February 2010

Spreading the Risk

Recent volatility may lead some sponsors to consider risk transfer for their pension plans.

Buffer Zones

Pension plans have long helped retirees stave off the financial uncertainties of retirement—but unprecedented levels of market volatility and more stringent and intrusive accounting requirements have made it increasingly difficult for plan sponsors to insulate their own financials from those uncertainties.

Projection Screen?

More than the subtleties of the law, the nuances of crafting a cogent legal brief, and the humiliations that often accompany the public exercise of the Socratic method, the most intimidating aspect of my law school experience—certainly in the first year—was the grading. In the vast majority of my classes, there were no papers, no mid-term, no pop quizzes; in fact, no tangible means of measuring progress vis-à-vis the expectations of the course. Indeed, in the vast majority of courses, it came down to a single final exam.

Match Less?

Study indicates auto-enrollment plans have lower match

Ratio Nulled?

Number of public-plan retirees growing faster than active participants

War Stories – February 2010

We all have them: those front-line experiences that are inevitable when one deals with the variety—and sensitivity—of issues associated with human beings and critical life events. Sometimes those stories are tragic, sometimes they are bizarre, and sometimes—admit it—they are just plain funny.

Are You Happier Now?

With 2009 still fresh in everyone’s minds, in mid-January, I asked NewsDash readers, “Do you feel happier/better off than you were at this time last year?” The answers were—as you might expect—varied.

Bells and Whistles – February 2010

Each month, Bells & Whistles highlights recent product introductions that plan sponsors­ may find of interest. More information on these announcements can be found onwww.plansponsor.com . If you have a product announcement that you believe would be of interest to our ­readers, drop us a line at news@plansponsor.com.

A New Normal

Lessons learned: Transition management changes in the wake of 2008.

Damage Controlled?

Randal E. McCullough v. AEGON USA, Inc., et al., No. 08-1952

An Employer Trade Group’s Perspective

In reaching its ruling in McCullough, the 8th Circuit panel considered, among other materials, a friend-of-the-court brief filed by a trade group representing mostly large employers, the American Benefits Council (ABC).

Analyze This

Cost benefit analysis requires a long view.