BenefitsLink
Retirement Plans
Newsletter
To BenefitsLink home page Fill your job openings fast by advertising on BenefitsLink

August 17, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

Get the Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) Advantage

Grow your business and reach for even greater success with the higher knowledge and credibility that comes with the QPFC credential. QPFC is the professional credential for the financial professional who sells, advises, markets or supports qualified retirement plans. Distinguish yourself as a recognized retirement plan expert with the authoritative QPFC credential from ASPPA, the premier national organization for serious retirement plan professionals. For more info visit www.asppa.org/qpfc

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

New edition of ESOP Communications Sourcebook
The NCEO presents excerpts from the 4th edition of The ESOP Communications Sourcebook, designed for any company with an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP). It features a customizable PowerPoint presentation (on the book's CD-ROM) that companies can use to communicate the ESOP to employees. The new edition also has minor revisions to existing articles. The PowerPoint presentation is based on the NCEO's decades of experience in presenting ESOPs. Many slides include tips on how to customize them. (National Center for Employee Ownership)


We thank and invite your attention to our additional sponsor: Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference

Managing a Retirement Plan? Timing Is Everything!

Trying to play "beat the clock" when it comes to solving the many questions facing your retirement program? Automated features may be right for your 401(k) plan, but should you implement them right away? Perhaps your DB plan has seen better days. When will you take a closer look at alternatives? Setting a schedule for plan management strategy can be a challenge. Luckily, the countdown to management solutions has begun. Set your alarm for the 14th annual Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference in Chicago.

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



Overview: New Prohibited Transaction Rules and ERISA Fidelity Bond Requirements under the PPA (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "This Alert focuses on changes to the prohibited transaction restrictions of ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (the 'Code') that affect investment advisers, broker-dealers, and others that provide financial services to plans (either directly or indirectly through entities whose assets are considered to include 'plan assets' for ERISA purposes). This Alert also discusses changes to ERISA's fidelity bond requirements." (Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP)

Congressional Inertia, Part One and Two -- Pension Reform
Excerpt: "Here, in a nutshell, is what will happen to the plans of those who are not currently enrolled or have taken the default investment. 401(k) plans and similar self-directed plans will no longer be completely self-directed. This is an enormous change in philosophy giving your employer the right to step in and direct the plan without your approval." (Free-Market News Network)

Omissions in New Pension Law's Advice Rules Hobble Consumers
Excerpt: "[E]xperts are predicting that big headaches and lawsuits will likely arise as Americans sort through the provisions that deal with the 'investment advice' workers participating in a retirement plan may receive starting in 2007." (MarketWatch)

Retirement: Mixed Views on Pension Legislation
Excerpt: "A statement from the White House says that the reform measures would provide workers with better information about their pension plans, eliminate loopholes that interfere with strong pension funding, increase the accuracy of pension plan measurements, and reform the rules governing employer funding and premium contributions to strengthen the pension insurance system. But Bradley Belt . . . stressed what the new legislation would not do." (U.S. News & World Report)

Excerpts from Statements Regarding Hybrid Plans during Senate Debate on H. R. 4 on August 3, 2006 (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "KENNEDY: Our legislation also addresses new types of pensions, like 'hybrid' pensions, which play a growing role in our retirement system. These pensions provide a guaranteed pension, and the benefits are attractive to younger workers and to others, such as parents caring for children, who move in and out of the workforce. Older workers, however, can lose out when their companies switch to these plans because they lose a large portion of the benefits they were promised." (American Benefits Council)

Recent IRS Guidance Highlights Importance of Making Timely Contributions of Elective Deferrals
Excerpt: "In the Revenue Ruling, the IRS held that the 'amount involved' for such failures is based on the interest that is calculated on the elective deferrals during the time period that contributions of such amounts are delinquent. The Revenue Ruling is the first guidance issued by the IRS that specifically addresses how to calculate the excise tax with respect to late contributions of participant elective deferral amounts." (Bond, Schoeneck and King, PLLC)

Bronner, Chief Executive of Retirement Systems of Alabama, Says Alabama Must Act on Pension Fund
Excerpt: "He said health-care costs for state employees and retirees are rising 'exponentially.' The Legislature put $1 billion toward the RSA's health-care fund this year and has approved $1.15 billion for the coming fiscal year. Bronner said he would ask lawmakers for $1.25 billion for the 2008 budget." (tuscaloosanews.com)

Employers Say ESOPs are Good for Business
Excerpt: "Ninety-one percent of respondents to the Employee Ownership Foundation's ESOP Economic Performance Survey said creating employee ownership through an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) was 'a good business decision that has helped the company.'" (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Prediction: Expect $15,500 Elective Deferral Cap for 2007
Excerpt: "[W]e'd need deflation for the next two months in order to have a third quarter that would keep the 2007 elective deferral limit flat at $15,000 . . . . Conversely, we'd need the annualized inflation rate to go ballistic up to more than 40% for each of the next two months in order to jump up to a deferral limit of $16,000, and the Fed would shoot the economy before that would happen." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Tyco Employees Granted Class Status in Company Stock Suit
Excerpt: "The Associated Press reports the employees claim Tyco hid the true value of the stock and knew it was a bad investment. The class covers employees who invested their retirement savings in the company's stock from August 12, 1998 to July 25, 2002." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Hewitt's Global Retirement Update, August 2006 (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "This update summarizes recent legislative developments and trends related to retirement and financial management and highlights recently passed and pending legislation that may require employers to take action to comply with new rules or review existing plans." (Hewitt Associates)

China's Aging Population Puts Pressure on Nation's Weak Pension System
Excerpt: "What's particularly worrisome is that China is getting old before it gets relatively rich. The nation's current per capita GDP barely exceeds US $1,000, compared with levels of between $5,000 and more than $10,000 in developed countries at the time of their societal aging. This lack of societal wealth has severely squeezed China's ability to care for its expanding senior population." (Worldwatch Institute)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Executives Call for Options Expensing Rule to Be Killed
Excerpt: "Thirty business executives have signed onto a business journal article that calls for federal regulators to revoke the new rule requiring the expensing of employee stock options." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Summary: Final SEC Rules Issued on Executive Compensation Disclosures (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "The SEC issued the text of its final rules on executive compensation disclosures on August 11 (the commissioners had voted to approve these rules in late July). As expected, the rules will be effective for the 2007 proxy season. [Groom provides examples of the new disclosure tables at http://www.groom.com/documents/FinalTables.pdf.]" (Groom Law Group)

Deferred Compensation Plan Not a Top Hat
Excerpt: "Because an employer allowed non-management non-highly compensated staff members to be in a deferred compensation plan, the program would not be considered exempt from federal benefits law, a judge has ruled." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)


We thank and invite your attention to our additional sponsor: Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference

Managing a Retirement Plan? Timing Is Everything!

Trying to play "beat the clock" when it comes to solving the many questions facing your retirement program? Automated features may be right for your 401(k) plan, but should you implement them right away? Perhaps your DB plan has seen better days. When will you take a closer look at alternatives? Setting a schedule for plan management strategy can be a challenge. Luckily, the countdown to management solutions has begun. Set your alarm for the 14th annual Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference in Chicago.

(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!)

16th Annual National Institute on ERISA Litigation
in Illinois on November 9, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

17th Annual National Institute on Health and Welfare Benefit Plans: Responding to Change
in Virginia on November 2, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

21st Annual National Institute on Compensation for Executives and Directors
in New York on November 13, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

DC Implementation Business Analyst
for CitiStreet
in MA

DB Benefits Service Manager
for Hewitt Associates
in IL

Disbursement Services Associate
for Administrative Systems, Inc.
in CA

Employee Benefit Trust Manager
for The Mechanics Bank
in CA

Compliance Specialist
for The Newport Group
in NC

Institutional Service Delivery Manager
for Great-West Financial Services
in CO

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Tegra Financial Partners
in GA

Senior DB Calculations Analyst - 54947
for Affiliated Computer Services (ACS)
in NJ

Employee Benefits Attorney
for Georgia Municipal Association
in GA


Handy Links:

NOTE TO AOL MEMBERS: PLEASE DO NOT REPORT THIS EMAIL AS SPAM. This email is not unsolicited. We do not send unsolicited email. This email is coming to you because you asked to receive it by entering your email address on our web page at

https://benefitslink.com/newsletter/

These emails are sent each workday except federal holidays.

This email has been published by:
BenefitsLink.com, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park FL 32789
(407) 644-4146
Fax: (407) 644-2151

David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor

Copyright 2006 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.; except that you can forward this email in full (including this boilerplate part) or otherwise reprint this email in full (including this boilerplate part) without obtaining our permission.

Anyone can receive these emails; just have them sign up at this web page: https://benefitslink.com/newsletter/

Other useful links: