FIDELITY LAUNCHES WEB-BASED FP TOOLFidelity Investments has introduced the Fidelity Retirement Income Evaluator, a Web-based planning tool designed to help advisors create and manage retirement income plans for their clients, as well as build a more efficient and profitable retirement business model.

Fidelity Retirement Income Evaluator will be free to advisors working with Fidelity. In addition, Fidelity has also launched a suite of new retirement income products and services for individual investors and advisors, including a new series of mutual funds, the Fidelity Income Replacement Funds.

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The Internal Revenue Service has announced a series of cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for pension plans and other items for 2008. For example, effective Jan. 1, 2008, the limitation on the annual benefit under a defined-benefit plan pursuant to Section 415(b)(1)(A) is increased from $180,000 to $185,000. For participants who separated from service before that date, the limitation is computed by multiplying the participant's compensation limitation, as adjusted through 2007, by 1.0236.

In addition, the limitation for defined-contribution plans is increased from $45,000 to $46,000, while the limitation on the exclusion for elective deferrals remains unchanged at $15,500. There are a number of other changes, such as the adjusted gross income limitation for determining the maximum Roth IRA contribution for taxpayers filing a joint return or as a qualifying widow or widower being increased from $156,000 to $159,000.


Investors harmed by financial shenanigans at mortgage lender Fannie Mae will collectively receive a whopping payout of $356 million, thanks to the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The SEC said that it would begin sending out checks to individual investors, pension funds and other victims who invested in the Federal National Mortgage Association between 1998 and 2004. The money will come from the Fair Fund, which the SEC set up in the wake of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act to distribute settlement money to harmed investors, instead of to the U.S. Treasury.

Fannie Mae was accused of using improper accounting methods, including the deferral of $200 million worth of estimated expenses in 1998, to allow management to receive their full annual bonuses. The SEC also charged it with misapplying generally accepted accounting principles, as well as improper hedge accounting, to avoid the appearance of income statement volatility and disruptions in earnings growth. The organization needed to restate its financials for 2001, 2002, 2003 and the first two quarters of 2004 to the tune of $6.3 billion.

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