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February 29, 2012 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Participant Counselor - Retirement Services
for Diversified in AL

401(k) Plan Administrator
for PASI, LLC in CT

Benefit Services Manager

ERISA/Employee Benefits Attorney
for Morgan Stanley in NY

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Howard Simon & Associates in IL

Retirement Plan Specialist - Installations
for Benefit Plans Plus, LLC in IL, MO

Qualified Plan Consultant
for The Newport Group in FL

Administrator Assistant
for GF Pension Corp. in NJ, PA

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Webcasts and Conferences

"Government Plans: The Oddity of the Retirement Plan World" Web Seminar
Nationwide on March 28, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

401(k) Essentials Plus Series
Nationwide on May 17, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

A Practical Guide to Negotiating ERISA Service Provider Agreements
Nationwide on March 22, 2012 presented by Practical Law Company

Legislative Update of Defined Contribution Plans Webcast
Nationwide on April 26, 2012 presented by National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators

Qualified Plan Essentials Plus Series
Nationwide on March 27, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

The 401(k) Questionnaire - Follow-up
Nationwide on March 22, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Webinar - Advanced HSAs
Nationwide on May 15, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - Choosing the "Right" Retirement Plan
Nationwide on May 23, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - Comparing Roth & Traditional IRAs
Nationwide on March 13, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - Conducting Your Own Compliance Audit
Nationwide on May 17, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - Conversions and Recharacterizations
Nationwide on April 5, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - Establishing and Amending IRAs
Nationwide on March 8, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - Handling IRA Legal Issues
Nationwide on May 3, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - HSA Basics
Nationwide on April 26, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - Introduction to QRP's
Nationwide on May 8, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - IRA Beneficiary Distributions
Nationwide on May 10, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - IRA Contributions
Nationwide on March 1, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - IRA Excess Contributions
Nationwide on April 24, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - IRA Investments and Investment Issues
Nationwide on March 15, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - IRA Reporting
Nationwide on March 29, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - IRA Reporting
Nationwide on May 1, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - IRA Required Minimum Distributions
Nationwide on March 6, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - Roth IRA Distributions
Nationwide on May 22, 2012 presented by Ascensus

Webinar - SEP Plans
Nationwide on March 20, 2012 presented by Ascensus

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[Guidance Overview]
New Determination Letter Guidelines: The Good, the Bad and the Yet To Be Resolved
"Effective as of May 1, 2012, the IRS will accept Form 5307 applications for determination from sponsors of pre-approved volume submitter plans, only when the pre-approved language has been modified and only when those modifications are relatively minor ... Because we have been provided with no guidance as to what is meant by 'minor changes,' every deviation from the pre-approved language entails some risk." (Fox Rothschild LLP)

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[Guidance Overview]
DOL Issues Final Fee Disclosure Rule
"Many vendors have updated or are in the process of updating their service agreements and materials to incorporate the final rule. The plan fiduciaries under the rule, however, should not accept these contracts at face value. While vendors will likely develop the means of complying with the final regulation, plan fiduciaries are advised to establish a checklist and timeline, either on their own or by means of negotiating representations and other provisions in vendor contracts[.]" (Littler)

[Guidance Overview]
The Tax Man Cometh for 2010 In-Plan Rollovers
"Thanks to a special tax rule that was made available to in-plan Roth rollovers occurring in 2010 ..., one-half of the taxable income realized by virtue of the rollover is includable in your gross income for 2011, and the other half will be includable in 2012 (unless you elected to report all of the income on your 2010 return).... The IRS recently issued guidance as to how to handle the reporting on your 2011 and 2012 returns." (Fox Rothschild LLP)

Industry Groups to DOL on Fiduciary Data Collection: 'Sorry, We Can't Help'
"The data will be used [by the DOL] to conduct a cost-benefit analysis of a potential rule that would expand the definition of 'fiduciary' for anyone providing investment advice to retirement plans. ... Even though industry has insisted on such an assessment, it said in recent letters to the Labor Department that it can't provide the data necessary to conduct it." (Investment News; free registration required)

What's Your Retirement Number?
"[T]his is not rocket science, especially in an age when there are so many online retirement calculators available.... The tricky part about using these calculators is that they ask you to estimate several factors that even economists can't agree upon, like future inflation rate or expected rates of return on investments.... Here are some sensible estimates that should help[.]" (Chicago Tribune)

New Federal Accounting Rule for Contractor Pensions Could Cost DOD Billions
"The rule, which takes effect this week, requires the U.S. government to reimburse its contractors to a far greater degree for their employee pension costs. The Defense Department has not yet budgeted for the additional pension costs, but estimates they 'could be billions of dollars[.]'" (Federal Times)

Montgomery County, MD Seeks to Stop State from Shifting Cost of Benefits
"A proposed shift of Maryland teacher pension costs would require Montgomery County to fund $47 mil.lion during the first year, an expense that equates to cutting hundreds of county and teacher jobs, increasing class sizes the school system, a tuition hike at Montgomery College, or cuts to county services." (The Gazette )

Maryland Treasurer Tells Senators to Improve Pension Funding or Else
"Maryland's treasurer urged lawmakers on Tuesday to change the way the state funds its retirement system or risk losing its coveted triple-A bond rating." (Washington Examiner)

Avoiding a DOL Audit of an Employee Benefit Plan Annual Report
"One of the most common reasons for a deficient accountants' report is the failure of the auditor to perform tests in areas unique to employee benefit plan audits. ... Therefore, the selection of the plan auditor is an important task for any plan administrator. ... [I]t is essential that the plan auditor have experience in auditing employee benefit plans." (Fox Rothschild LLP)

Corporate Pension Pain Mounts
"Payments may total $400 bil.lion from 2011 through 2015 to ease underfunding at the 100 largest defined-benefit programs ... [T]he Federal Reserve Board's vow to keep rates at current levels until 2014 means pension plans' fixed-income investments are stagnating just as new rules shorten the time available to shore up funding." (Treasury & Risk)

Women Business Owners Are Not Planning Adequately for Retirement (PDF)
"Evidence suggests ... that small business owners have done very little planning and saving for the time when they must transition out of their businesses. In fact, 40.8 percent of U.S. small businesses do not even have a retirement plan in place. Women are particularly vulnerable to the risks associated with inadequate retirement funding." (The American College)

The Rise of Financial Fraud
"Individuals save for decades to ensure that they will have financial security in retirement. That security can be threatened or eliminated virtually overnight if an individual who is in or near retirement becomes the victim of a financial fraud, such as a Ponzi scheme or sham investment in high-yield securities.... This brief discusses fraud trends and describes some of the patterns." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Saint Peter's University Hospital Retirement Plan: The Law and the Facts
"In this article, the Pension Rights Center takes issue with a hospital's decision to characterize its defined benefit pension plan as a "church plan," which would exempt the plan from required payment of PBGC premiums but would cause plan participants to lose eligibility for PBGC-guaranteed benefits." (Pension Rights Center)

How the Government is Robbing Pension Plans
"Western governments are using financial repression to liquidate their debts, particularly after a financial crisis. They're doing this on the backs of savers, including pension funds, according to economists. In practice, financial repression can lead to 'the rape and plunder of pension funds[.]'" (Institutional Investor)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Employee Benefits Developments, February 2012
The newsletter covers recent rulings, opinions, and cases. (Hodgson Russ LLP)

Efforts to Align Executive Pay with Performance Underscore How Seriously Companies Take 'Say on Pay' Votes
"Since the piece of the Dodd-Frank law requiring public companies to put their compensation practices to a non-binding shareholder vote went into effect in January 2011, some 45 publicly held U.S. companies — or less than 2% — have received negative votes from a majority of shareholders[.]" (EisnerAmper)

American Workers Seek More Security in Retirement and Health Plans
"The silver lining is that the downturn has sharpened the focus on retirement security and health spending. Recent financial losses and higher health costs have highlighted the value of security, and many workers exhibit a new willingness to pay for guaranteed benefits." (Towers Watson)

Administration Moves to Advance Benefits for Same-S.ex Partners of Federal Workers
"[T]he Obama administration is preparing to finalize regulations that would advance benefits for the same-s.ex partners of federal employees.... [T]he administration believes it must do what it can through regulation while still advocating related legislation, even when prospects for it are dim in this Congress." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

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