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October 20, 2006
Today's sponsor: DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Software for DC/401(k) Plan Administration

DATAIR's IMPROVED BENEFIT ADMINISTRATION SOFTWARE for 401(k), Profit Sharing and all other Defined Contribution plans. Designed for administrators and consultants.

This Windows system features many important enhancements including flexible input for employee data, share and dollar accounting; redesigned easy-to-read report formats, a transaction database for time-weighting of allocations; electronic anniversary notification and data collection; and unlimited investment and source definitions. The system also allows for great flexibility in setting up graded class allocation (cross-tested new comparability) plans.

Training and support included. For free demo versions and pricing, contact sales@datair.com or call 1-888-328-2474.


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

Full Text of IRS Employee Plan News: Special Edition, October 2006 (PDF)
3 pages. Items covered: National Save for Retirement Week, with links to existing IRS and DOL publications directed to employers; IRS Names New Head for Employee Plans Rulings & Agreements; and They're Here: The 2007 Dollar Limitations! (Internal Revenue Service)

Kutak Rock COLA Chart for 2007 Also Shows How 2008, 2009 and 2010 Figures Will Be Calculated
For each of the as-yet undetermined limitation figures, the chart prepared by the Kutak Rock law firm contains a handy brief explanation of how each particular figure will be calculated for 2008 and future years. For example, some figures are indexed in $500 increments; others in increments of $1,000 or $5,000, etc. (Kutak Rock LLP)

Participate in PSCA's Retirement Plan Eligibility Survey
Excerpt: "Each year, PSCA collects information on how long companies require employees to wait before permitting them to participate in their profit sharing and 401(k) plans.[The target page takes you to the survey.]" (Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America)

Overview: Proposed Department of Labor Regulations Re: Default Investment Alternatives (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The regulatory requirements for a fiduciary to qualify for the safe harbor for choosing a default investment option will be effective 60 days after final regulations are published." (Powell Goldstein LLP)

Overview: The Pension Protection Act of 2006 -- Investment Advice Provisions (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The investment advice provisions of PPA address a real need, but there are some significant holes in the law and some conditions that at this stage are unclear or may be unduly burdensome for advisers (other than larger level-fee advisory firms that focus on participant-level advice) and providers (other, perhaps, than the larger providers with affiliated mutual funds)." (Reish Luftman Reicher & Cohen)

Overview: Qualified Default Investments -- Proposed Regulations
Excerpt: "The proposed regulations impose six conditions that must be satisfied for a fiduciary to be relieved of fiduciary responsibility in connection with the utilization of a default investment alternative." (New York Law Journal)

Working Paper: Winners and Losers -- 401(k) Trading and Portfolio Performance
Excerpt: "Few previous studies have explored how individuals manage their defined contribution (DC) pension plan assets, though these plans constitute an increasingly important component of retirement wealth. Using a valuable new dataset on over one million active 401(k) plan participants in a wide range of plans, we assess the impact of trading on investment performance in DC plans." (Pension Research Council; registration required to download full-text of paper)

A Look at PPA Provisions Primarily Affecting Defined Contribution Plans
Excerpt: "This newsletter summarizes some of the major defined contribution plan components of this new and important legislation and conveys some basic observations regarding them." (Littler Mendelson P.C.)

PPA Provisions Require Immediate Action by Defined Contribution Plan Sponsors (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "This publication focuses on those changes that are effective in 2006 and 2007." (Prudential Retirement)

Five Good Reasons to Offer a 401(k) Plan
Excerpt: "When asked why they don't offer a 401(k), many business owners cite apprehensions about the cost, administrative burden and availability of plans for their small size. But what the majority don't know is that these beliefs are very common misconceptions." (Entrepreneur.com via TheStreet.com)

The 401(k) Fee Blame Game: Who's Next?
Excerpt: "According to attorney Stephen D. Rosenberg, author of the Boston ERISA & Insurance Litigation Blog, 'Given the number of different advisors and other players involved in the operations of these types of retirement vehicles, there are bound to be plenty of fiduciaries - as that term is understood in the context of ERISA - involved in almost any 401(k) plan, making for plenty of targets for such suits.'" (Pension Risk Matters)

The PPA and 2007 Pension Funding: What in the World Are We Waiting For?
Excerpt: "Concerning the Pension Protection Act and certainty, there are two related misconceptions: Misconception #1: Now that PPA is law, we finally have clarity on pension funding rules. Misconception #2: PPA extends current rules through 2007. So, if we don't have all the details of the new law, at least next year is clear enough." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Senate Leaders Seek GAO Review of PBGC Administrative Structure
Excerpt: "Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chairman of the Committee on Finance, and Sen. Max Baucus (D-MT), ranking member, have asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review whether the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has adequate resources and is properly structured to handle the largest demands on services in its history." (CCH Pension and Benefits)

Should You Put Extra Money in Your Mortgage or Your Retirement?
Excerpt: "[Selena Maranjian writes:] I don't expect you to have to decide whether you want to own a home or retire comfortably. I think you can have both -- if you plan well. But I recently ran across some interesting information about how you might want to spend your extra dollars." (The Motley Fool)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

From Federal Register: Final Regs on Electronic Media for Benefit Notices, Elections and Consents (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "These regulations generally apply to applicable notices provided, and participant elections made, on or after January 1, 2007. . . . The participant election rules in these regulations extend the use of electronic media to the notice and election rules applicable to plans that are subject to the QJSA requirements of section 417. . . . []These regulations do not adopt the suggestion that spousal PINs be permitted in lieu of the physical presence requirement . . . ." (Internal Revenue Service)

Adopting FAS 158 — Practical Implications and Next Steps for Plan Sponsors (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "FAS 158 [Employers' Accounting for Defined Benefit Pension and Other Postretirement Benefit Plans] requires employers to report a postretirement benefit asset for plans that are overfunded and a postretirement benefit liability for plans that are underfunded." (Towers Perrin)

Tax Expenditures and Tax Reform: Issues and Analysis (PDF)
19 pages. Excerpt: "This paper assesses the relationship between the tax expenditure lists, tax reform, and expenditure control." (The Urban Institute)

Opinion: How to Build a Better Financial Safety Net
Excerpt: "The social safety net in the United States has gradually frayed. People have less protection against financial shocks, such as job loss or huge medical bills. Economist Jared Bernstein sees the resulting shift to greater economic insecurity as creating 'you're on your own economics.'" (CSMonitor.com via WorldNow and WATE)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2007 Consumer Driven Health Plan Benefits, Premium Rates, and Open Enrollment
in California on November 8, 2006
presented by Healthcare Web Summit

Plan Design Workshop
Nationwide on November 29, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Pension Counseling Projects Reauthorized
(Pension Rights Center)

American Companies’ Commitment To Offering Employee Benefits Will Remain Strong Over Next Five Years
(Prudential Financial, Inc.)

New Survey Shows Public Sector Employees Question If Pension Will Be Enough When They Retire; Recognize Need to Supplement Savings
(ICMA-RC)

Equity Administrations Solutions Inc. (EASi) Announces Industry's First Solution for Stock Option Backdating
(Equity Administration Solutions, Inc. (EASi))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) Client Relationship Manager
for The Douglas Group
in NJ, NY, PA

Sr. Benefits Analyst for Corning Incorporated
for Corning Incorporated
in NY

Pension Administrator
for Benetech, Inc.
in AZ, CA, GA, IL, TX

DC and 401(k) Plan Administrator
for Windes & McClaughry Employee Benefit Services
in CA

Director
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Senior Benefits Administrator
for Christopher, Smith, Leonard, Bristow & Stanell, P.A.
in FL

Senior Account Manager
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Financial Planning Marketing Director
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Senior Plan Setup Analyst
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Annual Plan Reporting Services Manager
for Vanguard
in PA

Senior Business Analyst
for Diversified Investment Advisors, Inc.
in MA




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