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December 19, 2006


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401(k) Fees in the Spot Light of Both the GAO and the Investment Company Institute
Excerpt: "Together these two documents offer some valuable insight into what is sure to become a growing debate regarding 401(k) plan fees. This debate will be fueled in part by the pending class action suits alleging fiduciary breaches stemming from failure to monitor plan fees and in part by policy makers' panic over retirement income security for the baby boomers and those following them who are likely to be heavily reliant on 401(k) plan accounts." (Deloitte)

The Roth 401(k): How Can It Benefit State and Local Government Participants? (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "If Congress were to permit the Roth 401(k) to expire, this would only prevent people from putting further money into the Roth 401(k) accounts. Administrative costs and accounting would still be required to facilitate the funds in these accounts. If offered, and if participants can fulfill the contribution requirements, some individuals may opt to rollover their account into a Roth IRA." (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators Inc.)

Overview: Participant Diversification Requirement and Notice
Excerpt: "Should publicly traded employers with defined contribution plans holding company stock send out notices before the end of the year even if their defined contribution plans satisfy the diversification requirements of the statute? Although some practitioners think this is absurd, this practitioner thinks it is better to be safe than sorry." (Pension & Benefits Blog)

Overview: IRS Transitional Guidance Regarding Divestiture Rights and a Model Notice (PDF)
Pages 1-3 of 7 pages. Excerpt: "In addition to clarifying the notice requirements, Notice 2006-107 includes the model notice issued by the IRS. The model notice may need to be adapted to reflect particular plan provisions, including any transition rules that are being applied." (Trucker Huss)

Changing 403(b) Plans for Changing Times (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: " New 403(b) due diligence and compliance expectations provide 'enormous opportunities for employers to reduce fees.'" (International Foundation for Employee Benefit Plans via 403bwise.com)

A Question and Answer on the Special Transition Rules Spelled Out in PPA
Excerpt: "Is there a rule of thumb which might indicate when these transition rules might benefit a plan or not?" (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Survey Finds Employer Support for Defined Benefit Plans Strong in '05
Excerpt: "According to a survey conducted by the Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA), large corporate retirement plan sponsors provided significant support to their defined benefit plans as well as their defined contribution plans in 2005." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

District Court Opinion and Order In re Citigroup Pension Plan ERISA Litigation (PDF)
44 pages. (U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York via American Benefits Council)

Fact Sheet and Resources on Pension Rights after Divorce
Excerpt: "A pension earned during marriage is generally considered to be a joint asset of both husband and wife. However, it is up to state divorce courts to decide whether and how pension assets are divided, and whether survivors benefits are payable." (Pension Rights Center)

Commentary: Do We Need a Dr. Phil for Pensions?
Excerpt: "Working across disciplines and functions is the new mantra in employee benefits land. Pension decision-makers will need to coalesce or risk doing an incomplete or poor job of navigating stormy waters. A possible result? Increased personal and professional liability, coupled with a host of nasty financial outcomes for plan sponsors." (Pension Risk Matters)

Opinion: The Importance of Setting the Fiduciary 'Tone at the Top' (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Since professional and lay decision-makers depend on an assortment of industry vendors for assistance in managing their diverse roles and responsibilities, it is imperative to foster and promote a culture of fiduciary responsibility with all involved parties." (Don Trone, InvestmentNews via Fiduciary360)

Survey Shows Thrift Savings Plan Participants Satisfied with Plan
Excerpt: "The first survey of Thrift Savings Plan participants in more than 15 years is complete, and TSP officials gave a glimpse of the results at their monthly board meeting [yesterday]." (GovExec.com)

Public and Private Pensions Differ on Many Levels
Excerpt: "All pensions are not created equal. For one thing, public pensions are not subject to the same Employee Retirement Income Security Act, known by the acronym ERISA, rules that govern private pensions." (AllAroundPhilly.com via The Daily Local News)

Life Insurance Industry Executives Look at Winning the Retirement Market
Excerpt: "Doing well in the retirement market requires manufacturers and advisors to make retirement planning both palatable and easy for middle-market consumers, experts agreed at a life insurance conference . . . ." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free registration or paid subscription required)

Cash Balance Plans: Recent Events and Historical Perspective (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Employers and employees alike love cash balance plans. The enactment of the PPA will give a green light to new cash balance plans that are carefully crafted to fit comfortably within the new standards." (Benefits & Compensation Law for Nonprofits via Alston & Bird LLP)


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

Overview of Executive Compensation Disclosure: Corporate Governance Disclosures (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "[This installment of Powell Goldstein's] Executive Compensation Disclosure Memo Series summarizes the expanded corporate governance disclosure requirements under newly adopted Item 407 of Regulation S-K and, for small business issuers, Regulation S-B." (Powell Goldstein LLP)

Employee Benefits Year-End Checklist (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "The . . . checklist describes year-end action items with respect to (1) executive compensation and equity compensation plans, (2) health and welfare plans, (3) tax-qualified retirement and savings plans, and (4) fiduciary/plan investment matters. These lists are not exhaustive but are intended to provide a reminder of the general set of issues facing us at year end." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

New Jersey Legislative Session Over, Gov. Corzine Vows Not to Back Down on State Benefit Reform
Excerpt: "Fresh from a scuffle with the New Jersey Legislature over who should take on the task of re-examining pensions and health care benefits for state employees, Gov. Jon S. Corzine said Monday that he was prepared to embark on 'serious restructuring' efforts because soaring costs would make it impossible for the state to keep pace over the next decade." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Health Care Costs, Taxes, and the Retirement Decision -- Issues and Simulations (PDF)
38 pages. Excerpt: "This study considers how rising tax burdens and out-of-pocket health care costs will affect the timing of retirement. Conceptually, the impact of taxes depends on which particular taxes are raised. How well people anticipate future increases in taxes and health care costs, and how they react at younger ages, will crucially affect retirement impacts." (The Urban Institute)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Survey Finds Few Seniors Expect To Switch Medicare Drug Plans For 2007
Kaiser Family Foundation

Eos Airlines Adds CareCounsel's Healthcare Advocacy Benefit to Its Innovative Consumer-Driven Health Plan
CareCounsel

Improved Benefitscheckup® Website Helps Seniors Quickly Find Benefits
National Council on Aging (NCOA)

Large Corporate Employers Continue Support for Retirement Plans
Committee on Investment of Employee Benefit Assets (CIEBA)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Sr. Benefits Analyst for Corning Incorporated
for Corning Incorporated
in NY

Employee Benefits Attorney
for Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)
in WA

Sr New Business Account Mgr
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Employee Benefits Account Manager
for Cohn-Reid-O'Neill Insurance Services
in CA

EBS Actuary I/II
for Excellus BlueCross BlueShield - Rochester Region
in NY

Retirement Consultant
for New York Life Investment Management - Retirement Plans Services
in MA

Relationship Manager
for New York Life Investment Management - Retirement Plans Services
in MA

Wachovia Retirement Solutions Relationship Manager II
for Wachovia
in NY

Associate for Retirement Plan Department
for Horan Securities, Inc.
in OH

ERP Application Administrator (Financial Data Specialist II)
for State of New Hampshire Department of Administrative Services
in NH

Supervisor - QDRO Determination Services
for Vanguard
in PA

Defined Benefit Plan Administrator
for First Actuarial Corporation
in MI




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