# by Brian H. Graff, Esq.

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2 Share Accounting vs. Unit Accounting by Carol J. Ringwald TYPICALLY, DAILY-VALUED PLANS USE EITHER SHARE ACCOUNTING OR UNIT ACCOUNTING METHODS. OFTEN TIMES THE TERMS SHARE ACCOUNTING AND UNIT ACCOUNTING ARE USED INTERCHANGEABLY, WHICH CAN CAUSE CONFUSION AMONGST PLAN SPONSORS, TRUSTEES, AND PARTICIPANTS. LET S TAKE A LOOK AT A COMPARISON OF THESE TWO ACCOUNTING METHODS. SHARE ACCOUNTING Mutual funds are typically valued using share accounting. A net asset value (NAV) is calculated for a mutual fund as of 4:00 p.m. eastern time on any given day the stock market is open. A shareholder in a mutual fund can take the calculated NAV and multiply it by the number of shares that they own and determine their individual equity position in the fund. Equity position is the value of the account stated in dollars. Example 1: A mutual fund reports that the NAV for a fund on 3/31/2002 is \$ A shareholder holds 50 shares of that mutual fund. The shareholder s equity position in that fund as of 3/31/2002 is \$1,000 (i.e., \$20 x 50). The mutual fund may also report any dividends or capital gains paid by the funds on any given market day. Therefore, the mutual fund may potentially report three different numbers on a market day the NAV (daily), dividends (usually quarterly), and capital gains (usually annually). Dividends and capital gains distributions made by the fund companies do not represent a gain to the shareholder of the fund. The distributions simply mean that a previously unrealized gain has now been realized. In Example 1, the shareholder of the fund owns 50 shares at \$20.00 per share, which equals \$1,000 as of 3/31/2002. Let s say that the fund declares a dividend/capital gain distribution of \$1.00 per share on the next day. Let s also assume no other gains or losses in the fund s equity value took place on that day (i.e., all the underlying stocks and bonds that make up the fund closed unchanged from the previous day). When the \$1.00 per share dividend/capital gain is paid, the owner realizes a gain of \$50. Now the shareholder actually owns shares of stock at \$19 per share (i.e., \$ \$1.00). In a retirement plan, any realized gains are reinvested into the fund. Therefore, an additional shares are added to the account, at a value equal to \$19 per share. These additional shares plus the original 50 shares, multiplied by \$19 per share, equals \$1,000 the exact value that the shareholder owned the day before. On any given day where a dividend or capital gain is paid by the mutual fund, the NAV decreases and the number of shares owned increases. However, the net worth of the shareholder s account does not change. The shareholder s equity position in the account in our example is still \$1,000. In most daily-valued plans, plan sponsors who invest in mutual funds establish accounts that are registered in the name of the trustees of the plan. As a result, a participant does not directly own the mutual fund shares of the funds he/she chooses to invest in. The participant owns an interest in an aggregated account that is owned by the trust (as established by the plan), and the trust actually owns the shares. Shares are bought and sold as needed from participants investment elections regarding contributions and transfer or distribution requests. Any dividends or capital gains that are paid by a mutual fund are paid to this aggregated account. The plan document indicates how those capital gains or dividends will be allocated to each participant who has selected a particular mutual fund. Therefore, if the document indicates that earnings (i.e., capital gains/dividends) are allocated based on last valuation date, any capital gains or dividends that are allocated to a participant s account can be allocated using the previous business day s value, which is the last valuation date for a daily-valued plan. UNIT ACCOUNTING Unit accounting is often used for valuing company stock, GIC contracts, non-publicly traded securities, group annuity contracts, or any investment vehicle with settlement dates greater than one or two days. We will limit our unit accounting discussion to group annuity contracts, which are commonly offered via bundled insurance providers. Group annuity contracts use units to value accounts instead of using NAVs and shares. A group annuity contract that contains equity investments offered by bundled insurance providers is established as a separate account in the name of the insurance provider. The separate account invests in investment vehicles that are established in the name of the insurance company. Plan trustees who elect to invest in the group annuity contract are actually investing in the separate account of the insurance company, not directly in the underlying Continued on page 11 2

12 in the earnings allocation. (Note: The earnings allocation may not be completed until April, when the earnings distribution is allocated to participants.) Many participants would argue that they are eligible to receive an earnings allocation in the above example because they had a balance in the account on the record date. However, as indicated earlier, the participant does not actually own the shares of the mutual fund. The participant only owns an interest in the account, and the account is actually owned by the trust. As a result, the trust dictates how the earnings should be allocated. In reality, when the participant moved their money from the fund on 3/18/2002, he/she realized any earnings accumulated by the fund at that time. When the capital gain or dividend is actually paid to the mutual fund account, in this case on 3/31/2002, the net asset value of the fund is decreased and the number of shares that the plan owns is increased accordingly. There is no stated change in the overall equity position of the account. Alternatively, plans that invest in wrapped group annuity contracts that use unit accounting avoid having to allocate any earnings distributions made by the underlying investments in the separate account, since earnings are automatically included in the unit value calculation. Therefore, there are no capital gains or dividend allocations to be processed against individual participant accounts. This method reduces the need for the plan administrator to allocate earnings as they are received, since the earnings are already included in the overall value of the account. However, this can be frustrating for participants because they cannot determine the actual number of shares they own and cannot track the value of these investments directly via sources such as the newspaper or the Internet. Also, if there are any asset management fees associated with the group annuity contract, they may be included in the unit value calculation and invisible to the participant. Therefore, it may be more difficult to determine the exact expenses associated with a given investment inside the annuity contract. However, the group annuity contract expenses are typically defined in the contract itself. RECORDKEEPING A participant-directed plan can use either unit accounting or share accounting. If the plan sponsor chooses to fund the trust with mutual funds, then the plan recordkeeper will typically use share accounting. If the plan sponsor chooses to fund the trust with a group annuity product, then the plan recordkeeper will typically use unit accounting. If the plan also provides for daily valuation, then the participant will have the ability to move their money frequently between the investments available. For example, if the plan has ten investments available for selection, then the participant will typically elect to move a percentage of one investment to one or more of the other available investments. The recordkeeping system will then value those shares or units to determine the dollar amount to be transferred. If the plan uses share accounting, the dollar amount will be calculated by taking the number of shares calculated times the NAV for the mutual fund. If the plan uses unit accounting, the dollar amount will be calculated by taking the number of units held times the calculated unit value. Most recordkeeping systems are designed to accommodate investments that are valued using either a share value or a unit value. For daily-valued plans, these share or unit values are input into the recordkeeping system every day. Then, based on the number of shares or units that a participant has in his/her account, the system will multiply the value times the number of shares or units and determine the account balance for that particular investment. The participant can then obtain this value via a voice response system or the Internet. JBEA: RENEWAL OF ENROLLMENT UPDATE The JBEA mailed applications for renewal of enrollment in October Any enrolled actuary who did not receive an application can receive a copy by going to the Joint Board s Web site or by calling the Joint Board at (202) The Web site can be found on the Internal Revenue Service homepage at Once there, click on Tax Professionals and then click on Enrolled Actuaries. Form 5434A, Application for Renewal of Enrollment, can be found in the section titled General Information Concerning Renewal of Enrollment. The Joint Board previously issued a notice extending the due date for the Application for Renewal of Enrollment from March 31, 2002, to July 31, The Joint Board urges enrolled actuaries to complete the form and mail it in as soon as all CPE requirements are met. Wear the logo with pride! ASPA is now selling white, pine green, and navy blue polo shirts featuring the ASPA logo embroidered on the chest. An order form is included in this issue of The ASPA Journal. Order now while all colors and sizes are in stock! Item: ASPA Outer Banks Polo Shirt is 100% heavyweight 6.8 oz. cotton. Item #: A-03 Colors: White with blue logo Navy with white logo Pine Green with black logo Sizes: S, M, L, XL, XXL Price: \$ shipping and handling 12

14 Exhibitors & Sponsors EXHIBITORS 401(k) Exchange Actuarial Systems Corp. Alliance Capital Management Arnerich Massena & Associates BISYS Retirement Services CIGNA Retirement and Investment Services Circle Trust Datair Employee Benefit Systems Daybridge emplanet Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co. First Mercantile Trust GoldK The Guardian Hartford Life ING AETNA Janus Larkspur Data Liberty Funds Lincoln Retirement Manulife Financial MassMutual Matrix Settlement & Clearance Services MetLife Mutual of Omaha Nationwide Financial Net Financial Systems Newkirk NYLIM Retirement Services Ohio National Financial Services Pan American Life Penchecks, Inc. PFPC Pioneer Funds Putnam Investments Scudder Investments Security Trust Sharp Benefits, Inc. SunGard Corbel T. Rowe Price TeamVest Retirement Plan Services Travelers Trustar Retirement Services Unified Trust Company SPONSORS I have really appreciated the narrow focus on 401(k) and have completed my membership application for ASPA because of the quality of this meeting. Platinum The Guardian ING AETNA Nationwide Financial Gold Hartford Life Manulife Financial Travelers Silver Mutual of Omaha Pan American Life Scudder Investments 401(k) Bronze Arnerich Massena & Associates CIGNA Retirement and Investment Services Fidelity Investments Institutional Services Co. Newkirk SunGard Corbel T. Rowe Price TeamVest Retirement Plan Services Additional Sponsors Totebag Sponsors Reish Luftman McDaniel & Reicher Trustar Retirement Services Lanyard Sponsor Penchecks, Inc. Signage Great-West Life & Annuity Sales Summit It was great to have the As a TPA, I met an investm and we plan to do busines Carol Lawton, Christopher Diana, and Tony Shetensky enjoy the activity at the Traveler s booth during an Exhibit Hall break. So many attendees! Had to move the lunch what a treat! Chris Stroud, MSPA, Conference Co-Chair, kicks off the First Annual 401(k) Sales Summit. 14

15 Nevin Adams Chris Barlow Fred Barstein Jack Boyce Kerry Boyce Jerry Bramlett Pat Byrnes Katherine Capage Tyler Carr Phil Chiricotti Warren Cormier Harry Dent Stephen Dobrow David Duncan Ryan Felie Thomas Foster Michael Goldstein Joyce Gordon Gary Gould Brian Graff Ward Harris Beverly Holmes Bambi Holzer Donald Jones Sean Kelley Lee Kliebert Derek MacDougall Daniel Notto Rosemarie Panico-Marino Marge Paul Fred Reish John Rekenthaler Neal Ringquist Matt Russell Eric Schneeman Grant Seeger Gail Weiss Steve Wilt Speakers The 401(k) Sales Summit will return to Scottsdale next year! Photographs courtesy of Stephen Dobrow, CPC, QPA, QKA, and Todd Brost, ASPA Director of Meetings. Actuaries and investment folks together! Great idea! The conference attendees had many opportunities to visit the industry s leading product and service providers in the sold out Exhibit Hall. Highlights opportunity to meet investment professionals. ent professional at this conference s together. outdoors Kris Coffey, CPC, Conference Consultant, gives the thumbs-up sign to indicate a successful conference. ASPA members Mark Davis and Bruce Ashton, APM, enjoy the warm Scottsdale sun during the lunch break. Brain Graff, Esq., ASPA s Executive Director, provides an informative (and humorous!) update on the impact that Enron is having on Capitol Hill. Conference Co-Chair Fred Reish, APM, and Scottsdale local Kerry Boyce, CPC, QPA, chat with Summit attendees. 15

19 Welcome New Members Welcome and congratulations to ASPA s new members and recent designees. MSPA Philip D. Cofield Janice L. Rexroth CPC Jeffrey D. Cain Betty Carnes J. Timothy Corle Steven C. Crawford Jennifer Garvin Katherine L. Glowac Barbara A. Hoffman Andrew B. Ledewitz Peter J. Opitz George C. Patterson Timothy F. Pegler Susan H. Perry Susan Septimus Jeffrey A. Swiantek Larry A. Turner Michelle M. Ueding William E. Wagnon Matthew T. Zwaanstra QPA Beau C. Adams Diane M. Barton Dean A. Becker Brandy L. Brandt Michael Thomas Burmeister Marilyn Chladil Julene Christie Cathy J. Cornell Martin J. Costello Kimberly Ann Eddins Linda J. Garza Arnold D. Gerstein Irene Gofman Michael D. Grabhorn Jodie L. Hanke Andrea M. Heffner Joyce Hollerbach Karen B. Johnson Christina R. Jones Joe L. Kitchens Sharlene L. Koleno Janet E. Lacy Kathleen K. Laird Michael K. Lamb Annelisa M. Lemstra Larry L. Lienemann Neil Lisec Nancy L. Lustig James I. Mahaney Kimberly A. Mamula Marilyn Manzer Cari A. Massey-Sears Scott M. Miller Kyla K. Myers Christopher Paese Cynthia A. Parker J. Paul B. Prasifka Susan M. Reynolds Linda H. Robinson Martha S. Sharp Nellie A Slash Cynthia S. Smeltzer Terrence J. Smith Gregory L. Stone Deborah J. Stransky Jeffrey A. Swiantek Thomas B. Vickroy Amy J. Vlieg Kyleen R. Wagner Nana A. Waters Em B. Willoughby Winnie S. Yu QKA Gary J. Demaio Paul F. Dolan Gwendolyn S. Dominic Joseph J. Dwyer Kathleen H. Dyar Kimberly Ann Eddins Stephen G. Estelle Steven A. Ferguson Edward C. Fink Steven H. Forss Sheri L. Foster Charles R. Fridinger Robert S. Frost Mary Fusco Linda J. Garza Gary J. Geiger Lenore M. G. Ginoza Igor Golubov Helene Gorny Michele L. Gugino Christine M. Haas Stacey D. Hall Jodie L. Hanke Denise M. Hankey Gavin Harpman Kathleen Harris Margaret M. Heffernan Robert J. Henighan Kathleen A. Hill Dennis Holcombe Joyce Hollerbach Darren P. Holsey Delores Hom Kimberly A. Hubatch E. Christine Hulbert Christie R. Huls Lisa M. Isabella Robert A. Janicki Karen B. Johnson Lura E. Johnson Russell R. Johnson Thomas Edward Johnston Cheryl A. Jorgenson Cynthia L. Kamuf Arlene R. Karczewski Holly Karder Deborah J. Katz Julie A. Kelly Rick E. Kennedy Lisa C. Keys Peter W. Kirtland Allan W. Knaup Jesse J. Knight John M. Knoll Beth Fuquay Koch Jacqueline Kral Marianne T. Kral Candace Larson Daniel M. LeFree Edward R. Lenahan Amanda C. Lester Leigh A. Lewis Larry L. Lienemann Neil Lisec Linda Lum Lara Magruder Barbara A. Mansfield Marilyn Manzer Jennifer J. Massey Marcello Mazza David S. McIntire Elizabeth K. Mcintyre Vincent McKearney Glenn A. McKnight Shelia L. McLaughlin Andrea L. Meadows Brenda C. Meckler Kimberly S. Mehrdorf Joe Mengel Deborah C. Miller Jennifer L. Mitchell Kathleen B. Moran Douglas R. Morgan Byron F. Morton Michelle L. Moser David C. Newman Earnest M. Niemi Pamela S. Noble Kimberly M. Pace Jane A. Parsons Sandra M. Pehur Linda K. Phillips Casey L. Pittman Kasey R. Price R. Joseph Rader Thomas Redmond Kevin P. Reynolds Kimberly A. Rineer Michael G. Ritchie Anna C. Robins Patty A. Roets Gloria L. Ross Heather L. Sabo Joan E. Scherer Diane K. Schipper Sonja M. Schneider Robert A. Schutz Cathy Scott Anna M. Sears Blanca Shapiro Martha S. Sharp Brandy K. Simons Debra L. Singer Christine Sivak Nellie A Slash Laura L. Small Lawrence M. Smith Russell D. Smith Kelley D. Stanton Robert W. Stebbins Chris R. Stencel Gregory L. Stone Deborah J. Stransky Angela R. Subera Laura L. Swain Natalie Torres Victor A. Traub III Thomas B. Vickroy Amy J. Vlieg Kyleen R. Wagner Terrence M. Walsh Marcia S. Weaver Eileen F. Whitmore Donna L. Wilhelm Judith A. Winkler Stephen E. Witkun John J. Wolf Toi Yam Barbara L. Young Keith A. Zatawski Christopher L. Zebley Douglas C. Zemer Janice A. Zielesch APM Thomas A. Gatenby Kathleen M. Meagher Affiliate Leo P. Ahearn C. Frank Bales Jeffrey M. Barber Jesse W. Bell Mary Beth Bentz Charlotte R. Blumenberg Daniel P. Cassidy Thomas J. Cooke Lois Costagiola Jocelyn P. Cunningham John W. Ellard Tess J. Ferrera David D. Garrett Joe B. Garza Ward M. Harris John F. Hefele Jeff L. Jensen John F. Kapek Carmen Lee Steven H. Leventhal Linda L. Markham Mary A. McCann Susan M. Miller Linnette F. Moss Thomas M. Mulloy Wayne Nunziata Denise L. Reder Debra A. Reskey Susan E. Rose Walter J. Scott Jr. Theresa M. Van-Ackeren Cynthia R. Voelkel 19

23 Focus on ASPA s Board of Directors Reinventing the Board: Step 1 by Jane S. Grimm LAST YEAR, ASPA S BOARD OF DIRECTORS BEGAN WORKING WITH A PROFESSIONAL FACILITATOR, A CONSULTANT TO MANY PROFESSIONAL ASSOCIATIONS BOARDS, TO REVISE THE WAY ASPA S BOARD OPERATES. THE BOARD MADE A CONSCIOUS DECISION TO SPEND MORE TIME PLANNING ASPA S FUTURE AND LESS TIME HEARING REPORTS FROM COMMIT- TEES AND TASK FORCES. THE BOARD IS SETTING DIRECTION AND ESTABLISHING GOALS FOR THE COMMITTEES, LEAVING THE HOW WE GOT THERE AND WHAT WE DID TO THE INDIVIDUAL COMMITTEES. SEE REPORT FROM THE PRESIDENT BY GEORGE TAYLOR, MSPA, IN THE JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2001 ISSUE OF THE PENSION ACTUARY. In addition to setting a new direction, the Board has undertaken the task of determining ASPA s core purpose and core values. There have been many discussions, a great deal of revising and, yes, even some wordsmithing, but glimpses of the final statements will be seen in the not too distant future. This January, the Board met in sunny Ponte Vedra Florida, and the Board members were able to take their focus groups outside. The work continues Jane S. Grimm, ASPA Managing Director is the National Office Liaison to the Board. 5 photos 1. John P. Parks, MSPA, ASPA s 2000 President 2. Michael L. Bain, MSPA, and Cathy Green, CPC, QPA 3. Richard D. Pearce, FSPA, CPC, ASPA s 1997 President 4. Kurt F. Piper, MSPA 5. Beverly B. Haslauer, CPC, QPA Focus on ABCs New ASPA Benefits Council Makes Twelve! ASPA is pleased to announce the addition of our newest ASPA Benefits Council, the ABC of Dallas/Ft. Worth. On April 24, 2002, Brian H. Graff, Esq., will provide a legislative update at the new ABC s inaugural meeting in Dallas. With the September addition of Northern Indiana (Ft. Wayne) and the Texas Gulf Coast (Houston) in July, ASPA has added three new councils in the past nine months. ABCs are ASPA s effort to bring education to benefits professionals on a local level. ABCs provide a means for employee benefits professionals to acquire continuing education credit, keep current on industry issues, and network with other benefits professionals in their community. All of this is accomplished on a local level, making participation convenient and cost-effective. ASPA currently supports twelve ABCs in the following locations: Atlanta, Chicago, Central Florida (Orlando), Cleveland, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Delaware Valley (Philadelphia), New York, Northern Indiana (Ft. Wayne), North Florida (Jacksonville), South Florida (Ft. Lauderdale), Texas Gulf Coast (Houston), and Western Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh). For a complete meetings schedule or for contact information, visit the Local Council section of ASPA s Web site at 23

25 Focus on SPIT Goals + Vision + Implementation = Success by Scott D. Miller, FSPA, CPC WHAT MAKES ASPA THE GREAT ORGANIZATION THAT IT IS? IT IS THE THINGS THAT WE CHOOSE TO DO AS A MEMBER DRIVEN ORGANIZATION. IT IS THE IDENTIFYING OF A VISION AND PUTTING THE STRUCTURE IN PLACE AND EXECUTING THE ACTIVITIES IN OUR QUEST TO ATTAIN THOSE WELL-DEFINED, COMMON GOALS. In 1999, the ASPA Board of Directors realized that in order to function most effectively and best serve our members, the Board needed to spend more of its time analyzing our membership and the industry and identifying the vision for the future of the organization. It was at this time that the Board of Directors established the Strategic Planning and Implementation Team (SPIT). The responsibility charged to this group was to coordinate the activities among the various ASPA committees and establish short-term plans to allow the organization to reach our determined vision. It is the responsibility of the individual committees to identify and implement the individual activities to attain these goals. The Board should focus on strategic planning to meet members goals and objectives and communicate these intentions to the various committees. SPIT is made up of the chairs of many of ASPA s committees, ASPA s President and President-Elect, as well as ASPA s Executive and Managing Directors. At the SPIT meeting held February 8 and 9, 2002, this group reviewed the historical activities of the individual committees, identified committee successes and problem areas, discussed ways of attracting and best utilizing volunteers, and set 18- month goals for each committee to help the organization move towards the vision for the organization. There was also discussion of how the various committees could be more effective by working together in different activities. The goals that were set by the committee Chairs include: The ASPA Journal: expand the topics covered, more fully communicate the activities of the ASPA committees, and continue to improve the Journal s appearance. Conferences: continue to improve the quality of topics and speakers at our conferences, provide the best conferences in the industry, and build a library of webcast presentations. Continuing Education: develop more accessible continuing education opportunities. Education and Examination: restructure the education program to make it more effective, find better study material alternatives, and explore ways to provide more educational opportunities. Government Affairs: continue to influence current legislative issues and initiatives (such as Enron), develop and communicate a new set of proposed law changes to enhance retirement program alternatives, and get more involved in providing retirement program education to IRS and DOL agents. Membership: survey the membership to allow the committees to better meet the needs of the membership, better market the value of ASPA designations and the benefits of membership, and identify and implement new member benefit programs. Technology: redesign the ASPA Web site to make it more user-friendly and functional and to develop the ability to provide exams online for continuing education and other non-proctored exams. We should all be proud of the work performed by ASPA s volunteers and our staff without them we would not be the successful and effective organization that we are today. Scott D. Miller, FSPA, CPC, is principal of Actuarial Consulting Group Inc., which has offices in New York and Illinois. Scott has over twenty years of experience in the employee benefits and compensation consulting field. He is a Fellow of ASPA (FSPA), a Fellow of the Conference of Consulting Actuaries (FCA), a Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA), a Certified Pension Consultant (CPC), and an Enrolled Actuary (EA). Scott is ASPA s President-Elect. He served as ASPA s Treasurer in 2001 and as Vice President in 1999 and In addition to working on several committees, Scott was General Chair of the Education and Examination Committee for two years, and was Chair of the Pension Education and Research Foundation for one year. Scott is a local and national lecturer on pension, actuarial, and employee benefits topics and has spoken at numerous conferences, including ASPA s Annual Conference and Summer Academy. 25

27 FUN-da-MENTALs SIDE FUN Brian and bill ran up the Hill To fetch some legislation. EGTRRA came down And all round town It was a huge sensation! A wealthy participant named Mary Fell in love with a poor actuary. All her money he spent Without spousal consent. Now he s no longer her beneficiary! WORD SCRAMBLE Unscramble these four puzzles one letter to each space to reveal four pension-related words. Answers will be posted on the easpa portion of ASPA s Web site at Login, go to Members Only>Newsletter, and look near the bottom. 1. FINE BET 2. NOTION CUT RIB 3. RARE FLED 4. RED HOCK LOST BONUS: Arrange the circled letters to form the Mystery Answer as suggested by the cartoon. Mystery Answer: Due to a Best Sellers Book Titles 1. It Pays to Have a Plan 3. The Joy of Periodic Payments by Ben E. Fit by Ann U. Ity 2. Lost Fortunes 4. Nightmares on Wall Street by N. Ron Dopes by Ima Loser 27

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