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Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 23, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
The Effect of the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company Ruling on the Retirement Income Debate (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "Late in 2009, the [IRS] released PLR 200951039 to The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, which addresses the application of plan distribution rules to Lincoln variable annuity contracts with the i4LIFE® Advantage rider . . . [as to whether] the election of i4LIFE would require the application of [QJSA] rules upon the initial election of i4LIFE at the start of the access period or if the QJSA rules would not apply until the access period is over and the balance is converted to a traditional life annuity."
(Lincoln National Life Insurance Company)

Pursuing 'Retirement Plan Success' During Participants' Accumulation Years
16 pages. Excerpt: "In this paper, we explore what can help make a retirement plan truly successful during the accumulation years: How should 'retirement plan success' for defined contribution plans be defined and measured? And more importantly, how can it be achieved?"
(Principal Financial Services, Inc.)

IRS Working to Bring 'Church' Pension Plans under ERISA
Excerpt: "When ERISA was enacted in 1974, religiously affiliated employers were exempted from the regulation, according to the Wall Street Journal. Recently, employers with only a tenuous association to religion have begun to convert their pension plans to 'church plans,' which generally cover the clergy and lay employees of churches and synagogues."
(Online Legal Media)

Should You Convert to a Roth IRA?
Excerpt: "[O]bservers expect growing government debt will cause taxes to increase significantly for future retirees. For households who are still years away from retirement, Roth conversions protect a portion of retirement income against future tax increases."
(National Center for Policy Analysis)

J. Mark Iwry at Treasury Dept. Is Planning Your Retirement
Excerpt: "Mr. Iwry's job, as the Treasury Department's senior benefits official, is to figure out what the government can and can't do to boost retirement savings. He is currently promoting 'auto-IRAs,' the top retirement item in the Obama administration's budget, which will be introduced to Congress within a few weeks."
(The Wall Street Journal)

It Is Important to Convince Policymakers of the Difference Between Tax Deferred Expenditures and Tax-Free Exclusions
Excerpt: "Unfortunately, cash flow accounting does not account for the taxable withdrawals during the withdrawal phase of an individual's retirement plan life cycle. As a result, the true revenue loss of the employer-sponsored retirement system relative to other revenue or outlay proposals is significantly overstated."
(Profit Sharing / 401k Council of America)

American Benefits Council Letter to DOL Regarding Technical Assistance on Financial Services Legislation (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "[T]o summarize, the 'normal' interpretation of the bill's fiduciary duty would require the swap dealer to advise a plan regarding all aspects of a complicated negotiation that could take a year or more and then advise the plan repeatedly over many years as future swaps occur. The question then becomes: why is the swap dealer not an ERISA fiduciary under these circumstances?"
(American Benefits Council)

Will Obama Panel Cripple Social Security with 'Minor' Tweaks?
Excerpt: "The instrument causing Social Security advocates anxiety today is the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which President Obama created in February to address the long-term budget deficit. Everything, including so-called entitlement programs such as Medicare and Social Security, should be on the table, he said, prompting some progressives to worry that he's plotting to offer Republicans cuts in Social Security in exchange for their agreeing to tax increases."
(Los Angeles Times)

ASPPA and NTSAA Request for Guidance on IRC §403(b) Plan Terminations
Excerpt: "We believe there is much confusion with respect to the manner in which a liquidating distribution is made when a 403(b) plan is terminated. It is for this reason that we respectfully request that the Service provide guidance . . . ."
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries / National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association)

The ASPPA Annual Conference is attended by 1,600 of your colleagues, with more than 60 workshops and 80 vendor displays in the exhibit hall focusing on all areas of the retirement business. Attendees even get face time with representatives from every aspect of the retirement plan industry, including the IRS and DOL and Members of Congress and their staffs.
Sponsored by ASPPA

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

Letting Employees Define Their Own Rewards May Be the Only Way to Keep Them, Says New Book
Excerpt: "[W]hile employees increasingly want personalized jobs, most companies continue to offer their workers standardized pay, benefits, perks, and training -- to their own detriment . . . ."

ERISA Plans' Ultimate -- and Criminal -- 'Prohibited Transaction' Rule
Excerpt: "We all have a general knowledge that kickbacks and racketeering schemes of any sort are illegal. But many do not realize that there is a specific 'anti-kickback' rule applying to ERISA plans that is NOT found in ERISA, but instead under criminal law."
(Business of Benefits)

Webcasts and Conferences

Employee Driven Health Care: A Checklist for Employers
Nationwide on July 29, 2010
presented by Lorman Education Services

Total Compensation Statements as a Tool to Communicate Total Value
Nationwide on July 8, 2010
presented by Lorman Education Services

Press Releases

ASPPA & NTSAA Request Guidance on 403(b) Plan Terminations
ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

PBGC Protects Penn Traffic Co. Pension Plans
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

DB/DC Pension Analyst
for Boyce & Associates, Inc.
in AZ

for Boyce & Associates, Inc.
in AZ

HR Benefits and Staffing Manager
for The Glenmede Trust Company, NA
in PA

for The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB)
in DC

Program Analyst
for The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board (FRTIB)
in DC

Director of Operations
for Walker Benefits, Inc.
in PA

Senior Client Consultant
for Prudential
in IA

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