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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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February 25, 2002 - 12,334 subscribers
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Checklist: Updating Qualified Plans for EGTRRA
Excerpt: "The attached checklists identify amendments that must or may be included in IRS-qualified defined contribution and defined benefit plans as a result of changes made by the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 ('EGTRRA')." (Groom Law Group)

Top 10 Reasons to Join Your 401(k) Plan
Excerpt: "Because of the publicity surrounding Enron employees' lost 401(k) savings, some people may be leery about contributing to their own 401(k) plans.... Compared to other savings plans available to private sector workers, the 401(k) plan has many good points. Here are our top 10 reasons why you should join your plan." (mPower Cafe)

Survey Shows Enron Has Been Wake-Up Call to Retirement Plan Investors
Excerpt: "Enron has clearly affected the way Americans view the security of stock-based retirement accounts. A 58% majority said the major lesson of Enron was that such accounts may not be safe. [But that] is a significantly larger percentage than say that Enron shows more government regulation is needed, or that large corporations have too much clout in Washington." (Pew Research Center)

Investment Education for 401(k) Participants Coming into Focus
Excerpt: "A survey conducted by the National Center for Policy Analysis, a District-based nonprofit research institute, revealed that about half of respondents did not understand mutual fund or bond investments, and did not know that they could lose money through such investments." (Washington Times)

Fierce Fight Underway with 401(k) Reform Bills
Excerpt: "Even President Bush and California Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer, who seldom agree on anything, say 401(k) retirement accounts need change. But the harder question -- and the source of a deepening partisan divide in Washington -- is how to fix one of the nation's most popular and successful savings programs." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Text of Tax Court Case Holding Elimination of COLAs for Retirees Is Not Prohibited 411(d)(6) Cutback (PDF)
28 pages, reversing an adverse determination letter; entitled Board of Trustees of Sheet Metal Workers National Pension Fund v. Commr. (Dec. 4, 2001). Excerpt: "For the reasons stated below, we believe that a COLA that is added to a plan after the retirement of some of its participants, although made available to them, is not an accrued benefit as to those participants under section 411(d)(6)." (U.S. Tax Court)

Text of Becker v. Mack Trucks, Inc. Decision Finding No ERISA 510 Violation for Failure to Rehire
Third Circuit decision. Excerpt: "Mack declined to rehire plaintiffs because to do so would create a future pension liability disproportionately greater than that incurred by hiring employees without past service or pension credit. Plaintiffs contend that Mack's decision amounts to unlawful 'discrimination' under section 510 of ERISA." (FindLaw.com)

New 457 Plan Rollover Option Gives More Flexibility to Job-hoppers, Retirees
Excerpt: "Previously, your options were essentially to take the money out, paying income tax on the withdrawal(s), or leave it in the 457. The only rollovers allowed were to another employer's 457 plan. You had to decide right away what to do with your money. Now, if you're eligible, you can roll your account into an IRA or a new employer's 401(k) or 403(b) plan when you change jobs or retire. What's more, you can take your time making the decision." (mPower Cafe)

Portman, Cardin Legislation Aims To Protect 401(k) Plan Assets
Reps. Rob Portman (Ohio) and Benjamin Cardin (Md.) have introduced the Employee Retirement Savings Bill of Rights (H.R. 3669), which is intended to empower employees to control their retirement savings accounts through new diversification rights, new disclosure requirements, and new tax incentives for retirement education. The bill would implement the proposals that President George W. Bush recently offered for protecting Sec. 401(k) plan assets. (Spencernet)

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

Company Decides to Determine Executive Pay Without Regard to Company's Pension Income
Excerpt: "In what appears to be a first, McDermott International Inc. agreed to determine compensation for senior executives without regard to any income generated by its pension plan, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday.... Amalgamated Bank, which filed the resolution, noted that pension income is contributing to the bottom line of many large companies and, in turn, boosting executive pay that is based on earnings." (Dow Jones via Yahoo! News)

Split Dollar Arrangements for Executives Appear to Get Support Under Bush
Excerpt: "Despite criticism over how top Enron Corp. officials were able to protect their special executive pensions while other employees saw retirement savings devastated, tax consultants say the Bush administration has softened proposed new rules, which will allow top executives to continue sheltering billions of dollars in pension savings, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday." (Dow Jones via Yahoo! News)

Laid-off, Retired LTV Workers Feel Bite of Globalization
Excerpt: "A rally [Saturday, February 23] in Virginia, Minn., will start a week of events organized to call attention to the loss of jobs, pensions and health insurance by a growing number of workers in the iron-ore and steel industries." (StarTribune.com)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Documentation Compliance Specialist-LLY for Management Recruiters of Portland
Benefits Analyst I for GreenPoint Financial Corp.
Retirement Plan Consultant for Invesmart
Plan Administrator for LBA Retirement Plan Services, LLC
Employee Benefits Account Executive for Roller Consulting Co., Inc.
Client Services Consultant for American United Life Insurance Company

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
When the DOL Knocks At Your Doorin CA on March 21, 2002
presented by Western Pension and Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter
Managing Your Retirement Program in These Changing Timesin MD on March 21, 2002
presented by The Baltimore Chapter of ISCEBS
2002 ICI/SIA Retirement Savings Conference & Exhibitin DC on April 28, 2002
presented by Investment Company Institute and Securities Industry Association

Newly Posted Press Releases
vSimplify Hires New VP Sales, and New Client Services Expert (vSimplify)

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Copyright 2002 BenefitsLink.com, Inc., but you may freely distribute this email newsletter in whole. This newsletter is edited by David Rhett Baker, J.D.