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Bloomberg BNA's Pension & Benefits Blog is a special resource offered by Bloomberg BNA to provide commentary and insight on news and trends reported in our publications: Pension & Benefits Daily, Pension & Benefits Reporter, and the Benefits Practice Resource Center. The authors of the blog are members of our Benefits Practice Resource Advisory Board and members of staff (who contribute summaries of some of their recent stories). 

The ideas presented here are those of individuals, and Bloomberg BNA bears no responsibility for the appropriateness or accuracy of the communications between group members. We reserve the right not to post comments that are abusive or otherwise objectionable.

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Archive : October 2006

October 31, 2006


To me, an ERISACRAT is someone who takes the concept of the law very seriously, to work towards Employee Retirement Income Security.

October 31, 2006

A Change in Perspective

This posting comes in from a different perspective - that of the benefit plan auditor.  Since the reporting season for the calendar 2005 plan year is pretty much over, I thought it might be valuable to go over some of the problems that cropped up this year on such audits.

October 23, 2006

PPA Issue

Much has been written and discussed as to what steps should be taken to avoid or minimize potential exposure to the issues and many plan sponsors have made changes to their plans and/or committee structures.  But before they can catch their breath, along comes the new kid on the block—the Pension Protection Act of 2006.

October 18, 2006

Is Anyone Left Standing?

Today the Ninth Circuit decided Glanton v. AdvancePCS  Inc.

October 17, 2006

Abuse of Discretion Standard of Review

Is The "Abuse of Discretion" Standard of Review Worth the Candle?

October 17, 2006

String Theory of Healthcare - The Solution to Everything.

a. There should be National Health Insurance to cover basic insurance for everyone; employed, unemployed, uninsured and people like me. b. Employers may also provide "wrap around" policies in addition to the Basic policy.

October 13, 2006

Some Random Reflections on the PPA and Cash Balance Plans

The PPA has some interesting cash balance provisions, including a prohibition on cash balance plans whose interest credits exceed market rates of return.  The reason for this prohibition is clear enough: if an interest credit is higher than investment returns available in the market, the interest rate will favor younger plan participants, since they will have the benefit of the above-market rate for a longer period of time than older plan participants.

October 12, 2006


Dana Muir, a professor at University of Michigan’s business school, has co-authored an interesting article on the use of the efficient market hypothesis in two areas, one of which relates to ERISA retirement plans that hold employer stock.

October 10, 2006

Hedge Funds and Plan Asset Regulations

The ERISA Advisory Counsel has devoted one of its study projects this year to issues surrounding the prohibited transaction rules and hedge funds (and also cross-trading).

October 6, 2006

Denial of States

While I wasn't paying much attention, on July 19 the U.S. Supreme Court entered a short order, without opinion, denying Texas and several other would-be co-plaintiff states leave to file a complaint challenging the constitutionality of part of the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA). Texas v. Leavitt, No. 135 Orig. (U.S.) (15 HLR 735, 6/22/06). The part of the MMA under attack is embedded in the program familiar to even the lay public, and more so to the elderly, as Part D of Medicare.

October 5, 2006

A Turning Point for Labor?

Since the signing of the Pension Protection Act, the aura of pessimism that continues to hang over the future of private-sector DB plans has been relieved in many quarters by bullish excitement over the potential that the DC plan provisions of the PPA may hold in store for the American workforce -- particularly for the majority of working Americans who are unprotected by any income floor in retirement other than Social Security.