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Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 27, 2010

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[Official Guidance]
IRS Handout on Proper Completion of Forms 2848, 8821 and 56 for the Upcoming Retirement Plans Phone Forum of June 1, 2010 (PDF)
16 pages. Excerpt: "The [target page] is guidance on the proper completion of Form 2848 (Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative) and Form 8821 (Tax Information Authorization) for the purpose of conducting EP examinations."
(U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
Pension Plan's Suit Over Statements on Boeing 787 Dismissed
Excerpt: "Boeing on Wednesday won dismissal of a shareholder suit filed by the Livonia (Mich.) Employees Retirement System that alleged the company and its executives made misleading statements about the flight readiness of the 787 passenger jet."
(Pensions & Investments)

Text of Treasury Department Letter to Congressmen About Intent of Recent Request for Information on Lifetime Distributions (PDF)
Excerpt: "Neither Treasury nor any other Federal department or agency has made proposals to eliminate 401(k) or other defined contribution plans or to require that plans or participants invest in or take distributions as annuities or other forms of lifetime benefit."
(U.S. Department of the Treasury via The Spark Institute)

How Would Pension Accounting Change if the U.S. Decides to Follow the International Accounting Standards Board's Requirements? (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "This Spotlight considers how the general concepts of pension accounting in the U.S. would change if IAS 19, including the proposed amendments in the exposure draft, were to become the standard in the U.S. It is not intended as a summary of the exposure draft, or as a comparison between the current and proposed provisions of IAS 19."
(The Segal Group, Inc.)

Church Workers' Pensions Lack Safeguards
Excerpt: "Thousands of . . . church-affiliated workers and retirees are at risk of losing funds they're counting on to see them through retirement because of a little-known loophole in federal pension protections. . . . That's because as a church pension plan, it isn't covered by the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., the government insurance plan for pensions."
(All Things Considered via National Public Radio)

The 401(k) Plan Compliance Check
Excerpt: "Observation: We anticipate that the IRS will use the compliance questionnaire to develop a more focused examination program in the future. To better position themselves for enhanced audit activity, companies whose 401(k) plans have not been selected to complete the compliance questionnaire may want to perform their own compliance check, perhaps using the questionnaire as a guide, and correct any identified errors through the IRS voluntary correction programs."
(PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

How Does Your 401(k) Match Up?
Excerpt: "How can you determine the quality of your employer-provided 401(k) plan? The most common way is to compare your plan's provisions--the terms of the plan--with plans provided by other employers. Is the amount that your employer is willing to match generous? Do you have a long or short waiting period before you can enroll and begin accruing benefits? Are you allowed to invest in a variety of asset classes, or are you limited to just a few choices?"
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

55/25 Bill Would Allow New York State/Local Workers to Retire at Age 55 After 25 Years of Service
Excerpt: "Instead of the 55/25 option, public employees could receive an additional month of pension credits for each year of employment. They would have to choose one or the other, however, and the window for the early retirements would be closed at the end of September.'
(Times Union)

Senators 'Express Concern' to PBGC About Rejecting Certain Premium Filings
Excerpt: "Defined benefit plan sponsors that intended to pay their 2009 plan premiums to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation using an alternative method, but failed to check the correct box, are being unfairly penalized, four senators said in a letter sent to the agency . . . 'As a result, plans are facing millions of dollars in additional premiums, as well as interest and penalties,' the letter said. [Click on the title under 'Items of Interest' on the target page.]"
(Keightley & Ashner LLP)

Pension Communications Campaigns Focus on Simplification
Excerpt: "An extract of the project by Spence Johnson, provider of marketing intelligence for investment-based businesses, indicates that simplification was the top theme of campaigns it collected, and that included an avoidance of jargon, a reduction in the length of messages, and no use of a 'spin.' The firm says that as this focus continues, jargon will be eradicated and non-essential information will be pushed into secondary channels."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)




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Sponsored by WP&BC and ASPPA

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
Supreme Court Rules on Standard for Receiving Attorneys' Fees Under ERISA
Excerpt: "The Supreme Court acknowledged the five-factor test that lower courts use in deciding whether to award attorneys' fees but reasoned that the five-factor test was not required for 'channeling' a court's discretion because the factors did not bear an obvious relation to ERISA § 502(g)(1) or to the Court's fee-shifting jurisprudence. However, in a footnote, the Court stated that judges are not precluded from using the five-factor test once they determine whether there has been some success on the merits."
(Tax Management Inc.)

Memphis-Based FedEx to Offer Insurance to Same-S.ex Domestic Partners in 2012
Excerpt: "In a move hailed by advocates of diversity and g.ay rights, FedEx will offer health insurance benefits for same-s.ex domestic partners starting Jan. 1, 2012. The shipping giant, which already offers the benefits in California and to FedEx Office employees, said the change comes at the request of employees."
(The Commercial Appeal)

[Opinion]
Deconstructing Stock Options
Excerpt: "In 'The Non-Option,' David Walker expertly dissects one of the puzzles of employee stock option compensation: why stock options are always granted at the then-current market price for the stock, resulting in 'at-the-money' options. If parties could tailor their compensation packages to individual needs and desires, one would expect that at least some firms would agree to give their employees stock options that had an exercise price lower than market price (known as 'in-the money' options)."
(Jotwell)


Webcasts and Conferences

Advisory Group to the Internal Revenue Service Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (TE/GE) Meeting
in District of Columbia on June 3, 2010
presented by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities Webcast Series Ė Part I
Nationwide on June 9, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Getting It Right - Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities Webcast Series Ė Part II
Nationwide on June 10, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Health Insurance Underwriting
in California on June 30, 2010
presented by No. Calif. Chapter of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS)


Press Releases


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