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November 6, 2006
Today's sponsor: EBG Systems, Inc.

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

Presented By: Manny Garcia & Ted Miraski - Nov 29 - 1pm

The Pension Protection Act now allows us to ignore the 25% limit on combined DB/DC plans as long as the profit sharing contribution does not exceed 6% of pay. Therefore, adding a cash balance plan to a 401(k)/Profit Sharing plan now provides significant design opportunities.

This web cast will not only explain the basics of cash balance plans, but also the intricacies of cross-testing the CB/DC combo plan.
Click here to Sign Up
Click here to view Sample Slides


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

Reminder of Annual Requirements for Investment Managers (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Compliance with certain of these obligations is required within specific time periods after the end of the calendar year or the manager's fiscal year. Other obligations are required on merely an 'annual' or 'periodic' basis. Certain other obligations instead may be characterized as a 'best practice' to be undertaken on a periodic basis, as opposed to a strict legal requirement." (Winston & Strawn LLP)

Once Safe, Public Pensions Are Now Facing Cuts
Excerpt: "Years of supporting court interpretations have enshrined the view that once a public employee has earned a pension, no one can take it away. Even during New York City's fiscal crisis 30 years ago, no existing pension promises were reduced. But now a number of state and local governments are quietly challenging those guarantees." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Workers' Suit Highlights Secrecy Over 401(k) Fees
Excerpt: "Workers are entitled to know the fees they pay. And for those investing in mutual funds, the biggest expense will be related to the fund's money management. This is spelled out in the prospectus. Administrative costs - often borne by workers - are harder to pin down." (Los Angeles Times; one-time registration required)

Citigroup Will Freeze Pensions and Improve 401(k) Plan
Excerpt: "Citigroup will match up to 8 percent of the pay for 401(k) contributions made by employees who earn less than $100,000, and 6 percent for those with higher salaries, Michael Schlein, the New York-based bank's senior vice president of corporate affairs, wrote [November 3] in a memo." (Chicago Tribune; one-time registration required)

Overtime Pay Inflates Fort Worth Pension Shortfall
Excerpt: "City officials want to clamp down on workers, primarily some police department employees, who appear to be making a killing off the city's retirement fund in a scheme known as 'pension spiking.' Supervisors and department heads are allowing thousands of hours of overtime for some employees nearing retirement, boosting their pension checks." (Star Telegram.com; one-time registration required)

Overview: The DOL Gets Tough on Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure
Excerpt: "The United States Department of Labor is determined to issue a new fee-disclosure rule by year-end that will require mutual fund companies and retirement plan service providers that pay revenue sharing -- which includes 12b-1 fees, finder fees, or other expenses -- to disclose the amount they are paying and to whom." (Investment Advisor Magazine)

SEC Takes Issue with Variable Annuities and Equity Indexed Annuities Sales Materials
Excerpt: "The exams are part of an increased agency focus 'on sales and marketing of securities products to senior citizens and those in the pre-retirement stage, where suitability and marketing must be carefully monitored,' said Mary Ann Gadziala, associate director at the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations at the SEC, in comments to compliance professionals Oct. 19." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Text: Taylor et al v. United Technologies Corporation et al - Complaint for Breach of Fiduciary Duty in Fees Case (PDF)
44 pages. (U.S. District Court of Connecticut via American Benefits Council)

Which Definition of 'Fiduciary' Should We Adopt in the Planning Profession?
Excerpt: "Let's look at the different fiduciary standards in today's business landscape and rank them on a scale from coolest to hottest. We can start with the SEC's requirements--which, interestingly, rely on a document (the Investment Advisers Act of 1940) that never seems to mention the word 'fiduciary.'" (Financial Planning and SourceMedia, Inc.)

International Update, October 2006 (PDF)
4 pages. This monthly publication covers recent developments in foreign public and private pensions. (Social Security Administration)

PPA Guidance Categorized into Phases by Agencies; Treasury Faces Bulk of 407 Requests
Excerpt: "The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) requires government agencies to issue guidance or perform some task in 407 instances, according to a word search of the PPA conducted by W. Thomas Reeder, benefits tax counsel with the Treasury Department." (CCH Pension)

Business Owners Beware of Retirement Plan Pitfalls
Excerpt: "[E]stablishing and maintaining a plan that will let your employees' savings grow tax-deferred does come with additional responsibilities. In order to meet these responsibilities ­ listed below ­ you'll want to make sure you plan carefully when establishing a qualified retirement plan. Failure to live up to the terms of your agreement could prove costly for your business." (Oroville Mercury-Register Online)

Opinion: Time to Speak Up on Worker Security or Pay the Price
Excerpt: "Congress perceives that employers are shifting more responsibility to individual workers . . . and they are right. But while that may be a positive thing in some respects, it's not too good for politicians who like to think of government solutions where costs are hidden in taxes (or deficits) and where supporting an individual responsibility based solution generally means a lost reelection bid, think social security and Medicare." (Richard D. Quinn via BenefitNews.com)

Is it Time to Admit the Failure of an Employer-Based Pension System
Excerpt: "In her contribution to the Twelfth Annual Lewis and Clark Business Law Forum . . ., Susan Stabile paints a pessimistic picture of the state of retirement security in the United States. She examines two aspects of the failure of an employer-based pension system, focusing first on the problems associated with defined contribution plans . . . and second, on the reality that millions of employees lack any pension coverage at all." (Lewis & Clark Law Review via Social Science Research Network)

IRS 30 Year Treasury Securities Rate Table Updated for October 2006
30 Year Treasury Securities Rate for October 2006: 4.85% (Internal Revenue Service)

IRS Composite Corporate Bond Rate Table Updated for November 2006
Corporate Bond Weighted Average Interest Rate = 5.79 for November 2006 (Internal Revenue Service)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

GASB Publishes 2006 - 2007 Edition of the Comprehensive Implementation Guide
Excerpt: "This edition includes for the first time the freestanding Implementation Guide to Statement 44 on the Statistical Section and the Implementation Guide to Statements 43 and 45 on Other Postemployment Benefits (OPEB)." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Accounting Group Releases Government Benefits Standard
Excerpt: "A global accounting standards organization has released an exposure draft of a new mandate on dealing with short-term employee benefits, post-employment benefits, other long-term employee benefits and termination benefits." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Executive Compensation Disclosure Memo Series -- Part 1 of 6 Parts (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "As described by SEC Chairman Christopher Cox, these new rules are not designed to judge or limit the amount that companies and their compensation committees can pay to their executives. The new rules are designed, however, to require that all elements of compensation be fully disclosed in a manner that is clear, concise and understandable to shareholders." (Powell Goldstein LLP)

Survey Says Company Size Matters in Executive Compensation
Excerpt: "There is an easy answer for a chief executive office looking for a larger haul when it comes to total annual compensation: step up to a larger company." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

The Importance of Keeping Compensation Committee Minutes (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Although there is some disagreement as to whether the approach to minute-taking should be minimalist or comprehensive, considering the current focus on disclosure and accountability, it is clear that accurate and thorough minute-taking can provide valuable protection to the corporation and its compensation committee." (Harter Secrest & Emery LLP)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Career Open House !!!
in District of Columbia on November 10, 2006
presented by ICMA-RC

Getting It Right – Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities
in Wisconsin on November 8, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Millstone Contractor Convicted Of Theft From Employees' Pension Fund
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

National Business Coalition on Health Conference Convenes Health Care Stakeholders to Advance Value Based Purchasing Agenda
(National Business Coalition on Health)

California’s Teachers’ Retirement Board Sets High Ethics Bar
(California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS))

Next Generation Executive Medical Reimbursement: The First True Insured Product Now Available--Only from ArmadaCare
(ArmadaCare)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) Administrators
for Stratejic Management Corporation, Inc
in NY

AVP DC Operations and Participant Services
for Hartford Life
in CT

Employee Benefits Associate/ Retirement Plan Administrator
for Goodman & Company
in VA

Securities/Mortgage Accounting Coordinator
for Great-West Corporate
in CO

Branch Manager (Insurance/TPA)
for Zenith Administrators
in MD

Client Support Senior Manager
for Buck Consultants, an ACS company
in AZ

Relationship Manager
for Fidelity Investments
in TX

Client Relationship Administrator
for Vanguard
in PA

5500 Compliance Consultant
for CCA Strategies LLC
in IL




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