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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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March 14, 2002 - 12,334 subscribers
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Analysis: EGTRRA Technical Corrections Legislation
Excerpt: "The Economic Stimulus Bill, officially titled the Job Creation and Worker Assistance Act of 2002 (JCWAA), signed by the President on March 9, 2002, included some temporary funding relief for defined benefit plans and technical corrections to EGTRRA." (SunGard Corbel)

From ASPA: Enron Pension Reform Legislation Update
Excerpt: "[O]ur survey has made an impact. None of the major committee bills ... includes a time restriction on lockdowns. The Kennedy bill only provides that lockdown periods must be 'reasonable.' ... All of the bills require individual account plans to provide quarterly benefit statements. We have been successful persuading committee staff to limit this requirement to only plans that permit participants to direct the investment of their individual accounts." (Brian Graff, Executive Director of American Society of Pension Actuaries)

Global Crossing Workers Sue Under ERISA Over Savings Lost
Excerpt: "Former Global Crossing Ltd. employees are suing the company's directors, seeking to recover retirement savings lost when the fiber-optic network operator filed for the fourth-largest U.S. bankruptcy. Scott Johnson claims he and other workers enrolled in Global Crossing's 401(k) plan lost tens of millions because of breaches of duty by 17 company directors ..." (South Florida Sun-Sentinel)

Senate Majority Leader Daschle Criticizes Proposal to Borrow from Federal Employee Pension Plan
Excerpt: "Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, D-S.D., Tuesday criticized a possible Bush administration move to tap federal employee retirement funds to avoid immediately raising the government's debt ceiling.... He acknowledged that former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin had employed such methods during the Clinton administration, but noted that 'some called for his impeachment' when he did so." (GovExec.com)

How It Would Work: Government Proposal to Borrow from Federal Employee Pension Plan
Excerpt: "Since 1987, the federal government has tapped the Thrift Savings Plan's G Fund five times to avoid hitting the federal debt ceiling. Each time, the government has made good on the requirement that it repay the G Fund for its temporary losses as soon as possible. Now the G Fund may be tapped again." (GovExec.com)

NASD Threatens Suit Over the Siedle Directory of Securities Dealers
Link to site operated by Ted Siedle. Excerpt: "For the general public, a review of brokerage firms prior to investing and on an ongoing basis, makes sound financial sense. For fiduciaries involved in brokerage decision-making, such as money managers, pensions, endowments and foundations, regular review of the brokerages they entrust with assets, is mandatory." (The Benchmark Companies)

Opinion: Lobbyists Mess with Innovative Texas 403(b) Plan
Excerpt: "[T]he Teacher Retirement System of Texas (TRS) [recently adopted] innovative measures designed to protect 403(b) contributors. Known as SB 273, the new law, among other things, proposed to place TRS in charge of approving vendors selling to the K-12 market, and contained provisions strongly favoring low-cost, no-load vendors.... At a public hearing in Austin in January this year, insurance lobbyist successfully railed against the fee caps." (403bWise.com)

Opinion: Bill Would Improve Quality of 403(b) Annuities in California
Excerpt: "[AB 2506] allows school districts and public agencies to create a manageable list of high-quality vendors for their employees. It requires annuity providers to submit objective disclosure of their fees.... It benefits education by raising the quality of teachers' retirement benefits at no cost to the State." (403bWise.com)

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

Re-examining Stock Options as a Way to Compensate Executives
Excerpt: "If the purpose of compensation packages is to retain and reward senior executives as well as ally their interests with the interests of shareholders, the package should contain an equity-based element-- most likely stock options-- perhaps in conjunction with 'soft' measures like improving customer satisfaction. In addition, more attention should be given to instituting safeguards to thwart the types of stock price and accounting manipulations that have recently made headlines." (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Pension Administrator/Accountant for First Mercantile Trust Company
in NC, TN
Account Executive for Diversified Investment Advisors
in CA, NC, NY
Internal Wholesaler for Transamerica - The Winning Organization
in DC
Benefits Manager for American Society of Civil Engineers
in VA
401(k) Administrator in Hawaii for HICKS PENSION SERVICES - HONOLULU OFFICE
in HI
Compliance Specialist for General Board of Pension and Health Benefits of The United Methodist Church
in IL
Actuarial Analyst for Consulting Firm in San Diego
in CA
CRIMINAL COORDINATOR (Investigator - Pension), GS-1801-15 for U.S. Department on Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration
in DC

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)
Quality Healthcare: The Challenges on March 13, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org

Newly Posted Press Releases
Subadvisor, LLC Launches Innovative Toolset for Financial Services Professionals (SUBADVISOR, LLC)
ERIC Warns Congress that Broad Mental Health Parity Mandate Will Do More Harm Than Good (The ERISA Industry Committee)
SunGard Corbel Achieves First EFAST Approval for 5500 Software (SunGard Corbel)
Spencer Collects Data For TPA Annual Survey (Charles D. Spencer & Associates, Inc.)

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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.