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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 20, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Part Time On Call Retirement Planning Consultant
for Transamerica Retirement Solutions in AR, CA, MO, NY, UT

Senior Actuarial Consultant
for USI Consulting Group in CT

Account Manager
for Atlanta based Employee Benefits Firm in GA

Lead Consultant - Employee Benefits
for Atlanta based Employee Benefits Firm in GA

Retirement Specialist
for Nationwide Financial in MD

Retirement Planning Consultant
for Transamerica Retirement Solutions in GA

Institutional Management Investment Group Account Manager
for PNC in PA

ERISA Counsel - Tax Qualification
for T. Rowe Price in MD

Group Benefits Administrator
for MAGii, Inc in NY

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Webcasts and Conferences

Top-Heavy Rules: A Trap for the Unwary -- Web Seminar
July 25, 2013 WEBCAST
(SunGard Relius)

Healthcare Consumerism and Shifting to a Patient-Centered Organization - Webinar
July 10, 2013 WEBCAST
(Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB))

4th Annual Financial Advisor Retirement Symposium
April 28, 2014 in NV
(Financial Advisor and Private Wealth Magazines)

SouthWest Benefits Association/Internal Revenue Service 24th Annual Employee Benefits Conference
November 7, 2013 in TX
(SouthWest Benefits Association)

HealthCare Consumerism: Helping Employers Move from a Parenting Approach to a Partnering Approach -- Webinar
June 25, 2013 WEBCAST

10th Annual American Health Care Congress
December 2, 2013 in CA
(World Congress)

Coverage and Nondiscrimination Testing for Related Employers -- Web Seminar
July 18, 2013 WEBCAST
(SunGard Relius)

ASPPA Annual Conference
October 27, 2013 in MD
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

401(k) Plan Design Considerations -- Webcast
July 11, 2013 WEBCAST
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

View All Webcasts and Conferences


[Official Guidance]

Text of PBGC's Request for Information About Handling of Accounts of Missing Participants in Defined Contribution Plans
"Before making decisions about implementing a missing participants program for terminating individual account plans (which represent the vast majority of non-covered plans), PBGC requires an understanding of the demand for such a program and how that demand might be affected by fees, minimum benefit requirements, and information requirements, measured against private providers of similar services. PBGC has made some efforts to conduct research in this area by contacting financial institutions, plan recordkeeping service providers, companies that provide benefit processing services, and sponsors of terminated individual account plans, but found it difficult to draw useful conclusions from these contacts. In addition, PBGC wants input reflecting participant interests. Accordingly PBGC is issuing this request for information." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)


ftwilliam.com, TAG Data, CCH and Aspen Publisher's Customer Conference

Sponsored by ftwilliam.com

Join us August 4-6 and learn from industry specialists! We'll cover hot topics including Coverage & Testing, TPA Workflow, Advanced Plan Design and much more! Make sure to drop in on our hands-on product training sessions with fellow TPAs.

House Financial Services Committee Approves Bill to Block DOL Rulemaking on Fiduciary Standards for Brokers
"The House Financial Services Committee [on June 19] approved Congresswoman Ann Wagner's (MO-2) Retail Investor Protection Act by a bipartisan vote of 44-13.... The Retail Investor Protection Act includes the following provisions: [1] Prohibits the Department of Labor from issuing new fiduciary rules until 60 days after the SEC finalizes a rule. [2] Requires the SEC to identify whether expanded fiduciary standards would result in less access to financial products and services for retail investors; also requires that the SEC submit formal findings that any final rule would reduce retail investor confusion over standards of care that apply to brokers and advisers." (Rep. Ann Wagner (D-Mo.))

New CalPERS Rate-Hike Era Begins with Cost Cut
"State pension costs drop slightly in the new fiscal year under CalPERS rates set yesterday, a short break before a new full-funding policy adopted in April is expected to boost costs nearly 50 percent during the next seven years. The state payment to CalPERS in the fiscal year beginning July 1, $3.9 billion, is about $8 million less than the current annual payment, 'budget dust' to use an old Capitol term for an amount dwarfed by a large expenditure." (CalPensions)

Unity Needed to Tackle Flaws in Defined Contribution Pensions
"The pensions industry should unite to tackle serious flaws lying at the heart of Defined Contribution (DC) pensions ... There is confusion among trustees, members and pension providers about the role of benchmarks. DC members are failing to track their progress because there is no simple, common system for setting and monitoring pension objectives. Pension professionals have largely given up on the ambition of engaging members in retirement planning, preferring automation. Pessimism is rife; there is general agreement that unless a course of treatment is found a crisis will result." (BNY Mellon)

Risky Business: Living Longer Without Income for Life (PDF)
"Many steps can be taken that are noncontroversial, incur minimal costs or do not place mandates on retirement plan sponsors, but can provide significant retirement benefits to workers and their families. Possible approaches include: Emphasize Financial Literacy and Education for Prospective Retirees ... Refocus Plan Design on Lifetime Income Needs ... Implement Federal Retirement Policies to Support Lifetime Income Needs[.]" (Lifetime Income Risk Joint Task Force of the American Academy of Actuaries)


The US Pensions Summit is the forum bringing elite buyers and sellers together.

Sponsored by marcusevans

This event takes place behind closed doors and offers service providers and senior investment executives an intimate environment for a focused discussion of key new drivers shaping public and private pension plans. July 22-24, 2013 - Chicago.

The Retirement Savings Crisis: Is It Worse Than We Think? (PDF)
"Account ownership rates are closely correlated with income and wealth. More than 38 million working-age households (45 percent) do not own any retirement account assets, whether in an employer-sponsored 401(k) type plan or an IRA.... The average working household has virtually no retirement savings.... The collective retirement savings gap among working households age 25-64 ranges from $6.8 to $14 trillion, depending on the financial measure." (National Institute on Retirement Security)

State and School Pensions to Cost Less in 2013-14
"Overall, the State will pay $3.9 billion for pensions and the schools plan will require $1.2 billion in contributions for Fiscal Year 2013-14. The lower dollar cost of pensions is a result of drop in payroll, lower than expected salary increases, and additional member contributions required by [last year's pension reform legislation]. Though the dollar amount is lower for the State and schools plans, the percent of payroll needed to pay for benefits generally increased." (CalPERS)


ICI Stands Firmly Against Floating NAV for Money Market Funds
"ICI President and CEO Paul Stevens ... reiterated the fund industry's strong belief that floating NAVs, which the SEC would apply to institutional prime and tax-exempt funds under one of its two alternatives, would harm the product, investors, and the economy, while failing to meet regulators' objectives. 'Simply put, forcing funds to float their NAVs doesn't address the problem that most preoccupies many regulators -- how to avert heavy redemptions out of money market funds,' he said." (Investment Company Institute)


Rhode Island's New Hybrid Pension Plan Will Cost the State More While Reducing Retiree Benefits
"The shortfall in Rhode Island's pension plan for public employees is largely due not to overly generous benefits, but to the failure of state and local government employers to pay their required share of pensions' cost. The savings from the Rhode Island Retirement Security Act (RIRSA) of 2011 are due to its higher retirement age and lowering or suspending the cost-of-living adjustment.... RIRSA will result in an average benefit cut of 14 percent for future full-career employees.... For the quarter of future employees who are in the lowest quartile of investment returns on their DC plan, the cuts will be 22 percent or higher." (Economic Policy Institute)


Does Wall Street Control Congress? What Can YOU Do
"[T]he DOL's re-proposal of its 'Definition of Fiduciary' rule must, as with all administrative rules, pass through the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB). Even though the DOL's proposal has not yet been submitted to OMB, Wall Street's lobbyists have been visiting OMB in earnest. Yet, what about the pro-fiduciary advocates ... are they also visiting OMB? NONE HAVE. ([S]everal weeks ago [the author] scheduled a visit to OMB for early June. Yet, one business day before my visit was to occur, the OMB e-mailed me to cancel my visit, with not even an offer to re-schedule. It appears the OMB doesn't even want to hear of the substantial economic rationale for imposition of the fiduciary standard; they may already be convinced by the arguments advanced by Wall Street's lobbyists.)" (Ron Rhoades)


Testimony of ACOPA President on PBGC Proposed Regs Relating to Reportable Events and Other Notification Requirements
"As with the small plan waivers, the waivers for financially sound plans are sensible and welcome. We also appreciate the goal of further focusing the reporting requirement on plan sponsors that may not have the financial strength to meet future obligations. However, we do have some concerns about the approach to determining whether or not an employer is financially sound, especially as it relates to the self-employed, and other small businesses." (ASPPA; ASPPA College of Pension Actuaries)


Comments to PBGC on Proposed Regs for Reportable Events and Certain Other Notification Requirements (PDF)
"ERIC understands that the PBGC believes that the current regulations should be revised. However, ERIC believes that the current regulations are appropriate and sufficient to protect the interests of the PBGC, and urges the PBGC not to replace these rules with the proposed regulations (or a modified version of the proposed regulations)." (The ERISA Industry Committee)


Testimony Before the PBGC on Proposed Regs Regarding Reportable Events (PDF)
"[1] It is not necessary to overhaul the existing regulations' approach to waivers. [2] The proposed regulations essentially eliminate plan funding as a basis for a waiver. [3] The PBGC should focus on the financial soundness of the plan and not the plan sponsor. [4] The proposed safe harbor for financial soundness of a plan sponsor is unworkable and there is no suitable alternative." (The ERISA Industry Committee)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Cypen & Cypen Newsletter, June 20, 2013
Article titles include: [1] Public Sector Pension Reform; [2] Federal Appellate Court Upholds Cleveland's Mandatory Retirement for Police Officers at Sixty-five; [3] Are Retirement Rules Really Myths? and [4] Healthiest States for Seniors. (Cypen & Cypen)

Restricted Stock Grants: Research Shows Continued Growth
"While the number of companies granting both types of equity compensation remained fairly stable, there were significant changes in the percentage of companies granting only stock options and only restricted stock over the six-year period [2007-2012].... The percentage of the S&P 1500 that granted options during the period of study fell from 78.5% in 2007 to 65.2% in 2012. During the studied period, there was a sharp increase in the use of restricted stock (including RSUs)." (myStockOptions.com)

Pay for Performance: Rethink Your Metrics
"U.S. companies continue to shift more of the long-term incentive mix toward grants with explicit performance conditions and increasingly use total shareholder return (TSR) as a performance measure. These trends reflect an appropriate emphasis on 'pay for performance' in designing executive compensation programs. But, with the growing focus on TSR, companies may run the risk of overpaying for past performance and market-based fluctuations in share price, rather than rewarding executives for sustainable company performance and differentiated value creation." (Towers Watson)


Unfinished Fiscal Fix -- But the Cliff Is Still There
"There is ... a litany of other taxes, penalties and fees introduced in the ACA ... [that] could legitimately be brought to bear by Republicans in addressing the fiscal cliff problem ... inasmuch as they, like the Medicare taxes, have been designed to hit high bracket businesses and individuals, by reason of being (i) targeted at big businesses (viz., medical device makers, pharmaceutical manufacturers, and health insurance companies), or (ii) drafted with specific thresholds based on size of business payrolls or on individuals' income levels, as regards health insurance or self-insurance mandates imposed on businesses, or relating to insurance that individuals must purchase for themselves or their families, or (iii) imposed on the purchase of a specific luxury health item colloquially called a 'Cadillac insurance plan.'" (Alvin D. Lurie, Esq. on BenefitsLink.com)

Press Releases

Beltz-Ianni Announces New Hire
Beltz Ianni & Associates

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