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December 21, 2006

Sponsored by: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

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The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans is a comprehensive resource for those working with benefit plans. Members enjoy personalized secondary research services, informative publications and online information, as well as discounted educational programs, books and distance learning options. Known as the cosponsor of the CEBS designation, the International Foundation also offers numerous ways to keep current with benefit issues, so you are prepared to answer your participants' questions.

Text of Field Assistance Bulletin 2006-03 on Individual Benefit Statements & Diversification Notices
Excerpt: "In an effort to address interim interpretive and compliance concerns, pending the adoption of regulations by the department, the FAB provides the views of the department as to what would constitute good faith compliance with certain of these new requirements. The FAB specifically provides guidance on form, manner, content, and timing requirements pertaining to individual benefit statements." (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Overview: 403(b) Plan Amendments
Excerpt: "Although a 403(b) plan sponsor currently may elect to amend its plan document for the Code and associated regulatory changes, neither the IRS nor the DOL has requested such amendments nor has either yet imposed any amendment deadline." (SunGard Corbel LLC)

Overview: Proposed Changes to Form 5500 Annual Report As Required by the PPA
Excerpt: "The proposed changes, which would apply to 2008 plan year filings, were published in the December 11 Federal Register. The proposed changes supplement proposed revisions to the 5500 form that were published by the agencies prior to the enactment of the PPA." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Overview: PPA Supplement to Proposed Form 5500 Addresses Simplified Reporting
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: The simplified Form 5500 changes should be helpful for eligible small 401(k) plans once they are fully implemented for electronic filing in 2009, when the 2008 Form 5500s are due." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Survey: Retirement Plan Accounting Assumptions at Year-End 2006 (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "Twenty-one countries are covered in the survey. The survey examines four economic assumptions--discount rate, expected long-term rate of return, salary increase, and pension increase. Companies may find this information useful when selecting accounting assumptions for their own plans for year-end 2006. Others may want to refer to the findings and forecasts to set budgets for 2007." (Hewitt Associates)

Overview: IRS 2006 IRA Reporting Changes
Excerpt: "This article will discuss specific changes affecting traditional and Roth IRA reporting on Forms 1099-R, Distributions From Pensions, Annuities, Retirement or Profit-Sharing Plans, IRAs, Insurance Contracts, etc., and Forms 5498, IRA Contribution Information." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

The European Employee Ownership TOP 100 in 2006
Excerpt: "Which are the largest European companies regarding employee ownership? In which countries? Using which schemes? [The authors] identify, list, analyse, rank all largest European companies, listed and non listed. Thanks to yearly updates, the European Employee Ownership TOP 100 will show how much employee ownership is progressing or decreasing along years." (European Federation of Employee Share Ownership)

International Update, November 2006 -- Recent Developments in Foreign Public and Private Pensions (PDF)
4 pages. (U.S. Social Security Administration)

Treasury Regulation 301.9100-2(b) Provides IRA Owners an Automatic Extension
Excerpt: "IRA owners are bound to make mistakes; it's inevitable. Penalty taxes and other unintended tax consequences can result. Treasury Regulation 301.9100-2(b) may be obscure and familiar to few, but it affects many in a positive way. This little-known regulation provides IRA owners with an automatic extension to correct mistakes or simply change their minds." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

Study Finds 401(a) Plan Growth
Excerpt: "A new survey has found a notable hike in the number of larger corporate employers offering 401(a) money purchase plans such as profit sharing plans funded primarily with employer contributions." (; free registration required)

Bush Calls for 'Bipartisan Solution' on Social Security
Excerpt: "Other potential revenue sources more directly addressing Social Security solvency could include mandatory Social Security coverage for all public pension plans -- a suggestion that could raise an estimated $44 billion over the first 5 years. While this is not currently being advanced in the discussions centering on the use of progressive indexing and carve-out accounts, any overall reform of Social Security will inevitably raise the issue." (National Council on Teacher Retirement)

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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)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: FASB Statement 158 -- Postretirement Benefits No Longer Off-Balance Sheet (PDF)
16 pages. Excerpt: "The Statement also removes the existing option to use a plan measurement date that is up to 90 days prior to the date of the statement of financial position. Statement 158 offers two alternate transition methods for making the measurement date change . . . ." (Grant Thornton LLP)

2007 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Multiemployer Plans
Excerpt: "The Segal Company's 2007 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Multiemployer Plans summarizes compliance requirements for multiemployer plans. [The interactive calendar provides a] brief description of each requirement and information about such details as the plan(s) affected, filing requirements and due dates . . . ." (The Segal Group, Inc.)

2007 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Single-Employer Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "The Segal Company's 2007 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Benefit Plans summarizes compliance requirements for qualified, single employer benefit plans." (The Segal Group, Inc.)

Selected Problems and Issues with the Prop. Regs. on Deferred Comp. Under Code Sec. 409A
68 pages. This presentation was given by attorney Steve Bachelder at the Conference Board's 2006 Executive Compensation Conference: 'Everything Directors and Senior Executives Need to Know about Effective Pay', held April 2006 in New York and May 2006 in Chicago. (Bachelder & Dowling, P.A.)

Due Diligence Checklist for Benefit Plan Fiduciaries
Excerpt: "[P]roper due diligence by plan fiduciaries is the first and most important duty they will undertake. While independent research is required, interviewing service providers to the plan is an critical part of the process. You may have your own checklist. If not, here's a simple one to get you started . . . ." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)

International Compensation and Benefits Trends Study
Excerpt: "The study involves 15 different countries: Argentina, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Can.ada, Denmark, Finland, Greece, Mexico, the Slovak Republic, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Stock Options Fall Out of Favor in U.S., According to Paper
Excerpt: "Stock options in the United States are falling out of favor as a perk amid scandal and accounting and legal changes, according to an analysis reported by the Wall Street Journal on its Web site [today]." (Reuters via The Washington Post; free registration required)

Former McAfee Employees Sue over Stock Options Blackout
Excerpt: "Seven former employees of McAfee have filed a breach-of-contract lawsuit against the firm after their vested stock options expired during a blackout period imposed by the company during its stock option backdating investigation." (; free registration required)

Opinion: Wall Street's Season of Excess
The target page is a transcript of the discussion with Washington Post business columnist Steven Pearlstein online yesterday, Wednesday, Dec. 20, on excessive executive pay on Wall Street. (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

IRC Section 409A: Survival Guide for the Final Transition - Webcast
Nationwide on February 7, 2007
presented by Deloitte

Reducing Corporate Health Care Costs: Refocusing Your Strategy - Webcast
Nationwide on January 30, 2007
presented by Deloitte

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Employee Benefits Security Administration Releases Field Assistance Bulletin on Individual Benefit Statements & Diversification Notices
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Milliman Survey Confirms Continued Dominance of Guarantees in Variable Annuity Retirement Income Products
Milliman USA

President Bush Signs Bill to Make Health Care more Affordable, Accessible
U.S. Department of Treasury

Make Medicare Right for You
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Client Service Pension Administrator
for San Diego Pension Consultants, Inc.
in CA

Document Specialist
in CO

Defined Benefit Software Customer Support
for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.
in IL

Defined Contribution Software Customer Support
for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.
in IL

Deputy Regional Director, GS-1801-15
for U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, Kansas City Regional Office
in MO

Sr Account Manager, Regional Services (Defined Contribution Plans)
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Senior Account Executive
for BWD Group LLC
in NY

Regional Director, GS-1801-15
for U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Administration, Chicago Regional Office
in IL

for Summit Financial Corporation
in MA

Medical Underwriter
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Account Manager, Health & Welfare
for Charles W. Cammack Associates
in NY

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