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January 10, 2008

Here are the Web's best new links about compliance and cost aspects of plan operation, design and policy.


Today's sponsor is DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Software for 401(k), Pension and Flex Administration

Pick and choose the software modules you need: DC/401(k) Proposals & Administration - DB Proposals & Administration - Retirement Plan Documents (Prototype and Volume Submitters) - Government Forms (5500s, 1099-Rs, 5300s) - Cafeteria Plan Administration & Documents - Participant Termination Calculations - FAS 132 Reporting

Contact sales@datair.com or call 1-888-328-2474.


(a) New Guidance Documents

(None today.)

(b) News

GM Settlement of Company Stock Suit to Include $39M Payment
Excerpt: "General Motors Corp. has agreed to pay about $39 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over company stock investments [in] retirement funds, people familiar with the deal told Detroit News.' (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Older Workers' Benefits Argued to Supreme Court As Kentucky's State Retirement Plan Challenged
Excerpt: "Kentucky's public employee retirement plan discriminates against older workers in violation of federal law, the U.S. Supreme Court was told yesterday. Malcolm Stewart, assistant to the U.S. solicitor general, told the justices that the state's plan is structured so that two employees who become disabled, each with the same total time of service but of different ages, could receive dramatically different benefits." (The Courier-Journal)

Oral Argument Transcript Analysis of Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC
Excerpt: "The United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments . . . in the case of Kentucky Retirement Systems v. EEOC, a case about the intersection of age discrimination law and public pension plans." (Workplace Prof Blog)

(c) Summaries of Guidance; Filed Comments

Overview: PBGC Semiannual Regulatory Agenda Proposes Changes to Comply with PPA
Excerpt: "The PBGC is in the process of finalizing regulations covering some of the following topics: replacement of policy statements concerning penalties with an updated and expanded set of information penalty policies codified in its regulations. implementation of changes in the rules for computing the variable-rate premium to implement provisions of the PPA." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

Overview: Lump-Sum Pension Payments: 2008 and Beyond, Summary Updated Dec. 20, 2007 (PDF)
6 pages. (Milliman)

overview: Automatic Enrollment Update and QDIA Update, December 20, 2007
Excerpt: "From the ACA to the QACA to the EACA, this article highlights some of the issues that have been raised in client calls." (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Overview: Tax Technical Corrections Act Clarifies Exempt Organizations and Charitable Giving Provisions of PPA (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The Act makes additional technical corrections regarding contributions of appreciated property by S corporations, tax-free distributions from individual retirement plans for charitable purposes, and the penalty for substantial and gross valuation misstatements attributable to incorrect appraisals." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

A Comprehensive Outline of Deadlines for Interim and Discretionary Amendments, as of January 4, 2008
Excerpt: "These amendment deadlines include: non-spouse beneficiary rollovers; the Final Regulations under Code §415; the Heinz Decision; the modification to the applicable mortality table and applicable interest rate under Code §417(e); the Final Regulations relating to Normal Retirement Age under Regulation §1.401(a)-1; the elimination of gap period income on excess contributions and/or excess aggregate contributions . . . ." (AccuDraft)

(d) Trends, Surveys, Research

Measuring the Effectiveness of Automatic Enrollment (PDF)
20 pages. Excerpt: "A Vanguard analysis of about 50 plans adopting automatic enrollment confirms that the feature does improve plan participation rates, particularly among low-income and younger employees. Yet in 4 of 10 plans, total employer and employee contribution rates remain at less than 9%, a level considered too low to generate adequate retirement savings." (The Vanguard Group)

How Working Affects Social Security Retirement Benefits
Excerpt: "Many baby boomers say they want to work into their mid-60s and beyond, for both financial and social reasons. But going back to work after you sign up for Social Security can affect your benefits if you earn too much money. Here's a look at the effect of working after age 62 . . . ." (U.S. News & World Report)

CRS Report for Congress: Federal Employees -- Pay and Pension Increases Since 1969 (PDF)
12 pages; updated January 8, 2008. Excerpt: "Under the terms of the Federal Employees' Pay Comparability Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-509), pay for civilian federal employees is adjusted each year to keep the salaries of federal workers competitive with comparable occupations in the private sector. . . . Congress has linked COLAs for Social Security and federal employee pensions to the rate of increase in the general level of prices . . . . COLAs ensure that a retiree's income will purchase the same amount of goods and services after years of retirement that it purchased at the start of retirement. COLAs do not reflect increases in the productivity of people who are still in the work force, and thus they do not increase the real purchasing power of retirement income. COLAs do not make retirees better off financially; they merely protect them from becoming financially worse-off over time as prices rise." (Congressional Research Service, U.S. Library of Congress)

The Social Security International Update, December 2007 (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "International Update is a monthly publication of the Social Security Administration's Office of Policy. It reports on the latest developments in public and private pensions worldwide." (U.S. Social Security Administration)

(e) Policy, Opinion, Advocacy

(None today.)


Sponsored by: ASPPA

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for ASPPA

The ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT

Join over 1,400 colleagues at the retirement industry's longest running conference dedicated solely to retirement plan sales and investment professionals , The ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT. Attend advisor centered workshops, general sessions with internationally known speakers, secure insurance and other CE credits, network with your peers and more in Orlando, Florida, February 10-12, 2008. Don't miss your opportunity to join the best of the best.
Early bird savings apply so register NOW.

(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

Focus on Employee Benefits, January 9, 2008 (PDF)
3 pages. This edition covers: 213 Expenses; ISO/ESPP Information Reporting; 401(k)/403(b) Contribution Limitations; and, Payroll Tax & Fringe Benefit Pointers -- FICA Tax Triggered upon 'Retirement." (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

Milliman's Monthly Benefit News and Developments, January 2008 (PDF)
2 pages. The newsletter provides a summary of the previous month's legislative, regulatory, and judicial information on employee benefits. (Milliman)

Overview: IRS's Voluntary Correction Relief for Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

Deloitte Consulting LLP / ISCEBS Top 5 Total Rewards Priorities Survey, 2008
Excerpt: "The ISCEBS and Deloitte Consulting's Human Capital service area are conducting this brief survey to help identify the top five total rewards priorities companies are facing and the actions they have taken, or expect to take within the coming year, relative to these priorities. As a participant, you will receive a complimentary copy of the survey report as soon as it is available. The survey should take less than 15 minutes to complete. . . . Survey responses are due by January 18, 2008." (Deloitte & Touche LLP)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Anxiety Over Early Retirees' Health Coverage
in District of Columbia on January 10, 2008
presented by Center for American Progress

Executive Compensation Issues for Nonprofits - Webcast
Nationwide on January 10, 2008
presented by West LegalEdcenter

Human Capital Value: Connecting Business-Driven HR Strategies to the Bottom Line - Webcast
Nationwide on March 26, 2008
presented by Deloitte

New DOL Service Provider Fee Disclosure Rules: You Must Ask; They Must Tell
Nationwide on February 5, 2008
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Split Dollar Life Insurance Arrangements - Webcast
Nationwide on January 24, 2008
presented by Retirement Capital Group


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Friedman Joins The Segal Company As New Senior Vice President
The Segal Company

Salem, N.H., Employer Agrees To Restore $100,000 To Company Profit-sharing Plan To Resolve U.S. Labor Department Lawsuit
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Labor Department Sues Fifth Third Bank and Advisor to Operating Engineers Local 324 Pension Fund in Troy, Mich
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

The Entrust Group Has Launched A Health Savings Account (HSA) Product - The Entrust Self-Directed HSA.
The Entrust Group

Consumer Reports Names 12 Money Blunders That Could Cost You $1 Million
Consumer Reports


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Plan Document Specialist
for Kravitz - Louis Kravitz & Associates
in ANY STATE, CA

OmniPlus Users
for Casco Bay Benefits Group
in ANY STATE

Consultant
for The Segal Company
in IL

Medicare Part D - Compliance Representative
for The National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
in VA

401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator
for Medical-Dental Consultants, Inc.
in RI

WRS Market Manager
for Wachovia Securities
in MD

Benefits Manager
for Gerdau Ameristeel
in FL

Benefits Restatement Consultant
for Randstad
in NJ

Manager, Compensation
for Gerdau Ameristeel
in FL

401(k) Plan Administrator
for FranFund, Inc.
in TX

Non Qualified / Financial and Estate Planning Sales Consultant
for Gallagher Retirement Services
in CA, CO, IA, MO, OH, OK, TX, WA

Internal Wholesaler (Sales Specialist)
for Standard Insurance Company
in CA

401(k) Plan Administrator
for IPA Northeast, LLC
in NJ

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Pension Benefit Services (a BenefitStreet Company)
in CA

401(k)/DC Administrator (Junior)
for Columbia Benefits Consultants, Inc.
in MD

CRTFL - Customer Relationship and Operations Manager
for Citi
in FL

Communications Coordinator
for CitiStreet
in MA

Senior Account Executive - Group Employee Benefits
for BWD Group LLC
in PA

Defined Contribution Compliance Specialist-50034735
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA




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