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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition

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August 16, 2000

403(b) Double Duty: Company Helps Districts with IRS Compliance Issues, Weeds Out High-Fee Vendors
"Consulting firm Bolton Offutt Donovan is music to the ears of school district officials and 403(b) participants alike," by Dan Otter of 403bwise.com. (403bWise.com)

Newly On Sale At HamiltonBook.com: Maximize Your IRA
Published at $18.95; limited quantities available at $2.95. Excerpt: "With the passage of the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, consumers have an overwhelming number of choices to make. Here, an award-winning finance journalist guides you through the maze of options, and shows you how to manage your account to ensure a secure retirement." (Author is Neil Downing)

Opinion: Misinformation Blurs Thinking on Social Security
Excerpt: "... the last few years have produced an outpouring of articles warning us that the system is going broke, that the money in the Trust Fund has been stolen and replaced with 'IOUs,' or that workers are getting an appallingly low return on their investment ... None of these things are true, but unfortunately the technique of the 'big lie' has worked. Polls show that most young people believe Social Security will not be there when they retire." (By Roger Voelker, in the South Bend [IN] Tribune)

(Following also appears in Welfare Plans Edition)

IFEBP Places Employee Benefit Plans Glossary Online
This 10th edition of the 220-page book also is available for ordering from IFEBP in convenient hardcopy for $32 (IFEBP Members $29). (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Links to Articles and Resources on Social Investing Are Now Categorized on BenefitsLink
Social investing-- sometimes called socially-responsible or "green" investing-- is the subject of considerable attention lately. Should retirement plan sponsors limit a plan's investments to "socially responsible" investments? Is a trustee or investment manager potentially subject to a claim of a breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA or applicable state law (for governmental plans)? BenefitsLink is now collecting and publishing links to articles about such issues. (BenefitsLink.com, Inc.)

Links to Articles and Resources on Domestic Partners Issues Are Now Categorized on BenefitsLink
Should an employer extend employee benefits to the "domestic partner" of an employee? Only to same-sex domestic partners? How many employers have done so already? BenefitsLink is now collecting and publishing links to articles about the employee benefits aspects of domestic partners. (BenefitsLink.com, Inc.)

Mother-and-Son Team Rely on Each Other in Building eBenefits
Excerpt: "Outsourcing human resource services has become a huge business. Dataquest estimates the market will grow from $900 million in 1999 to more than $12 billion by 2003 in the United States." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Bins v. Exxon Company, U.S.A.
Excerpt: "We must determine in this case the point at which an employer who administers a plan under [ERISA] has a duty to inform plan participants that it is considering a proposal to offer more generous retirement incentive benefits.... In the months before he retired, Bins unsuccessfully attempted to confirm rumors that EUSA was considering offering eligible employees a lump-sum retirement incentive under an existing welfare benefit plan covered by ERISA. Two weeks after Bins retired ..." (United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit)

13-Judge Federal Panel Sides With Retiree Over Pension Disclosure Suit With Exxon-Mobil
Excerpt: "A lower court judge in Los Angeles, finding that Exxon had no obligation to tell Bins anything until the plan was ready for final decision, threw the case out.... [T]he Ninth Circuit, sitting in a thirteen judge 'en banc' panel overturned the lower court, ruling that Exxon was obliged to answer Bins' questions 'completely' and 'truthfully' as soon as the plan was first 'seriously considered' by the senior Exxon managers who would carry it out." (Tom Moukawsher, Attorney for Plaintiff)

Cases Highlight Investment Plan Options, Attorney Liability
Excerpt: "One recent court case involves a theme that has become increasingly familiar-- the charge by plan participants that plan sponsors violated their fiduciary responsibility by improperly investing plan assets in inappropriate funds. Another case concerns a new approach to determining liability for attorney's fees in cases brought against a plan sponsor." (Thompson Publishing Group)

Regulating Executive Pay: Using the Tax Code to Influence CEO Compensation
Link to a Working Paper available for downloading from the National Bureau of Economic Research. Excerpt: "This study explores corporate responses to 1993 legislation, implemented as section 162(m) of the Internal Revenue Code, that capped the corporate tax deductibility of top management compensation at $1 million per executive unless it qualified as substantially performance-based.'" (National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper)

FLSA Amended to Exclude Some But Not All Stock Option Compensation from Overtime Pay Calculations
Excerpt: "President Clinton has signed into law the Worker Economic Opportunity Act which amends the Fair Labor Standards Act to clarify that an employer must exclude compensation attributable to a stock option, stock appreciation right or stock purchase under a "bona fide employee stock purchase program" from the calculation of overtime pay and also the calculation of whether the federal minimum wage has been paid for a non-exempt employee (i.e., an hourly employee)." (Cooley Godward LLP)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Executive Benefits Administration Managerfor Leading Executive Benefits Firm
in CA
Group Managing Director, IAS Employee Educationfor Major Midwest Financial Services Institution
in OH
Retirement Administratorfor Delaware Investments
in PA
Defined Benefits Services Account Managerfor MassMutual
in MA
Plan Consultantfor Cascade Pension Services, LLC
in OR
Actuarial Analystfor Aon Consulting, Inc.
in MD, PA
Senior Actuaryfor Aon Consulting, Inc.
in DC, MD
Benefit Plan Administratorfor Aon Consulting, Inc.
in MD
Claims Auditor/Consultantfor Aon Consulting, Inc.
in MD
Team Managerfor Leading Executive Compensation & Benefits Firm
in CA, NY

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