Employers expect to devote more time to plan compliance, Towers Watson finds

Four out of 10 U.S. employers expect to devote more time to governing their employer-sponsored retirement plans over the next two years, according to a survey by Towers Watson. The survey, conducted during April and May 2011, was based on responses from 245 midsize and large employers that sponsor defined benefit and/or defined contribution retirement […]

78% Of Full-Time Workers Have Access To Retirement Plans, 85% Have Access To Health Care Plans

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: In March 2011, employer-provided retirement benefits were available to 78% of full-time workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, the BLS noted that only 38% of part-time workers had access to a retirement plan. These data are from the BLS’s National Compensation Survey (NCS), which measures incidence and […]

PBGC announces August 2011 interest rates and factors

The PBGC has issued interest rate assumptions used by the PBGC to determine whether a benefit is payable as a lump sum and to calculate lump sum amounts to be paid by the PBGC. The rate to be used by the PBGC in valuing lump-sum benefits under single-employer or multiemployer plans for valuation dates on […]

Borzi Testifies On Proposed Fiduciary Regulations

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: The 1975 regulation defining fiduciary duties contains technicalities and loopholes that allow advisers to easily dodge fiduciary status, Phyllis C. Borzi, assistant secretary of labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration, told the House Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions. Changes in the market since 1975 have allowed problems to proliferate and […]

Supreme Court Receives Health Care Reform Challenge

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: The Thomas More Law Center has filed a petition asking the Supreme Court to review a decision by the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals that upheld the constitutionality of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). According to the petition, “Review is necessary to establish a meaningful limitation on […]

IRS semiannual regulatory agenda includes additional guidance on funding and contribution rules

The IRS has released its semiannual regulatory agenda for Spring 2011, which includes pension and benefit regulations that are currently under development or review. Prerule stage Among the items in the IRS’s prerule rule stage are: Guidance relating to the determination of whether a plan is a governmental plan within the meaning of Code Sec. […]

EBSA semiannual regulatory agenda addresses electronic disclosures, fee disclosures, definition of “fiduciary”

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released its semiannual regulatory agenda for Spring 2011, which outlines regulations that have been selected for review or development during the next year. Prerule stage EBSA has decided to review the current regulatory standards for the electronic distribution of disclosures required by Title 1 of ERISA. The review […]

PBGC semiannual regulatory agenda addresses cash balance plans, missing participants, and airline plans

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has released its semiannual regulatory agenda for Spring 2011, which outlines regulations that have been selected for amendment during the next year, as well as long-term actions. Proposed rule stage Among the items in the PBGC’s proposed rule stage are: Proposed amendments to its regulations prescribing rules on valuing […]

AT&T Cash Balance Plan Conversion Was Communicated Correctly, Says Court

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: It was not necessary to provide defined benefit plan participants with an ERISA Sec. 204(h) advance notice concerning “a significant reduction in the rate of future benefit accrual” when their plan was converted to a cash balance plan because the conversion did not reduce the rate of the participants’ future benefits, […]

CMS Proposes Standards For Health Reform-Establshed CO-OPs

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: The Centers for Medicare and Medicare Services (CMS) has announced a proposed rule to establish standards for the Consumer Operated and Oriented Plans (CO-OPs) provided for in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). CO-OPs are private, nonprofit health insurers with a board made up of members, designed to offer […]