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March 15, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Staff Attorney
for USI Consulting Group in CT

Retirement Plan Operations Manager
for Third Party Administration Firm in IA, IL, MI, MN, WI

Account Management Positions, Retirement Plans
for Cammack LaRhette Consulting in NY

401K & Pension Relationship Manager
for Paul Global Benefits in NY

Communications Specialist
for Christian Retirement Ministries in CO

Vice President, Benefit Operations
for Prudential in NJ

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[Official Guidance]

Handouts from IRS Phone Forum on International Issues Involving Retirement Plans in U.S. Territories, March 21, 2013 (PDF)
Topics include: FYI 2013 Initiatives; Audits in Puerto Rico; and Application of Income tax requirements to U.S. Virgin Islands. (Internal Revenue Service)


The ftwilliam.com Product Line Has Launched Electronic Signature Capability

Sponsored by ftwilliam.com

Wolters Kluwer – ftwilliam.com is proud to be among the first Retirement Software vendors to offer document e-signature capability via ftwPortal Pro, our secure web-portal. E-sign any document using our software. Contact us for a demo and learn more!

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Guidance on Additional Annual Funding Notice Disclosures for Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plans
"MAP-21 ... added a new disclosure requirement requiring that information regarding segment rate stabilization be disclosed in plans' AFNs for plan years between 2012 through 2014. FAB 2013-01 addresses this disclosure requirement and also provides a supplement to the model AFN. Use of the model language -- while not mandatory -- is sufficient to demonstrate satisfaction of ERISA's AFN content requirements." (Crowell Moring)

[Guidance Overview]

403(b) Correction: Addressing the Universal Availability Requirement
"In this Technical Update, we address the correction of a 403(b) plan that violates the universal availability requirement. The issue is of particular importance because the IRS's compliance unit has a universal availability compliance project in which they target certain 403(b) plan sponsors (e.g., universities). The IRS sends a compliance questionnaire to a 403(b) plan sponsor explaining the universal availability requirement. The questionnaire then asks the plan sponsor to respond to several specific and pointed questions to determine whether they are in compliance with the requirement." (SunGard Relius)

[Guidance Overview]

Updated IRS Correction Program Guidance: What's New and What Isn't (PDF)
"The new guidance does not address the correction of important auto-enrollment issues, such as the failure to provide the safe-harbor notice before the start of the plan year, or Roth account issues;... Nor does the new guidance expand relief for plan loans or provide any exceptions to the ban on retroactive plan amendments (including ones that are 'pro-participant')." (Groom Law Group via Bloomberg BNA Pension & Benefits Daily)

ERISA Does Not Preempt State Court Order Requiring Beneficiary to Renounce Right to Employee's Plan Benefits
"The lesson: An estate can sue the employee benefit plan beneficiary before the plan distribution is made, putting in place the threat of a court's contempt powers by the time the distribution is made." [Adrochick v. Byrd, No. 12-1728 (4th Cir., Mar. 4, 2013)] (Womble Carlyle)

Retirement Security Rankings... Where Does the U.S. Stand?
"Do you have any idea where the United States ranks when it comes to retirement security? You guessed first place? No, that's not it. Second? Not that either. In fact, the U.S. barely made the top 20 ranking." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Kentucky Private Employers Believe Public-Sector Pension Reform Overdue
"With the state struggling to address a $19 billion shortfall in its pension plans, many business owners have marveled at the state's inability to adapt like the private sector. Many in the business community have called for years for government pensions to look more like the private sector to address the massive government deficits. But public employees and others question whether the private sector model works best." (Cincinnati.com)

IBM Defends Changes to Matching Contribution Eligibility Under 401(k) Plan Despite Criticism from Senators
"Responding to criticism from Vermont U.S. Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders about changes in Big Blue's 401(k) plan that has upset many IBM employees, the company's top human resources executive has basically told them to mind their own businesses. No restoration of previous practices will be made in the interest of competitiveness, IBM says." (WRAL TechWire Insider)

Sponsors Need Education About Stable Value Funds
"The majority (86%) of plan sponsors have offered stable value funds as an investment option in their defined contribution (DC) plans for more than two years, says the study, and more than 78% are not planning to make changes to their stable value offerings within the next year." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


Free Registration Offer for PSCA's Western Regional Conference April 3

Join us in Dallas for an in-depth look at the issues and challenges facing DC plan sponsors today. BenefitsLink is sponsoring 10 free registrations for plan sponsors -– click here and use discount code BLWRCDISC.

Corporate Pension Plans' Funded Status Affects Investment Decisions
"The funding ratio of corporate defined benefit plans drives their asset allocations, with less well-funded plans opting for less fixed-income exposure, according to a [recent] study ... [A]mong the 12% of all U.S. corporate defined benefit pension plans that have funding ratios of 105% or higher, those plans allocate 61% to fixed income. Among plans with funding ratios of less than 75%, they allocate only 31% to fixed income." (Pensions & Investments)

Addressing Participant Retirement Income Risks (PDF)
"Retirees in the 21st Century face a stark reality: they may not have enough money to live on in their 80's or 90's. This White Paper discusses the reasons behind this problem, possible solutions offered by the insurance and investment industries and the way in which one product, the Lincoln Secured Retirement IncomeSM guarantee developed by Lincoln Financial Group, addresses the problem." (Drinker Biddle)

Liability-Driven Investment: From Theory to Practice
"[P]lan sponsors are revisiting long-held beliefs and practices in managing their pension plans and assets. Many are taking decisive actions to improve pension health, control funded status risk and dampen its impact on the organization and its stakeholders, while meeting fiduciary responsibilities. For some, the objective is to ensure the plan's long-term viability in order to meet benefit obligations; for others, the goal is to set the stage for an orderly wind-down or termination." (JPMorgan)


Why Social Security Is the Best Retirement Saving Vehicle
"Social Security stays unfunded and sustainable because of two of its other features: It is universal, and it has a dedicated tax source. If an unfunded benefit grows to have a surprisingly large cost, but it only covers a small share of the population, the government is likely to end up simply passing that cost along to taxpayers. That's hard to do if almost everyone is a participant." (Bloomberg)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Third Wave of Executive Compensation Lawsuits Is Coming Ashore
"Ever since the Dodd-Frank Act was passed, shareholders have been finding creative ways to sue companies over their executive-compensation programs. The newest lawsuits may be more successful than their predecessors.... Unlike the lawsuits filed in the first two waves of shareholder litigation, which began in 2010 and 2012, the new ones have nothing directly to do with Say on Pay. But they are another attempt to take companies to task over executive compensation." (CFO.com)

Text of CBO Testimony on the Social Security Disability Insurance Program: Funds Run Out in Three Years (PDF)
"In the past four decades, the number of workers with disabilities who receive benefits from the [Social Security Disability Insurance ('DI')] program has increased nearly sixfold, rising from 1.5 million in 1970 to 8.8 million in January 2013.... Since 2009, the program has paid out more each year in benefits than it received in dedicated revenues..... In 2023, CBO projects, the program's spending will be 0.82 percent of GDP, and dedicated tax revenues will be 0.66 percent of GDP. CBO projects that the DI trust fund will be exhausted in 2016, nearly 20 years before the projected exhaustion of [the] trust fund for the Social Security retirement program." (Congressional Budget Office)

Press Releases

NCPA Supports Bill to Preserve Community Pharmacies, Protect Patient Choice
National Community Pharmacists Association (NCPA)

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