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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 2, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Valuation Actuary [Part time]
for Dallas Actuaries, Inc. in ANY STATE, TX

Pension Administrator
for Alliance Pension Consultants, LLC in IL

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Webcasts and Conferences

RITA Conference - Spring 2013
in District of Columbia on March 20, 2013 presented by Retirement Industry Trust Association (RITA)

Rehires, including HEART and USERRA
Nationwide on January 23, 2013 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

"Plan Corrections: When Good Plans Go Bad" - Minneapolis
in Minnesota on January 23, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Corrections: When Good Plans Go Bad" - Philadelphia
in Pennsylvania on January 23, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Corrections: When Good Plans Go Bad" - Des Moines
in Iowa on January 24, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Corrections: When Good Plans Go Bad" - Detroit
in Michigan on January 24, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Corrections: When Good Plans Go Bad" - Syracuse
in New York on January 24, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Corrections: When Good Plans Go Bad" - Boston
in Massachusetts on January 25, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

"Plan Corrections: When Good Plans Go Bad" - Cincinnati
in Ohio on January 25, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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[Official Guidance]

PBGC Web Site Now Accepting E-Filing of 2013 Premiums
"What's New in My PAA (01/2013) ... Premium filings for plan year 2013 may be prepared and submitted via My PAA.... For plan years beginning in 2013, the per-participant flat-rate premium is $42.00 for single-employer plans and $12.00 for multiemployer plans.... The 2013 premium filings include new and changed data elements, e.g., additional plan contact information and a new cap on the variable-rate premium. The 2013 Premium Payment Instructions include a summary of What's New ... and the updated illustrative forms[.]" (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)


DATAIR! Smart By Design -- More Choices -- Less Cost

Sponsored by DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Proposals, Testing, Valuation, IRS/DOL/PBGC Forms, Plan Documents
Includes Graded, 412(e)(3), Cash Balance, Combo Plans
(888) 328-2474    Sales@DATAIR.com    www.DATAIR.com

Retirement Plans at Heart of Senate Fiscal Cliff Agreement
"[The bill] lifts restrictions on converting 401(k)s to Roth plans, which is a taxable event.... Currently, 401(k) plan participants can only roll their money into a Roth 401(k) after three qualifying events: changing jobs, retirement, or reaching age 59-1/2. But under the Senate plan, workers with 401(k)s, 403(b)s and similar defined contribution plans would be able to convert to a Roth 401(k) designated in their benefit plan at any time. Lawmakers believe that easing restrictions on the conversions will produce federal funds because participants must pay tax on the money when they put it into the plan. Disbursements paid during their retirement years are made tax-free." (Investment News; free registration required)

Law Change in Georgia Not Producing Desired Local Investments by Public Plans
"Most states' pension plans have piled into the high-risk investments over the past decade, arguing that it boosts returns over the long run and diversifies their portfolios, which can reduce risk. Alternative investments now account for 12 percent of states' pension portfolios, on average... In Georgia, most of the state's largest public pensions can invest up to 1 percent of their portfolios each year in alternatives, until they reach a 5 percent cap.... But most [Georgia public employee] pension plans are taking a go-slow approach." (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

New Year's Resolutions for Plan Fiduciaries
"Obtain/review fiduciary liability insurance policies.... Practice procedural prudence.... Hold regular plan fiduciary/committee meetings.... Review, and if necessary revise, your plan's investment policy statement.... Monitor performance of investment funds and investment managers.... Review and monitor plan expenses and fees.... Consider an audit to ensure compliance with the ERISA 404(c) and qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) requirements.... Conduct a compliance review of your plan documents.... Consider hiring professionals and other service providers to help perform certain fiduciary tasks.... Provide fiduciary education and training to plan fiduciaries." (Benefits Bryan Cave)


Corporate Benefits Summit - January 20-22, 2013 - Las Vegas

Sponsored by marcus evans

Peer to peer driven, with discussions surrounding cutting edge technology, strategies and implementation of solutions for forward thinking corporate benefits executives interested in staying ahead of the market.

Pension Finance Update as of December 31, 2012 (PDF)
"A combination of higher stocks and higher interest rates improved pension funded status 2%-3% during December.... Back in July, with interest rates sitting at all-time lows, 2012 was shaping up as a difficult year for pension finance. But a healthy stock market and rising rates down the stretch turned 2012 into a net positive for pension sponsors, with most plans ending the year up 0%-2%." (October Three)

401(k) Balances Rise While Retirement Confidence Drops to All-Time Low
"Fidelity Investments -- the nation's largest 401(k) provider -- announced that its average 401(k) balance had hit $75,900 at the end of the third quarter, the highest in the more than a dozen years the company has been tracking the data.... However, separate data from the Pew Research Center and the Employee Benefit Research Institute dumped a big bucket of ice water on the Fidelity stats -- Americans' confidence in retirement investing and security is at an all-time low." (Employee Benefit News)

2013 Reporting and Disclosure Requirements (PDF)
The linked article is a detailed list of reporting and disclosure requirements, including deadlines, for tax-qualified calendar year retirement plans. (Towers Watson)

CalPERS Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for Fiscal Year Ended June 30, 2012
"The 2011-12 fiscal year was challenging. Volatility and continued uncertainty in global markets resulted in a weak but positive net rate of return of 0.1 percent for the total fund. As of June 30, 2012, ... net assets for the Public Employees' Retirement Fund (PERF) were $237.0 billion, down $4.8 billion from $241.8 billion in fiscal year 2010-11 when the fund experienced a 21.7 percent return.... In response to independent and internal economic studies, CalPERS leadership recognized the need to protect and sustain the soundness of the System by reducing our discount rate to 7.5 percent from 7.75 percent.... Even with fiscal year returns of less than 1 percent, CalPERS 20-year investment return is 7.7 percent, above our long-term target of 7.5 percent." (California Public Employees' Retirement System)

Illinois Lawmaker Says Fully Funded Illinois Pensions 'Impossible'
"A new report from the Illinois Auditor General's office suggests lawmakers fully fund two of the state's five pension systems -- the Teachers' Retirement System, the State Universities Retirement System. The report suggests leaving the State Employees Retirement System, the General Assembly Retirement System and the Judges' Retirement system with a target of 90 percent funded." (IllinoisWatchdog.org)


Fiduciary Duty to Evaluate Plan Advisors Is Beyond Ability of Many Plan Sponsors
"While sponsors can't completely eliminate their fiduciary responsibility, liability may be limited ... through the appointment of expert retirement plan advisors. Unfortunately, meaningful evaluation of ERISA plan advisors is beyond the expertise of most plan sponsors and other professionals.... At a minimum, a diligent advisor evaluation process must include background checks for the primary advisor & team members, certification of bonding & insurance coverage, fiduciary responsibility, compensation methodology, full disclosure, conflict safeguards, specific duties, deliverables and validation that the services are rendered by a qualified expert. The advisor's succession plan and firm, particularly small firms, should also be subject to due diligence." (The Center for Due Diligence)


The Illinois Pension Spike Survives
"In 2005, lawmakers capped the pension fund exposure to this scam. The pension impact of any annual pay hike above 6 percent in the last four years of an educator's employment would have to be covered by the local school district. But with compounding, that still meant an employee's pay could rise a whopping 26 percent over four years -- with the pension costs picked up by the state-funded pension system." (Chicago Tribune; free registration required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

2013 Benefits Rate Card (PDF)
The linked article is a list of indexed statutory limits for both retirement and health & welfare plans. (Towers Watson)

Same-Gender Marriage and Your Employee Benefit Plans
"For so long as DOMA remains the law of the land, employee benefit programs that carry favorable tax attributes for married couples will be treated one way for federal tax purposes and another way for state tax purposes in Maine and elsewhere. At a minimum, employers who have employees that are part of a same-[gender] married couple will have to adjust their payroll systems to accommodate this difference. Administrative forms that identify spouses and are used in determining the payment of benefits (such as life insurance and certain other benefits) should also be reviewed to determine whether state same-[gender] marriage laws are implicated." (Verrill Dana LLP)

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
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