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

August 18, 2006
Today's sponsor: DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Software for DC/401(k) Plan Administration

DATAIR's IMPROVED BENEFIT ADMINISTRATION SOFTWARE for 401(k), Profit Sharing and all other Defined Contribution plans. Designed for administrators and consultants.

This Windows system features many important enhancements including flexible input for employee data, share and dollar accounting; redesigned easy-to-read report formats, a transaction database for time-weighting of allocations; electronic anniversary notification and data collection; and unlimited investment and source definitions. The system also allows for great flexibility in setting up graded class allocation (cross-tested new comparability) plans.

Training and support included. For free demo versions and pricing, contact sales@datair.com or call 1-888-328-2474.


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

President Bush Signs H.R. 4 Into Law
Excerpt: "Before an enthusiastic audience in an office building on the White House grounds, Bush called the legislation 'the most sweeping reform of America's pension laws in over 30 years.'" (AP via New York Times; one-time registration required)

Bush Signs Sweeping Revision of Pension Law
Excerpt: "Two little-noticed features of the law was praised by g.ay rights groups. Under the law, a person's retirement benefits could transfer to domestic partners or other beneficiaries such as sibling or parent. And workers could draw on retirement funds for medical or financial emergencies involving domestic partners or other beneficiaries." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Hewitt's 52-Page Report on the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PDF)
Side-by-side columns: a description of a provision of present law, a description of how PPA affects that provision, and Hewitt's comments on the change made by the PPA. (Hewitt)

Overview: Summary of Pension Protection Act, Including Action Items (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Executive Summary: The Act requires full funding over seven years, beginning in 2008. However, special phase-in and contribution rules dramatically impact this seven year funding and create certain incentives to 'pre-fund' plans to certain levels, both before and after 2008." (Thompson Hine LLP)

Overview: Pension Protection Act of 2006 -- Changes Affecting Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "This Legal Alert discusses [defined contribution plan] changes, beginning with the new rules regarding diversification of employer securities, accelerated vesting requirements for all contributions, and enhanced automatic enrollment provisions, and continuing with distribution rule changes, ERISA and fiduciary changes, and other items relating to defined contribution plans." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

John Boehner Writes in Opinion Piece: Workers Deserve Better Advice on Retirement Funds
Excerpt: "One critical reform could fundamentally change how Americans make financial decisions about their retirement future. It ensures that workers have access to the type of high-quality investment advice that will help make a real difference when they make investment decisions about their 401(k)s, IRAs and their retirement future." (Houston Chronicle)

Tax Break Extended to All 401(k) Heirs by PPA
Excerpt: "A little-noticed provision in a pension law signed Thursday by President Bush will for the first time allow anyone to inherit a 401(k) nest egg without immediately paying taxes on the windfall, a benefit that in the past was reserved for spouses." (Los Angeles Times via civilrights.org)

Overview: New Pension Law Changes Fiduciary Rules in ERISA and Tax Code
10 pages. Excerpt: "The most significant change to the fiduciary rules in the Act is in the method of calculating the '25% test' to determine ifan entity holds 'plan assets.' Under the revised test, governmental plans, foreign plans and certain church plans do not count against the '25% test.'" (Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP)

Teamsters Keep Up Fight After Pension Bill Signed
Excerpt: "Even though Congress has approved major pension reform legislation and President Bush has signed it, the Teamsters union still hopes to delete a provision from the bill that would eliminate early retirement benefits." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Overview: Multiemployer Plan Issues in the Pension Bill (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "The PPA contains significant changes for multiemployer plans, including a new system for plans facing funding difficulties, tightened withdrawal liability rules, and several new reporting and disclosure requirements. Most of these provisions take effect for plan years beginning after 2007. The PPA also will substantially increase interaction between trustees of underfunded plans and the bargaining parties." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Audio: Will the Pension Protection Act Do the Job?
Excerpt: "The legislation is designed to strengthen the government's deficit-ridden pension insurance program. But some companies say the stricter funding requirements could push more firms to dump pension programs in favor of 401(k) programs." (All Things Considered via National Public Radio)

Ex-Motorola Worker Cannot File Company Stock Suit
Excerpt: "Because a former Motorola employee no longer participated in the company's 401(k) plan and had taken a full distribution of his retirement balance, he no longer had the legal position from which he could pursue lawsuits about the program." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Fidelity's Building Futures Study Finds Participation Rates Decline Slightly
Excerpt: "Findings from a Fidelity analysis of nearly 12,000 corporate defined contribution (DC) plans it serviced as of the end of 2005 revealed a 1.1% decline to 64.4% in participation rates." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Work and Retirement: Facts and Figures -- Data at a Glance (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "This fact sheet describes the benefits of delayed retirement, the capacity of older people to remain at work, trends and patterns in labor force participation at older ages, and some of the legal and institutional work impediments that exist for older Americans." (The Urban Institute)

Audio: The Ins and Doubts of Pension Plans with Olivia Mitchell
Excerpt: "Olivia Mitchell, Executive Director of the Pension Research Council at the Wharton School, explains how pension plans work for employees and employers. She also talks about the problems that arise when a company doesn't set aside enough money to pay off those promises." (All Things Considered via National Public Radio)

Pension Insurance Data Book 2005 (PDF)
106 pages. Excerpt: "This edition of the Pension Insurance Data Book contains two short articles. The first is a brief description about recent trends in defined benefit pension plans and includes most of the graphs that were presented under the heading 'PBGC Data and Trends' in previous editions . . . . The second article discusses how underfunding is measured in defined benefit pension plans." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

San Diego Report Puts Spotlight on Public Pensions Says Joe Mysak
Excerpt: "Worrying whether the folks at city hall short-changed the pension plan is becoming as popular as eating pie. This once-dreary subject, formerly of interest to nobody but the analysts who rate municipal bonds, now is front-page news and fodder for the editorial page." (Bloomberg News)

Impact of Pension Benefits Paid by the Teacher Retirement System of Texas on Texas Business Activity (PDF)
101 pages. Excerpt: "The Perryman Group (TPG) was recently asked to evaluate the economic impact of retirement and health care benefits paid by the TRS on Texas. The study revealed that the payments lead to substantial gains in economic activity in addition to providing for the teachers of the state. This report highlights key findings from TPG's analysis of the state, regional, and metro area impacts of TRS retirement benefit payments." (The Perryman Group via National Council on Teacher Retirement)

Benefits Perspectives Update, August 17, 2006, on the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PDF)
12 pages. (Milliman)

Cash Balance Comeback: New Opportunities for Employers in Wake of Court Decision & New Legislation
Excerpt: "With the passage of the federal Pension Protection Act and the reversal by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals in Cooper v. IBM, converting traditional pension plans to alternative plan designs, such as cash balance plans and pension equity plans, becomes a more attractive option for employers." (Littler Mendelson)

Court Applies 'Catch-all' Statute of Limitations to Retirees' Claim
Excerpt: "The 6th US Circuit Court of Appeals determined a group of retirees of the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC) are time-barred from their claim regarding pension benefits that were transferred to USEC's defined benefit plan when they became permanent employees." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

A Guide to the SEC's New Executive and Director Compensation and Related Party Disclosure Rules (PDF)
17 pages. Excerpt: "The final rules provide that all elements of compensation must be disclosed. The two foundational components of the new rules are (1) the Compensation Discussion & Analysis (CD&A) section in which the company is to describe, in narrative form, the material factors underlying the company's compensation policies and decisions, and (2) tabular disclosure in three broad categories: . . . ." (Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP)

Deferred Compensation Planning Opportunities for Executives of Tax-Exempt Entities
Excerpt: "Executives of nonprofit, tax-exempt entities are often frustrated by their inability to duplicate the opportunities available in the for-profit sector to defer their receipt of significant amounts of otherwise current (and currently taxable) compensation to the period following their retirement." (Employee Benefit Plan Review via Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC)

Reimagining America: How America Can Grow Older and Prosper -- Spending Health Dollars Wisely (PDF)
36 pages. Excerpt: "AARP believes we can balance longer lives with the pressures the aging of the boomers and increased longevity put on our social systems. While this is often described as a confounding problem of demographics, it is actually driven primarily by the fragmented and disorganized delivery of health care, which costs too much and delivers too little." (AARP)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

National Consumer Driven Healthcare Summit
in District of Columbia on September 13, 2006
presented by Health Affairs & Harvard Health Policy Review

National Consumer Driven Healthcare Summit
in District of Columbia on September 13, 2006
presented by Health Affairs & Harvard Health Policy Review

New Pension Law Impact on Defined Contribution Plans
Nationwide on August 22, 2006
presented by Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP

Recent Notable ERISA Decisions
Nationwide on September 12, 2006
presented by Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP

The Pension Protection Act of 2006: How It Will Impact Your IRA Business
Nationwide on August 24, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

The Pension Protection Act of 2006: How It Will Impact Your IRA Business
Nationwide on August 30, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

The Pension Protection Act of 2006: How It Will Impact Your IRA Business
Nationwide on September 6, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Remarks by President Bush in Signing of H.R. 4, the Pension Protection Act of 2006
(White House)

PBGC Publishes Updated Data Book
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

New Law Expands IRA Options for Military
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))

Success of Pension Measure Depends on Balance
(ERIC (ERISA Industry Committee))

ACLI Lauds Signing of Pension Reform Bill Into Law
(American Council of Life Insurers)

Statement On The Signing Of The Pension Protection Act Of 2006
(Pension Rights Center)

New Opportunities for 401(k) Plans Provided by the Pension Protection Act of 2006
(Transamerica Retirement Services)

New Edition of ESOP Communications Sourcebook
(National Center for Employee Ownership)

As Pension Protection Act Becomes Law, Fidelity 401(k) Report Shows Some Progress In Employee Savings, But Participation And Deferral Rates Still Lagging
(Fidelity Investments)

New Report Shows Benefits of Integrating Medical and Disability Data
(Integrated Benefits Institute)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Benefit Advisor
for The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
in NJ, NY

Internal Wholesaler - Account Coordinator
for T. Rowe Price
in MD

Daily Valuation Operations Manager
for Professional Capital Services, LLC
in PA

Client Service Specialist
for White Horse Advisors, LLC
in GA

Defined Contribution Administrative Accountant
for First Merchantile
in TN




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: