Retirement Plans Newsletter
January 8, 2010

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Get ready for the new 403(b) requirements. Let SunGard help.

Get ready for the new 403(b) requirements.  Let SunGard help.

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued new 403(b) regulations, which became effective in January 2009, replacing regulations that were more than 40 years old. Most 403(b) plans need to comply with new plan document requirements, changes to coverage and non-discrimination testing rules and limitations to transfers and exchanges. Turn to SunGard for our 403(b) plan solutions. For more information, call 1-800-326-7235 x1100 or click here.


ASPPA Solicits Support of TPAs in Petition to DOL About EFAST2 Rule
Excerpt: "ASPPA is soliciting your support in asking the Department of Labor to modify its position with regard to the sharing of EFAST2 credentials. Many practitioners have expressed concern that DOL's current position -- as expressed in FAQ #33 -- will hamper their efforts to assist clients with timely filing of Form 5500. IRS and PBGC have developed systems that recognize the key role played by service providers in achieving compliance. ASPPA proposes that DOL implement similar rules so that filing signers could, at their option, choose to share their credentials with their service providers to facilitate electronic filing." (American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA))

U.S. Labor Department EFAST2 Online Filing System Operational to Receive and Process Form 5500 Filings
Excerpt: "The revised EFAST website has been updated to provide filers with a variety of tools and guidance, including the 2009 and 2010 Form 5500 and new Form 5500-SF schedules and instructions, Frequently Asked Questions, user guides, and a tutorial. Filers and preparers can register for an account, complete the required forms and schedules online in multiple sessions, print a copy for their records, and submit it at no cost." (U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration)

IRS Approval of Pension Funding Method Changes
Excerpt: "Certain funding method changes made by single-employer defined benefit (DB) plans will receive automatic approval from the IRS, the agency said in Announcement 2010-03, which it released on Dec. 28, 2009. Specifically, for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2009, the IRS will grant automatic approval under certain conditions when a change in funding method is the result of either . . . ." (Thompson Publishing Group)

Target Date Funds: Ready! Fire! Aim? 2009
Excerpt: "In 2007, J.P. Morgan Asset Management published Ready! Fire! Aim? How some target date fund designs are missing the mark on providing retirement security to those who need it most. With that study, J.P. Morgan addressed the question of whether target date strategies were delivering on their full potential to help 401(k) participants meet their retirement funding needs. Here we provide an updated paper." (J.P. Morgan Compensation and Benefit Strategies)

Enduring Confidence in the 401(k) System: Investor Attitudes and Actions (PDF)
Excerpt: "With millions of U.S. households personally directing their retirement savings, the Investment Company Institute (ICI) has sought to get a sense of retirement savers' activity and sentiment in light of the extraordinary financial market volatility of the past two years. This paper summarizes results from two surveys conducted by ICI in the last two months of 2009. The results here update surveys first fielded in 2008." (Investment Company Institute)

St. Louis Gunman Reported to be a 401(k) Fee Suit Plaintiff
Excerpt: "The employee who went on a shooting rampage at a St. Louis manufacturing plant is reportedly one of four named plaintiffs in a 401(k) excessive fee class-action lawsuit. . . . The 401(k) lawsuit went to trial before a federal judge earlier this week, according to reports." (planadviser)

Rules on Providing Investment Advice to 401(k) Plan Participants Shifting, but End of Controversy Not in Sight

Excerpt: "Everyone agrees that 401(k) participants had a miserable experience in 2008. But there is little agreement on a solution. One group, which seems to be growing, believes that giving participants one-on-one advice sessions with a financial advisor might be the answer. But who should that advisor be? Interestingly, the argument revolves around the same issue that has split the financial advisory community for more than two decades: the difference between objective advice and advice with a conflict of interest." (Charter Financial Publishing Network Inc.)

The Year of Financial Industry and Investment Reform Is Upon Us: A Preview

Excerpt: "December was a big month for agenda setting in Washington as legislators and regulators looked ahead to making reform a reality in 2010." (fi360 blog)

2010 Public Employee Retirement Reform Resolutions

Excerpt: "[L]ittle has been done to initiate genuine reforms of financial structures that now appear unsustainable. I've reflected on why the forces of inertia seem to dominate, and have resolved personally to take a different approach to change-management in 2010. After taking some time over the holidays to reflect on the past year's accomplishments and mistakes, here's my list of new year's retirement-reform resolutions." (Girard Miller via

The ASPPA 401(k) Summit | March 14 16, 2010 | Orlando World Center Marriott Resort

The ASPPA 401(k) Summit | March 14  16, 2010 | Orlando World Center Marriott Resort

The ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT is bigger and better than ever in 2010! Expect 140 exciting exhibits in the hall, dozens of top-notch workshop sessions like "Plan Designs for the Age of Obama," and the presentation of the prestigious Morningstar-ASPPA 401(k) Advisor Leadership Award. The SUMMIT offers 14 hours of ASPPA Continuing Education (CE) credit and is designed to comply with various CE programs, including ERPA CPE.

For more information and to register, click here: The ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT.


Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

The Disposable Worker
Excerpt: "You know American workers are in bad shape when a low-paying, no-benefits job is considered a sweet deal. Their situation isn't likely to improve soon; some economists predict it will be years, not months, before employees regain any semblance of bargaining power. That's because this recession's unusual ferocity has accelerated trends -- including offshoring, automation, the decline of labor unions' influence, new management techniques, and regulatory changes -- that already had been eroding workers' economic standing." (BusinessWeek via Yahoo! Inc.)

Employee Tenure, 2008 (PDF)
Pages 2-12 of 20 pages. Excerpt: "Data on employee tenure -- the amount of time an individual has been with his or her current employer -- show that career jobs never existed for most workers, and still do not. The median tenure of workers -- the midpoint of wage and salary workers' length of employment in their current job -- was virtually unchanged over the past 25 years: 5.1 years at the same job in 2008, compared with 5.0 years in 1983." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Webcasts and Conferences

Can this Deferred Compensation Plan be Saved? IRS 409A Document Corrections Program and Notice 2010-6
Nationwide on January 25, 2010
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Workshop
in Idaho on February 17, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

(Click to post your webcast or conference)

Press Releases

PBGC Protects Eddie Bauer Pension Plan
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

US Labor Department EFAST2 Online Filing System Operational to Receive and Process Form 5500 Filings
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Labor Department Sues to Appoint Independent Fiduciary for Troubled Construction Contractor Plans
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Labor Department Sues Fiduciaries of Reno, Nevada, Company to Recover 401(k) Assets
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Great-West Names Director of Business Development for 401k Plans
Great-West Retirement Services

Dow Jones Indexes Announces Addition to Target Date Index Family
Dow Jones Indexes

Alliance Benefit Group Carolinas Absorbs Plans From First Sun Employee Benefits
Alliance Benefit Group Carolinas, LLC

(Click to post your press release)

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