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June 20, 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.

Software for Retirement and Cafeteria Plan Documents

DATAIR Pre-EGTRRA sale! License our Plan Document System before 6/1/08 for a $500 discount. Choose your documents:
Retirement Plans: DC/401(k), DB, Cash Balance
Cafeteria Plans: 125, HSA Plans
Choose your formats:
  • Standardized and Nonstandardized Prototypes (long form)
  • Short form Prototypes
  • Volume Submitters (IDP format)
  • Volume Submitters in Prototype format
Contact sales@datair.com or call 1-888-DATAIR-4 (1-888-328-2474)

[Guidance Overview] Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated June 18, 2008, for Retirement Plans (PDF)
10 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding retirement plans. (Hewitt Associates)


[Guidance Overview] How Should Plan Sponsors React to DOL's New Requirements for Service Provider Disclosures?
Excerpt: "To appreciate the new rules fully, plan sponsors need to understand the impact of the changes. In essence, these rules take the burden off the employer to investigate the expenses, revenue-sharing, compensation, and conflicts of its plan providers and will transfer the burden onto the providers to disclose that information." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)


Audits of Outsourced Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "[T]he annually required, DOL-driven accounting audit of your plan by an independent certified public accountant is well positioned to do a lot more than just get its financial statements and IRS Forms 5500 prepared.' (HRO Today)


401(k) Contributions Drop in Troubled Economy
Excerpt: "While workers continue to put money into their 401(k) plans during the current downturn in the economy, they are investing at a lower rate, a survey released yesterday by Putnam Investments found." (Investment News; free registration required)


Generating Value from Retirement Plan Data (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "This paper outlines the process through which retirement plan data can be used to generate value in helping sponsors to meet their fiduciary obligations by increasing employee engagement and understanding of plan dynamics while reducing sponsor workload. It is about the process through which data is turned into information and information is transformed into knowledge." (Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company)


[Opinion] American Benefits Council Comment Letter to IRS on Proposed 204(h) Notice Regulations (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "This letter is submitted on behalf of the American Benefits Council . . . with respect to the proposed regulations regarding advance notice of plan amendments significantly reducing the rate of future benefit accrual." (American Benefits Council)


[Opinion] Retirement Saving for All
Excerpt: "The retirement savings system works reasonably well for well-paid workers and large businesses. They are likely to have the best pensions, and they receive most of the $100 billion in annual tax subsidies for retirement saving. But for workers in the bottom half, many of them working for small businesses that offer no retirement plan, the news is bleak. Under the current system, more than one-third of the young Americans will reach old age with no retirement savings at all . . . ." (San Francisco Chronicle)


[Opinion] Are There Real Pricing Problems in the 401(k) Business?
Excerpt: "[House Education and Labor] Committee Chairman Miller (D-California) released a statement saying: 'For too long, companies in the financial services industry have maintained a stranglehold on retirement savings that they didn't earn and that don't belong to them….The purpose of this legis­lation is to take these hard-earned savings away from the special interests and return them to their rightful place -- the retirement accounts of American workers.'" (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)


[Opinion] ERISA Defined Benefit (DB) Retirement Plans Aren't Dead Yet
Excerpt: "The well-publicized problems that some companies have experienced with their pension plans gives the impression that DB plans are no longer viable alternatives as employer-sponsored retirement vehicles. However, that is not necessarily true. In the right circumstances, DB plans could be the best option for some companies." (Aiken and Aiken)



Sponsored by: Prudential

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Prudential

Rock Your Career with Prudential

With 130+ years of leadership in insurance and financial services behind us, Prudential is the place for results-driven professionals seeking advancement potential, a supportive environment, and generous rewards. Prudential has been recognized for excellence in many ways, including being ranked in Business Week’s Top 50 Performing Companies, Fortune Magazine’s Top 50 places for minorities, and Working Mother’s Top 10 employers for working mothers. Don’t miss this opportunity to be a part of our success and our plans for the future.

To find out more, please visit us at jobs.prudential.com
An EO/AA employer committed to diversity in our workforce.


(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] Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)


[Guidance Overview] A Revenue Raiser Used to Offset Federal Revenue Losses Created by Heroes Act Includes Stiff Penalties on 'Covered Expatriates'
Excerpt: "Upon expatriation, the Heroes Act requires the covered expatriate to recognize income tax as if the individual had sold all of his or property, to the extent it exceeds $600,000 (indexed), on the day before expatriation. Interestingly, 'eligible deferred compensation items' that are payable to a covered expatriate by a U.S. employer generally would not be subject to immediate taxation, if the expatriate notifies the employer/payor of his or her status as a covered expatriate." (Michael S. Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)


[Guidance Overview] Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated June 18, 2008, on Human Resources & Employment Law (PDF)
10 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding human resources and employment law. (Hewitt Associates)


Pensions for Executives Reach New Heights
Excerpt: "(These packages are generally composed of non-qualified, formula-based benefit plans, such as a supplemental executive retirement plan, or SERP, disclosed in the pension benefits section of a proxy, and do not include deferred compensation plans, noted Equilar senior researcher Alexander Cwirko-Godycki.)" (Financial Week; free registration required)


Reassessing the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
Excerpt: "This AARP Public Policy Institute report by David Neumark of the University of California at Irvine reviews the existing research on age discrimination in employment and assesses how successful the ADEA has been in achieving its goals, along with how well it might support the continued employment of older adults in the future." (AARP)


Supreme Court Eases Age Bias Suits for Workers
Excerpt: "The age-bias ruling, written by Justice David H. Souter, acknowledged that 'there is no denying that putting employers to the work of persuading fact-finders that their choices are reasonable makes it harder and costlier to defend' age-bias accusations and that the ruling 'will sometimes affect the way employers do business with their employees.'" (The New York Times; free registration required)


A Supreme Court Victory for Older Workers
Excerpt: "The Supreme Court ruled for older workers Thursday in a closely watched age discrimination case, placing on employers the burden of proving that a layoff or other action that hurts older workers more than others was based not on age but on some other 'reasonable factor.'" (The New York Times; free registration required)




Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Benefit Disputes after MetLife v. Glenn: What's the Standard of Review?
Nationwide on July 10, 2008
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Regulatory, Interpretative and Amicus Update - Compliance Assistance Seminar
Nationwide on June 25, 2008
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)



Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

U.S. Labor Department Secures 401(k) Plan Assets for Merchants Publishing Co. Employees in Kalamazoo, Mich.
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Labor Department Extends Annual Reports Deadline After Severe Weather Hits Missouri and Iowa
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Labor Department Extends Annual Reports Deadline After Severe Weather Hits Indiana and Wisconsin
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Labor Department Extends Annual Reports Deadline After Severe Weather Hits Georgia and Mississippi
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Labor Department Extends Annual Reports Deadline After Severe Weather Hits Arkansas and Oklahoma
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U. S. Labor Department Extends Annual Reports Deadline After Severe Weather Hits Maine
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U. S. Labor Department Extends Annual Reports Deadline After Severe Weather Hits Colorado
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

New Research Confirms Majority-Owned ESOPs More Productive Than Non-ESOP Counterparts
Employee Ownership Foundation



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Pre-tax Benefits Account Specialist
for Paylogix
in NY

Communications Manager
for Recruitment Firm
in CA, MA

Pension Plan Administrator
for M. S. Fox & Associates, Inc.
in CA

Consultant - Pensions
for Retirement System Group Inc.
in NY

Retirement Advice Services Representative
for Charles Schwab & Company
in AZ




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