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November 28, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASC & The ASC Institute

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

Overview: Short Term Mutual Fund Redemption Fee Information for Retirement Plan Participants
Excerpt: "Invesmart, Inc. has posted this document in order to help you gain a fundamental understanding of how these fees are determined and what fund companies have begun imposing them." (Invesmart.com)

Comments on Retirement Plan Investment Fee Disclosure
Excerpt: "No matter how much disclosure the government may require, people will figure out new ways to be paid. In fact, there are so many ways now, that full disclosure would probably create something as difficult to prepare and read as a prospectus. Great for the service providers who prepare them, but of little practical use to plan fiduciaries, let alone participants." (Pension & Benefits Blog)

Middlemen Take Big Bite of 401(k)s: Overcharges Often Top 100 Percent or More
Excerpt: "In what is unfolding as a new era of disclosure, employees will discover that several third parties are reaping profits and passing along their expenses in the form of higher annual expense ratios on 401(k) mutual funds. That reduces total investment returns." (Worcester Telegram & Gazette)

401(k) Education in Workplace Must Improve
Excerpt: "Investment manager Louis Holland . . . posed the right question on a looming national retirement crisis. In essence, it was this: Given the fact that 43 percent of Americans are on their way to having less retirement income than they will need, what can business and community leaders do about it? The answer from a panel of investment experts that Holland moderated recently at The Economic Club of Chicago pointed to an obvious answer: Give employees more education." (Chicago Tribune; free registration required)

Not Happy with the 401(k) Investment Choices Offered? What Can You Do to Change Them?
Excerpt: "Talk to your benefits department about changes you'd like to see in the plan. Many companies are adding funds, and they may welcome your input if they feel that their choices will be popular with employees. Back up your argument with some information." (The Motley Fool)

Just As Baby Boomers About to Earn Some Nice Pension Benefits, Their Plans Are Being Frozen
Excerpt: "You'd be astonished how little of the value of a defined benefit builds up in the first 25 years of your career. If you haven't already, you should figure out just what you'll be left with if your employer freezes your plan." (Forbes.com; free registration required)

Delta Retired Pilots to Get $800 Million in Claims
Excerpt: "Bankrupt Delta Air Lines Inc. (DALRQ.PK) said on Monday its creditors agreed to allow the carrier to give retired pilots an additional $719 million in pre-petition claims to help them recoup lost pension benefits. . . . In all, retired Delta pilots will now have a total of about $800 million in allowed claims, the airline said in a statement. The agreement with Delta's official committee of unsecured creditors is subject to bankrup.tcy court approval." (Reuters via KPLCTV.com)

Overview: Pension Protection Act of 2006 -- Changes to Defined Benefit Governmental & Church Plans (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "This is one of a series of Pension Analyst publications providing information on specific aspects of the 2006 pension reform legislation affecting defined benefit plans. This publication focuses on those changes that are effective in 2006 and 2007 for defined benefit governmental plans and church plans that do not elect to be covered by ERISA ('non-electing church plans')." (Prudential Retirement)

GAO Keeps Annuitization High on Agenda
Excerpt: "Encouraging retiring workers to annuitize their savings should be a top priority for the federal government. Officials at the U.S. Government Accountability Office have included that plea on a list of suggested areas for oversight for the next Congress." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free registration or paid subscription required)

Verizon Continues Push for Pension Paybacks
Excerpt: "Verizon Communications Inc. continues to fill the Northern Texas U.S. District Court docket with lawsuits claiming that its former employees must return a portion of their retirement buyouts." (Dallas Business Journal via MSNBC.com)

The Annuitization of Defined Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "[A] plan sponsor can mitigate the mortality risk the plan must bear if an employee lives longer than expected and requires continuing pension checks. Annuitization, in effect, shifts the risk of those uncertain liabilities over to an insurance company -- but for a price." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Portfolio of AARP Resources on the British Pension System
Excerpt: "The AARP Global Aging Program [dedicates] this site to house the resources and research that [they] have produced over the years on British pension issues." (AARP)

Overview: Pension Protection Act of 2006 -- Major Changes to Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "This is one of a series of Pension Analyst publications providing information on specific aspects of the 2006 pension reform legislation affecting multiemployer defined benefit plans. This publication focuses on those changes that are effective in 2006 and 2007. Many of the significant changes affecting funding will be effective in 2008." (Prudential Retirement)

Overview: Pension Protection Act of 2006 -- Changes to Single Employer Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "This publication focuses on those changes that are effective in 2006 and 2007. Many of the significant changes affecting funding will be effective in 2008." (Prudential Retirement)

Overview: Pension Protection Act of 2006 -- EGTRRA Made Permanent
Excerpt: "For ICMA-RC, one of the most important provisions in the bill is permanency for the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) (Title VIII section 811, p. 597). This provision was approved by the conferees and included in HR 4. Instead of expiring in 2010, the provisions in EGTRRA, such as portability, increased contributions limits, catch-up contributions and greater flexibility in plan designs, are all made permanent." (ICMA-RC)

Opinion: A New Beginning for Hybrid Pension Plans?
Excerpt: "A number of consultants have written that, in this new environment, hybrid plans may make more sense than an 'enhanced' 401(k). They note the focus of the Congress and plan sponsors on the expansion of annuity options in 401(k) plans, contrasted with the very low rate at which individuals choose annuities, as an argument for moving to a hybrid that only provides annuity payouts." (Dallas Salisbury via Human Resource Executive Online; free registration required)


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

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Shareholder Equity Likely to Diminish Under New Benefits Accounting
Excerpt: "For decades, underfunded pensions, retiree health plans and other post-retirement employee benefits have been the hidden shame of American business -- exiled to little-read footnotes far away from the balance sheets, where their dodgy accounting couldn't embarrass their corporate sponsors." (The Seattle Times)

New Rules Will Force State Governments to Report Public Employee Retirement Costs
Excerpt: "The new rule, issued by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) in 2004, goes into effect on December 15th. It will require public-sector employers to treat their health-care promises to workers the same way they already handle their pension obligations: by reporting on the total size of their future commitment, instead of just this year's cost." (The Economist via CFO.com)

Overview of Deferred Compensation and Section 409A: What to Do Before 2007
Excerpt: "This Client Alert is a reminder of three items for which the December 31, 2006 compliance deadline still applies." (O'Melveny & Myers LLP)

Portland Makes Plans After Voters Approve Fixing the City's Pension and Disability System
Excerpt: "Money for the Portland Fire and Police Disability and Retirement Fund now comes directly from property taxes. Under the reforms passed this month, the city would place employees hired after Jan. 1 in the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan, which is funded through investments." (The Oregonian; free registration required)

Overview of ERISA Plan Information Requests: 'Who Is Entitled To Request Plan Information?'
Excerpt: "From the standpoint of the plan administrator, requests by third parties, if objectionable, should be met with an explanation of what is needed. Providing an authorization form, or at least offering to do so, would show good faith. Moreover, once an indication of legal representation is provided, the plan administrator would be wise to cooperate in providing plan information." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)

Early Retirement or Buyout Decision Time for Ford Workers
Excerpt: "Time is running out for 75,000 Ford Motor Co. production workers to make one of the biggest decisions they'll ever have to make: Whether to leave the company by taking buyout or early retirement offers. Ford, faced with lower demand for its products, is hoping that 25,000 to 30,000 workers will take one of eight packages by a Monday night deadline so it can reduce manufacturing capacity to better match demand." (AP via nbc17.com)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

National Academy of Social Insurance's 19th Annual Conference: For the Common Good: What Role for Social Insurance?
in District of Columbia on February 1, 2007
presented by National Academy of Social Insurance

What To Do By Year End: Practical Applications of the Pension Protection Act & Other Laws
Nationwide on December 7, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

COBRA E-Learning Course Introduced
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

CitiStreet Assures Customers PPA Is Beneficial and Manageable
CitiStreet


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Consultants/Administrators
for Northern NJ Mid-Size Pension Consulting Firm
in NJ

Plan Administrator for Retirement Plan & ERISA Specialists
for Dana Consulting Group
in IL

Health/Welfare Consultant - Benefits Evaluation Team
for Hufnell, Inc Executive Recruiters - Benefits Outsourcing, Benefits and HR
in PA

Exec Comp Consultant
for Hewitt Associates
in IL

Sales Development Specialist
for WageWorks, Inc.
in CA

Account Analyst
for Nolan Financial
in DC, MD

Remittance Services Specialist
for ICMA-RC
in DC

Administrative Assistant
for The Nolan Company
in KS

Financial Analyst
for The Todd Organization
in NC

401(k) Processor
for Leggette Actuaries, Inc.
in TX

Small Business Consultant
for Louis Kravitz & Associates
in CA

Client Integration Transition Manager
for Diversified Investment Advisors
in NY




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