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August 16, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Document Consultant
for Verisight, Inc. in CA, MN

Executive Benefits/Non-Qualified Relationship Manager
for Wells Fargo in NC

Retirement Account Manager
for Benefits Resource Group in OH

Product Analyst
for Guardian Life Insurance Company of America in NY, PA

Qualified Retirement Plans Consultant/Relationship Manager
for First American Bank in IL

Director of Communications
for Unite Here Health in IL

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Webcasts and Conferences

"Advanced Cross-Tested Plans: Adding More Tools," 12 Cities
September 11, 2013 in MO
(SunGard Relius)

Annual Conference 2013
October 27, 2013 in LA
(American Council of Life Insurers)

Inside the Beltway - Free Audiocast
September 12, 2013 WEBCAST
(Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)

IRC Section 105(h) Testing and Design Alternatives 2013 -- OnDemand Webinar
September 4, 2013 WEBCAST
(Lorman Education Services)

View All Webcasts and Conferences

  LinkedIn   Twitter   Facebook Hand-picked links to the web's best news articles,
official guidance, jobs, webcasts and more.
[Official Guidance]

Text of Inspector General Report: Treasury's Role in the Decision for GM to Provide Pension Payments to Delphi Employees (PDF)
"[T]he additional leverage Treasury gave to certain stakeholders, such as the UAW, contributed to criticism of the disparate treatment between Delphi salaried and union employees.... Treasury did not view the non-UAW Delphi hourly employees or the Delphi salaried employees as having leverage because they did not have current employees at GM and therefore could not hold up GM's bankruptcy.... Treasury's 40-day bankruptcy condition gave the UAW and bondholders additional leverage to threaten to hold up GM's bankruptcy. They may have been able to obtain more concessions than in a traditional bankruptcy where the issues may be litigated." (Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP))  


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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Approves Post-Death Annuity Exchange
"Clients who inherit an annuity may now have a few more options thanks to a recent private letter ruling from the IRS. Rather than being bound by the terms of the decedent's contract, beneficiaries may be able to exchange inherited contracts for newer, higher paying contracts, according to PLR 201330016. Such an annuity might have lower costs, come from a stronger company, offer better investment options, or have desirable features." (On Wall Street)  

Report Details Why Salaried Delphi Retirees Lost Pension
"The report found that GM had little say in whether it could continue to authorize benefits for the salaried retirees, and needed the Treasury Department's consent to offer such benefits. Steven Rattner, leader of the Auto Team -- a four-member group of Treasury officials tasked with guiding GM through the restructuring process -- told the inspector general that at one point GM approached the Auto Team because it wanted to help the salaried employees. Rattner ultimately told the inspector general that there was nothing commercially defensible that could be done for the salaried retirees." (The Columbus Dispatch)  

Putting Hard Numbers on the Disgruntlement of 401(k) Plan Sponsors
"[Fidelity recently] found that 62% of plan sponsors are happy with their advisor, up 2 percentage points from 2012. What it also found was that 38% of plan sponsors are unhappy, and of that group, 10% are looking for a new 401(k) provider.... What is ratcheting up expectations? New pressures being heaped on plan sponsors by regulators on one hand and their employees on the other." (RIABiz)  

Half of Retirees Do So Earlier Than Planned
"Health issues, job loss (due to layoff or employer buyout), and negative work conditions were cited most as the reasons behind retirees leaving the workforce earlier than planned. In fact, only 45 percent said they retired when they had planned." (LIMRA)  


Network, Learn and Sell at the SPARK Forum Retirement Industry Conference

Sponsored by SPARK

Join top record keepers, asset managers, TPAs, advisors, marketing and sales executives for unequaled educational and networking opportunities. Gain insights into the latest market trends, business strategies, regulatory and legislative issues, and product developments.

U.S. Corporate Pension Plans Underfunded Status Improves
"Of the 224 companies analyzed, 148 were less than 80% funded and warrant further investigation, based on the 80% 'at-risk' threshold in the Pension Protection Act (PPA).... 36% of the 224 companies have an estimated pension outflow as a percentage of precontribution funds from operations ... above a 10% threshold. Fitch estimates that the potential funding requirements of 16 companies could amount to 40% or more of their 2012 precontribution [cash flow from operations less working capital]." (Fitch Ratings)  

Dietrich Pension Risk Transfer Index, August 1, 2013 (PDF)
"The monthly index value decreased 0.88 points on narrowing spreads between corporate bonds and treasuries. The annuity discount rate proxy embedded within the index dropped 2 bps to 3.05%." (Dietrich & Associates)  

Widening Pension Gap Looms Large for Europe's Top Firms
"Six of Europe's top 10 companies by revenue are sitting on pension liabilities bigger than a quarter of their stock market value ... The elite group of companies owed their pension plans a cumulative $245 billion in 2012, up 16 percent from a year earlier ... But the assets of these pension plans grew by just 11 percent over that same period, extending funding gaps or deficits that run into billions of euros in some cases." (Reuters)  

Detroit Pension Funds to Object to City's Bankruptcy
"The city's two pension boards will claim that Michigan Governor Rick Snyder violated the state's Constitution when he allowed Detroit's state-appointed emergency manager, Kevyn Orr, to make the bankruptcy filing. The pension boards also will claim Detroit violated state constitutional language that prohibits the impairment of vested retirement benefits for public workers, said Bruce Babiarz, spokesman for the Police and Firefighters Retirement System." (Reuters)  

Private Equity Group Backs Sun Capital Partners Over Pension Liability
"The [Private Equity Growth Capital Council (PEGCC)] brief cites a Credit Suisse study of multiemployer pension plans estimating $369 billion in underfunding, and argues that opening the door to potential liability 'is virtually guaranteed to sow confusion' among private equity funds and to discourage pension funds from investing in private equity or private equity from investing in struggling companies." (Pensions & Investments)  

Employee Ownership Update, August 15, 2013
By NCEO Director Loren Rogers. Articles include: Employer Stock in 401(k) Plans Associated with Poorer Company Performance; AICPA President Opposes Making ESOP Appraisers Plan Fiduciaries; and Examples Needed for Wellness Programs at ESOP Companies. (National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO))  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Deconstructing DOMA: DOL Takes Its First Step Toward Extended Rights for Same-Sex Spouses
"At present, it is the states that remain at the helm of defining rights for same-sex couples. But, it sounds as though the Obama Administration is just getting started asserting its authority to extend such rights. Armed with Windsor, the feds very well may try to take control.... While the DOL's guidance did not expand FMLA leave eligibility to same-sex married couples who live in states that do not recognize same-sex marriage, it seems that extension by the DOL is not out of the question for the future." (BakerHostetler)  

'Hell or High Water' -- or Fraud
"When Marsh Supermarkets fired [Don Marsh] in 2006 -- after learning of his misuse of company expense accounts -- it told him that the termination was 'without cause.' The supermarket chain soon developed a case of buyer's (firer's?) remorse, and claimed that it had been 'snookered' into firing Marsh 'without cause.' ... The court agreed with Marsh that once the company had terminated him 'without cause,' his termination benefits were vested and non-forfeitable, and could not be limited by general equitable principles under ERISA.... Further, because ERISA includes a fee-shifting provision for a prevailing party and Marsh prevailed on the ERISA issues, the court ordered the company to pay his fees for litigating those claims." (Zuckerman Spaeder LLP)  

Summary of 2013 Proxy Vote Results: Majority of Say-on-Pay Proposals Approved (PDF)
"Approximately 98% of [say-on-pay (SOP)] proposals were approved by shareholders of Russell 3000 and S&P 500 companies. Over 75% of Russell 3000 companies' SOP proposals received greater than 90% shareholder support.... Of the 271 Russell 3000 companies whose SOP proposals received a negative vote recommendation from ISS, only 47 (or 17.3%) of these companies' SOP proposals were voted down by shareholders. However, a negative ISS vote recommendation, on average, depressed favorable shareholder votes by nearly 30%." (Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC)  

Press Releases

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