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Retirement Plans Newsletter

September 28, 2010

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From new regulations to the changing needs of investors, transparency, efficiency, and networks are shaping the future of the retirement industry. Listen to this three minute podcast interview with Brian Graff, executive director and CEO of ASPPA.
Sponsored by SunGard

[Guidance Overview]
New Disclosure Obligations for Parties Providing Services to Pension Plans and Entities in Which Pension Plans Invest
Excerpt: "The DOL has provided that no contract or arrangement will fail to be reasonable under the New Regulations solely because the covered service provider, acting in good faith and with reasonable diligence, makes an error or omission in disclosing the information required by the New Regulations. However, the covered service provider must disclose the correct information as soon as practicable, but not later than 30 days from the date on which the covered service provider knows of such error or omission. This relief applies to both the responsible plan fiduciary and the covered service provider."
(Pepper Hamilton LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Basics of Roth Conversions/Retirement Planning for Life Events (PDF)
12 pages. Handout for the EP Phone Forum on the Basics of Roth Conversions/Retirement Planning, September 30, 2010.
(U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
Service Provider Fee Disclosure Regulations: Disclosure Timing Rules and Additional Disclosures
Excerpt: "This Technical Update explains the timing requirements for the initial disclosures, reporting changes, and requests for reporting and disclosure information."
(SunGard Relius)

Pensions Remain Hurdle to California Budget Agreement
Excerpt: "The Republican governor wants a two-tier system of pensions that reduces benefits with stricter retirement formulas for new state workers. He also wants to reduce pay by roughly 10 percent for existing state workers this fiscal year through higher pension contributions and unpaid leave days."
(The Sacramento Bee)

Ten IRA Tasks to Do Before the Year Ends
Excerpt: "Your IRA, your own piece of the retirement puzzle, whether paltry or not, requires some tender loving care, especially during the last few months of the year. Here's a list of what you might need to do before 2011."
(MarketWatch, Inc.)

Automatic IRA Legislation (PDF)
6 pages. Aon looks at policymaker attitudes behind the proposals and examines key issues for large plan sponsors.
(Aon Consulting)

Delphi Retirees to Get Trial in Pension Suit
Excerpt: "The retirees, many of whom were laid off or forced to retire early, have seen their benefits cut by 30% or more after their pensions were pushed onto the U.S. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. . . . as Delphi moved to exit bankrup.tcy last year. They sued, alleging the government insurer improperly terminated their plan and unfairly slashed benefits. On Friday, [the District Judge] dismissed the PBGC's arguments to end the lawsuit, which means the retirees will get a trial."
(Detroit Free Press)

National Save for Retirement Week Resolution introduced in Senate
Excerpt: "The NS4RW Resolution was introduced in the Senate on Friday, September 24th by Senator Conrad (D-ND)."
(National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators)

Audio: Study Finds Discrepancy in Worker and Plan Sponsor Understanding of 401(k) Fees
Excerpt: "Inconsistent reporting and disclosure of 401(k)-related fees among retirement plan providers has given rise to increased scrutiny and efforts to enhance fee transparency. Mercer's Kim Moriarty provides an overview of a recent survey by the Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies that looked at the discrepancy between workers' and employers' understanding of 401(k) fees and how new regulations might bridge that gap."
(Mercer LLC)

Top Seven Signs Your Pension Fund Is in Trouble
Excerpt: "These days, more and more pensions are unable to meet their obligations and end up being terminated. Here are the top seven signs that your pension might be in jeopardy."
(Investopedia ULC via San Francisco Chronicle)

Five Employers with Generous 401(k) Matches
Excerpt: "There are many good reasons to participate in your company's 401(k) plan, including tax breaks, low-cost investment options, and to save and invest enough to support yourself in retirement. But perhaps the biggest motivator is an employer's 401(k) match."
(U.S. News & World Report)

Positive Economic Outlook Doesn't Mean Positive Personal Outlook for Employer-Sponsored Benefit Plan Participants
Excerpt: "Mercer's Outsourcing business' annual Mercer Workplace Survey revealed that while participants in employer-sponsored benefit plans are optimistic about the direction of the U.S. economy, they are not confident in their own situation."
(PLANSPONSOR.com)




The Source, Second Edition by Kristi Cook, JD and Ellie Lowder, includes the final 403(b) regulations, their impact and practical suggestions on how plan sponsors can manage their 403(b) program in compliance with applicable IRS requirements and deadlines. It also covers all aspects of ERISA and non-ERISA retirement plans for public education and tax-exempt 501(c)3 employers and includes comprehensive technical information with explanations and citations of relevant Code Sections.

Required reading for ASPPA's TGPC credential! Order yours today!

Sponsored by ASPPA

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
The Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 Includes First Step for Taxation of Employer-Provided Cell Phones but Further Guidance is Needed
Excerpt: "[The Act] includes a provision removing such equipment from the definition of 'listed property' in section 280F(d)(4)(A) of the Internal Revenue Code . . . . The amendment is retroactive to taxable years beginning after December 31, 2009."
(Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

Small Business Jobs Act Provisions Affecting Employment Benefits
Excerpt: "President Barack Obama has signed the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 (H.R. 5297) into law on September 27, 2010. The bill contains . . . benefits-related provisions of interest to employers . . . ."
(Jackson Lewis LLP)

[Opinion]
Three Benefit Trends Seem to Have Come to the Forefront During the Past Year
Excerpt: "[The trends include] the importance of innovation and thought leadership, the turn toward customization of benefits, and the growing discussion of adapting benefits to a culturally, racially and globally diverse workforce."
(Human Resource Executive Online)


Webcasts and Conferences

New Appeals and External Review Rules for Self-Funded Plans: Health Care Reform Drill Down
Nationwide on September 23, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

President Obama Signed Roth Conversion Legislation
Nationwide on September 30, 2010
presented by Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, LLC

Public-Pension Deficits: How Big? Can They Ever Be Paid?
in District of Columbia on September 29, 2010
presented by American Enterprise Institute


Press Releases


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Consultant
for Charles Schwab
in AZ

EB Service Manager II
for The Standard
in TX




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