Retirement Plans
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August 31, 2006
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Technical Update 06-3: 2006 Participant Notice
Excerpt: "Plan administrators of certain underfunded plans must notify participants and beneficiaries annually of the plan's funding status and the limits of the PBGC's guarantee. . . . [E]ach year the PBGC republishes the Model Participant Notice, updated to reflect the latest information on maximum guaranteed benefits." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

PBGC Technical Update 06-4: Use of Corporate Bond Rate for Certain PBGC Purposes
Excerpt: "This Technical Update explains how the provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 . . . relating to PBGC's required interest rate for determining variable-rate premiums . . . apply to certain PBGC requirements (in particular, reporting and disclosure requirements)." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

The New Determination Letter Program: Staggered Remedial Amendment Periods for Qualified Plans (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "For some plans, this means the filing deadline could be as early as January 31, 2007. In addition, the IRS has recently issued guidance on deadlines for timely amending a qualified retirement plan to reflect certain required changes in law. In a separate article in this advisory we discuss these amendments and deadlines." (Alston + Bird LLP)

Companies Must Pick Best 'Default' Fund for Retirement Plan Investments
Excerpt: "'If you could pick just one fund for all of your retirement savings, what would it be?' Experts, editors and investors have kicked that question around for decades without a satisfactory answer, but the U.S. Department of Labor will try to at least give a partial answer in the next few months." (The [Newark NJ] Star-Ledger)

Overview: PPA Provisions Affecting Governmental Plans (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

Delta Pilot Pension Termination Hearing Nears
Excerpt: "Delta Air Lines Inc. is defending itself against objections filed by retired pilots to the company's bankrup.tcy court request to terminate its pilot pension plan. A hearing on the Atlanta-based company's motion is scheduled for Friday." (AP via Human Resource Executive Online)

Overview: PBGC Finalizes Electronic Premium Filing Rules (PDF)
3 pages. (Prudential Pension Analyst)

Tax Break for Charitable Retirees
Excerpt: "For the next two years, some older taxpayers will be able to donate money to charity directly from their individual retirement accounts (IRAs). That's because of one small provision in the recently enacted pension legislation." (Reuters via New York Times; one-time registration required)

Commentary: Qualified Charitable Distributions from IRAs Under the Pension Protection Act
Excerpt: "[L]et's add a critical requirement that has escaped the notice of some (my fave being one tax professional's write-up, which claims that a QCD offers a way to 'avoid the penalty on early withdrawals'): a QCD may only be made after the taxpayer has reached age 70-1/2 (which obviously is more than a decade beyond the reach of §72(t))." (Pension & Benefits Weblog; anonymous author)

Roth IRA Distributions -- What's Taxable and What's Not?
Excerpt: "This article will break down the Roth IRA ordering rules -- the rules that help determine taxation of Roth IRA distributions -- and review the Roth IRA owner and Roth IRA custodian/trustee reporting responsibilities." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

Employees: What You Need to Know About Cash Balance Pension Plans
Excerpt: "If you're covered by a traditional pension plan, the odds that your employer will change to a 'cash balance' pension plan have just increased." (Wall Street Journal via The Gainesville [FL] Sun)

Pension Freeze Continues to Spread
Excerpt: "As mentioned before, the fourth quarter of 2006 may be the beginning of a new Ice Age for defined benefit pension plans. IBM may have gotten it started, but other firms have jumped on the bandwagon -- Tenneco (TEN) last week, DuPont (DD) yesterday." (SeekingAlpha)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Ninth Circuit ERISA Case: Work Performed by Non-Attorneys Is Recoverable (PDF)
11 pages. Trustees of the Construction Industry and Laborers Health and Welfare Trust v. Redland Insurance Company (August 30, 2006). (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit via

Federal Reserve's Pension, Welfare Benefit Plans Are Governmental Plans
Excerpt: "Twelve pension and welfare benefit plans of the Federal Reserve System are governmental plans because the Federal Reserve is an agency or instrumentality of the federal government, and the plans only cover system employees, according to an Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) opinion letter." (CCH Pension and Benefits)

DOL Gives Filers Affected By Katrina Additional Extension of Deadline to File 5500s
Excerpt: "The U. S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) is providing an extension of the deadline for filing Form 5500 series annual returns/reports to Oct. 16, 2006 to filers affected by Hurricane Katrina. This additional reporting relief is being granted to filers in 31 parishes in Louisiana, 48 counties in Mississippi, and 11 counties in Alabama." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

401(k) Plans: Beyond the Basics - NEW 2-Day Program!
Nationwide on October 19, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Revised Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program -- Is Your Plan in Compliance?
in Massachusetts on September 20, 2006
presented by WEB Worldwide Employee Benefits Network MA Chapter

The Ethical Benefits Lawyer: Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls
Nationwide on September 28, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Physician Group Decries 1.3 Million Rise in Uninsured
(Physicians for a National Health Program)

U. S. Labor Department Gives Filers Affected By Hurricane Katrina Additional Extension of Deadline to File Annual Reports
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

ERISA Advisory Council Sets September 2006 Meetings
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

Number of Uninsured Increases While Employers Struggle to Continue to Provide Coverage
(U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

NCQA Seeks Public Input To Align HMO And PPO Accreditations Standard
(National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA))

Dedicated Participant Relationships, Flexibility are Keys to Successful Results, says Leade Health Coach
(Leade Health)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Senior Plan Consultant
for July Business Services
in TX

Technical Consultant
for ABD Insurance and Financial Services
in CA

Open Enrollment Call Center Specialists
for Constantin Control Associates
in NJ

Supervisor, Operational Compliance and Calculations
for University of California, Office of The President
in CA

Coordinator, Senior Management Group Budget
for University of California, Office of The President
in CA

Marketing Director
for Transamerica Retirement Services
in CA

Senior Client Employee Benefits Advisor
for Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP
in DC

Director of Benefits Consulting
for Sentry Insurance
in WI

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