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November 21, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

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Retirement Plan Specialist
for Lincoln Trust Company in CO

Terminal Funding Pricing & Installation
for MassMutual Financial Group in CT, MA

QA - Defined contribution software
for a Product of Wolters Kluwer in ANY STATE, WI

Client Solutions Owner
for Prudential in CT

DC Plan Administrator
for Capital Retirement Plan Services, Inc. in PA

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[Guidance Overview]
Tax-Qualified Retirement Plans: Amendments and Other Year-End Action Items
"It is important that plan sponsors review whether any qualified plan action items must be addressed prior to year-end. This LawFlash describes potential year-end notices and plan amendments that may be required for tax-qualified retirement and savings plans." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

DATAIR! New Features – Flexible Pricing – Module Integration   [Advert.]

Sponsored by DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Proposals, Testing, Administration, 5500s, 1099Rs, Plan Documents
401(k), New Comparability, 403(b), Non-qualified Plans
(888) 328-2474

[Guidance Overview]
Plan Year 2011 Amendments to Retirement Plan Documents
The target web page lists the amendments required for defined contribution plans and for defined benefit plans. (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL's Final Regulations on Participant Investment Advice (PDF)
"[DOL] issued final regulations regarding provisions under the Pension Protection Act of 2006 relating to investment advice to participants in individual account plans, such as 401(k) plans. The regulations apply to transactions occurring on or after December 27, 2011." (Buck Consultants, LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
Responsibility to Collect Plan Contributions
"The DOL has stated that an overwhelming number of filings in its Voluntary Fiduciary Compliance Program (VFCP) involve the late deposits. Hopefully, a future modification to the VFCP program will include de minimis criteria to provide a self-correction method." (McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

MassMutual’s Award-Winning ERISA Advisory Services   [Advert.]

Sponsored by MassMutual

MassMutual’s ERISA Advisory Services can help plan fiduciaries and other professionals by providing up-to-date information and easy-to-use tools that help simplify the process of maintaining the compliance health of your retirement plan.

Michigan's Controversial Pension Tax Survives State Supreme Court
"Michigan pensioners failed to salvage their longstanding tax break when a divided Michigan Supreme Court gave the green light Friday to impose a 4.35% personal income tax on pensions." (Detroit Free Press)

Sale of Pension Income Targeted by Senator
"A U.S. Senate committee is considering tackling a burgeoning and controversial business in which veterans and other retirees sell some of their future pension income to investors, with an array of middlemen profiting from the transactions." (The Wall Street Journal)

The Floor-Leverage Rule for Retirement
"Financial planners assume that retirees have a strong preference for consistent, predictable spending. Their widely used rule of thumb, the 4% rule, was developed to identify the maximum spending level that could be maintained throughout retirement. In stark contrast, the standard advice from financial economist may result in large fluctuations in spending. We reconcile these disparate views by augmenting the utility maximization framework of financial economists with the strong preference for consistent spending identified by financial planners." (Social Science Research Network)

The Pension Protection Act of 2006 and Diversification of Employer Stock in Defined Contribution Plans
"This paper estimates the short-run impact of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 . . . on holdings of employer stock in defined contribution pension plans." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

IRS's EP Function Should Continue Efforts to Gather Needed Retirement Plan Information
"The Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration . . . has found that certain information that is no longer required to be reported on annual returns processed by the Labor Department and provided to the IRS was used by the IRS's Employee Plans (EP) function to identify the characteristics of noncompliant plans for examination." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

ERISA Accounts, Part 2
"'ERISA Accounts,' or 'Fee Recapture Accounts,' or 'ERISA Budgets' are growing in popularity, and are becoming a frequent feature in the 401(k) and 403(b) space." (Robert J. Toth, Jr., Business of Benefits)

How to Select an Investment Advisor: An Essential Guide (PDF)
[PowerPoint presentation:] 1. Understand the Types of Investment Advisors; 2. Learn How to Do an Advisor Check; and, 3. Determine Your Advisor's Structure. (Portfolio Evaluations, Inc.)

For Retirees, Selling Pensions a Risky Bet
"[A reporter] found that pensions from both state governments and the private sector have been bought by investors, but most are interested in military pensions because they come from the federal government. [The reporter] says the way the pension deals are structured circumvents the legality question of signing over the actual pension checks." (NPR)

Kentucky Retirement Systems Ask State for Higher Contributions
"The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that an independent actuary report to KRS trustees showed unfunded pension and insurance liabilities for the state have ballooned to more than $12 bil.lion this fiscal year and that drastic increases in the state's contribution rates are needed to fully fund retirement obligations in fiscal year 2012-13, which begins July 1." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Court Rules against Higher Retirement Contributions for New Jersey Judges
"A New Jersey State appeals court said it would let stand a lower court ruling that found higher retirement contributions from judges would be a reduction in judicial pay, which violates the state constitution." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

BNY Mellon Must Face Virginia Pension Fund's Fraud Lawsuit
"A judge in Fairfax, Virginia, . . . rejected the bank's argument that the case couldn't be brought under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act because alleged false or fraudulent claims were never submitted to the state for payment." (Bloomberg L.P.)

Actuary Blasts Leroy Collins Institute Report on Florida Municipal Pension Plans
"Foster & Foster, actuary for public plans in the State of Florida, felt compelled to issue a public response to the report because it was so off the mark." (Cypen & Cypen)

Illinois $1 Bil.lion Surprise as Pension Demands Jump
"The 19 percent increase in obligations, to $5.9 bil.lion from $4.9 bil.lion in fiscal 2012, wasn't anticipated by budget officials when they presented the current plan in February. The higher cost to Illinois's five retirement funds threatens to deepen a budget hole as lawmakers consider tax breaks for businesses threatening to leave the state." (Bloomberg L.P.)

Legislation Introduced to Stem Abuse of Public Employee Disability Pensions in New Jersey
"The changes in the bill include: an increase from 4 to 10 years the service credit required before a member of state pension systems becomes available for an ordinary disability pension, and a restriction of disability awards to members who sustained injuries during regular and assigned duties. Disability awards for willful negligence would be eliminated." (

Why Raising the Retirement Age Won't Shrink the Deficit
"Washington deficit cutters often attempt to justify a higher Social Security retirement age by pointing toward rising longevity and the need to work longer. There are several problems with that argument. First, most of the longevity gains are going to affluent Americans with access to better health care and diets . . . ." (TRIBUNE MEDIA SERVICES, INC. via Entrepreneur Media Inc.)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
ISS 2012 Policy Updates (PDF)
"On November 17, ISS issued updates to its U.S., Canadian, European and other international voting policies for the 2012 proxy season that will apply to all publicly traded companies with shareholder meetings on or after February 1, 2012." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Clarifies Application of All Events Test to an Employer's Bonus Pool Liability
"[Rev. Rul. 2011-29] clarifies the IRS position regarding a taxpayer's ability to accrue in the year before payment its liability for bonuses under a program creating a bonus pool and resulting in a liability to a group of employees." (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

[Guidance Overview]
Upcoming Benefit Deadlines
Listed are deadlines from December 1, 2011, to January 31, 2012. (The Law Firm of Baker & Daniels LLP)

Press Releases

Financial Mindset of Retirees Improving Though Fewer Considering How Long Assets Will Last

Employees Want Health Plans That Are Simple, Personalized And Support Their Own Health Improvement
(Aon Hewitt)

New Handbook Offers Guidance on Complexities of Multiemployer Benefit Plans
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Unprecedented online tool developed by HHS for small businesses to find and compare health insurance plans
(U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)

Building financial literacy through benefits research and education

Record percentage of younger workers indicate increasing concern about personal job security – Mercer Workplace Survey™

Optum Institute Launches; Will Provide Analysis and Insight on Rapidly Changing Health Care Landscape
(OptumHealth Inc.)

Lockton Expands International Benefits Services Practice

Sprint Employees Respond to the Challenge for Health and Wellness

PFCD Briefing Spotlights Health Information Technology in Managing Chronic Diseases, Cutting Health Care Costs
(Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD))

Healthy Transformations to use VitalHealth EHR for Employee Health and Wellness
(VitalHealth Software), Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
Phone (407) 644-4146
Fax (407) 644-2151

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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