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

Actuarial Specialist
for Kravitz, Inc. in CA

Specialist, Benefits
for Aurora Public Schools in CO

Direct Marketing Specialist
for Diversified/Transamerica Retirement Solutions in ANY STATE

Client Service Manager
for The Newport Group in NC

Senior Actuarial Analyst
for Diversified / Transamerica Retirement Solutions in MA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Plan Design Trends in Higher Education
Nationwide on March 12, 2013 presented by Multnomah Group

Executive Compensation Litigation: New Risks and Latest Strategies Webinar
Nationwide on March 13, 2013 presented by Winston & Strawn

NAGDCA Annual Conference
in Kentucky on September 8, 2013 presented by National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators

Retirement Industry Conference
in Louisiana on April 17, 2013 presented by Society of Actuaries

Investment Symposium
in New York on March 14, 2013 presented by Society of Actuaries

International Issues Involving Retirement Plans in U.S. Territories Phone Forum
Nationwide on March 21, 2013 presented by Internal Revenue Service (IRS)

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

Health Care Reform Webinar: Improvements Effective January 1, 2014
Nationwide on March 29, 2013 presented by Davidson Marketing Group -- FutureOffice Network

Free Webinar - Use Data to Design a Plan That Controls Costs for Specialty Drugs
Nationwide on April 9, 2013 presented by University Conference Services

Free Webinar: Real Results - Using Outcomes-Based Wellness Designs
Nationwide on April 17, 2013 presented by University Conference Services

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS and DOL Continue to Expand, Encourage and Simplify Correction Programs in 2013 Updates to EPCRS and DFVCP
"Although several changes were made to the [EPCRS] program, the majority ... were additions and revisions to clarify situations and the meanings of terms under the program.... Updates that will help with using the DFVCP include the following: Online Penalty Calculator.... EFAST2 and Online Payments.... Which Forms 5500 to Use." (Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP)


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Entrances, Exits and In-Between: Helping Retirement Plan Participants Make Better Financial Decisions (PDF)
"Only two-fifths of participants aged 25 and younger said that their overall experience joining a DC plan was easy, compared to nearly three-fifths of the overall participant population.... 40% of exiting participants said cashing out was easy, in which case it is essential that they understand the full impact of their decision." (State Street Global Advisors)

Profit-Sharing Plan and IRAs Were Not Exempt from Debtor's Bankruptcy Estate
"The debtor failed to obtain a favorable IRS determination letter or operate the profit-sharing plan in substantial compliance with applicable tax law, and the IRAs contained funds transferred from the profit-sharing plan and were not disclosed to the bankruptcy trustee as required." [Daniels v. Agin (D. Mass.)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

The Next Step to a Uniform Fiduciary Standard -- What Can You Do?
"Rather than discuss the questions that the SEC asked, let's consider some things that small-firm investment fiduciaries can do to contribute to the process." (fi360)

SEC Taking Closer Look at Fiduciary Duty
"In addition to seeking information on potential harmonization of advisor and broker-dealer rules, the agency said it is particularly interested in data on conflicts of interests." (Financial Advisor)


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Personal Exposure to Withdrawal Liability: Beware of 'Business Activities'
"When employers who contribute to a multiemployer defined benefit retirement plan cease to have a contribution obligation, they can be assessed withdrawal liability, which can be a very big number ... It usually stays with the business and is not a personal liability for the owners. But it can be if they are not careful." (Fox Rothschild LLP)

Advisers Can Accept Rollover Business from Plan Participants -- Sometimes
"There is a general belief that advisers acting as fiduciaries to a 401(k) plan would violate ERISA if they advise participants on IRA rollover opportunities and wind up managing those rolled over funds. That opinion is not surprising, according to ERISA attorney Marcia S. Wagner of the Wagner Law Group. But it is not necessarily correct." (Employee Benefit News)

New Jersey's Pension Shortfall Grows
"The $86 billion system that funds pensions for [New Jersey] public workers ... lost ground in the first year public workers were required to pay more toward their retirements ... [T]he gap between the system's assets and eventual liabilities grew by $5.5 billion, or 3 percent." (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Target Date Funds Safety Not Always Safe
"Word to the wise plan sponsor when it comes to target-date funds: No, not any fund will do, and bigger companies aren't always better. That's why it's important to sufficiently screen funds according to predetermined, objective standards before selecting [a] qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) for participants." (Financial Planning)

Why 401(k) Investors Chase Performance, and How to Prevent It
"The reason for performance-chasing can be easily summarized -- 'lack of education and training.' Managing investments is a complicated responsibility that requires dedicated training, with a vast amount of continuous learning." (Fiduciary News)

2013 State of the U.S. Pension Risk Transfer Marketplace
"[A] paradigm shift is clearly underway and pension de-risking is poised to continue to deliver tremendous value to corporate pension programs which are focused on controlling volatility and preparing for their pension end game." (Pi (Pension Indemnification))

Text of GAO Testimony on Private Pensions: Multiemployer Plans and PBGC Face Urgent Challenges
"This testimony provides information on (1) recent actions that multiemployer plans in the worst financial condition have taken to improve their funding levels; and (2) the extent to which plans have relied on PBGC assistance since 2009, and the financial condition of PBGC's multiemployer plan insurance program." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Strategies for Strengthening Multiemployer Pension Plans
"The Commission's recommendations ... [include] proposals to strengthen the current multiemployer system ... [and] proposals intended to foster new and innovative plan designs[.]" (Segal)

Service Provider Reviews Don't Lead to Greater 401(k) Turnover
"[O]ne report finds that, due in part to commoditization of 401(k) product and service offerings, more sponsors than ever are staying with their current providers, especially after participating in a final presentation with an existing TPA under review." (Thompson SmartHR Manager)

Retirement Revolution Risks in Our Defined Contribution Society
"With 90 million Americans invested in mutual funds, and nearly 75 million who do so through defined contribution plans, citizen shareholders are the fastest growing group of investors. Yet, citizen shareholders have the least protections[.]" (Prof. Anne Tucker, Georgia State University College of Law, via SSRN)

Mandated Fee Disclosure by DC Plans Does Little to Improve Participants' Knowledge
"Forty-two percent of participants believe they pay 10 percent or more -- with over than a quarter of participants believing they paid 25 percent or more in fees and expenses." (LIMRA)

Seven Obstacles to Saving for Retirement
"Rising costs.... No retirement plan at work.... Lingering impact of the recession.... A traumatic life event.... Too much debt... College education costs.... Retirement is far away." (U.S.News and World Report)

Lifetime Income Guidance Out Soon, Borzi Says; ERISA Advisory Council Chooses 2013 Topics
"The council intends to study and discuss the following topics: [1] missing and lost participants; [2] pension buyouts, plan 'de-risking,' and choice of lump-sum payment from a defined benefit plan; and [3] how to tailor education and communications to different segments. The council will hold its first sets of hearings on these issues June 4-6." (Bloomberg BNA)


Los Angeles Stares Over Pension Cliff, Glimpses Insolvency
"[A]ll it takes is a few sub-par years and funds begin demanding higher annual pension payments from governments. In LA's case, those payments have risen to 18 percent of expenditures. That's an awful lot to be spending just on pensions." (Public Sector Inc.)


California Pension Reform Fight Reaching the Courts
"Administrative Law Judge Donn Ginoza ruled ... that the city [of San Diego] failed to negotiate in good faith with its public employee unions before [the pension reform measure] was placed on the ballot. The decision ... is not binding on the city but does set up a future court battle." (Orange County Register)


Journalism as Stenography on New Jersey Pensions
"[The New Jersey] system never had $86 billion in it and almost certainly never will have $86 billion in it. A concept called asset smoothing ... conveniently allows politicians to pretend an extra $16 billion into existence." (Burypensions)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Employers and Employees Agree on Value of Voluntary Benefits
"63% of employees who say their employer offers at least one voluntary benefit agree that such benefits increase the value of their company's benefits program. And, employees who said they are interested in receiving more voluntary benefits through the workplace increased 10 percentage points; 34% from 24% a year ago." (Prudential)

Press Releases

Fiduciary Consulting Group at PSA Honored with 401(k) Advisor Leadership Award
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

Burnham Benefits Announces New Addition To Compliance Team
Burnham Benefits Insurance Services Inc.

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