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Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 16, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
DOL Proposed Regulations on Target Date Funds (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The regulations contain proposed amendments to the Qualified Default Investment Alternative . . . final regulations published on October 24, 2007, and to the Participant Fee Disclosure final regulations published on October 20, 2010."
(Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)

[Guidance Overview]
Eighth Circuit Rules Plaintiff Did Not State a Claim of Imprudent Investment Based on Actions Concerning Employer's Product
Excerpt: "In reviewing the case, the Court said that, to state a claim for relief, the plaintiff must plead facts sufficient to show that the claim is plausible. In this case, the Court found that the facts plead by the plaintiff were insufficient to make this showing. The Court did not find enough of a connection between any of the alleged conduct by Medtronic concerning Fidelis or Infuse and any possible imprudence in the ESOP holding Stock."
(Stanley D. Baum)

Head of a State Taxpayers Group Calls Government Employee Pensions in Illinois 'Looney'
Excerpt: "Jim Tobin, president of National Taxpayers United of Illinois, held a news conference at the St. Charles Public Library to discuss what he called a threat to every Illinois taxpayer. . . . Tobin also released names of retired Kane County government employees who are receiving what he called 'lavish, gold-plated pensions.'"
(Sun-Times Media, LLC)

GM Spends $200 Mil.lion on Retiree Inflation Bonus; Ford Spends $70 Mil.lion
Excerpt: "The payments were required by the master United Auto Worker contracts with the so-called Detroit 3 automakers."
(Workplace Management: free registration required)

The Impact of Educational Attainment on Worker Retirement Outlook (PDF)
61 pages. Excerpt: "The 11th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey found that the levels of educational attainment among American workers are strongly correlated to their retirement confidence, as well as their ability to save and plan for retirement."
(Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)

Retirement Resolutions for 2011: Beefing Up That Three-Legged Stool
Excerpt: "First of all, do you have a traditional pension plan at work? If so, you are in luck--our research shows that middle-class Americans with income from a traditional pension are most likely to remain financially secure in retirement."
(National Institute on Retirement Security)

Mark-to-Market Pension Accounting As a Strategy (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "In light of an expected shift to mark-to-market (MTM) accounting of pension assets and liabilities mandated by regulatory standards, [Aon Hewitt reviews the MTM approach and examines] why plan sponsors might consider adopting the change now."
(Aon Hewitt)

The Callan DC Index(tm) Third Quarter 2010
Excerpt: "The Callan DC Index(tm) is an equally-weighted index tracking the cash flows and performance of more than 70 plans, representing greater than 800,000 defined contribution participants and more than $70 bil.lion in assets. The index is updated quarterly and reflects 401(k) plans as well as other types of defined contribution plans."
(Callan Associates Inc.)

403(b) Plan Response to Changing Conditions
16 pages. Excerpt: "Plan sponsors took a variety of actions in the last year in response to regulatory and economic changes. 47.9 percent of organizations increased their employee education efforts, and 22.6 percent of organizations added investment advice for participants. 30.5 percent of organizations changed the investment lineup, including 48.0 percent of large organizations."
(Profit Sharing / 401k Council of America)

How Does Your Defined Contribution Program Measure Up
Excerpt: "Over the past couple of years, a growing number of plan providers have brought to market a new set of plan diagnostic measures, measures that not only show individual and plan balances, but also project those balances out to an estimate of what those balances will provide in retirement income, or presented as a measure of retirement readiness - compared to an established level of income replacement."

Earn your missing CPE credits for the 2009/2010 cycle. Get the latest on hot regulatory and technical issues all at your convenience with ASPPA’s webcasts. Topics include: hybrid plans, participant fee disclosure, cash balance plan basics, redefining fiduciary status, the 2009 5500 process and much more! Visit for more information and to register.
Sponsored by ASPPA

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Correcting Document Failures for Deferred Compensation Arrangements Under Code Section 409A
Excerpt: "Deficient plan documents that are corrected under the program by December 31, 2010 may enable affected plan participants to avoid adverse tax consequences, provided that any resulting operational failures are corrected."
(Troutman Sanders LLP)

How Employers Are Faring Under Barack Obama: An Update on Federal Proposals that Would Affect the Workplace
Excerpt: "The three most significant legislative proposals that many expected to pass in 2009 were identified in a previous article in this journal: The Employee Free Choice Act, Re-Empowerment of Skilled and Professional Employees and Construction Trade-Workers Act, and the Healthy Families Act. In a follow-up this article examines why these Acts have thus far failed to become law and whether they are likely to pass in the future, and in addition examines the Paycheck Fairness Act which is predicted to become law during this session of Congress."
(HR Advisor via Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP)

HR Leaders Voice Expectations in Terms of New Trends and Developments in 2011
Excerpt: "On the legislative front, HR leaders should pay attention to the recently announced findings of President Obama's Deficit Reduction Commission, which call for increasing the age of Social Security eligibility to 69 by 2075 and curtailing the tax-favored status of contributions to employer-sponsored pension and healthcare plans, says Mike Aitken, director of government affairs at the Society for Human Resource Management in Alexandria, Va."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

BLS to Publish: 'Zooming in on Compensation Data: A Guide to BLS Data for Human Resources Professionals'
Excerpt: "The guide is a reference document that provides brief explanations of various BLS surveys, with charts that display the data graphically. Included in the booklet are separate sections for wage and salary administrators, benefit administrators, wage and contract administrators, as well as information on the 21st century workforce, other BLS data, and survey participation."

Employee Ownership Update for December 15, 2010
Corey Rosen discusses the following: The deficit commission's suggested changes to retirement plans could affect ESOPs. The NCEO responded to the DOL's proposal to define ESOP appraisers as plan fiduciaries. Give your colleagues the ideas in '12 Bogus Reasons Not to Do an ESOP.' One performance award type may work well for private companies. Employee ownership fellowships are available at Rutgers. Self-nominations are available for the Winning Workplaces awards. The NCEO has a job opening. (The National Center for Employee Ownership

Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Charlotte
in North Carolina on January 11, 2011
presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- San Francisco
in California on January 18, 2011
presented by 401(k) Rekon

Press Releases

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Sales Representative
for Pentegra Retirement Services

Pension Manager
for SS&G
in OH

Senior Compliance Manager
for Capital Group Companies
in CA

Senior Retirement Plan Manager
for Chemung Canal Trust Company
in NY

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