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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition

May 17 - 18, 2000

Historical Perspective of Multiemployer Defined Contribution Plans
Broaden your view with a Historical Perspective of Multiemployer Defined Contribution Plans, in a new booklet available from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans ($10 non-members; free to IFEBP members). (IFEBP)

Prefunding Retiree Health Benefits
Excerpt: "The majority of public plans provide health benefits for retirees ... The cost of these benefits has grown dramatically and will continue to do so ... As a result of having a 'well funded' pension plan, some employers and employees are considering whether to pre-fund retiree health benefits." (PERiScope, from Milliman & Robertson, Inc.)

The Future of Retirement
Excerpt: "Does retirement still make sense? Is our government's role sustainable amidst the crushing impact of Canada's aging baby boom? Can employers continue to play their role effectively in a pension regulatory system so filled with trepidation? And what of individual Canadians?" (Benefits Canada)

Projected OASDI Wage Bases, 2001 - 2009
Excerpt: "Following are estimated Social Security wage bases for 2001-2009 recently released by the Social Security Administration. The actual Social Security wage base for year 2001 will be released in October 2000." (Ernst & Young)

Responding to the Hype About Lump Sum Payments
Excerpt: "Watson Wyatt has been addressing the issue of demographics in connection with retirement plan design for many years now. But we find it disturbing that some have not accurately reported what we have been saying on the subject." (Watson Wyatt)

When Your Retirement Plan Changes (PDF)
Booklet for employees. Excerpt: "This question and answer summary provides basic information on retirement plans plus specific information on cash balance plans. The American Academy of Actuaries prepared this booklet to help you understand your cash balance plan and how it could affect your retirement planning." (American Academy of Actuaries)

ERISA Suit Halted and Eventually Dismissed Because of Voluntary Compliance Resolution Submission
Excerpt: "A recent case decided in the Eastern District of Michigan sheds some light on the interaction between a participant's rights under ERISA and an employer's responsibility to participants if the employer has used one of the IRS voluntary compliance programs." (KPMG Peat Marwick)

9th Cir: Third Party Administrator Was Not an ERISA Fiduciary
Excerpt: "The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has held that a third-party plan administrator (TPA) was not a fiduciary because it had performed only ministerial functions and did not exhibit control over the plan. The TPA had been sued by plan participants as a fiduciary in order to recover funds that had been embezzled from the plan by a plan trustee." (KPMG Peat Marwick)

APPWP Comments on IRS Notice 2000-14 Regarding Upcoming Review of New Comparability Plans
Excerpt: "APPWP has three concerns with the review announced by Notice 2000-14. First, we are concerned that the government is revisiting an issue that has been exhaustively reviewed without sufficient justification to do so ..." (Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans)

APPWP Comments on Department of Labor Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
Excerpt: "APPWP appreciates the Department's efforts in developing the VFCP. Our membership supports compliance programs that enable plan sponsors and service providers to make corrections for unintentional errors and thereby strengthen the voluntary, private retirement system that forms an important pillar of Americans' retirement security." (Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans)

Executive Compensation 101 - Part III: Deferred Compensation
Excerpt: "Tax deferred retirement plans offer both executives and staff important economic security and tax savings." (KPMG Peat Marwick)

CEO Years Are Like Dog Years at Retirement
Excerpt: "Seems like only yesterday that Mark H. Willes was brought in as CEO of Times Mirror Co. from General Mills Inc. But what do you know, Willes has been with the newspaper publisher for 20 years. At least that's what the pension plan has been tricked into believing. In actuality, he joined the company in June 1995 and stepped down last month." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

CalPERS Honors Four For Corporate Governance
Excerpt: "Apple Computer, Inc., the Texas Instruments Incorporated Board of Directors, Time Warnerís Chairman and CEO, and an independent director of General Motors have received a special honor from CalPERS, the corporate governance award of courage." (California Public Employees Retirement System)

FEDworkplace.com Provides Online Benefits Info for Federal Employees
Excerpt: "Fedworkplace.com, is the most comprehensive federal community portal on the Internet with tightly focused content geared towards federal and military employees. This site was developed by federal workers for federal workers. We're dedicated to helping federal users, and anyone interested in the federal workplace..." (FEDworkplace.com)

Oppenheimer Funds Offering Small-Plan Product for Use by Banks
Excerpt: "The new program, Pinnacle Ascender, is designed for firms with 49 people or fewer ... The firm is pursuing this market because the market for retirement services for larger firms is slowing, while services for smaller firms appear to be poised for significant growth." (American Banker)

Excel Spreadsheet for Installment Loan Amortization
Excerpt: "From time to time, The CPA Journal presents software reviews, spreadsheet templates, and other information helpful to computer users." (CPA Journal, May 2000)

More People Saving for Retirement, But Many Underestimate Life Span
Excerpt: "More American workers are planning and saving for retirement, but their efforts may fall short because they often underestimate how long they'll live. Nearly 20% of workers believe their retirement will last 10 years or less, and an additional 15% believe it will last 11 to 19 years, according to the 10th annual Retirement Confidence Survey, out today." (USA Today)

1999 Investment Company Institute Annual Report (PDF; 3.5 Megs)
Excerpt: "he Investment Company Institute (ICI) is the national association of the investment company industry. Its mission is to advance the interests of investment companies (mutual funds, closed-end funds, and unit investment trusts) and their shareholders, to promote public understanding of the investment company business, and to serve the public interest by encouraging adherence to high ethical standards by all elements of the business." (Investment Company Institute)

Stock Options Taking On Inflated Value Among Rank-And-File Employees?
Excerpt: "Stock option fever is sweeping the country, leaving employees more overheated than the U.S. economy. Experts fear that many of these workers, buoyed by Wall Streetís unprecedented bull run and spurred by media tales of dot-com millionaires, are placing an inflated value on stock grants thatís out of proportion to their real worth." (Employee Benefit News)

High-Tech Firms: Wiggling Out Of Their Stock Option Promises To Workers?
Excerpt: "A growing number of high-tech and Internet employees enticed to start-ups by executives throwing stock options around like candy are ending up in court, charging that their employers are trying to wriggle out of stock deals after hitting the big time." (New York Times Syndicate)

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