March 21, 2002 - 12,334 subscribers
Today's sponsor: ASPA
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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)
IRS Publishes Winter 2002 Edition of 'Employee Plans News'
Articles include SEP Contributions; Revised Forms & Publications; Great Lakes Customer Satisfaction Survey Project; Published EP Guidance; Calendar of EP Benefits Conferences; Creation of New Technical Clearinghouse; Contacting TE/GE Customer Account Services. (Internal Revenue Service)
House Committee Describes Provisions of Pension Reform Bill Approved on March 20
Press release from House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Excerpt: "Despite intense pressure, Chairman Boehner refused to discard language clarifying that companies have a fiduciary responsibility for workers' savings during blackout periods. The Chairman's mark [adds] specific considerations including if the fiduciary considered whether the blackout period was reasonable in length and whether the fiduciary complied with notice requirements." (U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Education and the Workforce)
House Education and Workforce Committee Passes Its Version of Pension Reform Bill
Excerpt: "The Pension Security Act includes the Retirement Security Advice Act (H.R. 2269), which encourages employers to make investment advice available to employees." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)
Kennedy Introduces Bill To Improve Diversification of Sec. 401(k) Plan Assets
Sen. Edward Kennedy (Mass.), along with nine cosponsors, has introduced the Protecting America's Pensions Act of 2002 (S. 1992), which would amend ERISA to improve the diversification of plan assets in individual account plans, disclosure, and account access. Mr. Kennedy's bill is the latest piece of legislation directed at 401(k) plans to be introduced in the wake of the financial collapse of Enron Corporation. (Spencernet)
Mutual Funds Association Releases Ad Hoc Survey of SIMPLE IRA Plans
Excerpt: "Survey respondents indicate that between June 30, 2001 and December 31, 2001, the number of SIMPLE IRA plans rose 8 percent, the number of participants increased 6 percent, and SIMPLE IRA assets invested in mutual funds were up 19 percent ..." (Investment Company Institute)
Full Text of Proposed Amendment to PTE 96-62 Expanding Availability of Expedited PT Exemptions
Excerpt: "[I]n order to assist parties who in the future wish to utilize ... PTE 96-62, the Department is proposing to expand [that procedure] to permit parties to either base their submission on substantially similar transactions described in two individual exemptions granted within the past 60-months; or on one individual exemption granted within the past 120-months and one transaction which received final authorization by the Department under PTE 96-62 within the past 60-months." (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)
Stock Option Showdown: It's U.S. Corporates vs. the IASB
Excerpt: "[L]ate last year, the [International Accounting Standards Board] proposed that options be measured at fair value on the date they vest with employees, and that the compensation expense be accrued over the vesting period of the options. Not surprisingly, the U.S. corporate community came out swinging." (CFO.com)
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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.