Retirement Plans
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August 29, 2006
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ASPPA Fall 2006 Exams -- Early Registration Ends September 30

ASPPA's 2006 fall proctored examination window will be November 1 - December 15. Early registration ends September 30, and the final registration deadline is October 31.
Register online at To learn more about ASPPA exams, visit the Education and Examination Web page at Complete your exams this year. Sign up today!

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

Survey Results: Expectations and Preparedness of American Retirement Savers
16 pages. Excerpt: "Among [the group of retirement savers], awareness of key retirement planning issues is high, and many recognize the need to save more. The outlook for retirement readiness is reasonably positive, though 4 in 10 households need to save more. For this group, the real challenge is not greater awareness but taking concrete action." (Vanguard Center for Retirement Research)

Executive Summary of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PDF)
31 pages. The summary is in chart form. (Snell & Wilmer LLP)

ERISA Supreme Court Cert. Petition Filed in 401(k) Case
Excerpt: "[A] cert. petition . . . filed in the 9th Circuit case of Coates v. Agilent Technologies, Inc. . . . asks the Supreme Court to take up two issues involving 401k plan participants which has divided the circuits . . . ." (Workplace Prof Blog)

Retirement Benefits: Getting Employees in the Game
38 pages. Excerpt: "Auto-pilot 401(k)s may be a nudge in the right direction, but effective, personalized communications and the right tech tools can be the key to making workers active participants in their retirement planning." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

'Early' Distributions and Disability Penalty Exceptions
Excerpt: "If you take distributions from an IRA or qualified plan 'early' (normally before age 59 1/2), you'll be subject to a 10% tax on the distribution, commonly known as the 'early withdrawal penalty.' However, there are various exceptions to this 10% penalty . . . . Disability can also be an exception to the penalty, although the code and regulations have been a bit vague in their definition of 'disability' here. Two recent Tax Court decisions helped clarify that definition." (The Motley Fool)

Pension Lump-Sum Distributions: Do Boomers Take Them or Save Them? (PDF)
14 pages. Excerpt: "This report examines what boomers, preboomers, and older persons are doing with their pension account funds upon job separation, what socio-demographic and financial attributes affect their decisions to roll over or cash out LSDs, and what implications these decisions have for the retirement income security of these age groups." (AARP)

Opinion: The Time May Be Right for the 'Fiduciary Only' Adviser (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The time may be ripe for a parallel movement to evolve - the 'fiduciary only' adviser - the investment adviser who works with clients only on a fiduciary basis. Every client of the adviser is provided the same standard of care - a fiduciary standard - whether the client is a retail investor or a 401(k) plan sponsor." (Donald B. Trone, InvestmentNews via Fiduciary360)

A Challenge to the 'Illinois Sudan Act' (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Winston & Strawn intends to file papers in the next two weeks seeking to preliminarily enjoin enforcement of the Act and will ask for a ruling in advance of the January 2007 deadline for partial divestment by the pension funds." (Winston & Strawn LLP)

New Pension Law Makes Changes Aligned with HR Policy Retirement Security Recommendations (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Facilitating Certain Defined Benefit Terminations. The HR Policy membership expressed significant interest in making DB to DC conversions easier. The PPA takes a small step in this direction by making it less expensive to terminate a part of a fully funded defined benefit plan when a company that is part of a controlled group is sold or otherwise divested, if certain requirements are met." (HR Policy Association)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Guidance in 2006-2007 Will Affect Cafeteria Plans, Health Plans, Fringe Benefits, and 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "The Department of the Treasury and the IRS have issued their 2006-2007 Priority Guidance Plan, which lists regulations and other guidance under development. [The target page notes] some significant items affecting cafeteria plans, health plans, fringe benefits, and 401(k) plans . . . ." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Corrected Link: Attorney Files Comments Regarding 'Specified Employees' Under Section 409A
Excerpt: "These comments address certain aspects of the Proposed Regulations concerning the mandatory six-month delay in commencing payments of deferred compensation to 'specified employees,' and specifically, the definition of 'specified employee.'" (Linda Wilkins of Locke Liddell & Sapp LLP)

Comments on 'The Risk Pool' by Malcolm Gladwell
Excerpt: "'(UAW president Walter) Reuther and his brain trust had a theory of capitalism,' Nelson Lichtenstein, the Reuther biographer, says. 'It was: If we force G.M. to pay extra (for employee benefits), we can create an incentive for G.M. to join our side (in broadly collectivizing risk beyond individual employers).'" (The New Yorker via Physicians for a National Health Program)

It's Not the Dependency Ratio, Stupid -- Another Take on Gladwell's 'The Risk Pool'
Excerpt: "Back in the late 1940s, The New Yorker wants us to know, Richard Gosser, president of a United Auto Workers local in Toledo, Ohio, wanted to set up a union pension plan for the workers. Ten cents an hour was all it would cost to give the workers a decent retirement, writes Malcolm Gladwell in 'The Risk Pool.'" (The American Thinker)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Benefits Management Forum & Expo
in Illinois on September 17, 2006
presented by SourceMedia

Consumerism in Health Care: Exploring New Cost Saving Models
in District of Columbia on September 26, 2006
presented by Capital Chapter ISCEBS

Employee Benefit Adviser Summit
in Illinois on September 17, 2006
presented by SourceMedia

Free Seminar on Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Compliance Program
in New York on September 29, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Louisiana on September 12, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Managing Pregnant Employees: Sidestep ADA, FMLA, and PDA Pitfalls
Nationwide on September 12, 2006
presented by

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Design Analyst (Insurance/Benefits)
for Clark Consulting
in TX

QDRO Determination Services Manager
for Vanguard
in PA

Relationship Manager
for Morningstar Associates, LLC.
in IL

401k/DC Administrator
for Pencor, Inc.
in FL

Installation Administrator
for Transamerica Retirement Services
in CA

Partner Compensation Manager
for Hogan & Hartson
in DC

Client Service Manager
for Merrill Lynch Retirement Group
in CO

Regional Vice President - Southern California
in CA

Sales Support Advisor, Sales and Broker Support
for Paychex, Inc.
in NY

Sr. Underwriter (Group Employee Benefits Division)
for The Protector Group Insurance Agency, Inc.
in MA

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