EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com logo BenefitsLink.com logo

BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter

June 24, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
         Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

PT Benefit Enroller Specialist - English and/or Bilingual
for Total Benefit Concepts in ANY STATE

Installation Coordinator
for Ascensus in MN, PA

401K Client Service Representative
for Ascensus in PA

Senior Consultant, Retirement Programs
for Sutter Health in CA

Manager Claims & Customer Service (Benefits TPA)
for Zenith American Solutions in NV

Manager, Complaint Resolution
for Prudential in ME, NJ

Senior Benefits Analyst
for County of San Diego in CA

Post Your Job on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

View All Jobs

RSS feed for jobs RSS Feed: All Jobs

Webcasts and Conferences

Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar
July 23, 2013 in FL
(Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), U.S. Department of Labor)

Health Benefits Laws Compliance Assistance Seminar
August 6, 2013 in AZ
(Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA), U.S. Department of Labor)

A Busy 2013 for Executive Compensation eLunch
June 27, 2013 WEBCAST
(Winston & Strawn)

Tax Planning for Retirement Asset Withdrawals -- Webcast
August 1, 2013 WEBCAST
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Advanced Issues with Participant Loans, Hardship Withdrawals, & QDROs -- Webcast
August 7, 2013 WEBCAST
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

EPCRS and Plan Corrections
August 29, 2013 in PA
(ASPPA Benefits Council of Western PA)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


[Guidance Overview]

Handout for June 25 IRS Phone Forum: What You Need to Know About the 403(b) Pre-Approved Plan Program (PDF)
58 slides. Topics include: Background and Overview of Pre-Approved Plan Program; Types of Pre-Approved Plans; Required Provisions; Plans of Churches/Mass Submitters; Scope of a Favorable Letter/Employer Reliance; Duties of a Pre-Approved Plan Sponsor; How to Apply; Additional Resources. (Internal Revenue Service)


ESOP administrators: get the training you need to be successful.

Sponsored by ASPPA

The administration of ESOPs requires knowledge of unique allocation and compliance testing requirements. The ESOP Administration certificate is designed to provide education for the beginning and intermediate ESOP administrator.

Benefits Committee Abused Its Discretion by Denying Claim for Retroactive Pension Benefits
"A district court may consider evidence outside of the administrative record on an abuse of discretion review in an ERISA case, in particular when the evidence was known to the plan administrator when it rendered its benefits determination. To hold otherwise would allow plan administrators an unchecked opportunity to pick and choose what evidence in their possession to include in the administrative record. In addition, review of extrinsic evidence, such as the language of the plan and other factors, is necessary for courts to consider when determining whether a plan committee has abused its discretion." [Helton v. AT&T, Inc., No. 11-2153 (4th Cir. Mar. 6, 2013)] (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Second Circuit Decision Supports Excluding Top Executives from 401(k) Committee
"[P]laintiffs fail to allege facts supporting an inference that fiduciaries within U.S.-based subsidiary Nokia Inc. were aware of problems roiling Finnish parent company Nokia Corp., whose market activities spanned the globe.... While plaintiffs allege that certain Nokia Inc. directors also were senior employees of Nokia Corp., none of these directors is alleged to have served on the Plan committee or possessed authority over Plan investments during the relevant period." [Majad v. Nokia, Inc., No. 12-4064-cv (2d Cir. June 21, 2013)] (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit via Bloomberg Law)

PBGC Facing Stiff Resistance to Proposed Changes to Reportable Events Rules
"Plan executives initially considered proposed changes to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp.'s 'reportable events' rule an improvement over an earlier approach. Now, however, they are doing everything they can to stop it, saying the idea will hasten the decline of defined benefit pension plans." (Pensions & Investments)

CalPERS Wants Lien on Local Government Assets
"Current law authorizes CalPERS to place a lien on the assets of government agencies only if they terminate their contract and leave the system ... In April, the CalPERS board approved a staff proposal to sponsor legislation that would 'provide CalPERS with a present lien on all assets of a contracting public agency in the amount of all obligations owed to the system.' A spokesman for [CalPERS] said the proposed legislation is on a 'second track,' not necessarily prompted by the San Bernardino bankruptcy or intended for application there." (CalPensions)

How Companies Should Handle the Pension Adequacy Crisis
"What kind of retirement plans should companies offer? How can they make sure their employees are well provided for once they stop working? These questions have taken on new urgency as the baby-boom generation exits the workforce and people lead longer lives. To sort through the options, The Wall Street Journal's Gabriella Stern spoke with Joshua Gotbaum, director of Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., and Dallas Salisbury, president and chief executive of the Employee Benefit Research Institute. [This article includes] edited excerpts of their discussion." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)

A Case for Index Fund Portfolios (PDF)
"Two distinct strategies are compared in this report: one that selects low cost market tracking index funds exclusively and a second that selects from actively managed funds that attempt to outperform the markets. Overwhelming evidence is found in support of an all index fund strategy." (Richard A. Ferri, CFA, and Alex C. Benke, CFP)

Limiting the 401(k) Finder's Fee
"Benefit experts agree that because of the combination of forces, the cost of running and investing in the plans, on average, have been on the decline for several years. According to BrightScope, ... the total costs, including fees and administrative expenses, were 0.8 percent of assets in 2011. That's down from 0.85 percent in 2009. Still, workers can pay a fairly wide range of fees. Many plans cost between 0.2 and 1.8 percent, but some plans, particularly smaller ones, are more costly." (The New York Times; subscription may be required)

Change the Conversation About Planning for Income During Retirement
"[W]hen it comes to retirement income planning, no silver bullet or one-size-fits-all approach exists.... [T]here is an evolving realization that retirement income planning is very different from saving for retirement. The financial services industry is scrambling to create new models to help advisers design appropriate plans for their clients' unique circumstances." (Mary Beth Franklin in Investment News)

Corporate Pension Plans: The $20 Trillion Elephant in the (Valuation) Room (PDF)
"Company pension plans are ticking time bombs that could have a devastating impact on enterprise value. Massive underfunding, along with complicated plan economics, makes it crucial for appraisers to have a solid grasp of the ins and outs of these plans and their potential consequences on value." (Business Valuation Resources)

SEC Enforcer on Public Pensions to Step Down
"Elaine C. Greenberg will step down in July as chief of the SEC enforcement division's municipal securities and public pensions unit. One of five specialized enforcement units created in 2010, it focuses on misconduct involving municipal securities and public pension plans, including pay-to-play and other forms of corruption by public officials." (Pensions & Investments)

Exploring the Pension 'Takaful' Proposition (PDF)
"This report explores the issues around longevity risk and other delicate financial concepts and how the Takaful industry can play its role in introducing Sharia-compliant pension products.... Because there is no example or model of an occupational pension in Islamic history, one needs to be developed so that Muslims can have a source of income during their old age. In Islam, there is a juristic principle which states that everything is allowed as long as there is no proof that prohibits it. Hence, pension in itself is a welcome idea as it will help people and the state in attending to the financial burden of the elderly. However, an Islamic version must be developed because the conventional pension has some prohibitive elements with respect to its investment policy and annuity principle." (Milliman)


Limiting Retirement Account Growth Would Punish Saving
"[1] An arbitrarily set 'reasonable' amount of tax-advantaged retirement income does not account for cost-of-living differences.... [2] [A limit] of $3,000,000 for an individual retiring this year would favor annuities over timed withdrawals. [3] Accounts could easily exceed what is needed to fund a $205,000 annuity after adjusting for inflation. [4] Simplified employee pension plans have more generous contribution limits than 401(k)s or IRAs -- up to $51,000 in 2013. However, if the current maximum contribution were adjusted annually for inflation, after 40 years they would exceed the cap." (National Center for Policy Analysis)


Society of Actuaries Blue-Ribbon Pension Study Raises Concerns
"[National Council on Teacher Retirement] Executive Director, Meredith Williams, said 'I think we must do everything that we can to prevent the SOA from publishing a report unfairly critical of the management of governmental plans and supportive of methodologies that we know will prove harmful to public plans, their participants, beneficiaries, and, ultimately, their sponsors.'" (National Council on Teacher Retirement)


Group Letter from Pension Rights Center and Others, Opposing Proposed Fiduciary Reg Legislation (HR 2374) (PDF)
"HR 2374 would significantly delay and perhaps derail long overdue efforts of the Securities and Exchange Commission to raise the standard of conduct that applies to brokers when they give advice to retail investors. By requiring the Department of Labor to delay rulemaking until after SEC action, the legislation would also prevent the Department of Labor from addressing gaps in retirement savings protections that have not been updated for almost forty years." (Pension Rights Center, AARP, AFL-CIO, Americans for Financial Reform, Consumer Federation of America, and Demos)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

If the Supreme Court Rules Against DOMA: Ten Questions Employers Will Ask
"If the Court strikes down part of DOMA, it is likely to leave two significant questions for employee benefit plans unanswered: Is the change retroactive? And how will plans define 'spouse' in light of a patchwork of [same-gender] marriage laws across the country? These questions, and other employee benefit issues, are discussed [in this article]." (Ivins, Phillips & Barker)

The ISS: What a Compensation Committee Needs to Know (PDF)
"[C]ompanies should consider several actions to help ensure successful vote results at its shareholders meeting: [1] Request a draft copy of ISS's Proxy Report, which will be available 24-48 hours before ISS issues its final report, and prepare to comment on any factual inaccuracies or harsh but irrelevant rhetoric in the report ... [2] Know the proxy voting policies of the company's institutional base and other major shareholders; [3] Communicate with top institutional investors through direct shareholder engagement; and [4] Consider filing supplemental materials to communicate with shareholders." (Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC)

Press Releases

BenefitsLink.com, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park, Florida 32789
Phone (407) 644-4146
Fax (407) 644-2151

Lois Baker, J.D., President
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

Copyright © 2013 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. but feel free to forward this newsletter if done without modification in any way.

All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

Links to Web sites other than those owned by BenefitsLink.com, Inc. are offered as a service to readers. The editorial staff of BenefitsLink.com, Inc. was not involved in their production and is not responsible for their content.

Useful links: