To To BenefitsLink home page

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

December 1, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Part Time On Call Participant Counselor
for Diversified in CA, DC, FL, IN, KY, MI, OH, TX

Enrolled Actuary
for Karel-Gordon & Associates in IL

Pension Administrator
for Beneco in AZ

Post Your Job on

View All Jobs

RSS feed for jobs RSS Feed: All Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

Mid-Market Corporate Benefits Summit
in Nevada on January 23, 2012 presented by marcus evans

Qualified Plan Beneficiary Rules and Issues Webcast
Nationwide on December 8, 2011 presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

The Challenges: Moving Retirement Plan and IRA Assets Webcast
Nationwide on December 6, 2011 presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

We also publish the BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter (free): Subscribe

[Official Guidance]
Text of PBGC Inspector General Report: 'PBGC Processing of Terminated United Airlines Pension Plans Was Seriously Deficient' (PDF)
"Serious errors and omissions plagued PBGC's determination of (1) the fair market value of plan assets and (2) the reliability of data used to calculate participants' benefits for four terminated United Airlines pension plans." (Office of the Inspector General, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Free Webcast! IRS Guidance on Submission of Pre-Approved DC Plans   [Advert.]

Sponsored by ASC

In this free webcast, we summarize what you need to know about the recently issued IRS guidance on the procedures for the submission of pre-approved plans. Additionally, youíll learn how ASCi is gearing up for the process. Click for more info.

[Guidance Overview]
Final DOL Reg Aimed at Improving Access to Investment Advice for 401(k) Plan Participants
"The Regulations provide clarification on certain issues first described in the proposed regulations, and set forth a number of safeguards designed to minimize conflicts of interest on the part of the fiduciary adviser." (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
DC Plan Sponsor Must Pay Back Assets Wrongly Transferred to Ex-Spouse
"The court noted if it were true that, once credited to a particular participant's account, plan funds become 'benefits' whose alienation and assignment is prohibited by ERISA, then the plan administrator would be prohibited from debiting participants' accounts even to cover expenses that ERISA and the plan specifically contemplate they will bear." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Federal Pension Payment Delays Get Much Worse
"The Office of Personnel Management's backlog of pending retirement claims has grown 58 percent since Director John Berry pledged more than a year ago to pay retirees their full pensions more quickly." (Gannett Government Media Corporation)

Pension Act Dramatically Increases Retirement Plan Participation, According to Fidelity Analysis
"In the five years since the Pension Protection Act was passed, the use of automatic enrollment in retirement plans has increased from 16% of participants to over 50%, Fidelity found in an analysis of the firm's retirement plans. Furthermore, the percentage of plans that default participants into age-based lifecycle funds leapt from 11% to 73%." (AdvisorOne)

Increase the profitability and potential of your investment-only business   [Advert.]

Sponsored by Financial Research Associates

The Defined Contribution Investment Only market is growing by leaps and bounds. Are you taking full advantage of this lucrative, emerging opportunity? Gain top-level insights from industry leaders, retirement platforms, advisors, and consultants.

Holidays Good Time to Review Your Gift Policy Regarding Fiduciaries
"When considering whether or not to accept a gift, a fiduciary should always ask his or herself whether they believe it will impair their ability to carry out their duties objectively. Of course, the policy could be that no gifts of any type or amount can be accepted, period; although this simplifies things, it may not be practical." (fi360 Blog)

Coming Mandatory Disclosure of 401(k) Plan Fees Could Give Participants a Nasty Shock
"Possible repercussions range from a tattered reputation to class-action litigation against fiduciaries. At least 30 lawsuits have been brought since 2006 on behalf of plan participants alleging that fiduciaries imprudently allowed plan service providers to receive excessive investment-management and administrative fees, according to the Bureau of National Affairs." (

Employers Must Understand the Status of Their Retirement Plan Documents
"Whether or not an employer should obtain an individual determination letter should be carefully considered based on the size of the employer, number of participants in a plan, the length of time the plan has been in existence, intentions to sell a company, possible plan mergers and past administrative practices." (Employee Benefit News)

Illinois Lawmakers Target Union Leaders but Fail to Address Pension System's Huge Debt
"The General Assembly again left town without addressing an enormous employee pension system debt that looms over government from the Capitol to City Hall." (Chicago Tribune)

State-Sponsored Pensions: Developments Update for November 28, 2011
The week's update since the November 21 report includes articles from newspapers and organizations. (The Williams Report)

Discussion on Proliferation of Hybrid Annuity Products and Features
"Hybrid benefits can also be found in the [fixed index annuity] space, where [a company] offers a combined death benefit/living benefit guarantee via its Enhanced Guaranteed Income and Family Wealth Transfer Benefit . . . rider. Available on several of the company's fixed index annuities, this optional feature combines guaranteed lifetime withdrawals with an enhanced death benefit for one charge. It's designed for people with the dual priorities of wealth transfer and a guaranteed income stream for life." (LifeHealthPro)

New Edition of An Introduction to ESOPs
The NCEO has just released a new edition of An Introduction to ESOPs. This short book explains the rules, uses, benefits, and other aspects of employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs). It is useful as an introduction to the subject, as an accompaniment to a full-length book related to ESOPs, or as a concise reference for laypeople. Since the 1990s, it has been the NCEO's best-selling publication. It is now in its 12th edition. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Six Tips for Handling Severance Pay Plans
"How do you put together a severance pay plan that meets your needs and also stays within the bounds of legal requirements for such plans?" (Business & Legal Reports, Inc.)

2011 End of Year Plan Sponsor 'To Do' Lists
"In this issue we provide seven 'to do' lists [for retirement plans and health and welfare plans] that may require you to take action before the end of 2011 or in early 2012." (Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.)

Employee Benefits Developments, November 2011
Various rulings, opinions, and cases are summarized. (Hodgson Russ LLP)

Massachusetts Passes Legislation Protecting Transgender Employees in the Workplace
"This makes Massachusetts the 16th state — along with California, Colorado, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Illinois, Maine, Minnesota, Oregon, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and the District of Columbia — to provide some level of protection to employees based on gender identity and/or expression." (Littler Mendelson P.C.)

How Flexible Work Actually Works
"At MeetingMatrix International, a communications firm based in Portsmouth, N.H., employees have no defined work schedules, unlimited paid time off, and meetings are optional. How do they ever get any work done? That's actually the only thing that matters: results." (Cable News Network)

Does Employee Ownership Motivate People?
In his latest column, NCEO founder Corey Rosen writes that 'employee ownership' as through an ESOP, etc., 'doesn't have a strong motivational impact on its own'; rather, employees are motivated by 'a culture in which people are allowed to motivate themselves." (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Press Releases, 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

Copyright © 2011, Inc. All rights reserved.

All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

Links to Web sites other than those owned by, Inc. are offered as a service to readers. The editorial staff of, Inc. was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

More useful links: