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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

May 28, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

401k Specialist
for Sonepar USA in SC

Benefits Operation Specialist
for SONOCO Products in SC

401(k) / New Comparability Plan Administrator
for Actuarial Consulting Services in NJ

Benefits Program Specialist
for Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board in DC

Relationship Manager
for Acuff & Associates, Inc. in TN

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Webcasts and Conferences

"Forms 5500 and 8955-SSA for 403(b) Plans" - a two-part Web Seminar
June 11, 2013 WEBCAST
(SunGard Relius)

"Form 5500 for Welfare Plans 2013" - A two-part Web Seminar
June 13, 2013 WEBCAST
(SunGard Relius)

What You Need to Know about the 403(b) Pre-Approved Plan Program Phone Forum
June 25, 2013 WEBCAST
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))

"Rehired & Part-time Employees and Early Eligibility Provisions" Web Seminar
June 18, 2013 WEBCAST
(SunGard Relius)

"Cash Balance Plans for 401(k) Practitioners 2013" - a three-part Web Seminar
June 25, 2013 WEBCAST
(SunGard Relius)

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Workshop
June 20, 2013 in NY
(U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA))

401(k) Rekon is coming to Great Neck
June 13, 2013 in NY
(401(k) Rekon)

Free Webinar - "PBM Contracting—What You Need to Know"
June 18, 2013 WEBCAST
(University Conference Services)

Free Webinar - "Maximizing Your Wellness Investment Through Evidence-Based Strategies"
June 26, 2013 WEBCAST
(University Conference Services)

A Practical Approach to Developing a Wellness Program Seminar
July 10, 2013 WEBCAST
(Lorman Education Services)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Proposes Relief from Certain Prohibited Security Agreements
"[The DOL] is proposing temporary PTE relief to retirement accounts that are involved in security arrangements that guarantee payment to a financial organization in the event of investment losses.... [SIFMA] has sought EBSA PTE relief for such contractual arrangements that may involve IRAs and employer retirement plan accounts on the grounds that such indemnification arrangements have long been standard practice in the securities industry ... [T]his amendment to PTE 80-26 proposes the granting of retroactive temporary relief to allow such contractual arrangements to be rewritten." (Ascensus)


Western Benefits Conference - July 21-24 - San Diego

Sponsored by ASPPA

Attend the conference for TPAs, Advisors, Plan Sponsors, Attorneys and Health & Welfare Professionals!

PBGC Bares Fangs in Deals That Could End in DB Plan Terminations
"[T]he PBGC is reinvigorating its 'early warning' program and spending a lot more time in court trying to seize company assets to cover pension liabilities and to hold companies accountable.... Of particular concern to the PBGC are spinoffs of subsidiaries, control group breakups, leveraged buyouts, transfers of significantly underfunded pension liabilities before a sale or major divestiture, payment of unusual dividends or swapping secured debt for previously unsecured debt." (Pensions & Investments)

Will California Lead the Way with a State-Run Retirement Plan for Private Sector?
"Federal approval is needed on tax and labor issues. Then comes final legislative approval, giving opponents another shot at the plan. The new law gave the program a seven-member board, including the state treasurer, controller and finance director. In an apparent lack of urgency if not enthusiasm, the governor, senate and assembly have not yet made their appointments." (CalPensions)

TSP Beneficiary Beware
"[R]ules for establishing an inherited IRA do not apply when inheriting a spousal beneficiary participant account from the [federal government's Thrift Savings Plan].... [F]rom the TSP Beneficiary Participant Booklet: Death benefit payments made from your beneficiary participant account must be paid directly to your beneficiary(ies). These payments are subject to certain tax restrictions and cannot be transferred or rolled over into an IRA or eligible employer plan." (Government Executive)

Pension Funds Look for Risk Protection Without Sacrificing Returns
"Several money managers offer strategies like real estate, private equity, hedge funds, bank loans and emerging markets debt as ways to both provide risk protection and generate returns. Some of those strategies worked for the $52 billion Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Management Board, Boston, which raised its five-year annualized expected return to 7.9% from 7.7% and cut its risk to 12.1% from 12.4% through asset allocation changes approved in 2011[.]" (Pensions & Investments)

FINRA Going All Out to Control E-Mail
"Firms and brokers often struggle with the technology used for retaining e-mails, and glitches can occur that compliance officials may not be aware of. Also, individual brokers may fail to inform their B-Ds about using outside or personal e-mail. Finra is especially concerned when failure to retain e-mails might have prejudiced regulators or arbitration claimants[.]" (Investment News; free registration required)

Church Pension Plan Status Being Tested by IRS, Class-Action Lawsuits
"The IRS' long-term trend of allowing church-affiliated defined benefit pension plans to be exempt from federal pension rules could reverse course after an unusual decision by the agency and a flurry of lawsuits.... [Since] March ... five major class-action lawsuits were filed in separate jurisdictions against some of the biggest names in health care ... now operating their pension plans under church plan status." (Pensions & Investments)

ERISA Does Not Bar Post-Distribution Action to Enforce Waiver Against Beneficiary
"[The Fourth Circuit] explained that ERISA does not provide shelter from contractual liability to beneficiaries who have already received plan proceeds. In concluding that ERISA did not prevent post-distribution suits, the court further noted that such actions do not conflict with ERISA as they do not require plan administrators to pay benefits to anyone other than the named beneficiary. The estate's claim merely sought to enforce a state order that did not conflict with ERISA's objectives." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

It's Never Too Soon to Start Planning Your Retirement
"At an early age, it's about how to get started and build good saving habits. During peak earnings years, it's about maximizing your potential, such as paying down debt and working toward big goals, such as covering future health-care costs. And on the verge of retirement, the questions revolve around your post-retirement income strategy -- especially the important decision of when to take Social Security." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)

Assessing Corporate Risk Profiles When Setting Long-Term Pension Strategies (PDF)
"For companies with high degrees of capital liquidity, stable cash flows and modest-sized pension plans relative to the overall balance sheet and market capitalization, higher allocations to equities may be not only acceptable but appropriate. Companies that are capital-constrained, with volatile revenue streams, high fixed costs and large pension plans, are likely to be more severely impacted by volatile pension assets, and might want to consider increased fixed income-oriented portfolio allocations." (SEI)

How to Combat the 401(k) Loan Problem
"[E]ducation about basic finances is key to dissuading participants from taking loans. Participants must be educated about creating a budget, managing debt and simultaneously saving for retirement and a house." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


Comments to EBSA on Pension Benefit Statements (PDF)
"DTCC believes that static annuity projections provided in quarterly benefit statements as required by the ANPRM will not only result in additional administrative burdens and costs of sponsoring a retirement plan, but will create confusion and may cause some employees to make decisions that are not in their best interest. The better approach would be to direct employees to modeling tools, such as the 'Lifetime Income Calculator' now available on the DOL's website, to enable employees to better understand how their account balances might translate into lifetime income." (Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation)


Mandatory Pension Savings: Should Employers And Employees Be Forced To Make Contributions?
"[A] mandatory pension scheme has been proposed that would force employers to put money aside for their employees' retirement. This idea has borrowed heavily from the current system operated in Australia, where employers are required to deposit at least 9% of each employee's salary into individual accounts.... [T]he requirement for mandatory employer pension contributions has been phased in gradually.... If the pension crisis in America is to be resolved, it is crucial that the government adopt a similarly evolutionary approach." (Investopedia)


Time to Replace the Three-Legged-Stool Myth
"With disappearing pensions and inadequate personal savings, the remaining -- wobbly -- leg of Social Security makes retirement income look more like a pogo stick for many Americans. A more apt analogy for today's version of retirement income security may be a multilayered pyramid." (Investment News; free registration required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

Compensation Committee and Compensation Committee Advisers Listing Standards
"By July 1, 2013, the compensation committee of a company must assess the independence of every compensation consultant, legal counsel or any other adviser ... to the committee.... After July 1, 2013, the compensation committee must assess the independence of advisers before their selection and must evaluate the independence of existing advisers annually. Although compensation committees are required to evaluate the independence of advisers, neither listing exchange requires that advisers actually be independent." (Haynes and Boone, LLP)

Real-Life Examples of Simple, Low-Cost Work/Life Efforts
"Studies show that work/life programs can help improve employee engagement and productivity. But you may believe effective strategies are expensive and require a big-business budget. Not true. Some larger and midsize employers have created innovative, low-cost work/life practices that even small businesses can adopt." (Business Management Daily; free registration required)

Senate Finance Committee Lists Possible Tax Reform Provisions
"[T]he paper recognizes that the tax code plays an important role in individual economic security by encouraging retirement savings and making employer provided healthcare more affordable. However, these protections written into the code also are some of the greatest tax expenditures and an easy target for tax reform.... [This article lists] some of the recommendations made in the paper[.]" (Schneider Downs)

Press Releases

NAPA Releases Top Retirement Plan Industry Lists
National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA)

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