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October 31, 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)

Text of S.D.N.Y. Order Allowing Age Discrimination Claim Against JPMorgan Chase Cash Balance Plan (PDF)
16 pages. Judge Harold Baer, Jr. of the Southern District of New York rejects the Seventh Circuit's recent decision in Cooper v. IBM that cash balance plans do not violate ERISA's prohibition against age discrimination. The decision allows such a claim to go forward against the JPMorgan Chase Retirement Plan (a plan established before the effective date of the Pension Protection Act). (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York)

Text of PTE 2006-16: Class Exemption to Permit Certain Loans of Securities by Employee Benefit Plans (PDF)
14 pages. Amends and replaces PTE 816 and PTE 8263. 'PTE 816 exempts the lending of securities by employee benefit plans to certain banks and broker-dealers, and PTE 8263 exempts certain compensation arrangements for the provision of securities lending services by a plan fiduciary to an employee benefit plan. The final amendment incorporates the exemptions into one renumbered exemption, and expands the relief . . . to include additional parties and additional forms of collateral . . . ." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

Overview: DOL Adopts New Securities Lending Exemption
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration has adopted a final class exemption expanding the opportunities for securities lending between pension plans, banks and broker-dealers." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Court Rebuffs FleetBoston/Bank of America Cash Balance Ruling Reconsideration Request
Excerpt: "A federal judge has rebuffed the latest effort by FleetBoston Financial Corp. to derail a lawsuit charging that its cash balance plan discriminates against older workers." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Research Project Abstract: Investment Patterns and Trading Behavior in 401(k) Pension Accounts
Excerpt: "The proposed new research project extends prior work by evaluating the impacts of trading patterns on investment performance, drawing on data provided to the researchers by Vanguard." (Regents of the University of Michigan)

Advisers May Turn to Software for 401(k) Help
Excerpt: "Advisers can use the software to illustrate the employee's payroll breakdowns - including tax deductions - and to craft ways for participants to put more money into the plans. One of the most common ways participants put more money into their plans is by changing their withholdings on their state and federal tax forms." (Investment News; registration or subscription required)

Plan Document Trumps Antenuptial Agreement in Favor of Surviving Spouse
Excerpt: "The US District Court for the Western District of Kentucky ruled that, even though the surviving spouse of a retirement plan participant waived her rights to benefits in an antenuptial agreement, the plan document dictated she receive his assets in the plan." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Patent Reinvents Retirement for Baby Boomers?
Excerpt: "Last week, the financial services industry came a little closer to solving the Baby Boomer's retirement dilemma. A new, patented invention that creates retirement income was announced on Thursday. A U.S. patent was issued to Peng Chen and Moshe Milevsky on their 'theory and system for creating optimal asset and product allocations for individual investors looking to finance consumption or generate income during retirement.'" (The Advocate via Insurance NewsNet)

Transition to Pay for Performance Makes Some Federal Employees Anxious
Excerpt: "Over time, performance pay may affect a worker's pension. Part of the formula used to set federal pensions involves multiplying years of service by a percentage applied to the 'high-3' -- the average of the three highest-paid years of consecutive service. Under the pay-for-performance systems, the employee with high ratings should have an enhanced high-3, while employees with lower job ratings will see a smaller high-3." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

ERISA Litigation: Interpreting Section 502(a)(2) of ERISA with Respect to Individual Account Plans (PDF)
4 pages. (Employee Relations Law Journal via American Benefits Council)

Research Project Abstract: Planning and Financial Literacy Among US Households: New Evidence
Excerpt: "An extended set of planning and financial literacy questions has been added to the Rand Internet Panel, which surveys younger respondents. Data . . . will permit analysis of financial knowledge at different stages of the life-cycle. In addition, the project will assess whether lack of financial literacy represents an important obstacle for retirement planning and saving." (Regents of the University of Michigan)

Research Project Abstract: How Do Immigrants Fare in Retirement?
Excerpt: "Though any disadvantages may reflect a series of choices made by the individual, and immigrants may be financially better off in the US than their native country, the fact that immigrant families may enter retirement at a serious financial disadvantage is an important policy issue, especially in the current political climate." (Regents of the University of Michigan)

Research Project Abstract: Work & Retirement Choices of Men: Impact of Chile's Social Security Rules
Excerpt: "As the labor force ages it becomes increasingly important to analyze whether people will work longer if they live longer, and how to encourage this behavior. This will increase the productive capacity of the economy and improve the finances of social security systems." (Regents of the University of Michigan)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Executive Compensation: Severance Arrangements -- A Road Map of Issues
Excerpt: "Senior executive severance arrangements frequently involve a variety of economic and legal issues. [This] column discusses these issues in the context of what is customarily called a termination by the employer without 'cause.'" (New York Law Journal Online)

HR Policy Says SEC Disclosure of Pay of 3 Additional Employees Provides No Benefits, Excessive Costs (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "[B]ased on a survey on the effects of the revised proposal, the Association believes that the proposal will not provide information useful to investors and would impose an undue administrative burden on large issuers relative to the information generated. For these reasons, we recommend that the SEC not pursue the proposal further." (HR Policy Association)

Research Project Abstract: The Effects of Health Insurance and Self-Insurance on Retirement Behavior
Excerpt: "To assess the role of Medicare and employer-provided health insurance in determining retirement, [the authors] will estimate and analyze a dynamic programming model of saving and retirement that accounts for uncertain medical expenses, Social Security, and social insurance." (Regents of the University of Michigan)

Overview on Backdating and Springloading Stock Options (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Although backdating has received most of the press coverage, companies may risk violations by springloading options. Springloading occurs when a company issues or records an option grant immediately before the release of news that causes the value of the company's shares to rise, or immediately after the release of negative news. While backdating raises tax, accounting, and fraud issues, among others, springloading can lead to charges of insider information abuse." (Troutman Sanders LLP)

Research Project Abstract: Estimating the Health Effects of Changes in Retirement Age
Excerpt: "[The authors] propose to estimate the magnitude of any direct effect of retirement on health. . . . Results can be helpful in understanding the possible effects of changing Social Security's retirement ages." (Regents of the University of Michigan)

2006 Equity Stake Report from Compensation Consultants Pearl Meyer & Partners Shows Awards Dropping
Excerpt: "Leading US companies trimmed corporate overhang for a third straight year to a median of 12.9% of common shares outstanding, the lowest total stock level since 2001, according to a new study." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Advanced Pension Conference - Chicago
in Illinois on September 5, 2007
presented by SunGard Corbel

Pharmacy Benefits: Strategies for Controlling Benefit Costs Teleweb
Nationwide on November 16, 2006
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

IRS Seeks Applications for TE/GE Advisory Committee
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Retirement Plan Writer
for The Capital Group Companies
in CA

Research and Technical Advisor
for Technical Answer Group
in ANY STATE

Disbursement Services Associate
for Administrative Systems, Inc.
in CA, NV, OR, WA

Defined Contribution Plan Peer Reviewer
for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.
in RI

Retirement Services Client Relationship Manager
for Gallagher Benefit Services
in TX

Pension Administrator
for Pension Dynamics Corporation
in CA

Defined Benefit Software Customer Support
for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.
in IL

Defined Contribution Software Customer Support
for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.
in IL




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