Retirement Plans Newsletter
January 12, 2010

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This Compliance Testing Season, Minimize Your Stress with ASC!

This Compliance Testing Season, Minimize Your Stress with ASC!

ASC’s Compliance Testing software automatically and iteratively crunches the numbers so you don’t have to. The result is that more plans pass ADP/ACP and 401(a)(4) testing. Partner the sophistication of our Compliance Testing with our Money Manager Link and Single Step Processing automation tools for even more efficiencies. ASC offers a full range of retirement plan automation products including DC/401(k) and Defined Benefit software, Document Management and Generation System, and 5500 forms. Learn more!


[Official Guidance]
Cycle D Filing Deadline Extended to February 1

Excerpt: "As January 31 falls on Sunday, the Cycle D determination letter application deadline is extended to February 1, 2010. The 2008 Cumulative list allows some fiscal plan year Cycle D plans a one-time election to file in Cycle E. The IRS requests that a Cycle D plan electing to file under Cycle E on February 1, note this on the application." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS's Final Regulations on 204(h) Notices (PDF)

3 pages. Excerpt: "The IRS recently issued final regulations on the notice requirements for amendments that would significantly reduce the future rate of benefit accruals in a qualified pension plan. The regulations clarify when notices are required in light of changes made by the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA), provide rules on timing for retroactive amendments, and coordinate the requirements for these notices with other statutory notice requirements." (Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview]
2009 Form M-1 Now Available; Virtually Unchanged from 2008

Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: We expect that the 2010 Form M-1 will request information about a MEWA's or ECE's compliance with the recently enacted mandates and that the DOL will also update the self-compliance checklists for these mandates. Substantial penalties apply for failing to comply with the Form M-1 reporting requirements. Thus, filings should be completed on a timely basis." (Employee Benefits Institute of America)

[Guidance Overview]
Three Form 5500 Developments: EFAST2 Website, New Guidance on Submitting Delinquent/Amended Filings, and the Release of Form 5500 for Both 2009 and 2010 Plan Years

Excerpt: "[G]iven the simultaneous issuance by the agencies of Forms for both 2009 and 2010, the 2009 Instructions caution that 2010 short plan-year filers may not use the 2009 Form 5500 for filing -- the Form 5500 for 2010 must be used for this purpose." (Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Participant Behaviors Do Not Match Target-Date Assumptions
Excerpt: "A new report says actual participant behavior is more varied and volatile than most target-date funds assume. An analysis by J.P. Morgan Retirement Plan Services of over 350 defined contribution plans with 1.7 million participants, for which it provides recordkeeping services, indicates that participants continue to start saving too late and take too long to reach appropriate savings rates." (

Goldman Sachs Bonuses Draw Pension Fund Suit
Excerpt: "Goldman Sachs Group Inc has been sued by an Illinois pension fund seeking to recover billions of dollars of bonuses and other compensation being awarded for 2009, saying the payouts harm shareholders." (

Results from Two IRS Compliance Projects Highlight Common 401(k) and Small Plan Errors
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: These examination projects reflect and reinforce the IRS's concern about small plan compliance. As the IRS summary of Project #1 observed: 'The results revealed the expected -- Various issues arise with more frequency in smaller plans due to less oversight and weaker internal controls.'" (Employee Benefits Institute of America)

H&R Block to Refund IRA Fees to Settle Lawsuit
Excerpt: "H&R Block Inc will pay as much as $20.2 million to settle a New York lawsuit accusing it of fraudulently marketing individual retirement accounts (IRAs) that charged hidden fees." (planadviser)

How Does Your Small Business 401(k) Stack Up?
Excerpt: "Here's what to ask in a do-it-yourself check-up of your company retirement plan." ( LLC)

Fact and Fiction Blur in 401(k) Investment Fund Performance Story

Excerpt: "It is an out-of-body experience to hear the retirement fund industry talk about how well it has performed during the past two years. But that was the party line at a recent panel session in Washington. It was held to discuss recent research into public attitudes toward retirement accounts and the performance of the accounts themselves. The Investment Company Institute, the primary trade group for mutual funds, surveyed 3,000 people. It found overwhelming support for 401(k) plans and strong consumer opposition to government efforts that would curb the plans." (U.S. News & World Report)

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

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Document Corrections Program for Deferred Compensation Plans Under Code Section 409A (PDF)

10 pages. Excerpt: "Importantly, the Notice provides a relatively generous initial timeline to correct document errors, setting the transitional deadline for fixing document failures at December 31, 2010, which is extremely valuable in that it substantially limits the income inclusion and additional taxes that might otherwise apply." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

IRS Requirements for Using IRS Forms or Acceptable Substitutes to File 2009 Information Returns
Excerpt: "The IRS has released Revenue Procedure 2009-49 setting forth the requirements for using IRS forms to file 2009 information returns, for preparing acceptable substitutes for the official forms, and for using official forms or acceptable substitute forms to furnish information to recipients. The procedures cover Forms 1096, 1099 series, 5498 series, and 1042-S. Further, the procedures outline the official form specifications for a form or statement to be acceptable." (Wolters Kluwer)

Webcasts and Conferences

"EFAST2: A New Decade in Plan Reporting" Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 2, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"EFAST2: A New Decade of Plan Reporting" Web Seminar
Nationwide on January 26, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Schedule C: C is for Confusion" Web Seminar
Nationwide on January 28, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Schedule C: C is for Confusion" Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 4, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

Future Care 2010 Web Summit
in California on January 21, 2010
presented by MCOL

Improving Employee Morale and Retaining Key Employees During A Recession (No-Cost Webinar)
Nationwide on January 14, 2010
presented by Benefit Software Inc.

Integrated Delivery Systems 2010: Insights from Leaders
in California on February 23, 2010
presented by MCOL

Streamline Employee Benefit Enrollment: No-Cost Webinar Demonstrates How To Simplify Your Enrollment and Lower Costs
Nationwide on January 14, 2010
presented by Benefit Software Inc.

You Can Change The Way Your Employees Think About Their Benefits With One Simple Statement (No-Cost Webinar)
Nationwide on January 13, 2010
presented by Benefit Software Inc.

(Click to post your webcast or conference)

Press Releases

PBGC Protects Pensions at Hartmarx Corporation
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

Employee Benefits Security Administration Issues Additional Guidance on Extension of COBRA Premium Subsidy
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Great-West Retirement Services Adds Six More Sales Staff In Step To Further Support Its Adviser And TPA Channels
Great-West Retirement Services

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Director, Strategic Sales Support-Institutional Solutions
for Prudential
in CT, NJ

Retirement Plan Administrator / Consultant – Entry Level
for Madison Pension Services, Inc.
in NY

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