If this message looks garbled to you or if the headlines in this message don't connect you to Web pages when you click on them, please request the "plain text" version of this newsletter ("Retirement Plans Edition") by emailing your request to publisher Dave Baker
Jobs | Today's Messages | Topical News | Q&A Columns | Services & Products | Search | Reference

The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
To BenefitsLink home page Fill your job openings fast by advertising on BenefitsLink

February 12, 2002 - 12,556 subscribers
Today's sponsor: ASPA

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)

   How valuable is the knowledge your staff will acquire from ASPA's
   exclusive QKA training program? Actually, it's invaluable.
   Administrators and record keepers who have completed the program
   say they tap these resources on a daily basis. The most
   comprehensive 401(k) training program available, QKA helps
   professionals improve competence and efficiency, while minimizing
   costly mistakes. QKA from ASPA-- the 401(k) investment that
   always pays big dividends.

   Click on the banner above or visit
   for more information.

(Help BenefitsLink to provide this newsletter at no charge to you -- our sponsors pay our way. Remember to visit them periodically; we try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Lieberman Urges Cap on Employer Stock
Excerpt: "The head of a U.S. Senate panel investigating collapsed energy giant Enron Corp. urged fellow lawmakers on Monday to limit the amount of any one stock that can be held in 401(k) retirement accounts." (Reuters via Yahoo! Finance)

Joint Committee on Taxation Publishes Report on Investment of Plan Assets in Employer Stock (PDF)
38 pages; JCX-1-02, February 11, 2002. Excerpt: "This document contains the answers to frequently asked questions related to qualified retirement plans and the investment of plan assets in employer stock, data on the most common types of qualified retirement plans, and a summary of current legislative proposals." (Joint Committee on Taxation)

Note On Proposed Change In Assumed Interest Rate For Defined Benefit Pension Plans
Excerpt: "This note examines the impact of the Treasury announcement that it would discontinue sales of the 30-year bond.... Given the elimination of 30-year bond sales, the current statutory approach to determining liabilities under defined benefit plans needs to be reformed." (The Brookings Institution)

Actuary: One of the Best Jobs in the Country
Excerpt: "It's one of the best jobs in America, according to the Jobs Rated Almanac, considering the good pay, low stress and great promotional opportunities. It's also one of the lesser known careers that is gaining popularity on college campuses as the actuary's role evolves from the traditional image of green eyeshade number crunchers." (St. Petersburg Times)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
Doctor A is a 100% owner of his corporation. Doctor B buys 50% of the assets of the practice, moves into the office and starts to work. Dr. A still owns 100% of his (now smaller) practice. Dr. B owns 100% of his sole proprietorship (which is basically 50% of Dr A's former corp.) They set up as "Drs. A & B" on the door/biz cards/etc... but no legal entity (corp/partnership/LLP) titled "Drs. A & B" exists. Is this an ASG? (BenefitsLink.com)

Link to Full Text of Class Exemption for Cross-Trades of Securities by Index and Model-Driven Funds (PDF)
25 pages; PDF document from the February 12, 2002 Federal Register. (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

Hay Benefits Reference Guide: Historical Limits and Other Values Affecting Retirement Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "This Reference Guide consolidates certain historical limits and other numbers affecting retirement plans including the Social Security wage base, 415 limits, 401(k) deferrals, and maximum PBGC guaranteed benefits for participants in single employer plans." (Hay Group, Inc.)

Defined Contribution Plans Coming Into Favor Around the World
Excerpt: "A look at pension history and emerging trends in Europe, North America and the Far East. In most countries, public and private sector plans are inextricably bound, with changes in the former driving changes in the latter." (Benefits Canada)

Nortel Officer Forced to Quit on Suspicious 401(k) Trades
Excerpt: "According to the company, Terry G. Hungle, a 20-year Nortel employee who was named chief financial officer in October, moved money out of Nortel stock soon before the company announced a lower revenue forecast last March and moved it back into the stock in December soon before Nortel announced relatively good news on new credit arrangements." (New York Times; free registration required)

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

The Implications of "Enron" for Executive Compensation (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "While it is unlikely Enron's compensation plans led to the inappropriate behavior that contributed to Enron's collapse, the plans certainly could have reinforced a culture of personal greed and an intoxication with growth and stock price appreciation that led to increasingly aggressive acts to sustain an illusion of growing profits." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc. via Financial Executives International)

Labor Secretary Announces New Toll Free Number; Nationwide Assistance for Participants, Employers
Excerpt: "Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao announced this week the activation of a new Toll Free Participant and Compliance Assistance Number, 1-866-275-7922, to make it easier for workers and employers to get help with questions regarding their retirement and health benefit plans." (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

Commentary: the Truth About Stock Options
Excerpt: "For too long, companies have said one thing to the taxman and another to investors. It's a practice that has, essentially, inflated profits. And if we do rethink the way stock options are accounted for, we will have to question the earnings once generated. Even scarier, we'll have to lower our expectations for earnings power going forward." (CBS Marketwatch)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Retirement Plan Administrator for Retirement Plan Services, Inc.
Marketing Manager for CitiStreet

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)
Protecting Your Company's Retirement Plan after ENRON on February 21, 2002
presented by Thompson Publishing Group, Inc.
Small Business Access to Health Care on February 6, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
The Ultimate Conference on Tax Planning with Retirement Assetsin NV on May 16, 2002
presented by Professional Education Systems Institute, LLC

Newly Posted Press Releases
The National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators Launches First of NAGDCASTS Series (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators)
Alexander Hamilton Institute Releases New Free Reports "Understanding 401(k) Plan Fees & Expenses" and "When Romance Rocks The Workplace" (Alexander Hamilton Institute)
Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces New Toll Free Number (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

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.