October 2007

Moving Target

Does the basic concept of the glide path—the bedrock of the target-date funds currently enjoying a big surge in popularity—need rethinking?

Target Practices

By the time you read this, the much anticipated final regulations on what will constitute a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA)—the fund choice for participants who do not make a fund choice—should be settled, and it is a certainty that asset-allocation funds generally, and target-date funds specifically, stand to benefit hugely.

Incentives Eyed?

I was talking to an investment analyst recently and, after a long conversation about automatic enrollment, qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) prospects, discrimination testing, and how many working Americans were (and weren't) covered by a workplace retirement plan (even today, less than half are, incredibly), he posed a simple question: "So, what's in the Pension Protection Act that would encourage an employer to set up a 401(k) plan?"

October 2007

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

October 2007

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.

How Many Times Do You Hit the Snooze Button?

With the changing of the seasons, and ending of Daylight Savings Time, it seems much easier these days to hit the snooze and try for a few extra winks. I recently asked NewsDash readers how many times they hit the snooze button before rising.

October 2007

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

Public Problems?

Amid disagreement over the depth of public pension underfunding, DC plans represent the camel's nose under the seat of government.

Tight Quarters

Private equity deals have performed well, but are just now starting to face rough conditions.

Ready or Not, Here It Comes

Many governments have figured out their OPEB (other post-employment benefit) liability under the new accounting standards that require them to disclose that number.

Spend Thrift?

When Pitney Bowes Inc. started making plans to dramatically lower participant co-pays for medications to treat several chronic illnesses, "People thought we were crazy," says Dr. Jack Mahoney, Director of Strategic Health Initiatives at the Stamford, Connecticut-based mailstream technology and services company.

Missed Communications?

Linda C. Saylor v. Retirement Committee, as Plan Administrator for Universal Health Services, Inc.; and Universal Health Services, Inc.

Dating Gains

On September 10, the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued Notice 2007-78 giving plan sponsors until December 31, 2008, to bring documents into compliance with the final nonqualified deferred compensation regulations under section 409A of the Internal Revenue Code.

Legislate in Haste, Repent at Leisure

By the time you read this, it will be October. As I write, we have just received (at the end of August) from the IRS the first really significant Pension Protection Act defined benefit (DB) funding regulations, 133 pages on PPA benefit restrictions and treatment of credit balances.

Keep Your Eye on the Bouncing Ball

While it is not unusual for the courts, the Labor Department, or even Congress to focus attention on 401(k) fee issues, we are currently faced with the unique circumstance of each of them looking at precisely the same issues at exactly the same time.

Meeting Expectations

I recently met with several plan committees to educate the members on their responsibilities as fiduciaries. I thought you might like to know some of the most commonly asked questions—and the answers.