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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition

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July 6, 2000

Firms Find More Profit From Retirement Funds: Direct Transfers From 401(k) Plans Into DB Plans
Excerpt: "Having already seen earnings boosted by stock-market-fueled pension-plan surpluses, some financial-service firms are finding more ways to use employees' retirement funds to add to their bottom line." (Ellen E. Schultz, in the Wall Street Journal)

SEC After-Tax Return Disclosure Proposal Sparks Little Resistance in Mutual Fund Industry
Excerpt: "During a public comment period that ended Friday, the plan didn't raise much protest from the fund industry. Even the Investment Company Institute, the national trade group for mutual funds, submitted a letter of support to the SEC." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

SEC Proposes Mutual Funds Disclose After-Tax Returns
Excerpt: "In just a couple of days, the comment period closes regarding an SEC proposed rule that would require mutual fund companies to reveal their after-tax results. Emailing the SEC now could help tip the balance in favor of shareholders on this important issue." (Motley Fool)

US West Retirees to Challenge Arizona Commission Decision on Employee Benefits Provisions
Excerpt: "US West retirees say they will challenge a decision by the Arizona Corporation Commission on Wednesday that [allegedly] watered down earlier approved protections for their health and pension benefits." (Knight-Ridder / Tribune Business News)

PBGC Seeks Public Comment on How to Value Cash Balance Plans with Variable Indices
Excerpt: "[T]he Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) seeks public comments on how the agency should deal with certain valuation issues raised by terminated cash balance pension plans with variable indices. Comments are due to PBGC by September 22, 2000." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Idaho Trout Producer to Transfer from Private Ownership to Employee Stock Ownership Plan
Excerpt: "After 34 years of private ownership, trout producer Clear Springs Foods Inc. said Monday it will sell to an employee-owned trust. The company's board of directors Friday unanimously approved a tender offer for purchase of all the company's outstanding shares to the recently created Clear Springs Foods Inc. Employee Stock Ownership Plan and Trust." (Twin Falls [Idaho] Times-News)

No Hue and Cry From Participants For Public Sector Defined Contribution Plans
Excerpt: "States and municipalities are adding defined contribution (DC) plans to their retirement programs largely because of the fund and insurance industries' intense lobbying and despite the fact that there is virtually no demand for the option from state employees, according to pension plan and public sector executives." (Employee Benefit News)

Nevada Economic Development Commission Wants Public Employees' Pension Fund to Invest in Nevada
Excerpt: "Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt, chairwoman of the commission, said the money currently is being put into venture capital investments outside Nevada. 'I believe that whenever possible, we should invest Nevadans' money in Nevada businesses,' she said." (Las Vegas Sun)

Opinion: Virtual HR and "The New 401k Bundle"
Matt Hutcheson talks about the functional gaps in the traditional bundled 401k plan products and how these gaps need to be bridged to prevent Plan Sponsor's from becoming further buried in endless paperwork and frustration. Vendors who bridge the gap become the market winners. (Thanks to Rick Meigs of 401kHelpCenter.com for recommending the link!) (Matthew D. Hutcheson, President of MDH Consulting, Inc.)

Pension Reform In Sweden: Lessons For American Policymakers
Excerpt: "Sweden was the first nation in the world to implement a universal government-run retirement system, but today it is in the process of privatizing part of its pension program. Facing problems similar to those that beset the U.S. Social Security system, the Swedes decided that personal accounts were the best way of ensuring that today's workers would enjoy a safe and comfortable retirement." (Heritage Foundation)

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