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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition

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September 19 - 20, 2000 CORRECTED

The Best and Worst 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "When measuring the largest plans in the U.S., we looked at factors that distinguish an excellent 401(k) from a dud: vesting and enrollment schedules, variety of fund options and, most of all, company contribution." (SmartMoney.com)

Another Question is Answered in Our Plan Defects: Correction/VCR/CAP Q&A Column
Excerpt: "In operation, the employer actually makes and allocates its discretionary contributions a couple of months before the end of each plan year. If a participant receives an allocation for the year and then terminates his or her employment before the last day of that year, the plan 'refunds' to the employer the amount allocated to the terminated employee's account for that year. Does the ‘refund' result in a plan defect?" (BenefitsLink.com)

Calif. Pension Measure for State Officials is Even Sweeter Than First Reported
Excerpt: "Turns out that bill on Gov. Gray Davis' desk to sweeten the public pensions of a select few has even more high-level beneficiaries -- including several of Davis' appointees and the former California State University chancellor who served as the governor's transition chief." (Sacramento Bee)

Pension Plans: IRS Programs for Resolving Deviations from Tax-Exemption Requirements (PDF)
Excerpt: "... on average, pension plan sponsors [audited in 1999] were assessed monetary sanctions that we estimated were 10 times greater than the compliance fees that could have been assessed if the plan sponsors had reported the qualification failures to IRS for supervised correction. However, there were substantial differences in this ratio, depending on the type of reporting program available to the plans and the manner in which IRS applied its guidelines for assessing audit sanctions." (U.S Government Accounting Office)

APRSC Survey Results
Excerpt: "Service providers to qualified retirement plans are actively using APRSC to correct qualification failures, recent survey data shows. Survey responses from over 100 service providers, mostly third party administrators, detail the correction of qualification failures in over 700 plans during 1998. The survey results are significant in showing that the APRSC program is succeeding and in identifying the types of operational failures being corrected under APRSC." (Reish & Luftman)

What's A Defined Benefit Pension Plan?
Excerpt: "[The traditional defined benefit pension plan] provides a steady stream of income to countless retirees and their families. It is the rock upon which millions of retirements have been built. It is, in short, the granddaddy of pension plans. [So why is it] so seldom publicized? One reason is that it's dull. Face it: the defined benefit pension plan is like a refrigerator -- it does its job, all right, but you don't think too much about it unless it breaks." (Neil Downing, in the Providence Journal)

CalPERS Delays Decision on Divesting Tobacco Stocks
Excerpt: "The nation's largest pension fund, CalPERS, has postponed a decision on whether to sell off its some $564 million in tobacco stocks, a fund spokesman said Tuesday." (Reuters via Yahoo! Finance)

Summary of Finalized Retirement Plan Loan Regulations
(Sidley & Austin)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

ERISA Specialistfor Transamerica Insurance & Investments - The Winning Organization
in CA
401(k) Administratorfor Louis Kravitz & Associates, Inc.
in CA
Consultant, Employee Benefitfor The Standard Insurance Company
Pension Administrator/Accountantfor First Mercantile Trust Company
in TN
401(k) DC Administratorfor Fringe Benefits Design, Inc.
in MN
401(k) Account Executivefor Hartstein Associates, Inc.
in NJ
Benefits Specialistfor Charles W. Cammack Associates, Inc., NYC-based Benefits consulting firm
in NY
Health Management Design Consultantfor Hewitt Associates
in GA
Health Management Analystfor Hewitt Associates
in GA, NC
Writer - Pension and Benefitsfor Firstdoor.com
in GA, NY
401(k) Accounting/Pension Record keeperfor Invesmart - Cleveland
in OH
401(k) Manager/Plan Administratorfor Rapidly Growing TPA Firm
in DE, NJ, PA
Account Consultantfor Hartstein Associates, Inc.
in NJ
Defined Benefit Administration Project Manager (2)for Leading Global Firm
in IL

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