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December 12, 2006


Sponsored by: ASC & The ASC Institute

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Banner ad for ASC & The ASC Institute

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

We're so confident you can create retirement plan documents, amendments & forms in one-half 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

IRS, DOL, and PBGC Officials Outline Plans to Issue Guidance on the PPA
Excerpt: "Before the end of December the IRS is planning to issue guidance on the PPA's hybrid plan provisions and other miscellaneous PPA provisions taking effect in 2007. . . . A panel of officials from Labor and Treasury, as well as the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), outlined their PPA-related guidance priorities during a December 5, 2006 teleconference sponsored by the American Bar Association." (Deloitte)

Current Pension Legislative Update
Excerpt: "[The target page provides] a chart showing the [committee leadership] changes from 2006 (109th Congress) to 2007 (110th Congress). [It also discusses the possible direction of retirement legislation.]" (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Overview: IRS Guidance on New Employer Stock Diversification Requirements
Excerpt: "Basically, IRC 401(a)(35) requires defined contribution plans (other than certain ESOPs) that hold publicly traded employer securities to permit participants to divest . . . after completing three years of service. According to Notice 2006-107, a participant completes three years of service immediately after the end of the plan's third vesting computation period pursuant to IRC 411(a)(5)." (Deloitte)

Overview of IBM's 401(k) Plan -- Big Blue's Blue Chip Lineup
Excerpt: "In the early part of this year, IBM . . . said it would transform its pension, defined benefit, to a defined contribution, 401(k) plan. This means that employees would now have to be responsible for securing their own financial future: daunting at first, but significantly more rewarding in the end. To that end, we were asked by several IBMers, who were also Fidelity Investor members, to review IBM's 401(k) plan." (Jim Lowell's Fidelity Investor newsletter via Forbes.com)

ERIC Requests Additional Relief from Redundant Diversification Notices (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "On Friday, December 8, ERIC filed [this] letter with the Department of Labor seeking additional relief regarding the timing of notices required under the Pension Protection Act (PPA) to alert plan participants of their right to diversify investments held in employer stock as well as the importance of diversifying retirement investments." (The ERISA Industry Committee)

Text of Comments by Pension Consultants Inc. on Proposed Default Investment Alternatives Regulation (PDF)
3 pages; November 13, 2006. Excerpt: "It is our belief that, prior to the guidance provided by the proposed regulations, plan sponsors attempted to meet their ERISA fiduciary obligation to protect a participant's account from investment losses by investing default contributions in money market, stable value, or other similar investments. The proposed regulations address future contributions, but do not mention the proper treatment of these prior contributions." (Pension Consultants Inc.)

Survey Finds Federal Workers Share Poor Retirement Planning With All Workers, but Have More Savings
Excerpt: "A survey of the federal civilian work force shows that federal workers expect to retire earlier than American workers as a whole and say they have saved more money -- but are almost as bad at planning for retirement as all workers." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Nebraska High Court Leaves Alone Dismissed Pension Loss Case
Excerpt: "The Nebraska Supreme Court has turned away a request to throw out a lower court ruling dismissing an Omaha attorney's lawsuit that claimed state pension fund officials lost $40 million through an illegal investment." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Overview: PBGC Final Regulations on Premium Penalty Waivers
Excerpt: "According to the preamble to the final regulations, the PBGC can waive a premium penalty for a number of reasons, based on the 'facts and circumstances.' But the most common reason for granting a waiver is a showing of 'reasonable cause' for failing to pay a premium in full and on time. . . . The PBGC also might waive a premium penalty in certain other situations, even without a 'reasonable cause' determination. These are: . . ." (Deloitte)

Leverage: Friend or Foe to Pension Investors?
The target page comments on the December 11, 2006, New York Times article about lackluster returns for some hedge funds. (Pension Risk Matters)

FAA Mulling 65 as New Airline Pilot Retirement Age
Excerpt: "Federal aviation officials are reportedly crafting a new policy to allow US airline pilots to stay on the job for as many as five years past the current retirement age of 60." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)


Sponsored by: Mid-Sized Pension Management Conference

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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)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Enrolled Actuaries Report, Fall 2006 (PDF)
8 pages. This edition has short articles on the Pension Protection Act, an Academy challenge to the Wall Street Journal on pension issues, the Value of Defined Benefit Plans, the Webcast Series on New Pension Legislation, and the Stock Option Valuation Practice Notice. (American Academy of Actuaries)

Overview: 409A Reporting and Withholding for 2005 and 2006
Excerpt: "The amount includible in income and required to be reported (and withheld upon, if applicable) is the portion of the total amount deferred under a deferred compensation plan subject to Section 409A as of December 31 of 2005 or 2006 that is not subject to a substantial risk of forfeiture and has not been included in income previously, plus amounts paid or made available under such plan during 2005 or 2006." (Bachelder & Dowling, P.A.)

Protections for Employees Called into Military Service and Employer-Provided Benefits (PDF)
18 pages. Originally published September 2002. Excerpt: "Applicable federal statutes include The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 . . . and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 . . . . This article focuses on how those laws apply to the administration of employee benefit programs. This article also identifies some unanswered questions under those laws." (Steptoe & Johnson LLP)

Stock Option Fundamentals
Originally published Autumn 2002. Excerpt: "This column describes the basic structure of three widely used option arrangements -- non-statutory stock options, incentive stock options (ISOs) and employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs), as well as the tax consequences of such plans and recent proposals regarding their accounting and required disclosure." (Steptoe & Johnson LLP)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2007 Mid-Winter Tour: Advanced IRAs: A seminar for serious IRA professionals
in South Dakota on January 25, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Mid-Winter Tour: Advanced IRAs: A seminar for serious IRA professionals
in Minnesota on January 25, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Mid-Winter Tour: Advanced IRAs: A seminar for serious IRA professionals
in California on January 25, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Mid-Winter Tour: Advanced IRAs: A seminar for serious IRA professionals
in Minnesota on January 25, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Mid-Winter Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on January 24, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Mid-Winter Tour: IRA Essentials
in South Dakota on January 24, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Mid-Winter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Minnesota on January 24, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Mid-Winter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Minnesota on January 24, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Web/Telephone Seminar: Advanced Health Savings Accounts
Nationwide on January 23, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Web/Telephone Seminar: Basic IRAs
Nationwide on January 25, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to Health Savings Accounts
Nationwide on January 18, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2007 Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Reporting
Nationwide on January 16, 2007
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Investment Adviser Regulation
in District of Columbia on January 26, 2007
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Investment Adviser Regulation - Webcast
Nationwide on January 26, 2007
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

New Rules for Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) -- What Changes Are Allowed and How and When Should We Make Them?
Nationwide on January 11, 2007
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

U. S. Labor Department Proposes Pension Protection Act Revisions to the Form 5500 Annual Report for 2008
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Federal Agencies Finalize Rules on Health Nondiscrimination
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Second Edition of the Governmental Plans Answer Book Published
Calhoun Law Group, P.C.

Survey Finds 84% of Organizations Subject to FMLA Offer Some Type of Paid Family and Medical Leave
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Aetna Behavioral Health Introduces Industry - First Bipolar Disease Management Program
Aetna

Retirement Planning of Federal Workers, All Americans Contrasted
Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

IRS Changes Policies for Tax-Free Commuter Benefits
TransitCenter


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Client Relationship Manager
for Freedom One Financial Group
in MI

Senior Pension Analyst
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Sr New Business Account Mgr
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Benefits Specialist
for Chugach Alaska Corporation
in AZ, CA, CO, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, TX, UT, WA, WY

Director of Group Insurance Benefits
for Growing Employee Benefits Firm
in IL

Sr Mgr Benefits
for Charles Schwab
in CA

Testing & Reporting Consultant
for Fidelity Investments
in KY




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