The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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August 2, 2000
PWBA Advisory Opinion 2000-09A: Order Requiring Non-QJSA Survivor's Annuity to Former Spouse is QDRO
Excerpt: "... you ask whether an order requiring the company-paid survivor benefit to be paid to the participant's former spouse, who had been named by the participant as the designated beneficiary under the plan prior to the divorce and as of the date of the participant's retirement, could constitute a 'qualified domestic relations order' (QDRO) within the meaning of section 206 (d)(3) of ERISA [even though the plan only permits payments of such an annuity to current spouses]." (U.S. Department of Labor)
PWBA Advisory Opinion 2000-10A: IRA Investing in Limited Partnership With IRA Owner and Relatives
Excerpt: " ...you ask whether allowing the owner of an IRA to direct the IRA to invest in a limited partnership, in which relatives and the IRA owner in his individual capacity are partners, will violate section 4975 of the Code." (U.S. Department of Labor)
IRS Notice 2000-38 On Withholding, Reporting Requirements for 457(b) Plans
Excerpt: "... this notice addresses... income tax withholding and reporting with respect to annual deferrals... income tax withholding and reporting with respect to distributions... Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) payment and reporting with respect to annual deferrals under a section 457(b) plan... employer identification numbers (EINs) used in connection with [457(g)] trusts; and the application of annual reporting requirements to section 457(b) plan administrators and trustees..." (Internal Revenue Service)
APPWP Publishes Online Program About Portman-Cardin Pension Legislation - Part I
Real Audio program (see www.real.com for free player) featuring Rep. Ben Cardin (D-MD), Rep. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans President Jim Klein. (Association of Private Pension and Welfare Plans)
APPWP Publishes Online Program About Portman-Cardin Pension Legislation - Part II
RFP Exchanges Start Their Engines
Excerpt: "Unlike other Web startup businesses, those companies starting retirement exchanges can begin to gather business from the day they open their doors. So how are they doing? Just fine, thank you, they claim. The 401kWire.com spoke with three startups making a go at creating 401(k) exchanges or marketplaces." (401kWire.com)
House Bill Would Ease ERISA's Prohibited Transaction Rules on Investment Advice to Participants
Excerpt: "H.R. 4748 would ... provide an exemption from the prohibited transaction rules for the provision of investment advice by a fiduciary adviser ... to plan participants ... [Under certain conditions, the] bill would exempt the ... sale or acquisition of securities or other property pursuant to such investment advice; and the direct or indirect receipt of fees or other compensation by the fiduciary adviser in connection with the provision of such advice." (Spencernet)
Bipartisan Bill Seeks To Help Employers Offer Phased Retirement Programs
Excerpt: "Sen. Charles Grassley (Iowa) and Rep. Earl Pomeroy (N.D.) have introduced the Phased Retirement Liberalization Act (S. 2853 and H.R. 4837, respectively), which is intended to assist employers that want to offer phased retirement programs [such that defined benefit and money purchase plans could make in-service distributions under certain circumstances]." (Spencernet)
Is Your Boss Raiding the 401(K) Till?
Excerpt: "During the past five years, the Department of Labor has conducted more than 4,850 investigations into the mismanagement of 401(k) plans and has recovered more than $88.9 million in delayed or lost contributions, plus earnings on that money." (Thanks to Tim Younkin for recommending the link!) (IndividualInvestor.com)
A Matter of Policy
Excerpt: "An investment policy statement is a critical part of 401(k) plan administration. So why do half of all companies go without one? ... an [investment policy statement] serves as an incontrovertible piece of documentation if plan performance or administration is ever questioned--by lawyers, that is." (CFO magazine)
French Finance Minister Proposes Private Savings System
Excerpt: "Private pension funds, such as those that control huge investments in the United States, do not exist in France. Instead, the country has long relied primarily on its national 'pay-as-you-go' system, under which retiree benefits are financed by payments from those still at work. But that system has come under increasing strain in recent years from an aging population, generous retirement benefits and a low retirement age." (International Herald Tribune)
Recommended Web Site: Old Age Security & Canada Pension Plan
Excerpt: "Income Security Programs administers the Canada Pension Plan, which replaces part of the earnings that are lost when a working Canadian retires or becomes seriously disabled. As well, the Plan provides benefits for the surviving spouse and dependent children in the event of the death of a contributor. The Canada Pension Plan is financed through contributions from employees, employers, and self-employed persons as well as interest from the Canada Pension Plan Fund." (Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada)
Opinion: Bush is Man Without a Plan
Excerpt: "Sometimes you just have to concede defeat. I read the Republican platform carefully, hoping to find some substance-- say, in the section on retirement security. But there is no there there. " (Paul Krugman, in the New York Times; free registration required)
(Following also appears in Welfare Plans Edition)
Web Site of The National Association of Prudential Retirees and Vested Terminators, Inc.
An example of a site created by a retiree organization, primarily concerned with pension and retiree health issues. Excerpt: "The NAPRI community website is intended for the use of Prudential retirees, employees and vested terminators as a source of communication and for sharing pertinent information about OUR pension plan benefits and other related information." (NAPRI)
Special DOL Presentation in Atlanta August 17: Focus On The Future: A Look at Family Health Benefits
Excerpt: "The purpose of the program is twofold: (1) To recognize the great strides that have been made through ERISA in protecting private industry workers health and pension benefits, and (2) To provide individuals who have the general public as constituents an opportunity to ask questions about health and pension benefits." (U.S. Department of Labor)
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