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Retirement Plans Edition

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May 22, 2000

Best funds for your 401(k)
"CNNfn.com asked some financial planning and mutual fund experts to offer their top fund picks for a 401(k) with at least a 10-year time horizon." (CNNfn)

Kansas City Employees Resist National Trend of Taking Out Frivolous 401(k) Loans
Excerpt: "Employees nationwide are raiding their 401(k) plans for frivolous loans, but Kansas Citians are bucking the trend." (Kansas City Business Journal)

Coping with the Pension Crisis -- Where Does Europe Stand?
Links to working papers of presentations made at a March 2000 conference; to be published in book form by the University of Chicago Press. (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Papers)

Vester Tester
Online calculator for stock options. (The Standard)

ASPA Survey: 'New Comparability' Expands Small Business Retirement Plan Coverage
Excerpt: "A recent survey of over 10,000 "new comparability" plans, conducted by the American Society of Pension Actuaries, reveals that these plans not only provide valuable retirement coverage for small businesses employees but also expand access to those who previously had no coverage." (American Society of Pension Actuaries)

Lump-Sum Pensions Scrutinized
Excerpt: "The U.S. Treasury Department is taking a serious look into just this issue: whether employers are giving [pension plan participants] enough information about their pension-payout choices. Making the wrong decision--and the wrong decision, for many people, is choosing the lump sum--can cost an employee tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars." (Ellen Schultz, in the Arizona Republic)

To Roll or Not to Roll: the 401(k) Question
Excerpt: "After losing a significant portion of your retirement account to taxes and penalties, you'll be more likely to spend what's left--rather than investing it for your future. Your money's future earnings could be the biggest loss of all." (Wall Street Journal)

Thirty-Three Execs Awarded at Least $20 Million in Stock Options Last Year
Excerpt: "Even in a year in which Y2K concerns slowed some parts of the industry to a crawl, more executives were paid higher figures in salary and stock options than ever before." (Computer Reseller News)

Pension Hike in Kentucky Government Employees' Retirement Bill Might Not Fly
Excerpt: "Some legislators are giving little support to a plan to raise legislative pensions by 64 percent in a General Assembly embroiled in debate over tax increases for Kentuckians." (Kentucky Post)

Increase in New York City Government Worker Pension Benefits Might Kill Tax Cut
Excerpt: "The city's efforts to cut local taxes are being threatened by the State Legislature's proposal to increase pension benefits for city government workers, the Giuliani administration and City Council leaders say." (New York Times; free registration required)

New Issue Online of the Pension & Benefits Update Email Newsletter by Tax Analysts: May 16, 2000
May 16, 2000 issue; includes info on the recent IRS same-desk ruling, various significant private letter rulings (Tax Analysts)

President Signs Stock Option Bill
Excerpt: The Worker Economic Opportunity Act (S. 2323) "amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) to ensure that employers can continue to offer stock options to non-exempt employees without fear of violating overtime requirements." (LPA)

Individual Social Security Accounts: The Mega-issue of 2000
Excerpt: "Social Security likely will be a central issue in the fall campaign. Moreover, the issue has both breadth and depth ... So it may become one of those rare campaign occurrences: the defining issue of a presidential election." (IntellectualCapital.com)

Advocacy Site Asks: Is Social Security Ripping You Off?
Includes an online calculator, which "shows you what you will pay in taxes, what you will receive in benefits, and what you would have received if you were allowed to invest the same dollars in a private account." (National Center for Policy Analysis)

A Texas alternative to Social Security
Excerpt: "Fearful of ever-rising Social Security taxes, three Texas counties dropped out of the federal retirement program in the early 1980s, channeling their employees' payroll taxes into private investments instead." (SunSpot.com)

Brain Drain: Worthless Stock Options Have Employees Fleeing the Nest
Excerpt: "But Wall Street has sent a new message to the dot-commers: Your treasured options are worthless." (The Standard)

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