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January 31, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Account Spec On Site
for The Standard in TX

Sr. Qualified Plan Administrator
for DST Systems, Inc. in MO

Lead Manager, Strategic Marketing
for T. Rowe Price in MD

Client Service Manager
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services in MA

Third Party Administrator/Client Service Manager
for Tegrit Group - Akron and Columbus in OH

Administrator DC/DB Plans
for Benetech, Inc. in GA

Director - Legal (ERISA)
for Charles Schwab in OH

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Webcasts and Conferences

Sustaining a Company of Owners Over the Long Term Seminar
in California on September 25, 2013 presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

EPCRS and Beyond: Protecting Your Clients and Your Practice
Nationwide on March 21, 2013 presented by Actuarial Systems Corporation (ASC)

CBG Benefits and Mintz Levin to Co-Host Health Care Reform Seminar
in Massachusetts on March 7, 2013 presented by CBG Benefits

Handling the ESOP Repurchase Obligation Seminar
in Minnesota on October 22, 2013 presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Technical Update 13-1: Reportable Events; Funding-Related Determinations; Missed Quarterly Contributions; Guidance for Plan Years after 2012.
"Regarding funding-related determinations for purposes of waivers, extensions, and the advance reporting threshold test, this Technical Update provides in general that for purposes of the reportable events regulation, a plan's unfunded vested benefits and the value of its assets and vested benefits are determined for a plan year beginning after 2012 in the same manner as for variable-rate premiums for the preceding plan year. Regarding missed quarterly contributions, this Technical Update provides in general that for purposes of the reportable events regulation, if a required quarterly contribution for a plan year (the 'current year') beginning after 2012 is not timely made to a plan, and financial inability to make the contribution is not the reason for not making the contribution, the reporting requirement under Section 4043.25 of the reportable events regulation (1) is waived if the plan has fewer than 25 participants for the plan year preceding the current year (the 'prior year'), and (2) if the plan has at least 25 but fewer than 100 participants for the prior year, will be considered satisfied if a simplified notice is filed with PBGC by the time the first missed-quarterly reportable event report not timely made for the current year would otherwise be due." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)


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[Guidance Overview]

PBGC Extends Reportable Event Relief for 2013 and Beyond
"In what has become an annual rite of winter, the PBGC recently released PBGC Technical Update 13-1 extending relief from the proposed amendments to the reportable events regulations for certain small pension plans. However, unlike previous years' relief, the new technical update provides guidance for all plan years after 2012 (or until new proposed or final rules are released) and not just a one-year extension." (Van Iwaarden Associates)

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Updates EPCRS Plan Correction Program (PDF)
"Revenue Procedure 2013-12 updates the correction program to cover 403(b) operational and plan document errors and generally harmonizes the correction methods used for 403(b) programs with the methods used for qualified plans. In addition, some voluntary submissions outside of EPCRS (but applying its correction methods) are now permitted for eligible governmental deferred compensation plans described in Code Section 457(b). Other changes to the IRS correction program made by Revenue Procedure 2013-12 include new opportunities to make corrections, instructions for the manner in which corrections are to be made, and revised administrative requirements for submitting requests to the IRS." (Buck Consultants)

PBGC Warns of Trouble for Multiemployer Program
"[T]he agency says although the timing is uncertain, currently it is at risk of not having the tools to help sustain multiemployer plans or the funds to continue to pay benefits beyond the next decade under the multiemployer insurance program. The multiemployer program has a deficit of $5.2 billion as of Fiscal Year 2012, the result of liabilities of $7.0 billion and assets of $1.8 billion. Because the multiemployer program has only a small base of assets, the program's large negative net position carries a substantial risk of exhaustion of multiemployer fund assets in the foreseeable future." (PLANSPONSOR.com)

Global Pension Assets Reach All-Time High
"Institutional pension fund assets in the 13 major markets grew by 9 percent, reaching a new high of $30 trillion, while UK pension fund assets hit an all-time high of 1.7 trillion pounds in 2012, a 5 percent increase from last year, the report by Towers Watson found. The growth in pension assets in the 13 countries including Australia, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, Britain and the United States, was attributed to hiring more qualified people to manage pensions, outsourcing portfolios and better investment choices." (The New York Times; free registration required)


Registration Begins: 2013 Employee Ownership Conference

Sponsored by National Center for Employee Ownership

Whether you are a veteran or newcomer to the field of employee ownership, this highly interactive conference offers valuable insights and information in five learning tracks, covering both technical and nontechnical topics over three intensive days.

Global Pension Assets Study, 2013 (PDF)
"At the end of 2012 pension assets for the 13 markets in the study were estimated at $29,724 bn, representing an 8.9% rise compared to the 2011 year-end value. Pension assets relative to GDP reached 78.3% in 2012, still below the 2007 level of 78.8%, but above the 2011 ratio of 72.2%." (Towers Watson)

Bill Calls for End to Cushy Congressional Pensions
"A new bill in the House proposes ending the pension benefit that members of Congress are currently eligible for after five years of service.... H.R. 423 would eliminate defined-benefit pension plans for members of Congress, keeping only the 'right to continue participating in the Thrift Savings Plan'.... Nearly one in six former lawmakers were earning six-figure annual pensions, according to an analysis Federal Times published last year." (GovExec.com)

How Much Do Increases in Pension Benefits Widen the CalPERS Funding Gap?
"A CalPERS-sponsored bill, SB 400 in 1999, gave the California Highway Patrol a 50 percent pension increase.... The landmark bill also gave all state workers a large retroactive pension increase. And retirees received a 1 to 6 percent increase in their pensions. All this could be done, said a CalPERS brochure given to legislators, without costing taxpayers 'a dime'.... [CalPERS] no longer claims that 'superior' investment returns cover all SB 400 costs. But CalPERS does not view benefits as a key driver of pension costs, pointing instead to rising pay and market cycles." (CalPensions)

Strengthening Social Security: What Do Americans Want? (PDF)
"Americans don't mind paying for Social Security because they value it for themselves (80%), for their families (78%), and for the security and stability it provides to millions of retired Americans, disabled individuals, and children and widowed spouses of deceased workers (84%). -- 84% believe current Social Security benefits do not provide enough income for retirees, and 75% believe we should consider raising future Social Security benefits in order to provide a more secure retirement for working Americans.... 87% want to preserve Social Security for future generations even if it means increasing taxes paid by wealthier Americans." (National Academy of Social Insurance)

Pension Plan Investment Management by Local Governments, 2007-2011
"Despite having a better track record of paying the annual required contribution, locally-administered pension plans have not yet caught up with the funded levels of state-administered plans.... 2011 data show that locally-administered pension plans continue to be slightly less funded than state-run plans -- 72 percent vs. 76 percent. The explanation is that state plans have historically earned higher returns because they invest more in risky assets." (Center for State & Local Government Excellence)

Pension Windfall Under MAP-21 May Surprise Some CFOs
"Using the 25-year average interest rate was optional for 2012; starting with 2013 it will be mandatory. Many plan sponsors have already calculated their minimum required contributions for 2012 using the old method of establishing interest rates, but MAP-21 allows them to recalculate that minimum using the new, more favorable method. Contributions for 2012 plan years are not required to be made until September 15 of this year." (CFO)

GOP Wants Tighter Standards for State and Local Pension Plan Reporting
"The Republican National Committee, at its Winter Meeting in Charlotte on Friday, adopted a resolution condemning the way states and city governments report their pension debt and called for Congress to expressly rule out any bailout of these retirement liabilities." (Truth in Pensions)

CalPERS Statement on Bankruptcy Court Ruling That City of Stockton Does Not Need Court's Permission to Settle and Pay Disputed Claims
"Contrary to what the bond insurers argued, the Judge recognized that Section 904 of the Bankruptcy Code places limitations on the powers of the bankruptcy court over public entities like Stockton. This is a victory for Stockton as it continues to make the difficult decisions needed to restore its financial and economic health." (California Public Employees' Retirement System)


Pensions Taking On Too Much Illiquidity Risk?
"Current private market valuations do not compensate you for accepting illiquidity risk. Lots of pensions learned the value of liquidity the hard way during the 2008 crisis. When they needed it the most, they didn't have it and were forced to sell public market assets a distressed levels to shore up their liquidity." (Pension Pulse)


Running Out of Money in Retirement: A Research Study
"The Committee on Post Retirement Needs and Risks is pleased to make available a research study that seeks to understand what has been done to determine the risks of running out of money in retirement. To fully understand the issues and opportunities, a round table of diverse experts was held in March 2012. This report summarizes the ideas that emerged from that round table, which was co-sponsored with the Urban Institute and the Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)." (Society of Actuaries, Urban Institute, and Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER))

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Compensation and Benefits Costs Rose During Fourth Quarter of 2012
"Compensation costs for civilian workers increased 0.5 percent, seasonally adjusted, for the 3-month period ending December 2012 ... Wages and salaries (which make up about 70 percent of compensation costs) increased 0.3 percent, and benefits (which make up the remaining 30 percent of compensation) increased 0.6 percent.... Compensation costs for private industry workers increased 1.9 percent over the year.... The increase in the cost of benefits was 2.2 percent for the 12-month period ending December 2012, down from the December 2011 increase of 3.6 percent. Employer costs for health benefits increased 2.8 percent over the year." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

GAO Report on Federal Rulemaking Finds Agencies Could Take Additional Steps to Respond to Public Comments (PDF)
"Agencies did not publish a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM), enabling the public to comment on a proposed rule, for about 35 percent of major rules and about 44 percent of nonmajor rules published during 2003 through 2010.... [A]gencies, though not required, often requested comments on major final rules issued without an NPRM, but they did not always respond to the comments received. Agencies may solicit comments through the Federal Register when publishing a final rule without an NPRM, but the public does not have an opportunity to comment before the rule's issuance, nor is the agency obligated to respond to comments it has received.... For example, in one [rule], an agency defined a pre-existing condition to implement the [ACA] and sought public comment. The agency received 4,627 comments, but has not published a response to them." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Workers Planning to Work Longer to Keep Health Coverage (PDF)
"More than half of all workers say they intend to work longer than they would like in order to keep their health insurance at work, according to new research ... However, the actual experience of retirees suggests that may be wishful thinking: Less than 1 in 5 (19 percent) retirees say they were able to work longer to continue receiving health insurance through their jobs[.]" (EBRI)

Press Releases

Pentegra Names New Chief Operations Officer
Pentegra Retirement Services

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