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August 10, 2006
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Overview: 7th Circuit Rules that Cash Balance Plans are Not Age Discriminatory; Other Circuits Could Follow (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "The Seventh Circuit's decision is critical not only because it repudiates the seminal pro-plaintiff district court opinion (one of only two district court decisions embracing that theory), but also because it expresses strong support for employers' freedom to design pension plans according to their needs." (Alston & Bird LLP)

PPA Of 2006 Part IV: Cash Balance Age Discrimination, Investment Advice, And Prohibited Transactions
Excerpt: "This fourth in a series of articles examines the provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) relating to age discrimination under cash balance plans, investment advice, prohibited transactions, and fiduciary rules. Unless noted otherwise, these provisions of the Act are effective for transactions after the date of enactment." (Spencer's Benefits Reports)

A Finance Professor's View: Why I Am Disappointed with the Pension Protection Act of 2006
Excerpt: "The bill does not address either of the two issues that I regard as crucial to fixing what is wrong with the U.S. private pension system today. The first of these relates to the traditional defined benefit pension system and the federal government agency that insures it: the PBGC. The second relates to the emerging new pension system that is built around 401k, 403b, IRAs and other self-directed investment accounts." (Professor Zvi Bodie via BenefitsLink)

Pension Reform Act Expands Ability of Investment Funds to Accept Benefit Plan Investments (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "In particular, PPA 2006 changes the method of counting benefit plan investors in determining whether a fund satisfies the 25% 'significant equity participation' test under ERISA. The 25% test generally provides that a fund's underlying assets will not be considered to be ERISA plan assets . . . if 'benefit plan investors' own less than 25% of the value of each class of equity interests in the fund." (Alston & Bird LLP)

Eileen Alt Powell Column: Changes Ahead in 401(k) Accounts
Excerpt: "The changes in the pension bill not only will affect 401(k) plans, first offered in 1981, but also will apply to 403(b) plans for workers in nonprofit organizations and 457 plans, which are for government employees." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Pension Reform Aims to Boost Savings
Excerpt: "The new pension law will hardly close America's savings gap by itself. But in a nation where free choices aren't always financially wise ones, experts say it will prod more people to build retirement nest eggs." (The Christian Science Monitor)

An Overview of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "Within its scope, this bill is as far-reaching as any pension legislation enacted in the last 25 years. It is the culmination of a policy debate over pension reform that began over five years ago. It both reacts to recent developments affecting American businesses-- including the economic volatility and corporate distress and failures experienced and continuing in this decade-- and pushes forward the trend towards greater individual responsibility for retirement security." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

Text: Testimony before ERISA Advisory Council Meeting on 404(c) Regulations (PDF)
6 pages. This testimony of Jason Bortz of Davis & Harman LLP was on behalf of the American Benefits Council before the 2006 ERISA Advisory Council Working Group on Select Issues of a Procedurally Prudent Investment Process in Washington, DC on August 9, 2006. (American Benefits Council)

PLANSPONSOR Survey Asked: Will the New Automatic Enrollment Rules Have an Impact?
Excerpt: "[O]nly about 28% of this week's respondents said that the impact of the new legislation would be 'huge'-- and perhaps half of these came from providers (including a number of plan sponsors for provider programs)." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Opinion: Inequality, Work, and Retirement: A Downward Spiral
Excerpt: "Many observers are focused on the lack of interest of those nearing retirement in staying in the workforce longer -- they know the retirement of the baby boomers will bring labor shortages and they believe people need to save more for retirement. But the problem is more serious than that, because the feeling of alienation from work, which is in part due to changes in technology and globalization, has begun to infect people at all ages." (Beverly Goldberg via The Century Foundation)

Oregon-Based Blount International to Freeze its Defined Benefit Plan
Excerpt: "Blount International Inc. announced it will freeze its defined benefit plan for all employees after January 1, 2007, a move the outdoor product and industrial and power equipment manufacturer expects will save between $16 and $23 million in expenses over the next five years." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Establishing ESOPs: Determining the Best Plan and Implementing It Effectively (PDF)
14 pages. Excerpt: "With analysis of the legal issues employers and employees alike may face, as well as client advice from the attorney's perspective, this Report offers a broad view of the ESOP landscape. Key areas explored include how ESOPs are like retirement plans and what sets them apart, alternatives to ESOPs and important changes in the regulatory landscape with respect to ESOPs." (Aspatore, Inc. via Polsinelli Shalton Welte Suelthaus PC)

Kroll Report Puts San Diego Among 'Elite Group of Frauds,' Local Newspaper Says
Excerpt: "The 266-page report, complete with about 200 more pages of appendixes, issued a harsh assessment of city practices past and present . . . For years, the city failed to inform investors about the deteriorating health of its pension system and a number of irregularities in the way it funded the system and hid liabilities in outside reserves, the report states." (VoiceofSanDiego.org)

Overview Describes the Provisions in the HR 4 Bill Related to Public Employees (PDF)
1 page. Title: 'Provisions Beneficial to Public Employees Included in the Recently Passed House and Senate Compromise Pension Reform Legislation" (National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems)

'Your Retirement: How to Land On Your Feet.' by Jane Bryant Quinn
Excerpt: "Even if you're dumb about money, you might win one of life's lotteries -- stock options, shares in a successful new company, a big inheritance (for 'lucky sperm'). Conversely, money smarts can't protect you if your luck turns bad. Americans like to think that everyone makes his or her own fate. But some risks are out of our control, and you need to factor them into your retirement hopes." (Newsweek via MSNBC.com)

Commentary: Lawsuit Over Hidden Pension Fees
Excerpt: "How much does a plan participant really pay in retirement plan fees and what is the impact on economic investment performance? A report from Bloomberg.com describes 'behind the scenes' currency exchange fees as one culprit." (Pension Risk Matters)

Buyer's Guide for Retirement Plan Administration Outsourcing with Results of an Industry Survey (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "Three years after its release of a comprehensive report on retirement outsourcing, McHenry has returned to the subject. . . . This guide is dedicated to helping you make the outsourcing choice that best fits your business needs." (The McHenry Group)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated as of August 8, 2006, for Retirement Plans (PDF)
8 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding retirement plans. (Hewitt Associates)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: SEC's Significant Changes to the Disclosure of Executive Compensation and Related Matters
Excerpt: "A new Compensation Discussion and Analysis (CD&A) must address the objectives and implementation of executive compensation programs - focusing on the most important factors underlying each company's compensation policies and decisions. The CD&A will be considered filed and subject to certification by a company's principal executive officer and principal financial officer." (Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide as of August 8, 2006, on Human Resources and Employment Law (PDF)
8 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding human resources and employment law. (Hewitt Associates)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2006 Pension Bill and Update Seminar
Nationwide on August 15, 2006
presented by Virchow, Krause & Company, LLP

2006 Pension Bill and Update Seminar
Nationwide on August 22, 2006
presented by Virchow, Krause & Company, LLP

Executive Compensation: First Look at the SEC's New Disclosure Rules - Webcast
Nationwide on August 15, 2006
presented by West LegalEdcenter

Life Insurance Company Products Conference; Featuring Current Securities, Tax, ERISA, and State Regulatory and Compliance Issues
in District of Columbia on November 16, 2006
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Life Insurance Company Products Webcast; Featuring Current Securities, Tax, ERISA, and State Regulatory and Compliance Issues
Nationwide on November 16, 2006
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Pension Reform Legislation: The New Retirement Landscape - Teleweb
Nationwide on August 24, 2006
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Resolution Introduced to Declare "National Save for Retirement Week"
(NAGDCA (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc.))

President Looks Forward to Signing Pension Reform Legislation
(White House)

Newkirk Announces 2006 Tax Law Education Solutions
(Newkirk Products, Inc.)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) / Defined Contribution Administrator
for Pension Investors Corporation
in FL

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Benefits Consulting Group, LLC
in CT, MA

Pension Administrator
for De Boer, Baumann & Company, PLC
in MI

Defined Benefits Administration Analyst
for Lynchval Systems Worldwide Inc.
in VA

Assistant Pension Administrator
for Taylor/Webster
in TN

Attorney
for Kraw & Kraw Attorneys
in CA

Law Clerk
for Kraw & Kraw Attorneys
in CA

Senior Wealth and Investment Services Officer
for US Trust
in CA, NV, OR, WA

Senior Account Manager ~ Financial Services
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Trust Administrator - Employee Benefits
for Old Point Trust & Financial Services, N.A.
in VA

Benefits Analyst- 401(K)
for Harrah's Entertainment
in NV

Retirement Coordinator
for BISYS
in PA

Internal Wholesaler
for BISYS
in PA




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