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Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 1, 2010

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[Official Guidance]
Retirement Plans Phone Forum Presentation, June 1, 2010: Form 2848 vs. Form 8821 (PDF)
47 page handout.
(U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Podcast: Talking Points: 403(b) Adviser Opportunity
Excerpt: "The Principal's Aaron Friedman discusses opportunities for retirement plan advisers at 403(b) plans and why plan sponsors might need an adviser."

Independent Fiduciary Role Set to Be in High Demand
Excerpt: "When sponsors understand that they can outsource the fiduciary responsibility to an expert, it would seem to be an easy choice for them to make. Mamorsky says this area of expertise is ready to 'explode,' especially with the changes pending in Department of Labor legislation that is expected to require that plans reveal all fees or costs to participants."
(Wealth Manager)

Public Pension Funds Could Be in for Big Shock Under Proposed Accounting Reforms
Excerpt: "The Government Accounting Standards Board is preparing to release a document that could send shivers through public pension systems and the taxpayers who fund them. The document, tagged a preliminary view of proposed pension accounting reforms, is scheduled for release this week. Statements on the board's website suggest coming disclosure standards that could ramp up the need for higher contributions to keep public pension funds on a stable footing."
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)

House Passes DC Plan Fee Disclosure and Pension Funding Relief Bill
Excerpt: "The American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act (H.R. 4213) was considered by the House this week, after passing the Senate . . . . The bill passed by the House amends the Internal Revenue Code and the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) to increase the disclosures provided to administrators and participants of defined contribution plans, incorporating provisions that are based on the 401(k) Fair Disclosure and Pension Security Act."

Named Plan Fiduciaries Still Liable for Fiduciary Responsibilities Even If Third Party Hired to Monitor Some Aspects of the Plan
Excerpt: "It has come in vogue in certain circles to advocate hiring an 'independent' third-party fiduciary to take responsibility for a plan's investments and other fiduciary functions in order to relieve the plan's sponsor, in-house, or named fiduciaries of liability under ERISA."
(Profit Sharing / 401k Council of America)

As Pension Funds Fail, Taxpayers Foot the Bill
Excerpt: "Guaranteed retirement pensions were one of the great social accomplishments of U.S. employers after World War II. The decay of those pensions has been ugly. Fixing or replacing the nation's underfunded pension plans will be expensive, no matter who is forced to pay for it: employers, taxpayers, or future retirees."
(The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Pension Reform Essential to California's Future
Excerpt: "The size of our state's government has become unsustainable, and one of the chief culprits is the burgeoning state pension system, which is in desperate need of reform. Pension costs have increased 2,000% over the past 10 years -- yes, that's three zeros -- from less than $150 million a year to more than $3 billion a year."
(Arnold Schwarzenegger and Dennis Hollingsworth via The Fresno Bee)

How High Can the Retirement Age Go? 7 Experts Speak Out
Excerpt: "Raising the retirement age is one way to cut benefits under national social insurance programs -- one that merits consideration when people are living longer and healthier lives. In the United States, the age at which individuals are eligible for full Social Security benefits is currently 66 and will reach 67 in 2027. Actuarially reduced benefits can be claimed at 62 and after the full retirement age are actuarially increased until age 70."
(The New York Times; free registration required)

ASPPA has partnered with the Institute for Pension Plan Management at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW) to offer convenient webcourses leading to a number of credentials, including your QKA and QPA. Registration includes all 7 sessions for each webcourse. With the first cycle ending soon, registration is now open for the July-December cycle to give you more time to prepare and succeed!

Visit for info and pricing.

Sponsored by ASPPA

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
Supreme Court Resolves Conflict on Awarding Attorney Fees in ERISA Cases in Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life
Excerpt: "Resolving a long-standing conflict in the Federal Circuits, the U.S. Supreme Court . . . has held that a party need not 'prevail' in its Employee Retiree Income Security Act (ERISA) litigation for a court to award the party attorneys' fees; rather, the Court held that a party in an ERISA case is eligible for a fee award if it achieves 'some degree of success on the merits' in the litigation."
(Littler Mendelson P.C.)

Employee Benefits Developments May 2010
A summary of March/April 2010 rulings, opinions, guidance, cases.
(Hodgson Russ LLP)

The Lessons of the GM Bankrup.tcy: Everybody Knew It Was Ridiculous and Unsustainable to Pay UAW Workers Not to Work
Excerpt: "[W]e, as a country, should take away some lessons from the experience. The following get my vote for the three most important: Problems denied and solutions delayed will result in a painful and costly day of reckoning. In corporate governance, the right people count more than the right structure. Appearances can be deceiving."
(The Wall Street Journal)

Webcasts and Conferences

20th Annual National Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE)
in Florida on January 31, 2011
presented by Health Benefits Conference & Expo

HIPAA and Other Health Benefits Laws: Compliance Assistance Seminar
in New York on July 14, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

OTC Restrictions, Health FSA Limits, and Simple Plans: Health Care Reform Drill Down
in Washington on May 27, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

The Basics and More Workshop
in Florida on June 24, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Press Releases

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

RPS Manager (03010VBSFS)
for Goodman and Company
in VA

RPS Supervisor
for Goodman and Company
in VA

Defined Contribution Administrator
for Leon E. Werntz and Associates, Inc.
in LA

Director, Product Management
for Prudential
in NJ

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