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June 10, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Opines on QPAM Issue in Stable Value Context (PDF)
"For the second time in 2011,[DOL] has issued an ERISA advisory opinion that considers the PTE 84–14 qualified professional asset manager . . . exemption, this time in the stable value context." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)


Western Benefits Conference 2011 [Advert.]

Sponsored by ASPPA and WP&BC

Featuring groundbreaking sessions for plan sponsors, attorneys, consultants, health & welfare professionals, actuaries, investment advisors and TPAs, the WP&BC and ASPPA present the Western Benefits Conference July 24-27 at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.


[Guidance Overview]
Modifications to Participant and Service Provider Fee Regulations
"In addition to annual disclosures, the regulations require plan administrators to disclose expense information quarterly. (The annual disclosures discuss the fees that may be charged to participant accounts. The quarterly disclosures list the fees actually charged during the prior quarter.)" (SunGard Relius)

[Guidance Overview]
Plan Not Entitled to Share of Securities Litigation Settlement As Affiliate of Employer
"A company's control over the committee administering its 401(k) plan was sufficient to render the plan an affiliate of the company and, thus, excluded from the class entitled to share in the settlement of securities fraud litigation, the [court] ruled in In re Motorola Securities Litigation." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

[Guidance Overview]
Tips on Keeping Your Plan Communications from Misleading Participants
"Fiduciaries trying to reduce their litigation risk . . . should consider the following tips: [1] Avoid using your required communications as plan marketing tools." (Osler, Hoskin & Harcourt LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Form 8955-SSA Replaces Schedule SSA for 2009 and Later Plan Years Beginning After December 31, 2008 (PDF)
"The requirements for reporting deferred vested participants have not changed, but the form utilized and the procedures involved have been redesigned. Finalized forms are still not available at this date. However, the IRS has issued IRS Announcement 2011–21, a set of Frequently Asked Questions, a draft Form 8955–SSA and IRS Revenue Procedure 2011–31 to allow plan administrators and their service providers to prepare for the upcoming changes." (Buck Consultants)

Offering Company Stock As an Investment Option in Retirement Plans (PDF)
"Because many managers have the power to determine the investment offerings of the company's retirement plans, control the company's stock, and/or have discretionary authority or responsibility over the day-to-day administration of the plan, they are likely to qualify as 'fiduciaries' under ERISA. For this reason, a thorough understanding of the role of a fiduciary and how to implement procedures to limit fiduciary liability is important for managers." (McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP)

Optimal Retirement and Saving with Increasing Longevity
"We develop a simple life cycle optimizing model of retirement and savings. We show that, in theory, higher incomes lead to earlier retirement and higher savings while longer life spans lead to later retirement and lower savings. We calibrate our model using data from the United States and find that the model predicts that over the last century the effect of rising incomes has been twice as large as the effect of the secular rise in life expectancy." (Social Science Research Network)

NAGDCA Issue Brochure: Plan Sponsors Meeting Fiduciary Responsibilities (PDF)
"Although governmental employers are not subject to [ERISA],many states have fiduciary statutes that are similar to ERISA, and the ERISA principles provide a good guide for fiduciary prudence in any event." (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc.)

Webinar: Overview of ERISA's Fiduciary Requirements: Retirement Plan Sponsor Considerations (PDF)
The webcast places an emphasis on participant-directed investments and discussion of ERISA section 404(c) compliance. (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Four Misconceptions About Fiduciary Liability Insurance
"Fiduciary liability insurance can not, of course prevent law suits. But in conjunction with sound plan management, it can be an effective part of your risk management program." (National Benefits Services, Inc.)

Video: Understanding Fiduciary Responsibilities Related to Conversion Considerations
"Using ERISA, Department of Labor regulations and advice, case law and industry best practices, the presentation will explain how plan conversion decisions will now be held to the same standard and scrutiny as any other made by a fiduciary." (StanCorp Financial Group, Inc.)

Providence, RI Retirees Benefit from Pension Loophole
"[City records] reveal that 29 retirees over the last decade were able to take advantage of a loophole in the system that allows employees to retire with a pension as long as they are 55 years or older—regardless of how many years they worked." (GoLocalProv)

PBGC Seeks Restitution of Plan Losses from Morgan Stanley
"[PBGC] is seeking $25 mil.lion in damages from Morgan Stanley Investment Management Inc. over risky pension investments it made for New York's Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers' pension plan." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Agency Contributions to Federal Pension Plans Will Rise in Fiscal 2012
"For most federal employees, the amount agencies will contribute to their pensions under the Federal Employees Retirement System will increase from 11.7 percent to 11.9 percent . . . ." (Government Executive)

Public Pension Problem Could Be Shrinking
"'Public pension funds are experiencing a robust recovery from the historic market downturn of 2008–2009 — reporting strong investment returns, growing assets and funding levels on track to meet obligations,' said the National Conference of Public Employee Retirement Systems." (WNFL)

[Opinion]
The SPARK Institute Comments on Requirements for Fee Disclosure to Plan Fiduciaries and Participants: Applicability Dates (PDF)
"Our members have been working diligently to understand and comply with the new disclosure requirements. However, despite all of the progress that has been made, our members remain concerned about their ability to comply with both sets of rules by the proposed extended compliance dates." (The SPARK Institute)

[Opinion]
Gov. Cuomo and Public Pensions
"The State Constitution prohibits reducing the pensions of existing employees, so Mr. Cuomo's plan would create a new pension tier for newly hired employees. It would raise the retirement age to 65 from 62, end early retirement and require employees to contribute 6 percent of their pay to their pensions, the national norm for public employees and double the current level." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Expert Tips on Five Things to Consider in Completing Form 990
"The IRS is stepping up its scrutiny of executive compensation arrangements maintained by tax-exempt employers. Keep these five considerations in mind and use Form 990 as a diagnostic tool to help you set goals and priorities in compensation policy and corporate governance." (Verrill Dana, LLP)

Employee Benefit Plans: Reported Criminal Enforcement Actions Year to Date
The linked accounts of the actions date from 1/4/2011 to 5/6/2011. (Roy Harmon III / Health Plan Law)

Survey Says Only 8% of Employees Fully Engaged in Benefits Decisions
"U.S. employees are not strongly invested in their benefits, and 63% of companies agree that workers need to be more engaged, finds a new Aflac survey." (Employee Benefits News: free registration required)

Press Releases

Employee Benefits Jobs

Pension Consultants/Administrators
for Northern NJ Mid-Size Pension Consulting Firm in NJ

Staff Counsel - Employment Law & Benefits
for Chrysler in MI

Benefits Services Associate
for American Chamber of Commerce Executives in VA

401k Sales Hunter !!!!
for ADP Retirement Services in CA, IL, KY, NJ, NY, OR, PA, TN, VA, WA

Retirement Account Manager
for Alerus Financial in ND

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Webcasts and Conferences

Understanding the Impact of Health Care Reform on Employers Seminar
in Illinois on July 8, 2011 presented by Lorman Education Services

Understanding the Impact of Health Care Reform on Employers Seminar
in California on July 13, 2011 presented by Lorman Education Services

Understanding the Impact of Health Care Reform on Employers Seminar
in Wisconsin on July 13, 2011 presented by Lorman Education Services


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Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager
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