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September 12, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASC & The ASC Institute

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Banner ad for ASC & The ASC Institute

ASC RETIREMENT PLAN SOFTWARE, DOCUMENTS & EDUCATION FOR OVER 20 YEARS!

ASC helps retirement plan professionals increase efficiency and profitability through its software systems, documents and education. Software includes DC 401(k) administration & valuation, Defined Benefit, Compliance Testing, DV Direct daily valuation, AIM case management and more. With ASCi plan documents you can quickly and easily create customized prototype/volume submitter plan documents, efficiently maintain historical plan information, create complete amendment packages for all your clients at one time and more. Click to learn more or email sales@asc-net.com.

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

Employees Would Prefer Defined Contribution over Defined Benefit Plans, Survey Shows (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "[Among the findings of the . . . Wall Street Journal Online/Harris Interactive Personal-Finance online survey of 2,339 U.S. adults, conducted between Aug. 9 and 11, 2006: 34 percent] of adults say they expect to rely on their own personal savings or investments in their retirement, while 16 percent say they would rely mainly on an employer-based pension in retirement and 15 percent expect to rely on an employer-offered 401(k)." (The Wall Street Journal Online)

DC Plan Executives Seek Fee Data Upgrades and Updates
Excerpt: "According to a survey published this summer by The Spectrem Group Inc. of Chicago, more than 60% of the responding plan executives said the amount of fee information they require as part of requests for information is considerably more extensive and detailed than it was three years ago. Questions regarding revenue-sharing practices increasingly have been added to requests for proposal." (Investment News; registration or subscription required)

Opinion: The "Fiduciary" Word Is Unwanted on Wall Street
Excerpt: "In a proposal floating around the financial community, the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards Inc. is asking for public comment on a policy change that [states 'It is my obligation to be your fiduciary, but it's fine by you to relieve me of that duty.']" (Susan Antilla via Bloomberg News)

Opinion: The Pension Protection Act's Effect on Advisers
Excerpt: "The act is going to have the greatest effect on those broker-dealers that have taken the hard-line stance that a broker is never a fiduciary. If the broker-dealer is going to permit its brokers to advise plan participants, the broker-dealer now will have to define formally a fiduciary standard of care." (Donald B. Trone via Investment News; registration or subscription required)

Overview: EBSA May Write New Rules on Independence of Employee Benefit Plan Accountants
Excerpt: "The U.S. Department of Labor, EBSA's parent, wrote the current rules governing plan accountant independence in 1975, when it issued Interpretive Bulletin 75-9. The current rules state that selling actuarial services to a plan does not necessarily impair a plan accounting firm's independence." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Does Pension Size Matter? What is the Role of Size in Best Practice?
Excerpt: "Pension size can be defined in a variety of ways such as assets under management (AUM), number of participants and so on. For investment analysis purposes, let's use AUM as the determinant of size and then discuss whether pension policies and practices vary across funds." (Susan M. Mangiero via Pension Risk Matters)

Analysis of Pension Funding and Business Risk in 2005
Excerpt: "Watson Wyatt recently looked at the funded status of pension plans sponsored by FORTUNE 1000 firms in 2005. [They] calculated the risk that plan underfunding would pose to companies' core business in the perfect-storm conditions of the early 2000s. Pension risk has declined as plan sponsors have slowly worked their way back to a firmer funding footing. During 2005, funding in defined benefit plans stayed relatively constant, owing in part to large contributions from sponsors." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Spousal Consent Form Not Signed in Notary's Presence Is Invalid
Excerpt: "The court, relying on a signature expert, found that the wife had signed the waiver. But it also found that the notary had placed his seal on the document without the wife present and, thus, the waiver had not been properly witnessed by a plan representative or notary public, as required by ERISA." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Calculating the Benefit Offset (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "When a participant terminates his defined benefit pension plan, his accrued benefit is determined based on his service and pay history. At commencement, the amount paid equals an accrued benefit, multiplied (if appropriate) by an early (or late) retirement factor, and an optional form-of-payment factor." (Contingencies)

W. Scott Simon's Fiduciary Focus: Non-Fiduciary Investment Consultants
Excerpt: "[Simon examines] the status of the consultant as a fiduciary under both ERISA and the 1940 Advisers Act and the issues that might arise from that." (Morningstar)

Opinion: Pensions Shouldn't Be Part of Union Bargaining
Excerpt: "Gov. Corzine wants to start negotiating new contracts with the state government employee unions this month, some nine months before the existing contracts expire. He believes that starting the negotiations early will produce contracts that are friendlier to the interests of New Jersey taxpayers." (Asbury Park Press)

Senate Approves Retirement Plan for Requirement for Department of Defense Contractors
Excerpt: "The Senate has approved an amendment (S. Amdt. 4857) to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill (H.R. 5631) that may prohibit companies bidding for Department of Defense contracts from offering retirement benefits that are 'inferior' to the benefits offered to Department of Defense Civilian employees. A copy of the official description of the purpose of the amendment is [linked from the target page]. " (The ERISA Industry Committee)

Opinion: After DB, What's Next? (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "So, what happens after DB plans? Maybe the better question is: How do we develop a strong national retirement policy? When put to the test, I'm sure actuaries can come up with something." (Contingencies)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

FASB Tells Task Force to Reconsider Split-Dollar Arrangements
Excerpt: "After addressing comments to its proposal on accounting for deferred compensation and postretirement benefit aspects of endorsement split-dollar life insurance arrangements, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new view for its Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) to consider." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Penalties Awarded Where SPD Lacked Description of Claims Procedures
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: Several courts have held that when the plan and SPD conflict, the SPD controls. Other courts, like the one in this case, hold that the SPD controls only if a participant relies on a direct conflict between the SPD and the plan and incurs damages as a result." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Overview: SEC's Final Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

Effective Dates for New Rules on Executive Compensation and Related Person Disclosure (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "The new rules were published in the Federal Register on Friday, September 8, 2006." (LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP)

409A Final Regulations: Effective Date Likely Delayed
Excerpt: "At the recent ALI-ABA Conference entitled 'Retirement, Deferred Compensation, and Welfare Plans of Tax-Exempt and Governmental Employers,' Dan Hogans, Office of Benefits Tax Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury, gave a presentation on Internal Revenue Code section 409A and remarked that the IRS is 'moving forward' with preparation of final regulations to be issued 'this fall.'" (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

Humor: Nomadic Lifestyle for Seniors Remedies Retirement Crisis
Excerpt: "As a result of the McCain-Clinton Act, which met with almost unanimous acceptance in the House and Senate, all recipients of Social Security and Medicare will now be transferred from their increasingly expensive assisted-living facilities to millions of square miles of rent-free, shelter-free living facilities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which has now been renamed the Arctic National Senior and Wildlife Refuge, or ANSWR." (The Northern Light Online)

Overview: Electronic Filing of Form 5500 and Proposed Form Revisions
Excerpt: "[T]he EBSA, IRS and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) jointly proposed revisions to Form 5500 to facilitate electronic filings, and the EBSA proposed regulations to adopt the revisions. Comments on the proposal may be mailed or e-mailed through September 19, 2006. The [balance] of this article focuses on those proposed revisions." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)


We thank and invite your attention to our additional sponsor: Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference

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Banner ad for Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference

Managing a Retirement Plan? Timing Is Everything!

Trying to play "beat the clock" when it comes to solving the many questions facing your retirement program? Automated features may be right for your 401(k) plan, but should you implement them right away? Perhaps your DB plan has seen better days. When will you take a closer look at alternatives? Setting a schedule for plan management strategy can be a challenge. Luckily, the countdown to management solutions has begun. Set your alarm for the 14th annual Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference in Chicago.

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

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Basics of Retirement Plans
in California on September 21, 2006
presented by No. Calif. Chapter of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS)

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Illinois on October 18, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Minnesota on October 18, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Tennessee on October 18, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Missouri on October 18, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Missouri on October 19, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

HSAs, HRAs, FSAs -- Why Multiple Plans May Be Your Best Solution Webcast
Nationwide on September 26, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in New Hampshire on October 3, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Georgia on October 3, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in South Dakota on October 3, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Massachusetts on October 4, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in North Dakota on October 4, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Georgia on October 4, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Georgia on October 5, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Minnesota on October 5, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in New York on October 5, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Kansas on October 10, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Florida on October 10, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Alabama on October 10, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Oklahoma on October 11, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Florida on October 11, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Louisiana on October 11, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

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

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

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

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Tennessee on October 17, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Texas on October 17, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in West Virginia on October 17, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in West Virginia on October 18, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Tennessee on October 18, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Arkansas on October 18, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

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

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

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

Retirement Plan Legislation and Its Implications for All Employers
in Ohio on September 21, 2006
presented by WEB (Worldwide Employee Benefits Network) Cleveland Chapter

Tips For The Cost & Compliance Conscious Employer: Top 10 Things To Cover At Renewal Time Webcast
Nationwide on September 26, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

USW Denounces Off Shoring of Health Care Services
(United Steelworkers)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Senior Plan Administrator
for American National Insurance Company
in TX

Pension Administrator
for Pension Administration firm in Eastern PA
in PA

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Compass Pension Partners
in WA

Actuarial Benefit Consultant
for Fidelity Investments
in MA, NC, NY

Defined Benefit Implementation Analyst
for Fidelity Investments
in NC

DB Administrator
for Matthews, Gold, Kennedy & Snow, Inc.
in AZ

Pension Plan Administrator
for Palmer Pension Services, Inc.
in GA

401k Plan Administrator
for City National Bank
in CA

Administrator - Aris Pension Services - Defined Benefit & Defined Contribution
for Aris Corporation of America
in PA

Communication Specialist
for BB&T
in GA, WV

Pension Administration Director
for Florida Pensions, LLC, a veteran TPA practice
in FL

Employee Benefits Account Manager
for McGriff, Seibels & Williams of Georgia
in GA

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Dougherty McKinnon & Luby Benefit Services, LLC
in GA

Actuarial Assistant
for Bolton Partners, Inc.
in MD

Investment Consultant Xl
for Hewitt Associates
in CT

Compliance Specialist
for Retirement Alliance, Inc.
in NH

Defined Benefit Pension Plan Administrator
for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.
in ANY STATE

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Wolf Financial Management LLC
in IL




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