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October 11, 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 at www.asppa.org.

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

Understanding ERISA's Safe-Harbor Requirements (PDF)
Excerpt: "[This column provides] a general outline of all the various safe harbors now available to plan sponsors of qualified pension plans." (InvestmentNews via Fiduciary360)

Annuities Could Provide Key Retirement Savings Aid, According to Studies
Excerpt: "Giving retirement savers tax incentives to annuitize a portion of their assets held in 401(k)s or IRAs not only helps stretch the money farther but also has benefits for the US economy as a whole. That was a key argument advanced Tuesday as a Washington, DC-based research group unveiled two economic studies about the effects of using annuities as a retirement savings vehicle." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Overview: The Pension Protection Act and 403(b) Arrangements
Excerpt: "The EGTRRA 403(b) provisions of note that are now permanent include: the elimination of the maximum exclusion allowance (MEA) calculation, the higher deferral limits, the section 414(v) catch-up contributions for participants age 50 or older, the ability to make designated Roth 403(b) contributions, and the ability to rollover from 403(b) arrangements to qualified or 457(b) plans (and vice versa)." (McKay Hochman Co.)

More Employers May Drop Pension Plans, According to Survey
Excerpt: "About 17% of employers with fully operating defined benefit pension plans may close the plans as a result of provisions in the new Pension Protection Act. Researchers [at] Towers Perrin Inc. have published those results in a summary of an informal survey of 126 high-level financial executives at large U.S. employers." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Overview: The Pension Protection Act and Disclosures and Notices
Excerpt: "While ERISA is designed to protect employees' retirement income by imposing financial disclosure requirements and required minimum funding provisions, PPA adds additional disclosure obligations to provide employees with a better understanding of the plan's assets and how they are invested. PPA does this by adding new statement requirements, notices, disclosures and extended time periods for providing certain notices." (McKay Hochman Co.)

FAQ on Beneficiary Options
Excerpt: "Updated for the Pension Protection Act (PPA) on 10/6/06 permitting non-spouse beneficiaries to roll from a qualified plan, tax-deferred annuity or governmental 457 plan to an inherited IRA, subject to required minimum distribution rules, effective for distributions occurring after 12/31/06." (McKay Hochman Co.)

Portability Chart As of 2006
The chart answers the question, 'What are the rollover rules after the Pension Protection Act (PPA) of 2006?" (McKay Hochman Co.)

Central Jerseyans Cited in Pension 'Tackers' Report
Excerpt: "Eight state lawmakers are among New Jersey's 200 most prolific pension 'tackers' -- a controversial practice that allows public employees to grow their retirement payments by compiling a variety of government jobs." (Gannett State Bureau via Courier News)

Overview: The Pension Protection Act and Employer Stock Divestiture
Excerpt: "Beginning with the 2007 plan year, certain plans holding employer stock must permit participants to immediately divest employer securities purchased with elective deferrals (or other employee contributions) and diversify the proceeds into other plan investment options." (McKay Hochman Co.)

Hedge Funds and Plan Asset Regulations
Excerpt: "The ERISA Advisory Counsel has devoted one of its study projects this year to issues surrounding the prohibited transaction rules and hedge funds (and also cross-trading). The basic problem, as the study group has framed it, is that the [DOL's] plan asset regulations characterize the underlying assets of a hedge fund as plan assets if immediately after the most recent acquisition of any equity interest in the fund, more than 25% of the equity is held by benefit plan investors." (Norman Stein via BNA Pension & Benefits Blog)

Chart: Summary of Provisions of PPA Affecting Defined Benefit Plan Funding and Hybrid Plans (PDF)
16 pages. The Council chart compares defined benefit plan funding and hybrid plan issues to current law. (American Benefits Council)

The Hershey Company Announces Changes to Pensions
Excerpt: "The Hershey Company has announced it is making changes to its US pension and savings plans to help reduce future pension costs. According to a press release, the company is closing its defined benefit pension plan to new employees hired on or after January 1, 2007. Current employees' pension balances will be maintained, but the new design results in a reduced rate of future benefits based on both age and service." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Retirement Income Planning: The Fallacy of the One Best Solution (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Most financial providers are having trouble getting a retirement income planning program off the ground. The problem may be trying to find the One Best Solution in an environment where it does not and cannot exist. A better bet may be to launch multiple initiatives on an experimental basis, and let the market decide which work best." (Still River Retirement Planning Software, Inc.)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Final FASB Staff Position: FAS 123(R)-5 -- Amendment of FASB Staff Position FAS 123(R)-1 (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "This FASB Staff Position (FSP) addresses whether a modification of an instrument in connection with an equity restructuring should be considered a modification for purposes of applying FSP FAS 123(R)-1, 'Classification and Measurement of Freestanding Financial Instruments Originally Issued in Exchange for Employee Services under FASB Statement No. 123(R).'" (Financial Accounting Standards Board)

Top 250 Long-Term Incentive Grant Practices for Executives (PDF)
34 pages. Excerpt: "Since 1973, Frederic W. Cook & Co. has researched and published annual reports on long-term incentive grant practices for executives. The 2006 report states: 'it appears that long-term incentive practices for executives are starting to stabilize, based on recent research on practices at the 250 largest U.S. companies." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

The Goldilocks Approach to International Benefits
Excerpt: "The story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears is a useful analogy for managing benefits internationally. . . . Just as Goldilocks had to choose the porridge temperature, chair size and bed that would be 'just right' for her in that house in the woods, when it comes to a company's international benefits philosophy, what works for the Little Bear company will not always work for the Mama Bear or the Papa Bear companies." (Employee Benefit News)

Foreign Income Tax Hikes Squeeze Expats and Employers
Excerpt: "This spring, President Bush signed into law the Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act. Ironically, the measure contradicts its name, actually lowering exemptions and raising taxes for many American employees who are working abroad and the companies that deploy them." (Employee Benefit News)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

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

401(k) Plans: Beyond the Basics - NEW 2-Day Program!
in Minnesota on November 1, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

401(k) Plans: Beyond the Basics - NEW 2-Day Program!
in Illinois on November 8, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Ohio on November 1, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Colorado on November 1, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Ohio on November 2, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Texas on November 2, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Georgia on November 3, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Washington on November 9, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

HSA 2006 Primer - Teleconference
Nationwide on October 25, 2006
presented by Business Capital Edge

Interactive Seminar: Integrating FMLA, ADA, COBRA & Workers Comp 2pm - 3pm Eastern for three consecutive weeks 11/1, 11/8/ 11/15
Nationwide on November 1, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Illinois on November 14, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in California on November 14, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Nebraska on November 14, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Nebraska on November 15, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Illinois on November 15, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in California on November 15, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Illinois on November 16, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Nebraska on November 16, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Nevada on November 16, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Revolutionary "Person-First" Senior Caregiving Philosophy - Webinar
Nationwide on October 26, 2006
presented by Workplace Options

The Six Biggest COBRA Administrative Mistakes (and How to Avoid Them)- Webcast
Nationwide on October 19, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

October is National Work and Family Month. What Your Company Can Do?
(Harris, Rothenberg International (HRI))

Visa USA First to Adopt New Industry Standard to Identify Qualified Over-the-Counter Medical Expenses
(Visa USA)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Vice President of Compliance
for CitiStreet
in MA

Retirement Services Account Manager 2
for SunTrust Bank
in DC

Associate Account Manager
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Implementation Specialist
for CitiStreet
in NJ

EB Record Keeper/Tester Analyst
for Wachovia
in NC

Administrative Assistant - Intermediate
for Wachovia
in VA

Administrative Associate - Retirement Plan Services
for Simpkins & Associates Dallas Office
in TX

Document Processing Services Pension Specialist
for SunGard Relius
in FL

Defined Benefits Administrator
for The Rosen Group
in WA

Financial Representative
for ING Financial Advisers, LLC
in OR

Retirement Services Trust Sales Administrator
for Regions Financial Corporation
in TN

Analyst - Defined Benefit
for Mercer HR Services
in MA

Global Compensation Leader
for Hewitt Associates
in IL

Account Executive- Retirement Service
for The Principal Financial Group
in MD

Account Executive- Retirement Service
for The Principal Financial Group
in CO

Administrator
for Summit Benefit & Actuarial Services, Inc.
in OR

Sales Consultant
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA




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