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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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February 14, 2002 - 12,556 subscribers
Today's sponsor: Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America

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   The Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America conducts informative
   conferences throughout the year. These conferences provide plan
   sponsors and retirement professionals with an outstanding source
   of continuing education, networking, and the ability to interface
   with government and industry leaders.

   PSCA has long been recognized as the plan sponsors' source for
   comprehensive defined contribution plan education.

   Click on the banner above or visit: http://www.psca.org/event/events.html

(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)

From IRS: Useful Determination Program Information For GUST Applications (PDF)
7 pages; special edition of the 'Employee Plan News' published by the Internal Revenue Service, Tax Exempt and Government Entities Division (February 2002). (Internal Revenue Service)

The Role of Company Stock in 401(k) Plans (PDF)
28 pages; written statement prepared for Professor VanDerhei's appearance on February 13, 2002 before the House Education and Workforce Committee, Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations. (Jack VanDerhei, published by Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Investment Advice to 401(k) Participants: DOL to the Rescue?
Excerpt: "The DOL wants to help out by removing a substantial ERISA barrier to providing advice on where we should allocate our money among a plan's investment options. ERISA Op. 2001-09A.... Query: Is this relief a better deal for participants or for the investment community? One can argue that the last thing participants need is yet another fee on top of all the other fees they pay ..." (Nixon Peabody LLP)

Overview: Department of Labor Extends Relief for Cross Trading
Excerpt: "The final exemption, however, expands the scope of the relief, beyond that originally proposed, to cover cross trades between two or more large accounts pursuant to a portfolio restructuring program if such cross trades occur as part of a single cross-trading program involving both funds and large accounts for which securities are cross-traded solely as a result of the objective operation of the program." (Investment Company Institute)

Opinion: Big Index Funds Still the Best Bet in Equities
Excerpt: "Index investing is toast. That's the new rallying cry among our friends who make their living off our unrequited love for superior returns. It's also a case that's pretty easy to make.... So the stock picker's day has come.... [but if] I had only one choice to make for a long time, I would still be betting on the index." (Scott Burns of The Dallas Morning News)

The Psychology of the Pocketbook: Why People Lose Their Life Savings
Excerpt: "You've probably heard it again and again: diversify your investments. So why do people-- including thousands of Enron employees-- get stuck with unbalanced 401(k) plans that become worthless when their company's stock craters?" (ABC News)

Agenda for 2002 National Summit on Retirement Savings
To be held Wednesday, February 27, 2002. (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

List of Delegates to 2002 National Summit on Retirement Savings
200 VIPs. (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

Opinion: Individuals Do Lousy Job Guiding Their 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "A study published last summer by Dalbar, a Boston-based financial-services research firm, reached a startling conclusion: From 1984 through 2000, the benchmark Standard & Poor's 500 index of stocks returned an average of 16.3 percent per year. But the average equity mutual fund investor earned just 5.3 percent per year in the same period." (Chicago Tribune)

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

Split Dollar Pause
Excerpt: "One year ago, the IRS issued a notice setting forth new rules for taxing employer/employee split-dollar life insurance arrangements, rules that effectively eliminated the tax advantages previously enjoyed by these arrangements. IRS Notice 2001-10. The IRS has just announced a modest pause in its war on split-dollar arrangements while it prepares regulations." (Nixon Peabody LLP)

Opinion: Tyco's Kozlowski Feasts While Holders Go Hungry
Excerpt: "Tyco International Ltd.'s chief executive officer, Dennis Kozlowski, is the hands-down winner of my 'pay for non-performance' contest." (Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

Measure Would Have Firms List Expense of Employee Stock Options
Excerpt: "Legislation prompted by the collapse of Enron Corp. that would require companies to deduct the cost of stock options from their earnings is slated to be introduced in the U.S. Senate Wednesday. The legislation would ensure that companies report the options as compensation expense if they claim the cost of the awards as a tax deduction." (Knight Ridder-Tribune via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Overview: FICA and FUTA To Be Due in 2003 on ISO and ESPP Exercises
Excerpt: "Here's a big pain in the neck: Newly-proposed IRS regulations will require employers to collect and pay over Social Security, Medicare and unemployment taxes at the time employees exercise their options to purchase stock under incentive stock option and employee stock purchase plans.... These employment taxes will be due even though the option exercise does not result in any ordinary income tax." (Nixon Peabody LLP)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Defined Contribution Analyst for Segal Advisors
401(k) Administrator, Daily Valuation Plans for CNA TRUST
Employee Benefits Attorney for Serving clients from sole proprietors to Fortune 500.
Director of Product Management for PFPC
Manager, Client Services for Black Mountain Management, Inc

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Singin' in the Rain! Managing Work Force Issues at this Stage of the Economic and Market Cyclein CA on March 14, 2002
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference, San Francisco Chapter
Two Concurrent Sessions: Securing Defined Benefit Plans - Cost Containment and Funding in an Uncertain Environment...and, Coping with Increases in Prescription Drug Costsin CA on March 26, 2002
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference, San Francisco Chapter
Membership Appreciation Nightin CA on April 17, 2002
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference, San Francisco Chapter
The Early Returns on Consumer-Driven/Self-Directed Healthcare-- Is This the Answer to Rising Healthcare Costs?in NY on February 28, 2002
presented by WEB NYC Chapter

Newly Posted Press Releases
Empliant and Progressive Benefits Solutions Strike Reseller Agreement (Empliant)
Call for participation in surveys by job function (Watson Wyatt Data Services)

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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.