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April 21, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

[Guidance Overview]
New Regulations Likely to Impede Hybrid Plans
"While Congress sought to clear a place in the regulatory jungle for hybrid plans to grow, the regulators appear to view the PPA as imposing new limits on hybrid plans to rein them in -- and a complicated web of regulations imposing significant and unanticipated new restrictions and requirements has ensued." (Pension & Benefits Blog)


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[Guidance Overview]
Plan Trustees Held Liable in a Stock Drop Case: Stock's Decline Was 'Foreseeable'
"In many cases, the ERISA §404(c) safe harbor for individually-directed account plans would prevent the fiduciaries from being responsible for the participant's investment decisions. This plan, however, was not designed to comply with ERISA §404(c)." (Tax Management Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
What to Do If You Missed Your RMD Deadline
"The deadline for taking an RMD is usually December 31 of the year to which the RMD applies. However, there are two exceptions . . . ." (RetirementDictionary!)

[Guidance Overview]
IRA Charitable Distributions No Panacea
"The primary reason that direct contributions from IRAs have relatively little value is that, in fact, the charitable deduction received for a regular cash contribution to offset other income usually yields an almost identical result in terms of after-tax wealth available to the taxpayer." (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)

[Guidance Overview]
408(b)(2)/ERISA Compliance and the Security Compliance Professional
"There has been a distant relationship in the past between the application of securities law and the application of ERISA. . . . So now we have the new 408(b)(2) regs, which I often term as potential 'business busters' because they speak to the fundamental basis of doing business in this very large retirement plan marketplace: getting paid for the services provided." (Robert J. Toth, Jr)

Comments Received on PBGC's Reducing Regulatory Burden Initiative (PDF)
Five sets of comments are published here. (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

IRS Retirement Plans Phone Forum on Funding Standards for Single & Multiemployer Plans, April 28, 2011
"The presentation will focus on the rules under the Pension Protection Act, funding relief and relevant agency guidance, and key practical issues." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

2010 ERISA Advisory Council Report on Disparities for Women and Minorities in Retirement Savings
"The objectives of this study are to 1) identify the causes of existing discrepancies with regard to retirement readiness for women and minorities and 2) determine what actions the Secretary of Labor could take to mitigate these discrepancies. The Council assembled empirical information from multiple sources to understand the causes of the disparities, and developed recommendations for the Secretary." (U.S. Department of Labor, Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans)

A Role for Defined Contribution Plans in the Public Sector (PDF)
"Unlike private sector employees, public employees typically contribute to their defined benefit plan. The authors remind readers that 'in states where employees are covered by Social Security, the median contribution rate is 5 percent of earnings. In states without Social Security the median employee contribution rate is 9 percent.' Many also participate in supplemental retirement savings plans when given the opportunity to do so." (Center for State and Local Government Excellence)

Detroit Pension Boards Challenge New Emergency Powers Law
"Detroit workers' pension boards have asked a court to declare unconstitutional a new law allowing state-appointed emergency financial managers to, among other things, impermissibly 'seize control of retirement systems.'" (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Congress Urged to Reject Higher PBGC Premiums As FY 2012 Budget Plans Take Shape
"Though the GOP budget plan does not explicitly seek higher premiums, the idea -- proposed earlier by President Obama and his bipartisan deficit reduction commission -- will get serious consideration from the House pension committees charged with writing legislation to help achieve the goal of slashing $6 tril.lion in federal spending over the next 10 years." (Mercer LLC)

408(b)(2) Report Examples (PDF)
"ERISA Section 408(b)(2) provides a statutory exemption if plan services meet the following three conditions: 1. The services are necessary; 2. The fees are reasonable; and 3. The contract or arrangement is reasonable." (PlanTools)

Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Investment Committees: Best Practices (PDF)
"[H]ow do you structure an investment committee for maximum effectiveness? What are some best practices that are generally followed by successful investment committees? These are areas where the law does not give specific guidelines." (Conrad Siegel Actuaries)

[Opinion]
ASPPA/ACOPA Response to Request for Information on Reducing the PBGC Regulatory Burden
"ASPPA and ACOPA recommend that the existing exemptions from reporting requirements for small and well-funded plans be expanded and similar exemptions extended to reporting under ERISA Sections 4062(e) and 4063(a)." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries / ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries)

[Opinion]
Fiduciary Reform: What Exactly Is the Cost of Principles?
"In the context of fiduciary reform, the crisis that still lingers today is a lack of investor trust and faith in the financial system and financial advisors." (fi360 Blog)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Intermediate Sanctions and Executive Compensation: A Quick Refresher
"[Recently] the IRS has signaled its intention to pay closer attention to the compensation and benefits paid to executives in exempt organizations, and the well publicized enhancements to the compensation disclosure requirements on Form 990 give the IRS plenty of information to work with. With this in mind, we wanted to offer a brief review of the so-called 'intermediate sanctions' rules and a refresher on the simple process that tax-exempt employers should follow when setting compensation and benefits packages for executives." (Verrill Dana, LLP)

2010 ERISA Advisory Council Report on Employee Benefit Plan Auditing and Financial Reporting Models
"The . . . Council studied Employee Benefit Plan Auditing and Financial Reporting Models. . . . An examination of current audit requirements and reporting models, and concerns about how they are implemented and applied, led to a focus on three topics and recommendations on each." (U.S. Department of Labor, Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans)

[Opinion]
Say on Pay - Now Come the Lawsuits?
"An unfortunate development in the new world of Shareholder Say on Pay, which I hope does not become a trend, is the filing of a shareholder derivative strike lawsuits against members of the Board, the Compensation Committee, and even the compensation consultants of the companies that receive a majority 'Against' vote on their Say on Pay resolution (that is, they lose the vote)." (Michael S. Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

Press Releases


Employee Benefits Jobs

Outside Sales Professional
for Equity Opportunity for a Top Producer in MA

ITS Relationship Manager 2
for Wells Fargo in FL

Operations Manager 5
for Wells Fargo in MN, NC

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Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium - Minneapolis
in Minnesota on May 12, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

403(b) Update
Nationwide on July 13, 2011 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

New Regulations - Strategic Implications for ACO Operations
in California on June 15, 2011 presented by MCOL

Strategic Actuarial Issues and Implications for Health Insurance Exchanges
in California on May 25, 2011 presented by MCOL

WEB Chicago Chapter Meeting - Hottest Benefit Issues of 2011
in Illinois on April 27, 2011 presented by WEB

What a 401(k) Administrator Needs to Know About IRAs
Nationwide on July 20, 2011 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.


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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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