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December 27, 2012          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Account Administrator
for Alerus Retirement Solutions in MN

Director, Defined Contribution - Intermediary Distribution
for Russell Investments in WA

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Webcasts and Conferences

VFCP Advanced Workshop - Prohibited Transactions Related to Loans Issued from the Plan
in Illinois on January 23, 2013 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Beyond the Buzzword--Exploring Pension De-Risking Options
in New York on January 17, 2013 presented by WEB (Worldwide Employee Benefits Network ), New York Chapter

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Treasury Department Will Tap Federal Employee Pension Fund When U.S. Hits Debt Limit on Dec. 31
"To begin conserving money, Treasury will suspend a program on Friday that helps states and localities manage their borrowing. In subsequent weeks, Treasury will start to tap the federal worker pension fund for additional financial resources. (The pension fund will be made whole once the debt limit impasse is resolved.)" (The Washington Post; free registration required)


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J.P. Morgan Predicts Gloomy Year Ahead for Pension Plans
"According to ... J.P. Morgan Asset Management Strategy Group, 2013 is going to be 'grim' for pension funds after a less than jovial 2012. Citing a drop in funded status for many U.S. plans this year, 'despite a 14% stock market rally,' trouble spots are unlikely to disappear any time soon, putting continued pressure on the size of liabilities." (Pension Risk Matters)

[Guidance Overview]

Correcting the 401(k) Match for an Improperly Excluded Employee
"The plan must first calculate the missed deferral ... The employer then applies the plan's matching formula to the missed deferral (not the missed deferral opportunity) to determine the corrective contribution for the matching formula. The corrective contribution is subject to statutory and plan limits. The employer makes the contribution in the form of a qualified nonelective contribution (QNEC). The employer also will include earnings with respect to the corrective contribution." (SunGard Relius)

Hawker Reaches Pension Settlement with PBGC
"Hawker Beechcraft has reached a settlement with the [PBGC], allowing for termination of two pension plans and removing the Wichita-based planemaker's largest impediment to approval of its bankruptcy reorganization. [The settlement allows] termination of the pension plans for salaried workers and non-union workers in the customer-support arm of the business. The pension plan for hourly workers will be frozen at the year's end. For its part of the settlement, the PBGC will receive $11 million in cash for the release of liens plus an unsecured claim for $419.5 million to be paid with new stock." (Wichita Eagle)

$89 for an Umbrella and No Money to Retire
"[T]he reality is that not everyone is going to shell out 89 big ones for an umbrella, no matter what the brand. For a large segment of the U.S. population, money is a scarce resource and confidence in a secure future is low. According to ... [a recent survey,] 68% of respondents say they have 'little to no' confidence in the stock market as a way to prepare for retirement, [while] 80% of investors urge lawmakers to act now so that savings is encouraged. Unfortunately, most of the initiatives that individuals cite as 'must have' elements of a national retirement readiness program are in direct conflict with the political grab to raise taxes." (Pension Risk Matters)

From Defined Benefit to Defined Contribution Plans: Formulas for Retirement Success
"Unfortunately, the shift from DB to DC plans may simply be masking a future crisis in the making. In this environment, it's a good idea to review the basic premises, including the fundamental formulas that underpin retirement planning for American workers. Only by knowing how these plans work -- and where the risks are -- can today's employees understand their retirement benefits and plans effectively for the future." (Milliman)

Pension Experts Hope PBGC 'Creativity' Doesn't Go Too Far
"[PBGC Director Joshua] Gotbaum signaled a new approach for protecting pension plans during periods of corporate change and upheaval by bringing in restructuring expert Sanford Rich in mid-November to head the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s office of negotiations and restructuring. Mr. Rich and his team -- formerly part of the more innocuous-sounding insurance program -- plan more active engagement with the business community, detecting potential risks to pension plans or offering alternatives to termination for plans already in distress. 'We want to show companies there are other options,' Mr. Gotbaum said[.]" (Pensions & Investments)

How to Curb Pension Risks
"Leading pension consultants are currently recommending that employers 'de-risk' their pension plans within a time they specify via a 'glide path' investment strategy. For example, based on a plan's objectives, the consultant [may recommend] a de-risking strategy consisting of a series of proposed Estimated De-Risking Funding Ratio (EDFR) triggers.... Ironically, this risk-reduction strategy relies on liability-hedging assets such as swaps and other derivative security products regarded as relatively risky by framers of the Dodd-Frank Act, under which such derivatives are heavily regulated." (CFO)

4 Retirement Planning Steps for Gen X, Yers
"If you're a member of Gen X or Gen Y, why not get 2013 started on the right track by taking steps to improve the odds that you'll be able to enjoy your retirement years without the stress of worrying about your finances? ... But don't try to do everything at once -- you're more likely to succeed by taking just one step at a time. So act on one of these ideas each month, and before half the year has passed you'll be well on your way to financial freedom in your later years" (CBS MoneyWatch)


The Great Fee Disclosure Experiment
"[I]n retrospect, while you worked hard to prepare for the disclosures -- despite the DOL continuing to move the target, seemingly at whim, until the latest moment possible -- the headaches, the wrangling and the rushing to meet the deadlines all seem to have been met with a collective shrug by the participant public. This may not be such a bad thing." (BenefitsPro)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Financial Advisors Present Strategies for Stock Compensation and Company Stock Holdings at Year-End
"Year-end planning can be tricky, and it has never been more so than now, amid the tax-rate uncertainty that hangs over the close of 2012. [This article presents ideas from] six financial advisors ... on financial and tax planning for year-end 2012 and beyond." (myStockOptions.com)

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher <davebaker@benefitslink.com>
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