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October 11, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Senior Data Analyst (Healthcare / Pharmaceutical)
for 11199SEIU Benefit and Pension Funds in NY

Retirement Plan Consultant
for Bethesda, MD based financial services firm in MD

Director, Retirement Key Account Management (Southeast)
for Prudential in CT

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Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Costa Mesa
in California on November 8, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

Best Practices to Prevent 401(k) Litigation
in California on October 20, 2011 presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter

Determination Letter Issues Regarding Employee Stock Ownership Plans Phone Forum
Nationwide on October 28, 2011 presented by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)


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ERISA Litigation National Institute, Chicago, IL   [Advert.]

Sponsored by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

A practical approach to ERISA, this program is designed for litigators who handle ERISA cases and want to enhance their substantive ERISA knowledge, and benefits practitioners who wish to further their knowledge of substantive and recent case law.


Fair Value Measurements and Technical Corrections Projects Added to Current GASB Technical Agenda
"The Board has issued fair value guidance in Statement No. 25, Financial Reporting for Defined Benefit Pension Plans and Note Disclosures for Defined Contribution Plans. Statement No. 31, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Certain Investments and for External Investment Pools, and its implementation guide also provide direction on fair value measurements." (Governmental Accounting Standards Board)

Public Pension Funds Wrestle with Return Rates
"Some lawmakers and pension officials are pushing to abandon the roughly 8% annual-return assumption set by many public-employee funds, saying the rate is unrealistically high given upheaval in markets around the world and the preceding financial crisis." (The Wall Street Journal)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Listings of Required Modifications (LRMs) Have New Cross-Tested Plan Guidance
"In the restatement for EGTRRA, the IRS imposed several limitations on cross-tested plan formulas in prototype plans. Many of these restrictions were not imposed on volume submitter documents or individually designed plans. In the new LRMs, the IRS made some significant changes to the language for cross-tested plans." (SunGard Relius)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Guidance on Electronic Disclosures under Participant Fee Disclosure Regulations
"The Technical Release contains a 'Special Transition Provision' that applies with respect to email addresses of participants and beneficiaries that are already on file with the employer, plan sponsor or plan administrator [when] the individual has interacted electronically with the plan within twelve months prior to furnishing the notice." (Proskauer Rose LLP)


Helping benefit administrators improve operational efficiency.   [Advert.]

Sponsored by SunGard Relius

SunGardís Omni Data Validation Web helps improve the efficiency of payroll contribution and streamline the process from data submission by the plan sponsor to automate the funding and posting of the recordkeeping system. Click here to learn more.


Report Diagnoses Illinois' 'Unsustainable' Debt
"[The report] cites a May report from Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford [saying] Illinois borrowed $3.7 bil.lion earlier this year to help fund a pension payment, and because of the state's low credit rating, taxpayers are saddled with $1.28 bil.lion of interest." (Chicago Tribune)

Failed Participant Excessive Retirement Plan Fee Suits May Inform Plan Sponsors
"If a plan is not enriching itself at participants' expense—or operating with a conflict of interest in relation to its investment company—then it's under no obligation to scour the world for 'wholesale' investment vehicles that have especially low fees, and it's allowed to make participants pay those fees (like any other investor)." (SmartHR)

Half of Non-Retirees Question If Employer Plans Are Adequate
"According to a recent survey from Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America, 51% of non-retirees now question whether 401(k), 403(b), and 457 plans are adequate ways to save for retirement." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

SEC Looking into Kentucky Retirement System Placement Agent Activity
"The Lexington Herald-Leader reports that several current and former KRS executives have received subpoenas from the SEC, and all members of the KRS board of trustees since 2007 are expected to be deposed as well . . . ." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Double-Dipping in the Illinois Teachers' Pension System
"Anyone collecting a TRS pension could work either 120 days or up to 600 hours annually in a position eligible for a TRS pension before their payouts were diminished. . . . That law was changed this year, so retirees can only work 100 days or 500 hours annually before affecting their pensions." (Illinois Statehouse News)

Oregon Public Employees Retirement System Can Collect Overpayments, Court Says
"The chain of events goes back to 2000, when the board approved 20 percent earnings credited to member accounts for 1999. PERS later sought to recover money, based on a court decision that set 11.33 percent as the correct figure to be credited." (www.statesmanjournal.com)

More Details Available on Rhode Island Pension Bill
"The 'starting point' for the forthcoming Raimondo-Chafee pension bill is a proposal floated last month that would freeze COLAs for more than a decade and create a new hybrid plan for all workers in the state-run system, according to a top Treasury official." (LIN Television Corporation)

Justice Dept./NY Attorney General File Separate Civil Charges Against Bank of New York Mellon, Accusing It of Defrauding Customers of Foreign Exchange Services
"The bank used phrases like 'best execution' and 'most competitive rates' in promoting its services, while the complaints assert it overcharged a number of pension funds and governments by secretly taking advantage of spreads in the prices for foreign currencies to reap profits." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Colorado Saves Millions after Pension Program Change
"A loophole previously allowed immigrants to immediately enroll in the state's Old Age Pension after joining relatives in Colorado. The 2010 law imposed a five-year residency requirement. . . . The five-year residency requirement aligns the program with federal law, which imposes the same waiting period to receive federal benefits." (CBS Local Media)

[Opinion]
Simulations Show Extreme Negative Effects from Cutting 401(k) Tax Deductions (PDF)
"A Congressional proposal to eliminate tax deductions for employee and employer contributions to 401(k) plans could mean big hits to the youngest/lowest paid workers in the country said Jack VanDerhei, CEBS, at [a symposium]." (The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.)

[Opinion]
Best Practices for Reducing Loans, Hardship Withdrawals, and Impulsive Investment Decisions
"There is a growing concern that lawsuits from employees who claim they weren't given enough information on how loans, hardship withdrawals, and poor investment choices could severely impact their retirement may increase. The claim may be that employees shouldn't have been allowed to take loans or hardship withdrawals, or that they should have been given more information on asset allocation." (Liz Davidson, Financial Finesse via 401khelpcenter.com, LLC)

[Opinion]
Participant Fee Disclosure Regs for 401(k) Plans
"Although the . . . intent is certainly noble, the details in the regulation will foster confusion among participants and worse, promotes the elusive hidden fee practices of some major 'special interest' providers that the regulation was originally designed to expose." (Asset Strategy Consultants - Boston)

[Opinion]
A Fiduciary Standard Is Good, Old-Fashioned Common Sense
"When the [Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc.] included a fiduciary standard in its Standards of Professional Conduct, there was concern that brokerage and insurance business models were going to be disrupted and compensation structures would suffer." (Investment News; free registration required)

[Opinion]
Housing Benefit Exposes Idaho Legislative Pension Perk
"It's bad enough that government—local, state and federal—is larded up with all kinds of giveaways and entitlements for favored classes and special interests. But legislators have a singular obligation to make sure they're not the favored class, the special interest getting the government perk at the expense of taxpayers." (Idaho Press-Tribune)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Guidance Update on Per Diem Allowances and Optional Method for Computing Travel Expense Deductions
"The per diem rules can greatly simplify the process of substantiating business travel expense amounts. Note that if generous per diems exceed what will be deemed substantiated, employers must require substantiation, require return of the excess, or treat the excess as taxable wages." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

Institutional Shareholder Services Reports Pay and Governance Policy Survey Results
"[The new report] summarizes survey feedback on the proxy adviser's 2011 executive pay and governance policies. . . . Key U.S. pay practices and board issues covered in this year's survey include pay for performance, say on pay, approval of equity plans, leadership structure and director elections." (Mercer LLC)

Milliman's Monthly Benefit News and Developments, October 2011 (PDF)
"The newsletter provides a summary of the previous month's legislative, regulatory, and judicial information on employee benefits and upcoming key dates." (Milliman, Inc.)

Press Releases



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