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Retirement Plans Newsletter

August 18, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Ohio District Court Rejects Negligence and ERISA Claims Against Milliman (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "[T]he Court concluded that the actuarial services Milliman provided to the Excavating, Building Material and Construction Drivers Union Local No. 436 Pension Fund did not violate professional standards, the parties' contract or ERISA."
(Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview]
PBGC Proposes Rule Clarifying When 'Substantial Cessation of Operations' Occurs for Single Employer Plans
Excerpt: "The regulations are not yet effective. They will apply to cessation dates that occur on or after the effective date of the final regulations, and will displace and supersede all of the PBGC's prior opinion letter pronouncements regarding ERISA § 4062(e). Comments are requested on or before October 12, 2010."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Court Dismisses Plan Sponsor Claims against State Street over Mortgage-Backed Investments
Excerpt: "[The court] ruled that State Street could be considered a fiduciary under [ERISA] because it provided investment advice to F.W. Webb Company for a fee, but State Street did not breach its fiduciary duties because at the time the Yield Plus Fund changed investment strategies its duties to the company's retirement plan had passed to CitiStreet."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

DOL Will Not Provide Blanket Extension for 2009 Form 5500 Filings
Excerpt: "In a letter to the American Benefits Council, the DOL stated that such an extension was 'neither necessary nor appropriate.' The American Benefits Council had requested a blanket extension for the 2009 plan year filings to the later of (1) 9 1/2 months after the end of the plan year or (2) December 31, 2010."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Mobile Applications Provide Participants Daily 401(k) Balance Updates
Excerpt: "Fidelity Investments, which administers 401(k) accounts with 14 million participants, launched a mobile app earlier this summer. Although users can view their 401(k) account balance, year-to-date performance and several other measures, they cannot make changes to their account."
(CNBC, Inc.)

Performance that Plan Sponsors Value Most
Excerpt: "Advisors would like to think that investment performance sells plans. This is not the case. While 77% of respondents were dissatisfied with returns from the investment options in their plans -- who wouldn't be, in this market? -- only 48% considered under performance to be a 'major concern.' Compare this to the 74% who were very worried about meeting their fiduciary obligations and the 87% who were struggling to keep up with ever-changing Department of Labor regulations."
(Advisor Perspectives, Inc.)

Labor and Treasury Departments to Hold Joint Hearing on Lifetime Income Options
Excerpt: "After reviewing [requested] comments, the Departments distilled five specific areas in which they would like to receive further input. In a notice issued on August 10, they announced that a joint hearing will be held on September 14, and, if necessary, September 15 . . . ."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Bills to Require Automatic Employer-Provided IRAs Proposed in House and Senate
Excerpt: "Both bills would provide incentives for the establishment of qualified retirement plans. These would include increasing the maximum start up credit for qualified plans from $500 to $1,000 (which would be available for the first three years, instead of only the $250 credit available for first two years for providing the Automatic IRAs)."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

PBGC Proposes Clarifying Downsizing Liability Rule
Excerpt: "The PBGC proposed a clarification to a rule determining the liability when an employer shuts down a facility that leads to layoffs of more than 20% of the active participants in a defined benefit plan."
(Pensions & Investments; registration may be required)

BB&T Offers FDIC-Insured Deposit Program for 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "A press release said the offering is part of BB&T's effort to expand investment offerings to retirement plan sponsors, improve the selection of 401(k) investments for plan participants, and provide an attractive alternative to money market funds for participants whose retirement accounts are heavily weighted in cash."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

Colorado PERA Cutbacks Bolstering Plan's Finances
Excerpt: "A move by Colorado's state pension fund to cut retiree benefits to avoid going broke has apparently returned the system on a path toward solvency, according to a new audit."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)

[Opinion]
Why You Should Avoid Company Stock in Your (401)k
Excerpt: "I think it's missing the point to say that investing in your company is a matter of trust. After all, the workers at BP may have trusted their managers, but that didn't stop the Deepwater Horizon accident from happening."
(Forbes.com)




ASPPA and the CFFP have partnered to bring financial professionals even more opportunities to advance their education and further their careers. CFFP is offering two live instructor-led ASPPA courses (PFC-1 and PFC-2) for students to prepare for the respective QPFC exams. As an added benefit, all CRPS designees will automatically receive credit for the first two ASPPA QPFC required exams--Retirement Plan Fundamentals 1 and 2, the other exams needed to obtain the QPFC credential!

Classes begin September 7. Learn more and register today at www.asppa.org/cffp!

Sponsored by ASPPA

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Current Recapture Policies and the Dodd-Frank Act (PDF)
6 pages.
(Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

Employee Benefits Update, August 2010 (PDF)
The eight-page newsletter presents select compliance deadlines and reminders; retirement plan developments; health and welfare plan developments, and, general developments.
(Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)

Benefit Claims Jump Following Workforce Reductions
Excerpt: "The economic recession has led many employers to trim payroll in an effort to stay afloat. However, layoffs can have negative consequences for a company's healthcare and workers' compensation costs."
(Human Resource Executive Online)


Press Releases


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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Pension Administrator
for Jordan & Associates
in CA

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for Oklahoma City Third Party Administration Firm
in OK

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for Cammack LaRhette Consulting
in MA

Administration Specialist
for Administration Partners, L.L.C.
in AL

Retirement Plan Account Manager
for Johnson & Dugan
in CA

Retirement Benefits Specialist
for Privately held San Francisco company
in CA




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