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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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March 25, 2002 - 11,962 subscribers
Today's sponsor: Actuarial Systems Corporation

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)


   For over 20 years ASC has provided complete automation for the
   pension office, including DC/401(k) and DB administration and
   valuation systems, as well as sophisticated Compliance Testing
   and DV Direct, a revolutionary solution for daily valuation
   functions.  All ASC Technical Support Members had experience as
   practicing Pension Administrators or Actuaries before joining
   ASC-- and most have been with ASC for over 10 years.

(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)

Senate Study Says Large Firms Weighted Down with Employer Stock
Excerpt: "A new study by the US Senate's Democratic Policy Committee says Enron had plenty of company with employees heavily invested in their employer's stock as part of their 401(k) plan." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

The Pension Disaster That Awaits If Social Security Fails
Excerpt: "[S]uppose people become uncertain about whether they will get Social Security. We know that if nothing is done by 2038, Social Security benefits will be cut by roughly 28 percent. This will pose a significant long-term problem for integrated defined-benefit plans." (CFO.com)

2002 Defined Benefit Survey Results
Excerpt: "With the dismal stock market performance of 2001, it is no surprise to see that fewer plans are enjoying overfunded status." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
The proposed 414(m) regulations say that you use the attribution rules of Code Section 267(c) in determining whether an ASG exists. But Code Section 414(m) refers to the attribution rules of Code Section 318(a). Which is right? Why is there a difference? (BenefitsLink.com)

Commentary: 401(k) Debate-- the Jackpot vs. the Sure Thing
Excerpt: "The debate emerging from congressional efforts to rewrite the rules governing 401(k) and similar retirement savings plans highlights a key question that is rarely asked aloud but underlies the structure of these plans: Should they be designed to allow workers to try to get rich by taking big risks, or should they be restricted so that there is less risk -- and potentially less reward?" (Albert Crenshaw in the Washington Post)

Attorney Publishes Annotated Version of Affiliated Service Group Regs, Highlighting Obsolete Parts
Excerpt: "The following is the complete text, including preamble, of the 1983 proposed regulations dealing with affiliated service groups. Although these regulations have never been finalized, taxpayers are promised that they can rely on them. Unfortunately, they have never been revised to deal with numerous changes in the Internal Revenue Code ... I have indicated those sections of the proposed regulations themselves (not including the preamble) which require modification." (S. Derrin Watson, Esq.)

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

Actuaries' Recommendations Can Save Money for Plan Sponsors
Excerpt: "Recently, Leslie McIntosh, an actuary at Weyerhaeuser Corporation, recommended that her company consider an ERISA Section 420 transfer and move money from its overfunded pension to a 401(h) account. The idea, essentially, was to establish a mechanism ... for the payment of health-insurance premiums and other medical expenses for Weyerhaeuser retirees, as well as their spouses and dependents. The move is expected to save the company some $20 million a year ..." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Overview: Benefits Provisions in the New Economic Stimulus Law
Summarizes defined benefit plan funding relief; extension of medical savings accounts; EGTRRA technical corrections. (The Segal Company)

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Publishes 2001 Employee Benefits Study ($75 for Non-Members)
Excerpt: "The 2001 Employee Benefits Study is a simple and affordable tool to aid you in evaluating your company's benefits package. Based on actual 2000 payroll expenditures of over 450 U.S. companies of various sizes, industries, and geographic locations, the Study provides cost and frequency data on over 30 different benefits." (U.S. Chamber of Commerce)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Relationship Manager for Zurich Scudder Investments
in NY
Retirement Plans Administrator for Pall Corporation
in NY
Senior Vice President, Consultant Relations for CitiStreet - A State Street & Citigroup Company
in MA
Senior Benefits Analyst for Becton Dickinson & Company
in NY
Defined Benefits Plan Administrator for Creative Benefit Strategies, Inc.
in OH
Employee Benefits Administrator for Kidder Benefits Consultants, Inc.
in IA
Senior Reporting Compliance Specialist for US Department of Labor, Pension & Welfare Benefits Admin
in DC

Newly Posted Press Releases
CNA Trust Hires Michael L. Sanford as Regional Sales Director for Southeast (CNA Trust)

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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.