Retirement Plans
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December 13, 2006

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Watson Wyatt's Survey on Default Investments and the DOL's Proposed Regulations
Excerpt: "Watson Wyatt Worldwide recently surveyed Insider subscribers about automatic enrollment, default investments, and loans and other withdrawals from DC plans. The web-based survey also asked respondents about their reactions to the U.S. Department of Labor's (DOL's) proposed regulations for qualified default investment funds . . . ." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

To-Do's for Trustees: Addressing a Plan's Funded Status Today to Face the Challenges of Tomorrow (PDF)
4 pages. From Milliman's December 2006 Multiemployer Review. (Milliman)

Overview: Guidance on Employee Diversification Rights on Publicly Traded Employer Securities (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "On December 1, 2006, the IRS issued Notice 2006-107 providing guidance on the investment diversification requirements applicable to publicly traded employer securities held by defined contribution plans." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

Overview: IRS Guidance on Diversification Out of Employer Securities (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "IRS Notice 2006-107 provides guidance on the new diversification rules and establishes a January 1, 2007 deadline for providing the notice on diversification rights for calendar year plans." (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP)

Opinion: Hey Dude, the PPA is Sweet, but Maybe not for Retirement Dreams
Excerpt: "It's a virtual certainty that successful users of 401ks were motivated by a personal financial goal. That's something no automatic plan design feature can provide. Plan sponsors' interest in automatic plan features may be due in part because they've seen expensive and time-consuming retirement education programs fail. Too many programs have not helped employees acquire the knowledge and motivation - and take appropriate action - to be successful." (Dennis Ackley via

Pension Finance Resources
Excerpt: "The Task Force on Financial Economics and the Actuarial Model has compiled the following resources as an informational tool only to aid actuaries in learning more about the issues." (Society of Actuaries)

Overview: IRS Final Regulations on Using Electronic Media to Satisfy 'In Writing' Requirements
Excerpt: "The regulations give sponsors two ways to satisfy the requirements for notices and set out separate rules for electronic elections and consents. The final rules generally take effect on January 1, 2007." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

California Braced for Teacher Retirement Boom
Excerpt: "Pension costs in California could rise exponentially with the Legislative Analysts Office (LAO) claiming the retirement rate of teachers was set to 'jump notably' in the next few years. The state already spends US$1bn annually for the State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS)." (Global Pensions)

Pension Experts Worldwide Say Multinational Companies Will Develop Cross-Border Pension Arrangements
Excerpt: "The AEGON study is the first worldwide Delphi study on pension plans of multinational firms. A summary report of the Bridging Pension Plans Worldwide study is available on" (InsuranceNewsNet via Business Wire)

U.K. Sets Details for National Pension Saving Plan
Excerpt: "The United Kingdom's government [yesterday] detailed its proposals to avert a pension time bomb by setting up a national saving system that will cover up to 10 million citizens." (Business Insurance)

New Pension Laws and Accounting Rules Prompt Change in Plan Investment Strategies
Excerpt: "[American] companies are joining a global trend to more closely match pension investments with long-term plan liabilities, instead of focusing solely on the amount of assets in the plan, according to Watson Wyatt Investment Consulting." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Opinion: Life of a Benefits Manager Heading Into 2007?
Excerpt: "A reminder . . . that 2007 is sure to create some agita for more than a few benefits managers and other related decision-makers [-- the target page lists] a few reasons for upset . . . ." (Pension Risk Matters)

Letter to the Editor of the Washington Post: Putting Professionals in a Social Security Fix
Excerpt: "In his Nov. 27 op-ed ['A Fix for Social Security?'], about a possible bipartisan compromise that would lift the current $90,000 cap on taxable Social Security earnings, Sebastian Mallaby made a factual error and ignored important questions of fairness." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Increasing Financial Literacy in America (PDF)
34 pages. Excerpt: "Presentation by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States, before the National CPA Financial Literacy Commission, in Washington, D.C., December 11, 2006." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Issue in Brief: Employer Survey -- 1 of 4 Boomers Won't Retire Because They Can't (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "[T]he Center for Retirement Research conducted a nationally representative survey of 400 employers. This brief reports on employer estimates of how many workers, currently in their 50s, will have the resources needed to retire at the organization's traditional age and how many unprepared workers will respond by opting to extend their careers." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

How to Retire Young Enough to Enjoy It
Excerpt: "[W]ith pension plans crumbling, you may be wondering whether you'll ever be able to retire, much less retire young enough to spend quality time with those you love." (The Motley Fool)

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Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Google to Offer Variation on Stock Options
Excerpt: "Under the program, Google will grant employees a new type of option, called a transferable stock option. The company will work with Morgan Stanley to set up a market that will enable financial institutions and other investors to bid for those options." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Google Gives Employees Way to Value Stock Options
Excerpt: "Google Inc. . . . will let employees sell their vested stock options under a new program that will boost options' value to workers while raising the cost of options to the company, Google said [yesterday]." (Reuters via The Washington Post; free registration required)

Pension Protection Act Guide, Other Materials Published by Principal Financial Group
Target page includes links to 24-page 'PPA Guide', 2-page color-coded 'PPA Timeline of Provisions', and a 'DB(k) Overview' describing a hybrid plan design available for plan years beginning in 2010 for employers with less than 500 employees. (Principal Financial Group)

Overview of Pension Protection Act of 2006: What to Do in 2007 (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "This newsletter looks to 2007 and highlights effective PPA changes -- some of which are already effective, some that become effective January 1, 2007, and some that become effective when your plan's 2007 plan year begins." (Utz, Miller & Kuhn, LLC)

Nonqualified Deferred Compensation -- Sec. 409A -- How Do Proposed Regulations Affect You? (PDF)
63 pages. Web seminar. Excerpt: "Objective of this session [-- to p]rovide an overview of how 409A affects you, and what you need to do to comply with the rules." (Grant Thornton LLP)

Overview: IRS Notice on Wage Withholding/Reporting Obligations Under Section 409A (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "It is currently unclear whether or when the IRS will provide [further] clarification . . . . . However, the Treasury Department and the IRS requested comments in relation to the Notice which must be submitted by February 28, 2007." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

21st Century Challenges--Key Areas for Oversight: Retirement, Pension, and Health Care Insecurity (PDF)
52 pages. Excerpt: "Presentation by the Comptroller General, David M. Walker, before the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement, in Washington, D.C., December 7, 2006." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Human Resources Administration: How to Identify, Fix, and Prevent Minor but Persistent Problems -- Before They Turn into Major HR Crises- AUDIO CONFERENCE
Nationwide on December 20, 2006
presented by

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Kaiser/Hewitt Survey Of Large Employers Finds Most Intend To Maintain Drug Coverage For Medicare Retirees In 2007 And 2008
Kaiser Family Foundation and Hewitt Associates

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Retirement Plan Services Technical Support Administrator II
for Bankers Trust
in IA

Entry Level 401 (k) Administrator
for Scholz, Klein & Friends Enlightened Retirement Group, Inc.
in TX

Associate, Pension Administration
for Buck Consultants
in CA, PA

401(k)/DC Administrator
for Levy & Associates in Sunny Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
in FL

401k Administrator
for Karel-Gordon & Associates
in IL

Defined Benefit Retirement Plan Administrator
for Loren D. Stark Company, Inc.
in TX

Relius Administration Quality Assurance Specialist
for SunGard Relius
in FL

Annual Plan Reporting Administrator
for Vanguard
in PA

Defined Contribution Team Administrator
for ABG-MA, a BenefitStreet co.
in PA

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