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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition

November 22, 2000

Today's sponsor is 2e Corporation
(click on banner for more information)

Auto-Enrollment: It Works, But ...
Excerpt: "Will the ranks of auto-enrollment fans increase with encouragement from the Treasury and IRS?" (PlanSponsor.com)

Emplanet -- 401(k) Internet Start-Up -- Boasts an All-Star Team
Excerpt: "'Primarily, our distribution strategy is focused on financial institutions. We are sitting down with large banks. We want to be their e-401(k) business,' [Gary Gould] said. Mr. Gould said that on a bank's Web site the service has the look and feel of a bank product. "This gives banks a way into the e-401(k) industry without having to start from scratch,' he said." (American Banker)

Rice University Selects Financial Engines As Back to School Gift for Employees
Excerpt: "Financial Engines, Inc. today announced that Rice University, one of the nation's leading teaching and research universities, started the school year by making available the Financial Engines service to 2,200 of the university's plan participants across both the 401(a) and 403(b) accounts offered to employees." (Business Wire)

Fidelity Investments Sees Payoff in Small Companies' Payrolls
Excerpt: "More than 50 small businesses have signed up for Fidelity's new Internet-based payroll service, the latest move in its bid to become a one-stop financial services shop for small companies. Fidelity Electronic Payroll started in July with 15 existing small business clients. Since then, about 37 customers have signed on, including five who subscribe to the online 401k plan Fidelity set up for small businesses in October 1999 ..." (Bloomberg)

Summary of ERIC Initiatives And Other Key Provisions In H.R. 1102
Excerpt: "Support for the comprehensive pension reform bill, H.R. 1102, remains strong in both the Houses and the Senate, and the bill apparently would be signed by the President if presented to him. But its future remains uncertain due to the shortness of time remaining in this session of Congress and the extreme difficulty Congress has encountered in approving legislation." (ERISA Industry Committee)

FleetBoston Adds Investment Advice To 401(k) Service Lineup
Excerpt: "FleetBoston Financial Corp. is now providing its defined-contribution clients the type of investment and asset allocation advice that until now it gave only to administrators of large pension funds and defined-benefit plans. The service was added this week and is delivered online through Financial Engines Inc...." (American Banker)

ERISA Immunity: Who's Next?
Excerpt: "Standard & Poor's may soon lose its status as the only independent provider of online 401(k) investment advice to have won a ruling from the Department of Labor, stating that its advice service does not violate ERISA rules against prohibited transactions. Ibbotson Associates has filed a request for a similar exemption, and DOL authorities say there is no reason to expect its request will be denied. Other advice providers may not be far behind." (PlanSponsor.com)

Plan Sponsor Magazine's 2000 Defined Contribution Services Survey
Excerpt: "Find out how your providers rate with your peers." (PlanSponsor.com)

Tax Court: Loans Made To Company From Officer's Pension Plans Were Prohibited Transactions
Excerpt: "A corporation was liable for the IRC Sec. 4975(a) excise tax on loans that it received from a corporate officer's pension plans because the company was a 'disqualified person' and, hence, the loans constituted prohibited transactions. This was the decision of the U.S. Tax Court in Flahertys Arden Bowl, Inc. v. Commissioner." (Spencernet)

Defined Benefit Plans Must Make Minimum Required Distributions
Excerpt: "This information applies to sponsors of defined benefit plans with participants age 70� or older." (CIGNA's Pension Analyst)

IRS Relaxes Protected Benefit Rules (PDF)
(CIGNA's Pension Analyst)

IRS Issues Final Rules on Plan Loans (PDF)
(CIGNA's Pension Analyst)

Year-End Tax and Retirement Strategies to Make You Merry

Savannah City Council Approves New Pension Plan for Police, Firefighters
Excerpt: "Lowers retirement age for police and firefighter to 55; Lowers retirement age for general employees to 57; Improves benefit formula to 2.1 percent for each year before 2000, and 2.3 percent for years 2000 and beyond." (Savannah [Ga.] Morning News)

Cisco Pays No Federal Income Tax, Due to Stock Option Grants
Excerpt: "Cisco Systems, the second-most valuable company in America, paid no federal income taxes for its latest fiscal year thanks to a little-known corporate tax break on employee stock options." (San Francisco Chronicle)

(Following also appears in Welfare Plans Edition)

Here Come the Aggregators
Excerpt: "Aggregation engines are essentially third-party businesses lodged between financial service vendors and plan participants. An aggregator can pull information from throughout the Internet on a daily basis to bring an individual's total assets to one site." (PlanSponsor.com)

Graef Crystal: Why Did Priceline.com Forgive Loan to Miller?
Excerpt: "There's something fishy about the $3.3 million charge that Priceline.com Inc. will take because Heidi Miller resigned earlier this month. The Internet seller of travel and other services said the charge will result mainly from forgiveness of a $3 million loan 'pursuant to the terms of Ms. Miller's employment agreement,' according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing made a week ago." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Summary Plan Description Writers--Freelancefor In Plain English, Employee Benefits Communication Consultants
Senior Benefits Analystfor UCLA Campus Human Resources
in CA
Senior Benefits/Retirement Counselorfor UCLA Campus Human Resources
in CA
Managed Care Financial & Operational Consultants/ Sr Analysts Governmentfor William M. Mercer, Inc (Phoenix)
in AZ

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