To To BenefitsLink home page

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 26, 2012 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Plan Admin Support Analyst / Pension Specialist
for Nationwide Insurance Company, Nationwide Financial in OH

Benefits Specialist
for Landmark Aviation in TX

Pension Consultant/Administrator
for Northern NJ Mid-Size Pension Consulting Firm in NJ

Retirement Sales Support Associate
for ExpertPlan, Inc. in NJ

Post Your Job on

View All Jobs

RSS feed for jobs RSS Feed: All Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

EA-2B Exam Review Course
in Virginia on April 10, 2012 presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

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

[Guidance Overview]
User Fees for Employee Plan Determination Letters Stable in 2012
"The IRS has updated its user fee schedule, generally effective February 1, 2012, for requests for various types of employee plan letter rulings and determination letters, and other matters . . . ." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

Have you seen ftwPortal Pro yet?   [Advert.]

Sponsored by

Our portal is completely integrated with our document, 5500 and admin software. Batch posting of notices and amendments, transferring data securely and status tracking are just a few of its innovative features. Contact us for details and a demo.

[Guidance Overview]
Numerous Changes Have Been Made to and by Determination Letter Procedures
"The revised procedures are effective February 1, 2012 for plans under the five-year remedial amendment cycle (other than terminating plans), and May 1, 2012 for terminating plans and for plans under the six-year remedial amendment cycle." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

[Guidance Overview]
Recent Developments Affecting Puerto Rico Retirement Plans (PDF)
"First, the Governor of Puerto Rico recently signed legislation making technical amendments to the retirement plan provisions in the Puerto Rico tax code enacted in January 2011. Second, Puerto Rico issued Circular Letter 11-10 which provides guidance for amending plans and obtaining plan qualification letters. Finally, the IRS issued Notice 2012-6 which further extends the transfer deadline for U.S. qualified plans to spin off their Puerto Rico participants into a second plan." (Buck Consultants, LLC)

[Guidance Overview]
A Look at Case Law for Important Plan Documentation Reminders
"Two important cases provide good reminders to plan fiduciaries about (1) the importance of documentation of fiduciary processes, and (2) accurate communication of plan design changes to participants and beneficiaries." (Ice Miller LLP)

Workers Fight Switch to 'Church Plan' Status of Pension Plans
"[A] growing number of plan sponsors with less-direct ties to religious organizations have been declaring themselves church plans and asking the Internal Revenue Service to issue private-letter rulings confirming the exemptions, which free the plans from federal funding requirements. They can stop paying PBGC insurance premiums and can even receive a refund of up to six years of insurance premiums . . . ." (Reuters)

Bill Adds Pension Cost for Teachers and Local Government Workers
"All public school teachers and local government employees would have to contribute 5 percent of their pay toward their retirement plan under legislation introduced in the Virginia Senate. Sen. John C. Watkins, R-Powhatan, also wants to prohibit school boards and local governing bodies from paying the employee share of their pensions as almost all school divisions and many local governments have for decades." (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

Deadline Nears to Comment on IRS Governmental Plan Guidance Discussion Draft
"The [IRS] will hold a public hearing on June 5, 2012, on the definition of a 'governmental plan' under Section 414(d) of the [IRC]. The subject of the hearing will be IRS's discussion draft of a proposed regulation on the definition. Individuals wishing to speak at the hearing must submit written requests and supporting materials by February 6, 2012, which is also the date by which written comments on the discussion draft are due." (The Segal Group, Inc.)

State Defined Contribution and Hybrid Retirement Plans
"This report lists state governments' defined contribution retirement plans designed as primary coverage for a group or class of state employees or state teachers: that is, it includes plans that eligible employees are required to join, or that are one of two or three alternative plans that employees choose among. Some states provide hybrid plans, in which employees are covered by both a defined benefit and a defined contribution plan. Hybrid is a generic, not a specific, term, and what are called hybrid plans in state government differ substantially." (National Conference of State Legislatures)

House Panel Debates Cuts to Federal Retirement Benefits
"Proposals to cut a defined pension plan under the Federal Employees Retirement System drew the ire of congressional Democrats and labor union groups, while suggested reductions to lawmaker benefits were more warmly received at a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on the federal workforce Wednesday." (Government Executive)

Developing a Pension Funding Policy for State and Local Governments (PDF)
"These funding principles can be thought of in a risk-management framework. In an effort to keep the employer's pension contribution relatively stable from year to year, a funding policy should: (1) identify key risk areas that add to contribution volatility and (2) identify ways to manage each of those risks. The primary risk areas in funding retirement systems are investment risks, demographic risks within the covered population, benefit or plan design risks, and governance risks." (Gabriel Roeder Smith & Company)

Big Question: When Should I Retire? (PDF)
"The 'when-to-retire' question has many companions. They often pop up at the same time as the 'when' question. Answering some or all of these companion questions sometimes helps uncover the answer to the big question." (Society of Actuaries)

Hearing: Examining the Challenges Facing PBGC and Defined Benefit Pension Plans
The February 2, 2012, hearing is scheduled at 10:00 a.m. in room 2175 Rayburn H.O.B. Witnesses to be announced. (U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions)

Shielding Plan Fiduciaries from Participants' Investment Losses
"2012 is the year of a regulatory tsunami affecting plan sponsors at many different levels. As the dust settles, plan sponsors and consultants should refocus on the main issues at hand regarding defined contribution retirement plans: process and protection." (The Agbay Group)

Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board to Publish Details About Addition of Roth 401(k) Option to Thrift Savings Plan
"The new Roth TSP component will invest an employee's after-tax earnings and cannot be taxed when withdrawn, similar to a traditional Roth IRA. There will be no income limits on earnings from TSP's Roth option as there are on a traditional Roth IRA, which could make the feature more attractive to federal workers and service members." (Government Executive)

New Jersey Not Making Its Share of Pension Contribution
"The pension reform passed last year helped lower the state's unfunded pension liability from $53.9 bil.lion to $36.3 bil.lion, but the state's pension hole grew by $5.5 bil.lion by the end of the 2011 budget year, largely because the state failed to make a pension payment, an annual actuarial report on the pension funds shows, according to the Newark Star-Ledger." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Retirement Plan Participants Want Simple Guidance
"Retirement plan participants are in need of direct, simple guidance to help them reach their retirement goals, according to State Street Global Advisors [Defined Contribution] Investor survey." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

GAO Report on U.S. Capitol Police: Retirement Benefits, Pay, Duties, and Attrition Compared to Other Federal Police Forces (PDF)
"GAO (1) compared USCP to other forces with respect to retirement benefits, minimum entry-level salary, duties, and employment requirements; (2) compared attrition at USCP to other forces, and determined how, if at all, USCP and other forces used human capital flexibilities (e.g., retention bonus); and (3) determined what level of retirement income USCP benefits provide and the costs associated with the proposed benefit enhancements." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Annual Reporting Requirements for Incentive Stock Options and Employee Stock Purchase Plans
"With respect to reporting ESPP transactions, companies are required to report the first transfer of legal title to any share purchased under an ESPP plan." (Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP)

Kodak Bankrup.tcy Shows the Risks of Nonqualified Deferred Compensation
"The biggest risk with a nonqualified deferred compensation plan . . . is the possibility of the company's bankrup.tcy. The Chapter 11 bankrup.tcy filing by Eastman Kodak raises questions about what will happen to the amounts deferred into its nonqualified retirement plan and what actions the company and its executives have been taking in relation to the plan during the past several years." (

Executive Summary of 2011 U.S. and Canadian Legislative and Regulatory Developments for Health and Retirement Plans
"Much of the activity related to health care in the U.S. was focused on the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 . . . . Retirement security garnered attention with U.S. Congressional hearings, governmental reports and initiatives geared to the consumer." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

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 © 2012, 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: