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January 31, 2012 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Onsite Participant Counselor - Retirement Services
for Diversified in TX

Senior 401(k) Administrator
for Whole Foods Market in TX

Section 125 Compliance Analyst
for Insperity in TX

401(k) Administrator
for Suburban Philadelphia Pension Consulting Firm in PA

Retirement Plan Specialist
for Transamerica in IA, OH

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Webcasts and Conferences

"403(b) Plans: Coverage and Nondiscrimination Testing" Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 23, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

A New Arrow for the Pension Practitioners Quiver: Pension Risk Transfer Webinar
Nationwide on February 2, 2012 presented by Dietrich & Associates, Inc.

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[Guidance Overview]
D.C. Requires Employers to Withhold D.C. Tax on Retirement Plan and IRA Distributions to D.C. Residents (PDF)
"Unlike withholding in some other jurisdictions, the D.C. legislation requires withholding from distributions from IRAs, as well as pension, profit sharing and tax sheltered annuities (403(b) plans); withholding is mandatory, not voluntary." (Saul Ewing LLP)

The ASPPA 401(k) SUMMIT is Bigger and Better in New Orleans!   [Advert.]

Sponsored by ASPPA

Come to the Big Easy for the unparalleled 401(k) SUMMIT. Join over 1,500 attendees including Broker Dealer Registered Reps, Registered Investment Advisors, Plan Administrators (TPAs) and Product and Service Professionals. Register now and save!

[Guidance Overview]
Final 'Business Conduct Rules' for Swap Dealers Include Safe Harbor for ERISA Plans
"The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) included a safe-harbor for ERISA plans under the 'business conduct standards' for swap dealers under the Dodd-Frank Act . . . . In a letter to the CFTC, [DOL] affirmed that the final rule will not require swap dealers to engage in conduct that will cause them to become ERISA fiduciaries." (Deloitte via

San Diego Pension Measure Headed for June Ballot
"An initiative that would eliminate guaranteed pensions for most new city hires and replace them with a 401(k)-style plan is officially headed for the June 5 ballot." (The San Diego Union-Tribune, LLC)

Retirement Income in DC Plans: What Our Experience with DB Plans Tells Us (PDF)
"The potential for improvement in DC plans' ability to provide a steady stream of income has caught the eye of the financial services industry. While the marketplace races to deliver an array of possible solutions, employers and regulators are grappling with how these products fit within qualified retirement plans." (Institutional Retirement Income Council)

IRIC Provides Product Fact Sheets for Several of the Retirement Income Solutions Offered in the Marketplace
"These reference documents will allow plan sponsors, advisors, and consultants to engage in an objective analysis based on a consistent approach to comparing retirement income products." (Institutional Retirement Income Council)

Is Your Retirement Plan Due for an RFP In 2012?
"No law specifically requires plan fiduciaries to solicit bids through a request for proposal (RFP) process at the expiration of a service contract. However, the rising trend of 401(k) fee litigation underscores the belief among many practitioners that engaging in such an RFP process every 3-5 years constitutes 'best practices' and should be undertaken by prudent plan fiduciaries." (McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP)

Mutual Funds vs. ETFs: A Comparison
"Which Is Better? It depends upon the type of investor. The traditional, less sophisticated IRA investor who reallocates strategically, rather than tactically, keeps expenses low and is not a stock picker, may find the process of purchasing shares from a mutual fund company and redeeming them a simpler process. Additionally, plan sponsors' use of mutual funds is well entrenched." (Investopedia US via Hearst Communications Inc.)

Washington State Bill Would Put New Hires in State and Local Governments Into Hybrid Pension Plans
"[The Senate Bill gets a hearing] Thursday in the Senate Ways and Means Committee. The bill has two other pieces: letting the state skip a $130 mil.lion payment in the Plan 1 retirement accounts next year, and eliminating the early retirement benefit for newly hired workers." (Tacoma News, Inc.)

401(k) Plans Step into the Sunshine with New DOL Rules Requiring Fee Disclosures
"Analysts and companies in the industry say the increased disclosure will allow companies to negotiate better deals and employees to request more cost-efficient plans. Already, the prospect 'is putting downward pressure on fees,' said [the] leader of consulting firm Callan Associates Inc.'s defined-contribution practice." (The Wall Street Journal)

Target-Date Funds Get Customized as Plan Sponsors Take Charge
"Custom target-date funds are beginning to proliferate at the expense of their off-the-shelf counterparts. That's due to plan sponsors wanting to have greater control over what's in a fund and have access to a wider array of investments to put in them." (On Wall Street and SourceMedia, Inc.)

Chart Shows Types of Retirement Plans Provided for State Employees in Each State, with Separate Chart for Teachers
"This compilation of state defined benefit, defined contribution, and hybrid plans includes plans that cover general state employees and teachers in K-12 education (although some of the plans counted here may cover additional categories of employees). The lists exclude plans limited to public safety employees, judges, elected officials and employees of higher education, for whom many states have separate plans or provisions. In some of the states listed below, the plans cover all public employees in a state, including local government employees." (National Conference of State Legislatures)

California Public Pension Funds' Earnings Dip Amid Gloomy Forecasts
"The nation's two largest public pension funds last week reported slim annual investment earnings, CalPERS 1.1 percent and CalSTRS 2.3 percent, as experts continue to say hitting their long-term earnings target, 7.75 percent, will be difficult." (Calpensions)

Rhode Island Treasurer Says Move 36 Local Pension Plans Into State-Run System
"The 36 local plans have a combined unfunded liability of $2.1 bil.lion, but about 40% of that shortfall is in one city: Providence, where [the mayor has clashed with the state treasurer] over whether the General Assembly should pass legislation giving communities the green light to freeze pension cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs)." (WPRI)

Global Pension Fund Assets Hit Record High in 2011
"Global institutional pension fund assets in the 13 major markets grew by 4% during 2011 to reach a new high of US$28 tril.lion, up from US$26 tril.lion in 2010 according to Towers Watson's Global Pension Assets Study released today." (Towers Watson)

Are Company Pension Fund Return Forecasts Way Too Sunny?
"Judging by many companies' recent financial statements, they must believe their pension plans are run by . . . unheralded baby Buffetts." (The Wall Street Journal)

Teachers' Pension Issue: The State of Maryland vs. the Counties
"[The governor's] proposal to shift 50 percent of the cost of teachers' pensions from the state to the counties in which they are employed has county officials scrambling --and the budget isn't even approved yet." (

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Second Quarter Update to the 2011–2012 IRS Priority Guidance Plan (PDF)
"The second quarter update to the 2011–2012 plan reflects 14 additional projects that have become priorities and/or guidance we have published during the period from October 1, 2011 through December 31, 2011 of the plan year. In addition, the update reflects one project we have closed without publication because the statute was subsequently repealed." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
Reminder of ISO and ESPP Reporting Deadlines
"This is a reminder to companies issuing incentive stock options and sponsoring employee stock purchase plans about the January 31 deadline to report certain information to participants and the February 28 deadline to file returns with the IRS." (McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Headlines in Employee Benefits Law E-Alert, January 2012 (PDF)
The newsletter covers select compliance deadlines and reminders, and retirement plan, health and welfare plan, and general developments. (Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)

Corporate Governance: Proxy Advisory Guidelines and the Shifting Landscape of Benchmarking Executive Compensation
"Last year's introduction of say-on-pay regulations via Dodd-Frank helped to arm shareholders with the capacity to disapprove compensation policies, but the SEC's evolving compensation disclosure regulations and recent updates from proxy advisory firms' guidelines indicate that executive compensation remains a key issue." (Thomson Reuters)

Negotiating Executive Employment Agreements: Compensation and Benefits (PDF)
"The terms of an executive employment agreement, including the types of compensation and benefits included in the agreement, can have significant tax and securities consequences for the employer. In addition, under certain circumstances, the employer must publicly disclose the employment agreement, which may subject the employer to scrutiny." (Practical Law Publishing Limited and Practical Law Company, Inc. via Proskauer Rose LLP)

FUTA Reminders for 2012
"The taxable wage base under the Federal Unemployment Tax Act remains $7,000 for 2012. In addition, all 50 states, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, have received certifications for the maximum additional credit allowable based on the 12-month period ending on October 31, 2011." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

Survey Reveals Work/Life Balance, Learning Opportunities Have Greatest Impact on Job Satisfaction
"The survey of workers also revealed differences by age: Respondents between the ages of 35 and 44 were most concerned with work/life balance (46 percent), and those between the ages of 18 and 34 indicated the greatest interest in opportunities to learn and grow (37 percent)." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

Comparing the Compensation of Federal and Private-Sector Employees
"Employees of the federal government and the private sector differ in ways that can affect compensation. Federal workers tend to be older, more educated, and more concentrated in professional occupations than private-sector workers." (U.S. Congressional Budget Office)

Union Membership, 2011
"In 2011, 7.6 mil.lion employees in the public sector belonged to a union, compared with 7.2 mil.lion union workers in the private sector. The union membership rate for public-sector workers (37.0 percent) was substantially higher than the rate for private-sector workers (6.9 percent)." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Local Ohio Businesses Keep Employees Happy with Wide Range of Perks
"Companies in the Dayton area work to keep their employees happy, offering benefit packages that include health and disability insurance, 401(k) retirement plans, and paid vacation and holidays. Some businesses take it a step further, showering their staff with luncheons, treats in the break room, and free trips to sporting events and amusement parks." (Cox Ohio Publishing)

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

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