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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition

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June 16, 2000

401(k) Fees Under the Microscope: Time to Unbundle Services?
Excerpt: "Any trend toward unbundling driven by flexible, competitive fees may take a few years to become apparent, as fee reviews enter plan sponsor priority lists." (401kWire.com)

ERIC Urges Treasury to Tread Lightly on Cash Balance Plan Conversions
Excerpt: "Much of the current controversy is being driven by a series of careless and distorted media reports that rely more on anecdotes than on facts. Precipitous action by the Administration or the Congress ... will cause employers that now provide defined benefit plans to change to less secure arrangements." (ERISA Industry Committee)

Gateway Embraces Black-Scholes Model for Executive Stock Options -- Sort Of
Excerpt: "In 1993, the Financial Accounting Standards Board, the rule-making body for American accounting, proposed that every company charge its earnings with the estimated present value of stock option grants, measured using the Black-Scholes model or one of its linear descendants. While most every company in the land was unhappy with this proposal, the high-tech folks were apoplectic." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

What's a KEYSOP? Do They Work?
Learn more about this new executive compensation program by following the online discussion among practitioners. (BenefitsBoards.net)

Alliance Members of Parliament Getting Pensions They Once Denounced
Excerpt: "Canadian Alliance MPs who once denounced the parliamentary pension plan as a gold-plated abomination are about to join it--some willingly, others grudgingly." (Canadian Presse)

Working Teens Can Open Roth IRA
Excerpt: "But if Roths make sense for adults, they make even better sense for kids. Here's why..." (Sandra Block, in USA Today)

Opinion Varies on Variable Annuities
Excerpt: "The financial community thinks it is better to invest directly in a mutual fund, but do the benefits of variable annuities outweigh their higher costs, as claimed by the insurance industry?" (SF Gate)

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