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November 14, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASC & The ASC Institute

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ASC RETIREMENT PLAN SOFTWARE, DOCUMENTS & EDUCATION FOR OVER 20 YEARS!

We’re so confident you can create retirement plan documents, amendments & forms in ˝ the time or less we’re waiving the initial fee for a limited time and you can start for only $50/month. Learn more at www.asc-net.com

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

Defined Contribution Default Options: A Framework for the New Environment (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "[T]he road to retirement as formulated by a targeted retirement option is not one without excitement and, therefore, risk. DC plan sponsors' greatest threats from a fiduciary perspective -- regardless of the default option -- are the following: 1) Participant's wealth accumulation fails to meet retirement needs; 2) Participant has insufficient wealth preservation close to retirement; and 3) Participant opts out of the plan and stops saving for retirement due to loss." (Putnam Investments)

Milliman Comments on DOL Proposed Default Investment Regulations (PDF)
3 pages. (Milliman)

Overview: Automatic Enrollment Increases Participation In 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "'While automatic enrollment is proving to be an effective tool for getting employees into the 401(k) plan, it isn't a cure-all for helping people meet their retirement needs,' noted Pamela Hess, director of retirement research at Hewitt." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

A Syntheti(k)SM Pension Plan
Excerpt: "[W]e now have an objective, rational basis for applying practical knowledge of human behavior to plan design and management. The result of melding the disciplines of psychology and economics is facilitating a more functional way of managing defined contribution plans. I have coined the term 'Syntheti(k)SM Pension Plan' to represent the codification of these developments." (Stephen J. Lansing via 401khelpcenter.com)

Understanding Your 401(k) Fees and Tax Implications
Excerpt: "Administrative costs can be hard to pin down. In general, workers pay 0.50 percent to about 2 percent a year for investment management and administrative-related services, said David Huntley, a principal with HR Investment Consultants in Towson, Md. That means a worker with the average account balance of $60,000 could pay anywhere from $300 to about $1,200 a year in fees." (AccountingWEB)

Overview: GASB Project on Pension Disclosures for Government-Sponsored Plans
Excerpt: "The Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has initiated a short-term project intended to bring current pension disclosure requirements for governments in line with the enhanced standards GASB adopted for other post-employment benefits ('OPEB') in 2004. Separately and concurrently, GASB is conducting a research project to determine the effectiveness of existing governmental accounting standards for pensions." (Deloitte)

Opinion: 7th Circuit Gets It Wrong in Jenkins v. Yager
Excerpt: "In Jenkins v. Yager, the Seventh Circuit created an implied right for fiduciaries to transfer legal responsibility and liability for investment decisions to plan participants without complying with the conditions of ERISA Section 404(c). The court points to language from the 404(c) preamble as a basis for creating the implied exception, which misreads the intent of that language." (Journal of Pension Benefits via Reish Luftman Reicher & Cohen)

ICI President's Remarks on Retirement Savings Before the Economic Club of Chicago
Excerpt: "Let me take just a few minutes to explain three key points: First, we have more opportunities today to save for retirement than we had a generation ago. Second, innovations and recent changes to pension laws are helping people save more and get the best return on their money. And, third, we must build on the progress we have made to help more Americans take full advantage of the savings opportunities available to them." (Investment Company Institute)

Teachers Ahead of the Pack in Retirement Planning
Excerpt: "Teachers as a group have better savings habits and are more likely to work with financial advisers than the general population, according to a recent study." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Can.ada: Solvency Funding Relief Regulations
The target page provides links to a letter from Julie Dickson, Acting Superintendent, on Solvency Funding Relief Regulations, to the OSFI-63 - Notification Form and Statement Form, and to questions and answers. (Office of the Superintendent of Financial Institutions Can.ada)

United Kingdom: How the Pensions Regulator Will Regulate DC Schemes in Relation to Risks to Members (PDF)
56 pages. Excerpt: "Our statutory remit recognises that the identification and mitigation of risk is important in any form of work-based pension provision. Although much recent public, industry and indeed regulatory focus has inevitably centred on defined benefit (DB) funding issues, our medium term strategy commits us to ensuring that risks to members of defined contribution (DC) schemes are also highlighted and addressed in a proactive and proportionate way." (Pensions Regulator)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

NAGDCA Notes: Contribution of Sick and Vacation Pay to Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)
2 pages. The notes were prepared by the NAGDCA Legislative Committee in 2004 and updated in 2006. (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators Inc.)

Overview: New Code Section 409A -- Some Surprises for Colleges and Universities
Excerpt: "A common source of trouble for colleges and universities will be severance arrangements. A severance arrangement that pays all benefits in one lump sum shortly after termination or falls within an exception for involuntary severances that pay all benefits by the end of the second calendar year following termination will generally not be subject to 409A." (Warner Norcross & Judd LLP)

What Will the New Congress Mean for Employee Benefits?
Excerpt: "One of the easier predictions to make at this point is that health policy issues will return to prominence in the 110th Congress. Specific priorities may include extending health coverage to the approximately 42 million uninsured Americans, with a renewed emphasis on implementing a universal health insurance system and/or employer mandates." (Deloitte)

Editorial: The Stock Options Blood Bath -- Reform Is More Attractive Than Revenge
Excerpt: "If the ousting of executives provokes mixed feelings, what of reforms that might prevent abuses? Backdating was partly a way of granting executives 'in-the-money' options -- ones that grant the right to buy a share for less than its current value -- without having to report them as an expense." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Organized Labor Pushes Pro-Worker Agenda
Excerpt: "[In addition to an increase in the minimum wage,] Labor also wants: Changes in the Medicare prescription drug program to introduce price negotiations with pharma.ceutical companies. Changes in bankrup.tcy laws that allow companies to abandon pension and health care commitments to workers. Trade agreements that protect workers' rights. Improved mining safety laws. Increased retirement protections." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)


We thank and invite your attention to our additional sponsor: Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference

PPA 2006: New Plan Management Tools for the Road Ahead

The road to successful plan management has taken a number of detours in recent years. Plan sponsors are constantly reminded of the fiduciary potholes, plan design u-turns and regulatory speed traps they face every day. And now, the "PPA" super highway is open to traffic! The Pension Protection Act of 2006 has produced sweeping new changes that will directly affect your retirement plan. Find out exactly which route you should take by attending the 2007 Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference, scheduled for January 28–31, in Orlando, Florida.

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


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Equity Compensation Plans for Private Companies
Nationwide on November 15, 2006
presented by Beyster Institute

Plan Design Workshop
in Minnesota on December 1, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Plan Design Workshop
in Louisiana on December 7, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Plan Design Workshop
in Texas on December 8, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Repurchase Planning & Cash Management
Nationwide on December 13, 2006
presented by Beyster Institute

Strategic Benefits Through Employee Involvement - We're in This Together Teleweb
Nationwide on November 30, 2006
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

ftwilliam.com announces the availability of 2006 DOL-approved 5500 Forms
(ftwilliam.com)

Hoping to Combat Rising Health Care Costs, Twice as Many Employers Offer HSA or HRA Options This Year
(Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

Product Choices Expand in the Retirement Income Market
(Diversified Services Group, Inc. (DSG))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Employee Benefits Attorney
for Frost Brown Todd LLC
in OH

Employee Benefits Administration
for Primary Consulting, Inc.
in ANY STATE

Actuary
for Pension Specialists, Inc.
in CA, IL

Manager, Retirement Income Plans
for Alcoa Inc.
in PA




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