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May 31, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Operations Specialist
for Well Established and Successful Company in TN

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator/Compliance Specialist
for Shore Tompkins Actuarial Resources, LLC in IL

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Webcasts and Conferences

RMD Intricacy
July 31, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

National Health Care Reform
August 23, 2013 in MA
(Lorman Education Services)

Health Care Reform for Employers: Now What?
August 28, 2013 in CA
(Lorman Education Services)

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[Official Guidance]

Text of the 2013 Social Security Trustees Report (PDF)
254 pages. "The Trustees project that the asset reserves of the OASI Trust Fund and of the combined OASI and DI Trust Funds will be adequate over the next 10 years under the intermediate assumptions. However, the projected reserves of the DI Trust Fund decline steadily from 85 percent of annual cost at the beginning of 2013 until the trust fund reserves are depleted in 2016. At the time reserves are depleted, continuing income to the DI Trust Fund would be sufficient to pay 80 percent of scheduled DI benefits. The DI Trust Fund does not satisfy the short-range test of financial adequacy." (The Board of Trustees, Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Federal Disability Insurance Trust Funds)


ftwilliam.com Plan Document Software Webinar

Sponsored by ftwilliam.com

On 6/5, learn about the benefits of using the ftwilliam.com plan document software. Our automation and productivity tools will increase your efficiency and your bottom line. Also learn about exciting new features for PPA including batch restatement.

Social Security Board of Trustees Says Projected Trust Fund Exhaustion Three Years Sooner Than Last Year
"The combined assets of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2033, unchanged from last year, with 77 percent of benefits still payable at that time. The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2016, also unchanged from last year's estimate, with 80 percent of benefits still payable." (Social Security Administration)

Is Your 401(k)'s Brokerage Option Right for You?
"Access to a brokerage option opens a whole universe of investments to plan participants, compared to the handful that may be available in the core lineup. However, a brokerage account may not be suitable for every investor. Here are a few important considerations: [1] Fees ... [2] Mutual Fund Minimums ... [3] Patience and Discipline." (Smart401k)

Turning Employees Into Lifetime Savers
"Almost 60% of American employees who are eligible to participate in their employer-sponsored retirement plans don't believe they will ever be able to save enough for a comfortable retirement.... Only one in 10 (13%) of employees eligible to participate in their employer-sponsored retirement plans are highly motivated, with motivation naturally increasing as employees get closer to retirement age." (Prudential Retirement)

Retirement Plan Simplification Act Reintroduced in House
"The newly introduced legislation [would:] Increase maximum deferral rates in certain automatic enrollment 401(k) plans ... Enhance eligibility of long-term employees working fewer than 1,000 hours per year ... Enhanced small employer plan start-up ... Encourage multiple-employer plans." (Ascensus)


Self-Auditing Your Employee Benefits - June 12, 2013

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

This live audio conference gives you a legal and a practical perspective for each type of benefit plan. Helps you identify and prioritize so you can focus your time and resources on the important areas. Registration discount for BenefitsLink readers.

Aggregation Models, Loan Insurance, and Lifetime Income Patents: Addressing Retirement Security by 'Looking Through the Wrong End of a Telescope'
"In an almost stealth-like way, innovation is creeping into the marketplace and creating ways to address critical retirement issues, even without an incubator. Though these programs can do little to address what [the author views] as the basic retirement inadequacy issue -- that is, employers are generally moving away from the traditional notion of building adequate retirement programs into their employment models -- they are making progress toward making the best of what we've got.... None of these programs would have been possible without the technological advancements over the past decade[.]" (Business of Benefits)

Briefing on DOL Proposed Lifetime Income Disclosure (PDF)
16 presentation slides summarize the ANPRM and provide highlights of issues for employers. (American Benefits Council; Davis & Harman LLP)

Illinois Senate Roundly Defeats Madigan Pension Reform Plan
"The Illinois Senate ... overwhelmingly defeated a major overhaul of the state's heavily indebted government worker pension systems, throwing into question whether cost-saving reforms will be approved before Friday night's adjournment deadline.... The defeat continued the pension reform stalemate between Madigan and Senate President John Cullerton, who has long argued the speaker's plan is unconstitutional while his own would withstand a legal challenge." (Chicago Tribune; free registration required)

In Australia, Saving for Retirement Is Done Right
"Since its introduction in 1992, [Australia's] Superannuation Guarantee program has grown to $1.52 trillion, more than the country's gross domestic product, with more than 90 percent of workers putting money into the system. By comparison, Americans have about twice that, $2.8 trillion, in their 401(k) accounts, with a population 14 times larger.... What makes Oz so different? For Australians, not saving is simply not an option." (Bloomberg BusinessWeek)

Governmental Workers Retiring in Greater Numbers
"[I]n at least some instances, the surge in retirements has caused shortages in employees with much needed experience, and/or transitional issues when senior employees are not able to train more junior people before leaving.... [T]o the extent that employers want to modify their retirement systems to encourage more employees to stay on, what are the options?" (Calhoun Law Group)

Enhanced Tools for 401(k) Investors
"Retirement-plan providers, along with a few financial-planning services, are adding new online tools to help people saving for retirement better manage the more than $5.1 trillion in defined-contribution assets, and to help plan participants get their nest eggs ready to generate income when they finally quit working. In some cases, the tools are even prodding workers to increase the portion of each paycheck that they save, diversify their investments, scrutinize fees or consider future health costs." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)

When to Use 'I Bonds' for Your Retirement Savings
"If you maxed out your 401(k) and Roth IRA contributions, then you are running out of tax-advantaged investment options. I bonds are tax-deferred, so you won't have to pay tax on the interest until you redeem them. It's a great way to defer paying tax until after retirement when you are in a lower tax bracket." (U.S.News & World Report)

Implications of Saving, Investing and Future Policy Changes on Today's Retirement Investor
"Many Americans live for two to three decades after they retire.... This paper examines post-retirement dynamics for median income families that are heavily affected by the availability and use of qualified retirement plans, the balance between savings and consumption, and the level of portfolio risk they choose over time." (JPMorgan)

Seniors Warned: Think Twice Before Selling Pension
"Analysts say there are no definitive numbers on how many people are selling their pensions for cashs, but [Lori Schock, director of investor education at the SEC,] said that an increase in consumer complaints, as well as recent media attention, prompted the SEC and [FINRA] to issue a warning over pension sales earlier this month.... [W]hat's missing from the sales pitch, say experts critical of the practice, are the fees that come with the cash -- fees that in effect become interest rates somewhere between 25 and 100 percent." (CNBC)

New York Court of Appeals Affirms Appellate Court's Holding That Retirement Plan Contribution Dispute Was Not Arbitrable
"In a recent decision of statewide applicability to public employers with unionized members of the Police and Fire Retirement System ..., the New York Court of Appeals ... addressed the issue of whether the City of Yonkers' refusal to pay or reimburse new employees for their statutorily-required Tier V pension contributions was arbitrable. In City of Yonkers v. Yonkers Fire Fighters, the Court ... held that the dispute was not arbitrable, thereby affirming a permanent stay of arbitration. The case will likely have positive implications for similarly-situated public employers across the state." (Bond Schoeneck & King)


Flaws in the Pew Report on Retirement Readiness
"[T]he Pew report appears to assume no further contributions, either by employer or employee, to the defined contribution balances as of 2010. That's right, no further contributions beyond the self-reported participant balances of 2010, and no earnings projection on those assumed non-existent contributions, either. This assumption likely serves to understate the future retirement readiness of younger workers, who have years, and in many cases decades, of savings ahead of them." (Nevin Adams via EBRI)


CBO's Tax Expenditure Report Uses Wrong Benchmark, Overstates Loopholes
"CBO makes the same mistake as the Tax Policy Center and assumes that there should be double taxation of income that is saved and invested. As such, they list IRAs and 401(k)s as tax expenditures, even though those provisions merely enable people to avoid being double-taxed." (Cato Institute)


Contributing Employers Beware: Has the Tipping Point Arrived for Multiemployer Plans?
"[A recent PBGC] announcement is just further confirmation of what many contributing employers have already realized: the system is unsustainable and cannot -- and will not -- survive. The announcement also represents a time frame, beginning now, that signals the beginning of the end for the PBGC insurance system, which will have dramatic consequences for any employer still contributing to a multiemployer plan.... Given this reality, despite the cost of withdrawal liability, many employers should be seriously considering negotiating a withdrawal from their multiemployer plans now, as more of their fellow contributors are undoubtedly doing the same thing." (Fox Rothschild LLP)


Legislative Proposals to Relieve the Red Tape Burden on Investors and Job Creators (PDF)
"[T]he cost benefit provisions [proposed in Congressman Wagner's Fiduciary Discussion Draft] would improperly constrain the SEC's ability to do what Congress asked it to do .... [T]he Dodd Frank Act] ... commanded the SEC to consider whether broker dealers, like investment advisers, should be subject to a 'best interest of the customer' standard when providing personalized, retail investment advice. The [proposal] would substantially impede the SEC's ability to analyze this option, much less to propose a rule." (Mercer E. Bullard, President, Fund Democracy, Inc. and Professor, University of Mississippi School of Law)


Dissection of Proposed Fiduciary Legislation Offers Way Forward for Fiduciary Rulemaking
"Congresswoman Wagner's impassioned plea to spare brokers' clients the harms of the fiduciary standard is important. It sets a course for a new conversation between the two sides that could be fruitful. [Professor Mercer] Bullard's sharp criticism ... is noteworthy, not because he is an investor advocate who might be expected to oppose these provisions. It is noteworthy because Bullard takes a moderate [tack] that reflects his wide-ranging experience and expertise and his openly independent views of the SEC and DOL." (Institute for the Fiduciary Standard)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Does New PCAOB Proposal Really Eliminate the Risk of Auditor Involvement in Executive Compensation Design?
"[T]he re-proposed rule has not changed that much and ... audit firms will still be confronted with having to determine if certain pay structures create more potential incentives for fraudulent behavior than others. According to the [Public Company Accounting Oversight Board], however, the new rule clarifies 'that the auditor's procedures would not require the auditor to make any determination regarding the reasonableness of compensation arrangements or recommendations regarding compensation arrangements'[.]" (Towers Watson)

Press Releases

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