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September 17, 2004
Today's sponsor: NCEO

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)

Check out the publications by the NCEO in the BenefitsLink Bookstore!

The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), a nonprofit
membership and research organization that provides information on
broad-based employee stock plans, now has over a dozen of its
most popular publications available for purchase in the
BenefitsLink bookstore. Topics range from employee stock
ownership plans (ESOPs) to stock options to employee stock
purchase plans (ESPPs).

(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)
United Airlines Says It Needs $500 Million in Cost Cuts in Addition to Pension Cost Savings
Excerpt: "United Airlines parent UAL Corp. will need about $500 million more in annual cost cuts above the $655 million in the works now as well as pension cost savings to emerge from bankrup.tcy, the carrier said Friday." (Reuters via The Boston Globe)

Delta Air Lines and Pilots to Meet on Early Retirement Issue
Excerpt: "Delta Air Lines Inc. managers and pilots will meet again Friday, and likely negotiate through the weekend, to find a way to keep the airline staffed with pilots, as many opt for early retirement." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

United Airlines' Unions in the Loop? Carrier Will Tout Employee Communication Efforts to Judge
Excerpt: "United Airlines says it is pushing hard to communicate with employees and others bruised by its long-running bankrup.tcy. But will it be enough to satisfy an impatient judge? Bankrup.tcy Judge Eugene Wedoff, who is overseeing the case in Chicago, has threatened to let outsiders bid for control if United executives fail to mend tattered employee relations." (Chicago Tribune; one-time registration required)

IBM Settles Part of Giant Pension Lawsuit Brought Over Conversion to Cash Balance Pension Plan
Excerpt: "International Business Machines Corp. has settled for an undisclosed sum part of a potentially multi-billion-dollar lawsuit over its pension plan, a Wednesday court filing shows. In February, Judge G. Patrick Murphy of the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of Illinois ruled that IBM owed compensation to roughly 140,000 current and former workers who lost out when the company converted to a cash-balance pension plan in 1999." (Reuters via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Summary of Findings for FY 2003 of Public Retirement Systems' Funds' Survey (PDF)
17 pages. Excerpt: "The Public Fund Survey is an online compendium of key characteristics of 101 public retirement systems, sponsored by the National Association of State Retirement Administrators and the National Council on Teacher Retirement. [Full Text of] The Public Fund Survey is accessible online at www.publicfundsurvey.org." (National Association of State Retirement Administrators)

Report Says San Diego Public Pension Fund Disclosures Are Inadequate
Excerpt: "A law firm San Diego retained to investigate its pension fund said Thursday city officials repeatedly failed to recognize the depth of the fund's troubles. The 268-page report by Vinson & Elkins LLP found San Diego officials 'adopted a minimalist approach to public disclosure, providing the public with negative information only when it has felt legally required to do so.'" (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Who Will Pay for the Baby Boomers' Promised Benefits?
Excerpt: "In planning retirement and investment strategies, we must consider the impact of a clash between aging boomers and the declining numbers of workers available to pay transfer taxes to support retirement and health care schemes. Governmental budgets in advanced countries already are strained." (On Wall Street)

A Study on Employment and Retirement Trends for Older Workers
From the October 2004 issue of Monthly Labor Review Online. Excerpt: "As members of the 'baby-boom' generation begin to retire and collect Social Security, pension, and other benefits, many changes to both the public and private retirement systems may occur, such as raising the ages of eligibility, creating more flexible pension plans, and introducing 'phased retirement.'" (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor)

DB Plans Are Making a Comeback But With a Twist for Small Businesses
Excerpt: "The employer-managed retirement vehicles were a staple benefit at large companies until the mid-1990s, when many fell victim to aggressive cost-cutting. Now, capitalizing on rules set forth in 2001's tax cuts, a scaled-down version of the product, known as a solo defined-benefit plan, has emerged as a popular product for clients associated with small businesses, including the self-employed." (Registered Rep)

Solving the Small Employer's Fiduciary Dilemma: Liability, Discretion and the Qualified Plan Advisor
Excerpt: "Employers have a dilemma. They must offer competitive benefits, including retirement plans, yet they incur a fiduciary liability risk in doing so. A financial advisor serving as a fiduciary consultant to the plan sponsor and working in conjunction with vendors who accept fiduciary liability for the plan holds the key to solving the dilemma." (Journal of Financial Planning)

Budget Use of Public Pensions by the City Sows Trouble in San Diego
Excerpt: "San Diego is caught in a financial bind, facing the possibility of a bankrup.tcy filing, largely because of a $1.2 billion shortfall in its pension fund for municipal workers. For years the city has spent money from illusory pension fund earnings, according to the authors of a new report released yesterday." (New York Times via StarBanner.com)

Finding Lost Retirement Resources: How to Find Those Misplaced Financial Assets
Excerpt: "Consider this story of a California man whose property landed in the hands of the state's unclaimed-property office. The 74-year-old somehow lost track of a bank account that contained more than $270,000 in CDs, dividend income, and interest from bonds, as well as more than 37,000 company shares. The stocks, in outfits such as Mobil and Bank of America, yielded more than $1 million." (Ellen Hoffman on BusinessWeek Online)

Employee Ownership Update for September 17: FASB changes, 401(k) study
In his latest Employee Ownership Update, NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses how the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has made a number of changes to its exposure draft on equity accounting. In other news, a new study of 401(k) account balances finds that company stock now accounts for 16.4% of all 401(k) assets. (National Center for Employee Ownership)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Brokers Fighting Their Former Employers Over Money Held in Deferred-Compensation Plans
Excerpt: "A group of former Smith Barney advisors recently won a judgment that would return over $8 million in forfeited wages held in the company's Capital Appreciation Plan (CAP). Meanwhile, a former rep from the former Prudential Securities is challenging that firm's deferred-comp vehicle, MasterShare, on the grounds that it violates his rights under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA)." (Registered Rep)

Opinion: Promised Employee Benefits Disappear When Rival Companies Merge
Excerpt: "The sale of one company to another often can be brutal on employees. It's not just that jobs are lost. It's also the jarring effect on longtime employees who survive the sale but are ready to retire. Case in point is Wood Dale-based Rockwell FirstPoint Contact which was sold to its rival, Westford, Mass.-based Concerto Software, earlier this month." (Chicago Tribune; one-time registration required)

Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation: a Simple Proposal
Excerpt: "On March 31, 2004, FASB issued its long-awaited exposure draft, Share-Based Payment, an amendment of SFAS 123 and 95. As expected, this controversial draft sparked proposed legislation and campaigns by various groups to prevent, or at least limit, the effects of the proposed rules. By mid-June, FASB had received more than 4,000 comment letters on this matter." (Robert A. Dyson in The CPA Journal Online)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Consumer Driven Health Care – Demystifying The Alternatives
Nationwide on October 21, 2004
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

HIPAA’s Security Rule: Organizing Efforts, Meeting Compliance
Nationwide on September 30, 2004
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Passing Participant-Driven Expenses Through To Plan Participants
Nationwide on October 20, 2004
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Untangling The FMLA, ADA, & Workers’ Comp Overlap
Nationwide on September 20, 2004
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com
Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PSCA Applauds Representatives' Letter To IRS On Behalf Of Tribal Government Retirement Plans
(Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America (PSCA))

Health Insurance Plans Extend Efforts to End Tobacco Use
(Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Schwarzenegger Should Heed National Survey – 1/3 of Americans Plan to Purchase Rx From Other Countries
(Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights)

Survey Shows Consumer-Driven Healthcare Plan Prompts Healthier Lifestyles and Wiser Spending Habits.
(Destiny Health)

Boxer and Eshoo Urge President Bush to Push Stock Options Bill Towards Final Passage
(U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer)
Movers and Shakers: Newly Posted Announcements of Promotions and New Personnel
(Post Yours!)

Bill Rizer (Unified Trust Company, NA)
Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Associate
for Thompson Hine LLP
in OH

Retirement Services District Manager Sales (Minneapolis)
for ADP Retirement Services
in MN

401k Plan Administration Manager
for Boston Financial Data Services
in MA

HR Benefits Process/Data Analyst (JP17938-FF)
for Southern California Edison
in CA

Benefits Support Services Consultant
for AECOM Technology Corporation
in CA

Special Markets Coordinator
for Transamerica
in CA

Institutional Trust Consultant
for BB&T
in VA


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