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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition

September 28, 2000

Data Aggregation: Let's Get Ready to Rummmmble
Excerpt: "The last twelve months have witnessed an explosive growth in the depth and breadth of data aggregation services available to individuals online.... Simply defined, data aggregation is the collection, consolidation, processing and presentment of personal financial (and other) data for modeling, decision-making and implementation of those decisions." (401kWire.com)

Thrift Savings Plan to Add Small Cap and International Stock Choices in May 2001
(Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board)

Railroad Retirement Bill May Pass
Excerpt: "A campaign-season bill to raise benefits for thousands of retired rail workers and cut taxes for railroads appears headed for passage in Congress despite concerns it could drain $15 billion from the budget surplus and permit risky investment in private securities." (New York Times; free registration required)

JCT Describes Roth's Amendment to Chairman's Mark of Railroad Retirement Bill (PDF)
JCX-102-00, September 26, 2000. (Joint Committee on Taxation)

Should Administrative Expenses Be Paid By Plan Sponsor, Or Taken From Plan's Assets?
A recommended discussion, taking place on our message boards. (BenefitsBoards.net)

Lawyer Calls Participant Notice Requirement "Chilling" Under DOL Voluntary Correction Program
Excerpt: "While [attorney Brad] Huss generally gave DOL credit for issuing the VFC as a means for plan fiduciaries to self-correct certain violations of ERISA Title I, he called the notice requirement the most controversial feature of the VFC and expressed a clear concern that the requirement may cause some fiduciaries and plan sponsors to not use the VFC." (CCH)

The Proposed SEC Rule on Auditor Independence and Its Consequences
Excerpt: "Last month members were alerted to a recent SEC proposal that would place severe limitations on the nonaudit services CPA firms can offer to audit clients ... Although the proposed rule ... is meant to strengthen auditor independence, we at the AICPA believe the actual effect would be to weaken the quality of financial reporting, limit companies' choices of outside professionals and damage the economic vitality of many CPA firms without any positive effect on independence." (Journal of Accountancy)

Social Security in the 21st Century (PDF)
This 47-page policy paper is from the Joint Economic Committee is a group of senators, led by Connie Mack of Florida. Excerpt: "Many people are coming to the conclusion that the best way to accomplish these goals is by establishing personal retirement savings accounts for all workers. Retirement savings accounts would provide a secure source of retirement income, while allowing everyone to benefit from the growth of the economy." (Joint Economic Committee)

(Following also appears in Welfare Plans Edition)

DOL Advisory Opinion 2000-11A Released
Excerpt: "This responds to your request for an advisory opinion concerning the status of the Firefighters' Variable Supplements Fund (VS Fund) under Title I of ERISA ... we conclude that the VS Fund is a 'governmental plan' within the meaning of section 3(32) of ERISA ... [Here,] the VS Fund is the product of collective bargaining between the UFA and the City and has limited its coverage to employees of the City." (U.S. Department of Labor)

Money Talks, or Partners Walk: Structuring A Professional Service Firm's Compensation Formula
(Journal of Accountancy)

The Ins and Outs of SERP Swaps
Excerpt: "To help executives maximize wealth for future generations, some companies offer [Supplemental Executive Retirement Program, or 'SERP'] swaps. Executives can swap heavily taxed retirement benefits for tax-favored employer-funded life insurance contracts on the life of the executive or the executive and his or her spouse." (Journal of Accountancy)

How to Avoid the $1 Million Compensation Cap In IPOs and Spinoffs
Excerpt: "For federal tax purposes, public companies can deduct no more than $1 million of annual compensation for the CEO and each of four other highly paid officers. For a newly public company, disallowed deductions could create a severe cash crunch. Effective planning includes postponing the limit and structuring compensation packages that avoid it." (Journal of Accountancy)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

401(k) Administrator, Daily Valuation Plansfor CNA TRUST
in CA
Defined Contribution Plan Administratorsfor Alliance Benefit Group of Houston, Inc.
in TX
Defined Benefit Analystfor Paragon Consulting Group
in DC, DE, MD, NJ, NY, PA
Writer - Fringe Benefitsfor www.firstdoor.com
in GA, NY
Century Sales Managerfor T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc.
in MD
Pension Administratorfor Pension Financial Services
in GA

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