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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition


December 22, 2000

Today's sponsor is PensionOnline (click on banner for more information)
For the first time, sales professionals can use the power and convenience of the Internet to design and sell customized pension plans.
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EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: Providing Investment Advice to Participants (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Workers Prefer Simple, Two-Sided, Black & White 401(k) Statements
Excerpt: "A national study of 21 retirement plan sponsors and participants representing 230,000 workers and retirees revealed that retirement plan participants want their hard-earned retirement savings maximized rather than spent on elaborate, one-sided, four-color statements with a 'one-size-fits-all' delivery of information." (Business Wire, via Yahoo!)

The Savings Game: Online Investment Advice Gets Personal
Excerpt: "The newest and potentially revolutionary twist: You can now talk to an investment adviser-- a real, live person-- while you're online. The adviser, who is seeing the same computer screen as you, can guide you through a questionnaire and financial planning software that recommends-- for free-- where to invest the money in your 401(k) plan." (Dayton [Ohio] Daily News)

Fidelity Creates Online Paperless IRA
Excerpt: "The Fidelity NetIRA makes it easy for you to select the IRA that may be right for you, open an account online, and design a personal investment strategy. And, it's the place to come to electronically contribute to your IRA, update information on your account, or monitor the status of an IRA transfer." (Fidelity Investments)

EBRI Conclave Powerpoint Presentation: Cash Balance Plans
(Might require Internet Explorer version 4 or higher to view.) Overview of last session's legislation, current studies on conversions, issues in current court cases, current thinking inside the government agencies. (Teresa L. Turyn of the Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: Cash Balance Plans (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Planning IRA Bequests
Excerpt: "How to make tax-deferred assets, such as IRAs, part of the charitable disposition of your estate." (Worth magazine)

PBGC Proposes Amendments to Benefit Payment Rules
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) today announced several proposed regulatory changes concerning how it pays benefits to participants in terminated defined benefit pension plans it takes over." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Senate Confirms Leslie B. Kramerich To Post as Assistant Secretary of Labor for PWBA
Excerpt: "Kramerich had been acting assistant secretary since last December." (U.S. Department of Labor)

EBRI Conclave Powerpoint Presentation: Social Security, Individual Accounts and DC Plans
(Might require Internet Explorer version 4 or higher to view.) Includes points on the potential impact of Social Security privatization on 401(k) plans, impact on plan sponsors' contribution rates and coverage decisions. (Prof. Jack VanDerhei, published by the Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: Social Security Individual Accounts and Implications for DC Plans (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: More Retirees Receiving Lump Sums (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: Implications of Rising Life Expectancies (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: Preserving Retirement Savings for Retirement Needs (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Once-Retired, Now-Rehired Hospital Workers Getting Paid Twice?
Excerpt: "Ten New Hanover Regional Medical Center employees who accepted an early retirement package five years ago are back at work in the hospital network, drawing retirement pay as well as salary and benefits." (Morning Star [Wilmington, N.C.])

Opinion: Go for the Big One, Mr. Bush
Excerpt: "During the presidential election campaign, one of George W. Bush's most popular proposals was to allow workers to invest a portion of their Social Security taxes in private accounts. Now that he has won-- albeit by the most excruciatingly close margin-- Washington pundits are advising him to abandon this proposal." (Cato Institute)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
An employee who owns 3% of the company is an officer. He earns more than $85,000 annually, so he is both a "highly compensated employee" (HCE) and a "key" employee for top-heavy testing purposes. Is his daughter considered an HCE or a key employee? (BenefitsLink.com)

(Following also appears in Welfare Plans Edition)

Court Refuses to Hear Appeal in GE Executive's Stock Options Case
Excerpt: "The Connecticut Supreme Court has refused to hear an appeal filed by the ex-wife of a General Electric executive who had sought to have her divorce settlement award increased from $20 million to $35 million.... The case was watched closely by divorce lawyers nationwide because it revolved principally around distribution of unvested stock options and retirement and pension plans." (Associated Press, via Excite!)

Qualcomm Sued Over Stock Options
Excerpt: "Dozens of Boulder County workers have sued a former employer, saying it forced them to lose benefits when it sold their division to a competitor. The case brings up a question courts have had to deal with more often: What exactly are stock options? Workers often argue they are part of compensation in line with wages; the companies argue those options are perks or incentives to keep the best employees working hard for the company." (thedailycamera.com)

Disappointed Employees Weighing Their Options
Excerpt: "With layoffs on the rise and share prices falling, angry employees are taking their employers to court over their stock options." (LocalBusiness.com)

EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: The War for Talent (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: 'Total Rewards' Compensation (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Graef Crystal: Apple's Shares Aren't Flying Like Jobs
Excerpt: "Chief Executive Steve Jobs got a shiny new jet as this year began, and the company's shares have plummeted since then." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

IRS Delays Requiring Companies to Track Employee Stock Options for Form W-2
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service said it will delay requiring that companies such as Microsoft Corp. and General Electric Co. track employee stock options after payroll managers complained they didn't have enough time to comply. The IRS said it gave all companies that distribute stock options until 2002 instead of 2001 to begin segregating that income from total wages on W-2 forms." (Bloomberg, via OptionWealth)

EBRI Conclave Powerpoint Presentation -- Productivity: The Business Case for Benefits
(Might require Internet Explorer version 4 or higher to view.) Overview of theory and evidence on relationship between employee benefits (primarily welfare benefits) and worker productivity. (Paul Fronstin of the Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: Productivity Effects of Employee Benefits (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Identifies Benefits Research and Education Topics and Opportunities
(Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Powerpoint Presentation: Benefits Issues and the New Government
(Might require Internet Explorer version 4 or higher to view.) Overview of key Congressional players, benefits issues that seemed to matter most to voters in the presidential election, benefits issues likely to be addressed in upcoming legislation. (Dallas Salisbury of the Employee Benefit Research Institute)

EBRI Conclave Fact Sheet: Role of Stock Options in Benefits Package (PDF)
Useful brief factual background of this topic; identifies current issues under discussion in the benefits community; includes insightful questions that may illuminate some of those issues and raise others. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)



Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com


401(k) Administratorsfor Geller & Wind, Ltd.
in NY
ERISA Paralegalfor Geller & Wind, Ltd.
in NY
Employee Benefit Tax Managerfor Deloitte & Touche, a Professional Services Firm
in OH
Sales Executivefor Evolution Health, Inc.
in ALL STATES

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