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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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February 18, 2002 - 12,556 subscribers
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(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)

Sponsors Fight 401(k) Plan Limits
Excerpt: "Small businesses, big corporations and trade associations are mobilizing for an all-out lobbying effort to head off proposed restrictions on how they administer employee retirement programs in the post Enron era.... Defenders of the system say companies that compel employee stock ownership do so because it makes workers more loyal, productive and profit-conscious. But there are other benefits as well ..." (Los Angeles Times)

EGTRRA and Nonconforming States
Excerpt: "So far, at least 16 states have not adopted EGTRRA's new contribution limits and rollover rules, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, South Carolina and Wisconsin." (Watson Wyatt)

Experts Wonder If Enron Collapse Will Spur 401(k) Reforms As Studebaker Demise Improved Pensions
Excerpt: "In 1979, 28 percent of U.S. workers were covered by a defined-benefit plan only, 7 percent had a defined-contribution plan only and 10 percent had both, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Twenty years later, 7 percent had only a defined-benefit plan, 27 percent had only a defined-contribution plan and 15 percent had both." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Which Hat Was Kenneth Lay Wearing-- CEO or Plan Fiduciary?
Excerpt: "According to some experts, even if Lay knew that the Houston-based company was in bad financial shape, he might have run afoul of insider-trading rules if he told plan participants -- and not outside investors -- about the troubles at the company.... Hence, the former Enron CEO might have been caught between a rock and hard place: Don't tell employees about Enron's financial woes, and he breaches his fiduciary duty under [ERISA]; tell employees alone, and he violates securities law." (CFO.com)

February 2002 Issue of Pension Section News (PDF)
Includes "Addressing Pension Funding Issues Caused by a Stock Market Downturn" and "Discipline Involved in Managing a Pension Plan Can Lead to a Better 401(k) Plan." (Society of Actuaries)

Univ. of Calif. Named Lead Plaintiff in Enron Investors Suit
Excerpt: "California beat out two other groups of state or municipal pension and investment funds that sought lead plaintiff status: a group including Florida and the City of New York and a four-state group consisting of Ohio, Washington, Georgia and Alabama." (Reuters via Lycos News)

Overview: IRS Explains Expanded ESOP Dividend Deduction
Excerpt: "In Notice 2002-02, the IRS addresses many questions that have arisen about the EGTRRA change to §404(k), including effective date, timing of participant elections, default elections, timing of employer deductions, earnings, contribution limits, interaction with 401(k) plan hardship rules, vesting, disallowed deductions, inactive participants, designation as an ESOP and amendment deadlines." (Watson Wyatt)

Reducing Negative Surprises in Retirement
(Click on 'PDF Version' button on target page.) Excerpt: "More than 2000 working and retired TIAA-CREF retirement plan participants were surveyed in order to explore the relationship between expectations of retirement spending and actual spending in retirement.... This article summarizes the findings ... and highlights the important role that advisors have in retirement planning for their clients." (TIAA-CREF Institute)

House Leader Urges New Push on Social Security
Excerpt: "The House majority leader, Representative Dick Armey of Texas, urged his fellow Republicans today not to shrink from a fight with Democrats this year over how to shore up Social Security." (New York Times; free registration required)

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

Andersen's Alert: U.S. Compensation and Benefits News Briefs for February 4, 2002
Excerpt: "Our February 4, 2002, issue includes these topics: further September 11 relief for employee benefit plans; two courts apply Supreme Court's Great-West case; bill gives employees 'total control' over 401(k)." (Andersen)

Overview: Split Dollar Lives On
Excerpt: "Employers have a window of opportunity until final regulations are published to review existing split-dollar arrangements. Among the issues to address are: Which arrangements should be recharacterized as a series of employer loans? Which arrangements should be terminated by December 31, 2003?" (Watson Wyatt)

Overview: New Disclosure Rules for Stock Plans
Excerpt: "The SEC adopted new disclosure requirements for reporting companies with stock compensation plans. Registrants must include a new table in their annual reports on Form 10-K, as well as in their proxy statements in years when they are submitting a compensation plan for security holder action." (Watson Wyatt)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Accounting Manager for ExpertPlan
Business Development Executive / Consulting Sales for Executive Search Associates Boston, Inc.
401(k) Investment Educator for ADP, Inc.
Senior Benefits Compliance Representative for Northrop Grumman Corporation
Retirement Plan Administrator for InWest Pension Management, Inc.
Sr. Benefits Consultant for Wachovia Corporation
Health and Welfare Benefits Consultant for Wachovia Corporation
Pension Administrator for California Retirement Plans, Inc.
Sr. Benefits Specialist for Towers Perrin
Defined Contribution Administrator for Northwest Benefit Consultants, Inc.
Accounts Payable Supervisor for Northrop Grumman Corporation
Pensions/401(k) ERISA Compliance Specialist for Pensioncareers Ltd.

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Mid-Sized Pension Management Conferencein CA on March 17, 2002
presented by University of California, Haas School of Business
Mid-Sized Pension Management Conferencein MA on May 14, 2002
presented by New York University, Stern School of Business
Mid-Sized Pension Management Conferencein IL on October 6, 2002
presented by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
Health and Welfare Plan Management for Mid-Sized Employersin IL on June 4, 2002
presented by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School
Mid-Sized Pension Management Conferencein FL on January 21, 2003
presented by UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School

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.