Retirement Plans Newsletter
January 5, 2010

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DATAIR 5500 / PBGC / 1099-R / 5300 / FAS 158 Software

DATAIR 5500 / PBGC / 1099-R / 5300 / FAS 158 Software

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  • FAS 132/158: Audit Letter, Worksheets, Schedules
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DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.


[Official Guidance]
The EFAST2 Web Site Is Operational

Excerpt: "The Department of Labor (DOL), Internal Revenue Service (IRS), and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) created EFAST to streamline the forms and the methods by which they are filed and processed." (U.S. Department of Labor)


[Guidance Overview]
IRS Explanation of Requirements for Nonspousal Distributions

Excerpt: "This explanation should be provided to the nonspouse beneficiary no earlier than 180 days and no later than 30 days before making the distribution. Notice 2009-68 contains two sample notices that plans may give to nonspouse beneficiaries." (Wolters Kluwer)


[Guidance Overview]
Keogh Plan Need Not Comply with ERISA to Be Exempt in Bankrup.tcy

In Re: Baker, Case No. 09-13144 (US 11th Cir., December 22, 2009). Excerpt: "A United States District Court has affirmed the decision of a bankrup.tcy court that Baker's Keogh plan was not exempt under Section 222.21(2)(a)(1), Florida Statutes. Baker was the sole participant in and beneficiary of a Keogh plan managed by Fidelity Investments, which had obtained letter rulings from Internal Revenue Service that the plan was 'acceptable under Section 401 of the Internal Revenue Code.'" (Cypen & Cypen)


[Guidance Overview]
Technical Questions and Answers Regarding The SPARK Institute's 403(b) Plans Information Sharing: Minimum and Comprehensive Data Elements

Q&A Last Updated January 4, 2010. (The SPARK Institute)


[Guidance Overview]
EFAST2 Credentials Are Signer Specific, Not Company Specific; Plan Sponsors Must Decide Who Will Sign the 5500

Excerpt: "You have been hearing about it and now it is here! The 2009 Form 5500 must be filed electronically. In order to file electronically, you must obtain credentials from the Department of Labor even if you already have a user ID and password for EFAST. EFAST2 is a completely separate system from EFAST. This ErisaALERT will address only the credentialing aspects. We anticipate a series of ErisaALERTs dedicated to the Form 5500 in the coming months." (ERISAdiagnostics Inc.)


Is Pension Inequality Growing?
Excerpt: "This brief documents and explores trends in pension participation by income. The first section discusses the relative importance of private pensions as a source of retirement income. The second section examines trends in pension sponsorship and participation rates. The third section explores why some individuals choose not to participate. The final section concludes that the shift to defined contribution plans has been a significant factor in the drop in coverage for low earners." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)


Intricately Linked: Pensions and Corporate Financial Performance (PDF)
17 pages. Excerpt: "[Towers] Perrin has developed this publication to update our 2003 guidebook, Pensions and Corporate Financial Performance -- Keeping Your Eye on the Ball. This new edition reflects the many changes that have since occurred in the environment of pension plan management. In addition, an upcoming companion publication will delve into more detail in each of the policy areas discussed here, focusing on specific actions that can be taken in these areas to achieve policy goals." (Towers Perrin)


In Ohio, Local Governments, Workers Wait to See How State Retirement System Legislation Plays Out
Excerpt: "[Ohio workers] are closely watching proposals now before the Ohio legislature that would make substantial changes to the state's public pension system. Those include boosting taxpayer and employee contributions for the teacher, police and fire, and Highway Patrol retirement funds." (Akron Beacon Journal)


House Ways and Means Committee Granted Another Extension for Consideration of Bill That Would Limit Who Can Provide Investment Advice to 401(k) Plan Participants
Excerpt: "The committee now has until Jan. 19 to debate HR 2989, which was already approved by the House Education and Labor Committee last year." (Investment News; free registration required)


What Can Investors Learn from a Dreary Decade?
Excerpt: "Two soul-searing bear markets have sent investors reeling -- and have severely tested the notion that the average person can save and invest enough to retire on her own." (USA TODAY)


Federal Investigators Looking Into Several Investments by City of Detroit Pension Boards, According to News Report
Excerpt: "The Detroit Free Press said the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and a federal grand jury have demanded records on at least two pension deals, which the newspaper said totaled $40 million." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


Year-End 2009 Pension Funding Data Shows Improvement
Excerpt: "The latest data for year-end 2009 shows that corporate defined benefit plan funding status rose to 85% percent (a $229-billion deficit), up from a 75% funded status a year earlier (a $409-billion deficit)." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


[Opinion]
National Institute on Retirement Security Responds to Washington Post January 2, 2010, Editorial

Excerpt: "What a contrast between The Washington Post's reporting and the editorial page on January 2nd. The front page told the sobering story of a 'lost decade' during which America's middle class saw no real gains in jobs, income, or net worth. But the editorial page implied that some members of the middle class have it too good - namely folks who teach our kids, keep our streets safe, and provide other public services." (National Institute on Retirement Security)




Apply Now For Graduate Employee Benefits eClasses

Apply Now For Graduate Employee Benefits eClasses

At The John Marshall Law School, we offer the only MS and LLM degrees in Employee Benefits in the country. Our new eClasses are created to utilize the advantages of remote learning while maintaining the highest standards of instruction. Students can complete assignments from anywhere, day or night. With new classes added each semester, eClasses are a great way professionals can keep current or earn an advanced degree in their field. E-mail 6winicza@jmls.edu for more information.

The John Marshall Law School

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
SEC Developments and Other Issues Affecting Your 2009 Annual Report and the Upcoming Proxy Season (PDF)

17 pages. Excerpt: "As always this time of year, [Snell & Wilmer presents the January issue of 'Corporate Communicator'] to help you prepare for the upcoming annual report and proxy season. This issue highlights some of the considerations your company should focus on this annual meeting season." (Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.)


[Guidance Overview]
SEC's Revised Executive Comp and Governance Disclosure Amendments for 2010

Excerpt: "For a compensation consultant who played a role in determining or recommending the amount or form of executive or director compensation and also provided additional services to a company, the proposed rules would have required the company to identify the consultant and to disclose the aggregate fees paid to the consultant along with a description of the additional services. The SEC's final rules include this requirement with modifications that limit the scope of the disclosures." (McGuireWoods LLP)


Dealing With Underwater Stock Options: Some New Twists on a Timeless Quandary (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Many of the issues companies face with regard to underwater options are timeless. Most companies feel they must take action to: restore the options' ability to provide a meaningful performance and retention incentive to holders who view out-of-the-money options quite negatively; promote fairness between holders of underwater options and new hires who receive at-the-money options with far lower exercise prices; limit the negative effect of underwater options when there are low levels of share reserves available under shareholder-approved plans." (Towers Watson)


Employee Ownership Update for January 4, 2010
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses the following: A new NCEO survey on ESOP governance practices shows 13% of the respondents have an independent institutional trustee. Senator Bernard Sanders has introduced two bills to encourage employee ownership. There has been a lot of buzz about replacing traditional stock awards with performance shares. You can now apply for the Winning Workplaces awards. Corey will step down as director in 2011; NCEO will soon announce the new director. (National Center for Employee Ownership)



Webcasts and Conferences

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Minnesota on January 21, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in California on January 27, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Wisconsin on January 27, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Minnesota on January 28, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Wisconsin on January 29, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in California on January 29, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Maryland on February 10, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Oklahoma on February 10, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Massachusetts on February 12, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Texas on February 12, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Arizona on February 18, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Kansas on February 24, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Virginia on February 24, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Pennsylvania on February 24, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in New Jersey on February 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Georgia on March 10, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in California on March 10, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in California on March 12, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Louisiana on March 12, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Pennsylvania on March 17, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Kentucky on March 17, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Tennessee on March 19, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Wisconsin on March 24, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Wisconsin on March 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Florida on March 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Minnesota on January 20, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Wisconsin on January 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on January 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Minnesota on January 27, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on January 28, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Wisconsin on January 28, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Maryland on February 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Oklahoma on February 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Massachusetts on February 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Texas on February 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Arizona on February 17, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Kansas on February 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Virginia on February 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Pennsylvania on February 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in New Jersey on February 25, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on March 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Georgia on March 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on March 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Louisiana on March 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Pennsylvania on March 16, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Kentucky on March 16, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Tennessee on March 18, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Wisconsin on March 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Wisconsin on March 25, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Florida on March 25, 2010
presented by Ascensus

Getting Ready for Form 5500
Nationwide on January 12, 2010
presented by Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)

The Future of the Defined Benefit Plans (Traditional, Cash Balance and DB/K)
in California on January 21, 2010
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter

(Click to post your webcast or conference)

Press Releases

PBGC Negotiates Deal to Strengthen Pension Funding at Whirlpool Corp.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

Diversified Investment Advisors Names New 403(b) VP
Diversified Investment Advisors

The SPARK Institute Answers Technical Questions Regarding 403(b) Plans Information Sharing, Schedules Webinar To Discuss New Material
The SPARK Institute

Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt Complete Merger to Form Towers Watson
Towers Watson

Kring Financial Launches 401kProAdvisor.com
Kring Financial Management

(Click to post your press release)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Director, Defined Contribution / Conversion Services
for Summit Retirement Plan Services, Inc.
in OH

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