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The BenefitsLink Newsletter

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April 5, 2000

New Edition of Publication on the ESOP Repurchase Obligation
Excerpts from the new edition of the standard publication on the ESOP repurchase obligation--the legal duty of every private company with an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) to offer to buy back company stock distributed to ESOP participants. (The National Center for Employee Ownership)

Work-Life Issues: Sleep Should Become More of a Priority
Excerpt: "... the time between the last computer log off at night and the first cell phone ring of the morning has been decreasing over the years." (New York Times Syndicate)

Advisors Say: Stay Calm During Wild NASDAQ Ride
Excerpt: "Karen Oslo, a legal secretary at Ropes and Grayin Boston, has been checking the markets every hour on the Internet since the Nasdaq Composite index began its wild ride two weeks ago. Despite losses on some high-tech stocks in her portfolio and concerns about a technology-heavy mutual fund in her 401(k) plan, she is holding fast." (New York Times Syndicate)

New Economy Rockets CEO Pay Into the Stratosphere
[Hope this doesn't ruin your day. - Editor] Excerpt: "Soaring stock prices propelled 1999 compensation packages for Yahoo CEO Timothy Koogle and America Online's Steve Case into the rarified 10-digit zone. Koogle's total compensation package is valued at $1.7 billion; Case's, $1.1 billion." (USA Today)

Florida Legislature Considers Bills Addressing Speed of Payments by HMOs
Excerpt: "On one side are the doctors and hospital executives. They don't always get reimbursed promptly for the services they provide, and they say that's putting their practices in jeopardy. On the other side are the insurance and managed-care companies who say they don't pay every health claim quickly because many requests for payment are improperly filed, excessive, or even fraudulent." (Orlando Sentinel)

Cummins Reaffirms Domestic Partner Benefits Policy
Excerpt: "Cummins Engine Co. executives told shareholders at the company's annual meeting Tuesday that its new policy to extend benefits to partners of unmarried employees will stand." (StarNews.com)

Small Employer Retirement Survey - 2000 Results
Excerpt: "The 2000 SERS, [from] the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI), the American Savings Education Council (ASEC), and Mathew Greenwald & Associates (MGA), shows that many small business owners without retirement plans are unfamiliar with the different retirement plan types available to them as potential plan sponsors." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Employee, Cover Thyself
Excerpt: "Employers agree that defined-contribution plans can solve the problem of rising health-care costs, but no one wants to be the first to implement them." (Workforce)

Tax and Benefits Implications of Misclassifying Workers
Excellent outline, just published on the Web. (Thomas D. Terry of the Groom Law Group)

IRS Proposes Changes to Anti-Cutback Regulations
A summary of the recently proposed changes. (Investment Company Institute)

Final PTE for Interest-Free Loans to Fix Y2K Problems (PDF Version)
Needs the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to view or print. (Federal Register for April 3, 2000)

Final PTE for Interest-Free Loans to Fix Y2K Problems (Plain Text)
(Federal Register for April 3, 2000)

DOL Finalizes Class PTE on Interest-Free Loans and Credit for Fixing Plan Y2K Problems
Excerpt: "The exemption allows employee benefit plans to receive temporary loans and extensions of credit to meet Y2K contingencies if certain conditions are met. The exemption amends Prohibited Transaction Exemption 80-26. After reviewing public comments on the proposal, the department decided to issue a final exemption which is virtually identical to the proposal announced on Nov. 29, 1999." (U.S. Department of Labor)

For Many Educators, Cashing Out Makes Sense
Excerpt: "Many educators who fall under the state's Teachers' Retirement System Plan 1 are finding it more lucrative after 30 years of work to retire and 'cash out' their contributions, take the state's monthly pension payment and start a new job elsewhere." (Spokane.net)

New SHRM Survey Shows Slight Decrease in Benefits Being Offered by Employers
Excerpt: "A new survey by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) suggests that employers are being more cautious about the number of benefits they offer. The SHRM(R) 2000 Benefits Survey shows overall decreases from the previous year's survey in the number of employers who offer such benefits as relocation assistance, health wellness programs, subsidized cafeterias and certain types of leave." (news.excite.com)

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