Retirement Plans Newsletter
January 28, 2010

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This Compliance Testing Season, Minimize Your Stress with ASC!


This Compliance Testing Season, Minimize Your Stress with ASC!

ASCís Compliance Testing software automatically and iteratively crunches the numbers so you donít 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! sales@asc-net.com

ASC



[Guidance Overview]
Final Regs Provide 7-Day Safe Harbor for Contributions to Small Plans
Excerpt: "EBSA concluded that it is in the best interests of plan sponsors and participants/beneficiaries to amend the regulations to establish a safe harbor that will provide a higher degree of compliance certainty as to when participant contributions will be considered to have been deposited with the plan in a timely fashion. The final regulations, except for a few minor clarifying changes, are the same as the proposed regulations, according to EBSA." (Wolters Kluwer)
[Guidance Overview]
IRS's Final Defined Benefit Plan Funding Regulations (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "The proposed regulations provided that all employees who are not otherwise assumed to retire as of the valuation date, but who will be eligible to begin benefits in the current year and 10 succeeding plan years, are assumed to retire at the earliest retirement date under the plan, but not before the end of the current plan year. The final regulations clarify that these early retirement assumptions apply to all participants . . . who have not begun receiving payments. In addition, the 'earliest retirement age' cannot be earlier than the age at which the participant's benefit is fully vested." (Prudential Retirement)
Saving to Retire: Should It Be Pre-tax, After-tax or Roth?
Excerpt: "This analysis considers the following three options: Pre-tax (IRA, 401(k)): pre-tax contributions grow tax-deferred; distributions are subject to applicable tax; Taxable ('savings account' or 'side fund'): after-tax contributions are taxable based on the nature of the invested asset and extent of time the asset is held; Roth (Roth IRA, Roth 401(k)): after-tax contributions grow tax-free; distributions are tax-free." (Barry R. Milberg)
Mandatory IRAs May Burden Small Employers, Business Group Says
Excerpt: "'When small businesses are struggling to stay afloat, we oppose mandates such as this that stand to create a new administrative burden,' said Molly Brogan, vice president of public affairs for the National Small Business Association, in an e-mailed statement." (Bloomberg L.P. via BusinessWeek)
America Saves Week, February 21-28, 2010
Excerpt: "This Web page gives you some suggested activities and some tools to assist you to engage your employees in achieving a sound financial future." (America Saves)
Addressing Funding Issues Caused by a Stock Market Downturn
Excerpt: "The organization elected both forms of IRS funding relief, which resulted in the plan not having short-term problems related to depletion of its credit balance and the possibility of a plan freeze. The organization will increase annual funding from $1.4 million to $2 million beginning in 2011, with a transition to higher funding in 2010. Late in 2009, the IRS announced that it would allow plans to change back to the more stable interest rate assumption for valuing liabilities in 2010 and the organization is planning on making this change." (Milliman)
Most Americans Say They Have a Gap in Their Retirement Savings, According to a Recent Survey.
Excerpt: "Half of those surveyed said they would look to a financial adviser for help in seeking retirement solutions. Other ways Americans said they planned to close the savings gap include: increasing their savings rate (42%); spending less in retirement (41%); working part-time in retirement (38%); working full-time longer (33%); investing more in stocks (25%)." (PLANSPONSOR.com)
SEC Adopts New Rules for Money Market Funds
Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has adopted new rules to better protect money market fund investors. . . . The SEC's new rules are intended to 'increase the resilience of money market funds to economic stresses and reduce the risks of runs on the funds by tightening the maturity and credit quality standards and imposing new liquidity requirements,' according to an update on the agency's web site." (PLANSPONSOR.com)
PBGC Reportable Events Rule Would Interfere With Credit Marketplace, Commenters Say
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's proposed reportable events rule would seriously interfere with credit arrangements between companies that sponsor defined benefit pension plans and their lenders, according to comments received by PBGC and in interviews by BNA . . . . ['Click on the link under 'Items of Interest' on the target page.]" (Keightley & Ashner LLP)
Video: Rethinking Retirement Income
7 minutes, 26 seconds. (Investment News; free registration required)
[Opinion]
How Washington Might Change Your 401(k)
Excerpt: "To help investors steer clear of steep fees, better disclosure would be a great place to start. Reform recommendations have included requiring plans to disclose and itemize fees at least once a quarter, and making all plans offer at least one low-cost index fund." (The Motley Fool)


Early Bird Registration Discount has been extended to Feb. 5!


Early Bird Registration Discount has been extended to Feb. 5!

The ASPPA 401(k) Summit | March 14 Ė 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

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Section 409A Document Correction Program (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The IRS takes the position that many standard release provisions in employment and severance agreements violate Section 409A. Under Section 409A, payments upon a separation of service must commence within 90 days after the separation and the participant must not have an election as to when to commence payments." (Dechert LLP)


Press Releases


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