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July 21, 2006
Today's sponsor: Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

401(k) Plans Manual

Our 401(k) Plans manual is a must-have resource for employers with 401(k) plans and for administrators and advisors. Topics include eligibility, vesting, contributions, distributions, plan loans, hardship withdrawals, discrimination testing, fiduciary duties, plan investments, plan corrections, and much more. Sample documents and official guidance included.

"The 401(k) manual's absolutely wonderful. I would highly suggest you take a look."

For information on EBIA's seminars, please go to www.ebia.com/seminars.


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

Text of Final IRS Reg Allowing Exclusion of 501(c)(3) Org Employees for Minimum Coverage Test
Excerpt: "The final regulations permit, in certain circumstances, employees of a tax-exempt organization described in section 501(c)(3) to be excluded for the purpose of testing whether a section 401(k) plan (or a section 401(m) plan that is provided under the same general arrangement as the section 401(k) plan of the employer) meets the requirements for minimum coverage specified in section 410(b)." (Internal Revenue Service)

GM Clears PBGC Hurdle in GMAC Sale
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will not hold General Motors Acceptance Corp. buyers liable for General Motors' . . . employee benefit plans, clearing a hurdle in the sale of the auto maker's finance arm, according to a GM regulatory filing on Thursday." (Reuters via Washington Post)

NPR Coverage: Pension Problem Looks for Resolution in Congress
Excerpt: "Millions of Americans rely on traditional pensions that pay retirees a fixed amount of money every month. The government agency that insures those pensions is struggling because too many businesses have been defaulting on their pension responsibilities. After months of negotiation, Congress is finally close to passing a bill that would fix the problem." (National Public Radio)

Pension Bill to Close Costly Loopholes
Excerpt: "Republicans expressed confidence Thursday that pension overhaul legislation, after months of negotiation, would make it to the president before Congress' August break. . . . House Majority Leader John Boehner . . . said the bill no longer would allow employers to underfund pension plans and would protect taxpayers from a multibillion-dollar bailout." (New York Times; free one-time registration required)

Panel Delays Effective Date of Pension Reform
Excerpt: "Congressional conferees trying to hammer out a final pension funding reform bill have tentatively decided that the new reforms will not begin to take effect until 2008, a year later than the original proposals . . ." (Business Insurance)

401(k) Advice Accord Reached in Pension Bill
Excerpt: "Mutual funds and brokerage firms that manage 401(k) plans will be able to give plan participants direct, specific investment advice under an agreement reached today between House and Senate pension bill negotiators, House Majority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio announced [on Thursday, July 20]." (Investment News; free one-time registration required)

Fiduciary Duty Breached Where Failure to Credit Accounts Is Based on Misreading of Plan Language
Excerpt: "An employer's misreading of defined contribution plan terms, which served to divest plan participants of vested benefits, justified the removal of the employer as a plan fiduciary because the flagrancy of the misreading was evidence that the employer was not acting in the best interests of the participants, according to the [Fourth Circuit] Court of Appeals . . ." (CCH Pension and Benefits)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Text of Final DOL Rule Requiring Electronic Filing of Form 5500 Beginning in 2008
Excerpt: "Any annual report (including any accompanying statements or schedules) filed with the Secretary under part 1 of title I of the Act for any plan year (or reporting year, in the case of common or collective trusts, pooled separate accounts, and similar non-plan entities) beginning on or after January 1, 2008, shall be filed electronically . . ." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

Text of Proposed Changes to Form 5500 to Facilitate Electronic Filing and for Other Purposes (PDF)
37 pages. The proposed revisions would create a new short form for small plans whose assets are held in easy to value investments with regulated financial institutions; increase transparency of fees and expenses; improve information on the funding of defined benefit plans; and realign of the reporting rules of 403(b) plans (subject to Title I) to be compatible with those of 401(k) plans. The new system also would customize the information required to be filed to the type of plan involved. (Internal Revenue Service; Employee Benefits Security Administration; Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Text of Proposed DOL Rule to Conform DOL Regs to Proposed Form 5500 Changes
Various changes are being proposed to the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report and its instructions in a Notice of Proposed Form Revisions published today in the Federal Register. To accommodate those form and instruction changes, the regulatory amendments to 29 CFR 2520.103-1 are being proposed to update the references to the annual report to reflect the new structure and components of the Form 5500 Annual Return/Report. (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

Execs Charged in Stock Options Probe
Excerpt: "U.S. authorities on Thursday charged former officers of technology group Brocade Communications Systems Inc. . . . with fraud in the first court actions to result from an investigation of corporate stock option grants that has spread to 80 companies." (Reuters via New York Times; free one-time registration required)


We thank and invite your attention to our additional sponsor: The Center for Tax Law and Employee Benefits at The John Marshall Law School

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for The Center for Tax Law and Employee Benefits at The John Marshall Law School

You Have the Potential. We Have the Programs.

Are you working in human resources? Are you dealing with health insurance plans or pension benefits? Learn how you can broaden your experience with an M.S. degree (for non-lawyers) or LL.M. degree (for attorneys) in employee benefits from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago during an information session from 5 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, August 2. Learn how these unique programs can help advance your career.

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

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Equity Compensation for Closely Held Companies
Nationwide on November 6, 2006
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Labor Department Announces Final Rule on Electronic Filing and Proposes Improvements to Form 5500 Annual Reports
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

New Research from EBRI: Average Couple Today Needs $295,000 for Retiree Health Expenses
(Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI))

Public Attitude Shifts in Favor of Employer Incentives to Change Employee Health Behavior
(Gordian Health Solutions, Inc.)

MNA Files Suit in Federal Court to Appeal Arbitration Ruling Denying Health Insurance Benefits to the Same-Sex Spouse of a Nurse at Merrimack Valley Hospital
(Massachusetts Nurses Association (MNA))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

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

Flexible Spending Department Manager
for BBT/Stanley, Hunt, Dupree, and Rhine
in SC

New Business Review Specialist ~ Financial Services
for CitiStreet
in NJ

401(k) Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
in VA

Customer Service Associate
for Hewitt Associates
in FL

Pension Administration Analyst-Entry
for Hewitt Associates
in GA

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

Pension Recordkeeper
for Small Benefits Consulting Firm in Northern New Jersey
in NJ




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