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October 15, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Defined Contribution Client Manager
in CA

401(k) Administrator
Pollard & Associates, Inc.
in MD

Qualified Plan Sales - Multiple Positions
National Plan Provider

Retirement Plans Regional Sales Manager- Eastern Pennsylvania/Northern NJ Territory
Mutual of Omaha
in NJ, PA

Client Relationship Manager
Lincoln Financial Group

Regional Pension Wholesaler
Nationwide Insurance
in TX

Retirement Planning Consultant
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
in WI

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Webcasts and Conferences

Ethics Case Studies One
October 22, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Benefits Education: The Time Is Right
October 23, 2013 WEBCAST
(Kushner & Company)

"Fee Benchmarking" and "Top 10 Mistakes 401(k) Plan Sponsors Make"
November 14, 2013 in CA
(San Diego County Chapter of NIPA)

2014 Retirement Industry Conference
April 9, 2014 in IL

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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

Text of FINRA Report on Conflicts of Interest for Broker-Dealers (PDF)
44 pages. Excerpt: "[This] report identifies effective practices that FINRA observed at firms or that, based on experience and analysis, FINRA believes could help firms improve their conflicts management practices. It also contains more general observations and commentary on firms' practices that we share for the industry's information. FINRA recognizes that the effective practices and observations in this report are drawn from discussions with large firms and, as a result, will not in all cases be directly applicable to small firms. This report is a point-in-time review of several facets of conflicts of interest." (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA])  


Registration closes October 24th!

Sponsored by ASPPA

Looking to expand your professional opportunities? Register for one of our exams to earn an ASPPA certificate/credential. Employers are increasingly seeking to hire professionals with these qualifications. Registration closes Oct. 24th so act now!

401(k) Fiduciary Liability in a Multi-Vendor Environment
"When it's all said and done, the single most important issue for the 401k plan sponsor (i.e., the entity with the fiduciary responsibility for hiring service providers) involves the flow of money.... There are many liability traps when comes to hiring service providers for 401k plans. Oftentimes, a well-documented system can help mitigate that liability, but there are many demons that can tempt plan sponsors to take a seemingly common sense short-cut that can end up costing more in the end." (Fiduciary News)  

You Cannot Take the Embezzler's 401(k) Plan Balance
"Participants can voluntarily direct the trustee or plan administrator to pay another person their plan benefit. However, [a recent federal district court] case makes clear that even where the participant owes the employer a lot of money and even when the money owed is the result of a crime, the employer is not allowed to keep the participant's qualified plan benefit." [Thomas v. Bostwick, No. 13-cv-02544-JCS (N.D. Calif. Sep. 19, 2013)] (Leonard, Street and Deinard)  

It Pays to Be Agnostic on Retirement Strategies
"[A] retiree doesn't really maintain full control over their financial assets in a viable sense for the very real reason that they have a stream of lifestyle spending goals which must be financed in order to have a successful retirement. Those spending goals represent a liability which must be financed by assets on the balance sheet. Certain assets on the balance sheet must be earmarked to fund these liabilities and this has implications for how those assets should be managed. For instance, it may be inadvisable to fund essential spending needs with a portfolio of 100% stocks." (Wade Pfau in MarketWatch)  

A 360 Degree Approach to Preparing for Retirement (PDF)
32 pages. Excerpt: "By giving birth to an autopilot version of 401(k), the 2006 [Pension Protection] Act has proved a watershed. However, there is also a more nuanced view: the 2006 Act has achieved more than expected but less than needed. By itself, it cannot shield plan participants from the colder winds of aging demographics or volatile markets. Hence, it's time to take a fresh look at the downsides of the current system of 401(k) in the private sector and propose actions to minimize them." (The Principal Financial Group)  


Compliance, Legislation and Litigation -- SWBA/IRS Annual Conference - Nov. 7-8 - Dallas, TX

Sponsored by SouthWest Benefits Association

Staying up to date in the challenging world of employee benefits has never been more critical to the success of benefits professionals and their companies. Attending the SWBA/IRS Employee Benefits Conference is the most cost-effective way to stay informed.

Pension Reform Initiative Would 'Empower' Cities
"[San Jose mayor Chuck Reed] is proposing a state constitutional amendment intended to allow cuts in pensions earned by current state and local government workers in the future, while pensions already earned through time on the job would be protected.... [C]uts in the pensions earned by current workers in the future could be bargained with unions or placed on ballots through initiatives. There also could be no change. 'It's all about empowering cities to solve their own problems,' Reed said[.]" (Calpensions)  

Plan Sponsor Considerations in Changes in Retirement Plan Income Options
"[W]hile quantifiable risks such as outliving retirement savings, market declines, inflation, and fees and expenses pose serious challenges, behavioral risk, including poor understanding, judgment, and decision-making, can be just as problematic.... Providing retirement income options is one way plan sponsors can help employees address risk." (fi360)  


The Challenge of Saving for Retirement
"Is there a generational shift in savings tendencies, or is it simply an example of myopic vision in which people don't think about saving for retirement when it seems so far in the future? There is some evidence of a generational shift. Members of older generations are more likely to have retirement accounts. They are also more likely to have a longer time horizon for their investments than younger individuals." (U.S.News & World Report)  


Solutions to 'Fiduciariness' (Part 3) -- A Full Monte 3(16)
"What type of an arrangement gets an 'A' in terms of fully shifting fiduciary responsibilities? These features are necessary: Personal and corporate liability is reduced to the maximum extent possible.... The plan sponsor has no responsibility for plan investment decisions ... The plan sponsor has no responsibility for the selection and monitoring of plan service providers ... The plan sponsor will not be directly dealing with multiple service providers and the many details of plan administration." (Fiduciary Plan Governance, LLC)  


World's Best Pension Spots?
"[W]hile Australia's Super is flexible and does cover most of the working population, it's based on the defined-contribution model which presents all the problems of choice and performance attached to most DC plans. And any country which has 40% of its seniors living in poverty doesn't deserve to be on a list of the world's best pension spots." (Pension Pulse)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Most Employers Unclear on How to React to DOMA Ruling
"A recent survey of 285 plan sponsors seeks to determine how employers are responding to the landmark decisions regarding the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and gauge any actions they may take regarding their employee benefit plans." (Towers Watson)  

U.S. Supreme Court Argument Preview: When Can an ERISA Limitations Period Start to Run?
"On Tuesday, October 15, the Justices will hear argument in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., in which they will consider whether the statute of limitations for a federal lawsuit alleging the wrongful denial of benefits under [ERISA] can begin to run before the beneficiary has completed an administrative procedure that is a mandatory prerequisite to filing the lawsuit, when the ERISA plan documents themselves specify this earlier accrual date.... There is nothing even approaching controlling law on this question[.]" (SCOTUSblog)  

Pay for Hospital CEOs Linked More to Technology, Patient Satisfaction Than Quality
"A new study of CEO pay at nonprofit hospitals finds that executives at institutions that have a lot of fancy medical technology and high patient satisfaction are paid more than their peers. But running a hospital that scores well on keeping more patients alive or providing extensive charity care does not translate into a compensation bump." (Kaiser Health News)  

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