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April 22, 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

[Guidance Overview] IRS Proposes Amendments to 204(h) Rules
Excerpt: "The IRS proposed a number of changes to the participant advance notice requirements under Section 204(h) of ERISA that are required for certain pension plan amendments." (Towers Perrin)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Provides Timeline for Adoption of Certain Pre-Approved EGTRRA Plan Documents (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "On March 31, 2008, the IRS issued opinion and advisory letters for most prototype and volume submitter defined contribution plans that were restated to comply with the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA)." (Prudential Retirement)

[Guidance Overview] Quarterly Contribution Requirements and Credit Balances
Excerpt: "In this article, we review the IRS quarterly contribution proposal, focusing on the effect of credit balances on the obligation to make quarterly contributions and the use of credit balances to satisfy it. Critically, we address 2008 compliance issues, which, with respect to quarterly contributions, are particularly difficult." (JPMorgan Chase & Co.)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Proposes Regs on Minimum Funding Contributions for Single-Employer Plans
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed regulations that provide guidance on the determination of minimum required contributions for purposes of the funding rules that apply to single-employer defined benefit plans. The proposed regulations appeared in the April 15 Federal Register." (Wolters Kluwer)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Proposed Regs on Minimum Required Contributions Under PPA
Excerpt: "The IRS has issued proposed regulations under Code Sec. 430 which provide guidance on the minimum contribution rules applicable to single-employer defined benefit plans. These are the fourth in a series of proposed regulations issued by the IRS that implement the new funding rules enacted by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 . . . ." (Wolters Kluwer)

[Guidance Overview] Company President Pleads Guilty to Lying on Form 5500
Excerpt: "This case is the second case in the last couple of months in which the government has obtained a conviction for a matter relating to the Form 5500. Practitioners should remind their clients of the importance of accurately completing the Form 5500." (SunGard Corbel LLC)

Sixty-Percent of Participants Have Their 401(k) Professionally Managed When It's ''Automatic''
Excerpt: "Financial Engines, a leading provider of independent investment advice and managed accounts, today issued data showing that when plan sponsors automatically enrolled existing retirement plan participants into a managed account program, an average of 60 percent stayed with the program." (Human Resource Executive Online)

Retirement Plans Industry Outlook, April 16, 2008
Word document. Excerpt: "Retirement plan providers, TPAs, retirement plan specialists, generalists and B-Ds are all facing different scenarios. Individual providers, advisor practices and retirement plans could continue to grow. Individual plan participants will also continue to benefit, but overall employer sponsored plan asset 'growth' now appears to be limited." (Center for Due Diligence)

Wal-Mart Hit with Excessive 401(k) Fee Suit
Excerpt: "According to a news report on, plaintiff Jeremy Braden claims that the company cost participants $60 million in unnecessary expenses over six years by offering what Braden said were expensive mutual funds and not their less expensive alternatives." (; free registration required)

Roughly 80% of Large Corporations Offer Target-Date Funds As a 401(k) Choice, According to Survey
Excerpt: "Christopher McNickle [of] Greenwich Associates, says that as companies have moved a larger portion of their work forces into 401(k) plans, they have become increasingly focused on helping these plan participants to properly diversify their retirement savings and investments. Target-date funds automatically invest participants' savings in several different asset classes, rebalance the assets, and gradually tweak participants' asset allocation in favor of lower-risk investments as they approach their target retirement date." (Financial Week; free registration required)

Plan Sponsors Paying for Adviser Services Directly
Excerpt: "A survey of retirement plan sponsors by Grant Thornton said at 70% of plans, adviser and consultant fees are paid by the plan sponsor, while participants pay at 27% of plans. Over one-third of plan sponsors (38%) review broker and adviser fees annually, but a large chunk of them (28%) reported never reviewing adviser and broker fees. Only 72% of plan sponsors indicated that they understood the fees their plans were paying and the revenue streams being earned by vendors . . . ." (planadviser)

Connecticut Democrats Back Statewide 401(k) Plan
Excerpt: "Majority Democrats in the General Assembly want to make Connecticut the first state to offer 401(k) retirement-savings plans to small businesses, non-profits and the self-employed. Senate President Donald E. Williams Jr., D-Brooklyn, said Monday that he anticipates a vote this week on a bill, which if also passed by the House and signed into law by the governor, would make the state the first in the country to adopt a so-called universal 401(k) the bill." (Connecticut Post)

Sponsored by: ASPPA

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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

Life Spans Decline in Some U.S. Areas
Excerpt: "Researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health and the University of Washington found that 4% of the male population and 19% of the female population experienced either declines or stagnation in their life expectancy in the '80s and '90s. The paper appears in the online non-profit journal The Public Library of Science.' (USA TODAY)

2008 ERISA Advisory Council Appointments Announced
Excerpt: "Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao has announced the appointment of new members and new leadership for the 2008 ERISA Advisory Council." (Wolters Kluwer)

[Opinion] On Discovery Problems and Solutions
Excerpt: "[I]t is past time for the courts to begin applying a more systemic and in-depth approach to controlling discovery. This is particularly important in the areas covered by this blog, ERISA litigation and insurance coverage litigation, where computerized data, communications and information processing, is almost literally the coin of the realm. Electronic discovery is therefore truly a major cost-driver and risk factor in these areas of the law." (Stephen Rosenberg of The McCormack Firm, LLC)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

401(K) Plan Costs Including Recent Update on Supreme Court Rule LaRue v. DeWolff, Boberg & Associates Inc.
Nationwide on May 1, 2008
presented by Lorman Education Services

A Practical Approach to Developing a Wellness Program
Nationwide on May 30, 2008
presented by Lorman Education Services

Deductibility of Performance-Based Compensation under IRS Code Section 162(m) - Webcast
Nationwide on April 24, 2008
presented by West LegalEdcenter

Health Savings Accounts
Nationwide on May 7, 2008
presented by Lorman Education Services

Mental Illness and the ADA: An Employer's Challenge
Nationwide on April 23, 2008
presented by Lorman Education Services

Notice 2008-30
Nationwide on April 22, 2008
presented by Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, LLC

Recognizing and Addressing COBRA
Nationwide on May 21, 2008
presented by Lorman Education Services

Wellness Programs: Rewards, Penalties and Legal Risks
Nationwide on April 25, 2008
presented by Lorman Education Services

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

The Future of Retirement Benefits
WEB (Worldwide Employee Benefit Network) Atlanta Chapter

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Pension Administrator
for Preferred Pension Planning Corporation
in NJ

Pension Administration
for Stephen H. Rosen & Associates, Inc.
in NJ

DC/401(k) Plan Administrator
for San Diego TPA
in CA

Senior Administrator
for Benetech, Inc.
in CA, GA

Manager - Regional TPA
for Benetech, Inc.
in CT, DE, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, MO, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI, SC, VT

Financial Analyst
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in MA

Second Vice President of Defined Contribution Administration
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in MA

Associate Attorney
for Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney PC
in PA

Document Compliance Analyst
for SunGard Relius
in FL

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