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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

March 7, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Retirement Plan Administrator
for Fringe Benefits Design in SD

Communications Administrator - Current Clients
for Christian Retirement Ministries in CO

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Webcasts and Conferences

Best Practices for Other Retirement Plans When You Have an ESOP
Nationwide on May 28, 2013 presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Using ESOPs to Structure an Acquisition - Legal Issues
Nationwide on June 4, 2013 presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Using ESOPs to Structure Acquisitions - Strategic & Practical Issues
Nationwide on June 11, 2013 presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

What You Need to Know as an Internal ESOP Fiduciary
Nationwide on June 18, 2013 presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Valuation Issues for Internal Trustees
Nationwide on June 25, 2013 presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

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[Guidance Overview]

DOL Advisory Opinion Addresses Use of Swaps by ERISA Plans
"Given the high level of attention being paid to de-risking solutions these days, the role of swaps is even more important since these derivative contracts are often used by insurance companies and banks to manage their own risks when an ERISA plan transfers assets and/or liabilities.... [The Advisory Opinion clarifies that] ERISA plans can use swaps without fear of undue regulatory costs and diminished supply (due to brokers who do not want to trade if deemed a fiduciary)." (Pension Risk Matters)


DATAIR! Better Than Ever – Flexible Pricing – Superior Validation

Sponsored by DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Choose "Pension Reporter System" modules you need:
EFAST2 5500/PBGC/SAR, 1099Rs, 5300s, FAS158
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[Guidance Overview]

Changes to 401(k) Plan Deduction Rules?
"In Private Letter Ruling 201229012, the IRS ruled that a plan does not include the compensation of a participant who is only eligible for the elective deferral portion of the plan ... when applying the 25% deduction limit. The IRS concluded that since elective deferrals are disregarded in applying the deduction limits, a participant who is only benefiting under the elective deferral portion of the plan should be disregarded when determining which employees are beneficiaries under the plan for purposes of applying the deduction limits." (SunGard Relius)

Two U.S. Senators Blast IBM for Changes in 401(k) Plans
"[Vermont Senators] Bernard Sanders and Patrick Leahy are upset with IBM about recently made changes in 401(k) plans for [IBM] employees.... The change in the 401(k) plans means employees not only aren't receiving matching funds biweekly but only annually -- and only if they are on the payroll as of Dec. 15 each year." (WRAL TechWire Insider)

Rethinking Normal Retirement Age for Pension Plans (PDF)
"Key Points[:] [1] Aligning the normal retirement age for DB plans with the Social Security normal retirement age would facilitate and encourage more workers to remain in the workforce longer. [2] Changes to ERISA should allow, but not require, employers to increase their normal retirement age. [3] Transition rules should be considered carefully." (Pension Committee, American Academy of Actuaries)

Tax Policy and Boomer Retirement Saving Behaviors (PDF)
"74% of Boomers place some level of importance on tax deferral when selecting a retirement investment; 40% consider tax deferral a very important criterion. Nearly three-quarters (76%) of Boomers between ages 50-55 consider tax deferral an important feature of a retirement investment product.... 61% of low-income Boomers consider tax deferral an important criterion when selecting a retirement income product." (Insured Retirement Institute)


SouthWest Benefits Association 38th Annual Conference - May 8-10 - New Orleans

Sponsored by SouthWest Benefits Association

Staying up to date in the world of benefits has never been more critical. Changes in regulations, technology and the economy continue to influence benefits structures. Participation in the SWBA Conference is the most cost-effective way to stay informed.

Two Employers Reach Settlement with DOJ Resolving Allegations They Violated USERRA by Failing to Pay Into 401(k) Plans of Air Force Veterans
"According to the DOJ's complaint, DRG and FlightSafety violated USERRA by not allowing two veterans ... to make 'catch up' contributions to their company's 401(k) plans upon their return from duty and not matching contributions that the veterans missed while on active duty in the Air Force." (Wolters Kluwer Law and Business)

401(k) Wellness Scorecard for Fourth Quarter, 2012 (PDF)
"Of all participants who took actions in their retirement plans, 81% took positive actions.... Year over year comparisons reveal that loans and withdrawals are down.... Plan sponsors that offered one-on-one meetings were 67% more successful at increasing enrollment and contributions. ... Among plans that use automatic enrollment, there was a 60% increase in plans that offered default contribution rates of 6% or greater." (Bank of America Merrill Lynch)

'Power Saving' for Your Retirement Can Boost Your Financial Nest Egg
"The myth says you'll be OK, even if you don't increase your 401(k) contributions or other savings. You'll make up for your small nest egg by working longer.... You might be able to stay employed until 70 if you're healthy, lucky, well-off, work for a company that keeps older employees, or run a business of your own. But the more familiar story is that of older workers forced out of jobs they'd hoped to keep." (AARP)

Milliman Pension Funding Index, March 2013
"The funded status of the 100 largest corporate defined benefit pension plans dropped by $6 billion during February ... The deficit increased to $311 billion from $305 billion at the end of January, primarily due to the drop in the benchmark corporate bond interest rates used to value pension liabilities.... As of February 28, the funded ratio fell to 81.5%, down from 81.7% at the end of January." (Milliman)

Webcast and Testimony at Senate Hearing on Multiemployer Pension Plans
The linked page is an archived webcast of the March 5 hearing, which was entitled "Challenges Facing Multiemployer Pension Plans: Reviewing the Latest Findings by PBGC and GAO." Includes links to written testimony. (Subcommittee on Heath, Employment, Labor and Pensions, Committee on Education & the Workforce, U.S. Senate)

How a Lifetime Income Annuity Works
"[Y]ou can spread your money among a few annuities issued by insurers with high financial strength ratings and limit the amount you invest with any single insurer to the maximum coverage offered by the insurance guaranty association in your state. The bottom line, though, is that an income annuity offers something that no other investment can -- insurance against the risk of outliving your money." (CNNMoney.com)

Stick with Your Long-Term Retirement Investing Plan, Even When Times Are Good
"Successful investing requires the investor to control emotions.... [T]he best way to do this is to stick to a few basic retirement saving principles: 1. Rebalance Your Investments on a Consistent Basis.... 2. Do Not Allow Market Conditions to Dictate Your Contribution.... 3. Stay on the Road." (Smart401k.com)

Women Are Gaining on Men in Retirement Savings
"[T]he average deferral rate for female participants was 5.38%, an increase of 1.6% for the quarter. Male participants are saving at 5.81% on average, an increase of 1.2% from the third quarter 2012.... Since Q3 2010, when the average account balance among female participants trailed that of men by 40.49%, the gap has been gradually closing ... In Q4 2012, the average account balance among females was 38.25% behind their male counterparts, an improvement of 2.49 percentage points or 5.6%." (MassMutual Retirement Services)

Buoyant Equity Market Helps Reduce FTSE350 Pension Deficits
"[T]he accounting deficit of defined benefit pension [plans, which are called 'schemes' in the UK] reduced over the month of February.... [T]he estimated aggregate IAS19 deficit for the defined benefit schemes of FTSE350 companies stood at 68bn GBP (equivalent to a funding ratio of 89%) at 28 February 2013. This compares to a deficit figure of 75bn GBP at the end of January 2013 (funding ratio of 88%)." (Mercer)


The Two Scariest Numbers from New Jersey's 2012 Pension Reports
"$77,933,097,738: Value of benefits payable to retirees; $74,150,625,343: Market value of assets ... [T]hese plans do not have enough money to cover benefits for current retirees." (Burypensions)

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