Headlines about "401(k) plans"

Gathered from the web by the editors at BenefitsLink.com.
House Bill Joins Effort Against 401(k) Loans
Excerpt: "A new House bill joins a Senate effort to curb the use of loans from 401(k) plans and credit cards that tap such accounts. Sponsored by Rep. Bill Foster, D-Ill., HR 6708 joins S 3278 in aiming to stop investors from depleting their retirement funds through the use of credit or debit cards . . . ." (Investment News; free registration required)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Guidance on Finding, Correcting and Preventing 401(k) Loan Errors
Excerpt: "In the latest issue of Retirement News for Employers, the IRS has provided guidance on the corrective steps which can be taken when mistakes are made in a 401(k) loan repayment which could result in the entire loan amount being considered a taxable distribution to the participant." (Wolters Kluwer)

Comparison of 401(k) Participants' Understanding of Model Fee Disclosure Forms Developed by DOL and AARP
Excerpt: "AARP developed an alternative disclosure form through consultations with experts and revised it through extensive interviews with 401(k) participants." (AARP)

[Guidance Overview] SEC Warns Investors About Pitfalls of Using 401(k) Debit Cards
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: While SEC guidance generally is outside the scope of the EBIA Weekly, we are covering this alert because of the important information it provides for plan sponsors and advisors that might be considering 401(k) debit cards for plan participants. We note that these debit cards could dramatically increase both the demand for and the actual number of plan loans. We are not aware of any recent IRS or DOL actions or guidance on debit cards . . . ." (Employee Benefits Institute of America)

[Guidance Overview] Department of Labor Proposed Regulations on Participant Fee Disclosure (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The proposed regulations address the types of information that must be disclosed, the timeframes for providing the information and the form in which information may be disclosed." (Transamerica Center for Retirement Studies)

How Well Do You Know Your 401(k) Plan?
Excerpt: "[T]his month's quiz tests your knowledge of 401(k) retirement-savings programs, the primary savings vehicle for many Americans. Here we quiz you on the latest developments." (The Wall Street Journal)

401(k) 'Dippers' Robbing Future to Pay Now
Excerpt: "In its early days, prematurely tapping into the tax-deferred savings plan could only be done for special purchases, such as for a down payment on a home. For financial relief, many consumers would use home-equity loans and other forms of credit, leaving 401(k)s to accumulate money for retirement. But now, with home values falling and credit drying up for many consumers, 401(k) plans are being raided with greater frequency to pay medical bills and credit-card debt, avert home foreclosures and other big-ticket problems, and even pay for day-to-day expenses, such as groceries." (The Atlanta Journal Constitution)

The Pros and Cons of Offering 401(k) Loans to Employees
Excerpt: "[I]ncreasing numbers of employees are beginning to take advantage of 401(k) plans that offer the option of taking funds out of the retirement plan in the form of a loan. When drafting or amending a plan, the employer determines whether to include a loan feature or not. Employers should carefully examine their 401(k) plans and determine whether they want to make loans available to participants." (The Central New York Business Journal)

Insights on Roth 401(k)s and Excessive Plan Fees
Excerpt: "Regardless of whether Roth features are offered or not, excessive fees can drain retirement savings considerably. A recent lawsuit illustrates the need for employers to ensure that all 401(k) plan fees are reasonable. Ronald C. Tussey, a participant in his employer's 401(k) plan, filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri in 2006. This is one case in a series of lawsuits brought by the St. Louis-based law firm of Schlichter, Bogard & Denton on behalf of retirement plan participants." (Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

Welcome to the 401(k) Day 2008 Homepage
Excerpt: "401(k) Day is an annual celebration spotlighting the importance of employer-sponsored profit sharing and 401(k) plans. As retirement follows work, 401(k) Day follows Labor Day. In 2008, 401(k) Day is officially September 5, 2008, the Friday after Labor Day." (Profit Sharing / 401k Council of America)

[Opinion] PSCA Comments on Proposed Rule for Fee Disclosure in Participant-Directed Individual Account Plans (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "We recommend that the final rule require initial disclosures to participants under paragraphs (c) and (d) on or before the date of participation in the plan, not the date of plan eligibility. Requiring initial disclosure on or before participation in the plan, prior to the actual selection of a designated investment alternative, provides many advantages. It will result in incorporating the disclosures required under the proposed rule into the plan enrollment process, when the employee's attention is focused on the plan features and the investment selection process." (Profit Sharing / 401k Council of America)

[Guidance Overview] Fiduciary Focus: The 'Anti-Participant Rule' (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Any discussion about the regulatory effort (i.e., proposed rule §2550.404a-5 set forth by the Department of Labor) or the legislative effort (i.e., HR 3185) to disclose fees associated with qualified retirement plans such as 401(k) plans must begin with citation to the relevant portion of section 404(a)(1)(A) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA): '[A] fiduciary shall discharge his duties with respect to a plan solely in the interest of the participants and beneficiaries and for the exclusive purpose of: (i) providing benefits to participants and their beneficiaries; and (ii) defraying reasonable expenses of administering the plan.'" (W. Scott Simon via Morningstar)

Overhauling 40(k) Plans to Net Employees More Money for Retirement
Excerpt: "Rare is the corporation that won't at least consider changes in DC plans that will net participants more money for retirement and, eventually, guaranteed lifetime income. Call the new and improved plans, DC Version 2.0 . . . . The transformation began quietly a few years ago with automatic enrollment, which got a big boost when the Pension Protection Act of 2006 identified allowable default investments. Since then, pioneers have been overhauling their 401(k) offerings. Consultants label it the DBization of DC plans. What started with auto-enrollment designed to mimic the automated enlistment of pension offerings, has turned into innovative companies adding automatic yearly escalation of employer contributions and managed, institutional fund choices." (Treasury & Risk)

Summary of 401(k) Fee Cases Pending as of September 2, 2008 (PDF)
The 3-page table presents the complaints filed against major companies and service providers. (Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP)

[Guidance Overview] Proposed Regs, Class PTE, Liberalize Exemption for Provision of Investment Advice to Self-Directed Plan Participants
Excerpt: "These proposals are intended to implement changes made to ERISA §408(b)(14) and ERISA §408(g) by the PPA. ERISA §408(b)(14) provides an exemption from certain prohibited transaction provisions in ERISA with respect to the provision of investment advice, and the direct or indirect receipt of fees or other compensation by the fiduciary adviser or an affiliate. ERISA §408(g) describes the conditions under which the investment advice-related transactions are exempt." (Wolters Kluwer)

[Guidance Overview] DOL Proposed Rules on Investment Advice Exemptions for 401(k) Plans and IRAs
Excerpt: "The proposed class exemption would provide relief for individualized investment advice to individuals following the furnishing of recommendations generated by a computer model (or, in the case of an IRA with respect to which modeling is not feasible, the furnishing of certain investment educational material)." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

Which Is Better -- the Roth 401(k) Plan or the Regular 401(k) Plan? (PDF)
15 pages. Excerpt: "This study uses ESPlanner™ financial planning software, marketed at www.esplanner.com by Economic Security Planning, Inc., to compare the benefits of contributing to a Roth or a regular 401(k) for representative married and single-parent households at different ages and income levels. All households have two children who are born when the household adults are ages 27 and 29. Both spouses work and have similar earnings." (National Center for Policy Analysis)

Borrowing from Your Retirement Plan Is a Bad Idea
Excerpt: "Given the dicey economy, says Examiner.com, it makes sense that workers are seeking refuge in their retirement savings, but even in extreme situations, it is best for workers to seek other sources of capital before tapping their 401(k) accounts. Otherwise, borrowers are leaving much of their potential earnings on the table, and a small loan can equal to a huge loss in future retirement security . . . ." (National Center for Policy Analysis)

Judge Turns Away Principal Revenue Sharing Case Class Action Bid
Excerpt: "Faced with overseeing a class action lawsuit that could have represented as many as 57,000 401(k) plans at the Principal Financial Group, a federal judge in Iowa has refused to certify the plaintiffs as a class." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

[Opinion] Important 401(k) Fee Rulings on the Horizon
Excerpt: "Many of the lawsuits that challenge retirement plan fee practices are nearing critical decision points. After languishing for months in what were often heated procedural battles, several of these cases are fast approaching discovery cutoffs and summary judgment deadlines. Rulings on those summary judgment motions could widen the existing schism among the courts about the extent to which ERISA governs the inner workings of the 401(k) industry." (Spencer Fane Britt & Browne LLP)

It's Not a Good Idea to Let Company Stock Dominate 401(k)
Excerpt: "'No company, no matter how large, how well thought of or how well-capitalized, is immune from bad things happening,' says Christopher Jones, chief investment officer for Financial Engines, which provides advice to 401(k) plan participants. If your 401(k) is loaded up with company stock and your employer falls on hard times, he says, 'You could easily find yourself not only bereft of retirement savings but also your job.'" (USA TODAY)

Retirement Account Required Minimum Distribution Rules Catch Many by Surprise
Excerpt: "There's some sentiment that a government rule that forces retirees to withdraw money from their IRA and 401(k) accounts when they turn 70 1/2 may need to be changed. That's because people are living longer and need to keep as much of their retirement money for as long as possible, said several financial advisers and a leader of the Senate Finance Committee." (AP via The New York Times; free registration required)

Plan Sponsors Quick to Make QDIA Selection
Excerpt: "New research from Chatham Partners indicates two-thirds of plan sponsors have selected a qualified default investment alternative (QDIA) despite limited understanding of QDIA regulations and alternatives." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Do ETFs Have a Place In 401(k)s? Here's the Pro and Con
Excerpt: "Editor's Note: David Blanchett and Gregory Kasten's article, 'Why ETFs And 401(k)s Will Never Match,' . . . elicited a lot of discussion in the exchange-traded fund industry. Blanchett and Kasten argued that the extra costs associated with incorporating ETFs inside a 401(k) program far outweighed any cost savings from the funds' lower expense ratios. Darwin Abrahamson took exception to that argument. Abrahamson is the CEO of Invest n Retire, the leading provider of software that allows ETFs to function in an ETF platform. His position is not just that ETFs can work inside 401(k)s, but that they represent a dramatically better solution for the 401(k) market. Abrahamson submitted a letter to the editor disputing Blanchett and Kasten's article . . . . Because it is such an important discussion, we invited Blanchett and Kasten to respond." (IndexUniverse.com)

Don't Fear the 401(k) Loan
Excerpt: "When you must find cash for a serious short-term liquidity need, a loan from your 401(k) plan probably is one of the first places you should look. When you loan yourself appropriate amounts of money for the right short-term reasons, these transactions can be the simplest, most convenient and lowest-cost source of cash available." (Forbes.com LLC)

Using Nest Eggs Before Retirement
Excerpt: "Hard economic times are driving some people to take actions that could jeopardize their futures. With home equity lines of credit and other types of loans harder to get, employees are increasingly raiding their retirement plans to take care of immediate needs such as paying down debt and medical bills, staving off foreclosure, or simply covering higher food and fuel prices." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Proposed Legislation Aims to Limit 401(k) Loans
Excerpt: "Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI) recently introduced a bill, S. 3278, which would prohibit companies from issuing 401(k) debit cards. The cards allow users to take out loans against their 401(k) accounts to make daily purchases. The bill also prevents consumers who have three or more outstanding 401(k) loans from withdrawing any additional funds from that retirement savings account." (ICMA-RC)

[Guidance Overview] New Proposed Disclosure Requirements for Retirement Plan Fees and Investment Expenses, Part I of II (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Plan administrative disclosure of the following information would be required upon eligibility and at least annually to each participant: Plan investment procedures, availability of investments, and any investment restrictions; Plan-level expenses by category – legal, accounting, recordkeeping, etc.– and how these expenses are allocated to each participant, namely whether pro rata or per capita, with additional quarterly disclosures of the actual dollar amount charged to each participant's account; and Specific individual-level expenses chargeable for particular individual administrative functions, such as loan processing or review of domestic relations orders (not like the plan-level expenses above), with additional quarterly disclosures of the actual dollar amount charged, if any, to each respective participant." (Holme Roberts & Owen LLP)

[Opinion] DOL Investment Advisory Proposals
Excerpt: "Overall, the intent of these proposals is to make 'quality' and 'affordable' investment advice more available and more broadly utilized by DC plan participants The proposals were designed to address what the DOL understands to be the primary reasons why plan sponsors have not adopted investment advisory offerings in any meaningful way. Namely, that they have fiduciary concerns about the conflicts of interest associated with many prospective advice providers and that the costs to both sponsor and participants in finding and monitoring purely independent advice could be prohibitive." (Fiduciary Investor)

[Guidance Overview] Motion for Class Certification Denied in 401(k) Fee Case Against Plan Service Provider
Excerpt: "There are a number of lawsuits currently pending in the federal courts in which sponsors of 401(k) retirement plans are challenging their plans' recordkeepers' receipt of so-called 'revenue sharing' payments from mutual fund companies in which the plans' participants invest. In several of these, the plaintiffs are seeking class certification on behalf of all of the plans to which a specific recordkeeper provided services. On August 27, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa issued the first of several anticipated rulings on these motions, denying the plaintiff's motion for class certification. A summary of the decision, and a copy of the decision itself, are attached [to the target page]." (Groom Law Group)

401(k)s Tapped for Loans Less Than in 2007
Excerpt: "Despite reports this year that more people were borrowing from their 401(k) plans to cover daily expenses, the latest data from several plan providers show that the number of loans have fallen in some cases." (Investment News; free registration required)

[Guidance Overview] DOL's Proposed Regulations Regarding Disclosures to Participants of 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "The regulations are proposed to be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2009. The regulations do not apply to 'self-directed brokerage accounts' or similar plan arrangements that permit participants to select investments beyond those that are specifically designated by a plan." (The Metropolitan Corporate Counsel, Inc.)

Report Says ETFs a Potential Threat to Mutual Funds
Excerpt: "They've been slow to catch on in 401(k) plans, but a new report says that exchange-traded funds, or ETFs, are a potential threat to mutual funds in investor portfolios. Distributors and platforms play an important role in vehicle usage, according to a recent Cerulli Report: 'Product Development in an Evolving Portfolio Construction Environment.'" (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

New Disclosure Regimen and the Difference Between Planners and Brokers
Excerpt: "Planners are facing considerable competition from brokers in the arena of retirement plans, and the reality that brokers typically don't work as fiduciaries is a thorn in planners' sides. Most clients aren't aware of this distinction; many of those who are don't seem to care. More clients might care if they were aware of differences in the sources of compensation behind the advice they receive. In the coming months, these differences between the two types of advice will probably become crystal clear. Under a proposed Department of Labor regulation pertaining to ERISA Section 408(b)(2), anyone who provides services to qualified pension or profit-sharing plans must provide significantly expanded financial disclosure." (Financial Planning)

[Guidance Overview] DOL's Proposed Participant Disclosure Rules for Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

DOL Report on Availability of Computer Model Investment Advice Programs for Individual Retirement Account Submitted to House/Senate Committees
Excerpt: "Four commenters . . . identified existing computer model investment advice programs that, in their view, meet all three of the criteria set forth in section 601(b)(3)(B) of the PPA. Each of the Four Commenters identified a different model. These and other comments are further discussed [in the target report]." (U.S. Department of Labor)

The Efficiency of Pension Plan Investment Menus: Investment Choices in Defined Contribution Pension Plans (PDF)
32 pages. Excerpt: "This paper assesses the efficiency and performance of 401(k) investment options offered by a large group of US employers. We show that most plans are efficient compared to market benchmark indexes. Three performance measures underscore the fact that these plans tend to offer a sensible investment menu, when measured in terms of the menus' mean-variance efficiency, diversification, and participant utility. The key factor contributing to plan efficiency and performance has to do with the types of funds offered, rather than the total number of investment options provided." (Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

[Guidance Overview] Scope of ERISA Remedies Further Defined in Forced Retirement Case
Excerpt: "In a case which may provide further insights into the scope of ERISA remedies, the Northern District of New has ruled in Harris v. Finch, Pruyn & Co., No. 1:05-cv-951, (N.D.N.Y. Aug. 26, 2008) (no publication available yet) that back pay is unavailable under ERISA [to those] who were allegedly misled into retiring." (Workplace Prof Blog)

[Guidance Overview] DOL's Proposed Regulations on Required Disclosures to Plan Participants (PDF)
4 pages. (Dechert LLP)

[Opinion] Why 401(k) Retirement Plans Really Don't Work
Excerpt: "The differences between retirement programs and savings programs are very real, extremely fundamental, and politically incomprehensible to legislators--- so long as it's not their money. Retirement programs are income machines designed to support people, not to make them feel wealthy, investment savvy, or temporarily tax-free. Pension plans produce fixed amounts of monthly income that don't change appreciably when dot-coms, real estate, CDOs, or index funds (they're next) self-destruct. You just can't buy dinner or medications with currency futures, gold bars, or appreciated acreage." (American Chronicle)

Fee Disclosure to Pension Participants: Establishing Minimum Requirements (PDF)
61 pages. Excerpt: "This analysis of fee disclosure takes into account insights from behavioral economics in assessing the usefulness of different approaches. Standardizing types of fees and formats in which they are presented would facilitate comparisons across different investment options. The report proposes a model fee disclosure. It creates a score card assessing the current fee disclosure in six countries: Australia, Canada, Chile, Sweden, the United Kingdom, and the United States. While the cost of greater disclosure has been raised as an issue, the evidence indicates that the cost borne by participants would be small." (Rotman International Centre for Pension Management)

403(b) Participants Accumulate Less Retirement Savings than 401(k) Participants
Excerpt: "A new Spectrem Group report finds lower savings rates, fewer employer match contributions, and conservative investing habits could account for a lower accumulation of retirement savings for 403(b) plan participants when compared to their 401(k) counterparts." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

How America Saves 2008: A Report on Vanguard 2007 Defined Contribution Plan Data
Excerpt: "Illustrated with numerous charts and tables, this valuable reference tool provides an analysis of savings, investing, and account activity trends in Vanguard defined contribution plans. You'll also find useful insights on a variety of contemporary issues, including automatic or default plan features, target-date funds, and company stock." (The Vanguard Group)

International Study Finds Fee Disclosure Policy Needed for Defined Contribution Pension Plans
Excerpt: "A new research paper from the Rotman International Centre for Pension Management finds that a standardized international policy on fee disclosure would help pension plan participants become better informed consumers of Defined Contribution (DC) plan investment and administrative services. Each year participants in DC pension plans around the world pay billions of dollars in fees." (MarketWatch)

[Guidance Overview] Providing Services to Qualified Pension or Profit-Sharing Plans Requires Significantly Expanded Financial Disclosure
Excerpt: "The scope of this disclosure would go well beyond what most service providers currently reveal in their client contracts and disclosure documents. If you are an investment advisor, your ADV already provides much of the information covered by the new disclosure rule; even so, the proposed rule will definitely have an impact on you. If you are a broker or a rep, however, the new regimen would turn your practice upside down." (Financial Planning)

[Guidance Overview] On the Interplay Between 401(k) Hardship Distribution Rules and 409A 'Unforeseeable Emergencies'
Excerpt: "The interplay between the 401(k) plan rules regarding hardship distributions and the Code Section 409A rules regarding unforeseeable emergencies can work to prevent one who participates in both plans from being able to receive a 401(k) hardship distribution or cease elective 409A plan deferrals to access cash for authorized hardship events. This possibility will be explained in this article. This article will also summarize the 401(k) plan financial hardship rules, as well as the Section 409A unforeseeable emergency rules, and demonstrate how these rules can conspire to put the executive in a Catch-22." (Chang Ruthenberg & Long PC)

DOL's Proposed Regulations and PTE Under PPA Exemption for Eligible Investment Advice Arrangements
Excerpt: "The guidance is proposed to be effective 60 days after it is issued in final form." (Employee Benefits Institute of America)

[Opinion] Baby Boomers Had Better Plan on Working Past Age 65; Procrastination and DC Plan Designs at Fault
Excerpt: "The inconvenient truth that most investors in their 40s and 50s need to hear is that no investment product can make up for decades of little or no saving. That is why baby boomers must stay in the 'accumulation phase' until they have achieved a minimum of 10 times their final salary." (Jane White in Investment News)

Washington Update: Focus on Fees
Excerpt: "With the clock winding down on the Bush administration, Department of Labor (DOL) regulators have been scrambling to complete work on comprehensive new fee disclosure rules for defined contribution plans. Democrats in Congress, meanwhile, continue to support legislation that would further expand disclosure but disagree on the best approach. It appears that with debates on a number of other issues likely to fill what's left of the legislative calendar in 2008, time is running out on any congressional activity this year on fees." (The Vanguard Group)

How Financial Literacy and Trust in Financial Institutions Affect 401(k) Savings Behavior
Excerpt: "With benefits such as a company match, it's hard to imagine employees walking away from the chance to contribute to a 401(k) plan. Yet many do. Sometimes their decision can simply be attributed to budget constraints or procrastination. Often, however, it goes much deeper. Literacy, Trust, and 401(k) Savings Behavior focuses on the issues of financial literacy and trust -- or the lack thereof -- in financial institutions. This research paper . . . represents the first attempt to examine how these issues affect 401(k) savings behavior." (The Vanguard Group)

[Opinion] The Provisions of PPA Dealing with Investment Advice Offered to Participants Under the Auspices of a Fiduciary Adviser
Excerpt: "Of course, the heart of the controversy lies in the potential, if not inherent, conflicts of interest that arise when advisers offer advice on investments that provide compensation to those same advisers. Some, of course, believe that those conflicts can never be surmounted, or at least that they cannot be surmounted by every adviser every time. Others believe that the problem can be overcome by a combination of process structure, disclosure, and oversight." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Using a 401(k) Loan for a Down Payment on a Home Loan
Excerpt: "While a 401(k) loan can indeed help provide the down payment on a home, keep in mind that lenders typically treat the money as a form of debt. That could have an impact on your qualifying debt-to-income ratio for the size of the home loan for which you can qualify. The flip side is that using 401(k) money for a down payment could provide the needed equity to avoid paying mortgage insurance. Retirement-fund loans have to be repaid within five years. But there is no set time frame for paying back the loans if they are used to make a down payment on a primary home." (San Jose Mercury News)

DOL Unveils Retirement Advice Draft
Excerpt: "The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed regulations that would govern efforts to give individualized investment advice, in person or through computer programs, to individual retirement account holders and participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans. . . . A copy of the draft posted on the department Web site is available [at http://www.dol.gov/federalregister/PdfDisplay.aspx?DocId=21240]." (The National Underwriter Company; free registration or paid subscription required)

Fees Remain Elusive for Up to 25% of 401(k) Plan Sponsors, Survey Finds
Excerpt: "Another 25% of those surveyed reported that their plan vendors have not yet disclosed the amount of annual revenue sharing that they receive from the plan's investment managers to pay for administrative expenses." (Wolters Kluwer)

[Guidance Overview] DOL's Proposed Participant Disclosure Regulations for Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor recently released proposed regulations intended to increase transparency of fees and expenses to participants in self-directed individual account plans (e.g., Section 401(k) plans). The proposed regulations are part of an ongoing DOL initiative to provide plans and plan participants with sufficient information to make informed investment decisions. As proposed, the regulations would be effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2009." (Buck Consultants)

EBSA Clarifies Investment Advice Regulations
Excerpt: "Two proposed regulations released Thursday from the Department of Labor (DoL) include a model for advisers to satisfy the fee disclosure requirement for independent retirement account (IRA) and 401(k) investment advice." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Congressman Miller Slams DOL Advice Proposal
Excerpt: "The Labor Department's advice proposal drew a quick – and harsh – assessment from Congressman George Miller (D-California). 'For far too long, the rules of the financial services industry have been tilted in the interests of companies and consultants, not the millions of American workers who are deeply worried about saving enough for a secure retirement,' Miller said in a statement. Miller . . . said that the two rules proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor could further undermine retirement savings plans that millions of American workers depend on." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

DOL Proposes Rules on Investment Advice Exemption for 401(k) Plans and IRAs
Excerpt: "The U.S. Department of Labor today announced publication of two proposed rules under the Pension Protection Act (PPA) to make investment advice more accessible for millions of Americans in 401(k) type plans and individual retirement accounts (IRAs). The proposed regulation and class exemption are to be published in the Aug. 22, 2008 Federal Register." (PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX via MarketWatch)

NAGDCA 2008 Survey of State and Local Government Defined Contribution Plans II
Excerpt: "This report contains two sections. The National Summary provides a narrative overview of the key areas involved in administering governmental 457, 401(k), 401(a), and 403(b) plans. The Overall Survey Results section, provided as a PDF, offers a look at the survey through charts and responses from all participating entities." (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc.)

[Guidance Overview] Form 5500/ERISA 408(b)(2) Proposed Regulations Webcast (PDF)
30 pages. Excerpt: "To aid plan fiduciaries and participants in assessing reasonableness of compensation paid to service providers and potential conflicts of interest, DOL has finalized/proposed the following: Form 5500 Schedule C rules - [FINAL]; Regs under ERISA Section 408(b)(2) - [PROPOSED]; Regs with respect to self-directed individual account plan fees –[PROPOSED]" (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

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