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

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Sr. ERISA Services Specialist
for ExpertPlan, Inc. in NJ

Litigation Associate
for Mid-Size Boutique Employee Benefits Firm in DC

Enrollment Specialist
for The Newport Group, Inc. in FL

Senior BOLI Consultant
for The Newport Group in FL

Sr Actuarial Associate, Defined Benefit Pension Valuation
for Prudential in CT

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2012 Pension Funding Study, by Milliman
"As expected, declining discount rates in 2011 (including a historic year-end low of 4.80%) drove the pensions of the Milliman 100 companies to a record year-end 2011 funding deficit of $326.8 bil.lion — a $94.7 bil.lion increase over the year-end 2010 funding deficit of $232.1 bil.lion. It is the largest deficit in the 12-year history of the Milliman Pension Funding Study." (Milliman)

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Target Date Investors More Confident of Reaching Retirement Goals
"When asked about various features available in target date funds, all respondents showed a strong preference for those that are managed by multiple investment managers and are able to provide a guaranteed income stream at retirement." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

Century-Old CalSTRS Faces Lengthy Funding Gap
"The California State Teachers Retirement System, no longer aiming for full funding, has developed several limited funding scenarios for legislative consideration that would keep the system from running out of money three decades from now." (Calpensions)

The High Cost of 401(k) Hardship Withdrawals
"During [the past five years] many retirement plan participants found themselves struggling to make ends meet. Many who remained employed turned to their retirement plans and took out hardship withdrawals to help ease their financial burdens.... This trend continues today, which is why it is important for both those working with participants, as well as participants themselves, to be fully aware of what is at stake when hardship withdrawals are considered." (Milliman)

How Much Does a Participant Pay for a Self-Directed 401(k) Account?
"Consumers pay an estimated $30-$60 bil.lion a year in 401(k) management fees. But the average American has no idea how much they pay or that they pay any fees at all, according to the AARP. [NPR] speaks with ... SmartMoney Magazine about the fees and the call by consumer advocates for more transparency." (NPR)

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What to Look For in 2012: De-Risking Defined Benefit Plans
"Given the highlighted areas of concern already discussed, it's likely that plan sponsors will look ever harder at the idea of de-risking their plans in 2012 and onward. The volatility of worldwide markets has been dubbed the 'new normal' by many economic minds. Smoothing mechanisms are losing favor in the financial world, and the International Accounting Standards Board ... has already moved toward a more mark-to-market structure, with the Financial Accounting Standards Board ... likely not far behind." (Retirement Town Hall)

To Expand Retirement Security, a Look to the States
"There is a movement afoot to use the efficiencies of public retirement systems to administer new types of pension plans for private-sector workers.... Some states — and at least one city — have already taken steps in this direction[.]" (Pension Rights Center)

New Study Reveals Importance of Tax Deferral in Attaining Retirement Security
"76 percent of middle-income Baby Boomers consider tax deferral an important feature when selecting a retirement income product, and nearly a quarter of middle-income Boomers would be less likely to save for retirement if tax incentives were reduced or eliminated.... nearly 60 percent would cut back if income taxes were increased and nearly 40 percent would be less likely to save if Social Security payroll taxes were increased." (Insured Retirement Institute)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Two Compensation Compliance Procedures for Public Companies
"Here is a seasonal reminder of two common annual compensation obligations for public companies: [the S-8 prospectus and the annual 'specified employee' list under Internal Revenue Code Section 409A.]" (Cooley LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
SEC Delays Guidance on Key Executive Compensation Requirements under Dodd-Frank (PDF)
"The new adoption dates for these rules were pushed back to the January-June 2012 period. [This memo briefly summarizes] these requirements and the potential legislation that could eliminate one of the Dodd-Frank Act requirements entirely." (Groom Law Group)

What Constitutes an Appeal? Not a Mere Request for Records
"[The] claimant's letter to Plan with the following language did not constitute an appeal: 'We will be reviewing the records and obtaining additional medical information for my client's appeal of the decision to terminate her Long Term Disability.'" (Lane Powell PC )

Supreme Court Rules States Cannot Be Sued for Damages for Denying FMLA Self-Care Leave (PDF)
"Each of the [five] Circuit Courts of Appeals to have addressed the issue ... also concluded that suits by state employees to recover damages under FMLA's self-care provisions are barred by the states' sovereign immunity." (Buck Consultants)

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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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