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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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January 8, 2002 - 12,782 subscribers
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ASPA Comments on IRS Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System
Excerpt: "The American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA) commends the Service on the issuance of Revenue Procedure 2001-17 ... Since the Service has indicated that it plans to update EPCRS on an annual basis, and has asked for suggestions on how it might be improved, we offer the following comments ..." (American Society of Pension Actuaries)

Helping the "Unbanked" Might Also Help 401(k) Participation Levels
Excerpt: "[M]any of the working poor ... do not even use banks. They rely instead on check cashers, issuers of money orders and other fringe providers to meet their needs ... That poses serious problems for wealth accumulation. About half of those who hold bank accounts add to their savings each month, while only 14% of the unbanked population regularly put aside money. Thus it appears that reliance on traditional banking services might be a gateway toward higher 401(k) participation as well." (BenefitNews.com)

Opinion: California Dreaming ... of Better 403(b) Plans
Excerpt: "What began as a law intended to protect employees' freedom of choice has resulted in an unwieldy system that has resulted in excessive providers, administrative burdens and ongoing liability concerns. From the employers' perspective they must let all interested financial providers sell product, regardless of vendor quality or fee structure." (403bWise.com)

Another Question is Answered in the Correcting Plan Defects Q&A Column
How are qualification failures that also involve the imposition of an excise tax corrected? (BenefitsLink.com)

ERISA Preempts State Law Used to Force Retiree-Prisoner to Pay Benefits to State Prison
[State Treasurer v. Abbott (Mich. App. 2001). Excerpt: "The ERISA preemption question in this case involved a retiree incarcerated in a Michigan prison. He was ordered by a court to direct his ERISA pension plan to send benefit checks to a prison account, funds from which would be used to reimburse the prison for the costs of his incarceration." (EBIA Weekly)

PBGC Publishes 2002 Form 1-ES, Estimated Premium Payment for Plans With 500 or More Participants
Excerpt: "The forms can be downloaded and filed with PBGC. The PBGC will continue to accept the original forms found within the premium filing instruction booklets that are mailed to you, and forms provided by a vendor that has received PBGC approval for an automated (computer-generated) version of the forms." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Milwaukee County Officials Under Fire Over Lump Sum Payment Option
Excerpt: "Milwaukee County supervisors on Monday began calling for the resignation of three top administrators who hatched a uniquely generous pension plan offering $1 million-plus payouts for a few longtime employees." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Analysis: Guidance for IRAs, SEPs and SIMPLE-IRA Plans Regarding Amendments to Reflect EGTRRA
Excerpt: "If an employer is using a pre-EGTRRA Model SIMPLE-IRA plan, the revised model (or an appropriate revised prototype document) must be adopted by December 31, 2002. However, no later than October 1, 2002, employees who participate in these plans must be notified of the increased EGTRRA contribution limits." (TRI Pension Services)

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

Analysis: IRS Reissues PS 58 Cost Table
Excerpt: "The 2001 Table may continue to be used until further guidance is issued. Also, until further notice, the insurer's published premium rates may be used instead of the rates in the 2001 Table if such rates are available to all standard risks who apply for initial issue one-year term insurance." (TRI Pension Services)

Native American Tribal Governments Treated as State Governments
Revenue Procedure 2001-15, 2001-05 IRB 465, lists the purposes for which Native American tribal governments are treated as state governments under the Internal Revenue Code, and also sets forth a list of recognized tribal governments. (Internal Revenue Service)

Pasadena Workers Sue for Job Parity
Excerpt: "The temporary employees claim they do the same work as permanent colleagues, sometimes for years, but receive much lower pay and no benefits." (Los Angeles Times)

Overview: IRS Releases New Notice about Split Dollar Life Insurance Arrangements (PDF)
Excerpt: "Vinings' initial review of Notice 2002-8 establishes that the Service has clarified that it intends to follow the general tax treatment established in the prior Notice ..." (Vinings Management Corporation)

Many U.S. CEOs Still Waiting for Option Rewards
Excerpt: "Stock options for many U.S. chief executive officers took it on the chin last year, which shouldn't come as a surprise with the way stocks performed." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Pension Administrator for Means & Associates, LLC
ERISA Attorney for Law Firm
Actuarial Senior for Arthur Andersen, Human Capital Consulting
Trust Administrator for Oak Brook Bank
Defined Contribution Calculation Manager for Associated Pension Consultants
Benefits Manager for RMH Teleservices
Assistant Counsel for UnumProvident Corporation
Conversion Project Manager for M&I Corporation

Newly Posted Press Releases

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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.