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August 7, 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)


Excerpt: "Seeking to avert a meltdown and taxpayer bailout of traditional private pension plans, Congress has passed a comprehensive pension reform bill. The mammoth Pension Protection Act of 2006 (H.R. 4) does not only strengthen traditional pension plans. It also extends and, in some cases, improves over 20 retirement tax-savings benefits . . . . [Target page includes link to 8-page PDF document.]" (CCH Incorporated)

Overview of New Reporting and Disclosure Rules under the Pension Protection Act of 2006
Excerpt: " In this article [CCA Strategies reviews] new reporting and/or disclosure requirements under the PPA applicable to single employer plans, including: new DB plan funding notice; revised Annual Report requirements/repeal of the Summary Annual Report requirement; revised 4010 filing requirements; new benefit statement requirements; and requirement of a notice of diversification rights/importance of diversification." (CCA Strategies LLC)

Overview: Hybrid/Cash Balance Plan Provisions Included in the Pension Protection Act
Excerpt: "The Pension Protection Act of 2006 . . . includes a number of provisions applicable to 'hybrid' plans (including cash balance plans). In this article [CCA Strategies begins] with review of the PPA changes to hybrid/cash balance plan rules in summary form and follow with a detailed analysis of the issues hybrid/cash balance plans have presented and what the PPA does about them." (CCA Strategies LLC)

Pension Bill Contains Enron Catch-Up Item
Excerpt: "The pension reform bill passed by the Senate . . . will help former employees of bankrupt companies with indicted executives catch up on their retirement savings. That could be good news to former Enron workers, who after the company's implosion in 2001 were left bereft of their retirement savings." (The Houston Chronicle)

CCH Pension Briefing: Congress Passes Comprehensive Pension Reform Bill Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts -- Retirement -- Updated July 7, 2006 (PDF)
19 pages. Excerpt: "These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employee benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors." (Towers Perrin)

Major Pension Reforms Enacted in the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PDF)
2 pages. This bulletin highlights only key retirement plan issues of the Act. (Milliman)

New Pension Provisions Have Special Targets
Excerpt: "Defense contractors, airlines and a food company are among those singled out for different treatment under a massive pension overhaul bill that Congress could send to the White House as early as this week." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

A Pension Overhaul Gives, and Later Takes Away
Excerpt: "[U]nder the version just approved by lawmakers, companies appear to get a break in putting money into their pension funds for only a couple of years before the rules start to tighten. Within a decade from now, according to a new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, companies will be putting substantially more money behind their pension promises." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Employee Ownership Update for August 4: Pension Reform Bill Affects ESOPs, 401(k) plans
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses the effect of the Pension Reform Bill, which Congress just passed, on employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs) and 401(k) plans. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Overview: Comprehensive Revision of Defined Benefit Funding Rules
Excerpt: "The Pension Protection Act of 2006 . . . provides for a comprehensive overhaul of the defined benefit plan funding rules under ERISA and the Tax Code. [CCA Strategies reviews] PPA changes to the DB funding for single employer plans, in summary form. [They] then provide an analysis of the major changes (e.g., the new funding target and the yield curve) and the details of some of the more complicated changes (e.g., treatment of credit balances and retiree health asset transfers)." (CCA Strategies LLC)

Most Northwest and Delta Pension Plans Saved by Pension Bill
Excerpt: "Both airlines, which are reorganizing under Chapter 11 bankrup.tcy-court protection, had threatened to soon terminate plans covering a total of 164,000 employees and retirees. Northwest CEO Douglas Steenland called the bill's passage 'an important victory for our employees and a milestone in the restructuring of our company.'" (USA TODAY)

Delta Seeks to End Pilots' Pension Plan
Excerpt: "Delta Air Lines Inc. filed a formal request with bankrup.tcy court late Friday to terminate its pilots' pension plan, as President Bush prepared to sign a bill aimed in part at helping the struggling carrier save its other employees' pensions." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Opinion: The Pension Protection Act : Does It Add to Instability?
Excerpt: "The long-awaited pension bill that cleared Congress last week makes much-needed reforms but doesn't resolve financing problems and is not likely to halt companies' steady march away from traditional pensions." (USA TODAY)

Opinion: Pension Bill Will Expand Retirement Plan Coverage
Excerpt: "More workers will be covered by employer-sponsored retirement plans as a result of an overhaul of the nation's pension, 401(k) and IRA laws President Bush is expected to sign later this month. The legislation . . . affects about 106 million U.S. workers. That includes 12.1 million who are eligible to participate in 401(k) or 403(b) retirement savings plans but don't . . . . Employers of those 12.1 million will be given new legal protection to begin automatic enrollment." (Gannett News Service via PoughkeepsieJournal.com)

Opinion: Wake Up and Smell the Coffee! DC Plans Aren't Working -- Here's How to Fix Them (PDF)
35 pages. Excerpt: "DC plans have emerged as the dominant mechanism for retirement saving in the US, yet they're not working. Median balances at retirement are only $44,000; average balances, which give a large weight to higher income investors, are only $112,000 -- not nearly enough to retire on." (The Investment Research Journal from Barclays Global Investors)

DOL Says 12b-1 Fees Not 'Sales Commissions' Under PTE 77-3
Excerpt: "An advisory from the Department of Labor said that unrelated brokers of a 401(k) plan's self-directed brokerage account can collect 12b-1 fees for their services." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Economic Analysis: Making Investment Choices as Simple as Possible But Not Simpler
Excerpt: "Target-date retirement funds (TDRFs) are advocated as the universal solution to the complex task of determining the appropriate asset allocation among funds in 401(k) plans, IRAs, and other personal investment accounts. In our . . . model . . . a TDRF is nearly optimal for certain individuals . . . [but not others.] A prudent design is to offer at least a second fund to each age cohort of life-cycle investors: a risk-free investment portfolio with a matching investment horizon." (Zvi Bodie and Jonathan Treussard)

International Update: Recent Developments in Foreign Public and Private Pensions, July 2006
SSA's Office of Policy Data has released the monthly publication on its Web site. (U.S. Social Security Administration)

Commentary: AARP's Social Security Stance
Excerpt: "Richard Rahn's commentary of July 27 ('In case of bankrup.tcy...') begins with the flawed premise that Social Security and Medicare will 'bankrupt' the federal government, then goes further downhill by reviving the call for private accounts within Social Security." (AARP via The Washington Times)

IRS Weighted Average Interest Rate Table Updated for August 2006
Weighted average for July 2006: 4.84% (Internal Revenue Service)

Audio Files of Seminar Now Available: Retirement Issues in the 21st Century
Excerpt: "This four-day fellowship program for business, personal finance, and consumer reporters addressed the critical aspects of retirement. Download PowerPoints on the savings crisis, the elements necessary for a happy retirement, and an overview of U.S. retirement plans." (National Press Foundation)

Will Retirement Savings Last Long Enough?
Excerpt: "The better financial planning tools now allow the user to see how their current and projected savings and revenue will provide for them, based on various ages of death by using Monte Carlo probability modeling for longevity, investment returns, long-term care risk, retiree health expenses and more." (Dallas L. Salisbury via Human Resource Executive Online; one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Pension and other Benefit Provisions of H.R. 4 -- Pension Protection Act of 2006, As Passed by House (PDF)
22 pages. (U.S. Senate via American Benefits Council)

Compilation of Links Pertaining to the Pension Protection Act of 2006
Excerpt: "The 907-page Pension Protection Act of 2006 passed last week by Congress is sure to keep benefits lawyers busy for years to come. [Ms Grenier has] compiled a collection of links pertaining to the Act, some of which [will be housed] permanently . . . in a sidebar section . . . ." (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

A Personal Version of the Pension Protection Act of 2006
Excerpt: "This version of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) includes numerous inserted elements, including TOC listings, an index, links, style coding, and other features intended solely for purposes of aiding PPA reading and research. These additional elements are not a formal, official part of PPA itself; and no inferences should be drawn from their presence in this particular document." (Fuguerre's Pensions & Benefits Pages)

Overview: Split-Dollar and Corporate-Owned Life Insurance Accounting Clarified (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has proposed new guidelines that clarify the accounting for insurance contracts used to finance popular nonqualified executive benefit offerings such as executive life insurance, supplemental executive retirement plans, and deferred compensation plans [such as endorsement split-dollar arrangements and corporate-owned life insurance]." (Aon Consulting)

Employee Benefits Bulletin, July 31, 2006 (PDF)
The newsletter includes articles titled: House Passes Pension Reform Bill, But Future Far from Certain; 409A Update: Still Waiting for Final Regulations; IRS Guidance on Use of Debit and Credit Cards with Reimbursement Plans; and, IRS Guidance on Disaster Leave-Sharing Plans. (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

ERISA Claim is Time-barred in Spite of Disclosure Violation
Excerpt: "The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, though a pension plan violated its duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to provide an employee with reasons for its denial of benefits and a reasonable opportunity for review, the participant had reason to know his benefits denial was final." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Overview: Chicago Passes 'Big Box' Ordinance (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Chicago's City Council recently passed the hotly-contested Living Wage or 'Big Box' Ordinance (the 'Ordinance'), which imposes higher minimum wage and fringe benefits obligations on large retailers located within Chicago." (Winston & Strawn LLP)

Military's Benefits Often More Generous than Private Sector's
Excerpt: "'Since about 1999, the benefits in the private sector and the military have gone in opposite directions,' said Steven Kosiak of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington. 'The military has gotten more expensive benefits, in terms of health care and retirement, and in the private sector those offerings have become fewer.'" (AirForceTImes.com)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts-- Human Resources-- Updated July 4, 2006 (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employee benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors." (Towers Perrin)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

401(k) Plans
in Ohio on October 31, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

401(k) Plans
in Maryland on November 7, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

401(k) Plans
in Minnesota on November 14, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Ohio on November 1, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Maryland on November 8, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Minnesota on November 15, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Ohio on November 3, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Maryland on November 10, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Minnesota on November 17, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Ohio on November 2, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Maryland on November 9, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Minnesota on November 16, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Ohio on November 3, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Maryland on November 10, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Minnesota on November 17, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Ohio on November 2, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Maryland on November 9, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Minnesota on November 16, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Options Backdating - The New Wave of Securities Lawsuits and Investigations - Webcast
Nationwide on August 7, 2006
presented by West LegalEdcenter

Pension Protection Act of 2006 Webcast
in Georgia on August 10, 2006
presented by Swerdlin & Company

Pension Protection Act of 2006 Workshop at the Ashford Club in Atlanta, Georgia
in Georgia on August 17, 2006
presented by Swerdlin & Company

Pension Reform Passes House and Senate
Nationwide on August 8, 2006
presented by Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, LLC

Retirement Plan Strategies
in Georgia on August 24, 2006
presented by Swerdlin & Company


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Pension Bill a Huge Missed Opportunity for Retirement Security
(Pension Rights Center)

Statement by U.S. Labor Secretary & PBGC Board Chairman Elaine L. Chao on Passage of Comprehensive Pension Reform
(U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C.)

NCCMP Commends Congress on Passage of Historic, Bi-Partisan Pension Reform Legislation
(National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans)

ICMA-RC Commends Congress for Supporting EGTRRA Permanency and Retirement Reform
(ICMA-RC)

Nexus Financial Management Explains How High Income Taxpayers Can Take Advantage of a Roth IRA
(Nexus Financial Management)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Account Consultant
for Diversified Investment Advisors, a business unit in the AEGON Group.
in IA

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for CBIZ Actuarial & Benefit Consultants
in AZ

Retirement Plan Supervisor
for SVA Retirement Plan Services, LLC
in WI

Health and Welfare Vendor Manager
for Constantin Control Associates
in NJ

Assistant Plan Administrator
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in MN

Tax and Accounting Services Consultant
for The Newport Group
in FL

Defined Benefit Pension Analyst
for Chittenden Services Group
in VT

Employee Benefits Administrative Officer
for National Penn Investors Trust Company
in PA

Attorney, VP, Corporate Counsel
for Prudential Financial
in NJ

Pension Administrator
for Pension Dynamics Corporation
in CA

401(k) Plan Support Account Manager/Representative
for Great-West Retirement Services
in WI

Sales & Marketing Associate
for Advanced Benefits Consulting
in MO

Defined Benefit Administration Software Consultant (ProAdmin)
for Winklevoss Technologies
in CT

Director, Product Development/Mgmt. (Insurance)
for Premier Recruiters & Associates
in DC

Retirement Services Account Manager 2
for SunTrust Bank
in DC




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