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March 14, 2011 Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues

[Official Guidance]
Text of PBGC Proposed Reg on Limitations on Guaranteed Benefits Under Terminated Single-Employer Plans (PDF)
"The [proposed amendments implement changes under the] Pension Protection Act of 2006, which provides that the phase-in period for the guarantee of benefits that are contingent upon the occurrence of an 'unpredictable contingent event,' such as a plant shutdown, starts no earlier than the date of the shutdown or other unpredictable contingent event." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

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The Social Security Early Retirement Benefit as a Safety Net
"About one in five early retirees have health characteristics similar to SSDI beneficiaries, and thus might not be able to replace losses in benefit income with labor income." (Urban Institute)

New Boss of SEC's Division of Investment Management 'Taking Inventory' of Big Projects Including Timeline for 12(b)-1 Fee Rule
"Last summer, the SEC proposed a 12(b)-1 rule that would overhaul how mutual funds charge fees, causing an uproar in the industry. Since then, the agency has been overtaken by tasks associated with implementing the Dodd-Frank financial regulatory reform law." (Investment News; free registration required)

Should Target-Date Funds Be Managed Like DB Plans?
"Typical recommendations include using 'best in class' active managers, incorporating more specialized asset classes, or including a variety of alternative investments within TDFs. This commentary discusses the implications and challenges of adopting complex 'DBization' strategies within a TDF for both defined contribution plan sponsors and participants." (The Vanguard Group, Inc.)

Retirement Coaching Is More Than Just Handing Employees a To-Do List for Retirement Planning
"Structured properly, coaching sessions are comfortable relationships that can include phone support and follow-up with the coach. The aim: to help workers create and follow a personal plan.' (Society for Human Resource Management)

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How Some People Are Saving for Retirement - and What Financial Advisers Think of Those Strategies
"The Game Plan takes a look at how individuals and families are saving for retirement -- and then asks financial advisers to comment on those strategies." (The Wall Street Journal)

Verizon Involuntary Plan Transfer Suit Declared Class Action
"A federal judge has granted class certification in a lawsuit filed by Verizon retirees claiming they were involuntarily switched post-retirement to pension plans sponsored by a newly spun off company, Idearc Inc." (PLANSPONSOR)

Florida Pension Benefits Especially Good for Elected Officials and Judges
"For the hundreds of thousands of public workers in Florida's statewide pension plan, not everyone is treated equally -- the best benefits go not to teachers or rank-and-file office workers, but to a small minority of high earners including judges and elected officials." (Orlando Sentinel)

Oklahoma Firefighters Oppose Proposed Pension Changes
"Firefighters said they oppose measures that would alter the Oklahoma Firefighters Pension and Retirement System and reduce benefit levels, increase the years of service for normal retirement, raise employee contributions for newly hired firefighters and make it harder for retirees to receive a COLA." (Tulsa World)

California Pension Fund Says Reforms Would Cost More
"The pension fund representing California teachers on Wednesday criticized a watchdog panel's proposals to overhaul state employee retirement plans and said the changes would drive costs higher and were legally risky." (Daily Democrat)

401(k)-Style Retirement Plans for Ohio Workers on the Table, GOP Leaders Say
"Three of Ohio's five public pension funds lack the assets to cover 30 years of liabilities as required by state law. . . . Ohio lawmakers have asked all pension funds to come up with reforms." (

Busting Retirement Myths
"In the midst of all [the talk about the U.S. retirement system, public pensions, Social Security, and 401(k) plans] it seems worth examining some of the assumptions underlying the debate. It turns out they may not all be true." (Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

Dodging the Public Pension Disaster
"[I]n many cases, the benefits are excessively costly, insofar as they are larger than is necessary to attract qualified talent to government work." (National Affairs)

New Federal Fiduciary Definition May Have Adverse Impact on ESOP Marketplace
"The premise is that by widening the fiduciary net, it will be easier for regulators to hold those who act in their own interests, at the expense of participants, accountable and this wider net is meant to include those conducting valuations for ESOPs." (fi360 Blog)

How Much Do California State Government Pensions Really Cost?
"The cost to Californians of paying government workers, on average, a pension that is literally triple what the average private sector worker collects from social security is compounded by the fact that the ratio of government workers to government retirees is on-track to be 1-1, i.e., one worker for each retiree . . . ." (Union Watch)

Minnesota's Public Employee Pensions Are Managed Responsibly
"Minnesota public pensions have been well managed in a fiscally disciplined manner. Benefits are modest. Most public employees pay half the cost of their pensions, typically 5 percent to 6 percent of their paychecks, to fund their own pension plans." (

Video and Text: The Truth About the State Pension Crisis: Separating Economic Myth from Economic Fact
"Myth 1: Unfunded state pensions do not represent an immediate threat and are therefore not in crisis. Fact 1: In the best case scenario, some state pension funds will run out as soon as 2017. And the longer the states wait to fully fund their pensions, the more drastic the financial consequences will be." (

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
The Say on Golden Parachute Pay Shareholder Vote (PDF)
Excerpt: 'The Dodd-Frank Act and recently adopted SEC rules require a shareholder advisory vote on golden parachute compensation in M&A and similar transactions. What is the real effect of this new requirement?" (Wang Kobayashi Austin, LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
Federal Government Refuses to Defend Defense of Marriage Act: Now What?
"[U]nless all of DOMA is overturned, employers will still face additional administrative burdens in applying their benefit programs to same-s.ex spouses and partners." (McDermott Will & Emery)

What Changes for Health Plans When Defense of the Law Defining Marriage Is Curtailed?
"Does the White House's declaration break new ground for employers who treat or seek to treat their legally-married same-s.ex couples the same as spouses of the opposite se.x? Not really. Not yet, anyway." (BNA Federal Tax Blogs)

DOD Will Distribute Employer Poll over Reservist Use
"A new Department of Defense . . . survey of 80,000 U.S. employers will try to find out how the past decade of war and the heavy use of reserve-component forces has affected civilian workplaces." (PLANSPONSOR)

CBO Report: Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options (PDF)
"This volume . . . presents more than 100 options for altering federal spending and revenues. Nearly all of the options would reduce federal budget deficits." (U.S. Congressional Budget Office)

Press Releases

S&P Launches Target-Date Fund Scorecard
(Standard & Poor's)

US Labor Department To Hold Public Forum On Automatic Enrollment In Large Employer Health Plans
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

Transamerica Launches Mobile Enrollment Capabilities for Retirement Plan Participants
(Transamerica Retirement Services)

ING Introduces New Solution for the Growing Needs of Employers and Employees
(ING Group)

Pay for Performance is Working
(Steven Hall & Partners)

APA to Recognize Psychologically Healthy Workplaces
(American Psychological Association)

Employee Benefits Partner Seth Perretta Joins Crowell & Moring, Strengthens ERISA and Executive Compensation Capabilities
(Crowell & Moring LLP)

U.S. Capital Advisors Adds Corporate Retirement and Benefits Plan Consultant
(U.S. Capital Advisors)

Employee Benefits Jobs

Project Manager/Business Analyst - IRC14989 in VA for National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)

Consultant in IL for Alliance Pension Consultants

Daily Recordkeeper in NJ for IPA Northeast, LLC

Manager - Benefits Customer Service in OH for Western & Southern Financial Group

Senior Benefit Calculation Analyst in CT for Prudential

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Webcasts and Conferences

"401(k) Plan Current Issues Workshop" - Philadelphia
in Pennsylvania on April 21, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST 2 Workshop" - Norfolk
in Virginia on April 21, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST 2 Workshop" - Philadelphia
in Pennsylvania on April 20, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium - Sacramento
in California on April 12, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

Automatic Enrollment In Large Employer Health Plans Public Forum
in District of Columbia on April 8, 2011 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Defending and Managing ERISA Litigation Conference
in California on April 14, 2011 presented by American Conference Institute

Elite Advisor Series w/ Vince Giovinazzo- Seattle 3/31
in Washington on March 31, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

The 3rd Annual Taft-Hartley & Union Health & Welfare Benefits Forum
in Illinois on June 22, 2011 presented by World Research Group

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Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher

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