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November 30, 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)

Pilots' Union Begins Testimony in New York Court
Excerpt: "The two sides disagree on five major points related to savings estimates from proposed concessions. Among those is the savings that could be achieved by eliminating the pilots' defined contribution retirement plan. Comair seeks the cuts as part of a $3 billion restructuring plan pursued by Delta." (AP via The Cincinnati Post)

Comments on 401(k) Fee Analysis -- Who Benefits?
Excerpt: "A comprehensive fee analysis, done before manager selection and regularly thereafter, benefits multiple constituencies - plan sponsors, participants, shareholders, money managers and consultants." (Pension Risk Matters)

Opinion: Looking Back on 25 Years of Retirement Savings
Excerpt: "We've come a long way in 25 years. However, we must expand savings opportunities at a much faster clip if we are to increase retirement security for all generations. Congress, employers, and the financial services industry each have a role to play. We need to give the 22 million employees who are not participating in their employers' 401(k)s greater incentives to participate." (InvestmentNews via Investment Company Institute)

2006 PLANSPONSOR Defined Contribution Survey
Excerpt: "Among the nearly 5,000 respondent plans to this year's DC survey, just three out of four workers eligible to participate chose to do so. While that level is unchanged from last year, and somewhat better than that reported in 2004, it is well short of the 90%+ rates typically associated with automatic enrollment designs . . . . [The target page has a link to the survey results.]" (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

U.S. Investors Want Retirement Plan Control, According to Survey
Excerpt: "Asset management company Eaton Vance Corp., which commissioned the study, also found that more than half of all investors want Congress to eliminate mandatory withdrawals as Americans are living longer." (Reuters)

Overview: IRS Instructions on Reporting IRA Qualified Charitable Distributions (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "In connection with recently published corrections to the 2006 Instructions for Form 1099-R and 5498, the Internal Revenue Service provided . . . guidance with respect to reporting such 'qualified charitable distributions' . . . ." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

Overview: IRS Procedures for Allowing Charitable Contributions from IRAs Under the PPA
Excerpt: "The PPA permits specified individuals to make contributions from their IRAs to certain public charities without including the amounts in the contributor's income." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Costly DROP Retirement Perk Lives On and On in San Diego
Excerpt: "More than a year ago the City Council took a very modest step toward reducing San Diego's overweening pension debt when it voted to eliminate three costly retirement perks for new hires only. The axed benefits included the notorious DROP program, which enables city workers to retire with pension checks that are higher than their highest-year salaries . . . ." (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

UK Pensions Bill Published
Excerpt: "BizWorld reports that the UK government has published its Pensions Bill, which will raise the retirement age to 68 by 2046, among other changes." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated as of November 28, 2006, for Retirement Plans (PDF)
2 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding retirement plans. (Hewitt Associates)

AARP Finds Older Californians Overwhelmed by Retirement Saving
Excerpt: "A survey from AARP Financial has found Californians over age 50 report being overwhelmed with too many choices, turned off by complex prospectus language and not sure who to turn to for advice, and are thus falling behind in their retirement savings." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Comments on Second Circuit on Discretionary Firestone Language and SPDs
Excerpt: "In Tocker v. Phillip Morris, No. 04-5904 (2nd Cir. Nov. 22, 2006), the court considered a situation in which the company failed to place the necessary discretionary Firestone language into its plan's summary plan description (SPD), but nevertheless sought and received arbitrary and capricious review of a plan administrators benefit determination (involving the calculation of pension credits) based on discretionary language in other ERISA plan documents." (Workplace Prof Blog)

Survey Shows Compensation Statements Help Employees See Value of Benefits
Excerpt: "A majority of human resource and benefits executives say personalized compensation statements would heighten workers' understanding of their benefits packages, but more than half don't use them, a recent survey revealed." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Overview: Modifications to Form 8-K Rules (PDF)
6 pages. In addition to text describing the modifications, there is a summary chart for Form 8-K rules, as revised, effective November 7, 2006. (Haynes and Boone, LLP)

Study Covers How Recent Pension Laws Clarify Non-Qualified Plan Issues
Excerpt: "A white paper released by National Retirement Partners, LLC and The Baker Companies discusses how the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 (AJCA) and the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) have clarified administration and funding questions for sponsors of non-qualified benefit plans." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Brokers Providing Benefits Such As Health Insurance and Retirement Savings Plans to Associates
Excerpt: "The competitive pressure of attracting and retaining associates is propelling the trend. 'Our medical benefits and overall compensation were part of the driving force' in many associates joining the company, says Mike Golden, cofounder of @properties in Chicago." (National Association of Realtors)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide for November 28, 2006, on Human Resources & Employment Law (PDF)
6 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding human resources and employment law. (Hewitt Associates)

Opinion: Shorten the Term on Stock Options and Save the Company a Bundle
Excerpt: "[B]ecause of employee behavior, cutting the term of a stock option may be a way to cut compensation costs without diminishing pay to employees. Many, if not most, employees won't even notice the shrunken option term because they weren't planning to hold the option until its expiration." (Bloomberg News)

46% of Ford's Unionized Workforce Take Buyouts
Excerpt: "The buyouts ranged from $35,000 to $140,000 depending on workers' years of service, age and how close the workers are to retirement." (AP via The Washington Post; free registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Health Care Trends -- 2007 and Beyond Teleweb
Nationwide on December 7, 2006
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

McKay Hochman Announces EGTRRA Cash Balance Plan Document
McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Dorsa Consulting Enters Cash Balance Plan Record-Keeping Market
Dorsa Consulting


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) Account Manager
for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA

Benefit Consultant (Sales Agent)
for Corporate Synergies Group, Inc.
in NJ

Director of Defined Contribution
for John Mulligan & Associates, Inc.
in CT, NY

Plan Administrator
for Pension Strategies, LLC
in AZ

Compliance Specialist
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Public Policy Analyst II
for National Business Group on Health
in DC

Supervisor, Defined Contribution
for ERP Actuaries & Consultants
in NY

Retirement Services Representative - Pittsburgh Pension Office
for Securian Financial Group
in PA

ERISA Attorney
for AIG
in NY

Retirement Plan Manager
for Selective Insurance
in NJ

Client Service Representative
for Midsouth Pension Consultants, LLC
in TN

Retirement Plan Sales Consultant
for CBH Pensions, Inc.
in NC, SC




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