February 15, 2002 - 12,556 subscribers
Today's sponsor: In Plain English
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New book tells you all you need to know to prepare your company's benefits communication yourself! The most up-to-date information on recent ERISA summary plan description regulations and how you can turn disclosure into communication. Benefits Communication: A Guide, by Ron Wohl CMC and Chuck Miller, benefits communication experts. For more information click here.
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You've Heard of USERRA, but Have You Heard of SSCRA?
Excerpt: "[T]here is another statute that employers should also be aware of because of its potential impact on the administration of plan loans- The Soldiers' and Sailors' Civil Relief Act of 1940 ('SSCRA') ... Section 526 of the SSCRA limits the interest that may be charged on outstanding obligations and liabilities of persons who enter active duty military service." (Groom Law Group)
Retirement Rules Won't Affect Bush Administration Appointees
Excerpt: "Top Bush administration appointees in charge of shaping retirement policy won't themselves be greatly affected by any changes they implement. In their jobs in the private sector, Labor Secretary Elaine Chao and Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill accumulated substantial retirement wealth in executive pension and savings plans that aren't available to regular workers." (Wall Street Journal)
QDROs, Anti-Alienation and non-ERISA plans
Interesting discussion on the 403(b) Plans, Accounts or Annuities message board about the extent to which governmental plans may be subject to ERISA-like fiduciary rules, and may be limited in the types of domestic relations orders with which they can comply, even though they are exempt from Title I of ERISA. (BenefitsLink Message Boards)
Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser Still River Retirement Planning Software, Inc.
Excerpt: "RetirementWorks for the Web is an extensive suite of high-powered web calculators for retirement plan compliance and marketing. Designed for individual producers and agencies as well as national organizations to provide sophisticated and accurate retirement plan calculators, accessed invisibly through their own web site, without having to deal with software compatibility, firewalls or keeping code current. Companies also have the option of installing on their own servers."
Pension Funds Want More Corporate Activism
Excerpt: "Public pension funds are vying for lead plaintiff status in a federal class action against 29 executives of Enron Corp. and its accounting firm, Andersen, as they wage the broader fight for better shareholder protection. The losses are substantial-- more than $1 billion for state teachers and public employees retirement systems alone, though that's a tiny percentage of their total assets." (TheDeal.com)
Employee Ownership Update for February 13, 2002
NCEO executive director Corey Rosen discusses new data showing that ESOPs and 401(k)s heavily invested in company stock are more likely to have other retirement plans as well; a bill to require companies to expense the present value of options if they take tax deductions for them; a PLR finding that a foreign subsidiary's participation in an ESOP did not disqualify the plan; and a court ruling that non-ESOP information is subject to discovery in a participant's ESOP-related lawsuit. (National Center for Employee Ownership)
Corrected: Agenda For 2002 National Summit On Retirement Savings (PDF)
To be held Wednesday, February 27, 2002. (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)
Permanently Deferred Salary: Enron Quits Paying What It Owes Retired Managers
Excerpt: "As unsecured creditors, Enron's deferred compensation victims are a sizable group, numbering about 500, with a total claim estimated at $300 million to $400 million." (USA Today via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)
Procedural Due Diligence in the Selection and Monitoring of Plan Service Providers
Excerpt: "Plan fiduciaries have a duty to select plan service providers prudently, and once service providers are selected, to monitor the quality of their work regularly and to review their compensation periodically to ensure it is reasonable. These fiduciary duties ... spring from ERISA's prudence and loyalty provisions. This article discusses the theory behind the duties and provides guidelines for establishing a prudent process for selecting and monitoring service providers." (Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)
Senate Bill Could Stymie Stock Options
Excerpt: "A congressional bill introduced Wednesday could dampen the technology industry's widespread reliance on stock options. Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., introduced Senate Bill 1940 to 'plug a corporate tax loophole' that allows companies to claim large tax deductions without declaring the cost as an expense on earnings statements." (CNET via Yahoo! News)
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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.