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Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 27, 2010

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Come discuss employee benefits issues with industry colleagues and local, regional and national experts from the IRS, DOL and the private sector. Programs focus on current regulatory, legislative, administrative and actuarial topics. When are we coming to your area?
Sponsored by ASPPA

[Guidance Overview]
Employers Must Act Quickly to Elect Pension Relief for 2009 or 2010
Excerpt: "On December 17, the IRS issued Notice 2011-3. This Notice provides guidance on single-employer defined benefit plan elections under the Pension Relief Act of 2010. The Notice provides that the deadline for electing to extend the amortization period is the latest of: (1) the last day of the plan year, (2) 30 days after the valuation date and (3) January 31, 2011."
(Van Iwaarden Associates)

[Guidance Overview]
401(k) Plans that Offer a Target Date Fund Will Require Even More Participant Disclosures
Excerpt: "The DOL indicates that it intends to provide a checklist for fiduciaries who have or are considering target date fund investments. In the meantime, here are some tips for fiduciaries to consider: All 'Retirement 2050 Funds' are not equal. They may have widely differing investment results. In addition, if the target date fund invests in other mutual funds, fees that must be taken into account in evaluating the fund may be charged by both the target date fund and its underlying mutual funds."
(Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Preliminary Guidance on In-Plan Roth Rollovers (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "While some of this guidance applies specifically to in-plan Roth rollovers made in 2010, which are only available under 401(k) and 403(b) plans, most of the guidance will also apply to in-plan rollovers made after 2010, when they will also be available under governmental section 457(b) plans."
(Prudential Retirement)

House Abandons Bill to Extend Relief from DB Funding Rule
Excerpt: "The U.S. House adjourned Wednesday without action on a bill passed by the Senate that would have created a one-year extension for relief exempting underfunded pension plans from rules that require the plans to freeze benefit accruals, according to Business Insurance."

The Importance of Operational Procedures and Controls for Retirement Plan Administration (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "It all boils down to knowing who does what and when they do it, and being able to prove they did it."
(Thompson Publishing Group Inc.)

Leading Edge of U.S. Baby Boomers Content, According to Survey
Excerpt: "Despite the economic turmoil of the last few years, the leading edge of baby boomers turning 65 next year are content with their lives and many want to continue working for as long as they can, a survey released on Wednesday found."

Market Down? Then ERISA Lawsuits Must Be Up
Excerpt: "According to data from the US District Court, 9,300 lawsuits related to ERISA were filed in the country during the 12-month span that ended on March 31, 2010. While that number is lower than the nearly 11,500 lawsuits in 2004, it represents a significant increase since the beginning of the recession . . . ."
(Stephen Rosenberg of The McCormack Firm, LLC)

Putting That Social Security Tax Holiday to Work
Excerpt: "[I]ndividuals could end up with a payroll tax savings of up to $2,136 in 2011, according to CCH, a tax information provider. Households with two wage earners who both make more than $106,800 will get $4,272, double the amount for individuals."
(The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Inflation Figures in Retirement Savings
Excerpt: "Offsetting inflation is one of the biggest challenges facing people saving for retirement. Over time, even a modest rate of inflation will significantly reduce a dollar's buying power. This means it is essential to have a retirement-savings portfolio that keeps pace with -- or hopefully exceeds -- inflation."
(Dow Jones Local Media Group, Inc.)

Can Workers' 401(k) Investment Stock Decisions Figure in Layoffs?
Excerpt: "Q: Can my boss find out and punish me if I sell all the shares of the company's stock I own in my 401(k) retirement plan? A: With layoffs so common, many employees can't help but look over their shoulders and worry who's watching."

The Role of Information for Retirement Behavior: Evidence Based on the Stepwise Introduction of the Social Security Statement
Excerpt: "In 1995, the Social Security Administration started sending out the annual Social Security Statement. It contains information about the worker's estimated benefits at the ages 62, 65, and 70. I use this unique natural experiment to analyze the retirement and claiming decision making.'
(Social Science Research Network)

Influencing Fiduciary Law in 2011
Excerpt: "We here at fi360 will continue our part to advocate for fiduciary responsibility and encourage our fellow fiduciaries to do the same. Therefore, it is important that you continue to send your comments to the SEC in 2011 on the fiduciary duty or any other provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act that impact you."

The Social Security Tax Reduction Is a 401(k) Opportunity
Excerpt: "In 2011, but only in 2011, the FICA taxes on our wages have been reduced by 2%. This is a great opportunity to boost retirement savings. I suggest that America's workers save that 2% in their 401(k)s. This could have a significant impact on amounts available for retirement, especially for younger workers who will earn a compounded return on the amount for decades."
(Profit Sharing / 401k Council of America)

It's 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

Sponsored by NTSAA

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Text of IRS Notice 2011-12: 2011 Tax Tables and Other Inflation Adjustments (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "In addition to new tax rate tables, reflecting the continuation of the 10%, 15%, 25%, 28%, 33% and 35% tax brackets, the revenue procedure contains adjusted amounts for [various tax credits and deductions.]"
(U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

'State of Working America' Preview: The Rich Get Richer
Excerpt: "America's wealthiest households in 2009 had net worth that was 225 times greater than the median family net worth."
(Economic Policy Institute)

Summary of the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Authorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010
Excerpt: "[The target page provides] a general overview of the estate, gift, Generation-Skipping Transfer . . ., and basic income tax consequences of the recent tax bill passed by Congress and signed by President Obama on December 17, 2010."
(Greensfelder, Hemker & Gale, P.C.)

Cities Tap Homeowners for Revenue as Workers' Retirement, Health Costs Rise
Excerpt: "Local officials and government workers say a confluence of factors is driving the [property tax] increases, including the need to make up for staggering investment losses from the financial crisis and rising costs as more workers retire. In addition, benefit increases promised in flush times are coming due as revenue flounders, and some cities have skipped payments to their pension funds over the years."
(The Wall Street Journal)

New Illinois Representative Garners Attention for His Choices
Excerpt: "[Joe] Walsh, 48, will get about $1.4 mil.lion annually to run his operation and plans as many as three district branches. He'll sleep in his office in Washington, while his family stays here in McHenry. And get this: he's turned down the usual congressional health care, pension and retirement packages. 'I don't think congressmen should get pensions or cushy health care plans,' he said. His wife is not exhilarated with the latter decision; she has a pre-existing medical condition and is now forced to hunt for a plan."
(The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Employee Benefits Update, December 2010 (PDF)
The seven-page newsletter presents select compliance deadlines and reminders; retirement plan developments; and, health and welfare plan developments.
(Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)

2011 Benefit Limits
Excerpt: "[The IRS] provided updated retirement plan limits effective for the plan year that begins on or after January 1, 2011. Due to the low inflation rate in 2010, most limits did not receive their traditional cost-of-living adjustment."
(Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)

Webcasts and Conferences

"Plan Fees: Navigating the Maze Workshop" - Cincinnati
in Ohio on January 27, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Fees: Navigating the Maze Workshop" - Dallas
in California on January 27, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Fees: Navigating the Maze Workshop" - Denver
in Colorado on January 28, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Fees: Navigating the Maze Workshop" - Detroit
in Michigan on January 26, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Fees: Navigating the Maze Workshop" - St Louis
in Missouri on January 28, 2011
presented by SunGard Relius

Press Releases

Marsh & McLennan Agency Acquires Trion Group Inc.
Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC)

Top 10 Retirement Issues for 2011
Atessa Benefits, Inc.

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Team Leader II RP Administration
for The Standard
in OH

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Retirement Programs Co., LLC
in IL

Broker Dealer- President/Principal
for Broker Dealer Operation in Chicago
in IL

Manager of Client Services
for Los Angeles based Consulting and Third Party Administration firm
in CA

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