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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 5, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Services Analyst
for SunGard Financial Systems in FL

Retirement Plan Specialist
for Retirement Plan Services, LLC in IA, MO

Benefits Compliance/Nondiscrimination Testing Analyst
for Insperity in TX

DC Administrative Specialist
for Benefit Equity Inc in CA

Client Service Representative
for Benetrends, Inc. in PA

Plan Administrator
for The Newport Group, Inc. in FL, TX, VA

Retirement Education Specialist
for The Newport Group, Inc. in NC

Document Support Specialist
for ftwilliam.com/Wolters Kluwer in ANY STATE

Customer Conversion Assistance Specialist
for ftwilliam.com/Wolter Kluwer in ANY STATE

ERISA Attorney/Analyst
for ftwilliam.com/Wolter Kluwer in ANY STATE

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Webcasts and Conferences

401(k) Advisor Symposium - Schaumburg
in Illinois on February 26, 2013 presented by 401(k) Rekon

Understanding DB Language and Reports, Post-PPA
Nationwide on April 17, 2013 presented by National Institute of Pension Administrators

Healthcare Reform - The Employer Pay or Play Rules! Webinar
Nationwide on February 13, 2013 presented by Trucker Huss

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Nevada on April 3, 2013 presented by Thomson Reuters / EBIA

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Nevada on April 3, 2013 presented by Thomson Reuters / EBIA

HIPAA Privacy & Security
in Nevada on April 4, 2013 presented by Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Cafeteria Plans
in Nevada on April 2, 2013 presented by Thomson Reuters / EBIA

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Nevada on April 4, 2013 presented by Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Health Care Reform
in Nevada on April 5, 2013 presented by Thomson Reuters / EBIA

2013 First Quarter Update
Nationwide on February 21, 2013 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

2013 First Quarter Update
Nationwide on February 20, 2013 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Employee Plan Compliance Resolution Systems (EPCRS) 2013
Nationwide on February 12, 2013 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

View All Webcasts and Conferences

We also publish the BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter (free): Subscribe


Digital Divide in How Retirement Plan Participants Interact with Their Retirement Plans
"More than 60 percent of retirement plan participants under age 40 said they found online retirement calculators most helpful. This compares to 51 percent of participants age 41 to 50 and only 41 percent of those over 50. In contrast, 67 percent of those over 50 found articles most helpful, compared to only 45 percent of those aged 20 to 30. (Respondents were able to select more than one choice from a list.) Twice as many 20- to 30-year-olds (24 percent) found mobile apps helpful, compared to only 12 percent of 40-to 50-year-olds. Only 7 percent of those over 50 found mobile apps helpful." (OneAmerica)


New Year. New ftwilliam.com User Interface.

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New ERISA Fiduciary Concern When Employer Stock Offered as 401(k) Plan Investment Option
"Plan sponsors offering employer stock funds should evaluate whether they should separate the SPD/prospectus into two documents. The Dudenhoefer decision increases the risk that plan fiduciaries may be held responsible for a breach of fiduciary duty in the event statements in the SEC filings (that are incorporated by reference in the SPD) are found to be misleading or incorrect.... The reduced risk appears to outweigh the administrative benefits of combining the documents." (DrinkerBiddle)

The Truth about 401(k) Loans and Withdrawals
"The percent of our participants taking a new loan has declined by 3.5 percent since 2010 and is nearing pre-recession levels. At the highest point, new loans represented only 7.2 percent of participants and just barely over one-percent of total retirement plan assets. It's key to point out that the majority of loans are paid back -- into the participant's account, with interest." (The Principal Blog)

Wilshire, Northern Trust Report That Pension Fund Returns Average About 12.3% in 2012
"Master trusts in the Wilshire Trust Universe Comparison Service had a median 1.7% return in the fourth quarter and 12.38% return for the year ended Dec. 31.... Northern Trust reported the universe it tracks of more than 300 U.S. plans had a median return of 12.3% for the calendar year, led by corporate defined benefit plans.... For the 12 months ended Dec. 31, corporate DB plans led with a 12.82% return, according to Wilshire. Public plans returned 12.69%, followed by foundations and endowments, 12.17%; and Taft-Hartley defined benefit plans, 11.56%." (Pensions & Investments)

The $19.4 Trillion Minute: Here Come the Retirement Distributions
"There comes a moment in a retiring worker's life when he has to decide what to do with the money in his 401(k) plan.... You needn't be overwhelmed. Here is what to keep in mind. [1] There's no real urgency.... [2] There are reasons to leave your money in your 401(k).... [3] Get advice from multiple sources, or do your own research.... [4] Don't worry about the paperwork." (FoxBusiness.com)

Risk Factors as Building Blocks for Portfolio Diversification: The Chemistry of Asset Allocation (PDF)
"Although constructing ex ante optimized portfolios using risk factor inputs is possible, there are significant challenges to overcome, including the need for active, frequent rebalancing; creation of forward looking assumptions; and the use of derivatives and short positions. However, key elements of factor based methodologies can be integrated in multiple ways into traditional asset allocation structures to enhance portfolio construction, illuminate sources of risk, and inform manager structure." (Callan Associates)

Seven Simple Saving Secrets Every 401(k) Investor Should Know
"[H]ere are the 7 most important simple savings secrets every 401k investor should know. [1] Make a Commitment.... [2] Spend Less Than You Earn.... [3] Pay Yourself First.... [4] Start Early.... [5] Save Money By Using Tax-Deferred Savings Vehicles.... [6] Always Grab the Free Money.... [7] Now Save More." (Fiduciary News)

Do You Know the ESOP Advocates?
"[These] members of Congress were ESOP champions in the recent Congresses as sponsors and co-sponsors of pro-employee ownership legislation, and who will serve in the 113th Congress." (The ESOP Association)


Antiquated DB Plans Weigh Down U.S. Companies
"Defined contribution plans are more directly subject to the vagaries of the market, but pension funds for both government and private employees take the same hits and sometimes fail. Moreover, the personalized nature of defined contribution plans protects workers against a company's bankruptcy[.]" (The Examiner)


One Recession Cost Is Lower Social Security Benefits
"[T]here is a huge financial price to be paid for drawing Social Security benefits early and an enormous payoff for delaying the decision to claim benefits. Unfortunately, ... many workers have a 'use it or lose it' attitude, incorrectly thinking their benefits will be bumped up when they reach the full retirement age or ignorant that their benefits rise when receipt of them is delayed." (The New York Times; free registration required)


Text of Comments by American Benefits Council at Senate HELP Committee Hearing, 'Pension Savings: Are Workers Saving Enough for Retirement?'
"Before revenue-raising proposals are considered that could inadvertently harm these plans, we ask that you consider the following regarding the taxation of retirement contributions and benefits: Current tax incentives for retirement are working well.... Retirement plans defer tax.... Taxes are paid at ordinary income rates.... The benefits in 401(k) plans are very progressively distributed.... Limits on deductions and exclusions could cause some small and medium sized companies to discontinue plans.... Limits on deductions and exclusions could result in some double taxation of retirement contributions.... The alternative to double taxation is unworkable." (American Benefits Council)


Text of Comments by Investment Company Institute at Senate HELP Committee Hearing, 'Pension Savings: Are Workers Saving Enough for Retirement?' (PDF)
"[T]his Committee should be mindful that the first, and most important, principle to follow in the context of its activities is: do no harm.... [ICI urges] this Committee to avoid any actions that would impair the ability of the voluntary employer-provided retirement system to provide Americans with retirement resources ... The composition of resources relied upon in retirement will differ from household to household ... The shift in private-sector retirement plans from predominantly [DB] plans to predominantly [DC] plans is unlikely to reduce retirement preparedness." (Investment Company Institute)


Take Another Look at Your 401(k) and Maybe Get a Second Opinion
"Excessive expenses are hideous. But there is an even bigger problem with most 401(k) plans. Rarely is there access to guidance that is relevant to your personal financial situation and retirement goals." (Tacoma News Tribune)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

SEC Approves Listing Rules Affecting Compensation Committees and Advisers
"Under the new listing requirements, ... members of the compensation committee must meet heightened independence tests akin to the heightened requirements for members of the audit committee. Additionally, the compensation committee must be vested with the authority to retain outside advisers and is required to evaluate the independence of such advisers prior to their engagement. The new listing rules do not, however, require that compensation advisers meet any specific independence test or mandate that companies retain compensation advisers in developing their executive compensation programs." (DLA Piper)

Cypen & Cypen Newsletter for January 31, 2013
Covers employee benefit developments with an emphasis on governmental plans. Topics in this issue include: Alaska Bucks Trend, Considers Traditional Pensions; Non-taxable Pension Amounts Under Section 72(D); Pew Report on Cities' Funding for Pensions; Michigan Governor Asks State Supreme Court To Rule on Right To Work; New York Comptroller Goes After Governor's Plan To Cut Pension Costs; California Bill Exempts Thousands of Public Employees From Pension Overhaul; Callan Table of Investment Returns. (Cypen & Cypen)

Press Releases

BenefitsLink.com, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
Phone (407) 644-4146
Fax (407) 644-2151

Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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