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July 26, 2006
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(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Pension Conference Report Expected Soon (PDF)
2 pages. The target page provides background information and highlights of S. 1783/H.R. 2830 -- The 'Pension Security and Transparency Act' in the Senate and The 'Pension Protection Act' in the House. (Buck Consultants)

To Freeze or Not to Freeze: Observations on the U.S. Pension Landscape
Excerpt: "A significant number of high-profile companies are making the switch from defined benefit to defined contribution retirement programs. In this first of a series of related articles, we examine what is driving the change and what issues employers should consider if they are thinking of transitioning to a DC program. The article has a US focus but a global relevance." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

Involuntary Terminations of Pension Plans under ERISA Are Non-Core Matters (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "[T]here are a number of issues that arise in an involuntary termination that could have an impact on the employer/debtor's bankrup.tcy, which would be subject to de novo review by a district court." (American Bankrup.tcy Institute Journal via Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

Court Denies Former Participant Claim for Fiduciary Breach
Excerpt: "The 2nd US Court of Appeals affirmed a lower court's ruling that a former retirement plan participant did not meet requirements under section 502 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to sue former plan trustees for a breach of fiduciary duty." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Court Upholds Funds' Objection to Collective Bargaining Agreement
Excerpt: "The US District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan ruled that a pension fund did not step over pension law when it refused to approve a collective bargaining agreement that employees of a Michigan trucking company reached with their employer." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

KPERS Studies Increase in Retirement Age: Public Employees Would Have to Work Until Age 65
Excerpt: "Public employees would be unable to retire with full benefits until age 65 under a proposal being considered by the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System." (The Lawrence Journal-World)

Before Rushing to Convert an IRA, Read This
Excerpt: "If you swap into a Roth, you have to pay income taxes on the sum converted. Moreover, with new tax laws getting passed every year or two, there's no guarantee the option will still exist when 2010 rolls around. But even if the provision disappears, there's a good chance you will get the opportunity to convert at some point. Here's a look at when converting makes sense -- and when it doesn't." (Jonathan Clements, Wall Street Journal via Dow Jones WebReprint Service)

Commentary in Text and Audio: Private Insurance Can Cure Pension Problems
Excerpt: "Commentator Barry Nalebuff argues for creating a new type of insurance to fix the nation's ailing private pension system." (Marketplace via American Public Media)

The Myths and Realities of Total Retirement Outsourcing
Excerpt: "So-called Total Retirement Outsourcing, or TRO, has also been touted as alleviating some of the administrative pressure for large plans and perhaps for smaller plans. More recently, that approach has also gained traction with companies entertaining the thought of freezing their defined benefit plans, as they begin the search for a provider that can once and for all take the plan's administrative weight off their hands . . . ." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Forms 5500/5500-EZ Extension Requests Pose Potential Personally Identifiable Information Disclosure
Excerpt: "The potential for disclosure of PII arises from the fact that Forms 5500 and 5500-EZ are open to public inspection pursuant to IRC 6104(b) and Treas. Reg. 301.6104(b)-1. The contents are public information and are subject to publication on the Internet." (Deloitte's Washington Bulletin via BenefitsLink.com)

Behind the Stock Options Uproar
Excerpt: "To try to answer some questions about what's going on, CNET News.com has compiled [a] list of frequently asked questions [and answers]." (News.com via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Stock Options Accounting Not as Problematic as Anticipated
Excerpt: "Overall, analysts say that the effects of expensing stock options don't appear to be as catastrophic as the companies had anticipated. The new accounting methodology may even provide some companies an excuse in explaining why their earnings are down, says Steven Hall, a partner at Steven Hall & Partners, a New York City-based executive compensation firm." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

SEC Moving to Require Executive Pay Details
Excerpt: "The planed regulations amount to the biggest changes governing disclosure of executive compensation since 1992. For the first time, public companies will be required to furnish tables in annual filings showing the total yearly compensation for their chief executive officers, chief financial officers and the next three highest-paid executives." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Overview: IRS Initiative on Compensation of Exempt Organizations' Executives (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "As part of its increased review of executive compensation practices, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Exempt Organizations Division confirmed that the IRS has contacted over 1,800 exempt organizations via 1200 compliance check letters and 600 single issue examinations as part of its 2004 initiative." (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

Deferred Comp Rules: Compliance Issues Pending the Release of Additional Guidance under 409A
Excerpt: "The [target page] is a transcript of an informal discussion among employee benefit practitioners held in Washington, D.C. on June 19, 2006. The topic involved compliance issues while employers are awaiting additional guidance under Code 409A." (BNA Tax Management)

Providing Executive Pensions in the United Kingdom -- Where to Now?
Excerpt: "New legislation has changed the landscape of pension provision in the UK. The new rules have practical consequences for executives but also introduce new options for employers and individuals alike." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC and Mercer Investment Consulting, Inc.; one-time registration required)

Get Ready for the New Proxy Disclosure Rules
Excerpt: "Although the new proxy disclosure rules are not expected to take effect until next year at the earliest, employers should not feel complacent. Waiting until next fall, when the final SEC rules are likely to be issued, won't allow enough time to assess the impact on 2007 proxy statements and make adequate preparations." (Towers Perrin)

What Do Stock Options Really Reward?
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses what employee stock options reward and how they can be improved. (National Center for Employee Ownership)


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

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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!)

A New Strategy for Managing Health Care Costs--Demonstrating the Business Value of Good Health
in Florida on September 6, 2008
presented by Institute of Health & Productivity Management

Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans Working Group on a Prudent Investment Process; Notice of Meeting
in District of Columbia on August 9, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans Working Group on Health Information Technology; Notice of Meeting
in District of Columbia on August 10, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans Working Group on Plan Asset Rules, Exemptions, and Cross Trading; Notice of Meeting
in District of Columbia on August 11, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Building Trust in an Employee-Owned Company
Nationwide on September 7, 2006
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

ERISA Advisory Council Sets August 2006 Meetings
in District of Columbia on August 9, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

ESOP Valuations: From the Basics to Advanced Issues (2 Parts)
Nationwide on September 6, 2006
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

International Benefits Seminar (San Francisco)
in California on August 24, 2006
presented by ArlenGroup

Public Sector Health Care Symposium & Exhibition
in Illinois on September 13, 2006
presented by National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

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

PIA's Brevik Blasts Optional Federal Charter Bill as 'Special Interest Legislation of the Worst Kind'
(National Association of Professional Insurance Agents (PIA))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) Account Manager
for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA

401(k) / Defined Contribution Administrator
for Campbells Administration Inc.
in CA

Actuarial Assistant
for Gucciardi Benefit Resources, a division of Summit Benefit & Actuarial Services, Inc.
in WI

Defined Contribution Requirements Consultant
for Fidelity Investments
in MA

Defined Benefit Implementation Analyst
for Fidelity Investments
in NC

Divisional Sales Associate
for Citigroup - Smith Barney
in MD

Divisional Sales Director - Western Division
for Citigroup - Smith Barney
in CA

Client Service Representative
for Sentinel Benefits Group
in MA

Implementation Consultant/Project Manager
for Hewitt Associates
in GA

Life & Health Sales Representative for Insurance Carrier
for Great-West Healthcare
in CA, IN, TX

Pension Actuary
for O'Sullivan Associates
in NJ

Health and Welfare Account Manager
for Summit Financial Corporation
in MA




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