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August 29, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Account Manager
Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

Plan Administrator
Nationwide Financial
in OH

Conversion, Data Specialist
The Newport Group
in NC

Conversion Specialist
The Newport Group
in NC

Senior Counsel
Baltimore City Fire and Police Employees' Retirement System
in MD

401(k) Relationship Manager
Leading Financial Services Firm
in CA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Health & Benefits Leadership Conference
March 17, 2014 in NV
(Human Resource Executive Magazine)

Eligibility and Participation
September 25, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Ethics Case Studies Two
September 25, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Health Care Reform for Employers: Now What?
November 20, 2013 in CT
(Lorman Education Services)

Advanced Cross-Tested Plans: Adding More Tools - Charlotte
September 26, 2013 in NC
(SunGard Relius)

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 IRS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Employee Retirement Benefit Plan Returns Required on Magnetic Media
"This document contains proposed regulations relating to the requirements for filing certain employee retirement benefit plan statements, returns, and reports on magnetic media. The term magnetic media includes electronic filing, as well as other magnetic media specifically permitted under applicable regulations, revenue procedures, publications, forms, instructions, or other guidance on the IRS.gov Internet website. These regulations would affect plan administrators and employers maintaining retirement plans that are subject to various employee benefit reporting requirements under the Internal Revenue Code[.]" (Internal Revenue Service)  


[Advert.]

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[Guidance Overview]

Can You Deduct Investment Advisory Fees Directly from an Annuity?
"[P]aying investment management fees directly from an IRA on a pre-tax basis, without having the amounts treated as a taxable distribution, is legitimate.... In the case of annuities, however, the situation is less straightforward ... So what would happen if the investment advisor tried to get paid directly from the annuity anyway? The annuity company would issue a Form 1099-R to classify the payment as a taxable distribution on behalf of the annuity owner.... The subsequent payment of those funds to the investment advisor would then likely be deducted as a miscellaneous itemized deduction subject to the 2%-of-AGI floor ... and the miscellaneous deduction would hopefully offset the amount of income just reported on the Form 1099-R. Unfortunately, in reality the amounts probably will not offset[.]" (Michael Kitces in Nerd's Eye View)  

San Bernardino Gets Bankruptcy Protection
"Judge Meredith Jury of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Central District of California ruled that San Bernardino was eligible for Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection despite opposition by [CalPERS]. The $260 billion pension fund is the city's biggest creditor and America's largest pension fund.... CalPERS argues that it should not be treated like other creditors and must be paid in full because California state law says the fund must always be fully paid, even in a bankruptcy. Bondholders argue that federal bankruptcy law trumps state statutes and say CalPERS should be forced to fight with other creditors over how much they are paid under an exit plan." (Reuters)  

Union Opposition Blocking Federal Action on Orange County Pension Reform Bill
"Key federal legislation that could lower Orange County's unfunded pension liabilities by allowing current employees to opt in to a lower benefit tier has been facing a strong challenge from one of the nation's largest employees unions.... Rep. Loretta Sanchez, D-Santa Ana, said the positions of national unions such as the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees are a key hurdle in moving forward with House Resolution 205, which would resolve tax implications for existing employees who opt in to a lower benefit as part of the 'hybrid plan.'" (Voice of Orange County)  

What Do Advisors Have to Say About the Fiduciary Standard?
"[When] asked, 'Should the fiduciary standard apply to investment advice on rollovers from 401(k) or IRA accounts?' ... 79% [of advisers] agree that the fiduciary standard should apply to rollovers. This includes 91% of RIA/IARs, 61% of registered reps, and 63% of dual registrants. Moreover, there is across-the-board agreement that the same fiduciary standard that applies to 401(k) plans should also apply to advice on IRA accounts. Overall, 72% of respondents -- up from 70% in 2012 -- and across every registration category and compensation model, agree." (fi360)  


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BlackRock Wins Dismissal of Pension Funds' Securities Lending Lawsuit
"BlackRock Inc., the world's biggest money manager, persuaded a judge to dismiss a lawsuit brought by two pension funds that accused the company of collecting 'grossly excessive' compensation from securities-lending returns linked to iShares Inc. U.S. District Judge Aleta Trauger in Nashville, Tennessee, said the law governing securities lending doesn't authorize investors, like the pension funds, to sue." (InvestmentNews)  

More Higher Education Institutions Partner with Advisors for Retirement Plan Optimization
"42 percent of institutions surveyed currently use an advisor or consultant, and this trend is expected to grow by 10 percent over the next year.... [A]dvisors perform a wide range of functions for Higher Education institutions, including selecting investment options (58 percent), monitoring investment options (47 percent), assisting with plan design (42 percent), developing the plan's investment policy and selecting vendors (36 percent), and reviewing plan compliance (33 percent)." (Transamerica Retirement Solutions)  

Is Automation Driving Retirement Education?
"Many of our daily activities are automated, directing us to get to appointments, pay bills, make purchases, and even save for retirement. But automation does not mean an individual contributing to a retirement plan should avoid thinking about and making educated investment choices. What it does mean is that the educational component of retirement savings needs to fit into today's auto-pilot mindset. Even with automatic features, a worker saving in a 401(k) plan still has choices, and there is no question about the value of education. But the opportunity lies in the delivery of that guidance." (Robert L. Reynolds, President and CEO, Putnam Investments)  

Saint Peter's University Hospital Retirees Concerned with IRS Ruling on Pensions
"The pension plan had assured the participants for more than three decades that their pensions were federally insured, retirees said. If allowed to stand, the ruling will mean that their pension no will longer be protected by [ERISA] or backed by the [PBGC]." (myCentralJersey.com)  

[Opinion]

Testimony of American Benefits Council to ERISA Advisory Council on Locating Missing or Lost Participants (PDF)
"Plans need definitive guidance as to who should bear the expense of tracking lost or missing participants. It is not fair for the plan, and thus all plan participants, to bear the expense of tracking a lost or missing participant ... DOL regulations need to be updated to reflect the changing times and the rising cost of paper mailings. Other electronically readable forms, such as CD-ROMs, or hyperlinks on intranets, should be recognized as having the same value as a paper mailing." (American Benefits Council)  

[Opinion]

CalPERS Statement on San Bernardino Bankruptcy Ruling
"We are disappointed with the Judge's tentative ruling but CalPERS will continue to participate in the bankruptcy process in good faith. CalPERS will also continue to work with the City of San Bernardino so it can hopefully resolve its financial problems and also deliver promised benefits to their City employees and retirees. However, CalPERS must and will continue to aggressively pursue all past due contributions, resulting interest and penalties owed by the City." (CalPERS)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Pay Ratio Rules are Coming
"If you are in the simplest of all situations-- that is, no employees outside of the U.S., no part-timers, no seasonal employees, no equity compensation, no defined benefit plans and no perquisites, your job is easy. CEO compensation and that of other employees is going to look a lot like W-2.... Oh, you're not in that simplest of all situations? It's going to be more complicated then. You will be faced with the exciting prospect of currency conversions, actuarial present value calculations, Black-Scholes calculations, gathering of data from multiple payroll feeds, and determination of the value of other benefits on which you usually don't place a price tag." (Benefits and Compensation with John Lowell)  

U.S. Top Executive Compensation Report, 2013 Edition
"Between the last two years, total cash compensation increased in 17 out of 22 industries, a positive change compared to only 13 in the 2009-2010 period. However, four industries saw declines in total cash pay, up from two in 2011. Total compensation changed positively in 20 of 22 industries, another contrast to the 2009-2010 period when in 12 industries, the median change in total compensation was negative." (The Conference Board; free registration required to view full report)  

Disclosure Lessons from the 2013 Proxy Season
"The 2013 proxy season brought several kinds of changes to compensation proxy disclosure practices.... [C]ontinuing the strong trend from the 2012 proxy season and foreshadowing what we expect to see in 2014, many more companies provided more disclosure about the alignment of their pay with the company's performance, with many companies providing more information regarding peer group determinations and changes, as well as utilizing supplemental disclosures of 'realized' or 'realizable' pay to measure such alignment." (The Conference Board)  

Payroll Departments to Face Burdensome Tax Requirements for Same-Sex Spouses After DOMA Decision
"Applying the laws of an employee's resident state when determining the tax value of same-sex employee benefits for federal tax purposes would 'be a nightmare' for payroll departments because most states do not recognize same-sex marriages ... Following the laws of the state where the marriage occurred would be easier, though still burdensome because the employer would have to determine what constitutes marriage[.]" (Bloomberg BNA)  

Reinhart Employee Benefits Update, August 2013 (PDF)
Topics include: PBGC Issues Proposed Regulations Regarding Premiums and Payments; DOL Allows Employers to Delay Distribution of the 2013 Participant Fee Disclosure; IRS Releases Static Mortality Tables for 2014-15; DOL Amends Definition of "Ratings Agency" for Purposes of Plan Investment in Asset-Backed and Mortgage-Backed Securities; HHS Releases Final Exchange Verification Rules; HHS Continues to Take Steps to Help Ensure Consumer Protections; and Court Orders Employer to Pay $1.8 Million Fine for Failure to Provide COBRA Notice. (Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)  

[Opinion]

A Simple Solution That Made a Hard Problem More Difficult
"Congressional leaders, in their rage against ever-rising executive compensation and income inequality, have created more murkiness. The irony is that it all came out of such a simple-sounding idea: requiring that the pay of a company's chief executive be compared to the median salary of its employees. Carrying out the law may well result in costs that are just as obscene as the pay it is disclosing." (The New York Times; subscription may be required)  

Press Releases

Burnham Benefits Ranked #1 “Best Place To Work”
Burnham Benefits Insurance Services Inc.

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