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January 21, 2011 Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe

[Guidance Overview]
Proposed CFTC Regulations Under Dodd-Frank Could Jeopardize Swaps with ERISA Plans – "The Proposed Regulations resurrect the issue . . . that swap dealers engaging in typical business activities with respect to Special Entities could be treated as an ERISA fiduciaries." (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP)

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[Guidance Overview]
2010 Pension Relief Legislation Clarified for Multiemployer Plans – "For multiemployer plans the statutory relief is conceptually straightforward. Plans may elect any or all of three pieces of relief . . . ." (Pension & Benefits Blog)

Rethinking Pensions: Shifting to a Sustainable, Green DB Strategy – "This strategy attains the maximum value from a plan, but with stable costs. Green DB makes the plan sustainable because it offers a modest amount of guaranteed income, reconsiders other generous benefit provisions, and adopts a low-risk, liability-driven investment strategy." (The Vanguard Group)

The California Municipal Pension Community: Dealing with Projected Pension Cost Increases – "Local employers are now skeptical that they have been told the full truth about how high their pension costs will ultimately surge. Unlike the vast majority of public pension funds, CalPERS uses a 15-year actuarial smoothing process that camouflages the genuine economic impact of market fluctuations." (Governing)

Social Security Replacing Smaller Portions of Workers' Income – "The chart shows Social Security income replacement rates in 2002, compared with projected replacement rates in the year 2030. The income replacement rate, which was 41% in 2002, is projected to fall to 36% by 2030." (Economic Policy Institute)

Thousands Hired in Illinois Ahead of New Public Pension System – "[An] analysis of pension data has identified nearly 19,000 public workers at all levels of Illinois government hired in [the time span between the pension reform bill signing] last spring and its implementation Jan. 1.]" (The State Journal-Register)

New Study Showcases ERISA Litigation Trends – "While interested parties can register for a February 8, 2011 webinar that details the results of this new study, Seyfarth Shaw attorney and co-chair of the ERISA litigation practice was kind enough to provide insights for readers of about ERISA litigation trends." (Susan Mangiero)

SPARK Institute Request to Testify at EBSA Hearing on Definition of Fiduciary (PDF) – "[The Institute wishes to testify about] concerns and suggestions regarding the following: (1) The implications of the Proposal for service providers, including: a. Our general concerns that the threshold for when a service provider will be considered a fiduciary would be substantially lower, and in many instances, significantly unclear." (The SPARK Institute)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Severance Benefits Receive a Regulatory Facelift – "It is imperative to review employment agreements, offer letters and individual severance agreements to ensure compliance with both the Sections 409A and 105(h)." (Employee Benefit News; one-time free registration required)

IRS Issues Withholding Tables for 2011 – "The IRS has issued Notice 1036, Early Release Copies of the 2011 Percentage Method Tables for Income Tax Withholding and Publication 15, (Circular E), Employer's Tax Guide, which contain the Federal percentage method and wage-bracket method withholding tables." (Wolters Kluwer)

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