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May 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 DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

PPA '06 Defined Benefit Software from DATAIR

DATAIR's Defined Benefit System for Valuations, Discrimination Testing, and Proposals. Includes 412(e)(3) insured plans, Cash Balance Plans, DB/DC combos and Sole Proprietors. Live, expert support.

DATAIR's PPA '06 DB System includes

  • Funding Target & Target Normal Cost (3 Rate Segments)
  • Effective Interest Rate
  • Section 430 Minimum Contributions
  • Section 404(o) Cushion Amount
  • Shortfall Amortization Bases and Amounts
  • Funding Target Attainment Percentages (FTAPS)
Contact or call 1-888-328-2474 (1-888-DATAIR-4)

[Guidance Overview] Bargaining Strategies in the Wake of Multiemployer Pension Plan Notices Issued Pursuant to the Pension Protection Act
Excerpt: "If you contribute to a multi-employer pension fund, the 415-page Pension Protection Act's ('PPA' or 'the Act') provisions affecting multi-employer plans are now taking effect. The first of these provisions is the requirement that actuaries certify to the Internal Revenue Service into which funding zone (critical - red; endangered yellow; or no zone - green) the plan falls." (Littler)

[Guidance Overview] Labor Department Clarifies and Amends Guidance on Default Investments in 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "Plan sponsors are not required to follow the QDIA rules. However, if a 401(k) plan has a default investment, we recommend reviewing the opportunity for reduced legal exposure by implementing a QDIA." (Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati)

Why Don't Some States and Localities Pay Their Required Pension Contribution?
Excerpt: "The brief finds that: Over 40 percent of plans in our sample failed to make their annual required contribution (ARC) in 2006. The majority of these plans faced legal constraints on their contributions, but many are gradually adjusting their limits." (Center for State & Local Government Excellence)

Sick-Leave Abuse by Federal Employees Prompts Calls to Compensate for Unused Time
Excerpt: "There is no limit on how much sick leave an employee can carry forward into the next year, and IRS employees had an average balance of 43 days of accumulated sick leave at the end of 2006. 'We believe that the lack of compensation for unused sick leave at retirement has contributed to the higher amount of sick leave used by FERS employees,' the report said . . . ." (Washington Post; free registration required)

Common Errors in Qualified Plans: It's time for Spring Cleaning!
Excerpt: "I have come to realize that 'As time marches on' --- so do the errors in our client's retirement plans. So, with 'spring cleaning' in the air, I decided to clean out the garage of plan errors and list, in no particular order, some of the errors that have occurred over the past year. The type of error might not be new --- but the resulting consequences clearly explain the often used phrase: 'No Good Deed Goes Unpunished.'" (BNA Pension & Benefits Blog)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Chart - Retirement (PDF)
Excerpt: "These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employer benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors." (Towers Perrin)

New book: Understanding ESOPs
The NCEO presents excerpts from Understanding ESOPs, its new introductory book on employee stock ownership plans. Written by NCEO cofounder and executive director Corey Rosen and NCEO publications director Scott Rodrick, the book is a comprehensive overview of how ESOPs work in both C and S corporations, what their applications are, what the valuation and financing issues are, what the steps to set one up are, and more. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

[Opinion] Text of International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans' Comments to DOL on Proposed Form T-1 (PDF)
16 pages; submitted May 5, 2008. Excerpt: "The purpose of this submission is to identify for [the Office of Labor-Management Standards] significant points which support the reinstatement of the exclusion contained in prior T-1 regulations whereby information for Trust Funds covered by ERISA and [that are required to] file Form 5500 need not be reported on the T-1 Form." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

[Opinion] The Political Origin of Pension Funding
Excerpt: "This paper argues that historical political preferences on the role of capital markets shaped national choices on pension reliance on private funding. Under democratic voting, a majority will support investor protection and a privately funded pension system when the middle class has significant financial participation, while high wealth concentration favors a state-funded retirement system and weak investor rights." (Social Science Research Network)

[Opinion] New York State Attorney General's Wrong Target: Retired School Administrators Who Are Rehired
Excerpt: "As a taxpayer and the parent of two school-age children, I'm all in favor of denying state pensions to lawyers who pretended to be school employees and a superintendent who was convicted of stealing from his district. But I'm completely baffled by recent articles and editorials that attempt to compare such malfeasance with the hiring of retired school administrators - a practice that is specifically authorized by state law and one that actually reduces school taxes." (

Sponsored by: Investment Company Institute

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Investment Company Institute

June 3rd ICI Conference on DC Plans in the PPA Era

Register today for the Investment Company Institute's June 3rd conference on legal and business issues for 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, and IRAs. Speakers include senior representatives from the Departments of Labor and Treasury and the mutual fund industry. Topics include:
  • DOL's 401(k) plan fee disclosure agenda and fee-related developments
  • PPA implementation update
  • Participant notices and statements
  • The future of 403(b) plans

(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] Worker Misclassification Investigations Gain Momentum
Excerpt: "Undoubtedly, some industries are both more prone to misclassify workers and more vulnerable to challenge due to the nature of the work involved. Construction, transportation and even the medical profession have proven at risk on the issue." (Attorney Roy F Harmon III in the Health Plan Law blog)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

401(k) Fee Disclosure and Pending Governmental Mandates Seminar
in Idaho on June 4, 2008
presented by The ERISA Law Group, P.A.

An Employer's Guide to Medicare
in Minnesota on June 5, 2008
presented by Employers Association, Inc.

COBRA II: Administration
in Minnesota on June 3, 2008
presented by Employers Association, Inc.

Continuation Coverage: COBRA and the Minnesota Continuation Law
in Minnesota on May 29, 2008
presented by Employers Association, Inc.

ERISA Fiduciary Responsibility Update for Plan Fiduciaries, Employers & Administrators - Webcast
Nationwide on June 3, 2008
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

U.S. Labor Department Secures Retirement Plan Assets for Employees of Former Michigan Air Control Distributing Company in Grand Rapids, Michigan
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

New York Life Retirement Plan Services Appoints New Southeast VP of Sales
New York Life Investment Management

New Operations VP at Strategic HR
Strategic HR

Paperless FSA Administration
Benefit Concepts

We're one of the top 350 employment sites on the web!Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
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Pension Administrator
for The Senex Group
in CA

OmniPlus Consultants
for Szymborski Sharpless & Co, PC.

Client Relationship Manager
for AMCORE Bank
in IL

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Qualified Plans, LLC
in GA

Retirement Plan Administrator
for JM Pension Advisory, Inc.
in MD

Plan Administrator
for The Allocation Company, Inc.

Actuarial Analyst
for Transamerica Retirement Services
in CA

Defined Benefit Pension Plan Administrator
for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.

Registered Financial Associate
for A.G. Edwards
in CA

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