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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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February 28, 2002 - 12,334 subscribers
Today's sponsor: Actuarial Systems Corporation

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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)

Witness List and Links to Statements of Witnesses at House Committee Retirement Plans Hearing
February 27, 2002 hearing by the Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations. Includes testimony from Dave Evans, Independent Insurance Agents of America; Angela Reynolds for the The American Benefits Council; Erik Olsen, AARP; Dr. John H. Warner, Jr. for the Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America; Richard Ferlauto for the AFSCME and AFL-CIO; John M. Vine, Esq. for the ERISA Industry Committee. (U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and the Workforce, Subcommittee on Employer-Employee Relations)

Witness List and Links to Statements of Witnesses at Finance Committee Retirement Plans Hearing
'Retirement Security: Picking up the Enron Pieces,' February 27, 2002. Witnesses include David M. Walker, General Accounting Office; William F. Sweetnam, Jr., Department of Treasury; Steven A. Kandarian, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation; Jack L. VanDerhei, Ph.D., Temple University; and R. Bradford Huss, Esq., Trucker Huss. (U.S. Senate, Committee on Finance)

Insurance Agents Urge Congress Not to Remove 404(c) Protection During Blackout Periods
Excerpt: "'If plan sponsors feel that they will have exposure to liabilities should the blackout period become prolonged, this will serve as a strong disincentive for them to take the appropriate action to change record-keepers or investment advisors when warranted,' stressed [David G. Evans, testifying to a Congressional panel on behalf of the Independent Insurance Agents of America]." (InsuranceNewsNet.com)

Private Pensions: Key Issues to Consider Following the Enron Collapse
14 pages; testimony before Senate Finance Committee by David M. Walker, comptroller general of the United States. Excerpt: "I will discuss ... (1) the importance of investment diversification and related investor education issues; (2) the crucial role of disclosure, and what information employees need and can expect about their company and their pension plans; and (3) the importance of fiduciary rules in safeguarding employee pension assets." (U.S. General Accounting Office)

Actuaries Release New Survey on Retirement Risks
Excerpt: "The survey results indicated that Americans' sunny view of their own life expectancy and need for nursing home care may leave them unprepared for a secure retirement.... Most people underestimated the life expectancy of an average 65-year-old person.... Because there is a lack of understanding of the risks faced in retirement, providing people with the knowledge and skills needed to cope with these risks should be a high priority." (American Academy of Actuaries)

Enron Pension Shortfall Could be $125 Million, PBGC Director Says
Excerpt: "The federal agency that insures traditional pension plans could be forced to make up a shortfall of 'at least $125 million' in an Enron Corp. plan covering 20,000 people if Enron fails to survive, an agency official told the Senate Finance Committee yesterday." (Washington Post)

PBGC May Have to Pay Enron Pensions
Excerpt: "The government might have to step in to pay guaranteed benefits for a seriously underfunded Enron pension plan, says the executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp." (AP via Yahoo! News)

Eye-Opening Numbers On Retirement Savings
Excerpt: "Some of the nation's top experts on retirement planning are putting their heads together in Washington this week to try and figure out what it will take to get people to save more.... What I found most interesting in the retirement survey was the number of people who think it's possible to live on much less than what they live on now." (Washington Post)

Background Material for Delegates to the 2002 National Summit on Retirement Savings (PDF)
44 pages. Includes chapters entitled The SAVER Summit Challenge; Retirement Security; The Millennial Generation in Youth; Generation X in Rising Adulthood; The Baby Boom Generation in Midlife; and The Silent Generation in Elderhood. (U.S. Department of Labor)

Bush to Push Social Security Private Accounts
Excerpt: "Bush plans to promote his Social Security private account plan as well as pension reform proposals on Thursday in a speech to a conference on retirement saving hosted by Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, a White House aide said." (Reuters via Yahoo! Finance)

A Proposed Legal, Regulatory and Operational Structure for Investment-Based Social Security
Excerpt: "In this study, Karl Borden and Charles Rounds offer a proposal for the regulatory and administrative structure of individual accounts. The core of their proposal is the private retirement account (PRA), which more closely resembles the individual retirement account model than the 401(k) model.... [W]orkers would be able to divert a portion of their Social Security payroll tax to a PRA. Workers would possess full property rights in their account balances ..." (Karl J. Borden and Charles E. Rounds Jr., published by the Cato Institute)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Senior Pension Administrator for Snyder Cohn Collyer Hamilton & Associates
in MD
Employee Benefits Paralegal / Administrator for Iris Bashi Associates, LLC
in NJ

Newly Posted Press Releases
vSimplify Provides Payroll and Carrier Connectivity (vSimplify)
457 Plan Services Now Updated for EGTRRA (SunGard Corbel)

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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.