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November 7, 2013          Get Health & Welfare News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Internal Wholesaler
PAi
in ANY STATE

Pensions Field Services Representative
Nationwide Financial
in CT, NJ

Associate General Counsel - Retirement Benefits
General Board of Pension and Health Benefits
in IL

Retirement Plan Wholesaler
Ohio National Financial Services
in GA

Relationship Manager / Administrator
Qualified Plans, LLC
in ANY STATE

Consulting Support Specialist
Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

Sr. Nurse Manager
Unite Here Health
in IL

Senior Business Leader - Retirement Specialist
Envisage Information Systems
in NY

Client Service Manager - Defined Contribution
Tegrit Group
in OH

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Webcasts and Conferences

Legislative and Regulatory Update Defined Benefit Plan Issues
November 13, 2013 WEBCAST
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Affordable Care Act 101
November 21, 2013 WEBCAST
(U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA))

It Takes A Village: How TPAs and Advisors Can Work Together
November 21, 2013 WEBCAST
(American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA))

Conquering the FMLA Medical Certification Process: Best Practices for Employers
December 5, 2013 WEBCAST
(Franczek Radelet PC)

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]

Text of EBSA Notice of Prohibited Transaction Exemption for Sales of Auction Rate Securities Involving UBS
"The Department notes that [ERISA's] general standards of fiduciary conduct also would apply to the transactions described herein.... [A] plan fiduciary must act prudently with respect to, among other things, the decision to sell the Auction Rate Security to UBS for the par value of the Auction Rate Security, plus any accrued but unpaid interest or dividends. The Department further emphasizes that it expects Plan fiduciaries, prior to entering into any of the proposed transactions, to fully understand the risks associated with this type of transaction following disclosure by UBS of all relevant information." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)  


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[Official Guidance]

PBGC Premium Rates Table, Updated November 6, 2013
"The per-participant flat premium rate for plan years beginning in 2014 is $49 for single-employer plans (up from a 2013 rate of $42) and $12 for multiemployer plans (no change from 2013). The increase in the single-employer rate was provided in [MAP-21]." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])  

[Official Guidance]

Present Value of PBGC Maximum Guarantee, Updated November 6, 2013
"These values apply to benefits with annuity starting dates in 2014. The 2014 table was developed using the 417(e) segment rates for August 2013 (1.36%, 4.60% and 5.58% respectively) for plan years beginning in 2014 and the 417(e) applicable mortality table for 2014." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC])  

DC Fee Management: Mitigating Fiduciary Risk and Maximizing Plan Performance
"Negotiate a fixed-rate recordkeeping fee, based on the number of participants with account balances in the plan, that is independent of the investment structure.... Benchmark and negotiate recordkeeping and investment fees separately.... Benchmark and negotiate investment fees regularly, considering both fund vehicle and asset size.... Benchmark and negotiate recordkeeping and trustee fees at least every other year.... Negotiate vendor contracts to ensure that service standards and liability provisions are in the best interests of plan participants and beneficiaries.... Monitor actual fees paid against contractual requirements.... Review services annually to identify opportunities to reduce administrative costs." (Mercer)  

Anatomy of a Fiduciary Vote in Congress
"If there is a silver lining in all this craziness, it's that the House was exposed to a rudimentary education on the fiduciary standard in the hour-long debate before the vote. The debate itself may have been disappointing to industry insiders, but the pros and cons did cover the waterfront, including costs of suitability versus fiduciary advice. (The debate begins at the bottom of page H6855 in the Congressional Record and is a must-read for anyone interested in this issue.)" (fi360)  


[Advert.]

Best Strategies for Managing Your Assets and Liabilities

Sponsored by Financial Research Associates, LLC

Attend FRA's Pension De-Risking Summit to hear from plan sponsors on different approaches and options plan sponsors should consider when implementing a de-risking plan. January 20-21, 2014 - New York City. Mention FMP164 during registration for 10% discount.



The 'ReDefined Benefit Plan': A Better Solution for Nondiscrimination Problems
"While a closed group will generally pass the Tax Code nondiscrimination test at the time of the initial freeze, it often becomes discriminatory -- 'HCE-heavy' -- relatively quickly thereafter. Disqualification can be avoided, however, if the old (DB) plan and the new (DC) plan can be tested together, generally on what's called a 'benefits basis' -- i.e. comparing the annuity benefit at normal retirement age for both DB and DC participants. But there's a catch: there are special rules that don't allow this sort of 'testing on a benefits basis' unless you meet certain minimum requirements." (October Three Consulting)  

House Committee Examines Multiemployer Pensions
"In response to several proposals to consider increasing premiums, decreasing benefits, or engaging in a mix of both, witnesses urged the committee to be cautious. This was because doing either might have adverse effects on the desired benefit levels. Increasing premiums may discourage potential employers from joining plans, while reducing benefits might encourage workers to leave them." (Financial Executives International)  

A Veterans Day Deal for Maximizing Social Security Benefits: One-Day Free Access to Online Planning Tool
"Kiplinger Washington Editors ..., Social Security Solutions and Wells Fargo are partnering to offer one-day free access to an online retirement planning tool for all active-duty and retired military members and their widows or widowers. With this report, military families will get recommended strategies for claiming Social Security and explanations about how the choices affect what they'll get.... The free online tool for military folks will only be available Monday [November 11] at www.socialsecurityforveterans.com." (Michelle Singletary in The Washington Post; subscription may be required)  

Illinois Evading Pension Fix Leads State Gaps Wider
"The nationwide median ratio of 69 percent is down from almost 83 percent in 2007 ... The longest recession since the 1930s devastated portfolios and pushed some officials to forgo pension allocations as tax revenue sank. Even with investment returns rebounding, many states haven't funded enough to fill the gap. In some cases, including Illinois, proposals to cut payouts by reducing benefits have stalled." (Bloomberg)  

A Change for the Better in Pension Accounting
"Something exciting has happened in government accounting, for those interested in defined-benefit pensions.... Until recently, the government accounts have only showed the assets being held in defined benefit plans. Now they show promised benefits.... Reporting pension benefits, rather than pension assets, has led to an increase in household net worth relative to previous publications of both the [National Income and Product Accounts] and the Flow of Funds." (Alicia Munnell in MarketWatch.com)  

[Opinion]

The Morals of the Marketplace: Are They Enough for ERISA Plans?
"Should caveat emptor really be the lodestar for the relationship between plan participants and some advisors whose status may be redefined under the fiduciary standard planning to be proposed by the DOL? [EBSA's Phyllis C. Borzi] has been quoted as saying that it's possible the new fiduciary rule will allow 'potentially problematic, conflicted' transactions but that any such transactions will be accompanied by appropriate disclosures that might produce a potentially positive benefit.... Disclosures are usually of little help ... because any information that may be divulged in a disclosure is simply that: information. But information about ABC is not the same as knowledge about, or understanding of, ABC." (W. Scott Simon in Morningstar Advisor)  

[Opinion]

Gen X'ers Are Missing the Mark
"The need for Gen X'ers to consume rather than conserve has led to a personal debt crisis, which in turn has led to a complete inadequacy of personal retirement planning and preparedness. Rather than deal with the issues at hand, a large number of Gen X'ers (suffice it to say a majority of them) are content to don the blinders of personal satisfaction and charge full-bore towards the inevitability of financial ruin, or at a minimum, full financial dependence. All is not lost, however. The most important thing Gen X'ers have on their side is time[.]" (Millennial Advisory Group LLC)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

ERISA at 40: The Past Puts Pension Law in Perspective
"[1] The fallout from Watergate placed pressure on those hoping to pass the bill to get everything done before President Nixon's impeachment. They succeeded in getting ERISA passed by Congress, but it was signed into law by President Ford. [2] The agreement between the Departments of Labor and the Treasury as to what role each agency would play in administering ERISA was decided over Chinese food and written down on a paper napkin. [3] ERISA didn't have support from powerful interests but it passed anyway because of media attention spurred by congressional hearings and the resulting overwhelming support it received from regular Americans." (Pension Rights Center)  

[Opinion]

Text of Comments by Council of Institutional Investors to SEC on Proposed Pay Ratio Rules (PDF)
"The members generally agreed that the Commission has done an admirable job in proposing to implement Section 953(b) in a flexible manner that attempts to strike an appropriate balance between providing potentially useful information to investors and limiting company compliance costs.... Two of the three members were 'not comfortable' with the proposed exemption from the pay ratio disclosure requirements for emerging growth companies, smaller reporting companies, foreign private issuers, and MJDS filers .... The three members generally agreed with the SEC that, consistent with the language of Section 953(b), all employees, including non-U.S. employees, should be considered in the calculation of the median[.]" (Council of Institutional Investors)  

Press Releases

56th Annual Survey Report
Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA)

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