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March 6, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

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

Loan and Withdrawal Specialist
for Kravitz, Inc. in CA

Pension Administrator
for Jack A. Cross & Associates, Inc. in CA

Relationship Manager
for Verisight, Inc. in CA

Compliance Account Manager
for Verisight, Inc. in CA

Wellness Administrator
for Graymont in UT

Sr. Implementation Consultant
for American General Life Insurance Company in TX

Account Manager/Executive (TPA/Insurance)
for Zenith American Solutions in NV

for University of California Office of the President in CA

Director, Pension Risk Transfer Product & Market Development
for Prudential in NJ

Pension Administrator
for The Benefit Advantage in MI

DB/DC Administrator
for Bay Area TPA in CA

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[Official Guidance]

Text of SEC Request for Data and Other Information About Duties of Brokers, Dealers, and Investment Advisers
"We are specifically requesting quantitative and qualitative data and other information and economic analysis ... about the benefits and costs of the current standards of conduct of broker-dealers and investment advisers when providing advice to retail customers, as well as alternative approaches to the standards of conduct, including a uniform fiduciary standard of conduct applicable to all investment advisers and broker-dealers when providing personalized investment advice to retail customers. We recognize that retail customers are unlikely to have significant empirical and quantitative information. We welcome any information they can provide." (Securities and Exchange Commission)


NEW! Introducing ASPPA's Specialized Defined Benefits Education

Sponsored by ASPPA

The Defined Benefit Administration (DBA) Certificate is for entry level to intermediate DB administrators who want to expand their skill set into consulting & basic actuarial skills. Earn up to 7 ASPPA & ERPA continuing professional education credits.

[Official Guidance]

Significant Deficiencies Involving Investment Adviser Custody and Safety of Client Assets (PDF)
"[T]he SEC's National Examination Program (NEP) has observed widespread and varied non-compliance with elements of the custody rule.... Approximately one-third of [recent examinations that contained significant deficiencies] included custody-related issues. In this Risk Alert, the NEP staff shares the custody deficiencies observed, which we hope will assist investment advisers in complying with the custody rule." (Securities and Exchange Commission)

[Guidance Overview]

Retroactive Corrective Amendments and the Safe Harbor Mid-Year Amendment Rule
"The IRS has taken the view that a mid-year change to a safe harbor 401(k) plan will violate the 12-month and the notice requirements. See Treas. Reg. sec. 1.401(k)-3(e)(1), IRS Announcement 2007-59, and Notice 2010-84, Q&A 18. Although the IRS has created a few exceptions to the restriction on mid-year amendments (e.g., plan termination, Roth, reducing or eliminating match or nonelective contributions), it continues to apply a strict interpretation of the rule." (SunGard Relius)

A Current Update of EPCRS Through Rev. Proc. 2013-12 (PDF)
"Until recently, practitioners have relied upon Rev. Proc. 2008-50 for guidance as to the three correction programs provided under EPCRS. However, the [IRS] issued new guidance on December 31, 2012, in Rev. Proc. 2013-12, with appendices, along with a chart of the significant changes, a topical index, and new IRS forms to be now used for submissions under the Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). This article is intended for those practitioners unfamiliar with EPCRS, and thus, it summarizes not only the recent changes but the cumulative effect of the changes made to EPCRS as well." [Note: A webcast presentation of this material is online (click).] (Prof. Kathryn J. Kennedy, The John Marshall Law School, in the Tax Management Compensation Journal)

Illinois Governor's Budget to Call for Education Cuts Due to Pension Woes
"The education cuts are necessary because the state's annual pension payments -- now more than $6billion a year -- will divert money from other government operations, [Gov. Pat] Quinn has said." (Chicago Tribune; free registration required)


Register Today for PSCA's Western Regional Conference on April 6

Sponsored by PSCA (Plan Sponsor Council of America)

Join PSCA and top DC plan experts at this conference in Dallas designed to educate plan sponsors about the latest issues and trends affecting DC plans. Gain the tools you need to manage your plan effectively. Register by Mar. 22 and save $100.

Best-Performing Funds for Your 401(k)
"How good are the funds in your 401(k) plan? If the plan includes Fidelity Growth Company, the likely answer is, very good: The fund's annualized return of 11.8% over the past ten years beat 97% of its peers among large-company growth stock funds. But Fidelity, a huge player on the 401(k) scene, has some stinkers, too." (Kiplinger)

Non-U.S. Pension Fund Exemptions Under the Final FATCA Regs
"[The Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act ('FATCA')] regulations contain certain specific exemptions for certain types of retirement plans as well as for some retirement accounts and other types of savings accounts. Generally, the final regulations provide a number of helpful expansions and clarifications to the retirement plan and account exemptions as originally proposed." (Groom Law Group)

S&P 1500 Pension Plan Sponsors See Stable Funding in February
"The aggregate deficit in pension plans sponsored by S&P 1500 companies decreased by $3 billion to $479 billion as of the end of February 2013 ... The funded ratio (assets divided by liabilities) remained at 77% during the month. This deficit compares to an aggregate pension deficit of $482 billion on January 31, 2012." (Mercer)

Funded Status of U.S. Corporate Pensions Declines to 80.7 Percent
"The funded status of the typical U.S. corporate pension plan slid 0.5 percentage points to 80.7 percent in February as a decline in interest rates drove liabilities higher ... Year to date, the funded ratio has risen 4.4 percentage points ... Liabilities for the typical corporate plan increased 1.4 percent in February, outpacing the 0.8 percent gain in assets during the month[.]" (BNY Mellon)

How Does Your Retirement Plan's Investment Committee Stack Up?
"On average, committees spend more time reviewing past investment performance than on deciding strategy, manager selection, or noninvestment issues. Committees for DC plans in particular spent almost 51% of their time on past performance -- more than all other issues combined." (The Vanguard Group, Inc.)

State and Local Pension Costs: Pre-Crisis, Post-Crisis and Post-Reform (PDF)
"For most plans, the reforms fully offset or more than offset the impact of the financial crisis on the sponsors' costs. For the sample as a whole, pension costs as a share of state-local budgets are projected to eventually fall below pre-crisis levels." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Juggling Current Needs and Long-Term Security: Every Woman Needs Her Own Retirement Strategy (PDF)
"The majority of women (53 percent) plan to continue working after they retire, including 8 percent who plan to work full-time and 45 percent who plan to work part-time. Most plan to do so for reasons relating to income or health benefits.... The majority of women (56 percent) expect to self-fund their retirement through 401(k), 403(b) or similar accounts (42 percent) or other savings and investments (14 percent). One in three women (30 percent) expect to rely on Social Security as their primary source of income in retirement." (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)

Ignoring Retirement Is Not a Plan
"Perhaps the most vexing thing about being a 401(k) plan advisor is dealing with the reality that many people have a remarkable lack of interest in planning their retirements.... It all comes down to personal responsibility to confront this eventuality now and plan for it, and that means investing.... Yet many people have little idea of how [their 401(k)] plans, and the markets they're invested in, actually work." (ABC News)

'Lost Decade' Not Over for 401(k)s, IRAs
"[F]or retirement savers as a group, the reality is more nuanced -- and data about the assets held in retirement plans suggest that, as a group, many investors in 401(k) plans and IRAs are still struggling to make up the ground they've lost since the last Dow high, in October of 2007." (MarketWatch)

Employment Duration and Shifts into Retirement in the European Union
"[S]hifts into retirement have increased during the onset of the 2009 economic and financial crisis. Income, together with flexible working arrangements, is found to be important as regards early retirement decisions, compared to retiring beyond the legal retirement age." (European Central Bank, via SSRN)


Rep. David Roe's Statement at Hearing on 'Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension Plans'
"[O]ne out of every four plans is in 'red zone' critical status, experiencing immediate and significant funding problems. Only 39 percent of participants are active employees ... [and] there is a 90 percent chance the PBGC's multiemployer insurance program will be insolvent in less than twenty years." (U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce)


The Real Numbers on New Jersey Pension Funding
"You might be seeing numbers tossed at you regarding deficits in the state pension of $47.2 billion and a funded ratio of 64.5%. They're way off. Based on actuarial reports for the three largest plans I put their real deficit now at $166 billion and their real current funded ratio at 29.7%. Let's take this in stages as we replace official figures with real-world ones for these three largest plans." (Burypensions)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Executives' Deferred Compensation on the Uptick
"The decline in traditional defined-benefit pension plans means more executives (like most employees) are relying on less-generous DC plans as a cornerstone of their retirement. However, the limits on what high-earning employees can contribute to these plans means that for executives hoping to have income replacement of 70 percent to 80 percent during retirement, other options are necessary[.]" (Human Resource Executive Online)

Press Releases

Life & Health Insurance Startup Community Launched
New England Life & Health Insurance Startup Community

NCPERS Responds to Media Coverage about Annual Conference in Honolulu, Hawaii
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems

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