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April 21, 2000

IRS Eases Requirements for 401(k) Safe Harbors
Excerpt: "Below is a summary of the rules for using a safe harbor formula, as modified by the IRS in Notice 2000-3." (Pillsbury, Madison & Sutro LLP)

Tax Court Clarifies Applicability of Community Property Laws to IRA Distributions
Excerpt: "The U.S. Tax Court, reviewing an issue of first impression, recently decided that distributions from an IRA were wholly taxable to an IRA owner, despite his former spouse's 50-percent community property interest in the IRA. In Bunney v. Commissioner ..." (Investment Company Institute)

Final IRS Regs on Relief From Disqualification of a Plan Accepting an Invalid Rollover Contribution
Excerpt: "These final regulations provide specific rules that grant relief from disqualification to an eligible retirement plan that inadvertently accepts an invalid rollover contribution. The final regulations also clarify that it is not necessary for a distributing plan to have a favorable IRS determination letter in order for a plan administrator of a receiving plan to reach a reasonable conclusion that a contribution is a valid rollover contribution." (Treasury Department)

Employers Are Primary Source of Health Plan Information
Excerpt: "The study suggests that, despite conventional wisdom, many workers rely on and trust information such as health-plan performance 'report cards' provided by their employers." (Center for the Advancement of Health, via EurekAlert)

Maryland Law Bringing Insurance Relief
Excerpt: "The law is one of the first that enables a state to reverse health insurers' decisions." (Washington Post)

Vermont Senate OKs 'Marriage' Rights for Gays
Excerpt: "Hailed as a landmark advance for gay rights and vilifiedas a deadly assault on a sacred institution, a measure granting all the 'rights and responsibilities' of marriage to same-sex couples swept to victory Wednesday in the Vermont state Senate. The historic bill, approved by a 19-11 vote in the predominantly Democratic Senate, creates "a parallel track" to marriage known as civil union status." (Los Angeles Times)

GE acquires bulk of Citigroup's Long Term Care Insurance
Excerpt: "GE Financial Assurance, a division of General Electric Co., will buy most of Citigroup's long term care insurance business in a deal announced April 17." (insure.com)

Trial Lawyers Denounce Aetna's Deal With Texas
Excerpt: "Trial lawyers suing Aetna Inc. and its health-care subsidiaries have denounced the health insurer's recent agreement with the State of Texas as a 'sweetheart deal ... riddled with loopholes.'" (Washington Post)

Texas-Aetna Settlement: It's Not Over Yet
Excerpt: "But scrutiny of the settlement between Aetna U.S. Healthcare and Texas Attorney General John Cornyn (R) is far from over, as critics analyze the effect it will have on the three remaining HMO defendants -- NYLCare Health Plans, PacifiCare of Texas and Humana Health Plan." (DrKoop.com)

Guide to the Top 20 401(k) Funds
Excerpt: "How these funds perform in coming years will likely have a greater impact on the financial well-being of American baby boomers than any other investments will. They are giants of the retirement plan business-holding a combined $350 billion of 401(k) and other defined-contribution assets." (Money)
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