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October 21, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Regional Sales Director
Goldleaf Partners
in MO

Distribution and Loan Specialist
Cornerstone Group
in RI

Retirement Plan Relationship Manager
Charles Schwab
in CO

Managing Director, Client Services
Charles Schwab
in TX

Sr. Manager - Conversion
Charles Schwab
in TX

Senior Defined Benefit Calculation Analyst
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
in MA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Defined Contribution Plan Overview
October 22, 2013 WEBCAST
(NH Hicks)

Defined Benefit Plans and Cross Testing Overview
October 23, 2013 WEBCAST
(NH Hicks)

2013 Fall Forum - San Antonio, TX
October 28, 2013 in TX

401(k) Essentials Plus Series
November 12, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Executive Compensation Plans – A Solution to Help Lock in Your Key Employees
November 14, 2013 in TX
(ASPPA Benefits Council Dallas/Ft Worth)

Ethical Dilemmas for Pension Actuaries
November 20, 2013 WEBCAST
(Society of Actuaries)

Pension De-Risking Summit
January 20, 2014 in NY
(Financial Research Associates)

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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

Stock Drop Case Dismissed Because Purpose and Risk of Employer Stock Fund Made Clear in Plan Documents
"This case illustrates that strong plan language setting forth the purpose and guidelines for an employer stock fund, coupled with repeated warnings to participants of the risks involved in investing in that fund, can be powerful defenses to a fiduciary breach claim. As a broader principle, carefully drafted plan language and full disclosure to participants can significantly decrease a plan sponsor's exposure to benefit plan claims and litigation." [In re SunTrust Bank, Inc. ERISA Litig., 2013 WL 5418130 (N.D. Ga. 2013)] (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)  


Don't miss the ASPPA 2013 Annual Conference at Natl. Harbor, MD!

Sponsored by ASPPA

Attend ASPPA's Annual Conference to inform Congress that they can't overlook pension issues! Registration includes: visits to Capitol Hill, 70+ sessions on topics shaping the industry, networking with 1,500+ retirement plan professionals, and more!

Upcoming November 21 IRS Phone Forum: The Employee Plans Team Audit Program
"Learn about EPTA, our large case audit program. We'll cover everything from how the program originated to how we select plans for examination, to how we examine them. We'll also touch on our initiatives on internal controls and International issues. Finally, we'll discuss common issues we find on these examinations." [Rescheduled from October 16, 2013; If you registered for the October 16, 2013 forum, you don't need to register again.] (Internal Revenue Service)  

More Than Half of American Workers Prefer One-on-One Financial Advice
"55 percent of working Americans prefer to receive one-on-one financial advice from a financial advisor. Just 36 percent of all workers, however, say they regularly rely on financial advice offered by their employers, suggesting there is ample opportunity for employers to help busy employees plan for their financial futures.... In particular, young professionals just beginning their careers are uncertain about where they should start looking for advice: 31 percent of workers age 18-34 report that they're unsure about the questions they should ask a financial advisor." (TIAA-CREF)  

Illinois Senate President Says State Pension Debt Not a 'Crisis'
"Illinois Senate President John Cullerton said Sunday that the state's massive public employee pension debt is not a 'crisis,' but instead an issue being pushed by business-backed groups seeking lower income taxes at the expense of retiree benefits.... Cullerton said the conference committee's pension framework represents savings equivalent to lowering the state income tax by 0.25 percent." (Chicago Tribune; subscription may be required)  

Text of IRS Request for OMB Approval for Customer Satisfaction Surveys
"The IRS is requesting approval to conduct 41 specific customer satisfaction and opinion surveys, which will allow us to continue to use a data-driven approach to understanding customer satisfaction at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)." [See List of proposed surveys, which includes materials for Employee Plans Examinations and Employee Plans Determinations] (Internal Revenue Service)  

California Pension Initiative Shows How Young Pay Pensions of Old
"The point of the drive led by San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed is to allow state and local governments to cut budget-threatening future retirement costs that are now apparently locked in by court rulings, while protecting pension amounts already earned. But the proposed state constitutional amendment ... also requires a government agency with pensions or retiree health care less than 80 percent funded to prepare a plan to reach full funding in 15 years. Most pension funds try to get to full funding in 30 years." (Calpensions)  

Six Things Employers Need to Know About Managing Their 401(k) Plans
"[1] Most service provider relationships do not shift fiduciary responsibility.... [2] [Y]our management responsibilities include the following and you will have fiduciary liability for them: Administrative Compliance; Legal Compliance; Investments; Selection and Monitoring of Service Providers; Participant Communications and required disclosures. [3] Investment company and adviser warranties don't mean a thing.... [4] You are probably not in a true fiduciary relationship with any of your providers... [5] ERISA requires you to be an expert.... [6] Consider shifting your plan management burdens and fiduciary risks to an Independent Plan Administrator." (Fiduciary Plan Governance, LLC)  

Cypen & Cypen Newsletter, October 17, 2013
Article titles include: [1] The Plot Against Public Pensions? [2] Public Pension Plan Investment Return Assumptions; [3] Public Pension Plans and Inflation; [4] Stockton Aftermath; [5] Pension Plan Administrator Has No Standing To Sue Custodian Where Alleged Injury Not Fairly Traceable To Custodian; and [6] Montana Teachers' Retirement System Sues Over Cost-of-living Change. (Cypen & Cypen)  

Why 65 Is Too Young to Retire
"Some 76 percent of employees say they will continue working past retirement age, with 40 percent working because they want to and 35 percent because they will have to[.]" (U.S.News & World Report)  

Saving for Retirement: Sooner or Later
"Here are six reasons why you -- or those you care about -- should ... save for retirement -- now: [1] Because you don't want to work forever.... [2] Because living in retirement isn't free -- and it might cost more than you think.... [3] Because you may not be able to work as long as you think.... [4] Because working longer may not be enough.... [5] Because you don't know how long you will live.... [6] Because the sooner you start, the easier it will be." (Nevin Adams via EBRI)  

Dietrich Pension Risk Transfer Index, October 2013 (PDF)
"The monthly index value increased 1.42 points due to widening spreads and increased plan funded status. The annuity discount rate proxy embedded within the index dropped 2 bps to 3.21%. This shows that there is a minor relationship solely between annuity discount rates and the attractiveness of insured Pension Risk Transfer solutions." (Dietrich & Associates)  

Browsing, Texting, and . . . Retirement Planning?
"The rise of mobile devices has changed how individuals read, shop, and communicate -- and it's changing how they plan for retirement. From enrollment to retirement, participants prefer the convenience and flexibility a mobile device provides. Checking an account balance needs to be as easy as checking an e-mail, and boosting a deferral rate should be as simple as a few taps on a keypad." (Vanguard)  


Mandatory Retirement Savings in the U.S.? Why Not?
"A recent global poll ... showed almost half of respondents would prefer a 'mandatory, government-imposed solution' to retirement savings. Following that, 22% of respondents chose an 'elective, whereby employees are automatically enrolled in private retirement plans but can opt out if they so choose' solution. Almost 70% of respondents want some form of automatic retirement plan entry. Even with a smaller survey population, that's a telling number." (Retirement Town Hall)  


Fresh Signs of a Private Equity Bubble?
"Pensions have a much longer investment horizon than endowments so they can take on more illiquidity risk, especially if they're not underfunded or have the benefit of net liquidity flows for many more years ... But most pensions praying for an alternatives miracle are in for a nasty surprise.... [As] more money piles into private equity, real estate, and infrastructure, the prospective returns will be diluted for all investors." (Pension Pulse)  


Prince Charles Gets Pensions All Wrong
"This is not to disparage the concept of sustainability, or of protecting the planet, or even the claim that the stocks of green companies outperform those of other companies.... However, those items cannot bridge the enormous gap that separates GBP 11,400 in annual income [now saved] from GBP 25,200 [needed].... The primary drivers for retirement income must be increased savings, either by the retirees directly or by an entity (corporate, government, whatever) acting in retirees' interest, along with perhaps a later retirement date." (Morningstar Advisor)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Be Prepared for Shareholder Proposals on Executive Compensation
"To date, there have been more than 100 shareholder proposals regarding executive compensation in 2013, up from 61 in 2012, and only 39 in 2011. The most common shareholder proposals in 2013 have been requests for [a]doption of a stock retention policy, [a]doption (or improvement) of a compensation clawback policy, and [p]ro-rata vesting of equity awards, rather than acceleration, upon a change in control." (Winston & Strawn LLP)  


Text of Comments by National Investor Relations Institute to SEC on Proposed Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules (PDF)
"NIRI believes that the draft rule, as written, would provide no material benefit to most investors while imposing significant costs on more than 3,800 U.S. issuers and inhibiting efficiency, competition, and capital formation. This rule, as proposed, will result in disclosures by issuers that are likely to be misleading or inconsistent or both with a high probability that the disclosures would confuse most investors and not contribute to their understanding of corporate pay practices." (National Investor Relations Institute [NIRI])  

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