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October 13, 2008

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

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[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2008-98: Extension of Effective Date of Normal Retirement Age Regulations for Governmental Plans (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The [IRS intends] to extend the date by which a governmental plan must comply with final regulations on distributions from a pension plan upon attainment of normal retirement age, which were published in [2007] ('the 2007 final regulations'). Under the extension, the 2007 final regulations will be effective for a governmental plan (as defined in 414(d) of the Internal Revenue Code) for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2011. This notice does not change the effective date of the 2007 final regulations for a plan that is not a governmental plan or modify the relief previously provided in Notice 2007-69 . . . ." (Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview] Ninth Circuit Joins Other Circuits in Allowing Cashed-Out Plan Participants to Sue for Breach of Fiduciary Duty
Excerpt: "The Ninth Circuit has joined six other circuits holding that former employees who have cashed out their individual accounts in a former employer's defined contribution plan are still 'participants' who can sue to recover losses arising from a breach of fiduciary duty that allegedly reduced the amount of their benefits." (Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA))

[Guidance Overview] IRS Proposes Regulations Addressing Notice of Participant's Right to Defer a Distribution and 180-Day Notice Period
Excerpt: "The Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) added a requirement that the notice of a participant's right to defer an immediate distribution (required by regulations under Code Section 411) also describe the consequences of taking an immediate distribution. The PPA also expanded the period for distribution-related notices required under Code Sections 402(f), 411, and 417, from 90 to 180 days. . . . The IRS has now issued proposed amendments to its regulations to address the PPA changes. The amendments are proposed to be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2010, but may be relied on before then." (Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA))

[Guidance Overview] DOL Finalizes Annuity Selection Rule and Amendments to Plan Termination Rules for Missing Non-Spouse Beneficiaries
Excerpt: "The DOL has finalized (1) the annuity selection rule for individual account plans (including 401(k) plans); and (2) amendments to the fiduciary safe harbor for making IRA rollover distributions from terminating plans. The final rule and amendments conform the regulations to changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA)." (Employee Benefits Institute of America (EBIA))

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Vice President -Benefits
for Mid-Size Financial Services/Investment Bank
in NY

Operations Supervisor (TPA/Employee Benefits)
for Zenith Administrators
in WI

Pension Consultant
for CAI Benefits, Inc.
in NY

DC Adminstrator
for Summit Benefit & Actuarial Services, Inc.

Plan Administrator
for JCCS Benefit Consulting Group
in MT

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