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Self-administered benefits plan? Make sure your records are impeccable


Companies that self-administer their ERISA benefits plans, take note: Because your benefits decisions carry an implied conflict of interest (since rejecting a request for benefits such as retirement or payment of a medical bill means spending fewer company assets), courts expect your decisions to be transparent and based on good documentation.

More employers create ‘bridge jobs’ to appeal to retirees


New research shows that more workers of retirement age are staying in their current jobs or returning to work, in part because of the sinking economy and dwindling nest eggs. Many of these older employees aren’t seeking full-time return at their past pay rates. They’re hunting for “bridge jobs.”

Cash-balance pension plans don’t violate ERISA rules


A cash-balance pension plan is one in which the employer contributes a set amount each month on behalf of an employee. The employee eventually collects pension benefits based on the cash balance in his or her account. Some employees have claimed that such plans favor younger employees and therefore are illegal …

State pension data available online


Here’s a new resource for HR pros who work for state and local governments: You’ll find detailed, defined-contribution data for the 20 primary plans operated by state governments at http://tinyurl.com/SLGEstatepensiondata.

SSA unveils online calculator


The Social Security Administration (SSA) has unveiled a new online calculator that allows people to estimate their monthly Social Security benefit checks based on their retirement dates. Go to www.socialsecurity/gov.estimator.

Auto enrollment in 401(k) plans becoming the norm


According to a Deloitte study, 42% of 401(k) plans now include an auto-enroll feature, nearly double the 23% in 2006.

DOL proposal calls for more 401(k) disclosures


New regulations proposed by the U.S. Department of Labor would require employers with 401(k) plans to disclose more information to employees about plan-related fees and investment performance …

Cop is fired over sex charges, but he’ll still get pension


The Altoona City Council fired Police Officer Herrick Johnson on Sept. 10 for allegedly having sex with a 16-year-old girl he met online. Johnson, 49, met the girl through a web site that promoted law enforcement careers …

State looks to boost pension fund with hedge fund investments


The New Jersey Department of the Treasury has received court approval to invest $9 billion of the state’s public employee pension fund in alternative investments, including hedge funds, in an attempt to improve performance in a sluggish market.

DOL proposal calls for more disclosure about employers’ 401(k) fees


New regulations proposed by the DOL would require fiduciaries of 401(k) plans to disclose more information to employees about plan-related fees and investment performance. The goal: Allow employees to “peek behind the curtain” of the fees they pay for their 401(k)s …