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October 10, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

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Webcasts and Conferences

Defined Contribution Health Exchanges
Nationwide on November 10, 2011 presented by MCOL

Reducing Readmissions: It's the Little Things that Make Navigating this Complex Issue Much Easier
Nationwide on November 16, 2011 presented by MCOL

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[Guidance Overview]
ERISA Fiduciaries Not Required to Exclude Retail Funds from Plan Investment Menu
"Plan participants brought suit under ERISA, charging that the plan administrator breached fiduciary duties by: (1) including retail mutual funds among the investment options (instead of restricting the options to wholesale or institutional funds exclusively); and (2) requiring participants to bear the expense of the funds, rather than having the plan bear the costs." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

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[Guidance Overview]
The ERISA Litigation Newsletter, October 2011
This edition includes the following titles: Seventh Circuit Again Rules in an Excessive Fee Case, Expanding on Hecker v. Deere, and Taking a Leading Role in the Field; Tenth Circuit Issues Significant Post-Amara Ruling on Disclosure Requirements in Connection with Cash Balance Conversions; and various Rulings, Filings, and Settlements of Interest. (Proskauer Rose LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Trial Court Dismisses Fiduciary Breach Claim Based on Alleged Misstatements in SEC Filings
"While the court dismissed this fiduciary breach claim, it allowed the participants' two other claims (involving the duty to disclose and the duty of prudence) to proceed. Disclosure to participants and a prudent process can be powerful defenses to a stock drop claim." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

Illinois Firm Misused Nearly $2M in Retirement Funds, DOL Alleges
"The complaint alleges that [the owner of the business, acting as trustee,] depleted the assets of the plan through a series of withdrawals and transfers to himself and the company from Dec. 4, 2006, through Nov. 3, 2010 . . . ." (Fox Television Stations, Inc.)

Lehman Retirees' Push to Sue CEO Is Denied
"A federal judge dealt a blow to retirees of Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., rejecting their bid to sue the investment bank's executives and directors, including former chief executive Richard Fuld, for squandering their retirement savings in the investment bank's stock." (The Wall Street Journal)

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Several Pennsylvania Government Pension Plans to Receive State Aid
"Pennsylvania Auditor General Jack Wagner said 87% of the state's 1,488 municipalities receiving state aid for their pension plans covering fire, police, and non-uniformed personnel will receive a one-time funding increase this year. . . . Wagner said the state will disburse an additional $132,615,954 in pension aid this year, an increase of 61% over a year ago." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Another Law Firm Starts BNY Mellon ERISA Investigation
"The law office of Brodsky & Smith, LLC announced that it is investigating Bank of New York Mellon's investment of retirement plan participants' and beneficiaries' assets in company stock." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Two Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Allow Access to 401(k) Accounts to Help Make Mortgage Payments
"The HOME Act allows a taxpayer to withdraw money from a qualified retirement plan penalty free to make mortgage payments toward his primary residence with a lifetime cap of $50,000 or one-half of the present value of one's 401(k) account (whichever is smaller), so long as those funds are used for that purpose within 120 days of withdrawal. Deferred income tax otherwise due on those withdrawals would still be due to the Internal Revenue Service." (planadviser; free registration required)

California Governor Signs One Pension Bill Intended to Strengthen Government Ethics and Vetos Another
"According to the Sacramento Bee, the governor signed Assembly Bill 873, which extends how long former board members and some employees at the state's two largest public pension funds — the California Public Employees' Retirement System . . . and the California State Teachers' Retirement System . . . — must wait to lobby the state for business." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Upcoming IRS Phone Forum Oct. 28: Determination Letter Issues Regarding Employee Stock Ownership Plans
Attendees are encouraged to submit questions in advance at on or before October 21 (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Reducing Fiduciary Risk
"The tumultuous stock market is increasing pressure on retirement-plan sponsors and fiduciaries to address investment risks and to take step to build a shield to protect them from unnecessary litigation." (Human Resource Executive Online)

Why Financial Advisors Should Offer Investment Education to 401(k) Plan Participants
"One of the biggest misconceptions out there about the role of participant education under Section 404(c) plans is that it's not required. There is nothing in the statute or in the regulations that actually requires the plan sponsor and/or the plan's financial advisor to offer education to participants." (JD Supra, LLC via The Rosenbaum Law Firm P.C.)

GASB Extends Comment Deadline for New Accounting Rule
"The changes, first proposed July 8, were designed to bring what GASB Chairman Robert H. Attmore called 'more robust disclosure' by having plans highlight their net unfunded liabilities instead of contributions, limiting plans with more benefits owed than assets to a more conservative index rate, and reducing the amount of time that plans can expense their unfunded liability. For the first time, cost-sharing plans will be subject to a full accounting approach." (Pensions & Investments; free registration required)

Financial Advisers Suggesting More Moves than Ever, So Why Are 401(k) Plans Doing the Opposite?
"These calls to stay calm may fly in the face of the advice employees are getting from their personal advisers. Last month, roughly three out of four advisers said they believe a tactical approach trading and tweaking with market movements -- can outperform a passive, 'set it and forget it' strategy over the long term, according to a survey of 500 financial advisers surveyed by Jefferson National, a company that provides investments and services to financial advisers." (Dow Jones & Company, Inc.)

Now Is the Time for the Big Retirement Plan Decisions
"Many successful companies (especially professional firms like medical groups and law firms) are considering whether to increase retirement plan deductions for 2011. This post highlights the action steps to take while there's still time." (Van Iwaarden Associates)

The Rising Tide of Pension Contributions Post-2008 (PDF)
"This report provides a system-wide analysis of the expected contribution requirements for the U.S. single-employer defined benefit (DB) pension universe over the remainder of this decade. While the pattern of projected contribution requirements that we show in this report is likely not a surprise to most individual plan sponsors, this report is unique in that we show the results of the aggregate system-wide effect." (Society of Actuaries)

This IRA Do-Over Could Save You Thousands
"[If you took advantage of last year's opportunity for] converting a traditional IRA or 401(k) account to a Roth, now might be the time to consider something you may never have thought you'd want to do -- putting that money right back where it was." (The Motley Fool)

New Jersey Officials Tout Pension System Savings
"The Christie administration reports that local governments can expect to save $267 mil.lion in the 2012 fiscal year because of pension reforms enacted in June. The changes include requiring workers to pay more into their retirement funds, suspending cost-of-living increases for retirees and raising the retirement age for newly hired workers." (WBJB-FM)

Milford, Connecticut, Fire Chief Denied Retire-and-Rehire Agreement
"Chairman [of the Board of Fire Commissioners] said the deal, which would have allowed [the fire chief], 57, to begin collecting his $90,000 annual pension while continuing to serve as chief 'was not in the best interest of the city." (Hearst Communications Inc.)

Annuity Think Tank: First Ever Annuity Television Website
"The new consumer site is built around educational annuity videos, while also providing annuity white papers, free reports, and daily annuity related blogs." (Annuity Think Tank)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Adverse Ruling in First Reported 'Say on Pay' Decision
"The opinion, NECA-IBEW Pension Fund v. Cox, . . . denied a motion to dismiss breach of fiduciary duty and unjust enrichment claims against the directors and officers of Cincinnati Bell, Inc." (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP)

Equity Compensation Report for October 2011
The October 2011 Equity Compensation Report features articles on valuation issues in closely held companies, best practices for capitalization reporting, an interview with Anne Claire Broughton of the Social Jobs Venture Fund, and more. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

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Lois Baker, J.D., President
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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