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Retirement Plans Newsletter

April 30, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
IASB Proposes Changes to IAS 19 As the Accounting for Retirement Plans Evolve
Excerpt: "In a further step in the evolution of the accounting for retirement benefits, the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) has issued its long-awaited Exposure Draft (ED) of proposed changes to IAS 19, Employee Benefits."
(Towers Watson)

[Guidance Overview]
Bargain Element of Sale of Life Insurance Policy by Profit Sharing Plan to Participant Was Includable in Participant's Gross Income
Excerpt: "In a case of first impression, a participant who purchased a life insurance policy from his wholly owned S corporation's profit-sharing . . . plan at a bargain price was required to include the bargain element of the sale in his gross income, according to the U.S. Tax Court in Matthies v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue."
(Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

[Guidance Overview]
Senate Committee OKs Derivatives Bill with Exemption for Pension Plans
Excerpt: "Retirement plans (including governmental plans) would be exempted from legislation approved by the Senate Agriculture Committee to increase regulation of the over-the-counter derivatives market."
(Mercer)

[Guidance Overview]
Fidelity and Unisys Win Case Over Fees Paid from Retirement Plan's Trust
Fidelity Management Trust Company and other Fidelity defendants were not functional fiduciaries with respect to investment selection, the court said. Also, Unisys was not liable for fees that were disclosed and charged under the 70 self-directed investment options available to participants.
(PLANSPONSOR)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Provides Guidance on Miscellaneous HEART Act Changes (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "On February 8, 2010, the IRS published Notice 2010-15 to provide guidance on certain retirement plan-related provisions of the HEART Act. This guidance addresses: Survivor and disability benefit requirements; The treatment of differential pay for plan purposes; Special plan distribution provisions applicable to individuals who are performing qualified military service; and Plan amendment requirements."
(Prudential Pension Analyst)

[Guidance Overview]
Another Question is Answered in the 401(k) Plans Q&A Column
A participant is married and wants a distribution of her accounts. What if she notifies the plan she cannot locate the husband? Alternatively, what if she states she is unable to get spousal consent because he is unreachable due to work location? Or, in the case of battered wife in safe shelter, can the plan request the participant get a court document with provision to update marital status as single?
(BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Provides Additional Exemption Guidance for Non-ERISA 403(b) Plans (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "FAB 2007-02 confirmed that a section 403(b) plan would not be treated as a plan maintained by the employer for purposes of ERISA Title I reporting and disclosure requirements (including the Form 5500 filing requirement) simply because the employer adopts formal plan documents, as long as it satisfies the safe harbor exemption requirements. . . . DOL received a number of questions from employers concerning the scope of this exemption. In response to these inquiries, the DOL has now issued FAB 2010-01."
(Prudential Pension Analyst)

New IASB Proposal Could Increase Scrutiny of Risks Taken by DB Plans
Excerpt: "The proposed changes to international accounting standards (IAS 19) could encourage greater scrutiny of the risks taken by defined benefit plans and the way in which these risks are rewarded . . . ."
(PLANSPONSOR)

IASB Exposure Draft: Defined Benefit Plans -- Proposed Amendments to IAS 19 (PDF)
92 pages. Excerpt: "The Board's objective is to finalise, by the middle of 2011, short-term, targeted improvements to the accounting for defined benefit plans."
(International Accounting Standards Board via American Benefits Council)

Executive Summary of IASB Exposure Draft: Defined Benefit Plans -- Proposed Amendments to IAS 19 (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "Investors, analysts and others need relevant information about those items that is easy to understand and permits comparison between companies. However, the accounting for those items under the current standard, IAS 19 Employee Benefits, is complex and needs a comprehensive review. This project aims to address the following deficiencies in IAS 19: . . ."
(International Accounting Standards Board via American Benefits Council)

Concordance Mapping Provisions of Exposure Draft to Current Requirements in IAS 19 (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "This table shows the effect of the proposals in this exposure draft on the requirements in IAS 19."
(International Accounting Standards Board via American Benefits Council)

Goldman Case Boosts Odds for Broker Fiduciary Standard in Senate Bill
Excerpt: "[The April 27, 2010] Senate hearing with Goldman Sachs may increase the likelihood that a fiduciary standard for brokers will make it into Senator Christopher Dodd's financial regulatory reform legislation."
(Registered Representative)

Workers Fight Uphill Battle on 401(k) Retirement Savings
Excerpt: " 401(k) plan has an intrinsic problem. It tries to reach a specific goal -- the amount you need to retire -- by investing in stocks, bonds and money market funds, none of which offer specific returns. In essence, a 401(k) takes the task of a highly paid pension manager and gives it to each worker."
(USA TODAY)

Report by Bureau of Labor Statistics Provides Overview of Frozen Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "Of those that participated in defined benefit plans, 19 percent of private industry workers and 10 percent of State and local government workers were in frozen plans."
(Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor)

[Opinion]
SPARK Institute Comments on Proposed Investment Advice Regulation (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Overall, we maintain our neutral position with respect to the Proposed Rules, except for one significant exception related to certain new concepts that were included. . . . The SPARK Institute is concerned about additions to the Proposed Rules that dictate what criteria an investment adviser and plan fiduciary can consider in connection with making investment recommendations. . . . The SPARK Institute urges EBSA not to undertake defining concepts of 'generally accepted investment theory.'"
(SPARK Institute)




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For a program listing and to register, visit www.westernbenefits.org today!

Sponsored by WP&BC and ASPPA

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
Employee Benefits Developments April 2010
Articles include Department of Labor Issues More Guidance and Relief for 403(b) Plans; COBRA Subsidy Extended Through May 31, 2010; DOL Issues Model CHIP Notice; DOL Issues Final Rule on Underfunded Multiemployer Pension Plans; Change in Retiree Medical Benefits Does Not Violate ERISA; Retention of Corporate Limited Liability.
(HodgsonRuss)


Webcasts and Conferences

"401(k) Plan Workshop: Current Issues and New Developments" - Bloomington
in Illinois on May 27, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"401(k) Plan Workshop: Current Issues and New Developments" - Cleveland
in Ohio on May 27, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"401(k) Plan Workshop: Current Issues and New Developments" - Syracuse
in New York on May 27, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop" - Bloomington
in Illinois on May 26, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop" - Cleveland
in Ohio on May 26, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop" - Syracuse
in New York on May 26, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

Pension Tour 2010
Nationwide on May 4, 2010
presented by Executive Benefits Design Group

Teleconference: The New Form 5500 Schedule C Reporting Requirements - What Investment Fund Managers and Plan Service Providers Need to Know
Nationwide on May 12, 2010
presented by New York City Bar Association - Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Committee


Press Releases


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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Manager - Client Experience
for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc.
in AZ, NC, TX

Benefits Specialist
for Recology Service Center
in CA

ERISA Consultant Small Plans (Second Vice President)
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in MA

Vice President, Retirement Sales
for Cammack LaRhette Consulting
in NY

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Milliman, Inc.
in NY

Retirement Plan Analyst
for Milliman, Inc.
in NY

Defined Contribution Pension Plan Administrator
for The Angell Pension Group, Inc
in ANY STATE

401(k) Administrator/Accountant
for Company Confidential
in OR




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