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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 15, 2010

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DB Administration, Discrimination Testing and Proposal software with Multiple Plan and Cash Balance Plan handling. PPAí06 Pension Funding.
* Funding Target and Target Normal Cost with 3-rate segments
* 404(o) Cushion; 430 minimum and 404(o) maximum contributions
* Funding Target Attainment Percentages (FTAPs)
Schedule SB reports and links to our 5500/PBGC System, and our FAS 158 and Termination Calculation reporting systems.
sales@datair.com or call 1-888-328-2474

[Official Guidance]
Disaster Relief Announcement 10-01 Relating to PBGC Deadlines in Response to Severe Storms, Flooding, Mudslides and Landslides in West Virginia
Excerpt: "Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ('PBGC') is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the severe storms, flooding, mudslides and landslides that occurred beginning March 12, 2010, in West Virginia."
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

[Official Guidance]
Disaster Relief Announcement 10-02 Relating to PBGC Deadlines in Response to Severe Storms and Flooding in Rhode Island
Excerpt: "Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ('PBGC') is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the severe storms and flooding that occurred beginning March 12, 2010, in Rhode Island."
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

[Official Guidance]
Disaster Relief Announcement 10-03 Relating to PBGC Deadlines in Response to Severe Storms and Flooding in Massachusetts
Excerpt: "Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ('PBGC') is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the severe storms and flooding that occurred beginning March 12, 2010, in Massachusetts."
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

[Official Guidance]
Disaster Relief Announcement 10-04 Relating to PBGC Deadlines in Response to Severe Storms, Flooding, Mudslides and Landslides in New Jersey
Excerpt: "Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation ('PBGC') is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the severe storms, flooding, mudslides and landslides that occurred beginning March 12, 2010, in New Jersey."
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

[Guidance Overview]
New Tax Incentives for Hiring and Retaining Employees
Excerpt: "Employers that hire new employees will be exempt from their share of the Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI) tax, which is a 6.2% tax on wages up to $106,800 for 2010. The exemption will apply from March 19, 2010 to the end of 2010. Employers that may take advantage of the OASDI exemption include taxable businesses, tax-exempt organizations and public colleges and universities."
(Warner Norcross & Judd LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Rohm and Haas Pension Settlement Gets Final OK
Excerpt: "A federal judge in Indiana has granted final approval to an estimated $180-million settlement between Rohm & Haas and about 18,000 participants who challenged the calculation of their lump-sum pension distributions. U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana approved the deal with the participants who had claimed their pension payouts did not include cost-of-living adjustments (COLA)."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Annuity Beneficiary Substitution Denial Upheld
Excerpt: "A plan's review committee did not abuse its discretion when it denied a participant's request to change the beneficiary of his qualified joint and survivor annuity from his ex-wife to his new wife, a court has ruled. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke of the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon ruled that the participant's benefits vested for his ex-wife at the time the participant retired and began receiving a payout."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

Maryland Public Retirees to See Negative COLA Applied in 2011
Excerpt: "Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley has signed into law legislation that precludes an unprecedented negative cost of living adjustment (COLA) for state retirees and beneficiaries in fiscal year 2011, which begins July 1, 2010. Under the law, benefits will remain at their current levels and the negative cost of living adjustment that would have gone into effect, will instead be deducted from the positive COLA expected in fiscal year 2012, according to a press release from the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

Underfunded Teacher Pension Plans: It's Worse Than You Think
Excerpt: "The crux of the problem is the gap between assets and liabilities affecting the fifty-nine pension funds that cover most public school teachers in America. Some of these are general state-employee pension funds, while others cover only teachers. Among the findings of our study of these funds: All fifty-nine pension funds studied face shortfalls. California, the most populous state, has the largest unfunded teacher pension liability: almost $100 billion. The worst-funded plan in our sample is West Virginia's, which we estimate to be only 31 percent funded. Five plans are 75 percent funded or better: teacher-dedicated plans in the District of Columbia, New York State and Washington State and state employee retirement systems in North Carolina and Tennessee that include teachers."
(Manhattan Institute for Policy Research)




ASPPA co-sponsors several regional conferences with the IRS to provide you opportunities to discuss employee benefits issues with colleagues, local, regional and national government representatives from IRS and the US Department of Labor, and private sector experts. The programs focus on exchanging information and educating attendees about current regulatory, legislative, administrative and actuarial topics.

Find out when weíre coming to your town here.

Sponsored by ASPPA

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Approves Measures to Expand Telework and to Allow Federal Employees to Invest Value of Unused Leave in Retirement Accounts
Excerpt: "The panel passed the 2009 Telework Improvements Act (H.R. 1722) by a voice vote, after debating three amendments aimed at strengthening oversight. The measure would codify a governmentwide telework policy Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry announced last year, guaranteeing eligible federal employees the right to work off-site for at least 20 percent of every two-week period. It also would require every agency to designate a telework managing officer and it would provide training on the alternative work arrangement for employees and supervisors."
(GovernmentExecutive.com)

House Slated to Vote on Legislation Providing That Employer-Provided Cell Phones Not Be Treated by IRS As a Taxable Fringe Benefit to Employees
Excerpt: "Dow Jones reported that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) interprets current law to require the inclusion of the value of a work cell phone in employee pay, unless detailed records are kept establishing that the phone is not used for personal calls."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

No More Opinion Letters from DOL's Wage and Hour Division
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division has announced it will no longer publish opinion letters to provide fact-specific guidance to employers and employees. According to an article by James M. Coleman and Maureen R. Knight, attorneys in the Fairfax, Virginia, office of Constangy, Brooks & Smith LLP, in the future requests for opinion letters will be responded to by providing references to statutes, regulations, interpretations and cases that are relevant to the specific request, but without an analysis of the specific facts presented, called 'administrator's interpretations.'"
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

Employee Ownership Update for April 14, 2010
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses the following in the latest Employee Ownership Update: The White House's 2011 budget estimates a $1.7 billion tax cost for ESOPs this year. Broad-based employee ownership is alive and well in 2010. French companies with employee-elected directors perform better. An alternative to a more formal board of directors is to create a board of advisors.
(National Center for Employee Ownership)


Press Releases

New Book on Defined Benefit Pension Plans
Executive Benefits Design Group


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