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January 31, 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.


[Guidance Overview] IRS Issues PPA Lump Sum Guidance (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "A defined benefit pension plan must determine the present value of a lump sum payment using the 'applicable interest rate' and the 'applicable mortality table' provided by the IRS. The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) redefined both of these terms and the IRS has recently provided guidance regarding these requirements." (Prudential Retirement)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Proposed 'Final' Funding Rules
Excerpt: "At the end of 2007, the IRS published proposed regulations under the defined benefit funding provisions of PPA. Here, we review the proposal and focus on its implications to two key PPA funding issues -- the valuation of assets and the at-risk rules for 2008." (JPMorgan)

[Guidance Overview] Qualified Retirement Plans - Cycle C Applications Accepted Beginning February 1, 2008
Excerpt: "Effective February 1, 2008, IRS will begin accepting determination letter applications for Cycle C qualified retirement plans. Cycle C plans are individually-designed plans that are sponsored by an employer with an EIN ending in 3 or 8. Governmental plans – including governmental multiemployer and multiple employer plans – are also Cycle C plans." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Follow These Five Steps to Plan Your Roth IRA Conversion
Excerpt: "Come 2010, Roth IRAs may become the retirement plan of choice for all Americans. That year, Uncle Sam will lift the income limits on Roth IRA conversions that have precluded taxpayers with modified adjusted gross income of $100,000 or more to convert their traditional IRA to a Roth IRA." (MarketWatch)

Last Year's Pension Fund Gains Have Been Wiped Out by a Rough Start to 2008
Excerpt: "During the first month of 2008 American pension funds have lost $110 billion, shedding up to 8 percent of their value, according to Mercer, a human resources consultancy. Although pension funds gained strength last year, the last few weeks have wiped out those gains." (CFO.com)

Stock Market Gyrations Create High Anxiety for 401(k) Investors
Excerpt: "As Americans increasingly link their well-being to financial markets, the possibility of recession and a slump on Wall Street has taken on new meaning for the middle class, including baby boomers who are approaching retirement age. Some 50 million workers now participate in 401(k)-type savings plans, a number that has shot up since 2000 as employers increasingly stop offering traditional pensions." (Los Angeles Times)

Annuities in 401(k) Plans Increasingly Accepted
Excerpt: "Annuities in defined contribution plans are gaining momentum as aging baby boomers seek to create guaranteed retirement income streams, according to a report from the Financial Research Corporation (FRC)." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

There's a Big Business in Moving Clients to IRAs, Cerulli Suggests
Excerpt: "Cerulli data suggests that the total individual retirement account (IRA) market is growing rapidly at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%, with rollovers from 401(k) plans identified as the single largest source for this growth." (Investment Advisor)

Hidden Fees Eating Away at Workers' 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "What most of these workers don't know is that fees, rebates and revenue-sharing agreements among employers, 401(k) administrators and mutual funds -- many of them buried in the fine print or not disclosed at all -- are slowing the growth of their nest eggs. The U.S. Department of Labor lists 17 distinct 401(k) fees, including ones for record keeping, legal services and toll-free telephone numbers." (Financial Week; free registration required)

[Official Guidance] EBSA Advisory Opinion 2008-01A - Request for Clarification of the Underwriter Exemptions
Excerpt: "[DOL wrote in response to a] request for an advisory opinion by the Department of Labor (the Department) concerning the requirements of the 'Underwriter Exemptions,' as amended." (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

[Opinion] American Benefits Council Letter on Direct Rollovers from Retirement Plans to Roth IRAs (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The Council understands that the Service is actively working on guidance that will address direct rollovers from plans to Roth IRAs. The Council looks forward to the guidance and appreciates that the Service is giving this issue attention, notwithstanding its significant workload. I am writing to highlight some of the issues that our members have identified. In this regard, the Council's members have already processed a significant number of direct rollovers from plans to Roth IRAs and, perhaps inevitably, a number of questions have arisen." (American Benefits Council)


Sponsored by: National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA)

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for National Institute of Pension Administrators (NIPA)

Register Today for the 2008 NIPA Annual Forum & Expo!

Join fellow retirement plan professionals for three days of education and social networking at the premier industry event designed by retirement plan professionals, for retirement plan professionals.

The 2008NAFE is the ideal venue to enhance industry knowledge through 25 education sessions, exchange business best practices and peruse the expanding exhibit hall floor – featuring the top industry vendors’ cutting-edge products and solutions.


(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

[Guidance Overview] IRS's Semiannual Regulatory Agenda Including Pension and Benefit Projects
Excerpt: "Among the rules that the IRS expects to finalize are the following: enhancement of the existing HIPAA portability regulations and clarification of the interaction between the HIPAA portability requirements and the FMLA; and guidance for group health plans that provide benefits for hospital stays in connection with childbirth relating to requirements for minimum lengths of stay." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

[Guidance Overview] Shocking 162(m) Ruling from the IRS
Excerpt: "A private letter ruling can only be relied upon by the taxpayer who receives it. However, this surprising development suggests that we all consider the language of our employment agreements and equity plans." (Michael S. Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Waives Informational Return Requirement for 2007 Stock Transfers Governed by IRC § 6039
Excerpt: "In general, the statement provides information related to the employee and the shares involved (e.g., number of shares, fair market value, information on acquisition and transfer). Treas. Reg. 1.6039-1(a). While extensions are available, the deadline to furnish a statement is January 31 of the year following the year in which the reportable transfer occurred. Failure to timely furnish the required statement could result in a penalty of $50 per statement, not to exceed $100,000 per calendar year." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Perk Add Benefits to Employment
Excerpt: "It's a great time to be an employee, and not because we're about to get fat raises or salary increases. (We're definitely not!) It's because employers are realizing that there are plenty of perks they can throw at us and make us happy without having to spend much." (Miami Herald)

Contrary to Previous Reports, Oldest Boomers Eager to Retire
Excerpt: "A majority of the 2.9 million Americans who turn 62 this year say they will be fully retired by the age of 65, according to a new survey released by MetLife. That's in direct conflict with what previously has been forecast. Economic uncertainties, poor retirement planning, collapsing pension plans and longer lifespans were all considered reasons that many people would continue working past the age of 65." (JJ Acquisition Corp.)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Current Events in Nonqualified Plans Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 26, 2008
presented by SunGard Relius

March Health & Welfare Web Seminar: Benefit Administration Outsourcing- What Outsourcing Organizations Don't Want You to Know
Nationwide on March 20, 2008
presented by TRI-AD

March Retirement Web Seminar: An Update on Automatic Enrollment
Nationwide on March 27, 2008
presented by TRI-AD

ROI of Incentive Compensation
in Pennsylvania on May 23, 2008
presented by Buck Consultants, an ACS Company

Understanding Qualified Retirement Plans: A Practical Review - Webcast
Nationwide on February 5, 2008
presented by CCH, a Wolters Kluwer business


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

James H. Szostek Joins ACLI as Director, Pensions
American Council of Life Insurers

Pension Rights Center Mourns the Death of Bob Ball
Pension Rights Center

Tara Giella Awarded QPA Designation by ASPPA
Preferred Pension Planning Corporation

National Retirement Partners Membership Expands
National Retirement Partners, Inc.


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

401k Manager
for Paycor
in OH

Manager - 401(k)/Defined Contribution Valuation Processing Department
for National Retirement Services, Inc.
in NC

Benefits Manager
for QTI Professional Staffing
in WI

401(k) Administrator Quiz
for The Pension Group, Inc.
in CA

Client Service Consultant - Regional
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Client Services Retirement Expert
for Kravitz - Louis Kravitz & Associates
in CA

Senior Project Manager
for BeneTemps
in MA

Health and Welfare Group Account Manager
for Great Lakes Employee Benefit Services, Inc.
in MI

Human Resources Specialist II
for AECOM Technology
in CA

Implementation Manager
for OCI
in CO

Retirement Plan Sales
for Channel Synergy
in CA

Director, Daily Services
for Firm in South Florida
in FL

Pension Administrators
for Randstad USA
in FL

Employee Benefits / ERISA Attorney
for Hill Ward Henderson
in FL

DC Implementation Analyst
for Milliman
in TX

Director of Conversion
for Charles Schwab
in AZ, OH

Education Services Coordinator
for ASPPA
in NJ




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