Retirement Plans Newsletter
January 21, 2010

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

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

Pension Reporter System. Easy to use PC based software for EFAST2 electronic filing. Full instructions and expert support. Choose from 4 modules:
  • Annual Reporting Series: EFAST2 5500-series, PBGC Premium-series, SAR + all schedules and attachments
  • 1099-R Series: with related forms and 1099 electronic filing/Service Bureau
  • Qualification & Termination: 5300/5310-series and PBGC 500/600-series forms
  • FAS 132/158: Audit Letter, Worksheets, Schedules
sales@datair.com or call (888) 324-2474

DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.


[Official Guidance]
Text of IRS Notice 2010-15: Guidance Under HEART Act, Including Qualified Reservist Distributions Before Age 59-1/2 (PDF)

27 pages. Excerpt: "The sections of the HEART Act addressed in this notice are section 104 (relating to survivor and disability payments with respect to qualified military service), section 105 (relating to treatment of differential military pay as wages), section 107 (relating to distributions from retirement plans to individuals called to active duty), section 109 (relating to contributions of military death gratuities to Roth IRAs and Coverdell education savings accounts), and section 111 (relating to an employer credit for differential wage payments to employees who are active duty members of the uniformed services)." (Internal Revenue Service)


[Guidance Overview]
Roth IRA Conversion Recharacterization

Excerpt: "IRS allows an individual to reverse the conversion from a traditional IRA to Roth IRA by a 'recharacterization.' One of the reasons an individual chooses a recharacterization is when an account value drops soon after the conversion to a Roth IRA. A drastic value drop leaves an individual responsible for taxes on the larger amount converted even though the current value has decreased significantly. Taxpayers have until the due date of their federal income-tax return (including extensions) for the year the Roth IRA conversion occurs to make a recharacterization." (McKay Hochman Co.)


[Guidance Overview]
Check Your Loan Documents: New PBGC Reportable Event Rules May Impact Corporate Transactions

Excerpt: "The PBGC proposed towards the end of 2009 to eliminate most waivers and extensions for reportable event filings under Section 4043 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Under the new proposal . . ., waivers would be eliminated even for sponsors of well-funded plans that would not increase the PBGC's risk and for transactions involving foreign entities." (Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP)


Power of ERISA Administrator Versus Judge Debated in Supreme Court Retirement Case
Excerpt: "The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday on who should decide a disputed retirement fund agreement after the courts reject a fund administrator's proposal. Here, employees who had retired and collected benefits were rehired, but how much they should earn in benefits the second time around is up in the air." (Courthouse News Service)


The Roth Conversion Gamble (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "There are four things that determine whether a Roth conversion is a good idea or not: 1. Whether and how Congress will change the Internal Revenue Code in the future. 2. Whether state taxes will change, either because of revisions in state tax laws or because of relocation to another state. 3. The total amount of taxable income, during the conversion vs. the future. 4. Everything else (impact of required minimum distributions, impact on heirs, etc.). Of these, the latter two can be hard to predict, but the first two are virtually impossible to predict. They are, all but literally, a spin of the roulette wheel." (Still River Retirement Planning Software, Inc.)


Public Employee Pension Systems Under-Funded by Over $2 Trillion and Unfunded Health-Care Benefits for Retired Public Employees Are More Than $1 Trillion
Excerpt: "The starting point for addressing the long-term policy challenge is recognizing the math. Government accounting standards make a series of benign assumptions about the future and ignore the actual market values of pension investment portfolios. By those standards, public pension plans are 88 percent funded. Unfortunately, government accounting rules create economic fictions." (Bloomberg L.P.)


Five Questions to Help You Decide Whether You Should Convert Your Traditional IRA to a Roth
Excerpt: "A certified public accountant or certified financial planner can help you with the decision by weighing factors such as your tax and income situations now and in the future, and even the makeup of your family. If you're not working with an adviser, consult one of the Roth IRA calculators available on the Internet, such as the ones from TIAA-CREF, the Vanguard Group or Fidelity Investments. Here are some questions that will help you or your adviser decide whether a conversion will leave you with more money in the long run." (AARP)


Briggs & Stratton to Pay Back Workers' 2009 Salary Cuts and to Restore Company's 401(k) Matching Contribution
Excerpt: "The company said it has restored its employee's salaries as well as the company's 401(k) matching contributions. 'We will see how the upcoming spring selling season goes before we make a decision as to whether or not we can repay the remaining 25%,' said Todd Teske, president and CEO . . . . 'We will try very hard to make that happen.' The company said that only after all salaried employees are reimbursed 100% will officers and key executives become eligible for reimbursement." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


IRS Provides Guidance on HEART Act in IRS Notice 2010-15
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service has provided guidance in the form of questions and answers with respect to certain provisions of the Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax (HEART) Act of 2008." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


[Opinion]
Group Letter to Congress Urging Defined Benefit Funding Relief Legislation (PDF)

7 pages. Excerpt: "The undersigned organizations, which provide retirement benefits to millions of workers, urge you to enact legislation as soon as possible to provide much needed relief for single-employer, multiemployer, and multiple-employer pension funds. Without funding relief, many jobs will be lost and the economic recovery will be significantly slowed." (American Benefits Council)




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.

ASPPA


Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

Making ESOP Debt Payments with Dividends or S Corporation Distributions
In her latest column on the NCEO Web site, ESOP expert Nancy Dittmer discusses making employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) debt payments with dividends or S corporation distributions. (National Center for Employee Ownership)


[Opinion]
More Bad News for Employers Under the IRS Notice on Correction Procedures

Excerpt: "As I noted . . ., the IRS issued Notice 2010-6, Relief and Guidance on Corrections of Certain Failures of a Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan to Comply with § 409A(a) (the 'Notice'). Importantly, the Notice does much more than just offer correction methods. It contains numerous examples of situations that the 409A final regulations do not clearly address - and provides for significant penalties for many plan provisions that a normal person might view as a foot fault." (Michael Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)



Webcasts and Conferences

COBRA Premium Reduction Extension Provisions Compliance Assistance Webcast
Nationwide on January 22, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Roth IRA Conversions
Nationwide on February 25, 2010
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Workshop with Sal Tripodi
in California on February 17, 2010
presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators - San Francisco Bay Area Chapter

(Click to post your webcast or conference)

Press Releases

COBRA Subsidy Eligibility Period Extended Through February; 15-Months Subsidy Now Available to Those Who Qualify
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

US Labor Department Announces Updated Model Notices and Webcast on Extension of COBRA Subsidy
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Department of Labor Sues Fiduciaries of Former Raleigh, NC-based Human Resources Company to Restore Employee Health and 401(k) Assets
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Department of Labor Sues Atlanta Engineering Company to Bar Owners from Serving as Employee Benefit Plan Fiduciaries
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Labor Department Investigation Results in Defunct Memphis, Tenn., Heating and Air Conditioning Maintenance Company Being Removed as Plan Fiduciary
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Department of Labor Sues Defunct Dallas, Pa., Company and Its Owner to Recover Benefit Plan Assets
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

U.S. Department of Labor Sues Defunct Lewes, Del., Company to Protect Participants of Abandoned Retirement Plan
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Great-West Appoints Florida Regional Sales Director
Great-West Retirement Services

BrightScope Unveils Personal 401k Fee Report
BrightScope

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in TX

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