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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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March 8, 2002 - 12,334 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)

House-Passed Stimulus Bill Includes DB Plan Interest Rate Relief, EGTRRA Technical Corrections
Excerpt: "Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-South Dakota) yesterday said senators unanimously agreed to expedite action on the bill, which President Bush said he would sign into law. The Senate has already scheduled a vote on the bill." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

The Working Spouse: New Opportunities for Increased Retirement Plan Contributions
Excerpt: "Considering all of [the EGTRRA] changes, there is a significant financial incentive to putting Spouse on the company payroll in 2002. Using a 401(k) profit sharing plan, Owner and Spouse may each obtain a $40,000 allocation ($41,000 if they are at least age 50). Despite the $6,400 increase in FICA costs, the tax savings to the couple on each $40,000 contribution would be $16,000 ..." (Mand Marblestone & Danziger, P.C.)

Arkansas Tax Regulators Announce Plan for Dealing with Higher EGTRRA Contribution Limits
Here is the text of a recent release from the Arkansas tax authorities, about the EGTRRA mismatch in contribution limits between the Internal Revenue Code and Arkansas' tax code. Thanks to attorney Tom Overbey for the contribution! (BenefitsLink)

Fidelity Publishes Report on Company Stock and 401k Plans
Press release. Excerpt: "Fidelity found that in 2001, 15 percent of all plans with company stock removed trading restrictions and 21 percent are considering removing existing restrictions in the near future." (Business Week via Yahoo! Finance)

Working Paper: Company Stock and Retirement Plan Diversification
72 pages. Excerpt: "This paper explores the risks and benefits of holding company stock in employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plans. We address three questions: (1) What is the role and function of company stock in such plans? (2) Who might be affected by enhanced portfolio diversification in such plans? and (3) What mechanisms exist, or might be developed, to enhance portfolio diversification if more diversification were deemed useful?" (Olivia S. Mitchell and Stephen P. Utkus, published by the Pension Research Council)

Attorney Says Texas Teacher Retirement System Succumbed to Lobbyists
Excerpt: "TRS staff proposed regulations to SB 273 that were strongly in favor of low cost and no load vendors for the choices available to teachers; however, at a public hearing in Austin in January 2002, insurance lobbyists complained bitterly about the regulations, because the caps on fees and expenses were too low." (403bWise.com)

Joint Committee Explanation Summarizes Pension Reform Bills (PDF)
59 pages; part of a report prepared for the February 27, 2002 Senate Finance Committee hearing: 'Present Law and Background Relating to Employer-Sponsored Defined Contribution Plans and Other Retirement Arrangements and Proposals Regarding Defined Contribution Plans." (Joint Committee on Taxation)

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

IRS Issues Long Awaited Proposed Golden Parachute Regulations (PDF)
Excerpt: "[T]he 2002 proposed regulations clarify that both non-qualified stock options and incentive stock options are payments in the nature of compensation.... [T]he IRS has issued separate guidance (Revenue Procedure 2002-13) providing several permissible valuation methods, including a 'valuation safe harbor.'" (Proskauer Rose LLP)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Consulting Associate for RSM McGladrey, Inc.
in MN
REINSURANCE MANAGER for Corporate Benefit Services of America, Inc. (CBSA)
in MN
Claims Processing Supervisor for Corporate Benefit Services of America, Inc. (CBSA)
in MN
Manager, Benefits Delivery for Lyondell Chemical Company
in TX
Employee Benefits Accountant for Cherry, Bekaert, and Holland, LLP
in VA
Benefits Manager for Twentieth Century Fox
in CA
Project/Practice Manager For Pension Law/TPA Firm for Mand Marblestone & Danziger, P.C. - Bala Cynwyd, Pennsylvania
in PA
Associate, Benefits for Black Mountain Management, Inc.
in NY
Client Associate - Reporting & Disclosure for AEGON Group
in IA

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)
Health Quality and Medical Errors on March 7, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Pension Plan Investments 2002: Confronting Today's Issuesin CA, NY on May 8, 2002
presented by Practising Law Institute

Newly Posted Press Releases
New !Trak-It HR with Email and Web Connections for Fast Background Checks (!Trak-It Solutions)

Subscribe to the Welfare Plans Edition, too (click)

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.