February 2012 Archive

Administration provides guidance on annuities

February 28, 2012

IRS and the Treasury Department have released four regulatory initiatives -- two revenue rulings and two proposed regulations -- generally designed to encourage the use of annuities in or with respect to tax qualified retirement plans. The announcement of these initiatives was accompanied by the release of a report (the CEA Report) by the White House Council of Economic Advisors: Supporting Retirement For American Families February 2, 2012. Read More

Current pension legislative outlook -- February 2012

February 23, 2012

In this current outlook we review retirement benefits-related proposals in the Administration's fiscal year 2013 budget; the introduction in the House of a concurrent resolution affirming the importance of tax incentives for retirement savings; DB funding "relief" included in the Senate Highway Bill; and (very briefly) the re-introduction of Auto IRA legislation in the House. Read More

DOL finalizes provider-to-sponsor fee disclosure rules -- detailed review

February 08, 2012

In July 2010, the Department of Labor released an "interim final regulation" (hereafter, the "interim regulation") under section 408(b)(2) of ERISA -- the "service provider exemption" -- providing a comprehensive and fully articulated set of rules governing provider-to-sponsor fee disclosure. Because of the significance of changes in the interim regulation from the (2007) proposed regulation, the regulation, while "final" was also "interim." Interested parties were invited to comment on the regulation, and it was understood that at some point DOL would issue a "final final" regulation. Read More

DOL finalizes provider-to-sponsor fee disclosure rules -- highlights

February 08, 2012

In July 2010, the Department of Labor released an "interim final regulation" (hereafter, the "interim regulation") under section 408(b)(2) of ERISA -- the "service provider exemption" -- providing a comprehensive and fully articulated set of rules governing provider-to-sponsor fee disclosure. Because of the significance of changes in the interim regulation from the (2007) proposed regulation, the regulation, while "final," was also "interim." Interested parties were invited to comment on the regulation, and it was understood that at some point DOL would issue a "final final" regulation. Read More

Freezing Your Pension May Not Be The Best Option

February 08, 2012

For a variety of reasons, many sponsors of defined benefit (DB) plans have decided to freeze their plans in favor of new or expanded defined contribution (DC) plans. Others are considering this strategy. One of the common causes for going this route has been rising and volatile cash and accounting costs and liabilities. The hope is that eventually the DB plan will be terminated – when interest rates rise sufficiently so that the cost of paying lump sums and purchasing annuities will become more favorable. Read More

January 2012 Pension Finance Update

February 05, 2012

After a difficult 2011, 2012 got off on a good foot for pension sponsors. The two “model” plans we track both saw improvements in funded status last month – with traditional “Plan A” improving by 3%, while “Plan B” gained about 1%. Download

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