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July 12, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Service Representative
for Associated Pension Consultants in CA

Account Manager
for Cammack LaRhette Consulting in NY

Associate Account Manager
for Cammack LaRhette Consulting in NY

ESOP Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates in ANY STATE

Operations Manager
for Professional Capital Services in PA

Manager of Functional Department
for The Angell Pension Group, Inc. in ANY STATE

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Webcasts and Conferences

Second-Stage ESOP Transactions
September 17, 2013 WEBCAST
(National Center for Employee Ownership)

ESOP Audits and Voluntary Compliance Programs
September 24, 2013 WEBCAST
(National Center for Employee Ownership)

How to Prepare for an IRS Employee Plans Audit - Phone Forum
August 29, 2013 WEBCAST
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))

The Demise of DOMA and the Effects on Employee Benefit Plans (Webcast)
July 17, 2013 WEBCAST
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Health Care Reform for Employers: Now What? - Denver
September 17, 2013 in CO
(Lorman Education Services)

Health Care Reform for Employers: Now What? - St. Louis
September 17, 2013 in MO
(Lorman Education Services)

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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[Official Guidance]

FAQs on 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans
30 Q&As, covering General Participation, Contributions, Plan Investments, Loans and Distributions, Written Plan Requirement, Coverage and Nondiscrimination, and Termination of Plan. Updated July, 2013. (Internal Revenue Service)


DATAIR! More Choices -- Better Guidance -- Less Cost

Sponsored by DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

Documents, SPDs, Amendments, Administrative Forms
401(k)/Profit Sharing, 403(b), DB and Cash Balance Plans
(888) 328-2474    Sales@DATAIR.com    www.DATAIR.com

[Official Guidance]

PBGC Interest Assumptions for Benefits Payable in Terminated Single-Employer Plans, August 2013
"The August 2013 interest assumptions under the benefit payments regulation will be 1.75 percent for the period during which a benefit is in pay status and 4.00 percent during any years preceding the benefit's placement in pay status. In comparison with the interest assumptions in effect for July 2013, these interest assumptions represent an increase of 0.50 percent in the immediate annuity rate and are otherwise unchanged." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Advisory Opinion Addresses Revenue Sharing Payments as Plan Assets (PDF)
"[DOL Advisory Opinion 2013-13A] provides recordkeepers of ERISA plans with significant comfort that they are not holding plan assets when they make arrangements to cover certain plan expenses out of revenue sharing payments received from third parties. The [DOL] highlighted, however, that these types of arrangements would be subject to [ERISA's prohibition on] the furnishing of services between a plan and a party in interest ... DOL indicated that plan sponsors must continue to act prudently and in the best interests of plan participants and beneficiaries in the negotiation of these types of arrangements with service providers." (Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview]

New IRS Guidance Affecting 403(b) Plans: Your 403(b) Plan and the IRS's Plan Document Program
17 presentation slides. Description: "[A] plan sponsor will soon be able to adopt a prototype or model plan document that has been reviewed and approved by the IRS, providing the employer assurance that its plan meets the IRS's document requirements. [This presentation discusses] Revenue Procedure 2013-22, which describes the IRS's new pre-approved 403(b) plan program." (Morgan Lewis)

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Opines on Plan Expense Reimbursement Credits (PDF)
"DOL reasoned that [revenue sharing and similar] amounts recorded in a service provider's bookkeeping account as a credit due the plan do not become 'plan assets' unless, by reason of the terms of the arrangement or the communications or actions of the parties, the plan has a beneficial ownership interest in those amounts under ordinary notions of property rights." (Sutherland)

[Guidance Overview]

DOL Changes Definition of 'Rating Agency' for the Underwriters PT Exemptions
"Fiduciaries of employee benefit plans investing in mortgage-backed securities and asset-backed securities (collectively, ABS) transactions are responsible for confirming that any rating given for a certificate acquired pursuant to the underwriters exemption was issued by a rating agency that satisfies this criteria." (Practical Law Company)

Pension Fund Managers Now Talking Like CFOs
"Institutional investment services providers are ditching their jargon and talking about the influence of investment risk on financial measures like free cash flow and earnings per share.... [One] firm is presenting client CFOs with a one-page analysis of risks related to pension assets and liabilities expressed in terms of the potential impact from pension-fund performance on common financial metrics like free cash flow and earnings per share." (CFO.com)

Participants Should Avoid These 401(k) Mistakes
"Buying and holding their employer's stock in a 401(k). If your company gives you stock, by all means take it. But sell it soon after you are allowed to do so.... [B]eing too conservative in their investment approach when they are young and too aggressive with their investment approach when older.... [L]ack of sufficient savings. If you haven't been saving at least 10% of your gross income since your 20s, you're probably not saving enough for retirement.... [F]ailing to contribute the amount required to trigger the maximum amount of matching contributions[.]" (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)

The Top Five Overlooked Benefits of Employee Stock Purchase Plans
"[1] Employee stock purchase plans allow employees to buy company stock at a discount.... [2] Employees can contribute automatically through payroll deductions, just like with their 401(k).... [3] An employee stock purchase plan is another way to save for retirement.... [4] An increasing number of workers have access to company stock.... [5] Savings within a company stock plan are more accessible than savings within a 401(k)." (Fidelity, via BusinessWire)

Index of Comments to Date on SEC Proposed Amendments to Regulation D, Form D and Rule 156 under the Securities Act
On the linked page is a list of comments received by the SEC to date, with a link to the full text of each. The deadline for comments is 60 days after the Proposed Amendments are published in the Federal Register. At this writing (July 12), the Federal Register publication date has not been determined. The linked page will be updated by the SEC to include new comments as they are filed. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)

GAO Report on Requirements and Costs Associated with the Custody Rule for Investment Advisers
"SEC provided an exception from the surprise examination requirement to, among others, advisers deemed to have custody solely because of their use of related but 'operationally independent' custodians.... To be considered operationally independent, an adviser and its related custodian must not be under common supervision, not share premises, and meet other conditions. About 2 percent of the SEC-registered advisers qualify for this exception for at least some of their clients. If the exception were eliminated, the cost of the surprise examination would vary across the advisers because the factors that affect examination cost vary widely across the advisers." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Understanding a Fiduciary Provider's Offering (PDF)
This article is written for employers in the United Kingdom, but much of the information could be helpful to U.S. employers also. Excerpt: "Fiduciary management is arguably the fastest growing area of the UK pensions industry. However, the appointment of a fiduciary manager remains a big step for many trustees and it is therefore important to follow a tender process that works for your scheme and which engages with the fiduciary providers from the outset.... [This paper outlines] five areas which differ between providers and which [the authors] believe are important for trustees to understand in order to gain insights into the provider's offering. This, in turn, will help trustees identify which solution/provider is the most suitable for their scheme. But what are the questions trustees need to ask in order to get the information they need to make an informed decision?" (Aon Hewitt)

Social Security Administration Working on Changes Required by DOMA Decision
"We are working with the Department of Justice to determine how the decision affects our programs and to develop appropriate instructions for our personnel. We are taking claims now from individuals who believe they may be eligible for Social Security benefits. We will process these claims as soon as we have finalized our instructions." (Social Security Administration)


Stop Blaming Public Pensions for California's Fiscal Problems
"The statewide pension changes approved by lawmakers in the fall have eliminated many of the headline-grabbing problems with pensions. The fact remains that 98 percent of retirees earn far less than pension critics would like the public to believe. The vast majority earn $30,000 or less.... Shrinking benefits for public workers is bad for the economy, will force more Californians to turn to other taxpayer-funded social services, and will result in untold short-term costs with no guarantee of saving taxpayers in the long run." (San Diego Union-Tribune)


CalPERS and Transparency
"Earlier this month CalPERS stunned retirees by announcing that it would soon publish their names, annuities, cost of living adjustments, years of service, retirement date and final compensation to a public online database.... The pension fund figured that if the information was going to get out anyway, it might as well try to control the presentation.... This, however, was a bridge too far for CalPERS's 500,000 retirees.... It's no small irony that the opaque pension fund has itself become a target of activist taxpayers demanding greater transparency." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Success Stories: Say on Pay Turnarounds
"[This article focuses] on a few companies that are really getting it right -- those companies that received a very low or a failed vote last year, and then turned it around in 2013.... [A chart] lists the companies with the largest change in SOP results in 2013 versus 2012 ... [Many] companies worked diligently over the past year to make meaningful changes to their pay programs and to communicate those changes to investors." (Farient Advisors)

Litigation Over Executive Compensation Disclosures Rises from the Dead
"The [California state court's] decision was not necessarily in favor of the plaintiffs. Instead, it was only a decision by the Court, with the consent of both parties, to decide the merits of the case based on the evidence submitted to date.... According to the Court, 'as reflected by the volume of argument ink and evidentiary materials submitted by both sides, this case is about disclosures that were not made, and whether those disclosures are "material" within the meaning of that term as applied to proxy statements.'" (Michael S. Melbinger, Winston & Strawn LLP)

Proskauer ERISA Litigation Newsletter, July 2013
"[T]he U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. where it is expected to rule next term on whether plan sponsors may dictate in the plan document when claims for benefits accrue. The decision may have significant implications for defending benefit claims based on a statute of limitations defense depending on the scope of the Court's ruling.... [A second article] discusses various benefit issues in Puerto Rico. In particular, ... the impact of the [ACA], ERISA and the PBGC." (Proskauer Rose LLP)

Press Releases

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