Retirement Plans Newsletter
January 15, 2010

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DC/401(k) Administration Software from DATAIR

DC/401(k) Administration Software from DATAIR

DATAIR’s DC/Win System for Allocations, Discrimination Testing, and Proposals. Handles New Comparability Plans, Sole Proprietorships, 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Use with our DB System for Cash Balance and Combo Plans. Expert support.
DC/401(k) System includes
* Downloads from many allocated account fund providers    * Automated loan processing
* Flexible data import/export    *Interface with DATAIR's 5500/1099R system. or call 1-888-328-2474

DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

[Official Guidance]
Video: The EFAST2 Online Filing System

This is an educational video on the electronic filing of form 5500 produced by the U.S. Department of Labor. (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL's Final Participant Contributions Regulation (PDF)

3 pages. Excerpt: "The problem DOL has encountered in reviewing compliance with this general rule is that it is not always clear when is the 'earliest date' on which the segregation of contributions is possible. In February 2008, DOL proposed to create a 'safe harbor' to provide a higher degree of certainty. Under the proposed safe harbor, employers with plans that have fewer than 100 participants . . . would be considered to have been timely under the 'earliest date' requirement if the contributions are deposited within seven business days. DOL has now adopted this seven-business-day safe harbor rule, effective immediately. The rule applies for all 'small' plans, both pension and welfare benefit plans." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
PBGC's Proposed Revisions to Reportable Event Regulations

Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation recently proposed changes to ERISA Title IV reportable event requirements. The changes are broad and some sponsors may find compliance difficult. In this article we review the reportable event rules generally and then provide a detailed review of key elements of the proposed rule." (J.P. Morgan Compensation and Benefit Strategies)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS PLR that Will Help Pave the Way for DC Annuities

A link to this article appeared earlier this month on BenefitsLink. The author advises us that the article has been revised to link correctly to the private letter ruling at issue. (Robert J. Toth, Jr.)

Delaying Retirement an Additional Year Could Offset Stock Market Losses
Excerpt: "This brief simulates the impact of the 2008 stock market crash on future retirement savings under alternative scenarios. The results show that by delaying retirement one additional year, many mid- and late-career workers could increase their income at age 67 enough to offset some or all of their stock market losses." (Urban Institute)

Results from Segal's Survey of Multiemployer Plans' 2009 Zone Status: Winter 2010 Report
Excerpt: "The Segal Company's Survey of Plans' 2009 Zone Status reports the percentage of multiemployer pension plans that fell into each of the three zones - red ('critical status'), yellow ('endangered status') and green (neither critical nor endangered) - in 2009." (The Segal Group, Inc.)

Current Pension Legislative Outlook: Reviewing 2009 and Looking Forward to 2010
Excerpt: "We would expect to see further action, or at least further attempts to act, on DB funding relief and 401(k) fee disclosure by Congress, perhaps in early 2010. Our guess is that the next development with respect to investment advice will be a re-proposal of regulations by the DOL. As noted, it's unclear whether any progress (if you can call it that) will be made on reform of DB accounting in 2010." (J.P. Morgan Compensation and Benefit Strategies)

What Type of ERISA Fiduciary Are You & Why It Matters
Excerpt: "Before discussing the more sophisticated nuances of the different fiduciary roles advisors could assume, it's worth noting that many fail to grasp the basic differences between a 'named fiduciary' and a 'co-fiduciary.' To clarify, individuals become fiduciaries through appointment or function. The 'named fiduciary' is the individual, committee or entity specifically appointed and identified in the plan document." (The Center for Due Diligence)

EBSA to Host Webcast on Form 5500
Excerpt: "The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) will host a free Webcast January 21 at 1:00 p.m. on 2009 Form 5500 and electronic filing requirements." (

Pension Obligation Bonds: Financial Crisis Exposes Risks, (PDF)
11 pages. Excerpt: "It is risky for state and local governments to shore up pensions with such bonds except in certain circumstances. The brief's key findings are: Some state and local governments issue Pension Obligation Bonds (POBs) to raise cash to cover their required pension contributions. POBs allow governments to avoid increasing taxes in bad times and could reduce pension costs, but they pose considerable risks. Those who issue POBs are often fiscally stressed and not well-positioned to handle the investment risk." (Center for State and Local Government Excellence)

Public Employee Retirement Organizations' Joint Letter to Washington Post on Public Pension Funding (PDF)

3 pages. Excerpt: "The January 2nd editorial in The Washington Post uses incomplete information to describe public pensions. While the reserves set aside in trust for future pension benefits, along with State and local government fiscal conditions, have been severely affected by the 2008 market decline, the vast majority of public pension plans have sufficient assets to continue paying promised pension benefits for the foreseeable future, even using very pessimistic projections. Public pensions do not require, nor are they seeking, any Federal bail-out." (National Council on Teacher Retirement)

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]
SEC Rule Changes for 2010: Be Ready to be Held Accountable (PDF)

12 pages. Excerpt: "Although the SEC's final rules made welcome improvements upon a few of the original proposals, the final rules are fairly consistent with the proposed rules. Compliance should be achievable on registrants' regular proxy schedule, provided that directors and officers start the year by establishing a time-and-responsibility schedule for ensuring a thoughtful response to the new rules." (Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP)

New Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules Take Effect with Company Shareholder Proxies This Year
Excerpt: "Perhaps the most impressive fact is that the new information will be available this year. Mary L. Schapiro, the S.E.C. chairwoman, decided to fight her way through bureaucratic delays to get the new rule out just in time for this year's proxy season. Under normal S.E.C. procedures, there is little doubt the changes would have been effective a year from now, not this year." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Webcasts and Conferences

2010 Employee Ownership Conference
in Minnesota on April 19, 2010
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO) and the Beyster Institute

An Introduction to 401(k) Plan Operation
in California on February 2, 2010
presented by Actuarial Consultants, Inc.

An Introduction to 401(k) Plan Operation
in California on February 17, 2010
presented by Actuarial Consultants, Inc.

Annual Plan Administration Basic Training
in California on February 2, 2010
presented by Actuarial Consultants, Inc.

Annual Plan Administration Basic Training
in California on February 17, 2010
presented by Actuarial Consultants, Inc.

EA-2B Review Course
in Virginia on April 9, 2010
presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

Getting Ready for 2009 Form 5500 and Electronic Filing, Part IV Webcast
Nationwide on January 21, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

(Click to post your webcast or conference)

Press Releases

PBGC Protects Chesapeake Corp. Pension Plan
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

US Labor Department Administrative Law Judge Rules Bankruptcy and Loss of Records Not a Basis to Waive Civil Penalty
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Starr Global Accident & Health Utilizing Benefit Informatics Data Analysis and Reporting Solutions
Benefit Informatics

EZ-GASB - The Low-Cost Alternative
Lockstone Advisors, LLC

Freedom One Financial Group Adds vWise SmartPlan Enterprise to its Participant Platform
Freedom One Financial Group Launched to Help Government Entities Solve Their OPEB Issues
Roundstone Healthcare Partners

(Click to post your press release)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Pension Administrator
for Jordan & Associates
in CA

401k/Qualified Plan Wholesaler
for G & T Benefits Group, LLC
in FL, NY

Associate Attorney
for Hall, Render, Killian, Heath & Lyman, P.C.
in KY

Defined Contribution Administrator
for Rosenfeld/Tortu Retirement Planning Co., Inc.
in NY

Benefit Services Specialist
for Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

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