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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 28, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

[Guidance Overview]
Answering Plan Sponsor Questions About New DOL Regulations on Fee Disclosure (PDF)
"The topics covered are associated with two separate regulations — one designed to provide transparency in plan fees and expenses to participants, and the other to enhance what service providers disclose to retirement plan fiduciaries." (The Vanguard Group)

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[Guidance Overview]
Negotiation of Stable Value Contracts by QPAM May Not Run Afoul of Prohibited Transaction Rules, Says EBSA
"An advisory opinion was sought concerning the responsibility of a stable value manager for negotiating stable value wrap contracts with various banks or insurance companies (wrappers)." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

[Guidance Overview]
Common Retirement Plan Deduction Pitfalls
"Most large retirement plans don't worry about the maximum pension deduction limit because the plan benefits (and related contributions) are often well below the IRS limits. However, small- and medium-sized retirement plans can unknowingly run into the limits." (Van Iwaarden Associates)

Hearing Conducted on Transparency and Funding of State/Local Government DB Plans
"A speaker who did not take a position on the bill noted that government pension assets and liabilities are factors used by Moody's in its credit analyses of government-issued bonds, and said that the bill will increase both access to plan data and the complexity of the information disclosed." (ICMA-RC)

Proposal Would Make Federal Lawmakers Wait Longer to Tap Pensions
"Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Ill., on Friday introduced a bill that would tie lawmakers' access to their federal pensions to the Social Security retirement age. Currently, members of Congress do not have to wait until they are 65 to 67 years of age, depending on year of birth, before receiving annuity benefits." (Government Executive)

Moving Retirement Plan Assets: How to Avoid Mistakes
"When you move your retirement assets from one plan to another, the receiving plan must be eligible to receive the assets. If you move the assets to the wrong type of retirement plan, you lose the tax-deferred status of the moved assets and may also create unintentional tax consequences." (San Francisco Chronicle)

U.S. Retirement Plan Governance, Risk and Responses Survey (PDF)
"The Towers Watson survey found that 40% of employers expect to devote more time addressing retirement plan governance issues over the next two years . . . . Among those respondents that expect to spend more time on plan governance, a vast majority (86%) cited regulatory complexity as a major reason, while two-thirds (67%) plan do to so as part of a greater emphasis on corporate governance." (Towers Watson)

PBGC Provides Access to Legal Filings, Decisions
"The upgrade presents significant legal filings recently submitted by PBGC in its efforts to preserve and safeguard pensions, as well as court decisions issued in response to PBGC filings." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Ex-Employees Who Don't Rollover: Will 401k Fees Increase Plan Sponsor Liability?
"To determine the extent of their potential added fiduciary liability, 401k plan sponsors must first discover what makes it so convincing for ex-employees to rollover their 401k into a personal IRA — and perhaps learn why this advice is considered controversial." (Fiduciary News)

Fiduciary Links: In Support of the DOL Expanded Definition of Fiduciary
"We have seen even some of the staunchest fiduciary advocates have issues with the rule, but in our opinion it is the right step for ensuring all advice is delivered by professionals who adhere to the fiduciary standard." (fi360 Blog)

Is CIGNA v. Amara, the Recent U.S. Supreme Court ERISA Case, a Major Development?
"Why is Amara so significant? From a results perspective, the case provides for a potential remedy for an inadequate SPD, which is a result that the lower courts had conferred time and time again. Is it so important that the rationale for that result shifted?" (Pension & Benefits Blog)

Don't Amend the Philadelphia DROP Program, End It
"With his veto of a proposed new version of the costly deferred-retirement program known as DROP, Mayor Nutter kept the original program going. But it was a case of having to save a village now, in order to destroy it later." (

DOL Plugs Gap in ERISA Rules on Fiduciary Standing of More of Those Providing Retirement Plan Advice
"The problem is that [ERISA's] definition of 'fiduciary' is too narrow and nuanced. In particular, only advice that is both regular and serves as the primary source of decision making gives rise to fiduciary standing." (Investment News; free registration required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Proposed 162(m) Regulations Affect Deductibility of Equity-Based Compensation
"Although these regulations are prospective only, they will become effective when adopted later in 2011." (Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Clarification of the 162(m) Deduction Requirement
"The proposed regulations clarify (i) the requirement to set forth in the plan document the maximum number of shares to which options and stock appreciation rights may be granted to each individual covered employee and (ii) the application of the transition rule to stock-based compensation for privately held corporations that become publicly held." (Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Ninth Circuit En Bank Expands ERISA Liability
"In the 9th Circuit, beneficiaries were limited to suing the plan and plan administrator for denial of benefits under ERISA plans. But no more. The en banc court overruled prior decisions to that effect." (Shaw Valenza LLP)

June 2011 Employee Benefits Update (PDF)
The newsletter includes select compliance deadlines and reminders, retirement plan developments, health and welfare plan developments, and other issues of note. (Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)

After New York, New Look at Defense of Marriage Act
"[T]he first lawsuits regarding same-s.ex marriage that are likely to reach the Supreme Court challenge the Defense of Marriage Act and its effect on benefits in a more surgically focused way." (The New York Times; free registration required)

2011 Employee Benefits Research Report
"In 2011, 284 benefits were explored, covering the areas of health care and welfare benefits, preventive health and wellness benefits, retirement savings and planning benefits, financial and compensation benefits, leave benefits, family-friendly benefits, flexible working benefits, employee services benefits, housing and relocation benefits, and business travel benefits." (SHRM)

A Compact Review of SHRM's 2011 Employee Benefits Research Report
"Although the percentage of HR professionals that reported their companies have been negatively affected by the economic recession has slightly decreased over the last year, there has been a slight increase in the percentage of respondents reporting their benefits offerings have been negatively affected by the economy." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Press Releases

Employee Benefits Jobs

New Business Specialist
for BeneTrends, Inc. in PA

for Thompson Hine LLP in OH

Client Relationship Manager - Chicago, Illinois
for Transamerica Retirement Services Corporation in IL

Retirement Plan Operations Manager
for Charles Schwab in OH

Sr. Analyst - Retirement
for AECOM in CA

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Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Leawood
in Kansas on July 26, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

Coordination of Multiple Health Care Account Plans
Nationwide on July 7, 2011 presented by

Voluntary Fiduciary Compliance Programs
in Illinois on August 16, 2011 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

We also publish the BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter (free): Subscribe, Inc.
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Fax (407) 644-2151

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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