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November 13, 2006
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2007 'Sample' Compliance Calendar for Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "This calendar provides general key retirement plan compliance requirements common to most plans." (ERISAdiagnostics, Inc.)

Pensions and Retirement Plan Enactments in 2006 State Legislatures
Excerpt: "This report summarizes selected pensions and retirement legislation that state legislatures enacted in 2006, some 2005 legislation not reported last year, and a few items of particular interest that failed to pass or were vetoed. . . . The goal of this report is to help researchers and policy makers know how other states have addressed issues that could arise in any state." (National Conference of State Legislatures)

Opinion: Why Bother with Going-Concern Pension Plan Valuations? (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "By going-concern valuations, we mean determinations of contributions based on the assumed long-term existence of plans. Such valuations use assumptions about the future service and salaries of plan members and the long-term return of the assets held by the plan. They differ from solvency valuations, which show how pension plans would stand if they were terminated immediately." (Contingencies magazine from the American Academy of Actuaries)

Market Payouts From Immediate-Life Annuities: Trends and Volatility
Excerpt: "Research shows that one of the most effective ways to reduce the risk of outliving one's assets is by converting at least some of those assets to a fixed-life annuity. To do so, a defined contribution plan participant could use her account balance to buy a single-premium immediate annuity (SPIA) in the commercial marketplace. But the open-market cost of annuities is volatile . . . . [and] the purchasing power of a set account balance has . . . declined." (Watson Wyatt)

Overview: IRS Finalizes 404(k) Regulations on Deductions for ESOP Payments
Excerpt: "Last year's proposed regulations . . . addressed which corporation is entitled to the deduction for applicable dividends under section 404(k) where the payer of the dividends and the employer maintaining the ESOP are different entities (for example, where a wholly owned subsidiary maintains an ESOP holding stock of the parent). The proposed regulations said it's the payer. The final regulations defer the issue to future regulations." (Watson Wyatt)

Providing Personalized Financial Advice to Your Retiring and Retired Employers (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "We are not talking about investment advice, such as 401(k) providers offer, but advice about the broader problems that retirees face. Why is it important for you to offer such advice to your employees-- and what should you watch out for?" (Still River Retirement Planning Software)

Opinion: The Next Scandal -- New York Comptroller's Sole Control of State Retirement Funds
Excerpt: "[T]he comptroller's office oversees more than $145 billion in public pension funds for more than 340,000 retirees and beneficiaries and 600,000 current state and local government employees. . . . Should the state comptroller be the 'sole trustee' of the Common Retirement Fund? No elected official in the nation has similarly unfettered power over such a substantial amount of money." (New York Times; free registration required)

Results of Aon's 2006 On Track Retirement Study: Only 58 Percent of Employees Saving Enough (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The study shows that employees earning $60,000 a year need to replace 75 percent of their last year's earnings to continue living the lifestyle they have at the time they retire. . . . Of the 140,000 employees in the 2006 study, 58 percent are on track to a financially secure retirement, as defined by the replacement income ratio methodology." (Aon)

European Banks Hiding Full Pension Obligations
Excerpt: "West European banks are failing to disclose unfunded staff pension obligations running to billions of dollars, in contrast to U.S. banks which are required to show the full picture, Standard & Poor's said in a report on Monday." (Washington Post; free registration required)

Working Paper: A Tale of Two Pension Reforms-- A U.S./Japan Comparison
Excerpt: "This paper tackles the vexing issue of corporate pension reform in the U.S. and Japan. Both countries are undergoing structural and demographic changes in their workforce and corporate governance, giving urgency to the problem of pension funding and solvency. Urgency has led to different responses at the political, corporate, and societal levels. Behind this, we find legacy institutions and norms peculiar to each country that are evolving under different economic realities." (Pension Research Council)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Understanding ERISA Plan Information Requests, Part 2
Excerpt: "This article constitutes the second part of the inquiry into what information is subject to the disclosure requirements. In this Unit 2, specific examples will be provided through reference to caselaw." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)

Ten Key Points About the SEC's New Disclosure Rules
Excerpt: "Companies must comply with [436 pages of executive compensation proxy disclosure 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)

Executive Compensation Disclosure: Overview of the new Compensation Discussion and Analysis Section (PDF)
6 pages. (Powell Goldstein LLP)

Stock Option Backdating Brings Down CEO
Excerpt: "LOS ANGELES - Homebuilder KB Home announced Sunday that chairman and CEO Bruce Karatz is retiring after an internal investigation uncovered errors in the company's accounting of stock option grants." (AP via MSNBC)

UnitedHealth to Restate Past Earnings Due to Stock Options Fiasco
Excerpt: "UnitedHealth said it has found problems with its handling of stock options as late as the end of 2005. The company said it expects to take paper losses on prior earnings to account for stock options . . . . " (AP via Washington Post; free registration required)

New Jersey Taxpayers Want Government Employee Benefits Throttled Back to Private Industry Levels
Excerpt: "Lifetime pensions and nearly free health benefits should become a relic of the past, at least for new government employees, according to the poll released today. . . . According to 53 percent of those polled, newly hired employees should be enrolled in 401(k)-type retirement plans rather than the state's traditional pension system, which is based on an employee's highest three years of salary." (Ocean County [N.J.] Observer)

Impact of the 2006 Elections on HR Issues
Excerpt: "Hewitt has prepared a preliminary analysis of how the election is likely to impact HR-related issues, including minimum wage, health care, and immigration. This analysis discusses the issues that are expected to be raised, the likelihood of action on legislation addressing those issues, and the possible leadership roles of Democrats in House and Senate committees." (Hewitt)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Health Reform: What It Meant in the 2006 Election and What This Means for the Future
Nationwide on November 10, 2006
presented by Kaiser Family Foundation

Pension Protection Act of 2006 Part V: The Government Speaks
Nationwide on December 5, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Putnam Investments Offers Report on Defined Contribution Default Options
(Putnam Investments)

Ben Stein's Message to America: Think about the “Retirement Planning Pendulum” During National Retirement Planning Week 2006
(National Retirement Planning Coalition (NRPC))

As Benefit Costs Rise, Employee Retirement Savings Decline
(Ameriprise Financial)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Dougherty McKinnon & Luby Benefit Services, LLC
in GA

Pension Administrator
for Qualified Pension Services, Inc.
in MO

Relationship Manager
for T. Rowe Price
in MD

Regional Sales Consultant
for DailyAccess - Retirement Plan Solutions
in AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA, WY

Daily Plan Processor
for Scott, Tellier & Co., Inc./TPGR Daily, LLC
in AZ

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Independent Retirement Plan Administration Company
in FL

Retirement Plan Administrator
for PlanTech, LLP
in AL

Client Delivery Manager - Administration Software Solution
for SBC Systems Company
in GA

Supervisor (Benefits Administration - Health and Welfare)
for Southern California Edison
in CA

Pension Consultant
for Standard Insurance Company
in NJ

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