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November 29, 2006
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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)

Phased Retirement and the PPA -- A Conflict in the Works?
Excerpt: "Beginning in 2007, the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) permits in-service retirement plan distributions to employees 62 and older. The act does not mention the IRS regulations proposed in 2004 . . ., which would permit phased retirement distributions to employees 59-1/2 and older, as long as certain conditions were met. The PPA provision and the proposed guidance set out different rules, leaving the status of the proposed regulations unclear." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Overview: Pension Protection Act of 2006 -- Government Employers' Retirement Plan Provisions (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "The provisions of the PPA that affect governmental retirement plans do not make sweeping changes to the existing rules, but they do present important opportunities for governmental employers and employees." (Hay Group)

How to Recognize a Good 401(k) Plan at Work
Excerpt: "Since a 401(k) plan costs the boss something, a good plan shows your employer wants to attract, retain and motivate good workers, said David L. Wray, president of Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America." (Knight Ridder via Akron Beacon Journal)

Employee Ownership Update for November 28, 2006
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses several developments: Rahm Emanuel's new book argues no CEO should get options unless all workers get options; new EBRI data shows just 56.8% of working adults between ages 21 and 64 are eligible for a retirement plan and only 45.1% actually participate in a plan; an Equilar study finds a trend toward safe-harbor ESPPs with no lookbacks and a 5% or less discount; and the NCEO is working on a project on ESOPs and 401(k)-ESOPs in public companies. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Commentary on What's a Plan? See Gray v. Prudential
Excerpt: "The case is interesting for (1) how it uses a very technical analysis to find the arrangement is a plan and (2) the way it illustrates the importance of specific provisions in the DOL Regs. for 403(b) non-plans." (403(b)-457 Plans Blog; posted by Thomas L. Geer)

Brief: PBGC Final Regs Address Premium Penalty Waivers, Provide Guidance on 'Reasonable Cause'
Excerpt: "PBGC has issued a final rule on premium penalty waivers, which includes guidance on the 'reasonable cause' necessary for obtaining a waiver of the premium penalty in certain circumstances. (PBGC Reg Part 4007 Appendix; 71 Fed. Reg. 66867, 11/17/2006)" (Pension & Benefits Week via RIA News Briefings)

Overview: Pension Protection Act of 2006: Single Employer Defined Benefit Pension Plan Funding Rules (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "The new funding rules require employers that sponsor ERISA-covered single employer defined benefit pension plans to fund their plans more quickly and more fully; reduce flexibility in meeting funding targets; and impose increased funding requirements on, and restrict benefits paid by, poorly funded plans." (Hay Group)

Editorial: Pay Increase for Indiana State Legislators Reasonable If Retirement Benefits Reduced
Excerpt: "[U]ntil recently, the perks, including lifetime health insurance and extraordinary pension benefits, were well beyond what most private sector employees could expect. The House has dropped the heavily subsidized health-care perk, and the Senate is in the process of eliminating it. The generous retirement benefit remains." (IndyStar.com)

Mercer Global Retirement Perspective, December 2006
22 pages. The 10th edition contains the following titles: The buck stops -- where? Pensions in the company boardroom; Getting real with retirement benefits; Designing the ideal retirement system -- lessons from Hong Kong; and, Thailand: Mandatory Retirement Plan postponed to 2008. (Mercer Human Resource Consulting LLC; free registration required)

Overview: Pension Protection Act of 2006 -- Summary of Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plan Provisions (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "Changes to the multiemployer pension plan funding and related disclosure requirements are extensive, although nowhere near as dramatic as the changes to the funding requirements for single employer plans. This paper discusses the PPA provisions that are of particular interest to trustees and administrators of multiemployer defined benefit plans." (Hay Group)

Retirement Plan Participants not Confident in Investing Abilities, According to Survey
Excerpt: "Seventy-three percent of plan participants surveyed said they are not overly confident in their investing abilities, according to The Scarborough Group, provider of investment advice and allocation management for 401(k) plan participants." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Interview with a Pension Attorney on How Dentists Can Take Advantage of the New Pension Law
Excerpt: "There are significant benefits in this law for dentists. While space won't allow a complete review, I want to apprise you of some of the planning potential. So, let me share my recent interview with pension attorney Deborah McNear, senior attorney at Krieg DeVault, LLP, in Indianapolis, Ind." (Dental Economics)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: FASB Final Statement on Accounting Reform for Postretirement Benefits
Excerpt: "The final statement builds on the Exposure Draft released March 31, 2006. It clarifies many of the questions raised by various stakeholders during the last few months and is consistent with decisions made by the board during the re-deliberation process. This release finalizes phase one of the accounting reforms for postretirement benefit plans and amends FASB Statements No. 87, 88, 106 and 132(R)." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Why Do Boomers Plan to Work So Long?
Excerpt: "Recent changes in retirement trends and patterns have raised questions about the likely retirement behavior of baby boomers, the large cohort born between 1946 and 1964. This study compares the retirement expectations of workers ages 51 to 56 in 2004 (who were born between 1948 and 1953, the leading edge of the baby boom) and 1992 (born between 1936 and 1941)." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Splitting Stock Options in a Divorce
Excerpt: "Unlike the IRA or the Porsche--assets that are easy to identify, value and transfer upon divorce--unexercised stock options granted during a marriage, or even immediately after a marriage ends, can be the source of headaches, not only for the divorcing parties themselves but, in some cases, even for the companies granting those options." (Forbes.com)

Fiduciary Breach Claims Must Seek Relief for Whole Plan Says Court
Excerpt: "The US District Court for the Northern District of Ohio ruled that claims alleging a fiduciary breach by a retirement plan trustee must seek recovery for such breach on behalf of the plan as a whole, and not individual participant accounts." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Wall Street Journal Letter to Editor Questions 'Highly Paid' Executives' Health Care Benefits
Excerpt: "A Nov. 20 Wall Street Journal editorial on a health insurance proposal recently released by America's Health Insurance Plans indicated that individuals should take more responsibility for their health care costs through enrollment in high-deductible health plans, a recommendation that might 'resonate' with economists but that also raises questions about coverage for 'highly paid corporate executives,' Uwe Reinhardt, a professor . . . at Princeton University, writes . . . ." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Overview: Drafting Employee Severance Agreements and Releases (PDF)
Pages 12-15 of 16 pages. Excerpt: "[O]btaining a release of claims in exchange for severance or other benefits is usually a good investment. Generally, the amount of severance pales in comparison to the costs of defending a lawsuit and the potential liability of a successful claim." (Jenkens & Gilchrist)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Year-End Update on HSAs, HRAs and Health FSAs Teleweb
in California on December 14, 2006
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Ftwilliam.com Announces The Release of Its Cash Balance Plan Document
ftwilliam.com


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Documentation Specialist
for The Senex Group
in CA

Pension Administrator
for The Senex Group
in CA

401(k)/Defined Contribution Valuation Processor
for National Retirement Services, Inc.
in CA, NC

Business Analyst, Product Development (Employee Benefits)
for WageWorks, Inc.
in CA

Assistant Pension Administrator (Defined Benefits)
for Qualified Benefits, Inc - QBI (a wholly owned subsidiary of BenefitStreet, Inc.)
in CA

Benefits Planning & Communications Specialist
for The Guardian Life Insurance Company of America
in NY

Marketing Director
for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA

Account Specialist -- Underwriting and Licensing
for Nolan Financial
in DC, MD

401K Administrator
for Paycor
in OH

Annuity Claims Specialist
for Mutual of Omaha
in NE

Pension Software Business Analyst
for Levi, Ray & Shoup, Inc.
in IL




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