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August 23, 2006
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Judge OKs Delta Pension Deal with Group
Excerpt: "A bankrup.tcy judge [yesterday] approved an agreement between Delta Air Lines Inc. and a group of retired pilots that paves the way for the airline to pay $9 million in pension obligations." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Overview: Guidance Issued by IRS on State Employer Contributions to Defined Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "The IRS has provided transitional relief for plans that, on or before August 28, 2006, included designated employee contributions intended to be picked up as employer contributions." (CCH Pension and Benefits)

Older Pilots Question Mandatory Retirement Age of 60
Excerpt: "Experts say relaxing the retirement age in the U.S. would save the nation's cash-strapped airlines hundreds of millions of dollars in training costs while also saving the government that much more in lost income taxes, social security payments and early payouts by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Board, which is taking over the failed airline pension plans." (Chicago Tribune via CentreDaily.com)

ASPPA Testimony to Senate Committee on Finance, August 3, 2006, on Tax Reform
Excerpt: "For the reasons stated [in the testimony, ASPPA believes] that certain savings recommendations made by the President's Advisory Panel on Federal Tax Reform (Advisory Panel) on November 1, 2005, would be devastating to the retirement security of millions of American workers." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Overview: Pension Protection Act Rules for Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "This LawFlash addresses a few . . . discrete areas including investment advice, defined contribution plan changes, pension portability, and diversification." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Overview: Pension Act Affects Contributors to Multiemployer Plans (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "[PPA] changes will directly affect employers who contribute to multiemployer plans (including the possibility of (a) changes in the collective bargaining process and (b) increased contributions over what is required in the employer's collective bargaining agreement). . . . This Alert will focus only on those aspects of the new law that could affect employer participation in multiemployer plans." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Overview: New Funding and Related Requirements for Defined Benefit Plans in the PPA (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "[T]he PPA generally requires defined benefit plans to be fully funded on an ongoing basis -- with less than fully funded plans being required to 'catch up' to full funding in seven years -- and it requires the use of actuarial and asset value assumptions that more precisely reflect a plan's actual liabilities and investment experience." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Overview: The PPA and Plan Amendments
Excerpt: "The sweeping changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (P.L. 109-280) will require numerous plan amendments, as well as encourage other plan changes to take advantage of new opportunities or to control new concerns. Of necessity, this post [represents] only the start of [the writer's] own process of tending to the plan amendment side of PPA, with much much more to come following in the months ahead . . . ." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Pension Reform Bill Likely to Prompt More Defined Benefit Plan Freezes, According to Report
Excerpt: "Companies with ailing pension programs likely to be labeled at risk under the new pension reform legislation may decide to funnel enough money into their plans to avoid the problem by 2008, a recent research report said. . . . The report is 'Pension Reform Will Increase Funding Requirements for Under-funded U.S. Pension Plans - Transition Provisions Will Allow Companies Time to Prepare.'" (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Commentary: Are Some 401(k) Plan Participants Getting the Short End of Stable Value?
Excerpt: "In an effort to simplify comparison shopping between bundled service providers/investment platforms as revenue sharing became more complex, we believe the industry moved toward an 'all-in' pricing format in which nothing was itemized. This author's opinion is that although bundled service models will continue to be the norm, the industry will shift back in the direction of itemized services with all pricing points and revenue sharing being fully disclosed." (Jeb Graham CEBS, CIMA® of CapTrust Financial Advisors via 401khelpcenter.com)

Overview: IRS Issues Final Anti-Cutback Regulations for Defined Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "The IRS has issued final regulations creating a utilization exception to the IRC § 411(d)(6) anti-cutback rule for eliminating optional forms of benefit from defined benefit plans. . . . (August 9, 2006). The final regulations also codify the Supreme Court's decision in Central Laborers' Pension Fund v. Heinz, 541 U.S. 739 (2004), but apply the reasoning of that decision more broadly." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Editorial: Pension Giveaway by New York State Legislature
Excerpt: "While some city officials can be wildly irresponsible when it comes to pensions (the City Council requested passage of the Christmas bonus bill while the mayor's office howled), the real culprits here are the members of the State Legislature. They are happy to shovel these measures through in return for campaign contributions and election endorsements from the unions while the city pays the tab." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

EPA Workers Want SRI Funds in Retirement Plan, but Congress Drags Its Feet on Bill
Excerpt: "On April 2, 2004, Representative James Langevin (D-RI) introduced the 'Federal Employees Responsible Investment Act' (HR 4140) to offer an SRI index fund option in the TSP for all federal employees. Since that day, however, the bill has not budged from the House Committee on Government Reform, according to the Library of Congress THOMAS website that tracks Congressional action and to a spokesperson at Rep. Langevin's office." (SocialFunds.com)

Overview: Safe-Harbor for Employers Who Receive Social Security Mismatch Letters (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "On June 8, 2006, the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) proposed a 'safe-harbor' regulation describing what an employer should do if it receives a mismatch letter in order to avoid being charged with 'constructive notice' that the employee is an unauthorized worker (if that indeed turns out to be the case)." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Portfolio Effects of Adoption of Managed Accounts by Retirement Plan Participants
Excerpt: "This paper examines the impact of managed account programs on participant equity holdings, company stock exposure, and expected portfolio risk and return. Nearly two-thirds of participants adopting a managed account advisory service saw a sharp increase in their equity exposure. Expected returns rose by 82 basis points (after fund expenses but before any managed account fee), while Sharpe ratios improved by 22%." (Vanguard Center for Retirement Research)

Conference: Pathways to a Secure Retirement
Pathways to a Secure Retirement, the 8th Annual Conference of the Retirement Research Consortium, was held August 10-11, 2006, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. The target page has links to each conference paper along with links to the presentation and to discussant slides. (National Bureau of Economic Research)

Research Paper: Risk & Reward of International Investing for Retirement Savers--Historical Evidence (PDF)
26 pages. Excerpt: "This study investigates whether cross-border investing would have been advantageous for retirement savers in the past. The analysis is based on empirical evidence on asset returns in a number of countries that have reliable historical time series data on investment returns. The goal is to determine whether workers would obtain higher expected retirement incomes, with smaller risk of catastrophic investment shortfalls, if they invested part of their retirement savings . . . ." (National Bureau of Economic Research)

Research Paper: How Accurate Are Expected Retirement Savings? (PDF)
28 pages. Excerpt: "In this paper, [the authors] directly examine an important question about retirement knowledge: how do workers' expected retirement savings compare to their realized levels of savings at retirement?" (National Bureau of Economic Research)

SEC Rule 22c-2 Sample Contract Language with Data Standards for Retirement Plan Service Providers (PDF)
5 pages. (The Spark Institute)

Call for Papers on Retirement Spending and Changing Needs During the Retirement Period
The deadline is extended to September 15, 2006. (Society of Actuaries)

Issue in Brief: Estimating Pension Trends Using Different Data Sets
Excerpt: "The brief [describes] the strengths and limitations of each data set and [compares] pension participation rates derived from each set." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Comments on Gladwell and the Link Between Productivity and Pensions
Excerpt: "[The target page provides] a link [http://www.newyorker.com/fact/content/articles/060828fa_fact] to [an] article by Malcolm Gladwell in the New Yorker Magazine discussing the connection between increase productivity in the American workforce and the turmoil surrounding employer-provided pensions." (Workplace Prof Blog)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: SEC's Final Rules Changing Form 8-K Reporting of Executive Compensation Matters (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "[I]ncluded in [the SEC's] final rules are significant changes to the requirements for disclosing new and modified executive and director compensation plans and arrangements under the Form 8-K reporting regime. This Alert focuses on those changes and addresses both technical and practical compliance issues with the new rules." (Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham LLP)

Highlights of the SEC's New Executive Compensation Rules (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "This Client Memorandum summarizes the effects of the new rules on domestic public companies that do not qualify for the SEC's small business reporting scheme and highlights some of the major differences between the final rules adopted by the SEC and the Proposed Rules. The new rules generally require less detailed disclosure by small business issuers." (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

Overview: New SEC Rules Revise Form 8-K Disclosure of Executive Compensation Arrangements (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The new rules eliminate employment compensation arrangements from the scope of Item 1.01 and expand Item 5.02 to cover only those compensatory arrangements with executive officers and directors that are 'unquestionably or presumptively material.' The revised filings under Item 5.02 must still be disclosed within four business days of the triggering event." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

Overview: EEOC Proposed Rule Affirms No ADEA Claims for Reverse Age Discrimination
Excerpt: "Proposed rules that codify the Supreme Court's ruling barring claims based on reverse age discrimination are open for comment and expected to receive significant support from employers. . . . (August 11, 2006). The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's (EEOC) proposals would amend rules under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ('ADEA') to reflect a Supreme Court decision in General Dynamics Land Systems, Inc. v. Cline . . . ." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

In-Person COBRA Seminars - Locations throughout the country
Nationwide on August 23, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Pension Protection Act of 2006 Part II: Defined Contribution Issues
Nationwide on September 21, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Strategic Merger Creates CBSA PERFORMAX
(PERFORMAX)

NCOA Steps Up Effort to Enroll People in Extra Help
(National Council on Aging (NCOA))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Compliance Manager
for Associated Pension Consultants
in CA

Associate Plan Administrator
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in IA

Senior Plan Administrator
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in IA

401k TPA Account Executive
for Thesco Retirement Planning Services LLC - TPA
in NJ, NY

Manager - Compliance Team
for Louis Kravitz & Associates
in CA

Plan Administrator
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in NC

Global Benefits Analyst
for Towers Perrin
in CT

401(k) Recordkeeper
for USI
in NJ

Retirement Plans - Writer
for Diversified Investment Advisors
in NY

Manager, Client Services
for Princeton Retirement Group - Merrill Lynch
in GA

Pension Administrator
for CH Dean, Inc.
in OH

Operations Specialist
for The Newport Group
in FL




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