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June 22, 2012 Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Manager, Wellness & Productivity
for Tyco Fire Protection in NJ

Senior Benefits Analyst - Administration - Phoenix, AZ-1202023
for Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold in AZ

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Webcasts and Conferences

Ethics Case Studies
Nationwide on June 28, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Qualified Default Investment Alternative
Nationwide on June 27, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Retirement Plan Compliance Assistance Seminar
in South Carolina on September 11, 2012 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Compliance Assistance Workshop
in Missouri on July 12, 2012 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Current DOL and IRS Audit Initiatives: A Chat with Mabel Capolongo and Monika Templeman
Nationwide on July 26, 2012 presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

The Health Care Reform Decision: The Impact on Health Care Plans
Nationwide on July 12, 2012 presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

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[Guidance Overview]

No Signature Needed for 5558 to Extend 8955-SSA
"[Effective immediately,] a single Form 5558 can be used to extend both Form 5500 (or 5500-SF) and Form 8955-SSA for up to three plans of a single employer without a signature. The only time a signature is needed for Form 5558 is if it is used to extend Form 5330. This makes sense because the extensions for the 5500 and 8955-SSA are automatic, with no explanation needed; the IRS has the discretion to grant or deny an extension request for Form 5330, and does so based on the explanation given on the Form 5558, which must be signed under penalty of perjury." (SunGard Relius)

Attend the 2012 Western Benefits Conference   [Advert.]

Sponsored by ASPPA & WBC

Designed for retirement, health, welfare & benefits professionals, with particular emphasis on practical issues important to plan sponsors & their advisors. Speak with nationally-renowned speakers & government representatives and more!

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Issues Proposed Regs on Limited Exception to Anti-Cutback Rules for Plan Sponsors in Bankrup.tcy
"The regulations are proposed to apply to plan amendments that are both adopted and effective after August 31, 2012. The IRS requests comments on all aspects of the proposed rules, including specifically whether the regulations should impose additional conditions on the prospective elimination of the lump-sum distribution option to enable participants who have substandard mortality the opportunity to protect their survivors. Comments must be submitted to the IRS by August 20, 2012." (Practical Law Company)

The Value of Rebalancing
"Implemented over extended time periods, systematic rebalancing tends to improve a portfolio's risk-adjusted returns quite substantially. For example, we looked at two portfolios comprised of 60% stocks, 30% bonds and 10% commodities from January 1, 1992 to May 31, 2012.* We rebalanced the first portfolio quarterly and never rebalanced the second one. Result: the rebalanced one returned 7.66% annualized, compared to 7.19% for the second one. Due to the power of compounding, a $100,000 investment in the rebalanced portfolio grew to $451,000, compared to only $413,000 in the case of no rebalancing, a 12% greater profit." (Forbes)

California Seeking to Grab Private Pensions
"Because California is doing such a bang-up job of managing the state employee pension systems, some lawmakers are pushing to create and manage another retirement program-for the private sector.... But some are saying that this bill is just an attempt to justify the high public employee pensions in California by extending the entitlement to the private sector." (Cal Watchdog)

How Will GASB's Change in Accounting Standards Affect State and Local Pension Reporting?
"In 2006, GASB embarked on a project to review its accounting standards for pensions ... Three of the main proposals ... pertain to the valuation of assets and liabilities used to measure reported funded ratios. First, changes in the fair value of plan assets would no longer be smoothed over a three to five year period, but rather would be immediately incorporated into the measure of plan assets. Second, projected benefit payments would be discounted by a combined rate that reflects the expected return for the portion of liabilities that are projected to be covered by plan assets and the return on high-grade municipal bonds for the portion that are to be covered by other resources. Third, the entry age normal/level percentage of payroll would be the sole allocation method used for reporting purposes.... [T]this paper takes a look at how the accounting changes will alter the funded ratios of state and local plans." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Recent Developments for Five Governments that Implemented Pension Plan Reforms
"These fact sheets update the case studies in Strengthening State and Local Government Finances: Lessons for Negotiating Public Pension Plan Reforms (September 2011). Governments include Iowa, Oregon, Vermont, Gwinnett County (GA), and Houston (TX)." (Center for State & Local Government Excellence)

On the Administration of Retirement Plan Loans (PDF)
Slides from a presentation. Covers advantages and disadvantages of offering loans from plan accounts, requirements for the loan to satisfy the prohibited transaction exemption, and administrative considerations. (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Governance and Administration of Other Postemployment Benefit Plans
"The Government Finance Officers Association ... recommends that sponsoring entities provide a clear, well-documented governance structure to guide governing bodies and plan administrators, as a good governance structure establishes the framework for effective plan administration." (Government Finance Officers Association)


Public Pension Plan Group Dismisses Pew Public Pension Report: 'Flawed, Out of Date' (PDF)
"The recently released 2012 NCPERS Fund Membership Study—which relies on the most current data available, Fiscal Year 2011 data from no less than 147 public pension funds—paints a much different, much more accurate and far more positive picture. The truth is that the vast majority of public pension funds continue to be solidly funded." (National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems (NCPERS), with NAGDCA, NASRA, GFOA and NCTR)


The People Shouldn't Get to Vote on Public Pensions?
"Keith Brainard, research director of the National Association of State Retirement Administrators, acknowledged Thursday in response to a question about recent California city voters cutting future benefits that 'they have that right, but it's far better for compensation to be determined by a smaller group ... instead of the passions of the popular vote.' His response came during a Web presentation Thursday by NASRA and the Center for State and Local Government Excellence ... [P]anelists ignored the question of who is going to make up more than $4 tril.lion—and growing fast—in pension shortages to focus on recent reforms that might, if markets never decline again, take pressure off taxpayers 30 years from now." (State Budget Solutions)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

Clawbacks and Litigation Over Executive Compensation: Strategies to Reduce Your Risk (PDF)
64 slides from a June 21, 2012 presentation. (Winston & Strawn LLP)

Primer on Executive Compensation
"Executive compensation is an interdisciplinary practice involving tax, corporate, benefits and securities law, stock exchange rules and corporate governance. The design and negotiation of employment agreements, severance agreements and cash and equity-based incentive programs come under the rubric of an executive compensation practice. This primer will focus on these items and describe how they fit into the executive compensation universe." (Fox Rothschild LLP)

SEC Adopts Rules Under Dodd-Frank on Listing Standards for Compensation Committees
"The rules [1] Require the exchanges to set listing standards requiring each member of a listed company's compensation committee to be an 'independent' director. [2] Direct the exchanges to prohibit listing the equity securities of any company not in compliance with specified requirements relating to the authority and responsibilities of compensation committees (including the authority to retain compensation advisers) and the independence of compensation advisers retained by compensation committees. [3] Require companies to include specified disclosure about the use of compensation consultants and any related conflicts of interest in the proxy materials for their annual shareholders' meetings." (Practical Law Company)

Should Companies Maintain a Separate Incentive Plan for Directors?
"[Here is] a bit of strategic advice that is contrary to the overwhelming trend in stock plan design over the last 15 years. Specifically, the court decisions in recent lawsuits over executive compensation, particularly those involving Code Section 162(m), were more favorable to companies that maintained a separate incentive plan for their non-employee directors—separate from the plan that covered everyone else." (Winston & Strawn LLP)

Press Releases

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