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March 6, 2008

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


Today's sponsor is SunGard

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SunGard's Document Management Services (DMS)

Rely on SunGard as your back office resource for EGTRRA restatements. If you have 500 or more retirement plan documents, turn to SunGard's expert DMS staff to cost-effectively create, amend and restate your plans. Outsource some or all of the processes you currently maintain in-house. Let us focus on your plan documents, so you can focus on growing your business.

Call today. 800-326-7235, ext. 1100, or visit
www.sungard.com/reliusdocuments/dmsbp


[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2008-30: Certain Distribution-Related Provisions of PPA That Are Effective in 2008 (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "This notice [provides] guidance on amending plans to require that distribution of excess deferrals includes earnings from the end of the taxable year to the date of distribution ('gap-period' earnings). . . . The sections of PPA '06 addressed in this notice are § 824 (relating to rollovers from eligible retirement plans to Roth IRAs), § 1004 (relating to additional survivor annuity options), and § 302 (relating to interest rate assumptions for lump sum distributions)." (Internal Revenue Service)

[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2008-29: Mortality Tables for Benefits to Disabled DB Plan Participants (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "This notice provides guidance regarding the mortality tables that are permitted to be used to determine present values with respect to individuals who are entitled to benefits under a qualified defined benefit pension plan on account of disability. This notice reflects changes to the minimum funding requirements made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006, Pub. L. 109-280 (PPA '06). . . . Until further guidance is issued, the rules of Rev. Rul. 96-7 (including the mortality tables set forth in Rev. Rul. 96-7 as well as the rules regarding the determination of whether a benefit is payable on account of disability) apply under §§ 430(h)(3)(D) and 431(c)(6)(D)(v)." (Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview] Rev. Rul. 96-7 - Mortality Tables Continue to Apply to Calculate Certain Benefits
Excerpt: "The mortality tables contained in Rev. Rul. 96-7, 1996-1 CB 59, will continue to apply in determining present values (for purposes of determining minimum funding levels) with respect to individuals who are entitled to benefits under a qualified defined benefit plan on account of disability." (CCH Incorporated)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Guidance for New Distribution Requirements that Become Effective in 2008
Excerpt: "The IRS has issued guidance regarding distribution-related provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006, P.L. 109-280 (PPA '06), that become effective in 2008. Changes addressed include expanded rollovers from eligible retirement plans to Roth IRAs, additional survivor annuity options and interest rate and mortality assumptions for lump sum distributions. The guidance also addresses the issue of gap-period earnings and the plan amendment process." (CCH Incorporated)

[Guidance Overview] ERISA Fiduciary Responsibility to Monitor and Collect Delinquent Contributions
Excerpt: "Employers maintaining benefit plans that are subject to ERISA's trust requirement and plan fiduciaries should properly assign authority over plan assets, or they may be subject to fiduciary responsibility (and liability) for losses sustained by the plan." (McDermott Will & Emery)

[Guidance Overview] Are Participant Contributions Remitted Quickly Enough? Proposed Safe Harbor for Small Plans and Implications for Large Plans (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "No safe harbor has been proposed for plans that have 100 or more participants at the beginning of the plan year. However, the DOL states that smaller plans 'typically need more time than larger plans to segregate participant contributions from their general assets.' This suggests that if a safe harbor were proposed for large plans, it would require payment to the large plan in fewer than seven business days from the date of receipt or withholding." (Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)

[Guidance Overview] 7-day Safe Harbor for Depositing Participant Contributions
Excerpt: "The safe harbor will be effective on the date the DOL publishes the final regulations. However, the proposed regulations indicate that the DOL will not assert a violation of the plan asset regulations if a small plan is in compliance with the safe harbor. Therefore, an employer may take advantage of the safe harbor now." (SunGard Corbel LLC)

[Guidance Overview] What Do Final IRS Regulations Mean for 403(b) Plans in Higher Education? (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Note that there are other new 403(b) rules that could affect public and private colleges and universities that are outside of the scope of this article. For example, the exceptions to the requirement for 'universal availability' of pre-tax deferrals no longer include visiting professors." (Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview] What Do Final IRS Regulations Mean for 403(b) Plans in Health Care Organizations? (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Regulations issued by the IRS on July 26, 2007 finally filled a regulatory vacuum for sponsors of 403(b) plans. This issue of InsightOut focuses on three important issues affecting plans for health care organizations, two of which apply to all 403(b) plans and one (nondiscrimination testing) that applies only to plans subject to ERISA: Plan documents and administration; Nondiscrimination testing for employer contributions; and, In-service distributions." (Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview] DOL FAB 2008-1 - Responsibility for Collecting Contributions
Excerpt: "In FAB 2008-1, the DOL has generally placed a responsibility to oversee whether plan contributions are made on the trustee; and if appropriate to report the employer to the DOL if an employer fails to remit contributions due to the plan." (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

San Diego Mayor Proposes Retirement Plan Revisions
Excerpt: "San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders has proposed a restructuring of the city's troubled pension system with changes to both the defined benefit and defined contribution portions. . . . The Sanders fact sheet is at http://www.sandiego.gov/mayor/pdf/080304fs.pdf." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Assisting School District Employees With Gaining Direct Access to No-Load, Low-Expense 403(b) Plan Accounts (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "[I]n this article, I will describe four potential legal actions and one potential nonlegal action that attorneys may recommend in an effort to assist school district employees with gaining direct access to no-load, low-expense 403(b) plan accounts." (Michael B. Engdahl, PIABA Bar Journal, via 403bwise.com)

Millions in Public Employee Retirement Benefits May Be Restored in Maine
Excerpt: "The Legislature is being asked to restore some retirement benefits to state workers and teachers taken away in 1993, with a price tag of more than $215 million -- money opponents say shouldn't be spent when the state is in the hole and cutting services to the poor and elderly." (State House News Service)

Ford Workers Face Buyout Dilemma
Excerpt: "Ford is offering 10 buyout and early retirement packages to thin its hourly ranks. It wants to shrink factory capacity to match its lower market share. The company also is hoping that enough people leave so it can replace them with workers who make about half the $28 per hour that Ford now pays factory workers in the United Auto Workers union. The deadline is March 18." (AP via The New York Times; free registration required)

West Virginia Pension Bill Faces More Hurdles
Excerpt: "Proposed legislation that would help West Virginia cities whose budgets are strapped by ailing police and fire pension funds faces another obstacle today. A House of Delegates finance subcommittee will conduct a hearing at 9 a.m. on Senate Bill 667, which would devote $15 million a year in state funding to help cities shore up their pension funds." (The Herald-Dispatch)

Wilshire Finds Big Hike in State Retirement Plan Funding Ratios
Excerpt: "The funded status of state retirement systems improved seven percentage points in 2007, according to Wilshire Associates' annual state pension plan funding and asset allocation report expected to be released March 6." (Pensions & Investments)

[Opinion] Pension Disputes - Are You Fully Covered When It Comes to Litigation and Insolvency? (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Our colleagues in the US routinely consider insurance policy issues which affect litigation and dispute resolution. Legal cost rules in the UK currently act as a discouragement to class-action claims, but the availability of legal costs insurance and organisations seeking to fund claims for a fee heralds a change in the accessibility of the court system to claimants and class actions generally. In this economic climate, adequate insurance coverage should be an essential part of risk management." (Pensions World via Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis LLP)


Sponsored by: ASPPA

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Banner ad for ASPPA

The ERISA Outline Book

Stay current with The ERISA Outline Book, 2008 Edition, by Sal Tripodi, J.D., LL.M. only from ASPPA. Available in both print or on CD, this one of a kind resource has become the must have for anyone working in the pension industry today. Fully updated with the latest guidance on a variety of PPA 2006 items, the 2008 Edition also includes automatic enrollment guidance including QACAs, final regulations on QDIA's, guidance on benefit restrictions and much more. Stay current and order your copy today.

(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

Ford Rewards Non-U.S. Employees With $1,000 Bonus
Excerpt: "The bonus also will be paid to managers outside the U.S. and Can.ada. CEO Alan Mulally says the 'performance awards' are based on improvements in cost performance, quality, automotive cash flow and financial results." (Workforce Management; free registration required)

Current Strategies to Employ and Retain Older Workers. (PDF)
47 pages. Excerpt: "The findings indicate that as older adults are becoming an increasingly important labor source due to demographic changes, employers are beginning to tailor their programming and services to individuals age 50 and older. For employers, the challenge is to develop workforce policies that appeal to older workers without sacrificing productivity. This report explores employer strategies such as flexible work arrangements and phased retirement plans. It also includes additional resources focused on job search assistance and training." (U.S. Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration)

Summary of Retirement and Health Proposals in President Bush's Fiscal 2009 Budget
Excerpt: "President Bush has proposed a budget for fiscal year 2009. Many of the budget's health care and retirement proposals appeared in earlier budget submissions, such as replacing the tax exclusion for employer-provided health insurance with a standard tax deduction, and establishing a new retirement savings plan to replace existing defined contribution plans. These proposals failed to gain legislative traction in earlier years and are unlikely to do so this year either." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

26th Annual Creative Pension & Benefits Seminar
in Ohio on May 2, 2008
presented by Ohio State University Office of Continuing Education (CEd), The

Benefit Plan Sponsors Need to React to the Supreme Court's Decision in the LaRue Case - eLunch
Nationwide on March 19, 2008
presented by Winston & Strawn

Cafeteria Plans for Rookies: Understanding the Rules and Learning to Play the Game Right
Nationwide on April 3, 2008
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA)/Thomson Tax & Accounting

National Legal Symposium
in District of Columbia on April 11, 2008
presented by Patient Advocate Foundation


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Ftwilliam.com announces the release of two new 403(b) plan documents.
ftwilliam.com


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Health & Welfare Benefits Specialist
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for EDS - ExcellerateHRO
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CRTMA - Senior Project Manager of Product Development
for Citi
in MA

CRTMA - Implementation Business Analyst
for Citi
in MA

CRTMA - Technical Officer - Operations and Customer Relations
for Citi
in MA

Plan Document Specialist
for PRB Administrators Incorporated
in NY




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