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Retirement Plans Newsletter

August 31, 2010

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PBI introduces the New Platinum Web-Based Death Audit Service Featuring: Continuous Monitoring to Eliminate Pension Overpayments & Decrease Funding Liabilities, ability to add additional records at no charge, access to our proprietary Death Information 24/7, and tools to manage workflow from the time a death is reported until payment is stopped.
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[Guidance Overview]
DOL Releases Interim Final Service Provider Disclosure Regulation
Excerpt: "In the attached article, the authors provide below an overview of the Regulation, and then discuss how it may be expected to affect plan service providers and plan fiduciaries, noting some of the topics that remain unclear or could be the subject of comments."
(Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview]
Court Upholds Cash Balance Plan's Pre-PPA Whipsaw Correction, With a Tweak
Excerpt: "In deciding how a cash balance plan should correct pre-PPA lump sums, a federal court gave deference to the plan's proposed whipsaw interest crediting method in the wake of the US Supreme Court's Conkright ruling . . . ."
(Mercer)

[Guidance Overview]
Landowner Had No Common Control Responsibility for Unpaid Withdrawal Liability
Excerpt: "A pension fund failed to show that a real estate partnership was a member of a controlled group responsible under ERISA for the withdrawal liability of a bankrupt slaughterhouse, the [Fourth Circuit] U.S. Court of Appeals . . . has ruled . . . "
(Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

When To Take Social Security? The 8% Solution
Excerpt: "For clients who are deciding when to start Social Security benefits, earning 8% a year by waiting can be appealing in these low-yield times."
(Financial Planning)

Problems With State-Local Final Pay Plans And Options for Reform
Excerpt: "[F]inal pay plans suffer from serious shortcomings: they (1) severely 'backload' benefits; (2) treat very differently workers on different career trajectories; and (3) invite mischief in terms of sudden late-career promotions. They are also riskier for workers than they appear... "
(Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

DOJ Sues Adviser Over Pension Plan Fraud
Excerpt: "According to the complaint, Alexander helps small-business owners adopt sham pension plans, falsely advising them that they can claim significant deductions for purported contributions to the plans in order to reduce or eliminate their federal income taxes. The complaint also alleges that Alexander fraudulently re-characterizes his customers' non-deductible personal expenses as purported deductible pension-plan contributions."
(Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

Judge Rules Lawsuit by Ohio Pension Systems Against Bank of America and Merrill Lynch Can Continue
Excerpt: "A federal judge yesterday allowed Ohio pension systems to proceed with their legal claims [alleging] that Bank of America paid billions of dollars in bonuses to executives of a firm it was absorbing without informing shareholders . . . ."
(Columbus Dispatch)

University of California Retirement Funds Face a Shortfall of More Than $20 Billion, Report Says
Excerpt: "A panel recommends increasing contributions by employees, raising the retirement age for new hires and reducing some benefits."
(Los Angeles Times)

Pension Overhaul in California Is Up in The Air
Excerpt: "The governor may have to settle for a few incremental pension reforms pending in the final hours of the legislative session, particularly Assembly Bill 1987, whose tortured history illustrates the political difficulty of the issue."
(The Fresno Bee)

Disparities in Automatic Enrollment Plan Availability
Excerpt: "Savings and thrift plans have become a popular retirement savings alternative to traditional pension plans; the inclusion of an automatic enrollment feature is gaining traction and is especially prevalent in certain worker and establishment groups."
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

[Opinion]
The Public Pension Monster
Excerpt: "The graph projecting the growth of pension obligations in California demonstrates that what started as a little harmless back scratching has morphed into a monster that unaddressed will claim all of the resources the state can muster via taxation."
(Tom Lindmark via iStockAnalyst)

[Opinion]
John C. Bogle: On Mutual Funds, Cheaper Is Better
Excerpt: "A new study confirms what I've been saying for decades: Paying high fees to fund managers is the route to lower returns."
(John C. Bogle in The Wall Street Journal)




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Learn more and register for RPF webcourses and exams today!
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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Hodgson Russ LLP - Employee Benefits Developments August 2010
Nice summaries of important recent ERISA cases.
(Hodgson Russ)

SEC Approves Final Proxy Access Rule
Excerpt: "The SEC has approved a final proxy access rule giving certain shareholders the right to nominate board candidates using a company's proxy statement."
(Mercer)

2010 Director Compensation: NASDAQ 100 vs. NYSE 100 (PDF)
28 pages. Excerpt: "Comparison of Non-Employee Director Compensation at the 100 Largest NASDAQ and 100 Largest New York Stock Exchange Companies"
(Frederick W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

[Opinion]
No One Fix for Social Security
Excerpt: "Personal accounts are a valid choice, and one I've supported in the past and continue to support. But accounts aren't exclusive to tax increases or benefit cuts; they don't, as I'll explain, reduce the need for these other choices."
(Andrew C. Biggs of the American Enterprise Institute, via National Public Radio)

[Opinion]
Public Employee Pension Reforms Recipe for Disaster
Excerpt: "While many of the people, including the Daily News, calling for reform are acknowledging that private-sector workers have lost tremendous value on their retirement plans, incredibly they present that as a model for public-sector employees!"
(Paul Weber in the Los Angeles Daily News)


Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Financial Advisor Symposium
in Washington on September 28, 2010
presented by 401(k) Rekon

Advanced Actuarial Practice (A-4) Examination
Nationwide on December 9, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

ASPPA Webcast: Tax Return Preparer Registration Program
Nationwide on September 8, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Basics of Roth Conversions/Retirement Planning Phone Forum
Nationwide on September 30, 2010
presented by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

How ERISA Will Affect Your Group Insurance Clients in 2010
Nationwide on September 14, 2010
presented by ERISA Pros

IRA Fall Seminar Tour
Nationwide on September 14, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Advanced Health Savings Accounts
Nationwide on November 18, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - An Introduction to Health Savings Accounts
Nationwide on October 14, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - An IRA Foundation: Overview, Establishment, and Eligibility
Nationwide on September 9, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - An IRA Foundation: Overview, Establishment, and Eligibility
Nationwide on November 9, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Beneficiary IRA Administration: Forms, Options, and Reporting
Nationwide on September 8, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Beneficiary IRA Administration: Forms, Options, and Reporting
Nationwide on November 23, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Distributions: It's an IRA Owner's Money, Butů
Nationwide on October 13, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Conversions: What and Why
Nationwide on September 23, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Conversions: What and Why
Nationwide on October 19, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Conversions: What and Why
Nationwide on November 10, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Policies & Procedures: What Every Custodian Should Know
Nationwide on September 14, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA Self Audit: What to Look For
Nationwide on September 16, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - IRA: Excess Contributions & Recharacterizations: Understanding the Difference
Nationwide on October 5, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Required Minimum Distributions: At What Age & How Much?
Nationwide on September 9, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Required Minimum Distributions: At What Age & How Much?
Nationwide on October 21, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Required Minimum Distributions: At What Age & How Much?
Nationwide on November 17, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Rollovers and Transfers: What is the Difference?
Nationwide on September 30, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Rollovers, Transfers and Direct Rollovers: IRA & Employer Plan Portability
Nationwide on September 8, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - Rollovers, Transfers and Direct Rollovers: IRA & Employer Plan Portability
Nationwide on November 9, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Webinar - SEPs and SIMPLEs: In Simple Terms
Nationwide on October 7, 2010
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services


Press Releases

U.S. Labor Department Sues San Jose Firm and Owner to Recover Workers' Retirement Assets
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

ASPPA Issues Comment On DOL Fee Disclosure Regulation
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

IFLC Awards its Five Star Ranking to DailyAccess Corporation
Investment Fiduciary Leadership Council (IFLC)


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