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October 18, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Cash Balance Administration Specialist
Cash Balance Online
in CA

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

Regional Sales Manager
Pension Consultants, Inc.
in MO

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Webcasts and Conferences

IRA Reporting
October 24, 2013 WEBCAST
(Ascensus)

IRA Beneficiary Distributions
October 24, 2013 WEBCAST
(Ascensus)

DOMA and the New Benefits Landscape
November 6, 2013 WEBCAST
(Kushner & Company)

ERISA Workshop 2013 - Kansas City
November 14, 2013 in KS
(SunGard Relius)

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

The Seven '403(b) Administrative' Sins (Part 1)
"Sin #1: Many plans have provisions to force out small amounts.... This becomes a problem with multiple providers involved because all plan assets count.... Sin #2: Most people are familiar with the retirement plan loan limitations of 50% of account balance, or $50,000 if less. Yet not everybody knows that the $50,000 amount must be reduced by the highest outstanding loan balance in the prior 12 months.... A service provider may deal directly with plan participants and grant loans against balances held within a contract, without taking into account other retirement plan assets." (The Principal Blog)  


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Selecting the Best Target Date Funds: Ten Tips for Advisors (PDF)
"[1] Fiduciaries should vet their TDF selection even though most don't.... [2] Qualified Default Investment Alternative (QDIA) status does not mean any QDIA will do.... [3] Fiduciaries should make capital preservation their primary TDF objective.... [4] Check TDF prospectuses and factsheets for statements of objectives... [5] Risk at the target date has not changed in response to 2008 so the vulnerable remain in real peril as they approach retirement." (Target Date Solutions)  

Are 3(16) Plan Administrator Arrangements a Sham?
"If any provider, whether an adviser, a mutual fund complex, trustee, investment manager, or 3(16) provider claims their services absolve a plan sponsor of all of their fiduciary responsibility, and potential liability, that's a sham promise you can't trust.... Consider running like hell in the other direction. There are many highly quality service providers who do not overstate what they do. The plan sponsor's job is to find them." (Fiduciary Plan Governance, LLC)  

CalPERS to Appeal Ruling Allowing San Bernardino to File for Bankruptcy
"'The California voters placed provisions in our Constitution to ensure the employees' pensions would be protected by CalPERS as their fiduciary and trustee,' said Anne Stausboll, CalPERS Chief Executive Officer. 'This appeal affirms our commitment to support and defend the integrity of the system and our members' vested rights, in accordance with the laws of the land and our obligations under the federal and State constitutions.'" (CalPERS)  

Report Blasts Rhode Island's 2011 Pension Overhaul
"The analyst hired by Rhode Island's largest public employees' union released a scathing report ... that questions the 2011 overhaul of the state's pension system and accuses Treasurer Gina Raimondo of having a cozy relationship with out-of-state hedge fund managers. In the 106-page report ... author Edward Siedle recommends that the [SEC] investigate the Employees' Retirement System of Rhode Island (ERSRI) and its managers for failing to disclose increased investment expenses as well as the state pension fund's investment with Point Judith Capital, Raimondo's former employer." (WPRI.com)  

Retirement Attitudes Segmentation Survey
"This AARP survey ... examines attitudes toward retirement as well as recent actions taken to prepare for the future and identifies opportunities for assisting pre-retirees as they approach the next step in their lives.... [The] report compares and contrasts views of four different 'segments' of respondents.... Pro-Active Self-Actualizers, Day-to-Day Life Embracers, Cautious Clockwatchers, and Doubters." [Includes links to infographic, annotated questionnaire, and 76-slide summary of methodology and findings.] (AARP)  

Text of SSA Description of Fiscal Effects of the 1983 Change in Social Security's Normal Retirement Age (PDF)
"The total effect in current dollar cash flow on the OASDI Trust Funds is about $97 billion for 2000 through 2012 and an additional $451 billion for 2013 through 2023. In present value, the long-range effect of the NRA increase provision through 2087 is $4.7 trillion. The effect is projected to reach 0.5 percent of GDP by 2037, and to be 0.38 percent of GDP for the period 2000 to 2087 as a whole." (U.S. Social Security Administration Office of the Chief Actuary)  

Private-Sector Retirement Plan Income After ERISA, Updated with 2012 Data (PDF)
"Retirement income generated by private-sector retirement plans has become more prevalent -- not less prevalent -- since the passage of ERISA in 1974, and this is true across all income groups.... The share of workers with access to pension plans at their current employer has been substantial and fairly steady since 1979.... In 1975, when nearly 90 percent of private-sector workers with retirement plans were covered by DB pension plans, only about one in five retirees received any income from private-sector retirement plans." (Investment Company Institute [ICI])  

[Opinion]

Warren Buffett's Pension Strategy?
"What does [a recent Bloomberg] article say about Buffett's strategy for managing the defined-benefit plans Berkshire inherited through acquisitions? First and most important, there is no talk of switching people out of defined-benefit to defined-contribution plans ... Second, fees matter a lot[.]" (Pension Pulse)  

[Opinion]

Text of ASPPA Letter to IRS Requesting Official Guidance on Midyear Amendments to Safe Harbor Plans
"As the popularity of safe harbor 401(k) plans continues to grow, the uncertainty about whether many types of mid-year amendments can be made to such plans also increases.... The lack of concrete guidance over the years has produced significant uncertainty for plan sponsors faced with mid-year documentation-related issues... This uncertainty stymies the plan sponsors, commonly delaying changes that would be beneficial to the plan participants until the following plan year." (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries [ASPPA])  

[Opinion]

A MOOC That Mocks: Bias in Stanford's Course on Retirement Finance?
"[S]aving for retirement is a mystery and a daunting challenge, and there's great personal motivation to learn more. Learning in an academic setting presumably comes without the self-interest that a financial advisor might bring.... [But] if past is prologue, students should be leery of the information presented from the lectern. The reason is the previous working paper of Professor Rauh and his colleague Robert Novy-Marx, an associate professor of finance at the University of Rochester. By using underlying assumptions that understate revenues, inflate costs, and ignore other available public policy options, the authors painted a picture of the overwhelming amount of taxes needed to be raised per household to fund state and local pension funds." (Pension Dialog)  

[Opinion]

Text of Comments by SIFMA to SEC on Recommendations of the Investor as Purchaser Subcommittee on Broker-Dealer Fiduciary Duty (PDF)
"[T]he Subcommittee (and indeed, the Committee) does not have a single broker-dealer representative. A representative from our industry could provide the necessary perspective to help generate more practical, consensus-based recommendations that would benefit all parties, but most particularly retail investors.... Section 913 should be implemented through rulemaking under the Exchange Act for broker-dealers.... [This] rulemaking should require broker-dealers to provide customers with uniform, plain English disclosures.... Section 913 should not be abandoned in favor of an approach that Congress considered and rejected -- namely, tinkering with the broker-dealer exemption." (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association [SIFMA])  

[Opinion]

Text of Comments by Institute for the Fiduciary Standard to SEC on Recommendations of the Investor as Purchaser Subcommittee on Broker-Dealer Fiduciary Duty (PDF)
"The Institute strongly concurs with the Draft recommendation that the best approach to rulemaking is under the Investment Advisers Act.... This approach avoids the risk ... of overly broad interpretations regarding what brokers may be permitted to do, and overly narrow interpretations of what brokers are required to do and when the fiduciary standard may apply." (Institute for the Fiduciary Standard)  

[Opinion]

Text of Comments by fi360 to SEC on Recommendations of the Investor as Purchaser Subcommittee on Broker-Dealer Fiduciary Duty (PDF)
"Brokers providing personalized investment advice to retail clients act as investment advisers and should be subject to Advisers Act jurisprudence, rules and guidance.... Brokers are already subject to a common-law fiduciary standard under securities laws for certain advisory activities, and as dual registrants .... Narrowing the broker-dealer exemption will avoid creation of a new layer of regulation and loopholes for the securities industry; and avoid higher compliance costs." (fi360)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Employee Benefits for Domestic Partners in March 2013
"Nearly half of private industry employees with access to a defined benefit retirement plan in March 2013 had a plan that provides survivor benefits to same-sex domestic partners. Among state and local government workers with access to a defined benefit retirement plan, three-fifths had a plan that provides survivor benefits to same-sex domestic partners.... Nineteen percent of employees in private industry had access to a defined benefit retirement plan in March 2013. Nine percent were in plans that provide survivor benefits for same-sex partners and 8 percent for opposite-sex partners.... In private industry, 70 percent of workers had access to healthcare benefits in March 2013. Thirty-one percent of workers had access to plans that provide healthcare benefits to same-sex partners, and 26 percent had access to plans that provide healthcare benefits to opposite-sex partners." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)  

EBSA Announces ERISA Advisory Council to Meet November 4
"The next ERISA Advisory Council meeting is scheduled for November 4-5, 2013 ... The meeting is open to the public. The November 4 portion of the meeting, from 1 p.m.-5 p.m., will be a drafting session for the reports and recommendations which the Council will vote to approve at the November 5 session, which begins at 8:30 a.m." (U.S. Department of Labor)  

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