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

Installation Coordinator
Ascensus
in MN

Compliance Analyst/Client Relations Manager
Alliance Benefit Group of Houston, Inc.
in TX

Installation Coordinator
Ascensus
in PA

Group Insurance Account Manager
Benefit Sources & Solutions Chadler
in NJ

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Webcasts and Conferences

Latest Developments in ERISA Litigation
January 22, 2014 in IL
(Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB))

Developing and Implementing a Successful Financial Wellness Program
January 23, 2014 WEBCAST
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

2014 San Francisco Mid-Sized Retirement & Healthcare Plan Management Conference
March 16, 2014 in CA
(University Conference Services)

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

Text of FINRA Regulatory Notice 13-45: Rollovers to Individual Retirement Accounts (PDF)
"FINRA is issuing this Notice to remind firms of their responsibilities when (1) recommending a rollover or transfer of assets in an employer-sponsored retirement plan to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) or (2) marketing IRAs and associated services. Reviewing firm practices in this area will be an examination priority for FINRA in 2014.... A broker-dealer's recommendation that an investor roll over retirement plan assets to an IRA typically involves securities recommendations subject to FINRA rules. A firm's marketing of its IRA services also is subject to FINRA rules. Any recommendation to sell, purchase or hold securities must be suitable for the customer and the information that investors receive must be fair, balanced and not misleading. This Notice provides guidance on these activities and is intended to help firms ensure that they have policies and procedures in place that are reasonably designed to achieve compliance with FINRA rules." (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority [FINRA])  


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[Guidance Overview]

The New, New EPCRS Voluntary Correction for 457(b)
"[T]he following rules appear to govern voluntary submissions for corrections involving 457(b) plans of tax-exempt entities: [1] There is no guarantee that the IRS will accept any submission, but the chance of a submission being accepted increases where the correction involves one or more of the issues cited in the revenue procedure or in the Q&As ... [2] Because the submission is technically outside EPCRS, the EPCRS compliance fee for voluntary corrections does not apply. Rather, the fee will be a negotiated amount that presumably starts from the 'maximum payment amount' as determined under Audit CAP and is negotiated downward from there.... [3] While the submission is outside of EPCRS, there is nothing to prevent an applicant from following the EPCRS format in preparing the submission." (Mintz Levin)  

[Guidance Overview]

2014 Reporting and Disclosure Requirements for Ongoing Qualified Calendar-Year Plans
Detailed chart of requirements with deadlines and recipients identified. (Towers Watson)  

FINRA Warns Against Conflicts in Retirement Plan Rollovers
"Finra signaled ... that it will crack down on potential conflicts of interest that could affect brokers when they roll over a client's company retirement plan into an individual retirement account. In [Regulatory Notice 13-45], the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. warned member firms that they should not recommend that a client who is leaving a company transfer money from the company's 401(k) plan into an IRA if it's better for the client to leave the money in the company plan, or transfer it to his or her new employer's plan." (InvestmentNews)  

Second Circuit: Plan Is Liable for Unreasonable Interpretation and Not Properly Informing Participants of Rights
"Frommert reminds practitioners once again about the scope of deferential review ... After three district court decisions and a decision by the Supreme Court, the Plan is found to be liable for an unreasonable interpretation of the plan and for not properly informing participants of their benefits under the SPD." [Frommert v. Conkright, No. 12-67-cv (2nd Cir. Dec. 23, 2013)] (Practical Law Company)  

Younger Military Veterans Angered by Budget Cuts to Their Pension Benefits
"The cut is small -- a one-percentage-point reduction in the annual cost-of-living increase -- but it has provoked outrage among veterans who argue that the country is reneging on a solemn pact. And even though lawmakers ... fulminate about the need to cut the cost of federal health and retirement benefits, many have vowed to roll the cut back when Congress returns to work[.]" (The Washington Post; subscription may be required)  

Plan to Use NYC Pension to Fund Low-Income Housing Faces Constraints
"Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio's plan to pump $1 billion of New York's $144 billion in pension assets into apartments for poor and working-class residents faces constraints including competition from banks and declining federal aid. Trustees of New York's five retirement plans have a fiduciary responsibility to maximize returns for beneficiaries. That means they can't provide below-market financing to help de Blasio achieve his goal of creating or preserving 200,000 affordable units in 10 years, said advocates[.]" (Financial Planning)  

[Opinion]

The Downside of Early Retirement
"[If] you're thinking about taking early retirement sometime in 2014, pause to consider these three reasons you might want to put it off until 2015 or beyond: [1] You need the money.... Rule of thumb: If you can't pay off your mortgage, you can't afford to retire.... [2] You like what you do.... Don't underestimate the daily routine you've established over the years... [3] You have no other interests.... If you retire at age 55, and live to age 85, then that's a lot of boredom." (U.S.News & World Report)  

[Opinion]

New Year's Resolution: When I Invest for Retirement Act More Responsibly
"You can delegate investment work and decision-making to financial advisors. But, you cannot delegate your decision to select and retain particular advisors. These decisions are your sole responsibility. You cannot depend on regulatory agencies (FINRA, SEC, and State) to protect your financial interests for you. They have limited enforcement capabilities and you are usually damaged before they take any action. It is up to you to take responsibility for your financial well being when you invest for retirement." (Paladin Research & Registry)  

[Opinion]

D.C. Court Makeover May Bode Well for Fiduciary Rules in 2014
"Some observers consider Business Roundtable a watershed decision that slowed down not only a potential SEC rule imposing a fiduciary standard on stockbrokers, but a whole host of federal agency rules mandated under Dodd-Frank reform. Additionally, the Department of Labor's plans to expand its own fiduciary rule under ERISA to other service providers is also expected to undergo extensive economic analysis.... With the DC Circuit expected to be at full-strength soon, the odds of having more Democrats hearing administrative law ... may increase the chances that the Circuit will agree with the economic analyses." (fi360)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Provides Guidance on Deduction of Bonuses Under All-Events Test
"Although unfavorable to the taxpayer at issue, this FAA provides additional guidance to accrual-method taxpayers in determining when their bonus liabilities will meet the all-events test of section 461 ... The FAA should serve as a reminder to taxpayers that to the extent a bonus plan provides the taxpayer with the ability to rescind or modify its bonus liability prior to payment, it is possible the bonus liability will not be treated as fixed or determinable prior to payment." [IRS Field Attorney Advice Memorandum 20134301F] (McGladrey)  

Press Releases

NCEO Publishes "Acquisition Strategies for ESOP Companies"
National Center for Employee Ownership

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