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October 4, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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2006 ASPPA ANNUAL CONFERENCE

Join us on October 22-25 at the Washington Hilton & Towers! Attend special sessions specifically related to the Pension Protection Act ’06. Hear the "Washington Update" from Brian Graff and the popular "Keeping Current" session given by Sal Tripodi. Visit over 80 vendors with new ideas and products in the Spacious exhibit hall. Register NOW @ www.asppa.org.

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

Private-Sector Anger Builds as Public Pension Costs Rise
Excerpt: "Public employee pensions, one of the last bastions of guaranteed retirement plans in America, are under assault as cash-strapped state and local governments struggle to cover rising costs and as resentful taxpayers refuse to pay more to cover them." (Los Angeles Times; one-time registration required)

Text of the 2006 Instructions for Forms 1099-R and 5498 (PDF)
15 pages. (Internal Revenue Service)

Text of the 2006 Version of IRS Form 5498 (PDF)
6 pages. (Internal Revenue Service)

Text of the 2006 Version of IRS Form 1099-R (PDF)
11 pages. Full title of the form: Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc. (Internal Revenue Service)

401(k) Fee Lawsuits Shouldn't Scare Employers Into Low-cost Options, Experts Say
Excerpt: "If successful, the suits could cause employers to shy away from higher-cost investment options for their 401(k) plans, but that's not necessarily the right course of action to take, experts say." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

401(k) Lawsuits Seek to Recover from Employers the Plan Losses Due to Excessive Fees
Excerpt: "It's not surprising that plaintiffs' lawyers have seized on this issue. It's been simmering since 1997, when the Department of Labor held a public hearing on whether employers and participants were adequately informed about 401(k) fees and expenses." (Forbes.com)

Editorial: New Jersey's Inane Public Employee Pension System
Excerpt: "The state Treasury charges public employees who take a loan against their pension just 4 percent in interest, way below the rate that banks offer. But towns and counties that owe the pension system money pay Trenton an eye-popping 8.25 percent. That's painfully higher than what a local government would pay if it issued bonds to cover its pension debts . . . ." (The Star-Ledger via NJ.com)

Overview: IRS Ruling on Employee Contribution 'Pick Ups' by Governmental Employers
Excerpt: "On August 28, 2006, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) published Revenue Ruling 2006-43 providing new documentation requirements for governmental employers that wish to 'pick up' employee contributions under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) Section 414(h)(2)." (The Segal Company)

Senators Ask for PBGC Probe
Excerpt: "Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and the panel's top-ranking Democrat, Max Baucus, D-Mont., in a statement [October 3], said that they want the Government Accountability Office to report back by early next year with preliminary information on the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., which insures traditional, defined benefit pension plans." (Dunton Springs Evening Post)

Supreme Court Lets QPSA Decision Stand
Excerpt: "The US Supreme Court denied a petition to hear a case in which the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled that a marital dissolution order requiring a participant to name his children as beneficiaries of his retirement plan did not take precedence over his surviving spouse's right to a qualified pre-retirement survivor annuity (QPSA)." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Turning a Nest Egg Into Retirement Income Is Where the Rubber Meets the Road for All Advisors
Excerpt: "[W]hat must a financial planner do to help his or her clients cope with the complexities of creating a retirement income stream? It's clear that advisors will have to develop new analytical tools to supplement Monte Carlo simulations, and take a second look at products like annuities that they may once have shunned; they'll also have to deal with their clients' own psychological upheaval about retirement." (Financial-Planning)

Overview: IRS Finalizes Anti-Cutback Regulations -- Heinz and Utilization Test Included (PDF)
Pages 3-5 of 6 pages. Excerpt: "The regulations provide guidance regarding the U.S. Supreme Court's holding in Central Laborers' Pension Fund v. Heinz, 541 U.S. 739 (2004) and the use of the utilization test for determining whether the elimination of certain benefits in a qualified plan is permissible." (Trucker Huss)

Does General Counsel Liability Translate Into Corporate Counsel Liability for Pension Governance?
Excerpt: "There is increasing recognition that ERISA and Sarbanes-Oxley go hand in hand and that anyone involved in corporate governance is necessarily on the hook for pension governance." (Pension Risk Matters)

Profit Sharing/401k Council of America Releases 49th Annual Profit-Sharing, 401(k) Survey
Excerpt: "The 49th Annual PSCA survey contains information on the 2005 plan year experience for over six million participants, including those in 51 profit-sharing plans, 530 401(k) plans, and 525 combination profit-sharing/401(k) plans." (CCH Pension and Benefits)

Opinion: Boomers Finally Starting to Think Seriously About Retirement & Here's What They're Saying
Lee Eisenberg, author of 'The Number: A Completely Different Way to Think About the Rest of Your Life,' a book that wasn't meant as (yet another) practical guide through the thickets of planning and investments, asks Boomers about financial planning and advisors. (Financial-Planning)

Working Paper: Trends in Pension Values Around Retirement
Excerpt: "Prior studies have had difficulty assessing the value of expected pension resources, partly because many workers cannot recollect and report their pension entitlements, and partly because dual-earner couples may be individually, and sometimes jointly, entitled to claims on company pensions. This chapter develops and applies a new way to value pension wealth, so as to determine the importance of pension benefits in retiree wellbeing." (Pension Research Council; registration required to download full-text of paper)

Working Paper: Measuring Pension Wealth
Excerpt: "This chapter summarizes the results of a long-term effort to develop an improved calculator to measure defined contribution pension wealth of older Americans. We implement the approach to construct alternative estimates of DC plan balances for Health and Retirement Study (HRS) participants. We find that pension wealth resulting from voluntary saving (and accrued earnings thereon) comprises half of DC pension wealth calculated for HRS respondents with matched summary plan descriptions." (Pension Research Council; registration required to download full-text of paper)

South Korea's New Pension System: The Progress So Far
Excerpt: "[South Korea introduced its first corporate pension law: the Employee Retirement Benefit Security Act (ERBSA) nine months ago]. Recently, Korea Securities Research Institute projected that pension assets would amount to KRW 13.3 trillion (US $14 billion) by 2006, but the actual take-up of new pension plans has been significantly less than this. In this bulletin, we review ERBSA's progress and highlight what employers should be thinking about in respect of their new pension options." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Solving Late 5500 Filing Problems Through DFVC
Excerpt: "In many instances brought to [the author's] attention, the plan sponsor may not have all of the information needed to fully complete Form 5500 for certain years. Further, some filings may require auditor's reports in order to be complete. These issues are exacerbated when the late filings go back to the 1990s! [Scroll down to find the notes on late filing problems.]" (Form5500help.com)

Employees Concerned About Benefits and Employers Underestimate Retention Risk
Excerpt: "More than half of U.S. workers are worried their health care benefit costs will increase and the scope of their benefits will decrease over the next few years, and employers are underestimating the role that such benefits play in retaining top employees, according to two studies by Watson Wyatt Worldwide." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Institutional Shareholder Services 2007 Policy Change Public Comment Period (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "For the first time, Institutional Shareholder Services ('ISS') is making use of a public comment period as it considers certain policy changes for 2007. The two topics that are most relevant to compensation professionals are (1) the corporate performance test in evaluating the effectiveness of directors and (2) options backdating and springloading policies. The public comment period ends on October 11, 2006; comments may be provided via the ISS website [www.issproxy.com]." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

French Govt Introduces a New National Employment Plan for Employment of Workers Age 55 and Older
Excerpt: "The two new decrees . . . will provide incentives for individuals to work past the retirement age of 65, and for employers to keep older people at work." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Montana on November 8, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Texas on November 9, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Florida on November 9, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Washington on November 9, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

U.S. Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council Working Groups to Hold Teleconferences
in District of Columbia on October 20, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Assumes Pension Plan Of Furniture Retailer Levitz
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

National Business Group On Health Issues Recommendations For Employers To Improve Health Care Quality And Safety
(National Business Group on Health)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

OmniPlus Consultants
for Chesapeake Benefit Partners
in ANY STATE

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Benefits Consulting Group, LLC
in CT, MA

Retirement Plan Communication Associate (Bi-Lingual), #0604135
for John Hancock
in PA

Retirement Plan Communication Associate (Bi-Lingual), #0604137
for John Hancock
in NE

Retirement Plan Communication Associate (Bi-Lingual), #0604138
for John Hancock
in CO

Retirement Plan Communication Associate (Bi-Lingual), #0603542
for John Hancock
in AZ

Retirement Plan Communication Associate (Bi-Lingual), #0603681
for John Hancock
in KS

Product Operations Supervisor
for Fiserv Investment Support Services
in CO

Conversion Team Analyst
for Administaff
in TX

Pension Compliance Specialist
for Laiken Associates, Inc.
in NY

Trust Representative I
for AST Trust Company
in AZ

Retirement Plan Analyst - Invesmart
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Retirement Plan Consultant - Invesmart
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Fund Administrator - Taft-Hartley Funds - New York
for The Segal Company on behalf of a client
in NY

Pension Supervisors
for 1199SEIU Benefit and Pension Funds
in NY

Client Service Representative
for Sentinel Benefits Group - Providence - Rhode Island Office
in RI




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