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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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January 2, 2002 - 12,730 subscribers
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Current Developments in 457(b) Plans
Outline summarizes new developments affecting 457(b) plans, particularly those of state and local government employers. (Calhoun Law Group, P.C.)

Valuing the Stock of a Government Contractor Company for ESOP or Stock Option Purposes
Excerpt: "In the paragraphs below, I will outline the process of valuing the stock of a government contractor company and discuss some of the unique aspects of valuing the stock for ESOP and ISOP purposes, as compared with other purposes, such as evaluating an offer to purchase all of the stock of the government contractor company." (Foundation for Enterprise Development)

The Enron Debacle: What Does It Mean for Employee Ownership?
Excerpt: "What the Exxon Valdez disaster was for the environment, the Enron debacle was for the financial world. Mutual funds, pension funds and thousands of individual investors saw their capital evaporate when Enron hit the shoals." (Foundation for Enterprise Development)

GAO Reports on Status of U.S. Postal Service Retirement Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "This report addresses one of the issues raised in your letter, namely, identifying longer-term structural or operational issues that may affect the Service's ability to provide affordable universal postal service on a break-even basis. One key operational issue involves the Service's retirement costs and future liabilities. The Service's financial outlook has deteriorated significantly over the past few years." (U.S. General Accounting Office)

Another Question is Answered in the Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Q&A Column
When will Railroad Retirees living in Canada be able to have their payments automatically deposited in a Canadian bank account? (BenefitsLink.com)

Overview: New Rules for IRA Distributions
Excerpt: "A plan participant or IRA owner should be vigilant in designating his or her beneficiary before death. But the executor or estate needs to make a final determination of the designated beneficiary only by the end of the calendar year following the year of the participant's death." (Journal of Accountancy)

A Primer on Exchange-Traded Funds
Excerpt: "As an alternative to index mutual funds, ETFs offer investors a low-cost, tax-efficient way to invest in their favorite market segments. The expense ratio for most ETFs is much lower than for mutual funds, even with the commission investors pay to buy and sell shares." (Journal of Accountancy)

New from EBRI: "Pension Participation: February 2001" and "Income of the Elderly Population"
The executive summaries of the December 2001 Notes articles from EBRI. (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Issues Related to the Accounting for Stock Compensation Under APB Op. No. 25 and FASB Interp. No. 44 (PDF)
25 pages, dated December 27, 2001. (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

(Following items are in both editions of the BenefitsLink Newsletter)

Bonuses In Bankruptcy Common, But Not Always Popular
Excerpt: "Polaroid said it must pay millions to 45 top executives to make sure they don't jump the sinking ship before they can use their expertise to disassemble the company and pay off creditors. Some of the payments would be tied to how well the sales go, but others would be guaranteed. The plan has angered some former Polaroid workers, many of whom never got severance pay and lost thousands in an employee stock plan." (StarTribune.com)

Government Releases Statistics on Employee Benefits in Private Industry, 1999
Excerpt: "The NCS provides comprehensive measures of occupational earnings, compensation cost trends, and details of benefit provisions. The focus of this summary is on the incidence of employee benefits, ranging from health and retirement benefits to wellness programs; it also includes data on employee contributions to medical care plans." (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics)

An On-line Primer on the Fundamentals of Stock Plan Administration
Excerpt: "Regardless of how your company does it, the core areas of responsibility for any stock plan administrator generally boil down to (i) administering plan transactions and (ii) managing the flow of information related to the plan and plan transactions. This on-line primer will introduce you to the basic elements of each core area of responsibility." (National Association of Stock Plan Professionals)

What the Convergence of Professional Services Means for Employee Benefit Plans
Excerpt: "Multidisciplinary practices (MDPs) are intended to be onestop professional service providers that offer complete solutions to complex problems. MDPs will continue to evolve and grow. Whether this trend is good or bad for employee benefit plans depends upon whether it ultimately reduces costs and improves services." (George M. Kraw, published by ICMA Retirement Corporation)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
401(k) Sales Professional for MBM Advisors Inc.
Pension Analyst for Long Island Employee Benefits Group Ltd.
Benefits Administrator for McGregor & Associates, Inc.
Enrolled Actuary for Employee Benefits Consulting Firm

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Central Florida ASPA Employee Benefits Council Meetingin FL on January 8, 2001
presented by Central Florida ASPA Employee Benefits Council

Subscribe to the Welfare Plans Edition, too (click)

Copyright 2001 BenefitsLink.com, Inc., but you may freely distribute this email newsletter in whole. This newsletter is edited by David Rhett Baker, J.D.