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December 4, 2006
Today's sponsor: RELIUS® Education – Seminars and Conferences for Retirement Plan Professionals

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2007 Orlando Advanced Pension Conference

February 12-14, 2007 - Orlando, FL - Registration Now Available!
This fast-paced, intensive Conference brings together a faculty of leading ERISA experts to discuss the most important issues and opportunities presented by The Pension Protection Act of 2006. Hot topics include: Participant Communications After PPA '06; Rollovers and Cashouts; Keeping Plan Documents IRS-Compliant; Cash Balance Plans, and a Washington Update. This exceptional program also features the two-hour forum "Ask the Experts,", twelve concurrent sessions, and over 900 minutes of continuing education credits. The world of retirement plans is challenging and continuously changing. Attend this program and be sure you are ready for the challenge. Register by January 15 and save $100.

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

Text of DOL Request for Info on Computer Model for Use with Self-Directed DC Plan Accounts
Excerpt: "[The PPA amended ERISA and the Code] to add an exemption from certain prohibited transactions restrictions [and excise taxes] for the provision of 'investment advice' to participants and beneficiaries of individual account plans that permit the direction of assets in their accounts . . . if the investment advice is provided under an 'eligible investment advice arrangement' [which uses a computer model.]" (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

Text of DOL Request for Info on Computer Model for Use in Advising Owners of IRAs, HSAs
Excerpt: "[The PPA amended ERISA and the Code] to add an exemption from certain prohibited transactions restrictions [and excise taxes] for the provision of 'investment advice' to participants and beneficiaries . . . if the investment advice is provided under an 'eligible investment advice arrangement'. . . . that uses a computer model, which meets the requirements of the exemption." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

EBSA Asks for Help in Developing 401(k) and IRA Advice Regulations
Excerpt: "As federal regulators continue filling in the detailed framework for the Pension Protection Act's (PPA) provisions, they are now asking for public comment on the PPA's investment advice exemption for 401(k) plans and IRAs." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Overview: IRS Issues Model Diversification Rights Notice; Notice Not Required Before January 1, 2007
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: This is welcome relief and guidance for 401(k) plans that hold publicly traded employer securities: Affected calendar-year plans have until January 1, 2007 to adapt the model notice and distribute it." (Employee Benefits Institute of America, Inc.)

New Type 401(k) Plan Promotes Social Responsibility Among Investors
Excerpt: "Social(k) has taken the traditional 401(k), which allows employees to funnel part of their paycheck directly into a retirement account, and populated it with socially responsible mutual funds, which hold stocks only in companies that practice business in a manner determined to be morally, ethically or environmentally responsible." (Sun-Sentinel.com)

Book Review: Best Practices for 401(k) Investment Committees
Excerpt: "[The author] first explores the federal legislation that governs employer-sponsored plans and explains tricky rules about investment options and the fiduciary obligations in play even when employees choose their own investment allocations." (Financial-Planning.com)

Overview: Department of Labor Proposed Regulations Regarding Default Investment Options (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "In general, the proposed regulations provide that a participant who does not give an affirmative investment direction will be treated as exercising control over his or her account with respect to assets that the plan invests in a 'qualified default investment alternative.'" (Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC)

The Economics of Providing 401(k) Plans: Services, Fees, and Expenses (PDF)
20 pages. Excerpt: "Employers that decide to offer 401(k) plans, an optional employee benefit, are confronted with two competing economic pressures: the need to attract and retain qualified workers with competitive compensation packages and the need to keep end products and services competitively priced." (Investment Company Institute)

Health Care Employers Increasing Automatic Options in Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "The 2006 survey by The American Hospital Association (AHA) and Diversified Investment Advisors, Inc. found that health care employers, like employers in other industries, are moving in a more automatic direction in terms of the retirement plans they offer, according to a news release." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Text of IRS Notice 2006-105: Extension of Plan Contribution Election by Airline Employers (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Notwithstanding the requirement under Announcement 2004-43 that any alternative deficit reduction contribution election be made by the end of the first quarter of the plan year, if, on or before December 21, 2006, an employer makes an alternative deficit reduction contribution election for the first plan year beginning on or after December 28, 2005, that election will be deemed timely." (Internal Revenue Service)

Opinion: Potholes in the Road to Meeting Public Employee Pension Obligations
Excerpt: "Every government facing this issue comes up with a variety of ideas, usually including changing the system from defined benefits plans to defined contribution plans for new employees. Nationwide, however, finding workable solutions to the issue of public employee pension obligations is unbelievably complex because America's public employee pension systems cover some 17.3 million Americans who are participants in any of an astonishing 2,670 different state and local pension plans." (Beverly Goldberg, The Century Foundation)

More Words on Plan Drafting
Excerpt: "It is very simple to include language that the plan . . . gives the administrator discretionary authority to determine eligibility for benefits and to construe the terms of the plan." (403(b)-457 Plans Blog; posted by Thomas L. Geer)

Tax Break for IRA Distributions to Encourage Giving Is Creating Confusion Instead
Excerpt: "[S]ome banks and brokerage houses, as custodians of the accounts, have balked at transferring money directly to the charities. And prospective donors who might choose an alternative -- taking the money themselves and then donating it -- are not eligible for the break. The reasons for the custodians' reluctance include ignorance of the measure, which was tucked into the Pension Protection Act . . . ." (The New York Times; free registration required)

AARP and External Resources Portfolio on Pensions
Excerpt: "The [portfolio] is a collection of recently released international comparative resources on public, private and occupational pensions." (AARP)

Opinion: Plan to Retire but Forget about Social Security
Excerpt: "Many people stopped counting on Social Security as part of their planning long ago. But many others who still have their fingers crossed need to let go of the fantasy and make better financial plans. Trust me, I read it in my Social Security statement." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Opinion: Social Security Reform Is Not Just About Solvency
Excerpt: "[W]hile solvency is important, the goal of Social Security reform should be more than just balancing the books. We should try to provide workers with the best possible retirement options, and that involves giving them more control and ownership of their retirement funds." (Washington Examiner via Cato Institute)

DOL Says Stock Windfall Belongs to Plan Participants, Not Organization
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor (DoL) announced it is suing the Iowa Association of Business and Industry over a stock windfall that the organization retained rather than turn over to its member companies' benefit plans." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Investors Want to Be in Charge of Their Own Retirement Savings Plans, According to Survey
Excerpt: "Americans may be leaving their retirement savings program on auto pilot, but a majority responding to a recent survey was certain of one thing: they wanted to make basic savings decisions without the government doing it for them. That was a key finding of the Eaton Vance Corporation's eighth annual survey of US investors, which examined attitudes among three generations - GenXers, Baby Boomers, and Seniors . . . ." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: Executive Compensation Disclosure -- The Supplemental Tables (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "[This memo] summarizes the principal aspects of the supplemental tables that are required to accompany the Summary Compensation Table . . . in proxy statements (or 10-K's for companies not subject to the proxy rules) filed during the upcoming proxy season." (Powell Goldstein LLP)

Overview: Guidance on Deferred Compensation Income Reporting and Withholding for 2005 and 2006 (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "Notice 2006-100 supersedes Notice 2005-94, which alerted employers and payers last year that they might have to file amended information returns to report amounts includible in income in for 2005." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Accounting for Social Insurance (Including Social Security and Medicare), Revised -- Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (PDF)
150 pages. Excerpt: "The Board is proposing improvements in the information provided about the effect of social insurance programs. This preliminary views document contains two views of how financial reporting for social insurance can be improved, a Primary View and an Alternative View." (U.S. Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

DOL Audit and Enforcement Activity
in Ohio on December 12, 2006
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Cleveland

Getting It Right -- Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities
in California on December 5, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Getting Started with Writing the 2007 CD&A - Audioconference
Nationwide on December 14, 2006
presented by BNA, Inc.

Plan Design Workshop - Strategies for PPA 2006
in North Carolina on December 13, 2006
presented by SunGard Relius

Plan Design Workshop - Strategies for PPA 2006
in Pennsylvania on December 13, 2006
presented by SunGard Relius

Plan Design Workshop - Strategies for PPA 2006
in Georgia on December 14, 2006
presented by SunGard Relius

Plan Design Workshop - Strategies for PPA 2006
in Massachusetts on December 14, 2006
presented by SunGard Relius


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Labor Department Sues Iowa Association to Recover Millions in Employee Benefit Assets
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Labor Department Seeks Comments on Investment Advice Exemption for 401(k) Plans and IRAs
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

America's Youngest Workers Strongly Support Radical Redesign Of Nation's Retirement Plans
Prudential Financial, Inc.

HHS Secretary Leavitt Asks Employers to Commit to Health Care Quality and Cost Reporting for Employees
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Mutual Fund Study: Huge 'Broker Penalty' Sees Unwary Index Fund Investors Paying 3 Times More In Fund Expenses
Zero Alpha Group and Fund Democracy

Clark Capital Management Group Introduces The Navigator Simplified 401(k)
Clark Capital Management Group


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Implementation Specialist
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Defined Benefits Administrator
for The Rosen Group
in WA

Compliance Account Manager
for First Niagara Benefits Consulting
in NY

DC Implementation Business Analyst
for CitiStreet
in MA

Senior Account Manager
for CitiStreet
in NJ

401(k) Administration Superstar
for Law Offices of R. David Danziger
in PA

Marketing Assistant
for Pension & Benefits Associates, Inc.
in CT, MA

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for Papalia Retirement Plan Services, Inc.
in PA

Call Center Supervisor
for Benefits Consulting Firm
in GA

Pension Plan Administrator
for Robin S. Weingast & Associates, Inc.
in NY

Pension Associate
for BST
in NY

OmniPlus Consultants
for Chesapeake Benefit Partners
in ANY STATE

Retirement Plan Administrator
for FM International
in NY

Retirement Sales Assistant and Administration
for Lifetime Benefits LLC
in MD

ERISA Associate
for Trucker Huss, A Professional Corporation
in CA




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