Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 29, 2010

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Software for Retirement and Cafeteria Plan Documents

Software for Retirement and Cafeteria Plan Documents

DATAIR Plan Document System.
Choose your documents: RETIREMENT PLANS: 401(k)/Profit Sharing, 403(b), DB, Cash Balance; CAFETERIA PLANS: 125, HSA, HRA
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DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Final Rule on Definition of Plan Assets: Participant Contributions (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "For employers, compliance with the safe harbor may reduce disputes over whether or not it is in compliance with the general rule. It may also allow easier oversight of remittance practices and may serve to reduce any existing variations in employer remittance periods." (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)

[Guidance Overview]
Technical Questions and Answers Regarding The SPARK Institute's 403(b) Plans Information Sharing: Minimum and Comprehensive Data Elements
Q&A Last Updated January 28, 2010. Excerpt: "We encourage anyone in the 403(b) plans community that has technical questions about the Data Elements to submit them to us at Please include information for us to be able to contact you if necessary when you submit your questions. Questions submitted to us will be reviewed by the panel, and answered through this Q&A site to the extent possible." (The SPARK Institute)

[Guidance Overview]
Cycle D Submission Period Ends on February 1, 2010
Excerpt: "Because January 31, 2010 is a Sunday, the deadline for Cycle D determination letter applications is extended to Monday, February 1, 2010, the IRS has advised. An individually designed plan is in Cycle D if the plan is a multiemployer plan or the plan is a single-employer plan, and the last digit of the plan sponsor's employer identification number is 4 or 9." (Wolters Kluwer)

U.S. Supreme Court Hears Xerox Pension Arguments
Excerpt: "The case, Conkright v. Frommert, revolves around a 1999 lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court by Xerox employees and retirees who claimed a company policy hacked their retirement benefits to a fraction of their former value. The policy had to do with how to calculate the pensions of workers who left Xerox, received a lump-sum retirement payment, and then returned to Xerox and began earning retirement benefits again." (

Big Payout, to Lawyers, in United Airlines Case
Excerpt: "The $44 million payday coming for some United Airlines pilots next week from the settlement of a pension dispute will include a $16.4 million payout for their Illinois lawyers. . . . They represented 2,200 senior United pilots who claimed in a December 2006 federal lawsuit filed in Chicago that they were shortchanged by their union in a distribution of pension benefits related to the airline's bankrup.tcy." (The National Law Journal)

Critical Vote for San Francisco Pension Reform
Excerpt: "What we said: ''Mayor Gavin Newsom and Supervisor Sean Elsbernd deserve praise for taking on the politically delicate - but fiscally responsible - issue of pension reform.' . . . What their plan does: Forces the city to start setting aside money to cover future obligations to retirees; uses a three-year average to calculate pensions, thus reducing instances of 'spiking'; requires newly hired public safety employees to pay more of their pension costs." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Kraft Foods Excessive Fee Case Thrown Out
Excerpt: "A federal judge in Illinois has turned away allegations by 401(k) participants at Kraft Foods Global that recordkeeping fees paid to Hewitt Associates were too high and the company stock fund was improperly unitized." (

Market Troubles Hit Multiemployer Plans Hard
Excerpt: "A new Segal Company report shows a deterioration in the funding status of more than 360 multiemployer client plans between 2008 and 2009 due to the meltdown in the investment markets." (

Pension Benefits to Decrease Monday for Delphi Salaried Retirees
Excerpt: "More than 500 of auto supplier Delphi's salaried retirees will start receiving reduced pension checks starting Monday, after a federal judge in Detroit this week refused to block the move. Delphi's 21,000 salaried retirees and plan participants filed a class-action lawsuit seeking to block the company's decision to abandon its pension plans and hand them to the government's insurer, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. They also sued the Treasury Department and members of President Barack Obama's auto task force." (The Detroit News)

Perilous Practices of Public Pension Funds
Excerpt: "[I]t is clear from Wednesday's WSJ article, Public Pensions Look at Leverage Strategy, excerpts [in target page], that the pension managers are jumping from one strategy to the other, inevitably chasing past returns.... And that 'consultants' and managers from Wall Street are at the ready to offer their latest and greatest new strategies." (Seeking Alpha)

Setting the Retirement Plan Access Record Straight
Excerpt: "The Administration in its preface to its Automatic IRA proposal indicated that 78 million working Americans - half the workforce- lack access to employer provided retirement plans. This is misleading." (David Wray via Profit Sharing / 401k Council of America)

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 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 Notice Provides Employers with Ability to Correct Defects in Nonqualified Plan Documents (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "Many Employers expended a great deal of effort from 2005 to 2008 to comply with Section 409A and understandably may have reached a certain level of Section 409A exhaustion. Nevertheless, it is possible that one or more of the types of plan defects described in the 2010 Notice may exist in one or more Nonqualified Plans, particularly for arrangements that might mistakenly have been considered to be exempt from Section 409A (such as short-term deferrals)." (McDermott Will & Emery)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS 409A Document Correction Program: The Six Month Payment Delay for Key Employees
Excerpt: "Generally, if a payment to a key employee of a public company is (i) subject to Section 409A and (ii) triggered by the employee's 'separation from service,' that payment must be delayed by at least six months after the employee's separation. If the relevant agreement or plan document does not explicitly provide for this delay, it violates Section 409A, potentially triggering immediate taxation, an additional 20 percent tax, and other penalty taxes." (Haynes and Boone LLP)

Form 5500 Data Sets Website
Excerpt: "The Form 5500 Annual Report is the primary source of information about the operations, funding and investments of about 800,000 retirement and welfare benefit plans. These datasets are the raw data from all of the filings for each year, including the data in the various schedules." (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Recession Has Taken Toll on Employee Retirement and Benefits
Excerpt: "More than half (52%) of respondents to a Towers Watson survey said the percentage of their employees working past their desired retirement age is higher than it was before the financial crisis. Nearly a third (31%) said they expect that percentage will be even higher next year, according to a press release." (

DOL Releases Form 5500 Reports of Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "The U.S. Department of Labor's Employee Benefits Security Administration has released to the public online datasets of Form 5500 annual report/returns for approximately 800,000 retirement, health, and other employee benefit plans. . . . The online datasets of plan filings are available at" (

Webcasts and Conferences

Evaluating Your Third Party Administrator: Are You Getting What You're Paying For?
Nationwide on February 5, 2010
presented by Lorman Education Services

Form 5500 Reporting Update
Nationwide on March 12, 2010
presented by Lorman Education Services

Form 5500 Reporting Update
Nationwide on March 26, 2010
presented by Lorman Education Services

Managing Benefit Options for Part-Time Employees
Nationwide on February 22, 2010
presented by Lorman Education Services

Press Releases

US Labor Department Releases Online Datasets of 1999 to 2008 Form 5500 Filings
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Obama Administration Issues Rules Requiring Parity in Treatment of Mental, Substance Use Disorders
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

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