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The BenefitsLink Newsletter

March 28 - 30, 2000


401(k) Plans
Pension & Benefits Update: March 27, 2000
Link to archive of email newsletter published by Tax Analysts (Tax Analysts)

Actuarial Issues
Japan cuts pensions to boost economy; hikes retirement age to curb public debt growth
Japan's parliament voted yesterday to cut pension benefits and boost the retirement age for its aging citizenry, swallowing a politically bitter pill that leaders here hope will arrest the swift deterioration of their government's fiscal health. (Boston Globe)

IBM Employees Plan Road Trip
Hundreds of IBM workers, angry about pension plan changes, turned out Monday night to kick up support for a road trip to rally at Big Blue's annual stockholders' meeting next month. (WCAX)

2000 Model Participant Notice for Certain Underfunded Pension Plans is Published by PBGC
Technical Update 00-2 (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

N.J. to use pension surplus to provide new pension benefit for police and firefighters
The New Jersey legislature approved $45 million in relief to New Jersey municipalities Monday to cover the costs of a new pension benefit for police and firefighters. (Bergen NJ Record)

Japanese parliament votes to cut private sector pensions
The Japanese Parliament approved a plan Tuesday to cut private sector pensions over the next 25 years, hoping to avert a pension crisis as society rapidly ages. (Associated Press)

Benefits Technology
Plan Sponsors to Benefit From IRS Guidance On Electronic Plan Administration
Link to article temporarily available in online sample of RIA's Pension & Benefits Week. (RIA)

Cafeteria Plans
Pension & Benefits Update: March 27, 2000
Link to archive of email newsletter published by Tax Analysts (Tax Analysts)

Distributions
IRS Issues Proposed Regulations That Would Liberalize Application of IRC 411(d)(6) Anti-Cutback Rule, Including Elimination of Certain Forms of Benefit Payment - But New Rules Cannot Be 'Relied Upon' Until Finalized
The proposed regulations would permit qualified defined contribution plans to be amended to eliminate some alternative forms of benefit payment, and would permit certain transfers between defined contribution plans that are not permitted under current regulations. (Internal Revenue Service)

Pension & Benefits Update: March 27, 2000
Link to archive of email newsletter published by Tax Analysts (Tax Analysts)

Employee Stock Ownership Plans
Pension & Benefits Update: March 27, 2000
Link to archive of email newsletter published by Tax Analysts (Tax Analysts)

Forms
Paul T. Shultz Named as Director of Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements
Announced on Tuesday by Evelyn Petschek, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service's Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Division. (Internal Revenue Service)

Government Plans
Misconceptions Abound About Federal Employees' Long-Term Care Plan Legislation
"The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee tomorrow is scheduled to vote on--and probably will approve--a federal family long-term care insurance program. Approval would clear the legislation for quick action by the full House." (Washington Post)

N.J. to use pension surplus to provide new pension benefit for police and firefighters
The New Jersey legislature approved $45 million in relief to New Jersey municipalities Monday to cover the costs of a new pension benefit for police and firefighters. (Bergen NJ Record)

Health Plan Administration
Boeing Boosts Non-Union Employees' Benefits to Match Those for Union Employees
Boeing sweetened the benefits package for its 80,000 salaried, nonunion employees Friday -- in essence matching the gains won by the company's white-collar union after a 40-day strike. (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

Health Plan Policy
Ads Could Derail Patients' Rights Bill - Health Insurance Association of America Wants to Shift Focus to Medical Errors
The health insurance industry is making medical errors by doctors the focus of a new ad campaign that could derail passage of legislation to give new rights to patients in managed care. (USA Today)

Florida's HMO Reform Efforts Stuck in Legal Gridlock
"... many consumers feel powerless against the companies and they want state lawmakers to force managed-care providers to offer new forms of medical coverage, revamp the state's grievance procedure and make it easier for HMOs to be sued when they deny care. But the reforms, which two Senate committees discussed jointly Monday, are opposed by the state's $11.5-billion-a-year managed-care industry, as well as by the state's two largest business groups -- Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce." (Orlando Sentinel)

HMO Group Launches Ad Campaign
A health insurance group is launching TV ads designed to convince the public that doctors' mistakes, not managed care plans, are the real problem with health care in America. (Associated Press)

Cummins Engine Company decision to provide benefits to domestic partners of unmarried employees sparks debate in Columbus, Indiana
More than 400 people attended the prayer meeting outside of Cummins' Columbus headquarters to protest the new policy. Cummins employee Ben Manring organized the rally for Cummins Stakeholders Against Domestic Partner Benefits, a citizen group he formed. (U-Wire)

IRS Rulings
Paul T. Shultz Named as Director of Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements
Announced on Tuesday by Evelyn Petschek, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service's Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Division. (Internal Revenue Service)

Plan Sponsors to Benefit From IRS Guidance On Electronic Plan Administration
Link to article temporarily available in online sample of RIA's Pension & Benefits Week. (RIA)

Laws and Bills
Misconceptions Abound About Federal Employees' Long-Term Care Plan Legislation
"The House Government Reform and Oversight Committee tomorrow is scheduled to vote on--and probably will approve--a federal family long-term care insurance program. Approval would clear the legislation for quick action by the full House." (Washington Post)

Ads Could Derail Patients' Rights Bill - Health Insurance Association of America Wants to Shift Focus to Medical Errors
The health insurance industry is making medical errors by doctors the focus of a new ad campaign that could derail passage of legislation to give new rights to patients in managed care. (USA Today)

Florida's HMO Reform Efforts Stuck in Legal Gridlock
"... many consumers feel powerless against the companies and they want state lawmakers to force managed-care providers to offer new forms of medical coverage, revamp the state's grievance procedure and make it easier for HMOs to be sued when they deny care. But the reforms, which two Senate committees discussed jointly Monday, are opposed by the state's $11.5-billion-a-year managed-care industry, as well as by the state's two largest business groups -- Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce." (Orlando Sentinel)

HMO Group Launches Ad Campaign
A health insurance group is launching TV ads designed to convince the public that doctors' mistakes, not managed care plans, are the real problem with health care in America. (Associated Press)

Managed Care
Ads Could Derail Patients' Rights Bill - Health Insurance Association of America Wants to Shift Focus to Medical Errors
The health insurance industry is making medical errors by doctors the focus of a new ad campaign that could derail passage of legislation to give new rights to patients in managed care. (USA Today)

Florida's HMO Reform Efforts Stuck in Legal Gridlock
"... many consumers feel powerless against the companies and they want state lawmakers to force managed-care providers to offer new forms of medical coverage, revamp the state's grievance procedure and make it easier for HMOs to be sued when they deny care. But the reforms, which two Senate committees discussed jointly Monday, are opposed by the state's $11.5-billion-a-year managed-care industry, as well as by the state's two largest business groups -- Associated Industries of Florida and the Florida Chamber of Commerce." (Orlando Sentinel)

HMO Group Launches Ad Campaign
A health insurance group is launching TV ads designed to convince the public that doctors' mistakes, not managed care plans, are the real problem with health care in America. (Associated Press)

PBGC Rulings
2000 Model Participant Notice for Certain Underfunded Pension Plans is Published by PBGC
Technical Update 00-2 (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Regulations (Federal)
IRS Issues Proposed Regulations That Would Liberalize Application of IRC 411(d)(6) Anti-Cutback Rule, Including Elimination of Certain Forms of Benefit Payment - But New Rules Cannot Be 'Relied Upon' Until Finalized
The proposed regulations would permit qualified defined contribution plans to be amended to eliminate some alternative forms of benefit payment, and would permit certain transfers between defined contribution plans that are not permitted under current regulations. (Internal Revenue Service)

Pension & Benefits Update: March 27, 2000
Link to archive of email newsletter published by Tax Analysts (Tax Analysts)

Retirement Plan Administration
Paul T. Shultz Named as Director of Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements
Announced on Tuesday by Evelyn Petschek, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service's Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Division. (Internal Revenue Service)

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations That Would Liberalize Application of IRC 411(d)(6) Anti-Cutback Rule, Including Elimination of Certain Forms of Benefit Payment - But New Rules Cannot Be 'Relied Upon' Until Finalized
The proposed regulations would permit qualified defined contribution plans to be amended to eliminate some alternative forms of benefit payment, and would permit certain transfers between defined contribution plans that are not permitted under current regulations. (Internal Revenue Service)

Plan Sponsors to Benefit From IRS Guidance On Electronic Plan Administration
Link to article temporarily available in online sample of RIA's Pension & Benefits Week. (RIA)

2000 Model Participant Notice for Certain Underfunded Pension Plans is Published by PBGC
Technical Update 00-2 (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Retirement Plan Design
Japan cuts pensions to boost economy; hikes retirement age to curb public debt growth
Japan's parliament voted yesterday to cut pension benefits and boost the retirement age for its aging citizenry, swallowing a politically bitter pill that leaders here hope will arrest the swift deterioration of their government's fiscal health. (Boston Globe)

IBM Employees Plan Road Trip
Hundreds of IBM workers, angry about pension plan changes, turned out Monday night to kick up support for a road trip to rally at Big Blue's annual stockholders' meeting next month. (WCAX)

Paul T. Shultz Named as Director of Employee Plans Rulings and Agreements
Announced on Tuesday by Evelyn Petschek, Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service's Tax Exempt and Government Entities (TE/GE) Division. (Internal Revenue Service)

IRS Issues Proposed Regulations That Would Liberalize Application of IRC 411(d)(6) Anti-Cutback Rule, Including Elimination of Certain Forms of Benefit Payment - But New Rules Cannot Be 'Relied Upon' Until Finalized
The proposed regulations would permit qualified defined contribution plans to be amended to eliminate some alternative forms of benefit payment, and would permit certain transfers between defined contribution plans that are not permitted under current regulations. (Internal Revenue Service)

N.J. to use pension surplus to provide new pension benefit for police and firefighters
The New Jersey legislature approved $45 million in relief to New Jersey municipalities Monday to cover the costs of a new pension benefit for police and firefighters. (Bergen NJ Record)

Boeing Boosts Non-Union Employees' Benefits to Match Those for Union Employees
Boeing sweetened the benefits package for its 80,000 salaried, nonunion employees Friday -- in essence matching the gains won by the company's white-collar union after a 40-day strike. (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

Retirement Plan Information for Employees
2000 Model Participant Notice for Certain Underfunded Pension Plans is Published by PBGC
Technical Update 00-2 (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Retirement Plan Information for Investors and Trustees
Investments on Borrowed Time? Surge in Margin Loans Has Some Economists Worried
"The frenzy to make money on the dot-com boom is renewing interest in an old-fashioned market strategy--buying stocks on margin." (Washington Post)

Investing in Socially, Environmentally Aware Funds Is An Option
Commentary by Rebecca Adamson - "Through the Indigenous Social Screen, socially responsible investors can engage in direct advocacy for Indigenous peoples anywhere in the world." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

Retirement Plan Policy
Investing in Socially, Environmentally Aware Funds Is An Option
Commentary by Rebecca Adamson - "Through the Indigenous Social Screen, socially responsible investors can engage in direct advocacy for Indigenous peoples anywhere in the world." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

Japan cuts pensions to boost economy; hikes retirement age to curb public debt growth
Japan's parliament voted yesterday to cut pension benefits and boost the retirement age for its aging citizenry, swallowing a politically bitter pill that leaders here hope will arrest the swift deterioration of their government's fiscal health. (Boston Globe)

Cummins Engine Company decision to provide benefits to domestic partners of unmarried employees sparks debate in Columbus, Indiana
More than 400 people attended the prayer meeting outside of Cummins' Columbus headquarters to protest the new policy. Cummins employee Ben Manring organized the rally for Cummins Stakeholders Against Domestic Partner Benefits, a citizen group he formed. (U-Wire)

Japanese parliament votes to cut private sector pensions
The Japanese Parliament approved a plan Tuesday to cut private sector pensions over the next 25 years, hoping to avert a pension crisis as society rapidly ages. (Associated Press)

Social Security
Japan cuts pensions to boost economy; hikes retirement age to curb public debt growth
Japan's parliament voted yesterday to cut pension benefits and boost the retirement age for its aging citizenry, swallowing a politically bitter pill that leaders here hope will arrest the swift deterioration of their government's fiscal health. (Boston Globe)

Japanese parliament votes to cut private sector pensions
The Japanese Parliament approved a plan Tuesday to cut private sector pensions over the next 25 years, hoping to avert a pension crisis as society rapidly ages. (Associated Press)

Stock Options
Pension & Benefits Update: March 27, 2000
Link to archive of email newsletter published by Tax Analysts (Tax Analysts)




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