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October 31, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs


Webcasts and Conferences

Defined Benefit Plans and Cross Testing Overview
November 6, 2013 WEBCAST
(NH Hicks)

Top Common Code Section 403(b) Problems and Solutions
November 6, 2013 WEBCAST
(Multnomah Group)

Free Webinar - Engaging Participants to Drive Better Retirement Outcomes
November 7, 2013 WEBCAST
(University Conference Services)

Healthcare Benefits Benchmark Study
November 21, 2013 WEBCAST
(Evolution1)

Fiduciary Training: Best Practices in Running and Advising an Investment Committee
December 10, 2013 WEBCAST
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

4th Annual Accountable Care Web Summit 2013
December 12, 2013 WEBCAST
(MCOL)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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

District Court Finds Breach of Fiduciary Duty Based on Refusal to Follow Prior Court Rulings
"[P]laintiff has stated a facially valid claim for breach of fiduciary duty based on defendants' alleged refusal to follow either Frommert or Miller with respect to his benefits... Nor would the breach have been apparent immediately upon issuance of those decisions; it was not the decisions themselves, but defendants' alleged disregard of them, that gave rise to plaintiff's claim for breach of fiduciary duty.... [T]he Court is not now faced with the question of the relief available to plaintiff, should he prevail on this claim. The salient fact, for purposes of the present motion, is that the record as it now stands does not warrant dismissal of plaintiff's claim under section 502(a)(3) as time-barred." (U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York, via ERISABoard.com)  


[Advert.]

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Documents, SPDs, Amendments, Administrative Forms
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Senate HELP Committee Approves Pension Funding Relief Bill for Charities, Rural Cooperatives
"The Cooperative and Small Employer Charity Pension Flexibility Act makes permanent for those types of defined benefit plan sponsors a temporary exemption from the Pension Protection Act of 2006.... The changes would affect an estimated 33 charitable and multiple-employer plans." (Pensions & Investments)  

Employer Plans, IRAs and Retirement Income Provision: Making a Molehill Out of a Mountain
"The evidence that the majority of retirees rely mostly on Social Security benefits dramatically underreports the retirement income provided by employer plans and IRAs, and overstates the role of Social Security. Contrary to popular beliefs, income from private retirement plans is often significant for lower-income retirees as well as the wealthy. An effective U.S. retirement policy cannot be built on faulty measures of retirement income." (Towers Watson)  

The Numbers You Really Need to Know for Retirement
"If you are one of the 78 million Baby Boomers rolling into retirement in the next 20 years, you might want to sit down and do a little math. Retirement is a lot more complicated than it used to be." (The Tribune-Democrat, Johnstown PA)  

[Opinion]

Misleading Numbers on 401(k)s
"Are you upset about what happened to your 401(k) account during and after the financial crisis? Perhaps you shouldn't be, says [the Investment Company Institute], a trade group for the companies that manage those accounts.... [Their report said] 401(k) accounts rose 5.4 percent a year, while 'by way of comparison' the stock market about broke even. Read that carefully, and you'll see the catches.... How much of that gain came from contributions? How much came from investment profits?" (Floyd Norris in The New York Times; subscription may be required)  

When Diversification 'Fails,' and Why We Still Believe (PDF)
"[A]lthough diversification is widely regarded as the only 'free lunch' in finance, that meal may not be very filling on any particular day, week, month or even year. Concentrated portfolios can, and frequently do, outperform their diversified counterparts over specific time periods. Despite the occasional poor year, however, [the authors] believe diversified portfolios provide long-term investors the best opportunity to reach investment goals." (SEI)  

Baby Boomers and Equity Returns: Will a Boom in Retirees Lead to a Bust in Equity Returns?
"Market commentators have long voiced concern about what they see as a potential headwind to the U.S. stock market in the form of baby boomers' retirement.... In the absence of concrete evidence that the baby boomer retirement cycle will alter investors' views of U.S. equity market performance in the near to intermediate term, [the authors] would caution investors against making significant changes to their strategic asset allocations in response to the boomers' retirement." (Vanguard)  

Understanding Target-Date Funds
"[W]hile target-date funds make investing easy for retirement plan participants, advisers and the employers sponsoring the plan need to understand that all target-date funds are not equal. As advisers, it's our responsibility to know what's under the hood and to make sure that the mix of investments in the fund is appropriate for both the employer offering the plan and its employees." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)  

The Top 'Must-Have' Feature for Annuities
"70% of annuity professionals said [guaranteed lifetime withdrawal benefits] were 'must-have' features on the annuities they've sold over the past 12 months. By comparison, just 11% of respondents said a combination of benefits were a must-have feature in annuities, and just 6% of respondents said their clients were demanding principal preservation income riders." (ThinkAdvisor)  

Retirees to See Minimal Increase in Social Security Payments
"Social Security payments for 63 million retirees and disabled people will rise 1.5% in January, a historically small annual adjustment that will add fuel to the debate over federal spending on retirement benefits. The increase ... would be among the smallest since automatic cost-of-living adjustments started in 1975, and reflects weak inflation." (The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required)  

Federal Retirees Will Receive 1.5 Percent COLA Next Year
"The 2014 cost-of-living adjustment is a relatively small one, and marks the second consecutive year the figure has dropped. The 2013 COLA was 1.7 percent, while the 3.6 percent boost in 2012 was the first COLA increase since 2009." (Government Executive)  

[Opinion]

Paper Regulator: The FINRA 'Report on Conflicts of Interest'
"FINRA could not possibly acknowledge more clearly that it is aware that brokerage firms are seeking to cross-sell their proprietary products. Instead of sternly forbidding them to tell their brokers to sell the house product rather than a better option for the client, it says the brokerage firms should 'alleviate pressure' to prefer those products. Don't stop pressuring the reps, just alleviate the amount of pressure you put on them[.]" (Bob Veres in Inside Information)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

November and December Filing and Notice Deadlines for Qualified Retirement and Health and Welfare Plans
"The filing and notice deadline table [in this article] provides key 2013 filing and notice deadlines common to calendar year plans for the next two months....[T]he deadlines will be different if your plan year is not the calendar year.... [T]he table does not include all applicable filing and notice deadlines, just the most common ones." (King & Spalding)  

CEO Pay Ratio Disclosure: Now is the Time for Comments on the SEC's Proposed Rules
"Employers who want to minimize the burden of the final rules -- or to delay them -- need to voice their concerns in November because the SEC is facing concerted pressure to retreat from the flexibility that employers would have under the current proposal." (Paul Hastings LLP)  

Executive Compensation and Governance: Where We've Been and Where We're Heading
"[B]oards and management will increasingly need to look beyond compliance to a broader array of perspectives and insights, informed by global data, up-to-the-minute market intelligence, in-depth research and cross-disciplinary critical thinking. As a new generation enters the board room, a different value set will infuse the governance agenda with a broader view of human capital that goes far beyond the top five or 10 executives[.]" (Towers Watson)  

Sutardja v. The United States: The Federal Claims Court Applies Code Section 409A to Discontinued Stock Options
"It is interesting that the IRS and the court identified the vesting date, as opposed to the grant date, as the date the legally binding right to the stock option compensation arose for purposes of 409A. Based on the final 409A Treasury Regulations, [the authors] suspect that the IRS today (as well as most practitioners) would argue that the legally binding right to stock options arises on the date the options are granted (even if the options are not vested at grant)." (King & Spalding)  

How to Make Smart Benefits Choices for 2014
"Learn to live with high deductibles.... Split up your family coverage.... Use a flexible spending account.... Be cautious about add-ons.... Take the time to collect extras." (Reuters)  

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