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 email@example.com
or call 1-888-328-2474
DB Plans Still Face Sizable Funding Obligations Despite Market Run-Up in 2009
Excerpt: "Towers Watson has projected aggregate regulatory funded status and minimum required contributions for single-employer defined benefit (DB) plans in a continuing series of studies. To again facilitate discussions in the pension community -- particularly about the necessity and the nature of legislative funding relief -- we update the projections to reflect new financial and economic conditions and outlooks. Absent a legislative reprieve, we estimate that the funding obligations of DB plans will remain substantial, despite the excellent run in the capital markets in late 2009."
Tough Times Require Strong Social Security Benefits: Views on Social Security
Excerpt: "Plagued by higher unemployment rates, fewer assets, and worries about paying their monthly bills, African Americans and Hispanics are especially supportive of strengthening Social Security. For example, when given a choice between cutting taxes and government spending or strengthening Social Security in response to the economic crisis and large deficit, two in three Americans (66%) - including 73 percent of African Americans, 67 percent of Hispanics, and 66 percent of whites - support strengthening Social Security over cutting its benefits."
(National Academy of Social Insurance)
Restored 401(k) Matches Point to an Economic Thaw
Excerpt: "Eighty percent of companies that suspended or reduced their company matches in 2009 say they are planning to restore it this year, according to Hewitt Associates, a human resources consulting and outsourcing services company."
(The Washington Post; free registration required)
Participants Paying More Attention to Defined Benefit Plans, According to Mercer
Excerpt: "Mercer's outsourcing business has seen a 40% increase in participant requests for calculations of their estimated defined benefit (DB) account values in 2009 versus 2008. In a news release Mercer said the surge is likely driven by concerns over decreased retirement nest eggs following the recent market downturn. While it could be that the surge indicates participants are already evaluating their total retirement position, Mercer says it underscores the need to encourage employees to do so."
Mandating Company Stock Investments Does Not Shield Fiduciaries, DOL Says
Excerpt: "Defined contribution plan fiduciaries must assess the prudence of a company stock fund despite plan terms mandating the investment, according to a Department of Labor (DOL) brief filed in the US Second Circuit Court of Appeals (In Re: Citigroup ERISA Litigation). The trial court ruled that because the plan required a company stock option, committee members had no discretion and were not fiduciaries with respect to offering company stock. DOL asserts this would immunize fiduciaries from responsibility for 'even the most imprudent and disloyal investments' and was 'flatly contradicted' by ERISA."
Pension Fund Accounting, Liabilities, Hurt Investors
Excerpt: "By examining a company's pension accounting, you can find out if it's headed for trouble. A plan that's projected to return a lofty 10% with 40% of its assets in low-yielding bonds should serve as a warning. A plan that allocates too heavily to stocks should be questioned because the potential volatility could create risks for the sponsoring company."
Annuities the Next 401(k) SNAFU? Advisers Offer Six Reasons Why
Excerpt: "Now, the government is looking for your ideas on the pluses and minuses of requiring the inclusion of annuities as an option in 401k plans . . . . [T]he Treasury and Labor Department 'also seek an explanation why most retirees, when faced with a choice of a lifetime income option or a lump-sum distribution, choose the lump-sum option.' FiduciaryNews asked several prominent independent investment advisers what they felt about this initiative. They revealed six major concerns every 401k fiduciary must consider regarding annuities."
The American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA) and the College for Financial Planning (the College) have joined forces to offer advanced qualified retirement plan education to financial professionals. Beginning in March, the College will offer instructor-led courses online that lead to ASPPA’s Qualified Plan Financial Consultant (QPFC) credential. Students will be able to sit for the QPFC exams and upon successful completion, apply for the QPFC credential with ASPPA!
"If you're a financial advisor engaged in the increasingly complex world of qualified plans, this partnership represents a significant opportunity to advance your career." ~Sheldon H. Smith, Esq, APM, President, ASPPA
For more information and to register, visit http://www.asppa.org/cffp.
Executive Compensation; Benefits in General
New Military Leave Guidance Under the HEART Act
Excerpt: "The Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2008 (HEART Act) requires employers to provide certain retirement and welfare benefits for returning military personnel and their beneficiaries. On January 20, 2010, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2010-15, which provides long-awaited guidance in the form of questions and answers on several HEART Act provisions, including survivor benefits, benefit accruals, differential pay and distributions."
(McDermott Will & Emery)
Correcting Deferred Compensation Plan Document Failures Under Code § 409A (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The new notice also gives an indication of how the IRS views various other § 409A interpretation issues. For example, it explains how a plan where benefits are payable only if the employee signs a release can operate without violating the § 409A payment timing requirements."
(Kelly. Hannaford & Battles P.A.)
Mercer Survey of 2010 Executive Pay Planning
Excerpt: "The unprecedented scrutiny of executive pay isn't letting up any time soon. This attention places more pressure than ever on decision makers to be responsive to stakeholder concerns and to understand the direction of current market practices. This Perspective presents results from Mercer's December 2009 survey of 2010 executive pay planning at more than 120 US organizations, including insights into survey findings on executive salary decisions, annual and long-term incentive program design and various hot-button compensation issues."
Navigating the Shifting Tax, and Retirement Living Costs, Landscape
Excerpt: "Retirement accounts, charitable gifts and taxes that older, high-income Americans face on Medicare are all in dispute on Capitol Hill. As long as Washington dithers on tax policy, higher-income individuals and people with most forms of investment income will find it difficult to plan their economic lives. Here is a look at the changing tax landscape, starting with little-known levies that can fall hard on higher-income retirees."
(The New York Times; free registration required)
Omaha, Nebraska, Police Benefits Healthier than Most
Excerpt: "Police receive about 15 days a year in sick days. If an officer stays healthy, he can eventually earn an extra week of vacation and accumulate a sick-leave bank that can be cashed out after 20 years for up to about 10 months' worth of pay. The average worker's sick-day benefits in Omaha are not as generous. Nor are those for state employees or state troopers. Sick days are just one provision in the Omaha police contract -- both the current and proposed contracts -- where benefits enjoyed by police exceed those found in the private sector and among state employees."
Microsoft Does a Benefits Tech Makeover
Excerpt: "In the face of rising costs, a maturing workforce and a wide range of benefit offerings, the company's HR delivery team viewed a unified employee benefits portal as critical to managing Microsoft's 100-percent-employer-paid health care benefits."
(Workforce Management; free registration required)
Labor Force Participation Rates: The Population Age 55 and Older, 2008 (PDF)
Pages 10-17 of 20 pages. Excerpt: "The Near Elderly And Elderly Are Staying In The Work Force Longer: The labor-force participation rate is increasing for those age 55 and older. The percentage of civilian noninstitutionalized Americans age 55 or older who were in the labor force declined from 34.6 percent 1975 to 29.4 percent in 1993. However, since 1993, the labor-force participation rate has steadily increased, reaching 39.4 percent in 2008 -- the highest level over the 1975-2008 period."
(Employee Benefit Research Institute)
Ex-Benefits Administrator Charged in $40M Embezzlement Case
Excerpt: "The former administrator of a New York union benefits fund was indicted for embezzling $40 million to support a lavish lifestyle. Prosecutors in the case allege that the spending included $5 million for horses, $300,000 for women's clothes at Neiman Marcus and about $1 million for jewelry."
Webcasts and Conferences
403(b) Plan Audits
in Illinois on March 25, 2010
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Chicago
Nationwide on April 7, 2010
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership
Nationwide on April 1, 2010
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership
Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs
Subscribe to the BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, Too!
Sign-up form is at https://benefitslink.com/newsletter (free).
This email has been published by:
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park FL 32789
Fax: (407) 644-2151
Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Copyright 2010 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.; except that you can
forward this email in full (including this boilerplate part) or
otherwise reprint this email in full (including this boilerplate
part) without obtaining our permission.
Anyone can receive these emails; just have them sign up
at this web page: https://benefitslink.com/newsletter/
Other useful links: