American Benefits Council
Benefits Byte


September 8, 2014

The Benefits Byte is the American Benefits Council’s regular e-mail and online newsletter for members only, providing timely reports on legislative, regulatory and judicial developments, along with updates on the Council’s activities in support of employer-sponsored benefit plans.

The Benefits Byte is published by the American Benefits Council, based on staff reports and edited by Jason Hammersla, Council director of communications. Contact information for Council staff related to specific topics can be found at the end of each story.

Click here to read past issues on the Benefits Byte Archive page.

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Council Introduces New Webinar Series on Executive Compensation

The Council is pleased to announce the addition of a new educational webinar series focusing on executive compensation programs.

The Council has periodically provided webinar updates on executive compensation developments, but has recently been asked to provide an executive compensation educational program. In response to this member request, the Council is happy to initiate a webinar series of “Executive Compensation Briefings” intended to provide a basic tutorial of the subject of executive compensation.

The design and operation of executive compensation programs continue to evolve rapidly as companies respond to changes in the legal and regulatory environment. New risks of governmental action affecting executive compensation, along with shareholder litigation and common misunderstandings about executive pay, are increasingly influencing business decisions. Regulation of employee benefit plans seem increasingly to focus at the executive level and involve high stakes, both financial and reputational.

The first few sessions of this Executive Compensation Briefing series will consist of introductory tutorials on typical exec comp issues and concerns, with more in-depth discussions of advanced exec comp matters to follow.

The first two sessions will be as follows:

  • Session #1: Scope of Executive Compensation & SEC Disclosure Rules
  • Monday, September 22, 2 to 3 p.m. (Eastern Time)
  • Register here
  • Session #2: Stock Plans & Awards
  • Monday, October 6, 2 to 3 p.m. (Eastern Time)
  • Register here

Detailed notices for each program will be provided soon.

We welcome all of you to join our efforts to stay at the cutting edge of this subject. For more information, contact Lynn Dudley, senior vice president, global retirement and compensation policy, at (202) 289-6700. 

Webinar Recap: Money Market Fund Guidance & Regulations

The Council hosted a Benefits Briefing webinar on September 4 to discuss recent developments affecting money market funds (MMFs). MMFs are commonly used by both defined contribution and defined benefit plans as stable, liquid investment options. A digital replay of the webinar is available here.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently approved final amendments to the rules governing MMFs requiring institutional prime money market funds to use a floating net asset value (NAV) and allow boards of non-government MMFs to impose new liquidity fees and/or “redemption gates” (which prohibit redemptions for a time period) in certain circumstances. A Benefits Blueprint summary of the SEC final amendments, prepared by Davis & Harman LLP, is now available on the Council website.

(The Council reported on this issuance, along with the release of additional guidance issued by the SEC and the Internal Revenue Service, in a July 25 Benefits Byte story)

On the September 4 Benefits Briefing, Michael Hadley, partner at Davis & Harman, and Robert Holcomb, vice president, legislative and regulatory affairs, at Great-West Financial Retirement Plan Services, provided a brief overview of MMFs, followed by a thorough discussion of the SEC rules. The discussion covered the applicability of the SEC reforms to various kinds of MMFs, potential implementation challenges and considerations for retirement plan fiduciaries.

For more information on MMF issues, or to provide input for future advocacy efforts in this area, contact Jan Jacobson, senior counsel, retirement policy, at (202) 289-6700.

The American Benefits Council is the national trade association for companies concerned about federal legislation and regulations affecting all aspects of the employee benefits system. The Council's members represent the entire spectrum of the private employee benefits community and either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.

Notice: the information contained herein is general in nature. It is not, and should not be construed as, accounting, consulting, legal or tax advice or opinion provided by the American Benefits Council or any of its employees. As required by the IRS, we inform you that any information contained herein was not intended or written to be used or referred to, and cannot be used or referred to (i) for the purpose of avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein (and any attachment).