Retirement Plans
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October 24, 2006
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ASPPA Fall 2006 Exams – Early Registration Ends September 30

ASPPA’s 2006 fall proctored examination window will be November 1 - December 15. Early registration ends September 30, and the final registration deadline is October 31.
Register online at To learn more about ASPPA exams, visit the Education and Examination Web page at Complete your exams this year. Sign up today!

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

Retirement Planning: It's More Than Filling in the Blanks of a Calculator
Excerpt: "Any number of Web sites offer simple online calculators for retirement. Fill out a few easy questions about your assets, income and expenditures, and you will know how much money you will need. And that is what you should not waste your time doing, said Laurence J. Kotlikoff, a professor of economics at Boston University. 'Getting retirement planning right is rocket science,' he said." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Text of Disaster Relief Relating to PBGC Deadlines in Response to an Earthquake in Hawaii
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the earthquake that occurred October 15, 2006, in Hawaii." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Text: Disaster Relief Relating to PBGC Deadlines in Response to Severe Storms & Flooding in Indiana
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the severe storms and flooding that occurred from September 12 through September 14, 2006, in Indiana." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Text of Disaster Relief Relating to PBGC Deadlines in Response to Severe Snow Storms in New York
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the snow storms and resulting power outages beginning October 12, 2006, in New York." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

What's the Cost of Your 401(k)? Here's a Hint: It's Not Free
Excerpt: "Companies are often far more motivated to sign off on plans that offer mutual funds or annuities with bloated fees that employees must shoulder. Why? Because these expensive investment choices generate so much excess cash for the outside firms overseeing these 401(k) plans that workplaces have to kick in little or no money for the administration." (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

The Five Phases of Delivering Participant Advice
Excerpt: "[The] focus [in the target page is] on the function and role of the 'fiduciary adviser' as defined by the [PPA] and suggest[s] a five-phase approach to the adviser's delivery of advice to plan participants." (Investment News; registration or subscription required)

If Your Company Goes Bankrupt, Don't Count on Your Pension
Excerpt: "When a company is in such severe financial trouble that paying the pensions it owes could put it out of business, it can turn the responsibility over to the pension agency in a so-called distress termination. During the last 30 years, the pension-guarantee program has taken on nearly 3,600 such plans covering about 1.2 million people." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Full IRA Distribution to be Used for State Income Tax Calculation of New York Part-Year Residents
Excerpt: "The New York Law Journal reports that an administrative law judge (ALJ) upheld a 1992 state Court of Appeals decision allowing the use of non-state source pension income in calculating the tax rate on state source income." (; one-time registration required)

AIG VALIC Relents on Revenue Sharing Disclosure
Excerpt: "Under pressure, AIG VALIC has agreed to disclose its revenue-sharing agreements for a new 457 retirement plan offered to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) employees." (; one-time registration required)

Spain's Pension Reform Agreement to Encourage a Longer Working Life
Excerpt: "To encourage longer participation in the labor force, the government, trade unions and the employers' confederation have agreed on a proposal to reform the pension system. The agreement, which was announced on July 13, 2006, came after two years of negotiations and must still yet be approved by the Council of Ministers and the Congress." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Bush Suggests He Would Favor Indexing Retirement Benefits
Excerpt: "President George W. Bush [yesterday] put Social Security reform on his list of 'big items' to deal with in the final two years of his presidency, possibly including indexing benefits for wealthier Americans. Interviewed on CNBC television, Bush said: 'I want to deal with the unfunded liabilities inherent in Social Security and Medicare.'" (Reuters via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Social Security Accounting Change Sought
Excerpt: "The change, if approved, would have no impact on benefits themselves. It would, however, show just how much the social programs truly cost, which proponents say would highlight the need to find long-term fiscal fixes." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Pensions, Foreign Owners and the Power of the Investor
Excerpt: "[A colleague wrote i]n response to 'Retirement for Three Hundred People' . . . . [I]t is (a) thought-provoking and (b) reminds us that global integration of capital is here to stay." (Pension Risk Matters)

Working Paper: Elimination of Earnings Test above Normal Retirement Age -- Effect on Retirement Expectations (PDF)
45 pages. Excerpt: "Using panel data models and the seven available waves of the Health and Retirement Study, [the authors] look at the effect of the 2000 repeal of the earnings test above the normal retirement age on retirement expectations of workers aged 51 to 61 – their probabilities to work past age 62 and 65 as well as the age at which they expect to start claiming old age social security benefits." (Michigan Retirement Research Center)

Working Paper: A Dynamic Model of Retirement and Social Security Reform Expectations (PDF)
38 pages. Excerpt: "Researchers . . . have rarely modeled the uncertainty over Social Security reform and benefit levels, and how they affect claiming behavior and retirement. The purpose of this paper is to assess the extent to which these perceptions of future cuts might explain the puzzle of earlier take-up despite bigger penalties to doing so in the presence of increasing longevity." (Michigan Retirement Research Center)

Working Paper: Alternative Measures of Replacement Rates (PDF)
34 pages. Excerpt: "[W]e do not find inadequate preparation for retirement on average or even at the median. This is not true, however, for all groups in the population. In particular, singles lacking a high school education are likely to be forced to reduce consumption: some 62% would have died with negative wealth had they followed the consumption path given by our data." (Michigan Retirement Research Center)

Saving for an Uncertain Future
Excerpt: "'WITH layoffs and buyouts dotting the corporate landscape and companies turning away from traditional pension plans, employees have to redouble their efforts to save for retirement, financial advisers say." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Comments on Required Compensation Disclosure for Three Additional Highly Compensated Employees (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "[Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. recommends] that the Commission drop the proposal because the disclosure will not present information that is material to investors." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

Tenure No Longer a Factor in Senior Federal Executives' Annual Leave
Excerpt: "The Office of Personnel Management last week made permanent a new rule providing all federal executives with about five weeks of annual leave each year, regardless of how long they have worked in government." (

A Reader Asks: Should I Exercise My Stock Options?
Excerpt: "Q. I received some stock options as part of my compensation. Is it worth it to exercise these options or could I be liable if the company is investigated for backdating?" (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Taking the Buyout Offer -- Considerations and the Future
Excerpt: "Early retirement packages, as they are euphemistically known, have become a fact of life in the American workplace. . . . At a career stage that is already filled with practical and philosophical quandaries, the offer of a buyout forces the issues: Will I have enough money to retire? Am I happy where I am? Was I too hesitant in pursuing my dreams or too heedless? If I don't take this offer now, will it be available again?" (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Work-Life 2007 Conference & Exhibition
in Arizona on February 21, 2007
presented by Alliance for Work-Life Progress & WorldatWork

WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference & Exhibition 2007
in Florida on May 6, 2007
presented by WorldatWork

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Assumes Pension Plan Of Republic Storage Systems
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

ERISA Advisory Council To Hold November 2006 Meetings
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

Transamerica Adds Record Number of Investment Options
(Transamerica Retirement Services)

NCOA's BenefitsCheckUp Now Allows Automatic Filing for Medicare Extra Help and Other Needed Benefits
(National Council on Aging (NCOA))

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Investment Retirement Plan Representative
for NE Pennsylvania Financial Services Company
in PA

ERISA Attorney
for Pentegra Retirement Service
in NY

Vice President and Associate General Counsel
for Fidelity Investments
in MA

Benefit Administrator
for RSM McGladrey
in IL

Senior Project Manager
for Wachovia
in NC

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