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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

February 21, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Defined Benefit Analyst
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services in MA

Area Assistant Vice President Compliance Counsel
for Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. in IL

Project Manager - New Business Installation (Cincinnati, OH)
for Transamerica in OH

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Limestone Pension Associates, LLC in DE

Implementation Analyst
for Great-West Financial in CO

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Webcasts and Conferences

"Form 5500 Workshop 2013: Issues and Answers," April-June, 25 Cities
Nationwide on April 18, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

International Assignments: What Benefits Professionals Need to Know (NY CLE Program)
in New York on March 14, 2013 presented by WEB (Worldwide Employee Benefits Network ), New York Chapter

"401(k) Plan Workshop 2013: Tax Reform and the 401(k) Plan," April - June, 26 Cities
Nationwide on April 19, 2013 presented by SunGard Relius

Extreme Benefits & Total Rewards ó from Millenials to Boomers: How Benefits Can Help Differentiate Your Employer Brand
Nationwide on March 19, 2013 presented by bswift

Free Webinar: A Straightforward Approach to HIPAA HITECH
Nationwide on March 19, 2013 presented by Davidson Marketing Group -- FutureOffice Network

Decisions, Decisions: Choices That Affect Retirement Income Adequacy Policy Forum
in District of Columbia on May 9, 2013 presented by Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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[Official Guidance]

IRS Reminds Taxpayers to Report 2010 Roth Conversions on 2012 Returns (PDF)
"Normally, Roth conversions are taxable in the year the conversion occurs. For example, the taxable amount from a 2012 conversion must be included in full on a 2012 return. But under a special rule that applied only to 2010 conversions, taxpayers generally include half the taxable amount in their income for 2011 and half for 2012, unless they chose to include all of it in income on their 2010 return." (Internal Revenue Service)


[Advert.]

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[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC Disaster Relief in Response to Severe Storms, Tornadoes and Flooding in Mississippi
"This Disaster Relief Announcement provides relief relating to PBGC deadlines as described below to ... any person responsible for meeting a PBGC deadline (e.g., a plan administrator or contributing sponsor) that is located in the disaster area for which the IRS has provided relief ... in connection with filing extensions for Form 5500 series returns, or cannot reasonably obtain information or other assistance needed to meet the deadline from a service provider, bank, or other person whose operations are directly affected by the Severe Storms, Tornadoes, and Flooding that began on February 10, 2013, in Mississippi.... The relief generally extends from February 10, 2013 through April 30, 2013. The disaster area consists of Forrest and Lamar counties." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Developing a Fiduciary File Cabinet
"In the event of a plan audit or litigation, a retirement plan sponsor's fiduciary process is only as good as it can demonstrate ... The fiduciary file cabinet must include documentation of systematic processes, as well as evidence that good processes were followed.... [A] critical starting point is identifying parties in plan operation and management, what they are responsible for and whether they are a fiduciary or not." (PLANSPONSOR.com)

Tiptoeing Through the Minefield: A Pension Plan Is a Scary Place (PDF)
"Properly administering a pension plan entails establishing a good governance structure -- a set of processes to support efficient and effective decision-making and plan management. Contrary to what often seems to be the common approach, establishing a good governance structure isn't just a matter of documenting what is currently in place. Bad governance when documented is still bad governance." (Buck Consultants)

Employees Are Dipping Into Retirement Funds to Pay Bills
"[A recent] study ... finds more than 25 percent of U.S. households that use 401(k) or similar DC plans have used all or some of their savings for non-retirement needs, amounting to more than $70 billion in annual withdrawals. What's more, 75 percent of workers who have cashed out their entire 401(k) balances indicate they have done so because they face basic money-management challenges. The study also finds these penalized withdrawals have increased from $36 billion in 2004 to about $60 billion in 2010, and that workers between 40 and 49 years of age are the most likely group to breach their savings." (Human Resource Executive Online)

2013 Sun Life Canadian Unretirement Index Report (PDF)
"In 2008, half of [survey] respondents said they expected to be retired at 66.... Statistics Canada data show that the average retirement age fell from 65 to 61 during the two decades that followed 1976. It ticked up after then, but remained in the low 60s. This year, a little more than a quarter of Canadians say they expect to be retired at 66. The average response to [the] question about when you expect to retire came in at 66.8.... Phased retirement has become a popular strategy." (Sun Life Financial)

Debt Levels Spike for the Oldest Americans (PDF)
"For families with heads 75 or older, the average debt level increased from $13,665 in 2007 to $27,409 in 2010. The average debt of all of those headed by individuals 55 and older stood at $75,082 in 2010, up more than $1,300 (in 2010 dollars) from 2007. However, the families found to have the highest levels of debt were those with heads ages 55-64, those most likely to still be working. Among those families with heads age 55-64, the average debt level was $107,060 in 2010, down from $112,075 in 2007." (EBRI)

DOL Obtains $80 Million for Participants in Sherwin-Williams Employee Stock Purchase and Savings Plan
"The department's investigation focused on two transactions, one in 2003 and one in 2006, in which Sherwin-Williams and GreatBanc caused the plan to purchase specially designed stock issued by Sherwin-Williams solely for the purpose of the transactions. The investigation also looked at whether Sherwin-Williams had forwarded employee salary deferrals appropriately and promptly to their individual plan accounts.... [T]he department concluded that ... the stock purchases did not provide benefits to the plan and its participants commensurate with the amount the plan paid for the stock, the transactions were not primarily for the purpose of providing benefits to plan participants, the transactions did not promote employee ownership of Sherwin-Williams and, at times, employee salary deferrals were not appropriately paid to the plan." (Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Deferred Income Annuity Sales Reach $1 Billion; Fixed Indexed Annuity Sales Hit Record High in 2012
"Fourth quarter DIA sales reached $390 million, which is almost 150 percent higher than sales in the first quarter ($160 million). However, they are still are very small part of the overall market, representing less than one percent of fourth quarter total annuity sales. Total annuity sales were $52.6 billion in the fourth quarter, a decline of eight percent from the previous year. For the year, annuity sales dropped eight percent, tallying $219.4 billion." (LIMRA)

'Longevity Plan' Presents a New Retirement Paradigm (PDF)
"This article is not meant to compare the advantages and disadvantages of DC and DB plans; rather, it is meant to promote a new retirement paradigm where both types of plans can coexist and complement one another. This new retirement paradigm will recognize the existing DC plan as the primary retirement vehicle and view the DB plan as a secondary plan sponsored by private sector employers. This paper offers this retirement model as a contribution to the solution of the longevity risk problem." (Milliman)

The Callan Periodic Table of Investment Returns (PDF)
Chart shows Annual Returns for Key Indices (1993-2012) ranked in order of performance. (Callan Associates)

What Will Happen to Your TSP If You Are Furloughed?
"[Federal employees] can opt to contribute a specific dollar amount, or a percentage based upon their pay, to their 401(k)-style retirement accounts. Those who use the percentage method will see a smaller contribution if they are furloughed.... The board has updated its guidance on how employees' nonpay status affects their TSP accounts based on 'discontinuous' and 'continuous' furloughs. Under sequestration, agencies likely will opt for discontinuous furloughs, resulting in employees not working for a few days per pay period across fiscal 2013, as opposed to a consecutive block of time." (GovExec.com)

Pension Funds Call for Independent Chairman at J.P. Morgan Chase
"'Unchecked risk-taking and oversight failures have cost J.P. Morgan more than $6 billion in losses and seriously damaged its reputation,' John C. Liu, New York City comptroller, who oversees the city pension funds, said in the statement. 'Without an independent board chair, J.P. Morgan will be unable to restore investor confidence and ensure future compliance -- both integral to protecting and creating long-term value.'" (Pensions & Investments)

Impact of Retirement Plan Distributions on Unearned Income Medicare Contribution
"The [Unearned Income Medicare Contribution tax] is equal to 3.8% of the lesser of: Net investment income (NII), or Modified Adjusted Gross Income (MAGI) reduced by $200,000 ... [R]etirement plan distributions are not part of NII. This includes distributions from qualified plans, 403(b) plans, 457(b) plans, and IRAs. Roth conversions, such as in-plan Roth rollovers, would seem to be excluded from NII under this rule.... But retirement distributions and Roth conversions do contribute to MAGI." (SunGard Relius)

[Opinion]

A Crucial Step Toward Retirement Security for the Working Class: A State-Run Retirement Plan
"In September, the state [of California] launched a plan to enable these workers to put aside about 3% of their wages a year for retirement.... But it's going to take at least two more years to get off the ground, which is ridiculous. That's chiefly because the legislation requires that a feasibility study be done first to determine the demand for such a plan and the best way to avoid sticking taxpayers with the costs of an investment guarantee, and a few other details. The kicker is that the feasibility study has to be financed from privately raised funds, and that takes time." (Los Angeles Times)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Importance of Benefits in Choosing a Job Remains High, Despite Recent Decline (PDF)
"The 2012 Health Confidence Survey (HCS) found that 69 percent of respondents report that benefits were very important when choosing a job, and another 20 percent reported they were somewhat important. Health insurance continues to be by far the most important employee benefit: 6 in 10 (58 percent) list health insurance as the most important benefit, distantly followed by 18 percent who cite a retirement savings plan." (EBRI)

Supreme Court Review of Marriage Cases Could Require Significant Changes to Employee Benefits
"Because the Supreme Court rulings will likely take immediate effect when they are issued, employers should start thinking now about how they will handle benefits for [same-gender] spouses if Section 3 of DOMA is overturned. Employers need to consider how they will implement all federally mandated spousal benefits and protections and whether their plans will require amendments to effect the changes." (Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.)

Press Releases

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