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

Employee Benefits Jobs

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

TL Plan Services
for The Standard in OR

Administrator - DC Plans
for American Pension Advisors, Ltd. in IN

Benefits Specialist
for Roundy's Supermarkets, Inc. in WI

Employment and Litigation Paralegal
for Ice Miller LLP in IN

401(k) Compliance Consultant
for The Savitz Organization in PA

Recordkeeping Specialist
for AKT Retirement Plan Services in OR

Defined Benefits Plan Conversion Specialist
for Lynchval Systems Worldwide, Inc. in TX

Team Manager, Client Services
for Charles Schwab in OH

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Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium - Schaumburg
in Illinois on August 25, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

Plan Document Requirements for Health & Welfare Benefit Plans
Nationwide on August 30, 2011 presented by TRI-AD

Safe Harbor Plans - A Fresh Look Webcast
Nationwide on September 16, 2011 presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

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[Guidance Overview]
Fee Disclosure Compliance Delayed: Why, What's the Impact, and What We Recommend (PDF)
"In its announcement of the compliance delay, the DOL said that it does not anticipate that any further delay will be needed because the changes in the amendment will not require significant additional effort. This suggests that the changes either may not be extensive or may simplify the disclosure requirements, or both." (Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)

Join our “In-service Distributions, Hardships and Loans” webinar   [Advert.]

Sponsored by

Join us August 4th and learn about in-service distribution, hardship and loan rules for defined contribution plans. We will also discuss plan design strategies and plan amendments to change in-service distributions rules. Click here to register.

Testimony of Phyllis C. Borzi, Asst Secretary of Labor, EBSA, before House Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, July 26, 2011
"[A]s we further develop our thinking in this rulemaking, we are paying special attention to the two primary exceptions to fiduciary status under the proposed rule: (1) clarifying the difference between investment education that does not give rise to fiduciary status and fiduciary investment advice; and (2) clarifying the scope of the so-called 'sellers' exception' under which sales activity is not fiduciary advice." (U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Attorneys and Legislators Urge New Proposal for Fiduciary Definition Change
"'The hearing this morning displayed the most bipartisanship I've seen in 10 years, and the message from the Committee to the Department was very clear--do not proceed to a final rule, but re-propose a revised rule with a valid economic analysis." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

CalPERS Legal Analysis: Pensions Are a Vested Right and Protected Under Law
"CalPERS analysis looked at more than a dozen California appellate cases over the last 70 years, calling out several rules that have emerged from court decisions, including: Employees are entitled to benefits in place during their employment, meaning they obtain a vested right to the provisions of the applicable retirement law that exists during the course of their public employment." (

Vested Rights of CalPERS Members (PDF)
"CalPERS has prepared this paper for two purposes: To articulate the current state of California law regarding the nature of its members' pension rights and the extent to which such rights have become 'vested' and may not be impaired; and To explain the role of CalPERS in ensuring that its members' vested rights are honored." (California Public Employees' Retirement System)

Newspaper Dings Employees' Retirement Plan, Then Reconsiders
"An uproar among Chicago Sun-Times newsroom employees has helped reverse a surprise fee slapped on their retirement plans." (Workplace Management: free registration required)

The Growing Retirement Nightmare for Women
"'While women today have more economic opportunity than ever before, they also have a great deal more financial responsibility,' said Sandra Timmermann, director of the MetLife Institute. 'Compared to previous generations of women who likely had a pension (either theirs or their husband's) and a deed to a mortgage-free home, today's women are less prepared.'" (The Fiscal Times)

Target-Date Funds' Design Outdated, Research Concludes
"Recent moves by several fund companies to include alternative and other nontraditional assets in their allocations is a step in the right direction, but does not solve their shortcomings . . . ." (Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

2011 Buyer's Guide for Total Retirement Outsourcing
"For purposes of this Buyer's Guide, total retirement outsourcing (TRO) refers to the combination of service offerings relating to retirement plans: defined contribution, including employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs); defined benefit; and deferred compensation." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Laws Vary in States on Which Crimes Deprive Convicted Public Employees of Their Pensions
The information was provided by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators. (

Stable Value Products: An Increasingly Important Component of the U.S. Retirement Market (PDF)
"Given the heightened interest in stable value products, one objective for this white paper is to provide an introduction to these products to assist plan sponsors and financial advisors in making retirement plan design decisions. The second objective for this paper is to discuss . . . three reasons why stable value products are likely to play an even more important role in the retirement market in the coming years." (Prudential Retirement)

Fewer Big Employers Offer New Employees DB Plans, According to Towers Watson
"As of May 31, 30% of Fortune 100 companies offered a defined benefit plan to new salaried employees, the New York-based consultant said. That's down from 37% at the end of 2010, 43% in 2009, 47% in 2008 and 83% as recently as 2002." (Business Insurance)

DOD Panel Calls for Radical Retirement Overhaul
"A sweeping new plan to overhaul the Pentagon's retirement system would give some benefits to all troops and phase out the 20-year cliff vesting system that has defined military careers for generations." (Gannett Government Media Corporation)

GAO Testimony: Federal Workers' Compensation: Questions to Consider in Changing Benefits for Older Beneficiaries
"The retirement conversion alternative raises complex issues, arising in part from the fact that conversion could result in varying retirement benefits, depending on conversion provisions, retirement systems, and individual circumstances. A key issue is whether or not benefits would be adjusted." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

ASPPA Response to Treasury Request for Comments on Reducing the Regulatory Burden
"ASPPA's recommendations related to: (1) the initiative regarding lifetime income distributions; (2) relief for sponsors of safe harbor 401(k) plans who encounter financial difficulties; (3) mid-year changes to a safe harbor 401(k) plan; (4) a unified approach for electronic disclosures for retirement plans; (5) plan sponsor elections under the Pension Protection Act of 2006; (6) simplification of required employee communication items; and (7) that interim amendments only be required once every three years." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Competition Will Cut Costs for Teacher Retirement Plans
"The Legislature can take a much-needed step to help ensure that educators achieve the secure retirement they deserve by authorizing school districts to select financial companies for their supplemental 403(b) retirement plans via competitive bidding." (San Jose Mercury News)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

BLS Fact Sheet: Employee Benefits in the United States, March 2011: Unmarried Domestic Partners Benefits (PDF)
"This is the first time that data on unmarried domestic partners are available from the National Compensation Survey. Table 7 provides data on access to defined benefit retirement survivor benefits for unmarried domestic partners and table 8 provides data on access to health care benefits for unmarried domestic partners." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Remodeling the Benefits and Retirement Income Space: An Excerpt from the 9th Annual Study of Employee Benefits Trends (PDF)
"Employers must focus their benefits strategies on creating safety nets for employees rather than providing security blankets. In turn, the new benefits blueprint requires employees to become more engaged in efforts to improve their health and to take actions towards building financial security for today and tomorrow." (MetLife, Inc.)

New Publication: Selling a Company Directly to Employees
For many business owners, an ESOP is the best solution for business transition. But for others, whether due to size, economics, or personal preference, selling directly to one or more employees is a better option. This issue brief shows how this can be done, exploring alternative structures, financing arrangements, how to use insurance in buyout agreements, legal issues, tax concerns, and valuation. Finally, the brief compares an ESOP sale to a sale directly to employees. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

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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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