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August 29, 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.)
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[Guidance Overview] Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 Contains Several Provisions for Military Service Personnel That Affect Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has not yet issued any regulations on most of the HEART Act's provisions, but advisors need to know that each provision has its own qualifications, effective dates and retroactive dates." (Financial Planning)


[Guidance Overview] DOL's Proposed Participant Disclosure Rules for Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)


[Guidance Overview] Green Light for Hybrid Plans
Excerpt: "In Hirt, the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that cash balance plans do not violate federal age discrimination legislation. Following several other court decisions on this issue, the Second Circuit stated that while the benefits provided to younger employees are worth more than the same benefits provided to older employees, in terms of a retirement age annuity that could be purchased, that difference is the result of time and compound interest and does not constitute age discrimination." (Global Pensions)


[Guidance Overview] Scope of ERISA Remedies Further Defined in Forced Retirement Case
Excerpt: "In a case which may provide further insights into the scope of ERISA remedies, the Northern District of New has ruled in Harris v. Finch, Pruyn & Co., No. 1:05-cv-951, (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 26, 2008) (no publication available yet) that back pay is unavailable under ERISA [to those] who were allegedly misled into retiring." (Workplace Prof Blog)


How to Retire Without Saving Millions
Excerpt: "If you want your retirement nest egg to last as long as you do, the general rule of thumb is that you should withdraw 4% of the initial value of your diversified portfolio, adjusted each year for inflation. With that rate, you can be fairly confident that you won't run out of cash before you leave this world. Only there's one small problem. That 4% rule means that for every $10,000 in income you're trying to replace, you'll need to have $250,000 worth of savings. To replace, say, a $40,000 salary, you'll have to amass a cool $1 million." (The Motley Fool)


Podcast: America's Retirement Challenge Roundtable Part 1, August 25, 2008
Roundtable Topic: How Secure will you be in your Golden Years? Excerpt: "This roundtable examines the critical planning which should be taken in early adulthood and throughout a lifetime of employment to prepare for the end of careers. It examines the financial tools needed to create long term financial security. The participants also discuss the policy role of advocacy groups for seniors." (Denver 2008 Convention Host Committee)


DOL Report on Availability of Computer Model Investment Advice Programs for Individual Retirement Account Submitted to House/Senate Committees
Excerpt: "Four commenters . . . identified existing computer model investment advice programs that, in their view, meet all three of the criteria set forth in section 601(b)(3)(B) of the PPA. Each of the Four Commenters identified a different model. These and other comments are further discussed [in the target report]." (U.S. Department of Labor)


The Efficiency of Pension Plan Investment Menus: Investment Choices in Defined Contribution Pension Plans (PDF)
32 pages. Excerpt: "This paper assesses the efficiency and performance of 401(k) investment options offered by a large group of US employers. We show that most plans are efficient compared to market benchmark indexes. Three performance measures underscore the fact that these plans tend to offer a sensible investment menu, when measured in terms of the menus' mean-variance efficiency, diversification, and participant utility. The key factor contributing to plan efficiency and performance has to do with the types of funds offered, rather than the total number of investment options provided." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)


Guaranteed Income Wrappers Pose Challenge, Opportunity
Excerpt: "In the recent issue of The Cerulli Edge -- Managed Accounts Edition, Cerulli Associates reports that insurance vehicles such as guaranteed income wrappers represent a development in the retirement income space. However, Cerulli analysts remain skeptical that the vehicles will take off among fee-based advisers." (planadvisor)


Stock-Ownership Plans Give Employees Equity
Excerpt: "Although they don't get as much publicity as 401(k) plans or individual retirement accounts, ESOPs have an estimated 10 million participants working at 11,500 companies, the vast majority of which are small and privately held. Unlike many other retirement programs, ESOPs are unusual in that workers don't have to ante up any money of their own. Owners make all contributions, but they derive several benefits." (azcentral.com)


Fannie Mae's Employee Stock Ownership Plan
Excerpt: "For those people participating in the employee stock ownership plans, known as ESOPs, at Fannie Mae -- Freddie Mac did not have one -- they could do little but watch this year as the stock lost more than three-quarters of its value. In a lament echoing the fallen share prices at other firms like Bear Stearns, employees discovered their stock was essentially locked up. The Fannie Mae plan, to which the company stopped making contributions last year, invests in company stock, allowing diversification to begin only at age 55." (The New York Times; free registration required)



Sponsored by: University Conference Services

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for University Conference Services

Can Your Retirement Plan Handle a Storm?

The climate has changed in the world of retirement and pension plan management. The Chicago Mid-Sized Retirement & Pension Plan Management Conference, October 1417, 2008, gives you up-to-date information and real-world strategies for making sure you and your plan are protected.

(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] Employee Benefits Update, August 2008 (PDF)
6 pages. The newsletter covers select compliance deadlines, retirement plan developments, and health and welfare plan developments. (Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)


[Guidance Overview] Certain Year-End and Early 2009 Deadlines Approaching for Retirement and Welfare Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "As the end of the calendar year fast approaches, sponsors of retirement and welfare benefit plans should review those plans (including the administration of those plans) to make sure such plans are (or will be) in compliance with year-end and early 2009 requirements." (Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC)


Updated Data: Number of Deaths per 100,000, by State
Data may be viewed by bar graph, table, map, map and table. (Kaiser Family Foundation)




Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Ask the Experts A Roundtable Forum
in Illinois on September 25, 2008
presented by WEB - Chicago West

The Challenge of Obesity for Policy Makers: Recommendations for the Next Administration Webcast
Nationwide on August 29, 2008
presented by KaiserNetwork.org



Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Connecture, Inc. Named in Inc. Magazine's 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies for the Second Year
Connecture, Inc.

Benefits Roundtable Launches My Benefits Coach
Corporate Executive Board

New Book Released: "Fixing the 401k"
Greenspring Wealth Management



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 Associated Pension Consultants
in CA

Plan Document Specialist
for American National Insurance Company
in TX

Client Relationship Manager
for Merrill Lynch
in CO, NJ

Regional Director
for The Newport Group
in CA

Qualified Plan Administrator
for DST Systems
in MO

Pharmacy Consultant
for Towers Perrin
in CA

Client Service Consultant - Regional
for The Standard
in CA

Client Service Consultant - Regional
for The Standard
in TX

Pharmacy Consultant
for Towers Perrin
in NY

Compliance Paralegal
for National Financial Partners
in TX

DC / 401(k) Compliance Consultant
for The Savitz Organization
in DE, NJ, PA




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