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December 19, 2011 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Bates & Company, P.A. in FL

Employee Benefits Paralegal/Paraprofessional
for Willis North America in LOCATION OTHER THAN U.S., ANY STATE, CT, DC, DE, MA, MD, ME, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, TN, VT

Senior Benefits Consultant - Defined Contribution
for ERP Actuaries & Consultants in NY

Client Service Manager
for Liazon Corporation in NY

Director II, Legal Product Management
for Fidelity Investments in TX

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Webcasts and Conferences

"1099-R: An Ongoing Challenge" Web Seminar
Nationwide on January 13, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"ERPA Test Review Part I" Web Seminar, A 3-part program
Nationwide on January 4, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"ERPA Test Review Part II" Web Seminar, A 3-part program
Nationwide on January 9, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Atlanta
in Georgia on January 20, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Charlotte
in North Carolina on January 19, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Dallas
in Texas on January 18, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Denver
in Colorado on January 17, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Houston
in Texas on January 19, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Kansas City
in Kansas on January 20, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

CFDD 2012 Advisor Conference: Outcomes Based Consulting, Higher Margin Business & Increasing Efficiency
in Illinois on October 22, 2012 presented by Center for Due Diligence

The Trusted Advisors: Insights into the Latest Trends Within the Defined Contribution Industry
in New York on January 18, 2012 presented by IOMA

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[Official Guidance]
IRS Employee Plans News, December 16, 2011 (PDF)
Articles include: (i) Significant Changes to the Employee Plans Determination Letter Program - Announcement 2011-82; (ii) Relief for IRA Owners Who Have Certain Agreements with Their Brokers or Financial Institutions - Announcement 2011-81; and (iii) 2011 Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements - Notice 2011-97. (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

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[Official Guidance]
2012 PBGC Premium Payment Instructions and Addresses, With Illustrative Forms
PBGC has posted premium payment instructions for Estimated Flat-rate Filings and for Comprehensive Filings for plan year 2012, with illustrative forms. "My Plan Administration Account (My PAA)" is expected to be ready for 2012 premium filings by mid-January 2012. (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Impact of GASB Public Accounting Proposals on Employers Participating in State Retirement Systems (PDF)
"If these proposals are finalized without change, participating employers will need to substantially revamp their accounting systems at considerable expense. Compliance is expected to be the responsibility of the employer, and the retirement system's ability to provide assistance in many cases may be limited. That may leave the burden of compliance on the contributing government employers." (Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview]
What Investment Details Are Required by the 404(a) Disclosure Regulation?
"Under the regulation, plan sponsors are required to provide participants or beneficiaries with the following investment-related information for each designated investment alternative (DIA) offered under the plan: identifying information, performance data, benchmark information, fee and expense information, each DIA's Internet Web site address, and a glossary." (planadviser; free registration required)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS's Temporary Relief to IRA Owners, Pending Further Action by the DOL and Further Guidance from the IRS
"While the IRS announcement provides some level of assurance that the agency will not seek to disqualify IRAs based on the DOL positions, financial institutions should nevertheless consider evaluating any indemnification and cross-collateralization provisions in their IRA and non-IRA account agreements in light of the issues raised, to determine whether it is appropriate to make any changes pending further guidance." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

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.

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Extends Deadline, Provides Sample Amendment for Pension Plans to Comply with Section 436
"The Pension Protection Act of 2006 added Section 436 to the Internal Revenue Code . . . to limit benefit accruals and benefits payable under a single-employer defined benefit plan if the funded percentage of the plan falls below certain levels." (McGuireWoods LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
PBGC's Proposed Regs on Benefit Determinations for Terminating Statutory Hybrid Plans (PDF)
"The PBGC proposed regulations provide certainty for terminating statutory hybrid plans and allow these plans to coordinate their calculations with those the PBGC will use." (Buck Consultants, LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
Settlement in Major 401(k) Fee Case Is Preliminarily Approved
"On December 5, 2011, the U.S. District Court of the Western District of Missouri preliminarily approved an agreement by the parties to settle the putative class action claims asserted by participants in Wal-Mart Stores Inc.'s 401(k) plan." (Goodwin Procter LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Fourth Circuit Holds Trustees Are Liable Only If Their Fiduciary Breach Caused the Plan's Loss
"In Plasterers' Local Union No. 96 Pension Plan v. Pepper, . . . the Fourth Circuit affirmed the district court's findings that trustees of a multi-employer pension plan breached ERISA fiduciary duties by not diversifying plan investments and by failing to prudently investigate investment alternatives for the plan. However, the district court's holding that the trustees were liable to the plan was reversed because the Fourth Circuit concluded that the lower court never undertook to determine what losses, if any, resulted from the trustees' breaches of duty." (Goodwin Procter LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Second Circuit Adopts Presumption of Prudence for Holding of Employer Stock; Determines Fiduciaries Have No Affirmative Duty to Disclose Adverse Information
"In these decisions, the Second Circuit joins the Third, Fifth, Sixth and Ninth Circuits in adopting a presumption of prudence for the holding of employer stock in plans designed to hold such stock; to date, no circuit court has rejected this presumption." (Goodwin Procter LLP)

States' Pension Fund Accounting Rules Examined
"[GASB] proposals would change the way public pension funds value their assets — money that governments and their employees contribute to pension funds as well as the funds that pension investments earn — and how they value their liabilities, or the benefits retirees are entitled to based on their pay and years of service." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Illinois State University Opens Retirement System to Private Education Groups
"[G]iving private employees credit in public pensions is one of a number of troubling characteristics of the ailing systems in Illinois and Chicago, and [the State Universities Retirement System] is already overburdened." (Chicago Tribune)

Mercer Foresees Dismal Outlook for Pension Plan Contributions and Expense
"Huge and continuing cash calls, the slow economic recovery, and big potential increases in Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) premiums under consideration in Congress could place many plan sponsors in a difficult position, the firm stated in a release, adding that without changes to pension funding rules, the funded status for many plans in 2011 and subsequent years will likely continue to decline significantly . . . ." (Asset International, Inc.)

IRS Reminds Taxpayers to Take Advantage of the Saver's Credit for 2011
"The saver's credit helps offset part of the first $2,000 workers voluntarily contribute to IRAs and to 401(k) plans and similar workplace retirement programs. Also known as the retirement savings contributions credit, the saver's credit is available in addition to any other tax savings that apply." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Mississippi Public Employees' Retirement System Study Examines All Facets of Mississippi Pension Program
"The Commission, created by Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour in August to study the state's retirement system, created a report offering recommendations, including several investment, management and policy changes to protect the longer-term solvency of the state's public pension system. The report also includes a legal analysis of benefit modifications." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Sample Glossary of Investment-Related Terms for Disclosures to Retirement Plan Participants
"The [glossary] responds to defined contribution plans' need to comply with new Department of Labor participant disclosure regulations requiring plans to give participants specific information about plan investments, including fees and performance." (Investment Company Institute and SPARK Institute)

Virginia School Systems Ponder Governor's Proposed Increase to Retirement System
"Gov. Bob McDonnell announced a plan to start a full recovery of the Virginia Retirement System on Thursday, including an infusion of $2.2 bil.lion in state and local government funds during the next two years. [It appears that each local school system would have to] increase their contributions significantly for teacher retirement plans if the General Assembly approves McDonnell's plan." (Media General Communications Holdings, LLC)

Oregon Public Employees Retirement System Dealing with Old and New Retirement Plans
"PERS currently maintains three pension plans, known respectively as Tier One, Tier Two and OPSRP, or the Oregon Public Service Retirement Plan . . . ." (

Phyllis Borzi's Fiduciary Fight Is Far from Over
"She plans to reissue the proposal in the coming weeks, and those who have watched her don't expect her to back off on any of the more controversial parts of the regulation." (Investment News; free registration required)

Design a Countdown-to-Retirement Plan
"'When you're 15 years away from retirement, that's when you have time to plan and make corrections along the way if markets don't perform well,' says Wei-Yin Hu, director of financial research at Financial Engines, a provider of financial advice for 401(k) plans." (USA TODAY)

IRS Highlights Plan Distributions, Examination Priorities, FAQs for Form 8955-SSA, and More
"The IRS's quarterly newsletters provide a helpful overview of recent IRS and DOL developments, a compliance calendar, and links to more detailed information. We note that a common theme in recent articles has been the practices and procedures needed to maintain plan compliance." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

403(b) Advisor, Summer 2011 Edition
(Originally published earlier this year.) Articles include Navigating the Regulatory Waters; Rush to Retirement: Layoffs, Pay Cuts, Benefit Reduction, Mass Exodus; Get The Most Out Of Social Security... While You Still Can; Is the 403(b) Plan Dying?; and Paying 'Reasonable Plan' Expenses. (National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association)

State Retirement Systems Placing Risky Wagers at Taxpayer Expense
"[W]e're gambling our financial future on whether public pension fund investments will surpass reasonable expectations. If state Treasurer Bill Lockyer, union leaders and the state's largest government employee retirement funds have their way, they'll continue betting against the odds. It's not surprising. It's not their money at risk. They won't have to cover the losses. Taxpayers will." (San Jose Mercury News)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Year-End Employee Benefit Plan Reminders
"As year-end approaches, employers should review their employee benefits plans to make sure they have been updated for any changes in the law or for any changes that have been implemented this year. In addition, you may need to send out participant notices, or to restate your plan by January 31, 2012." (Polsinelli Shughart PC)

10 Lessons for Success When Launching a New Benefits Enrollment System
"As employer groups that have gone through the process before know, some hiccups are normal. For the human resource benefits manager, the best way to ensure a smooth implementation of a new system is to understand the realities of such an implementation and to manage your own expectations — and those of senior management and employees — accordingly." (Human Resource Executive Online)

Ford Plant Closing Affects St. Paul, Minnesota
"About two-thirds of the plant's workers can transfer out of state, though the company doesn't yet know how many will do so, said Marcey Evans, a Ford spokeswoman. The buyout packages for those eligible for retirement are a $50,000 bonus for eligible production employees and a $100,000 bonus for skilled trades." (Pioneer Press)

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