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October 24, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Senior Consultant
Westminster Consulting, LLC
in CT, NJ, NY, PA

Senior Employee Health & Benefits Consultant
Mercer
in MI

Senior Account Manager, Retirement Plan Administration
Ohio National Financial Services
in OH

In - House Attorney
I.A.M. Benefit Trust Fund
in DC

401k Internal Sales Consultant
ASPire Financial Services LLC
in FL

Regional Sales Manager
ASPire Financial Services LLC
in IL, MA, NH, NY

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Webcasts and Conferences

Defined Contribution Plan Overview
October 29, 2013 WEBCAST
(NH Hicks)

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs): Now Even Greater Tax Savings When Selling Businesses
October 30, 2013 WEBCAST
(Bloomberg BNA)

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

ASPPA Annual Conference Recap
November 12, 2013 in MN
(ASPPA Benefits Council of Greater Twin Cities)

ERISA Workshop 2013 - Cleveland
November 20, 2013 in OH
(SunGard Relius)

ERISA Workshop 2013 - Detroit
November 21, 2013 in MI
(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.

Fiduciary Management for Pension Plans
"The safety net concept attached to bringing a third party on board, combined with ... fiduciary fatigue, is reflected in the global growth of firms that describe themselves as fiduciary managers.... Before employers get too comfortable and think that their pension problems now belong to someone else, it is noteworthy to acknowledge that there are more than a few lawsuits that have been filed against third parties. Some of them allege breach on the basis of a failure to properly oversee and respond accordingly." (Pension Risk Matters)  


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SunTrust Plan Participants' Stock-Drop Claims Tossed a Second Time
"[T]he district court ... concluded that: (i) the settlor intended 'for the fiduciaries to wait until the company was "on the brink of financial collapse"' before taking action; and (ii) even at that point the fiduciaries were instructed to seek outside counsel for advice, not sell SunTrust stock. The court also noted that ... [it was] not unreasonable to assume that many of the plan participants were at least several years from retirement, and it was not 'impossible to say that the opportunity to purchase SunTrust shares at historically low prices was not in the best interests of those participants.'" [In re SunTrust Banks, Inc., ERISA Litig., 2013 WL 5418130 (N.D. Ga. Sept. 26, 2013)] (Proskauer's ERISA Practice Center)  

DOL Recovers More Than $4 Million for Employee Stock Ownership Plan
"The [DOL has] obtained a consent order requiring the fiduciaries of the Parrot Cellular Employee Stock Ownership Plan to pay $4,181,818 to the plan. The settlement resolves a suit filed in April 2012 after an investigation by [EBSA] ... The department alleged that plan fiduciaries caused or permitted the ESOP to purchase Parrot Cellular stock for more than fair market value." (U.S. Department of Labor)  

Major Pension Funds Ask for Climate Change Study
"[L]eaders of 70 funds said they're asking 45 of the world's top oil, gas, coal and electric power companies to do detailed assessments of how efforts to control climate change could impact their businesses. 'Institutional investors must think over the long term, which means that we must take environmental risks into consideration when we make investments,' New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli [said]. The state's Common Retirement Fund manages almost $161 billion of investments." (ABC News)  

Precision Magazine: Guidance and Creative Solutions for Retirement Professionals, Fall 2013 (PDF)
Article titles include: [1] Related Companies: Who Is In Control? [2] This Is Going On Your Permanent Record; [3] How To Select a Quality Employee Benefit Plan Auditor; [4] The Not-So-Safe-Harbor 401(k) Plan; [5] We Don't Need No Stinkin' Service Agreements! and [6] The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Timeless Keys To Selecting Plan Service Providers. (DWC ERISA Consultants)  


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Majority of 401(k) Plan Participants Accumulate More Debt Than Retirement Savings
"[O]ver 60% of workers participating in a Defined Contribution (DC) Plan accumulated more debt than they contributed to retirement savings between 2010 and 2011 ... 20% of participants in 401(k) retirement programs added more credit card debt to their family balance sheet than they contributed to retirement savings.... Most DC participants who accumulate debt faster than retirement savings are over 40 years old, college educated, earn over $50,000, and have insufficient emergency savings." (HelloWallet via PR Newswire)  

Wealth and Debt as Australians Approach Retirement
"While levels of debt have increased these have generally been outweighed by increasing levels of assets and debt is largely held by those able to service it, including by ongoing labour force participation. There is little evidence of any systematic withdrawal of superannuation as a means of discharging debt in retirement. Overall it appears that there has been a five year increase in the age at which people discharge housing debt over the period." (Jonathan Robbie Bray via SSRN)  

Creating Successful Retirement Programs (PDF)
"The current primary retirement savings vehicle is the employer-sponsored 401(k) plan, so it's not hard to conclude that these retirement programs are failing. As the workforce ages, the problem becomes even more immediate. How do organizations keep employer-sponsored retirement plans adequately providing for their employees when they are ready to retire?" (Kushner & Company)  

Enrolled Actuaries Report, Fall 2013 (PDF)
Article titles include: [1] Is the PBGC Deficit Real? [2] The 2013 Gray Book; [3] Academy Educates on Implications of Longer Life Spans; [4] Pension-Related ASOPs Under Review; and [5] Pension Committee Comments on Form 5500. (American Academy of Actuaries)  

Why Public Pension Funds Are Embracing Wall Street
"[F]rom 2006 to 2012 state pension funds more than doubled their allocations to alternative investments, which include private equity, real estate, hedge funds and commodities. Totaling almost $600 billion, these nontraditional investments now constitute 24 percent of public pension fund assets. In contrast, the funds dropped their investments in stocks to 49 percent from 61 percent over the six-year period." (On Wall Street)  

[Opinion]

Pension Funds Love Wall Street?
"[A recent article] rightly notes the main reason behind this shift is that U.S. state pension funds are not meeting their 8% bogey but he fails to mention the rate-of-return fantasy has forced these funds into taking on too much illiquidity risk at the wrong time.... There is no doubt some state funds have done better than others investing in alternatives.... [T]he $53 billion Massachusetts state pension fund had the highest performance in private equity among large U.S. public pension funds over the last decade, delivering a 15.4% annualized return in private equity over the last ten years." (Pension Pulse)  

[Opinion]

NCPERS Proposes Coverage of State-Run Retirement Plan for Private Employees to Ensure Retirement Security for All Marylanders (PDF)
"In an effort to significantly boost retirement security for private sector workers who are at risk -- while making the state's small businesses more competitive -- Maryland should create a public-private partnership to offer an affordable, low-cost, easily administered retirement savings program to private sector employers ... Testifying before the Maryland Joint Committee on Pensions, Hank Kim, Esq., Executive Director and Counsel of [NCPERS] urged legislators to establish a defined benefit plan rather than a defined contribution plan -- not only to allow professional management of assets and investments and to keep costs low, but to make covered workers immune to stock market fluctuations and sudden economic downturn." (National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems [NCPERS])  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]

Text of Proposed ASU: Accounting for Share-Based Payments When the Terms of an Award Provide That a Performance Target Could Be Achieved after the Requisite Service Period
"The proposed amendments require that a performance target that could be achieved after the requisite service period be treated as a performance condition that affects the vesting of the award.... [C]ompensation cost would be recognized if it is probable that the performance condition would be achieved. The total amount of compensation cost recognized during and after the requisite service period would reflect the number of awards that are expected to vest and would be adjusted to reflect those awards that ultimately vest." (Financial Accounting Standards Board [FASB])  

How Well Do You Know Your Compensation Performance Range? (PDF)
"Like a dart board, the performance range that surrounds the goal in an incentive plan has a distinct purpose -- to drive the appropriate focus for optimal results for both shareholders and executives. Today, with increased attention on executive pay, shareholders want to know more about the performance required in those pay packages. Specifically beyond target: Is threshold performance sufficiently rigorous? What performance is required to earn the 'maximum' award?" (Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC)  

In Pay Wars, Directors Draw Less Scrutiny
"[I]ncreased attention to companies' say on pay proposals begs a key question: has there been an impact on director compensation? ... [B]ecause directors' pay is typically much smaller than that of senior management, it generally invites less scrutiny by shareholders ... There is also limited variability built into most director compensation programs." (Corporate Secretary)  

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