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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 7, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

[Official Guidance]
Text of EBSA Advisory Opinion 2011–07A: Certain Transactions Between an Investment Fund Managed by a Qualified Professional Asset Manager and Plans Invested in the Fund
"Whether Section I(a) of PTE 84–14, as amended (QPAM), is satisfied in the context of a stable value program where a stable value manager is responsible for negotiating stable value wrap contracts with various banks or insurance companies." (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

DATAIR Government Forms Software [Advert.]

Sponsored by DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

EFAST2–approved 5500s with all schedules and PBGC forms, 1099Rs, 5300 series, FAS 158 (license only the modules you need). Built–in verification and expert live support assures accuracy. PC–based software for economy and maximum security.

[Guidance Overview]
DOL's Proposed Short Delays for Regulations on Fiduciary–Level and Participant–Level Fee Disclosure (PDF)
"The DOL also proposes with respect to the final regulation on plan fee disclosure to participants and beneficiaries expanding and extending the transition rule for initial disclosures from 60 days to 120 days after the applicability date." (Buck Consultants, LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
The DOL's 408(b)(2) Regulation: Impact on Investment Managers (PDF)
"The 408(b)(2) regulation provides detailed requirements that must be satisfied to have a 'reasonable' arrangement. It does so by requiring the disclosure of specified terms of the arrangement to provide fiduciaries . . . with the information necessary to determine whether the arrangement is exempt from the prohibited transaction restrictions." (Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)

Best 401(k) Retirement Plans Have Seven Common Attributes of Success
"1. Low costs. This is a very important item for plan sponsors, especially since the Department of Labor has sent strong messages recently about managing costs." (Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

IRS Specifications for E-Filing of Separated Participants' Deferred Vested Retirement Benefits
"Rev. Proc. 2011–31 provides technical specifications for filing Form 8955–SSA electronically via IRS's Filing Information Returns Electronically (FIRE) system, including record layouts and the need to obtain an IRS–assigned Transmitter Control Code." (Mercer LLC)

What's Next in Employment Agreements: Free Webinar TOMORROW [Advert.]

Sponsored by Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP

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FASB Scales Back Proposed Disclosures About Participation in Multiemployer Plans
"In most cases, the revised proposal would not require disclosure of potential withdrawal liability. Instead, a new disclosure table would identify material multiemployer pension plans and provide some basic, readily available information about them." (Mercer LLC)

The Impact of Deferring Retirement Age on Retirement Income Adequacy (PDF)
"[The EBRI Retirement Security Projection Model] baseline results indicate that the lowest preretirement income quartile would need to defer retirement age to 84 before 90 percent of the households would have a 50 percent probability of success." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Financial Literacy and Retirement Planning in the United States
"We examine financial literacy in the United States using the new National Financial Capability Study, wherein we demonstrate that financial literacy is particularly low among the young, women, and the less-educated." (National Bureau of Economic Research; paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve full text)

Summary of FASB May 31 Meeting on Disclosure of Employer Participation in a Multiemployer Plan
"The Board will redeliberate the quantitative disclosures from the September 2010 Exposure Draft on an employer's participation in a multiemployer [pension] plan." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Constructing an Appropriate Investment Policy Statement for 401(k) Plans
"A written IPS can act as the cornerstone to regulatory and legal compliance. With this written IPS, the fiduciary has documented the justification of the appropriateness of the institution's mission and investment objectives. From this, the fiduciary can better evaluate and monitor the institutional fund's investment performance." (Fiduciary News)

IRS Grants Tax Reporting Relief to Victims of Flooding in Mississippi
"The relief extends until July 5, 2011 deadlines for filing most returns, including Form 5500, and paying taxes otherwise due during the period of May 3, 2011 and July 5, 2011." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Financial Advisors in 401(k) Industry Optimistic About Future Prospects in a Shifting Regulatory Landscape
"Until now, broker–dealers have been able to avoid the fiduciary requirement if they only give advice occasionally, and if it's not the primary basis for a plan's investments. Under the new Labor Department rule, though, B-Ds will no longer be exempt if they give advice and charge a fee." (Charter Financial Publishing Network Inc.)

Living Longer Impacts Retirement Savings and the Workplace, Says Study
"The issue brief notes that today's workers need to understand that they should expect to live a long time after they retire, and while no one knows the answer to how long will they live during retirement, the issue brief provides an in-depth analysis of life expectancies in retirement with tables and examples." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

ASPPA Points to 'Overwhelming' Response for Electronic Disclosure
"'In particular, we recommended that the consent and access requirements of the existing 'safe harbor' be revised to permit electronic disclosure to be the default method of communication,' the letter stated." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

The PBGC Premium Rate Question and the Future of U.S. Pension Insurance (PDF)
"Significant reforms are necessary to avoid further harm to the agency's insurance programs. Among the needed changes are improvements in PBGC governance, expanded authority to set insurance premium rates and guaranteed pension benefits, and greater flexibility in selecting investments." (The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.; authored by George M. Kraw)

Plan Sponsors Spend a Lot of Time Wondering—and Worrying—About the 'Right' Way to Do Things
"They rely on the guidance of experts, the insights of publications like ours, the black—though often gray—letter of the law—and sometimes they must rely on the occasionally contradictory adjudications of the courts." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

The Arithmetic and Politics of a Social Security Solution
"Well, there are only two ways to fix Social Security—either by raising taxes or reducing benefits. Fortunately, there are many options within those broad categories that spread the burden widely while increasing payments to the very old and the very poor . . . ." (Bloomberg LLP)

American Benefits Council Letter to DOL Regarding RFI on Electronic Disclosure (PDF)
"[T]he Council strongly urges DOL to make electronic delivery the default method of disclosure with the option for participants to elect to receive paper disclosures." (American Benefits Council)

ERIC Response to Request for Information Regarding Electronic Disclosure (PDF)
"The Department's existing safe harbor for electronic disclosure . . . significantly restricts the feasibility of using electronic disclosure. Of particular concern is the requirement to obtain affirmative consent unless access to the applicable electronic medium is an 'integral part of [the participant's] duties.'" (The ERISA Industry Committee)

ASPPA Response to Request for Information Regarding Electronic Disclosure by Employee Benefit Plans
"In ASPPA's response to the DOL's request for comment on the President's directive, we recommended that the existing regulation pertaining to electronic disclosure be modified to facilitate electronic communication." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Modifying Options After Exercise: Good Faith Required
"A privately held company recently learned that the company's broad authority under its LTIP to modify or even cancel outstanding stock options had its limits. The result was that the company's former CFO received $5.4 mil.lion more upon exercising options than the company argued was owed." (National Association of Stock Plan Professionals via Utz, Miller & Eickman, LLC)

Press Releases

PBGC Fights to Save Harry & David Pension Plan
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

Delaying Retirement Past 65 No Guarantee of Households Being Able to Afford Retirement
(Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI))

ASPPA Requests Electronic Disclosure Default
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Clearwater Insurance Agency Accepted into Exclusive Member Organization
(Connelly, Carlisle, Fields & Nichols)

Employee Benefits Jobs

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

Manager, Benefits Finance

DC Administrator - Daily Valuation Team
for Sunwest Pensions in AZ

Chief Enrolled Actuary
for Los Angeles Based HR Outsourcing Firm in CA

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Webcasts and Conferences

"The New Form 8955-SSA: Who, What, When, and How" Web Seminar - An Encore Presentation
Nationwide on June 23, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

Driving Population Health for an ACO through Advanced Analytics
Nationwide on June 28, 2011 presented by MCOL

Medi–Cal: Preparing for the Waiver and Beyond
Nationwide on June 30, 2011 presented by MCOL

We also publish the BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter (free): Subscribe, Inc.
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Winter Park, Florida 32789
Phone (407) 644-4146
Fax (407) 644-2151

Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager
Copyright 2011, Inc., but feel free to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

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