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December 15, 2010

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[Official Guidance]
Text of Final Rule: Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans; Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans; Interest Assumptions for Valuing and Paying Benefits (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "This final rule amends Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's regulations on Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans and Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans to prescribe interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation for valuation dates in January 2011 and interest assumptions under the asset allocation regulation for valuation dates in the first quarter of 2011. Interest assumptions are also published on PBGC's Web site (http://www.pbgc.gov)."
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Guidance on Pension Funding Relief for Multiemployer Plans
Excerpt: "The guidance clarifies and confirms much of what the multiemployer community had advocated when the [Pension Relief Act] legislation was under consideration in Congress, although it stops short on some important points. Predictably, Notice 2010-83 does not match every good-faith interpretation that practitioners had adopted in order to help funds while awaiting official guidance, but much of what it has to say is very welcome."
(The Segal Group, Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Proposed Regulations on Annual Funding Notice (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "[DOL] has issued proposed regulations addressing the annual defined benefit plan funding notice required by Section 101(f) of ERISA. The proposed regulations are very similar to the informal guidance the DOL provided in a 2009 field assistance bulletin . . . . The FAB remains in effect until the proposed regulations are made final. Plan administrators may rely on the model notices in the FAB or in the proposed regulations."
(Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Guidance on In-Plan Roth Rollovers (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The ability to convert distributable non-Roth amounts in 401(k) and 403(b) plans to Roth IRAs by paying current tax on the distribution offers attractive estate-planning options for some individuals. The ability to split the tax between 2011 and 2012 by taking the distribution in 2010 provides further tax-planning opportunities. The consequence of the PPA provision was an incentive for some individuals to take their money out of the 401(k) or 403(b) plan in order to take advantage of these opportunities. In order to provide the same tax benefits, but allow the amounts to remain in the 401(k) or 403(b) plan, the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 . . . permits an in-plan Roth rollover with many of the same tax benefits."
(Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview]
PBGC Extension of Interim Guidance on Reportable Event Compliance (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The PBGC has issued Technical Update 10-4 which explains how PBGC will apply the waiver and extended reporting rules of the existing reportable event regulations under Section 4043 of ERISA. The existing regulations refer to the pre-PPA funding rules and thus are out-dated. The PBGC has proposed new regulations but they are not yet final. In Technical Update 10-4, the PBGC extends the rules it applied for 2010 plan year reportable events to 2011 plan years or, if earlier, until final regulations are effective."
(Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview]
PBGC Extension of Reportable Events Relief for Missed Quarterly Contributions and Certain Funding-Related Determinations
Excerpt: "Technical Update 10-04 extends relief from reporting missed quarterly contributions to the PBGC to two groups of small plans for whom flat-rate premiums were payable for the 2010 plan years and that financial inability to make the contribution(s) is not the reason for not making the contribution(s) . . . ."
(Wolters Kluwer)

[Guidance Overview]
PBGC Issues Reportable Events Guidance for 2011 in Lieu of Final Regulations
Excerpt: "The PBGC announced that it will not finalize the more rigorous reportable events regulation it proposed in November 2009 until sometime in 2011. In the meantime, the PBGC is extending its existing guidance on reporting missed quarterly contributions and on funding-related determinations for purposes of waivers, extensions and advance reporting."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Further IRS Guidance Regarding In-Plan Roth Conversions Leaves Questions Unanswered
Excerpt: "[T]he IRS stated that any portion of a distribution from a designated Roth account that is allocable to an in-plan Roth conversion should be identified by indicating the amount in the blank box to the left of box 10 on the Form 1099-R on which the distribution is reported."
(Ford & Harrison LLP)

Major Consultant Abandons Public Pension Plans
Excerpt: "In early June, investment consultant Mercer paid $500 mil.lion to settle a lawsuit brought by the Alaska Retirement Management Board. By doing so, it also raised a red flag for other large advisory firms looking to do business with American public pension funds."
(Asset International, Inc.)

Video: Does Social Security Need to Be Fixed Now?
Excerpt: "Institute Fellow C. Eugene Steuerle discusses the pressure to fix Social Security soon, the benefits of acting now, reforms proposed by the president's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and how these proposals would affect the elderly and those nearing retirement. [Printer-friendly summary of discussion is linked from target page.]"
(Urban Institute)

Idea to Consider Savings Rate in Credit Score Wins Contest
Excerpt: "Jonathan Chan, a 2010 graduate of Northwestern University, has won $50,000 for his idea 'Savings Credit Score,' which would factor a person's savings habits into their credit score as a positive indicator of creditworthiness, on the theory that a better saver can make a better borrower."
(PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Interview Provides Insight into BrightScope's 2nd Annual List of the Top 30 401k Plans
Excerpt: "It is generally harder to structure a plan with ultra low fees when you don't have the economies of scale provided by a large asset base. But we've seen many plans under $5M that compete favorably with plans over $1B on fees. Other than fees, the structural disadvantages relate more to the size of the company (profitability, salary levels, etc.) than to the size of the plan."
(Fiduciary News)

Retirement Readiness: Bridging the Gap Across Generations (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "This report examines participant behavior in defined contribution plans and retirement readiness across three generations -- Generation Y, Generation X and younger Baby Boomers. It shows how each generation faces their own set of challenges in preparing for retirement and offers solutions employers can utilize to help their diverse employee base achieve their retirement goals."
(Aon Hewitt)

Chart: Employees Required to Contribute to Their Defined Contribution Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "In March 2010, 63 percent of private sector workers were required to contribute to their employer-provided defined contribution retirement plans. This compares with 58 percent of State and local government workers."
(U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)




Its a whole new world at the 2011 NTSAA Annual Conference, the premier 403(b) and 457 forum for educating producers, providers, agents, broker/dealers, sales and marketing managers, office staff, plan sponsors and other business officials. Register now and join your colleagues in Orlando February 2-5, 2011.

For more information and a brochure, go to www.asppa.org/ntsaaconference

Sponsored by NTSAA

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
IRS's Additional 409A Correction Relief
Excerpt: "The new relief makes action to correct Section 409A errors by December 31, 2010, more attractive by eliminating the employee information reporting requirement. Employers also should consider reviewing plans and taking advantage of the new guidance to correct payment arrangements that are contingent upon the execution of a release. The new relief gives employers an additional transition period to identify and address this issue without adverse tax consequences under Section 409A."
(Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati)

[Guidance Overview]
More Code § 409A Correction Guidance Is Issued
Excerpt: "Notice 2010-80 modifies Notice 2010-6 by clarifying that certain linked plans with plan document failures are eligible for relief otherwise provided under Notice 2010-6, provided that the link between the plans merely changes the amount payable under the plan, but not the time or form of payment."
(Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

A Progress Report on G.ay Employee Health Benefits
Excerpt: "A growing number of companies are covering the extra costs that same-s.ex couples pay for domestic partner benefits -- and even more companies are thinking about it. So [here is a chart] to keep track of who is doing what . . . ."
(The New York Times; one-time registration required)

What Kind of Benefits Does Congress Really Get?
Excerpt: "Congressional retirement and health care benefits are indeed generous by the standards of many workers, but far less lavish than critics claim. For the most part, benefits for Congress are similar to those of any federal employee, although there are differences."
(AARP)


Webcasts and Conferences

"ERPA Test Review - Part 1" Web Seminar
Nationwide on January 5, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"ERPA Test Review - Part 2" Web Seminar
Nationwide on January 12, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Multiple Employer Plans: Perils and Possibilities" Web Seminar
Nationwide on January 11, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Fees Workshop: Navigating the Maze" - January-February 2011, 18 Cities
Nationwide on January 20, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium San Diego, CA
in California on January 11, 2011
presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Service Provider Compensation: Navigating the Required DOL and Schedule C Disclosures
Nationwide on December 14, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

Washington Update: A New Congress and New Priorities after Mid-Term Elections
in Michigan on December 20, 2010
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Detroit

Whos a Tax Dependent Now? Compliance for Employer Plans After Health Care Reform
Nationwide on January 13, 2011
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters


Press Releases

Paycheck Comparison and State Retirement Plans Web Calculators
Still River Retirement Planning Software, Inc.

CPI Presents First Retirement Academy Conference
CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Service Plan Administrator
for San Diego Pension Consultants
in CA

Trust Plan Administration Assistant
for American National Bank of Texas Trust
in TX

Compliance Specialist
for Ascensus
in PA

Sr. Client Service Manager
for Principal Financial Group
in WI

DC Administrator
for Heritage Pension Advisors, LLC
in NY

DC Valuations Specialist
for PenSys, Inc
in CA

Product Specialist
for Pentegra Retirement Services
in NY




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