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October 30, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Account Manager, Employee Benefits
Lenox Advisors
in CT, NJ, NY

Plan Administrator
Verisight Inc.
in IL

Client Success Consultant
The Online 401(k)
in CA, NY

Retirement Planning Consultant
Transamerica Retirement Solutions
in ME, NH

Relationship Manager
Verisight Inc.
in IL

Pension Consultant
Boyce & Associates, Inc.
in AZ

Human Resources Specialist (Assistant Manager, Retirement Benefits)
Pennsylvania State University
in PA

HR Policy Analyst
Saudi Aramco
in ANY STATE

Account Specialist
Arista Consulting Group
in GA

Relationship Manager
Verisight Inc.
in CA

Relationship Manager
Verisight Inc.
in CA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Defined Contribution Plan Overview
November 5, 2013 WEBCAST
(NH Hicks)

New Rules for Health Reimbursement Arrangements Plan Sponsors Need to Take Action Now
November 7, 2013 WEBCAST
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Big Opportunities Marketing to Small Business Owners
November 19, 2013 WEBCAST
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Required Minimum Distributions
November 20, 2013 WEBCAST
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

NAPA 401(k) Summit 2014
March 23, 2014 in LA
(National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) )

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]

Social Security Benefits to Rise 1.5 Percent in 2014; Wage Base Increases to $117,000
"The 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 57 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2014.... Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $117,000 from $113,700.... [A]bout 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum." (Social Security Administration)  


[Advert.]

Don't Miss the ASPPA Cincinnati Pension Conference!

Sponsored by ASPPA

Obtaining a high level of technical knowledge is necessary for employers that sponsor pension plans. Attend the ASPPA Cinci Pension Conf. to learn from industry experts that will expand your knowledge and keep you up to date on the important issues!



[Guidance Overview]

2013 Q&As: DOL Meeting with ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, May 8, 2013 (PDF)
7 pages. Topics include: whether a prohibited transaction occurs when a service-provider makes charitable contribution to a plan sponsor, unreasonableness of certain fees for handling QDROs, Form 5500 reporting of a service-provider's prohibited transactions under the fee disclosure rules, whether a participant in a defined benefit plan has standing to seek enforcement of fiduciary standards, and applicable fiduciary standards when purchasing annuity contracts for distribution to participants. Note: "The responses reflect only unofficial, nonbinding staff views as of the time of the discussion, and do not necessarily represent the official position of the DOL." (Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, American Bar Association)  

[Guidance Overview]

Plan Corrections Take on a Slightly New Look with Revenue Procedure 2013-12 (PDF)
"The new procedure makes a number of important administrative and substantive changes to the correction program, to both streamline and expand the program. The key changes are ... Expansion of Plans Covered ... Missing Participants ... Pre-Approved Defined Contribution (DC) Corrections ... Definition of Earnings ... Pre-Approved Defined Benefit (DB) Corrections ... The VCP Application Process ... The Audit CAP Program[.]" (Groom Law Group via Journal of Pension Benefits)  

House Passes Bill to Delay Fiduciary Definition at SEC and DOL
"The bill, which was approved in a 254-166 vote, has virtually no chance of becoming law, after the White House late Monday threatened to veto the measure. Its passage, however, marks yet another symbolic effort by Republicans to express their discontent over the sweeping new regulations that stem from the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street reform law." (Reuters)  

House Committee Addresses Multiemployer Pension Plan Problems
"Factors such as multiple investment downturns, an aging workforce, and fewer contributing employers have threatened the long-term sustainability of the multi-employer plan system. Moreover, multi-employer plans are becoming increasingly reliant on the [PBGC] ... for financial assistance.... Subcommittee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) concluded the hearing by pointing out that many provisions of the Pension Protection Act (PPA) sunset at the end of 2014, furthering the need for legislative action." (Littler)  

Managing 'End State' Pension Investments: How to Stay One Step Ahead of Your Glide Path (PDF)
"Though the average U.S. private pension plan has not reached the end of its glide path (most pension plans are still underfunded), a number of factors could push plans further down de-risking glide paths in a relatively short amount of time. This paper discusses factors that could drive glide path strategies closer to 'end state' portfolios as well as 'end state' investment objectives and investment structure." (Aon Hewitt)  

New York Pays More Police in Retirement Than to Patrol Streets
"During [Mayor] Bloomberg's final year, city will spend $8.7 billion on the police department, nearly double the 2002 figure and more than three times the rate of inflation.... The $4.3 billion taxpayers will spend on salaries and wages for police officers (and a contingent of administrative staff) this year has only just kept up with inflation over the Bloomberg years. By contrast, the pension budget has quadrupled -- from $1.1 to $4.4 billion. We'll spend more on cops' benefits this year than on salaries." (New York Post, via Manhattan Institute for Policy Research)  

GOP Lawmakers Eye Federal Employee Retirement Benefits in Upcoming Budget Talks
"Federal employees are bracing for the possibility of paying more toward their retirement benefits as political leaders slowly renew budget discussions with an eye toward deficit reduction. House Republicans and President Obama have both proposed the change in order to achieve savings. Democrats in both chambers of Congress have opposed the cuts ... 3.1 percent of pay [currently is] the amount workers contribute if the federal government hired them after the start of 2013." (The Washington Post; subscription may be required)  

Put Your 401(k) to the Test: Does It Have the Latest and Best Features?
"[A] 'best-practice, risk-managed' 401(k)/defined contribution plan [includes]: Mandatory participation or automatic enrollment; Adequate contribution rates; A limited set of professionally managed, low-cost, pooled investments; Mandatory or default investment in automatic asset allocation vehicles, such as target-date funds; Limited or no borrowing from the plan; Annuitized benefit payments; and Provision of objective education and advice for participants.... [W]hat's [also] needed in a best-in-class 401(k) is an aggressive auto-escalation feature, advisers say." (MarketWatch)  

CFP Board's Fiduciary Promise in Question
"The board's own rules don't require CFPs to uphold the fiduciary standard consistently, and the code of ethics listed on the 'For CFP Professionals' section of its website describes its ethical standards as 'aspirational.' ... The 'aspirational' reference in the code of ethics is not mentioned on the board's website where it explains why CFP certification matters to consumers:... [M]any CFP certificants are advisors at wirehouses, where they are held to a lesser suitability standard, which requires that the investments they recommend to their clients simply be suitable." (Financial Planning)  

[Opinion]

Statement of Pension Rights Center to Joint Congressional Hearing on Multiemployer Pension Plan Issues (PDF)
"[T]he rationale underlying the NCCMP proposal for deeply-troubled plans is that cutting some retiree benefits now will prevent the necessity of larger reductions later should the plan fail. This is not, however, necessarily true for all retirees.... [Further,] multiemployer plan guarantees are already much lower than guarantees for single-employer plans, which generally will not reduce normal retirement benefits if they are below the maximum guarantee level, currently $57,477 for a single-life benefit. In contrast, the maximum guarantee for a retiree with 30 years of service in a multiemployer plan is only $12,870[.]" (Pension Rights Center)  

[Opinion]

What's Really the Principal Cause of CalSTRS's Shortfall?
"[A]ccording to CalSTRS's own data, more than three-quarters of the $48 billion increase in CalSTRS's unfunded liability between 2008 and 2012 appears to be attributable to an increase in liabilities. Less than 25 percent of the increase in unfunded liability appears attributable to a decrease in assets.... To this observer, CalSTRS's shortfall appears to stem less from the economic downturn and more from liabilities growing 70% faster than assets over the past 14 years." (Fox & Hounds)  

[Opinion]

U.S. Public Pension Funds Should Follow Canadian Lead, Seek Cost Savings in Investment Management
"There is a reason why some large hedge funds are chopping fees in half and why many pension funds are increasingly looking to cut costs and bring assets in-house, following their Canadian counterparts which are dodging Wall Street everywhere they can. Costs matter a lot and it doesn't make sense to dole out huge fees, praying for an alternatives miracle, especially when you get mediocre performance in return." (Pension Pulse)  

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