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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

January 10, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Plan Sales Consultant
for Polycomp Administrative Services, Inc. in CA

Conversion Specialist
for Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. in TX

ERISA Consultant
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services in MA

Director, DC Administration
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services in MA

Client Delivery Analyst
for The Savitz Organization in PA

Portfolio Solutions Strategist/Investment Actuary
for T. Rowe Price in MD

Director, Key Accounts
for Prudential in CT

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Webcasts and Conferences

2013 IBI/NBCH Health & Productivity Forum
in Texas on February 25, 2013 presented by Integrated Benefits Institute and National Business Coalition on Health

Ethical Standards for and Accountability of Practitioners Offering Tax Advice Relating to Employee Benefit Plans Phone Forum
Nationwide on February 13, 2013 presented by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

Overview of the 2012 Cumulative List of Plan Qualification Changes Phone Forum
Nationwide on February 28, 2013 presented by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2013-2: January 2013 Update for Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates (PDF)
IRS-updated figures under Code sections 412, 417, 430 and 431: the corporate bond weighted average interest rate, the three corporate bond segment rates, the 30-year Treasury securities weighted average interest rate, the three minimum present value transitional segment rates, and minimum present value segment rates required under MAP-21. (Internal Revenue Service)


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CalPERS Investments Net Tiny Returns in 2012
"CalPERS expects a 7.5 percent annualized rate of return on its more than $200 billion in investments. The expectation was revised downward last year from 7.75 percent, which was CalPERS' expectation for more than a decade. But in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2012, the system got just a 0.14-percent net return on its billions in investments[.]" (Orange County Register)

Lithuania's Pension Plan Sees 18% Investment Return in 2012
"Lithuania's voluntary second-tier pension funds boosted net assets by almost a fifth last year, providing participants with an average return of 11.21 percent. The 30 active funds had combined net assets of 4.8 billion litai ($1.8 billion) at Dec. 31, or 18 percent more than a year earlier, the central bank in the Lithuanian capital, Vilnius, said in a statement on its website today. Introduced in 2004, second-tier pension funds are funded by diverting social security contributions of the current 1.07 million participants in the Baltic nation of 3 million people." (Bloomberg)

CalSTRS Investments Get Hard Look After Connecticut Tragedy
"The nation's second largest public pension fund, reacting to a mass school shooting in Connecticut last month, is taking a new look at the 'social' impact of its $150 billion investment portfolio. The California State Teachers Retirement System found that it owned stock, apparently in violation of its own policy, in the maker of a semi-automatic rifle, banned in California, that was used to kill 20 first-graders and six adults in an elementary school." (CalPensions)

CalSTRS Pension Fund Divests from Some Gun, Ammo Makers
"The second largest U.S. pension fund decided on Wednesday to sell off its investments in the manufacturer of the rifle used in last month's mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, and makers of other firearms banned in California. The investment committee of the California State Teachers' Retirement System (CalSTRS), a $154 billion pension fund, also voted to divest from manufacturers of high-capacity ammunition clips illegal in California." (Reuters)


Incenting Retirement: Navigating the Legal Issues - January 17, 2013

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink.com

Many companies are directed to reduce headcount: whether it is reducing the number of active employees or deferred vested participants. But to implement that directive requires navigating numerous potential legal issues. Discounted pricing for BenefitsLink readers.

Dig Deep When Selecting Target-Date Funds for Your 401(k) Account
"Should you go the target date route? Here are a few factors to consider: Are you comfortable allocating your retirement account from among the other options available in the plan? Are there advice options available to you via your retirement plan? These might include online help, in-person meetings or managed account options. Do you work with a financial adviser on your accounts outside of the plan? If so, the adviser might be in a position to provide advice on your 401(k)." (U.S. News & World Report)

2012 Year in Review: Pension Plan Funding
"Interest rates continued to decline in 2012, much as they did for the past three years. The lower interest rates generally resulted in escalating liabilities and deteriorations in pension plan funded status. Assets generally performed above expectations, but still could not keep pace with rapidly rising liabilities. The Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21) provided some relief from the IRS funding rules (but not SEC/FAS accounting rules) for single employer pension plans.... During the second half of the year, the anticipated future effects of MAP-21 also led to renewed talks about reducing risk in pension plans. De-risking initiatives also had plan sponsors strategizing with their plan's investment committees." (Milliman)

U.S. Corporate DB Plan Funding Edges Up in 2012
"The typical U.S. corporate defined benefit plan was expected to end 2012 with a funding radio around 75%, up from about 70% three months prior ... Funding ratios fell about one percentage point during the year ended Dec. 31.... Equity investment gains and higher discount rates benefited funding in the last quarter. Global equities were up about 3% while discount rates were up four basis points, leading to reduced pension liabilities." (Pensions & Investments)

The $180,000 Mistake Hidden In Your $450,000 IRA
"You could have the best investment approach ever designed, but without the right distribution strategy the government potentially becomes the biggest benefactor. So, if you've accumulated a significant amount of wealth in your tax-deferred retirement accounts here are three critical factors you must be aware of to set your IRAs or 401(k) up as a lasting legacy: [1] Backup beneficiaries.... [2] Prudent investment strategies.... [3] Correct custodial and trust documents." (U.S. News & World Report)

Annuities with Guaranteed Lifetime Withdrawals Have Both Benefits and Risks, But Regulation Varies Across States
"As older Americans retire, they may face rising health care costs, inflation, and the risk of outliving their assets. Those entering retirement today typically face greater responsibility for managing their retirement savings than those who retired in the past. Lifetime income products can help older Americans ensure they have income throughout their retirement. [Variable annuities with guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits (VA/GLWB) and contingent deferred annuities (CDA)] may provide unique benefits to consumers.... This report (1) compares the features of VA/GLWBs and CDAs and examines potential benefits and risks to consumers and potential risks to insurers, and (2) examines the regulation of these products and the extent to which regulations address risks to consumers." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Table of Recent Litigation Over Public Sector Pension Reforms (PDF)
"Within the past three years, at least 24 jurisdictions have faced lawsuits alleging that pension reform measures are unconstitutional.... [I]t is difficult to get a comprehensive overview of the state of public pension reform litigation and the many lawsuits around the country because court decisions and litigation documents are very difficult to find online. Many state courts do not have websites that make decisions ... publicly available, and federal court decisions are often unpublished and available only for a fee ... [This] state-by-state review addresses this informational problem [and] represents a centralized resource that monitors the lawsuits and court decisions currently challenging public pension reform." (Laura and John Arnold Foundation)

How Will Older People's Participation in the Labor Force Be Affected by the Coming Increase in the Full Retirement Age for Social Security?
"CBO expects that the share of older people who work will increase in the latter part of this decade in response to the scheduled increase in the full retirement age (FRA) for Social Security. As a result, economic output will be slightly greater and budget deficits slightly smaller than would otherwise be the case.... CBO expects that the effect of increasing the FRA from age 66 to age 67 will be similar to the effect of increasing it from age 65 to age 66." (Congressional Budget Office)

Research on Diversity Among Plan Participants Clarifies DC Plan Issues, Offers Solutions
"'We acknowledge the findings of previous research -- that there are behavioral differences among Asians, blacks, Hispanics, and whites,' said [the studies' co-author]. 'But when we evaluate these differences in context -- by accounting for employment factors such as income and job tenure -- we observe that these behavioral differences are reduced quite dramatically. They still exist, but there are plan design solutions that can help sponsors address the differences that remain.'" (The Vanguard Group, Inc.)

U.K. Pension Funds Disappointed by Government Decision on Inflation Index
"[U.K. private employer-sponsored] pension funds hoping for a respite in tackling soaring deficits were disappointed by a government decision on Thursday not to reduce the country's official inflation rate.... Most economists had expected RPI to be changed significantly to bring it in line with the consumer price index (CPI) which typically is significantly lower due to different statistical techniques.... A reduction to the rate of inflation by as much as one percent would have reduced pension scheme liabilities for Britain's top 350 firms by 30 billion pounds from a total deficit of 85 billion pounds[.]" (The New York Times; free registration required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Other Benefits Components of the, Ahem, 'Relief' Act
"[T]hanks to the fiscal cliff, you can educate your workforce, help them build a family, encourage them to take mass transit, and let them convert their 401(k) savings to Roth! Helpful? Yes. But unlikely to save 'fiscal cliff' from the English-language chopping block, particularly when combined with the substantial additional tax burdens imposed by the 'Relief' Act." (Benefits Bryan Cave)

Resignation Statement by DOL Secretary Hilda L. Solis
"[On Wednesday, January 8], I submitted my resignation to President Obama.... Leaving the department is one of the most difficult decisions I have ever made, because I have taken our mission to heart. As the daughter of parents who worked in factories, paid their union dues and achieved their goal of a middle class life, and as the first Latina to head a major federal agency, it has been an incredible honor to serve. " (Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Press Releases

Avoid Penalties with New Health Care Reform Tools
Davidson Marketing Group -- FutureOffice Network

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