Retirement Plans
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September 13, 2006
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Automatic Enrollment Beats Company Match, Research Shows
Excerpt: "'Automatic enrollment and contributions address the behavioral obstacles head-on as employees automatically begin to reap the benefits of plan participation,' writes TIAA-CREF Associate Director Mimi Lord in the report, 'Capitalizing on Inertia: Automation Boosts Retirement Savings.'" (Employee Benefit News)

Court to Hear PERS-Reform Challenge by Oregon Public Employee Unions
Excerpt: "In two separate but related lawsuits, the unions are asking the federal appeals court to overturn two Public Employees Retirement System reforms enacted by the Legislature and upheld by the Oregon Supreme Court and a federal judge." (

Text: Disaster Relief Announcement 06-19 Relating to PBGC Deadlines in Ohio
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to severe storms, straight-line winds and flooding beginning July 27, 2006, in Ohio." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Text: Disaster Relief Announcement 06-20 Relating to PBGC Deadlines in Texas
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to flooding beginning July 31, 2006 in Texas." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Text: Disaster Relief Announcement 06-21 Relating to PBGC Deadlines in New Mexico
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to storms and flooding beginning July 26, 2006, in New Mexico." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

CalSTRS Opts to Seek Pension Contribution Hikes
Excerpt: "The state teachers' pension board agreed Friday to craft legislation aimed at boosting annual retirement contributions and wiping out a $20.3 billion long-term funding shortfall while protecting current benefits. Overall, teachers could see annual contributions increase an average of $350 starting July 1, 2009." (The Sacramento Bee; one-time registration required)

City of Chicago Cheats State Pensions, Suit Says
Excerpt: "A federal lawsuit filed [September 11] alleges the Chicago Police Department has cheated Illinois state pension funds out of millions of dollars by ignoring a law that requires unclaimed cash go to the state treasury." (Chicago Tribune: one-time registration required)

Overview: PPA Requirement that Employers Implement New Notice and Disclosure Requirements (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The new rules are summarized [in the target document], including the extent to which they apply to defined contribution plans . . ., defined benefit plans . . ., or both." (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

Overview: PBGC Issues Guidance for Defined Benefit Plan Participant Notice Requirements
Excerpt: "The PBGC has issued a revised Model Participant Notice for underfunded plans, along with guidance regarding how to determine whether a 2006 Participant Notice is required, in light of changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA, P.L. 109-280)." (CCH Pension and Benefits)

Overview: IRA Asset Donations and Required Minimum Distributions
Excerpt: "Question: If I am over age 70-1/2 and donate assets from an IRA to a charity as allowed in the Pension Protection Act, does the withdrawal for this purpose count towards my required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year?" (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

Overview: Full Seventh Circuit Refuses Request to Review Panel's Decision in Cash Balance Case
Excerpt: "The full Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals will not re-hear a case alleging that cash balance plans are inherently age discriminatory. A three-judge panel from the Seventh Circuit early last month ruled cash balance plans do not run afoul of age discrimination prohibitions simply because younger workers have more time to earn interest credits on contributions than their older colleagues." (Deloitte)

Defined Benefit Plan Management Web-Savvy with Retirement Accounts and Education
Excerpt: "With the click of a mouse, employees and DB specialists are using Web-based technology to access and manage electronic pension information. Not surprisingly, this digital revolution comes when more baby boomers are nearing retirement and companies are rethinking their responsibilities to DB plans." (Employee Benefit News)

Deterring Fraud and Abuse May Be the More Challenging Battle in Pension Reform
Excerpt: "Last winter, Reps. Edward Markey (D-Mass.) and George Miller (D-Calif.) asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate whether the government effectively is regulating the activities of pension funds and the firms that advise them. They also think lawmakers could be more vigilant in detecting and deterring fraud, conflicts of interest and other unlawful activities in the pension industry." (Employee Benefit News)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: Final SEC Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules (PDF)
20 pages. Excerpt: "This US Corporate Law Brief is a special edition alert that summarizes the final SEC rules adopted on July 26, 2006, and made publicly available on August 11, 2006 . . . ." (Baker & McKenzie)

Opinion: Aging Costs Will Bring Benefit Cuts and Increases in Payroll Taxes
Excerpt: "Unless the U.S. government implements some combination of benefit cuts and tax increases - including payroll taxes paid by employers - to hold the line on age-related spending, the country's AAA investment rating could drop to speculative grade by 2025, according to Standard & Poor's recently released series of Global Graying Reports." (Employee Benefit News)

Income Recognized When Stock Options Exercised, Not When Sold to Pay Margin Loan
Excerpt: "The Tax Court has held that a taxpayer recognized income when she exercised stock options through a margin loan, and that an exception which treats the exercise of some options as a grant of another option didn't apply. (Racine, TC Memo 2006-162)" (Pension & Benefits Week via RIA News Briefings)

Backdating Stock Options: Intentional Fraud or Carelessness?
Excerpt: "Up until recently, with the release of FAS 123-R, APB 25 controlled. It required an earnings charge for options issued with an exercise price of less than the fair market value of the underlying stock on the date of grant. Granting at less than fair market value, if not prohibited by the plan, was allowed, but the discount was treated as a charge to earnings over the vesting period." (

Plan's Alleged Procedural Irregularity Insufficient to Trigger De Novo Review
Excerpt: "In Tabatabai v. Hewlett-Packard Co. Disability Plan, 2006 WL 2547762 (N.D. Cal. Sep. 1, 2006), a federal court in California clarified the standard of review that applied to the defendant's decision to deny ERISA benefits." (ERISA on the web; posted by John Wood)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Pension Protection Act Series - Defined Contribution Plans
Nationwide on September 26, 2006
presented by Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Pension Protection Act Series - Defined Contribution Plans
Nationwide on September 28, 2006
presented by Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Disaster Relief Announcements
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

National Retirement Partners (NRP) Announces First Round Acquisitions
(Target Marketing Solutions, Inc.)

Pi2Resource Introduces Pension Liability Allocation as New Pension Metric for Liability-Driven Investing
(Pension, Investment and Insurance Resource, LLC)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Administrator
for Loren D. Stark Company, Inc.
in TX

for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

401(k) Relationship Manager
for Heartland Financial USA / Dubuque Bank & Trust
in IA

Program Manager - Product Development
for WageWorks
in CA

Benefits Specialist
for The Washington Post Company
in DC

Senior Service Associate
for New York Life Insurance Company
in NJ

Retirement Planning Specialist
for Lord Abbett
in NJ

Fund Administrator - Health & Welfare and Pension Funds
for Segal on behalf of a client
in CA

Senior Defined Contribution Plan Analyst
for Stanley Benefit Services, Inc.
in NC

Retirement Plan Specialist (Administrator)
for First National Bank of Omaha
in NE

Benefits Administrator
for Severn Trent Services
in PA

Senior Human Resources (Benefits) Specialist
for Fluor Corporation
in TX

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