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February 6, 2012 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Relations Representative
for The Online 401(k) in CA

DB Systems Analyst
for Milliman in TX

401(k) / Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for R.J.L. Pension Services, Inc. in FL

Senior Investment Consultant
for The Newport Group in FL

Pension Consultant
for Prudential in PA

Manager, Relationship Management
for Prudential in IA

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Webcasts and Conferences

"The Final, Final Service Provider Fee Regulations Finally!" Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 14, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"The Final, Final Service Provider Fee Regulations Finally!" Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 22, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Boca Raton
in Florida on March 1, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- McLean
in Virginia on February 23, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Plano
in Texas on February 21, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Woodland Hills
in California on February 9, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

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[Official Guidance]
The IRS 401(k) Compliance Check Questionnaire Interim Report
The target page provides links to Highlights of Findings; the 65-page Interim Report; Comments from Monika Templeman, Director of EP Examinations; FAQs regarding the Interim Report; the Phone Forum's March 6, 2012, session about the Interim Report. (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

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

Sponsored by ASPPA

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[Guidance Overview]
Fiduciary-Level 401(k) Fee Disclosure Deadlines Extended Three Months; Indirectly Extends Participant-Level Fee Disclosure Deadlines
"The three-month extension of the plan-level fee disclosure rule triggers an equal extension of the participant-level fee disclosure rules under ERISA Section 404(a)(2). Technically plan sponsors (employers) must make these disclosures to plan participants, but for practical purposes institutional investment providers will provide most of the content. The deadline to distribute the initial written disclosure has moved from May 31, 2012 to August 30, 2012, and the deadline to distribute the first quarterly statement under the rule has moved from August 14, 2012 to November 14, 2012." (E is for ERISA)

[Guidance Overview]
EBSA Issues Final Regulations on Required Fee Disclosure to Plan Fiduciaries (PDF)
"Under the final rule, a plan fiduciary seeking relief under the class exemption must determine whether to terminate or continue its service arrangement with a CSP if the plan fiduciary has requested information and that information is not disclosed within 90 days of written request. If the request relates to future services and the CSP fails to disclose promptly after the 90-day period, the fiduciary must terminate the service arrangement 'as expeditiously as possible.'" (Ascensus, Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL and IRS Retirement Security Measures, Including Final Fiduciary-Level Fee Disclosure Regs and Proposed Guidance on Lifetime Income
"In a coordinated effort, the DOL and IRS have announced agency actions that are intended to enhance retirement security. The DOL has announced the release of final fiduciary-level fee disclosure regulations, with an extended effective date of July 1, 2012." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

Web Based Plan Design System. Simple and Affordable.   [Advert.]

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American Airlines Plan Terminations Might Boost Other Employers' Premiums, PBGC Says
"If the four plans, which have about 130,000 participants, are taken over by the PBGC, it would be the largest loss in the agency's history." (Business Insurance)

Employees Denied Subsidized Early Retirement Benefits Because They Were Not Legitimately Retired
"Employees who 'retire' on one day to qualify for benefits under a plan, with the explicit understanding with their employer that they are not separating from service with the employer, are not legitimately retired, according to a private ruling by the IRS." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

PBGC Faces $17 Bil.lion in Liabilities If AA Terminates Plans
"The PBGC, though, would not be liable for all pension benefits earned by the airline's employees and retirees. The maximum annual benefit — payable at age 65 — guaranteed by the PBGC is $54,000 for plans that terminated in 2011, and nearly $56,000 for plans terminating this year." (Business Insurance)

Are Custom Target Date Funds Right for Your Plan? (PDF)
"Currently, a large percentage of plan sponsors use TDFs that are pre-packaged vendor products, commonly offered by an investment management firm that may also serve as the plan recordkeeper in bundled situations. These products typically use the vendor's proprietary funds as their component investment options. There is often little overlap between the funds underlying the target date fund and those in the plan's core lineup." (Aon Corporation)

Issue with 401(k) Fund Is Subpar Performance, Not Expenses
"Let's hope that your employer will start to realize that using match dollars to compensate for poor fund performance isn't what matching dollars were meant to do. If your plan has a brokerage window alternative, you may be able to create a better option for yourself by using a lower-cost index fund or exchange-traded fund alternative. This would allow you to capture the match and have a better investment option, too." (Los Angeles Newspaper group)

Proposed Washington State Hybrid Pension Plan Criticized
"A proposal to trim future outlays for state-funded pensions ran into a storm of criticism from retiree and labor groups last week, and the concept is in trouble at the Legislature." (Tacoma News, Inc.)

Feds Push New 401(k) Option: A Convenient Way to Get Income for Life
"The federal government has issued new regulations designed to encourage two important changes: Allow 401(k) plan participants to easily convert a portion of their assets to an annuity. Create an option within 401(k) plans for deferred annuities, also known as longevity insurance, which some see as a silver bullet." (Time Inc.)

Industry Players Mostly Pleased with Final Rule on 408(b)(2)
"Larry Goldbrum, general counsel for the SPARK Institute, told PLANSPONSOR that given the delay in the release, he thinks most recordkeepers already moved forward in January with their planned compliance approach and must adjust it now. 'I think service providers still need to evaluate if they'll be able to adjust their compliance plans in time for [the July 1] deadline,' he said." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Change in Governmental Plan Definition to Affect Charter School Employees
"The National Alliance for Public Charter Schools estimates more than 90,000 charter school employees will be impacted by the Internal Revenue Service's proposal to change the definition of governmental plan." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Partial Annuities Included in Proposed Rules for Lifetime Income Options
"Providing partial annuities and reducing restrictions on so-called deferred longevity annuities were parts of proposed regulations on lifetime income options in retirement plans announced [last week] by the Treasury Department." (Business Insurance)

Hidden Burden of Ultra-Low Interest Rates?
"The Federal Reserve, which cut its target for the federal funds rate to a zero-to-0.25 percent range on Dec. 16, 2008, said last month that rates would remain 'exceptionally low' at least through late 2014. While the unprecedented period of near-zero rates is meant to aid an ailing economy, it poses challenges for banks, insurers, pension funds, and savers." (Leo Kolivakis)

The Debate We Need about Social Security and Americans' Retirement Security
"Social Security is not a program to be trifled with. Otherwise, as Dwight Eisenhower put it: Should any political party attempt to abolish Social Security . . . you would not hear of that party again in our political history. There is a tiny splinter group, of course, that believes you can do these things. Among them are [a] few other Texas oil millionaires, and an occasional politician or business man from other areas. Their number is negligible and they are stupid. — President Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1954" (The Century Foundation)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Be Ever Vigilant Regarding 409A and Include 409A Interpretive Provisions!
"Although the IRS has issued correction programs for both operational (IRS Notice 2008-113) and document (IRS Notice 2010-6) failures, not all 409A issues are included in such correction programs. Even corrections within the programs can cause employees to incur additional tax, tax reporting complications and different-than-desired payment timing so ongoing 409A compliance is important." (The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.)

Tax Expenditures Have Major Impact on Federal Budget
"Tax expenditures are more like entitlement programs (for example, Medicare) than like discretionary spending programs (which are generally funded one year at a time in fixed dollar amounts). In contrast, tax expenditures are not subject to annual appropriations, and any person or entity that meets the requirements for them can receive the benefits." (Congressional Budget Office)

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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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