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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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March 1, 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)

Remarks by the President at the 2002 National Summit on Retirement Savings
Excerpt: "If you own something in America, you own a stake in America's future, and a good retirement vision, a good retirement future says that we must reform Social Security, not only for the good of the system but, as importantly, for the good of American workers who work all their life so that they can have an asset base to call their own." (White House Press Office via Yahoo! News)

Webcast of Speeches at 2002 National Summit on Retirement Savings
Opening Session featuring remarks by Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao; Senator Edward Kennedy and Representative John Boehner; Cynthia Drinkwater, Director of Research, IFEBP; Anne Combs, Assistant Secretary for Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration; Representatives Rob Portman and Benjamin Cardin; also featuring remarks of Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and remarks of President George W. Bush. (U.S. Department of Labor in conjunction with International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Bush Plays Defense on Social Security
Excerpt: "President Bush yesterday defended his plan for partial privatization of Social Security, as Democrats sought to force the proposal to the House floor to hurt Republicans running for reelection this year." (Washington Post)

Bush Praises Personal Retirement Accounts for Social Security
Excerpt: "The Bush administration wants to overhaul Social Security by allowing workers to put some of their Social Security taxes in personal retirement accounts that could be invested in the stock market. But at the request of Republican lawmakers, the administration is not pushing for the matter to be debated in Congress until after the November congressional elections." (AP via Yahoo! News)

Full Text of Treasury Report Opposing Caps on Stock in 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "[T]he Department concludes that placing arbitrary caps on individual 401(k) account holdings in employer stock would have a widespread impact on 401(k) plan participants and potentially severe disruptive effects on the stock prices of several major companies. Data show that as many as 1 in 5 of 401(k) participants would be forced to change their investment allocations if employer stock holdings were limited to 20 percent." (Department of the Treasury)

Treasury Report Opposes Caps on Stock in 401(k) Plans
Excerpt: "There could be big administrative problems and a potential disruption of the stock market if Congress imposed a cap on how much company stock workers could have in their accounts, said the report, released Thursday." (AP via Yahoo! News)

Attorney Testifies for ASPA, Cautions Senators About Importance of Blackout Periods
R. Bradford Huss, Esq. Excerpt: "ASPA also agrees that, as has been suggested by the Administration, ERISA should be clarified to provide that employers have a fiduciary responsibility to monitor plan investments during a lockdown when participants are not permitted to change investment options. However, it is important to emphasize that such a proposal should not impose absolute liability for investment losses during a lockdown, such as investment losses due to typical market performance." (American Society of Pension Actuaries)

British Government Eases Funding Requirements In Effort to Discourage DB Plan Conversion to DC Plans
Excerpt: "The government finally is starting to recognise the scale of the crisis facing pensions. In a clear retreat, it is easing the timetable under which firms with defined benefit schemes are required to make good any underfunding. The decision will ease the pressure on companies such as ICI, which is among those to have revealed a large shortfall in pension funding." (Knight Ridder-Tribune Business News via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Reliance Insurance Co. Pension Plans Are Taken Over by PBGC
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. assumed control of Reliance Insurance Co.'s pension plan and said the plan was underfunded by $124 million. The PBGC said in a news release that it was stepping in because the property-casualty insurance company was being liquidated by regulators, and that the company's pension plan, without government intervention, would have been unable to make payments to its retired former employees." (Dow Jones via Yahoo! News)

Global Association of Pension Regulators Announces New Web Site
Excerpt: "The [International Network of Pension Regulators and Supervisors] is a global network of pensions regulators and supervisors which comprises regulatory and supervisory authorities from 64 countries and 12 international organisations. The INPRS is serviced by the [Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development]." (International Network of Pension Regulators and Supervisors)

Mutual Fund Association Urges IRS to Delay Use of Updated Forms for Model IRA, SEP Documents
Excerpt: "The Institute recently submitted a comment letter to the Internal Revenue Service regarding Revenue Procedure 2002-10, which addresses revisions to model and prototype IRA, SEP, and SIMPLE IRA documents.... Under the revenue procedure, existing model forms may not be used to establish new IRAs, SEPs, or SIMPLE IRAs after June 1, 2002 ... [T]he Institute urges the IRS to alter the deadline because the June 1 date most likely will not provide adequate time ..." (Investment Company Institute)

MetLife Survey Examines Americans' Attitudes Toward Retirement
Nearly half (49%) of the respondents to a survey recently released by the MetLife Mature Market Institute reported that they look forward to retirement, while 19% worried about retirement and 29% reported that they did not think about it. The survey, which was conducted by the market research firm of Zogby International, was a nationwide opinion poll covering 48 specific questions about retirement. (Spencernet)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Marketing Consultant (Conversion & Case Management) for WESPAC Plan Services, Inc.
in CA
Erisa/Tax Attorney for UnumProvident Corporation
in ME
Benefits Manager for WINMAR Personnel Agency, Inc. & WINMAR Temporary Services, Inc.
in NJ, NY
Senior Plan Implementation Analyst for Invesmart
in PA
Retirement Services Specialist for Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, L.L.C.
in WA
Consultant for Buck Consultants
in MO
Retirement Plan Sales Consultant for Invesmart
in PA

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)
Company Stock in Defined Contribution Plans: Limiting Employer Liability on March 14, 2002
presented by Watson Wyatt, Financial Executives International and the FEI Research Foundation
Making Sense of the Mammography Controversy: What Women Need to Know on February 28, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org
The Uninsured and Affordable Health Care Coverage on February 28, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
NCEO 21st Annual Conference on ESOPs & Broad-Based Stock Optionsin IL on April 24, 2002
presented by National Center for Employee Ownership

Newly Posted Press Releases
ABA Accolades ARAG Group (ARAG Group)
ParentCareUSA provides innovative services to help "baby-boomers" care for aging parents (ParentCareUSA)

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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.