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February 15, 2008

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

Today's sponsor is

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Looking for a 403(b) plan document?

Check out's pre-release program.

This month will be releasing two new 403(b) plan documents. If you would like to participate in our pre release program and see our documents before they are finalized, click here for details.

Contact or call 800.596.0714 for additional information.

[Guidance Overview] IRS Provides Long-Awaited Guidance on Backloading Rules
Excerpt: "Here we'll examine the Revenue Ruling 2008-7 published February 1, by the IRS. It provides long-awaited guidance on the so-called 'backloading' or accrual rules for defined benefit pension plans with multiple formulas." (JPMorgan)

[Guidance Overview] Discussion of Proposed IRS Cash Balance Regulations
Excerpt: "At the end of last year, the IRS published regulations under the cash balance provisions of the Pension Protection Act (PPA). The proposal provides guidance on the PPA cash balance plan vesting requirement, age discrimination 'safe harbor,' conversion protection and permitted interest crediting rates. In this article, we review the proposal." (JPMorgan)

[Guidance Overview] Discussion of PPA Funding-Related Effective Dates as Revised by IRS Notice 2008-21
Excellent. (JPMorgan)

[Guidance Overview] CRS Study Evaluates Effect of PPA on Lump-Sum Distributions
Excerpt: "The changes to the rules used for calculating minimum lump-sum distributions made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA, P.L. 109-280) would tend to have the effect of substantially reducing lump-sums for younger participants, especially after 2011, and minimally reducing lump-sums for older participants, especially prior to 2011, according to a study by the Congressional Research Service (CRS)." (CCH Pension and Benefits)

In Philadelphia, A Proposal to Issue $4.5 Billion Bond to Squash City's Pension Obligations
Excerpt: "Under the $4.5 billion plan being considered -- the largest bond issue in city history -- bond proceeds would be used to shrink the pension fund's unfunded liability from 49 percent to 5 percent." (

Employee Ownership Update for February 14, 2008
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses the significant growth of ESOPs in 2007; a special Wall Street Journal feature on ESOPs; new data on employee ownership in 401(k) plans; and entries for The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security program. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

[Opinion] Fee-Based Challenges to 401(k)s Continue: Interview of Fred Barstein by Ted Siedle
Excerpt: "Siedle: So do you believe these 401k lawsuits have any merit? Barstein: Absolutely. I believe that sponsors have not been as careful with expenses on their defined contribution plans as with their defined benefit plans. We all know why this gap exists and the gap is the basis of the suits." (

[Opinion] New York City Teachers Get Big Gift from GOP: Enhanced Retirement Benefits
Excerpt: "For years, the teachers union has lobbied aggressively for the pension change, which they viewed as especially crucial for its female members who took time off from work to raise children. Under the legislation, teachers who opt into the plan are required to pay 4.85% of salary for their first 10 years of work and 1.85% for the next 15 years. New teachers would have to work 27 years to qualify. The current plan requires teachers to contribute 3% of their salary for their first decade and then nothing afterward." (New York Sun)

Sponsored by: University Conference Services

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Signs of the Times: The Future of Plan Management

Auto enrollment, QDIAs, plan fees, liability driven investing...The times are changing for employer-sponsored retirement plans. Makes plan now to attend the Mid-Sized Retirement & Pension Plan Management Conference in San Francisco, March 11-14, 2008, to learn how these changes will affect your plan and participants.

(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] Some Relief Likely for 162(m) Reversal
Excerpt: "Kenneth Griffin, author of the IRS' recent, surprising and controversial private letter ruling, clarified the IRS' position on the implications of a possible acceleration of performance-based incentive awards." (Executive Compensation Blog published by Winston & Strawn LLP)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Provides Adverse Ruling on $1 Million Pay Cap
Excerpt: "We review the private letter ruling (PLR) the IRS published on January 25, 2008, that relates to the $1 million pay cap under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 162(m)." (JPMorgan)

Costs of Federal Government Benefits for Seniors Rise 24% Above Inflation Rate Since 2000
Excerpt: "The cost of government benefits for seniors soared to a record $27,289 per senior in 2007, according to a USA TODAY analysis. . . . Medical costs are the biggest reason. Last year, for the first time, health care and nursing homes cost the government more than Social Security payments for seniors age 65 and older." (USA TODAY)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Employee Benefits Security Administration Issues Guidance On Wellness Program Rules Under HIPAA
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

National Employee Benefits Day To Be Celebrated on April 2, 2008
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

401(k) Service Provider Proposal Will Improve Disclosure to Plan Fiduciaries
Investment Company Institute

AIM Investments Works With Morningstar to Develop DC Plan Reports
AIM Investments

GSK Launches New Website to Help Employers Lower Costs and Improve the Health of Workers

MassMutual's Center for Behavioral Research(SM) Launches Web Site

Pension - Hedge Fund Mock Deposition
Fiduciary360 (fi360)

Health Care for America Would Save Billions
Economic Policy Institute (EPI)

More Americans Are Using More Prescription Drugs
Express Scripts

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Pension Plan Administrator
for Future Planning Associates, Inc.
in VT

Benefit Analyst
for Kibble & Prentice
in WA

Retirement Plan Specialist
for Growing TPA Firm
in IL

Client Service Manager
for Charles Schwab
in AZ, CO

Daily Trading Associate
for Sentinel Benefits Group
in MA

401(k)/Pension Client Relations
for United Asset Strategies, Inc.
in NY

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