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February 8, 2008

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

Today's sponsor is International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

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Be Smart by Association with the International Foundation

Smart is not a permanent state of being. What's your maintenance plan? Take advantage of the education and information available through the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, a nonprofit educational association, and find out why over 35,000 industry professionals like Larry Beebe rely on the Foundation to stay informed and educated. Make sure you have the most comprehensive information on health, pension and compensation issues. Be smart by association.

[Guidance Overview] Overview: DOL Proposes Fee Disclosure Rules
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor recently proposed regulations under section 408(b)(2) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act -- ERISA's 'service provider exemption' -- requiring extensive provider-to-sponsor fee disclosure. In this article we review the proposal in detail with a focus on defined contribution plan fees." (JPMorgan)

State Laws Permitting Same-Sex Marriages Have No Effect on Retirement Benefits, CRS Study Finds
Excerpt: "The legalization of same-sex marriages in some states, such as occurred in Massachusetts in 2004, will not enable same-sex partners to receive spousal retirement benefits under private pension plans, Federal employee pension plans or Social Security, according to a study by the Congressional Research Service (CRS). The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) effectively restricts spousal benefits to persons in traditional marriages." (CCH Pension and Benefits)

Bush Seeks Repeal of Law Enforcement Benefits for Customs and Border Protection Officers
Excerpt: "President Bush included in his fiscal 2009 budget a proposal to scrap recently enacted law enforcement benefits for CBP officers. The administration previously has said that granting such status could endanger national security. The retirement benefits provision was included in the fiscal 2008 omnibus appropriations bill, which Bush signed in late December. The new law places CBP officers in line for the retirement benefits many law enforcement officers receive . . . ." (

PBGC Increase, New Savings Accounts in President's 2009 Budget
Excerpt: "The proposal is aimed in part at helping the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. close a $13.1 billion deficit in its single-employer program, according to the budget." (Workforce Management (free registration required))

The Social Security International Update, January 2008
This monthly publication covers recent developments in foreign private and public pensions, social security, and retirement. (U.S. Social Security Administration)

[Opinion] Michigan Governor Calls for Pension Plan Investment in State
Excerpt: "For seven straight years, Michigan has lost jobs and currently suffers the nation's highest unemployment rate. So, what do we say about this species of socially responsible investing?" (Cypen and Cypen)

[Opinion] The Socially Responsible Investing Fiduciary Cop-Out, Round 2
Excerpt: "Fiduciary law assesses prudence and loyalty based upon the care, skill, diligence and reasonableness of the manner in which decisions are made, not based upon the outcomes of those decisions. [Environmental, social and governance] factors provide attractive opportunities to enhance investment decision making." (Blaine Aikin of Fiduciary360 published by ProducersWEB)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Directors Blame Compensation Consultants for Excessive CEO Pay Problem
Excerpt: "Ed Lawler, a professor of business at the USC and co-author of the study, says that board members swear it's not their fault; compensation consultants, they claim, are the major reason CEO pay is so out of control." (Workforce Management)

Is the Other Shoe About to Drop on the IRS' Surprising 162(m) Reversal?
Excerpt: "Many companies that have taken deductions based on the IRS position of the last ten years, and that now find themselves with 'offending' employment agreements are very concerned about their Q1 financial statements. To address the 'problem' the companies would have to do about seven different things that we humble lawyers only marginally understand." (Executive Compensation Blog published by Winston & Strawn)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Issues Form to Report Employer-Owned Life Insurance (PDF)
Excerpt: "For each tax year ending on or after November 14, 2007, every policyholder owning one or more 'employer-owned life insurance contracts' issued after August 17, 2006, must attach Form 8925 to its income tax return." (Sutherland Asbill and Brennan)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

EGTRRA Pre-approved Plan Workshop
in Minnesota on March 18, 2008
presented by SunGard Relius

EGTRRA Pre-approved Plan Workshop
in Kansas on March 19, 2008
presented by SunGard Relius

Plan Design Workshop
in Kansas on March 18, 2008
presented by SunGard Relius

Plan Design Workshop
in Minnesota on March 19, 2008
presented by SunGard Relius

Washington Update with Brian Graff, Esq.
in Pennsylvania on April 1, 2008
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Delaware Valley

"Form 5500 Issues and Plan Audits" with Janice M. Wegesin, CPC, EA
in Michigan on March 19, 2008
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Detroit

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

AARP Calls for 2008 'Best Employers for Workers Over 50' Applications

Newkirk Launches Automatic Enrollment Targeted Communication

U.S. Department of Labor Sues To Install Independent Fiduciary On Behalf Of Former Employees Of Versailles, Kentucky, Hospital
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Large Employers Continuing to Offer Health Benefits
Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

Guaranteed Annuities in 401(k) Products Are Gaining Traction, According to New FRC Research Report
Financial Research Corporation

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Daily Valuation Operator
for Fringe Benefits Design
in MN

Employee Benefits Trust Assistant
for Exchange Bank
in CA

Qualified Plan Installation and Conversion Specialist
for Atlanta Pension Consulting Firm
in GA

Pension Administrator
for California Retirements Plans, Inc.
in CA

Human Resources Division Manager I/II - Benefits Division
for County of Riverside
in CA

Qualified Plan Relationship Manager
for Charles Schwab
in OH, TX

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