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Retirement Plans Newsletter

July 20, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Interim Final Rule on Service Provider Fee Disclosures to Plan Sponsors
7 pages. Excerpt: "The interim rule applies to 'covered plans' - pension plans (DB and DC) as defined in section 3(2)(A), but not plans described in section 4(b) (government plans, church plans, workers comp plans, nonresident alien plans, and excess benefit plans). The rule does not apply to IRAs, SEPs, and SIMPLEs."
(Profit Sharing / 401k Council of America)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL's Updated Proposed Investment Advice Regulations
Excerpt: "In addition to satisfying the regulatory requirements applicable to a fee-leveling arrangement or a computer model arrangement, all eligible investment advice arrangements must meet certain other requirements. An arrangement must be authorized by a plan fiduciary and annually audited by an independent auditor. In addition, an arrangement must be disclosed to participants in a comprehensive written notification that is understandable by the average plan participant."
(McDermott Will & Emery)

[Guidance Overview]
Summary of Interim Final Regulation on Retirement Plan Fee Disclosure (PDF)
2 pages. What, Why, Who, How and When.
(Fiduciary Benchmarks)

[Guidance Overview]
Blackout Notice Suit Allowed to Move Forward
Excerpt: "A federal judge in Ohio ruled that a 401(k) profit-sharing plan and two participants can press forward with their lawsuit alleging that Principal Life Insurance Co. breached its duty to make a timely notice of a plan blackout period."

401(k) Plans, Participants, and Expense Ratios
401(k) plan participants don't get to select the investment options.

401(k) Participants Get More Positive, According to Survey
Excerpt: "More employees eligible for 401(k) plans took 'positive' action in the first half of this year than a year earlier, according to a survey by Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Retirement and Benefit Plan Services unit."
(Pensions & Investments; registration may be required)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Wall Street Reform Act Provisions Related to Corporate Governance and Executive Compensation
Excerpt: "This Alert addresses the Acts executive compensation and corporate governance provisions. For the most part, the Act is not prescriptive with regard to these requirements, leaving much of the heavy lifting to subsequent rulemaking by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the national securities exchanges and associations."
(Cooley LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Dodd-Frank Act's Executive Compensation & Corporate Governance Provisions
Excerpt: "Many of the new rules under the Act are effective beginning in 2011 or shortly thereafter. [PricewaterhouseCoopers offers observations on various sections of the Act.]"
(PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Financial Overhaul Bill with Pay, Governance Reforms to Become Law
Excerpt: "Companies will have to submit executive pay and golden parachutes to say-on-pay votes, provide new disclosures, meet independence standards for compensation committees and their advisers, adopt clawback policies, and face likely proxy access rules."
(Mercer LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
The Impact of Financial Reform on Executive Compensation
Excerpt: "Under the Act, public companies must provide shareholders with a 'say-on-pay' vote to approve the compensation of their 'named executive officers'[3] as disclosed in the Summary Compensation Table contained in companies' proxy statements at least once every three years."
(Proskauer Rose LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Interim Rule Implements Reporting Requirements on Covered Federal Contractors
Excerpt: "[T]he federal government issued an Interim Rule on July 8, 2010, that requires many federal contractors and subcontractors to report and make publicly available the total compensation of their top five executives."
(Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP)

How Smaller Employers Can Use Voluntary Benefits to Create a Competitive Advantage
24 pages. Excerpt: "Research from Colonial Life shows the top three most frequently offered voluntary benefits by small businesses are short-term disability, long-term disability and supplemental life."
(Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company)

Internal Pay Equity Disclosure in Financial Reform
Excerpt: "For purposes of this disclosure, the Company must calculate the 'annual total compensation of all employees' using the rules for Total Annual Compensation figure in the Summary Annual Compensation Table! Reasonable people can differ as to whether internal pay equity is a relevant disclosure to investors, but companies can live with it. What no one can live with is the requirement that the total compensation of every employee in the company be calculated using the rules for calculating CEO compensation for the Summary Compensation Table."
(Michael Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

Response to Criticism of the Analysis Presented in the Report: 'Out of Balance? Comparing Public and Private Sector Compensation Over 20 Years'
Excerpt: "Some have argued that because many public pension plans around the country are not fully funded, the entire cost of defined benefit (DB) pension benefits is not recognized in the data we used in our study, which comes from the National Compensation Survey . . . ."
(National Institute on Retirement Security)

Press Releases

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Health & Welfare Specialist
for Long Island Employee Benefits Group Ltd.
in NY

Senior Plan Consultant
for BPA, A BPAS Company
in PA

for H.E.R.E.I.U. Welfare Fund
in IL

Defined Benefit Pension Plan Administrator
for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.

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