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October 27, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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ASPPA Fall 2006 Exams – Final Registration Ends October 31

ASPPA’s 2006 fall proctored examination window will be November 1 - December 15. The final date to register for the DC-1, DC-2, DC-3, DB, PFC-1, PFC-2, C-3, C-4 and A-4 is October 31.
Register online at http://www.asppa.org/education/ed_dc-db_reg.htm.
To learn more about ASPPA exams, visit the Education and Examination Web page at http://www.asppa.org/education/ed_ed.htm.
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)

Wall Street Journal Says SEC Investigating Mutual Fund Companies
Excerpt: "Federal regulators are investigating 27 mutual fund companies that they say have siphoned hundreds of millions of dollars from investors by secretly taking kickbacks from contractors seeking to provide services to the fund companies, according to a newspaper report Thursday." (AP via Yahoo! News)

415 and 401(k) COLAs Revisited
Excerpt: "For current thresholds that employ the same methodology as Code §415(d), one needs monthly CPI-U results for the applicable base period and for the year preceding the year for the limit, the original level for the threshold for the year following the base year, a rounding multiple comparable to the numbers given in 415(d)(4), and the particular calculation methodology used by the IRS (including a curious truncate-round two-step in the middle of the calculation)." (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

401(k) Plans Are No Longer Working, Says Barclays
Excerpt: "That was the message of a conference in New York City recently, sponsored by Barclays Global Investors (BGI), one of the world's largest asset managers. BGI manages 65 percent of the world's 100 largest pension plans. The 401(k) plan and other defined-contribution plans 'are not working,' said M. Barton Waring, BGI's chief investment officer for investment policy and strategy." (The Ithaca Journal)

Auto Enrollment not the Solution to All Employee Behaviors
Excerpt: "A new Hewitt Associates breakdown of existing data confirms that auto enrollment does increase participation rates - particularly for younger, lower-salaried, and lower-tenured employees - but does not guarantee participants will contribute enough or make the best investment choices." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Retirement Project Discussion Paper: Working for a Good Retirement (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "When to retire is one of the most important choices most workers will make -- significantly more important than whether to invest their 401(k)s in stocks or bonds. Working longer improves retirees' long-term security. For society, the additional work years can improve economic productivity, generate additional payroll and income tax revenue, and reduce the Social Security deficit." (The Urban Institute)

New Pension Law Shrinks Lump-Sum Payouts
Excerpt: "The change introduced by Congress affects how much this capped annual amount is worth when companies convert it into a lump sum. In calculating this sum, the new law requires companies to use a higher interest rate -- 5.5 percent, up from a variable rate that was below 5 percent most of this year -- as the assumed rate of return, which effectively lowers the maximum allowed lump-sum payment." (The Wall Street Journal via Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Overview: IRS Finalizes Heinz Anti-Cutback Regulations
Excerpt: "The IRS has issued final anti-cutback regulations that adopt the U.S. Supreme Court's ruling in Central Laborers' Pension Fund v. Heinz. In that case, the court ruled that ERISA's anti-cutback rule prohibits any change to a pension plan's suspension-of-benefits rules that would reduce benefits for employees who continued working after retirement . . . ." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Overview: PPA Establishment of New Rules for Multiemployer Plans
Excerpt: "The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) imposes new rules on multiemployer plans, including shorter amortization periods for many liabilities, more stringent requirements for underfunded plans in endangered or critical status and more demanding disclosure requirements. The changes, which generally take effect in 2008, will affect contributing employers, plan trustees, participants and beneficiaries." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Working Paper: Employer Pensions: Tax Expenditures, Costs, and Implications for Middle-Class Elderly (PDF)
Excerpt: "[T]his study reflects on alternative pension polices that transform the tax subsidy and expand Social Security and traditional pensions. Such a sharp change in federal policy may stem the loss of pension security of middle-class workers and expand it for lower-income workers." (The Levy Economics Institute)

The Pension Protection Act Delivers Good News for Cash Balance and Other Hybrid Plans
Excerpt: "The Pension Protection Act (PPA) clarifies -- primarily prospectively -- that cash balance and other hybrid defined benefit plans are not inherently age discriminatory. The act clarifies the age-discrimination standard for defined benefit plans in general and establishes new rules for 'applicable defined benefit plans.'" (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Research Project Abstract: Experimental Analysis of Delayed Social Security Claiming
Excerpt: "This project aims to design, field, and analyze the results of a survey instrument that will increase our understanding of Social Security claiming behavior and will provide information about how the perceived rewards from delayed claiming might be altered." (Regents of the University of Michigan)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Ten Key Points about the SEC's New Disclosure Rules
Excerpt: "On August 11, 2006, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published 436 pages of executive compensation proxy disclosure rules. Companies must comply with those rules in their proxy statements for fiscal years ending on or after December 15, 2006. Watson Wyatt suggests 10 key issues to consider in preparing for 2007 proxy disclosures under the new reporting regime." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Working Paper: The Impact of Health Insurance Availability on Retirement Decision Reversals (PDF)
52 pages. Excerpt: "The importance of health insurance provision in a retiree's decision also remains significant when other 'shocks' and the prospect of planned unretirement are introduced." (Michigan Retirement Research Center)

University of Cincinnati Domestic Partner Benefits Ok'ed
Excerpt: "Domestic partners of University of Cincinnati faculty and non-union employees will have access to benefits, including life insurance and long-term care insurance, the university's trustees decided today." (The Enquirer)

Policy Report: How Generous Are Social Security and Medicare? (PDF)
19 pages. Excerpt: "This paper examines the size of elderly entitlements in several revealing ways. It identifies the degree to which Social Security and Medicare benefits replace preretirement income and consumption for new retirees and illustrates the relative growth in benefit payments to future retirees." (National Center for Policy Analysis)

Research Project Abstract: A Model of Unretirement
Excerpt: "This research will improve our understanding of post-retirement labor supply, integrating unretirement and partial retirement in a single framework, and offering insight into how work after retirement might be brought into long-term projection models." (Regents of the University of Michigan)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2007 Annual Forum & Expo
in Nevada on May 7, 2007
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Social Security and the Stock Market: How the Pursuit of Market Magic Shapes the System
(Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

AICPA and Ad Council Urge 25 - 34 Year-Olds to 'Feed The Pig' In New National Campaign
(American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA))

Fiduciary360 Releases First Draft of Criteria for the Required Annual Audit of the Pension Protection Act’s “Fiduciary Adviser” and Computer-Based Models
(Fiduciary360 (fi360))

Congressman Pomeroy Recognized For Retirement Security Leadership
(National Council on Teacher Retirement)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Senior Consultant, Defined Benefit/Defined Contribution
for Schloss & Co., a BenefitStreet co.
in NY

Defined Benefit Plan Administrator
for 401k Plus, Inc.
in TX

Employee Benefits Tax Manager
for Deloitte Tax LLP
in VA

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Northeast Planning Services, Inc.
in MA

E.B. Trust Administrator
for BB&T (Branch Banking and Trust)
in NC

Account Consultant
for Diversified Investment Advisors, a business unit in the AEGON Group.
in IA

Employee Benefit Plan Consultant
for Vanguard
in PA

ERISA Consultant II
for BISYS Retirement Services
in MN

Installation Coordinator
for BISYS Retirement Services
in MN

401(k)/Plan Administrator
for Professional Capital Services, LLC
in PA

Client Service Pension Administrator
for San Diego Pension Consultants, Inc.
in CA

Financial Planner/Investment Specialist (Part-Time)
for Diversified Investment Advisors
in TX

Cash Balance Actuary/Administrator/Consultant
for Ingham Group
in FL, SC

Relationship Manager
for MassMutual Financial Group
in FL, GA, LA, MS

Business Development Sales Executive
for Gallagher Benefit Services, Inc.
in IL




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