CitiStreet
in MA

Benefits Data Analyst 4247BR
for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina
in NC

Financial Analyst - Pension and Benefits Programs
for Aerojet - Sacramento
in CA

Defined Contribution Administrator
for Creative Plan Designs, Ltd.
in FL, NY

Pension Analyst
for The Paragon Consulting Group, Inc.
in MD

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