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September 1, 2006
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(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Retirement Planning: Making Sense of Target Date Funds
Excerpt: "There are a growing number of target-date funds offering investors a fund that matches their expected retirement date. At the end of last year, about 55 companies offered these products, according to Lipper Inc." (The McHenry Group)

Insurers Rolling Out 401(k) Annuity Options
Excerpt: "In the past several months, Genworth, Metropolitan Life Insurance and Hartford Life Insurance have come out with annuity options for 401(k) plans that guarantee income for participants after they retire." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Commentary: A 401(k) Reality Check
Excerpt: "This year's 401k Day, sponsored by the Profit-Sharing/401k Council, coincides with the passage of the Pension Protection Act. [The Retirement Solutions Foundation takes] this opportunity to do a reality check to see what steps still need to be taken to make sure 401k savers nest eggs aren't half-full when they need them." (Jane White via 401khelpcenter.com)

Panel Plans to Make Cities Reveal More on Pensions
Excerpt: "The board that writes accounting rules for state, county and local governments said yesterday that it was starting a project to improve cities' disclosure of information about the pension funds they run for municipal employees." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Overview: FASB Requirement that Pension Measurement Date Be Same As Corporate Year-End
Excerpt: "Consequently, companies with calendar-year fiscal years will measure their pension obligations as of December 31 instead of the previously permitted 90-day window (September 30 for a December 31 corporate year). The requirement is part of the FASB's exposure draft on accounting for postretirement benefits . . . ." (CCH Pension and Benefits)

The 'Reorganization Test' of ERISA §4041 Applies to Pension Plans in the 'Aggregate' (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "[A]n aggregate analysis under the reorganization test may make it easier for a debtor to terminate affordable pension plans that they would otherwise maintain along with undesirable pension plans." (ABI Journal via Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

NASRA Survey Finds Public Systems Funding Ratio Drops in 2005
Excerpt: "US public pension systems ended 2005 in worse off position as far as funding than they were the year before, according to a recent survey of 102 systems. The National Association of State Retirement Administrators (NASRA) . . . found in its annual survey of public funds that they have prefunded more than 86% of their future liabilities, down from the 88.2% in fiscal 2004 . . . ." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Multiple Jobs by Public Workers Strain Pension Plan in New Jersey
Excerpt: "State lawmakers, who are struggling to curb soaring property taxes and cut state expenditures, say that the practice of holding multiple positions -- and earning more pension credits as a result -- has added a huge burden to the state's troubled pension system." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

CFO.com Coverage: DuPont Reduces Defined Pension Plan Benefits, Expects Future Earnings Improvement
Excerpt: "The changes are part of DuPont's strategy of shifting retirement benefits away from the defined-benefit pension plan and toward a 401(k) plan. The changes are 'consistent with market trends in employee benefits and will enhance the company's business competitiveness,' remarked James Borel, DuPont's senior vice president of human resources, in a statement." (CFO.com)

Analysis Shows Employment-Based Retirement Plan Availability and Participation Dipping in 2005
Excerpt: "According to a Congress Research Service (CRS) analysis of the CPS focusing on private-sector workers age 25 to 64 who were employed year-round, full-time in 2005: the percentage of workers whose employer sponsored a retirement plan fell from 61.8% in 2004 to 59.7% in 2005." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Legal Opinions Addressing Uncertain Tax Positions May Be Desirable Under New FASB Rules
Excerpt: "Although FIN 48 does not require a company to obtain a tax opinion from outside counsel, such an opinion can be external evidence supporting the company's position and may be helpful in discussions with the company's outside auditors." (Faegre & Benson LLP)

Survey of Attitudes Toward Work and Job Security (PDF)
14 pages. Excerpt: "When asked to indicate the age at which they expect to retire completely and stop working for pay, just under four in ten workers ages 18 and older (39%) reported that they expect to retire before the age of 65, while slightly more than four in ten (42%) reported that they expect to retire at the age of 65 or older." (AARP)

Action Checklist for New Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "These new rules are generally effective for the 2007 proxy season. This alert focuses on what companies should be doing now to prepare for the new disclosure requirements." (LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP)

Overview: SEC Revisions to Executive Compensation and Related Party Disclosure (PDF)
16 pages. Excerpt: "Compensation disclosure now will start with the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, or 'CD&A', a new narrative principles-based discussion and analysis of the material factors underlying compensation policies and decisions. The CD&A is intended to be an overview explaining the material components of executive compensation as a whole and its separate elements." (LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP)

Supplemental Health Care Benefits for Executives Must Fit a Company's Overall Business Needs
Excerpt: "Many executives receive annual physicals, reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses and retiree medical insurance in addition to coverage under regular group health plans. These extras don't cost much compared with an executive's salary and bonus, and they're not as controversial as stock options, consultants say." (Society for Human Resource Management)

2005 Director Compensation: Analysis of Changes from Prior Year (PDF)
Pages 11-12 of 12 pages. Excerpt: "Hay Group annually examines year-over-year changes in outside Board member compensation at S&P 1500 companies. Study data for the S&P 1500 are collected from proxy statements by the Investor Responsibility Resource Center (IRRC)." (Hay Group)

The American Dream Survey 2006 -- Hope and Fear in Working America
Excerpt: "A majority of working Americans now believe their children are going to be worse off economically than they are, according to a poll of 800 non-supervisory workers released today by Change to Win (CtW). This, along with other striking results, reveals that on Labor Day 2006, the American Dream is slipping away." (Change to Win)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

"Enhancing the Participant Retirement Plan Experience"
in Arizona on September 21, 2006
presented by International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists--Phoenix Chapter

Advanced Cafeteria Plans Conference 2007
in Washington on July 18, 2007
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Fourth Quarter 2006 Update
Nationwide on November 16, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Governmental Benefits Update Seminar
in Pennsylvania on September 15, 2006
presented by Rhoades & Wodarczyk, LLC and Gaitens, Tucceri & Nicholas, P.C.

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Virginia on September 19, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Michigan on September 19, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Colorado on September 19, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Michigan on September 20, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Virginia on September 20, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Colorado on September 20, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Michigan on September 21, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Minnesota on September 21, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in North Carolina on September 21, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Offshore Health Care - Can It Improve the Affordability of U.S. Employee Benefit Plans? - Teleweb
Nationwide on September 15, 2006
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Targeted Personalized Communications: A Realistic Approach for Improving Defined Contribution Plan Utilization in Today's Corporate Environment
Nationwide on September 21, 2006
presented by International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PSCA Urges Employers to Use 401(k) Day to Communicate the Saver's Credit
(Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America (PSCA))

Additional Details for Directing Mail to IRS Chief Counsel
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))

GASB Adds Short-Term Project To Enhance Disclosure Requirements of Governmental Pension Plans; Board Will Also Concurrently Conduct Research Initiative to Assess Effectiveness of Existing Governmental Pension Accounting Standards
(Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Benefits Specialist - Contract - NY
for Benetemps, Inc.
in NY

Retirement Analyst
for Agfa Corporation
in NJ

Health and Welfare Analyst
for Agfa Corporation
in NJ

Pension Administrator
for Pension Planners, Inc.
in FL

Retirement Plan Writer
for The Capital Group Companies
in CA

Account Manager ~ Financial Services
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Benefits Consultant
for Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

Retirement Plan Specialist/Education Consultant
for Diversified Investment Advisors
in CA




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