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May 2, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

[Guidance Overview]
Proposed QDIA Rules Amend Current QDIA and Participant-Level Disclosure Regulations
"[EBSA] has issued proposed changes to the content required in the qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) notice. The changes increase the amount of information participants receive about target date funds." (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

The ERISA Outline Book, 2011 Edition Available Now! [Advert.]

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[Guidance Overview]
Many Companies That Stopped 401(k) Matching Contributions Rethinking That Cost-Cutting Move
"As companies make a strong push to restore matching 401(k) contributions, it's worth remembering that there are technical requirements that must be heeded. [F]ollowing these guidelines can help companies avoid future audit problems or the need to file under a voluntary correction program." (CFO Publishing LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
Participant Advice: Plan Sponsor Liability & Responsibility
"[T]he most pertinent questions remain unanswered. Do sponsors who facilitate or offer sponsor selected participant advice increase their liability? Additionally, if they do facilitate or provide participant advisory services, what are their duties and responsibilities as fiduciaries?' (Center for Due Diligence)

Video / Commentary: Women's Retirement Risks
"Richard W. Johnson, director of the Program on Retirement Policy, explains the financial and health challenges women commonly face with age, what retirement looks like for women in the 21st century, and policy recommendations to help women in their golden years." (Urban Institute)

Target-Date Series Research Paper: 2011 Industry Survey (PDF)
"The 2011 Industry Survey updates much of the data from the 2010 edition while providing new features on asset allocation, performance attribution, and portfolio composition -- particularly among retirement-income funds, the terminal funds in many target-date series." (Morningstar, Inc.)

Target-Date Funds Win Assets as Criticism Abates
"Morningstar's 2011 Target-Date Series Research Paper, an annual look at broad trends across target-date funds, found that target-date funds saw healthy inflows in 2010 relative to other mutual fund categories." (Morningstar, Inc.)

New 401(k) Disclosure Rules Pose a Challenge for Small and Midsize Companies
"There are several new or forthcoming rules, and one in particular -- ERISA Section 404 (a)(5) -- could cause headaches. Plan fiduciaries have new obligations that carry substantial penalties and are likely to impose new costs." (CFO Publishing LLC)

Top 4 Things to Make Your Retirement Plan More Effective
"[F]our of the most influential areas of overall plan and investment design for plan sponsors are: Savings adequacy. Asset allocation. Costs. Retirement income solutions." (The Vanguard Group, Inc.)

Tougher 401(k) Rules Seen As 'Full Employment Act' for RIAs
"As the Labor Department prepares to issue stricter rules for the retirement fund industry, financial advisers at RIA firms are licking their chops over the prospect of poaching business from broker-dealers and insurance agents." (Investment News; free registration required)

Mark-To-Market Accounting Shift Exemplifies Evolution of Modern Pension Risk Management
"So regardless of a decision on mark-to-market accounting, all plan sponsors can take away three very important lessons from the recent announcements . . . ." (Pensions & Investments; free registration required)

Hawaii Lawmakers Would Not Alter Benefits for Current Public Workers, But Would Make Significant Structural Changes Starting for Workers Hired in July 2012
"Lawmakers would also reduce the retirement system's projected investment yield, which has fallen below target, and allow the system's board of trustees to set the investment return rate going forward." (

Oklahoma Pension Commission Recommends Nixing Unfunded COLAs
"The Oklahoman newspaper said for decades, benefit increases have been granted to members of the retirement systems without those benefits being funded by the Legislature. Just eliminating the assumed 2% cost-of-living raises will save the state's pension plans $5 bil.lion over 25 to 30 years . . . ." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

ASPPA Recommends Streamlined Participant Communications
"Specifically, ASPPA said the [Treasury] Department should combine and integrate required notices where possible, coordinate timing requirements so that participants do not receive multiple notices on various topics throughout the year, and coordinate with [DOL] to eliminate duplicative disclosures." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Retirement Landscape Shift Creates Disproportionate Benefits, According to GAO
"According to the report, about 92% of newly formed plans in the period between 2003 and the end of 2007 were defined contribution . . . plans, with the rest being defined benefit . . . plans. . . . The GAO said the benefits of new DB plans disproportionately benefit workers at a few types of professional firms." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Decreased Employer Contributions to Pensions Removed from Ohio Bill
"The proposed Ohio state budget bill no longer includes language that would set the pension contributions for public employers and their employees to 12% from each." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

GAO Report: Some Key Features of Private Pensions Lead to an Uneven Distribution of Benefits
"Despite sizeable tax incentives, private pension participation has remained at about 50 percent of the workforce. For those in a pension plan, there is concern that these incentives accrue primarily to higher income employees and do relatively little to help lower income workers save for retirement. The financial crisis and labor-market downturn may have exacerbated these difficulties." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

2011 ESOP Legal Update
The 2011 ESOP Legal Update, available in print and PDF formats, covers judicial, regulatory, and legislative developments in 2010 and into early 2011 affecting ESOPs and 401(k) plans that invest in company stock. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

ASPPA Comments to Treasury in Response to Request for Recommendations on How It Can Improve Its Regulations
"ASPPA's recommendations relate to: (1) safe harbor 401(k) plans; (2) electronic communications; (3) plan sponsor elections under PPA; (4) participant communications; and (5) interim amendments." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

American Benefits Council Letter to Treasury Department Regarding RFI on Reducing Regulatory Burden (PDF)
"As a final overarching comment, the Council urges the Department to carefully consider the administrative burdens of guidance. While we appreciate the importance of rules that are appropriately protective of participant interests, these interests are not well-served by unnecessarily broad and overly burdensome requirements." (American Benefits Council)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
A Discussion of Common 409A Errors
"In the April 2011 edition of the Trucker Huss Benefits Report, attorneys from the firm list some common Internal Revenue Code Section 409A errors." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

[Guidance Overview]
Federal Tax and Benefit Implications of Civil Unions
"In this post, we [address the ways in which the Delaware's Civil Union and Equality Act of 2011, which will become effective on January 1, 2012,] may or may not affect employers whose benefit structure is governed by federal law." (Delaware Employment Law Blog)

FASB Committee to Discuss Disclosure of Employer Participation in a Multiemployer Plan
"The U.S. Financial Accounting Standards Board . . . Private Company Financial Reporting Committee will hold a meeting on Thursday, May 5, 2011 [to discuss] a variety of topics including the disclosures about an employer's participation in a multiemployer plan. The meeting will be available by audio webcast. A meeting preregistration form is available." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

IRS Extends Pilot Program Allowing Filers of Certain Information Returns to Truncate Social Security Numbers on Paper Payee Statements
"The pilot program applied only to paper payee statements in the Form 1098 series, Form 1099 Series, and Form 5498 series." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

The Aging of America, as Opportunity
"In 'The Big Shift: Navigating the New Stage Beyond Midlife' . . ., Marc Freedman argues that we need a 'new map of life' to deal with this powerful demographic change." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Fifth Annual Study of Employee Benefits: (PDF)
"Once again, the [Study] explores the attitudes and opinions of key industry constituencies to provide a perspective on past trends, current issues, and insights into trends that will shape the employee benefits landscape over the next five years." (The Prudential Insurance Company of America)

ERIC Suggestions for Reducing Regulatory Burdens
"The ERISA Industry Committee . . . urged the Treasury Department to be more responsive to easing the regulatory burden on sponsors of benefit plans in order to ensure that companies continue to provide health and retirement benefits." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

A Tale of Two Futures: Retirement Income, and Retirement Health Benefits
"The future of retirement income in America is really about a psychological adjustment to a more realistic set of compound interest calculations. For those with poorly funded retirement plans, the required adjustment can be summed up with just one word: 'more.' More resources are needed in retirement -- whether from saving at a higher rate, working longer, or a combination of the two." (The Vanguard Group, Inc.)

Press Releases

US Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy Announces 2011 Theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

ERIC to Treasury: Reduce the Regulatory Burden
(ERIC (ERISA Industry Committee))

ASPPA Responds to Treasury’s Regulatory Burden Request
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

401(k) Plans Benefit Moderate Income Workers
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

National Advisors Trust Announces Agreement with EPIC Advisors to Provide Private-Label 401(k) Program to Nationwide RIAs
(EPIC Advisors, Inc.)

401(k) Rekon Launches Rekon Road Shows, a Wealth Management Symposium for Financial Advisors and RIAs
(401(k) Rekon)

USI Consulting Group Hires Jeffrey H. Snyder as Vice President of Retirement & Investment Services
(USI Consulting Group)

Announcing the Formation of Wilkins Finston Law Group LLP
(Wilkins Finston Law Group LLP)

Employee Benefits Jobs

Internal Wholesaler
for Growing North Carolina Firm in NC

Manager - International Retirement/Pensions
for AECOM in CA

Account Executive
for National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) in VA

Retirement Plan Sales
for Ingham Retirement Group in FL, SC

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