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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 27, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Requiring Historical Plan Documents to Prove Timely Adoption of Previous M&P Plan (PDF)
At page 2 of 4-page document. "If . . . documents cannot be produced, the IRS treats them as not having been signed timely, resulting in a document qualification problem that must be resolved under Audit CAP (with a sanction to be paid by the employer)." (The Law Offices of Ilene H. Ferenczy, LLC)

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[Guidance Overview]
Employer's Asset Sale Not Culmination of Multi-Year Scheme to Evade Liability
"An employer owed no withdrawal liability because its sale of one division to a buyer able to make all pension contributions was not the culmination of a multi-year scheme to evade liability by withdrawing in stages from the plan, [court rules]." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

[Guidance Overview]
3rd Circuit Affirms AT&T's Victory in Cash Balance Suit
"The [Appeals court] has affirmed a lower court ruling that AT&T did not violate [ERISA and the ADEA] in its cash balance plan." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

[Guidance Overview]
Court Rejects Bank's Efforts to Lay Blame on Pension Fund
"The bank complains that the Trustees failed to monitor Union Bank, failed to object to the allocation methodology Union Bank was using, and failed to notify Union Bank or 'other outside investment managers or agents' that they believed the Bank violated the investment guidelines for the plan." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

[Guidance Overview]
2009 Form 8955-SSA and Filing Date for 2009 and 2010
"Form 8955-SSA generally must be filed by the last day of the seventh month following the last day of the plan year to which the form applies." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)

Is It Ever OK to Borrow from Your 401(k)?
"[C]razy though it might seem, there is a case to be made for borrowing from your 401(k) account, at least in certain circumstances." (The Wall Street Journal)

Message to Plan Sponsors from Lawyers: Don't Put Anything in Writing You Don't Want Read
"In benefits litigation, when a fiduciary goes to an attorney for advice for the benefits of participants, there is no confidentiality privilege." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

History of the IRA Deduction
"Since the point of ERISA was to protect workers with benefit plans, initially, IRAs were restricted to those workers who were not already covered by a qualified employment-based retirement plan." ( LLC)

Federal Deficit Talks Could Result in PBGC Gaining Right to Set Its Own Rates
"As it is, the premiums are a 'tiny portion' of companies' total labor costs, according to the agency." (CFO Publishing LLC)

Re-thinking Target Date Funds (PDF)
"This article aims to make the case for a complete and consistent framework to vet the risk-and-return proposition of TDFs. In particular, financial operators and regulators should re-examine the existing TDF solutions and encourage more accurate disclosure of the expected risks and returns of each product in a manner consistent with (a) rigorous analysis based on commonly accepted financial theory and (b) realistic empirical market evidence." (Buck Consultants)

The Pros and Cons of Taking a 401(k) Loan
"[A] company is lobbying Congress to allow 401(k) plan sponsors to automatically enroll participants in insurance coverage. In return for paying a $1.50 for every $1000 in borrowings, he says, the coverage would protect those who default as a result of death or disability." (SmartMoney)

Fixing Public Pensions to Cost Taxpayers $300 to $2,400 a Year, According to Study
"The study calculated the tax increases needed for the full funding of state and local pension systems in the United States over the next 30 years, according to authors Joshua Rauh of Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and Robert Novy-Marx of the University of Rochester." (Cable News Network)

House Ways & Means Committee Hearing on 'Social Security's Finances'
"The hearing [focused] on the sources of Social Security's revenues, how those sources have changed over time, options for change and their impacts. [Hearing held on June 23, 2011, includes links to written testimonies.]" (U.S. Congress House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means)

401(k) 'Companions' May Widen Retirement Safety Net
"The 401(k) industry has started providing products designed to help transform savings into steady paychecks that will be a safety net throughout retirement. Called retirement income or guaranteed income solutions, they are add-on or companion pieces to traditional 401(k) plans that shift the focus from building savings to making the savings last throughout retirement." (USA TODAY)

Ethnicity and Retirement Wealth
"The article uses data from a detailed nation-wide survey to examine what demographic factors and socio economic factors are the main determinants of retirement wealth. Gender and ethnicity are found to be a strong predictor of retirement wealth even after controlling for all other factors." (Social Science Research Network)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Text of IRS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking: Certain Employee Remuneration in Excess of $1,000,000 Under IRC Section 162(m); Treatment of Stock Compensation (PDF)
"The proposed regulations clarify that qualified performance-based compensation attributable to stock options and stock appreciation rights must specify the maximum number of shares with respect to which options or rights may be granted to each individual employee." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Issues Proposed Rule Relating to Stock Compensation
"The proposed regulations clarify that qualified performance-based compensation attributable to stock options and stock appreciation rights must specify the maximum number of shares with respect to which options or rights may be granted to each individual employee. They also clarify the application of the transition rule for taxpayers that are not publicly held corporations and then become publicly held corporations." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

[Guidance Overview]
Stock Options Offer Valid in Marsh Noncompete Dispute Says Court
"According to the decision in Marsh USA Inc. and Marsh & McLennan Cos. Inc. vs. Rex Cook, in 2005 Mr. Cook . . . signed an agreement under which he would exercise stock options in exchange for signing a nonsolicitation agreement." (Business Insurance)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Standard Mileage Rate Is Increased
"Employers whose employees use their personal vehicles for the employers' business will have to pay them more in the second half of 2011 to reimburse them." (Thompson Publishing Group)

Legislation Introduced on the CEO Pay Ratio Requirement
"On Wednesday, June 22, the House Financial Services Committee voted to recommend H.R. 1062, the 'Burdensome Data Collection Relief Act,' a bill that would eliminate the requirement in Dodd-Frank Act Section 953, that public companies calculate and disclose the ratio of the median of the annual total compensation of all employees of the company, except the CEO . . . to the annual total compensation of the company's CEO." (Michael S. Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

Press Releases

US Department Of Labor And North Carolina Department Of Insurance To Offer Free Health Law Seminar June 28 And 29
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

US Labor Department Sues Dowe And Wagner of Richmond, Ill., To Restore More Than $31,000 To Company’s 401(k) Plan For Employees
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

Great-West Enhances Its Retirement Planning And Distribution Outreach
(Great-West Life & Annuity Insurance Company)

$10 Million in Affordable Care Act Funds to Help Create Workplace Health Programs
(U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)

McGraw Wentworth Earns Communications Awards for Health Care Reform Newsletters and Employee Benefits Guide
(McGraw Wentworth)

Flexible Schedule is Key to Keeping Working Moms on the Job
(Baylor University)

Employee Benefits Jobs

Plan Administrator for Retirement Plan & ERISA Specialists
for Dana Consulting Group, Ltd. in IL

Client Relations & Implementations Consultant (Corporate Benefit Funding Group)
for MetLife Insurance in NY

Senior Health Management Advisor
for ConocoPhillips in OK

for UC Office of the President in CA

for Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton, P.C. in MI

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Webcasts and Conferences

The Basics – Fiduciary Education, DOL & IRS Correction Programs and the Affordable Care Act Workshop
in Georgia on August 3, 2011 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

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

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