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Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 10, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Presentation: New Obligations for Plan Fiduciaries and Plan Service Providers (PDF)
38 pages. Excerpt: "Special disclosure requirements: An explanation of the assets allocation/glide path [and] Include a chart, table or graphical representation that illustrates how the asset allocation will change over time."
(Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Company Securities in Pension Plan Assets
Excerpt: "According to a recent Towers Watson analysis, . . . while a few companies contributed company securities to their defined benefit . . . plans over the last year, the overall trend has been away from holding these securities as pension assets."
(Towers Watson)

Defined Contribution Qs and As from the 2010 Annual ASPPA Conference
11 pages. Excerpt: "The Q&A committee solicits, screens and submits questions from ASPPA members to various government agency panelists as part of the ASPPA Annual Conference and other ASPPA conferences. Members of the Q&A subcommittee generally meet with the government agency panelists to screen and preview the submitted questions."
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Pension Finance Update As of November 30, 2010 (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "[Aon Hewitt reviews] market activity over the month of November and year-to-date 2010, looking at the related impact on funded status for pension plans."
(Aon Hewitt)

Finding 'Best Fit' in a Retirement Plan Provider Through the RFP Process
Excerpt: "Much has been written about what plan sponsors should include in a Request for Proposal (RFP) when they embark upon a search to hire or replace a retirement plan provider. But written proposals submitted in response to an RFP will never capture all of the essential elements that plan sponsors should assess in selecting a provider. It is therefore vital that plan sponsors recognize the potentially significant limitations of relying too heavily upon the RFP as a decision tool."

Text of DOL Amicus Brief in Support of Plaintiff in Home Depot Stock Litigation
Excerpt: "Whether the district court erred in treating as a statutorily barred diversification claim the plaintiffs' prudence claim that defendant plan fiduciaries should have overridden plan terms mandating investment in stock issued by the employer, Home Depot, where it would be imprudent to continue to permit investment in the employer stock at allegedly inflated prices[.]"
(U.S. Department of Labor)

Text of DOL Amicus Brief in Support of Plaintiff in ING Groep N.V. Stock Litigation
Excerpt: "Whether the district court erred in holding that the defendant plan fiduciaries had no duty to override plan terms mandating investment in stock issued by the employer, ING Groep and its subsidiaries . . ., where it would be imprudent to continue to permit investment in employer stock at allegedly inflated prices."
(U.S. Department of Labor)

Idea for Chicago: Reduce the Cost of Pensions and Fund Them According to Actuarial Standards
Excerpt: "Chicago -- like the state of Illinois -- does not fund its employee pensions at their true cost level (as determined by actuaries). If it did, the city would have to provide an additional $700 mil.lion or so in funding in 2012. By 2015 the number could grow to about $800 mil.lion. Not funding these costs as they are incurred simply shifts the liabilities to the future."
(Chicago Tribune)

Accounting for Public Pensions
Excerpt: "There is rising concern over the state of local government finances, and governments may be forced to make better disclosures if they simply want to issue new bonds. Disclosures are likely to lead to growing pressure to rein in pension costs, even though that will be resisted by public employee unions, which often have considerable political clout."
(The New York Times; one-time registration required)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Text of DOL Amicus Brief Supporting Plaintiff in Bankruptcy Standing Case
Excerpt: "Statement Of The Issues: Whether a bankrup.tcy trustee, who also is an ERISA fiduciary, has standing to bring an ERISA action on behalf of plan participants against a former fiduciary of an employee benefit plan. Whether the defense of in pari delicto can be asserted against an innocent ERISA fiduciary seeking to remedy a fiduciary breach caused by the defendant fiduciary."
(U.S. Department of Labor)

Executives Keep Health Perks As Workers' Benefits Dwindle
Excerpt: "Hundreds of top corporate managers get medical benefits and supplemental coverage far beyond what's offered to rank-and-file employees. Benefits include 'executive' physicals and reimbursements for out-of-pocket costs, deductibles and co-payments, according to corporate filings."

Monthly Benefit News & Developments, December 2010 (PDF)
2 pages. The newsletter provides a summary of the previous month's legislative, regulatory, and judicial information on employee benefits and upcoming key dates.
(Milliman, Inc.)

Florida Lawmakers Weigh Changing State Employee Health and Pension Accounts
Excerpt: "Scaling back benefits for current employees working in state agencies, city and county governments and school districts, along with the powerful unions that represent them, will be a 'complex, heavy lift,' . . . . Florida's health insurance trust fund is facing a $275 mil.lion deficit next year, and another $583 mil.lion shortfall in 2014, while the state employee pension account faces an unfunded liability estimated at $304 mil.lion this year."
(The Miami Herald)

Report Reveals Florida's Dramatic Shift in Favor of G.ay Equal Rights
Excerpt: "Florida now ranks among the top five states in the nation in protecting g.ay, les.bian, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people from discrimination, according to a report released today by the statewide civil rights group Equality Florida."
(The Miami Herald)

Obama Signs Bill for Increased Federal Employee Teleworking
Excerpt: "The Telework Enhancement Act requires agencies to determine within six months which employees are eligible to telework, notify them and set a policy for them to telework."
(Gannett Government Media Corporation)

Webcasts and Conferences

COBRA Compliance Seminar
in California on January 25, 2011
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Health Plan Nondiscrimination Testing After Health Care Reform
Nationwide on December 20, 2010
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Press Releases

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Director of Participant Experience
for New York Life
in MA

Retirement Plan Account Executive
for Principal Financial Group
in OH

VP, Institutional Sales
for Prudential
in IL

Where the best employers find the best candidates!

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