January 2008

Reframing Pension Plans for a New Era

Early last month, more than 150 plan sponsors, consultants, and providers gathered in Washington, D.C., for PLANSPONSOR's second annual DB Summit. Over the three days of the conference, a series of expert panels dealt with the challenge of "reframing pension plans for a new era."

The End in Mind

Having spent three days immersed in PLANSPONSOR's second annual DB Summit last month, I was struck by just how relatively "easy" participant-directed plans—be they 401(k), 403(b), or 457—are.

January 2008

PLANSPONSOR.com news articles that also appeared in the Upfront section of the January issue.

January 2008

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.

January 2008

Each month, Bells & Whistles highlights recent product introductions that plan sponsors may find of interest.

Subprime Surprise

When a conservative investment fund suffers a big loss, who's at fault and who's responsible? That is at the heart of a controversy involving two institutional commingled trust funds offered by State Street Global Advisors (SSgA), a manager of $2 trillion in passive, enhanced, and active strategies in markets all around the world.

Building a Better Default

The new qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) regulations, which went into effect last month, answered many questions—but, as is often the case, "These regulations are like an artichoke; you keep peeling off layers and there's more underneath. Some of the layers have stickers on them as well," says Fred Reish, Managing Director and Partner of the Los Angeles-based law firm of Reish Luftman Reicher & Cohen.

New Frontiers

Emerging market equities have outrun their U.S. and European counterparts since the bottom of the markets in late 2002.

“Keep” Sakes

With millions of Baby Boomers on the cusp of retirement, and the American workforce more transient than ever, plan sponsors are facing a growing dilemma: what to do with the account assets of participants who retire or leave their jobs.

Paring the Rolls

Until recently, the vast majority of employers have not asked employees for any documentation when they enroll dependents, sources say. That is changing—fast.

Real Transparency

I don't have any problem with the proposal, considered in connection with the Pension Protection Act (PPA) and under consideration by FASB, to mark defined benefit plan assets to market.

“Tell” Tales

Recently, the Department of Labor released two regulatory initiatives, the final Form 5500 regulations and the proposed section 408(b)(2) regulations, that will have an enormous impact on both plan sponsors and plan service providers.

The Truth

As a lawyer, I have been trained to think in terms of the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.