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September 7, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Trading Associate
for Sentinel Benefits and Financial Group in MA

Retirement Services SME (Operational / Technical) Project Manager
for Enterprise Iron Financial Industry Solutions in ANY STATE

Benefits Service Manager - Health and Welfare
for Aon Hewitt in CT

Defined Benefit Plan Administrator
for Matthews, Gold, Kennedy & Snow, Inc. in AZ

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Hays Companies in MN

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Webcasts and Conferences

"401(k) Plans: Beyond the Basics" - Chicago
in Illinois on October 4, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

"401(k) Plans: Beyond the Basics" Seminar" - Des Moines
in Iowa on October 4, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

"Advanced Plan Design Workshop" - Chicago
in Illinois on October 6, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

"Advanced Plan Design Workshop" - Des Moines
in Iowa on October 6, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Detroit
in Michigan on October 6, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Houston
in Texas on October 4, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

Advanced IRAs Live Seminar
Nationwide on September 15, 2011 presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

HIPAA and Other Health Benefits Laws: Compliance Assistance Seminar
in Tennessee on October 25, 2011 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

IRA Principles Live Seminar
Nationwide on September 15, 2011 presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Legislative and Regulatory Update, featuring Steve Forbes of SunGard
in California on September 15, 2011 presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter

Managed Care Disputes and Litigation
in Arizona on November 8, 2011 presented by American Conference Institute

Transparency of Fees and Expenses for Workers in 401(k)-Type Retirement Plans Webcast
Nationwide on September 13, 2011 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)


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[Guidance Overview]
Participant Not Entitled to Larger, Miscalculated Pension, 7th Circuit Says
"Noting that statements or conduct by individuals would override plan terms only in 'extreme circumstances,' the court found no evidence the sponsor's error was intentional or that the participant suffered any harm. His claim that he would have negotiated a better severance deal had he known the pension was smaller was speculative, the court said." (Mercer LLC)


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As Economic Stagflation Simmers, Now's the Time to Find Ways to Ease Retirement Plan Pain
"Read on for insights into the economic factors behind today's challenges and the retirement plan changes that can give plan sponsors a better way forward for the organization and its human capital." (PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

The U.S. Retirement Market, First Quarter 2011 (PDF)
Data sources are Investment Company Institute, Federal Reserve Board, National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, American Council of Life Insurers, and Internal Revenue Service Statistics of Income Division. (Investment Company Institute)

Industry Fights Hard to Exclude IRAs from Fiduciary Standard
"Claims have been made, as a result of industry sponsored research, suggesting upwards to 7 mil.lion IRA holders will find themselves without an adviser should the DOL's proposed new fiduciary rule be extended to cover IRAs." (Fiduciary News)

Implications of a 'Chained' CPI
"Two prominent commissions recently proposed introducing a 'chained' consumer price index (CPI) to adjust Social Security benefits, other government benefits, and the brackets in the federal income tax each year. The argument is that a chained CPI would be more accurate since it reflects the extent to which people substitute one item for another in the face of a price increase." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Does Automatic 401(k) Enrollment Suppress Savings?
"The WSJ pointed to EBRI's finding that employees who would have enrolled in a retirement plan anyway, in the absence of auto-enrollment, saved less as a result of the auto-enrollment." (Morningstar, Inc.)

Rules on Interest Credits to Cash Balance Pension Accounts a Priority, Says IRS
"The rules are needed to implement a provision in a 2006 pension plan funding law that allows plan sponsors to use a 'market rate' to credit interest to employees' account balances. Prior to the proposed rules, the IRS had not provided definitive guidance on what would be considered a market rate." (Business Insurance)

Michigan's Supreme Court to Hear Pension Tax Arguments
"'Without the partial elimination of the tax exemption for retirement benefits, major tax reform legislation would be derailed and Michigan would be faced with a substantial budget shortfall,' . . . . The law creates three categories of pensioners, continuing the exemption for those born before 1946, limiting the exemption for those born in 1946 through 1952, and eliminating the exemption for those born after 1952 until they reach age 67, when a partial exemption is restored." (The Detroit News)

Data Layouts for Non-Registered Investment Product Disclosures for Retirement Plan Participants (PDF)
"The Data Layouts will facilitate the electronic transmission of investment specific information from non-registered investment product providers to retirement plan record keepers, investment fund information aggregators and any other party that undertakes to assist plan administrators with disclosing the information to plan participants." (The Spark Institute, Inc.)

Rhode Island Considers Radical Moves As Pensions Put State on Brink
"State Treasurer Gina M. Raimondo (D) said that per capita, Rhode Island has the nation's largest unfunded pension liability. But if the Ocean State's pension problem is among the country's most severe, so are the remedies being considered to solve it." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

USPS Seeks Pension Changes to Avoid Default
"One of the biggest obstacles to avoiding fiscal default by the end of the month [is] that USPS is still required by law to make contributions despite having a $6.9 bil.lion surplus in the Federal Employees Retirement System." (Pensions & Investments; free registration required)

Memphis, TN, and Unions Battle Over City Pension Plan
"The City of Memphis is catching flak over a proposal to make cuts to its employee pension plan. City leaders say the debt caused by the current pension model is unsustainable while union leaders say the proposed cuts will put the public at risk." (WMCTV.com)

How Employers Make the Shift from Accumulation Growth Education to Education About Making Money Last
"Longevity is one of the largest factors retirees need to think about when turning 401(k) lump sums into a stream of monthly retirement payments. As the primary educators for accumulating retirement nest eggs, plan sponsors are going to need to adapt educational awareness to help employees understand the concept of making their retirement funds last." (Workplace Management: free registration required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Text of Correction to IRS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Certain Employee Remuneration in Excess of $1,000,000 (PDF)
"This document contains a correction to a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG–137125–08) relating to the deduction limitation for certain employee remuneration in excess of $1,000,000 under the Internal Revenue Code. The document was published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 24, 2011 (76 FR 37034)." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Constructing Self-Funding Equity Awards (PDF)
"Such awards are designed to be 'self-funding' because the payout to management is indirectly linked to shareholder gains. Unlike awards directly linked to stock price performance, these awards qualify as performance shares for financial reporting purposes." (Grant Thornton LLP)

Five Reasons Employers Should Keep Domestic Partner Benefits (PDF)
"'With same-sex marriage now legal in New York and a handful of other states in the U.S., some employers may be tempted to eliminate their domestic partner benefit programs, but employment law experts say there are still a number of reasons to keep them in place." (Portfolio Media. Inc. via Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.)

White House to Propose Plan to Help Postal Service
"The Obama administration said . . . that it would seek to save the deficit-plagued Postal Service from an embarrassing default by proposing to give it an extra three months to make a $5.5 bil.lion payment due on Sept. 30 to finance retirees' future health coverage." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Companies That Make Their Employees Happier with Great Benefits and Incentives
"The jobs site CareerBliss.com just announced the winners of this year's Leap Awards, which honor the companies that have made the biggest strides to improve employee happiness year-over-year." (msnbc.com)

New Publication: ESOP Regulatory Rulings 1990-2010
This publication provides practitioners and other interested people with a summary of rulings and regulations on ESOPs and related plans. It includes guidance from the IRS and the DOL through IRS private letter rulings (PLRs), DOL advisory opinions, DOL field assistance bulletins, IRS Technical Assistance Memoranda, and similar pronouncements such as the 'ESOP Cadre' guidance. Regulations can be very lengthy, and we do not summarize them in detail but rather highlight the key issues and rules. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Press Releases



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