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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition

November 16, 2000

Today's sponsor is The Plan Sales System
(click on banner for more information)

Hewitt-Harvard-Wharton Study: Internet Access Increases 401(k) Saving and Trading
Excerpt: "Internet access makes it easier for 401(k) participants to invest and save for retirement, but it can also lead to increased portfolio turnover (the fraction of total portfolio value traded), according to a new study by Hewitt Associates, in conjunction with faculty and researchers from Harvard University and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania." (Business Wire, via Yahoo! Finance)

Controlling 401(k) Assets
Excerpt: "Theodore Benna says he found divine inspiration in the Tax Reform Act of 1978. He is not kidding.... Mr. Benna believed a new passage in the tax code-- Section 401, Paragraph K-- could be used as the foundation of a new kind of savings plan that would benefit everyone." (New York Times; free registration required)

Another Question is Answered in the Plan Qualification: Nondiscrimination Q&A Column
Can you explain the use of Qualified Separate Lines of Business? Is it used to separate two entities within a single organization so that their qualified plans can be tested separately? (BenefitsLink.com)

Standard & Poor's Retirement Services and PricewaterhouseCoopers' Unifi Network Announce First Tool
Excerpt: "Standard & Poor's and PricewaterhouseCoopers' Unifi Network today announced the first results of their alliance aimed at providing financial planning tools for participants in employer-sponsored retirement plans: a one-stop retirement planning Web site for associates enrolled in Bank of America's plans." (PRNewswire, via Excite! News)

Partial Termination May Occur Over Multiple Plan Years, Court Affirms
Excerpt: "The question of whether a partial plan termination occurred may take into account events in multiple plan years, according to a recent decision of the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. The court's findings in Matz v. Household International Tax Reduction Investment Plan ... affirm the earlier district court ruling." (Thompson Publishing Group)

Opinion: Police and Firefighters Ought to Be Satisfied With 107%-of-Final-Pay Pension Formula
Excerpt: "The proposed pension plan for the City of Savannah's employees, which city officials are expected to discuss today, would enable new police officers and firefighters to retire with up to 107 percent of their final salary. New general employees could get a maximum of 85 percent of their pay. This is a generous plan that deserves City Council's approval." (Savannah [Ga.] Morning News)

Pennsylvania State Employees Pension Boost in Works
Excerpt: "A bill unveiled just days after last week's election would increase lawmakers' pensions by 25 percent and spread the largess to all state employees." (Post-Gazette.com)

Only 1 Eligible Worker In 5 Buys Company Stock Through Employee Stock Purchase Plans
Excerpt: "A stock purchase plan is a form of pre-tax payroll deduction that allows employees to buy up to $25,000 worth of stock annually in their company at below market price, often 15 percent or better." (Reuters via Excite! News)

Nation's Largest Public Pension Fund Makes Investment Decisions for Coming Year
Excerpt: "Managers will be selected based on their ability to invest in emerging markets and adherence to the Global Sullivan Principles and the International Labor Organization's Declaration on Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work. Managers will also be allowed to apply strategic factors to investments. Strategic factors, such as political risk and investor rights, are preferable to screens that could rule out a country for consideration... " (California Public Employees Retirement System)

Personalized Mutual Funds Gaining Attention
Excerpt: "A key trend for 401(k) sponsors to monitor: the growing availability of build-your-own mutual funds touting lower fees and greater investor control than conventional funds run by money managers." (Employee Benefit News)

Japan Cabinet Approves 401(k) Pension Bill
Excerpt: "Japan's cabinet on Tuesday approved a long-awaited bill to introduce a U.S.-style contribution-based pension scheme, but the legislation may face a delay in parliament that could push the start-up date well into next year." (Reuters via Excite! News)

Slow Start Seen For Ethical Investing In Asia
Excerpt: "Socially responsible stock investing hasn't taken firm hold in Asia, where investors are wary of being screened out of potentially lucrative opportunities, fund managers say. The concept of using ethical guidelines to pick stocks has taken on prominence with the decision this week by CalPERS, the largest U.S. pension fund, to actively manage its investments in developing countries." (Reuters via Excite! News)

Pension Fund Tightens Foreign Stock Rules; CalPERS Board Gives Weight To Human Rights
Excerpt: "In a potentially far-reaching step to link social concerns and the financial markets, the nation's largest public pension fund decided yesterday to attach tough human-rights standards to its investments in developing nations." (San Francisco Chronicle)

(Following also appears in Welfare Plans Edition)

Introducing BenefitsWiki! Collaboration Tool for Plan Sponsors, Service-Providers and Participants
Excerpt: "BenefitsWiki is a free, online tool-- called a "wiki"-- for collaboration among employee benefits practitioners and others who are interested in employee benefits compliance, policy or management. It enables you to easily create your own pages using any Web browser, or actually contribute content to existing pages on the site. Who knows what we'll come up with! Checklists, procedures, forms, you name it-- in fact, you draft it, too!" (BenefitsLink)

Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser Balser Companies
Balser Companies specializes in the design, administration and funding of nonqualified executive benefit plans. For more information contact Ron Richard with Balser Companies at (404) 504-3800 or visit www.balser.com

Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser Benefit Insights, Inc.
Benefit Insights, Inc. has introduced TPAsites, a personalized web site design, hosting and maintenance package developed specifically for third party administrators. It is now fast, easy and affordable for even the smallest TPA firm to be on the web. For additional information and to see samples of TPAsites, the online (HTML) or printed Benefit Insights newsletters, and the Recordkeeping Handbook, please visit the Benefit Insights, Inc. at www.benefit-insights.com

Graef Crystal: Honeywell's Bonsignore Gets Paid Well to Leave
Excerpt: "Instead of waiting for the board to fire him -- and the stock's poor performance during his tenure surely pointed in that direction -- Bonsignore agreed to sell his company for the second time in a year. The decision will enable him to collect much more than he would have received in severance pay." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

401(k) Administratorfor Benefit Management Inc.
in MA, RI
Daily Valuation Administratorfor RM White & Associates
in CO
Pension Administrator/Account Managerfor Acordia, inc.
in PA
Employee Benefits Tax Consultantfor Deloitte & Touche, a Professional Services Firm
in NE
Regional Compliance Managerfor Transamerica Life Companies
in NC
Internal Wholesaler - Charlottefor Transamerica Life Companies
in NC
Plan Administratorfor Diversified Pension Services
in OH
Benefits/401(k) Administratorfor RMH Teleservices
in PA
actuarial assistantfor Karel @ Associates, Ltd.
in IL
DC Administrator for TPA Firmfor Pension Investors Corp. of Orlando
in FL
Employee Benefit Tax Managerfor Deloitte & Touche, a Professional Services Firm
in OH
Employee Benefit Tax Managerfor Deloitte & Touche, a Professional Services Firm
in OH

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