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August 8, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Sales Consultant - Retirement Benefits
for Diversified in IL

Account Executive
for Lenox Advisors in NY

Benefits Communication Project Manager (temporary position, August through December)
for Stanford Hospital & Clinics and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital in CA

On-Site Education Specialist
for Milliman in TX

Retirement Sales Consultant
for T. Rowe Price in CA, CO

Group Account Manager
for AUL/OneAmerica Financial Partners, Inc. in IN

Client Service Analyst
for Milliman in TX

DB Systems Analyst
for Milliman in TX

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Webcasts and Conferences

How to Provide Domestic Partner and Same-Sex Spouse Benefits to Your Employees Webcast
Nationwide on August 30, 2011 presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Rekon Road Show- Oak Brook
in Illinois on September 7, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon


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[Guidance Overview]
Failure to Divest Tarnished Employer Stock in Participant's Account Breached Duty of Prudence
"In 2005, the participant filed suit against the employer, the plan, and the plan trustees, alleging multiple theories of fiduciary breach, including breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA § 502(a)(2). The district court found for the participant and awarded damages of approximately $500,000." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)


Advance Your Career with ASPPA this Fall   [Advert.]

Sponsored by ASPPA

Whether working towards an ASPPA credential or just growing knowledge in specific areas, ASPPA exams offer CPE credits (valid for ASPPA, JBEA and ERPA). Proctored exam window is open November 1 to December 14 - register early and have time to prepare.


[Guidance Overview]
Form 8955-SSA's Individual Statement Requirement
"The plan administrator of an employee retirement benefit plan must provide each participant required to be reported on the Form 8955-SSA a statement describing the deferred vested benefit to which the participant is entitled. The statement also must include the information reported on the Form 8955-SSA with respect to the participant." (SunGard Relius)

[Guidance Overview]
In Unpublished Opinion, Fourth Circuit Reminds Us Who Can Sue Under ERISA
"In this case, the district court based its ruling on its findings that:[the individual plaintiff] lacked standing to sue the Clark Group under ERISA, because she failed to show an injury in fact . . . . ISN lacked jurisdiction to sue under section 502(a)(2) of ERISA, as it was Plan sponsor -- not a fiduciary of the Plan." (Stanley D. Baum, ERISA Lawyer Blog)

IRS Phone Forum Handout: EPCRS Plan Correction Issues Presentation, August 25, 2011 (PDF)
The phone forum will cover recurring issues found in the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, tips to avoid common mistakes, and employers' ability to address 403(b) plan issues under VCP. (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

403(b) Plans Looking More Like 401(k) Plans
"Retail mutual funds gained market share in 403(b) plans last year, while the use of once-popular group fixed annuities fell sharply, a survey by Cerulli Associates, Boston, shows." (Pensions & Investments; free registration required)

Some Employers Replace — or Customize — the Target-Date Mutual Funds in Their 401(k)s
"The changes include replacing current funds with similar ones from other providers to reduce fees, or working with asset managers to create target-date portfolios tailored specifically for the employer and its workers. Some organizations are trying both approaches." (The Wall Street Journal)

Top 10 Major Misconceptions That Financial Advisors Have About the Retirement Plan Business
"The retirement plan industry can often be a difficult place for a financial advisor to break into and there are many misconceptions that are out there that many advisors believe for one reason or another." (JD Supra, LLC)

Pension Vendors Must Be Prudently Selected and Monitored (PDF)
"Not only are Primary Fiduciaries required to conduct substantial evaluations before and after they hire a service provider, but in the case of investment managers, Primary Fiduciaries also face the difficult task of evaluating the risk in the underlying investment(s) proposed by the vendor." (Thomson Reuters via Roland|Criss)

Hearing Witnessess Urge DOL to Re-Propose ERISA 'Fiduciary' Regulations
"The testimony is available on the Subcommittee's website. The Labor Department also has a webpage devoted to the new definition of ERISA fiduciary. The Department's recent regulatory agenda sets November 2011 as the release date for the final regulations." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Detroit Avoids Fiscal Collapse with Landmark Pension Overhaul
"Until now, state and local pension reforms have focused on cuts for future workers, leaving current employee benefits largely untouched. Detroit's landmark decision to scale back current worker pensions could pave the way for other strapped cities and states to start immediately reducing their pension contributions." (Business Insider, Inc.)

New Hampshire Retirement System Board Pension Vote Gives Taxpayers a Reprieve
"[The New Hampshire Retirement System board] voted 6-2 at a special meeting to push a steep rate increase off for two years, cutting $100 mil.lion from what would have flowed to NHRS. The move complies with a new state law that cut benefits for workers and raised their pension contributions, and cut costs of NHRS for the state and local employers." (Union Leader Corporation)

The 'Splitting' [Pension] Headaches of Late-Life Divorce
"[D]ividing a nest egg in a way that allows both spouses to retire without worry is crucial when there is little work time left to make up any shortfall, says [a financial adviser]." (The Wall Street Journal)

The FERS After 25 Years
"Potential Social Security changes being considered by those trying to reduce the budget deficit, such as raising the Social Security normal retirement age, will not require changes to FERS like the changes made when converting from the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) to the FERS system." (FedSmith Inc.)

Altering Pensions Puts Central Falls, Rhode Island, in Uncharted Territory
"Because so few municipalities have filed for bankrup.tcy -- most of the current law for it now is drawn from two California cases, Orange County in 1994 and the City of Vallejo in 2008 -- each new filing creates new precedents that the rest of the nation's governments will use when they try to figure out how to cope with their own fiscal crises." (The Providence Journal Co.)

Flawed Investing is Depleting Pension Assets, According to Study
"One study looked at the selection and termination of investment management firms by plan sponsors including public and corporate pension plans, unions, foundations, and endowments. It examined 8,755 hiring decisions by approximately 3,700 plan sponsors over a 10-year period from 1994 to 2003." (U.S. News & World Report)

Court Says Referendum of Voters of Miami Beach Must Be Held on Firefighters Pension Changes
"The case in the Circuit Court . . . is The City of Miami Beach v. The Board of Trustees of the City Pension Fund for Firefighters and Police Officers of Miami Beach." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

San Diego County Employees' Retirement Association Stops Fight against Pension Information Disclosure
"In a statement, [SDCERA] said it has obtained the direction it sought from the appellate courts in an untested legal area and mitigated the potential for harm associated with requiring the release of the names and benefit amounts of members receiving retirement benefits in excess of $100,000." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Coming Changes Send Florida State Workers Rushing Into Early Retirement Program
"As of June 30, 8,418 public employees chose to enroll in the Deferred Retirement Option Program, or DROP, in the months of May and June, double the 4,157 people that entered that same time last year." (St. Petersburg Times)

2011 Long-Term Projections for Social Security: Additional Information
"[This] publication provides additional information about long-term projections of the Social Security program's finances that were included in CBO's 2011 Long-Term Budget Outlook (June 2011)." (U.S. Congressional Budget Office)

Infographic Accompanies CBO's "2011 Long-Term Projections for Social Security: Additional Information"
[S]ummarizes some of the agency's most recent projections for Social Security and provides background information on the program . . . ." (U.S. Congressional Budget Office)

[Opinion]
Brief of the Investment Company Institute as Amicus Curiae in Support of Defendants-Appellees Edison International, et al. (PDF)
"The Plaintiffs in this action contend, inter alia, that decisions tomake certain investment options available to participants in the Edison401(k) plan violated the fiduciaries' duty of prudence under ERISA." (Investment Company Institute)

[Opinion]
Why Plan Participants Are Being Harmed by DOL's Existing Regulations Regarding IRA Rollovers
"To begin with, most advisors will not to touch any account subject to ERISA with a 10-foot pole. With regard to providing advice to 401(k) participants, that reluctance was only solidified with the passage of the Pension Protection Act and its ominous references to certification requirements, the necessity of relying upon pre-approved computerized models, and the expense of annual independent audits." (Business of Benefits)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Treasury Proposed Clarification of Performance-Based Compensation Exception Under the $1 Mil.lion Deduction Limitation (PDF)
"The proposed regulations make clear that the performance plan must state the maximum number of options or rights for each individual and that the special transition rule applies only to compensation received pursuant to a stock option, SAR, or restricted stock award. The special transition rule does not apply to restricted stock units and phantom stock." (Buck Consultants, LLC)

Press Releases



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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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