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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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March 26, 2002 - 11,962 subscribers
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Trade Associations Urge Remaining Nonconforming States to Change Tax Codes to Reflect EGTRRA Limits
Excerpt: "The [Investment Company] Institute and the Securities Industry Association (SIA) are sending joint letters to state officials in Arizona, Arkansas, California, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Wisconsin urging their state legislatures to ... bring their retirement security and education savings provisions into conformity with the changes made to the Internal Revenue Code, as amended by [EGTRRA]." (Investment Company Institute)

Company Stock and the ERISA Fiduciary: the Aftermath of Enron
Excerpt: "Like Claude Rains in 'Casablanca,' politicians and pundits have been 'shocked! shocked!' that 401(k) plans and similar retirement arrangements are permitted to invest substantially all of their assets in stock issued by the plan sponsor. But that has been permitted ever since ERISA was enacted in 1974." (William A. Schmidt of Kirkpatrick & Lockhart LLP, published by Trusts & Estates)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
I want to follow up on Q&A 146. I understand that IRC 318 attribution is used for affiliated service groups, rather than section 267, but so what? Both provide for attribution between husband and wife, parent and child, partnership and partner, etc. What difference does it make? (BenefitsLink.com)

Participant's Qualified Plan Account Subject to Garnishment to Satisfy Criminal Fine
United States of America v. Rice (N.D. Okla. 2002). Excerpt: "The employee in this criminal case received a sentence that included a $10,000 fine. To collect the fine, the U.S. attorney issued a garnishment summons to the trustee of a qualified retirement plan sponsored by the employee's former employer, in which the employee was a fully vested participant.... The court held that the employee's plan account could be garnished to satisfy his criminal fine." (EBIA Weekly)

IRS Challenges Cutback of Post-Retirement COLA
Excerpt: "The Service has filed a notice of appeal with a federal appeals court, challenging a December finding by the U.S. Tax Court that a COLA added to a pension plan after the retirement of some of the plan's participants was not an 'accrued benefit' as to retired participants." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Second Circuit Dismisses Plaintiffs' ERISA Claims Against Union Pension Fund
The Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that two plaintiffs could not pursue a claim for breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA because the conduct of which the plaintiffs complained occurred prior to the effective date of ERISA. The case is Rocco and Casey v. New York State Teamsters Conference Pension and Retirement Fund (Nos. 01-7519(L) and 01-7571(XAP)). (Spencernet)

Early Retirement Deal May Appeal to 6,000 Wisconsin Government Workers
Excerpt: "About 6,000 of state government's most experienced workers would be expected to retire at ages as young as 48 under a costly early retirement package being considered by Democratic legislators, a new study concluded.... The $40,000 report was ordered by Senate Democrats who want to know if an early retirement benefit would save enough money to pay for itself and help state officials solve a $1.1 billion budget deficit." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Opinion: What If I Think One Stock Is Enough?
Excerpt: "[T]here are problems with the Senate proposal-- and not just because the government has no business micromanaging your portfolio. There may be good reasons to load up your 401(k) with company shares." (Bill Saporito on Time.com)

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


Andersen's 'Alert: U.S. Compensation and Benefits News Briefs' for March 19, 2002
9 pages; articles include: IRS revises Forms 8717, 1099-R and 5500-EZ; DOL finalizes proposed amendments to class exemptions; PBGC issues 2002 premium payment package; Court cases on COBRA elections, ERISA and workers' comp plans, disclosure of physician's financial incentives, ERISA Sec. 510 and the hire/re-hire decision, failure to provide plan documents, and late 401(k) deposits. (Andersen)

Option Reform Gains Backing from Pension Fund Group
Excerpt: "Many of the nation's largest pension funds yesterday threw their weight behind efforts to persuade companies to count the cost of stock options for executives as an expense when they report their income. By a voice vote, the Council of Institutional Investors (CII) ... reversed itself on the controversial options issue." (Washington Post)

Stock Options Make Some CEOs' Divorces Messy
Excerpt: "The heavy use of stock options is about a decade old, which means they are now increasingly landing in divorce court. They are often the most valuable marital asset, but their true value rides on future stock performance." (USA Today)




Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Daily Valuation Administrator for WESPAC Plan Services, Inc.
in CA
Pension Administrator 401(k) Defined Contribution for Davey Administration Group
in CA
Defined Contribution / 401(k) Analyst for New England Pension Consultants
in MA
Technical Specialist-Retirement Operations Administration Team for Edward Jones
in MO
Technical Specialist-Retirement Operations Qualified Plan Installation for Edward Jones
in MO
Assistant Plan Administrator for Windes & McClaughry Employee Benefit Services
in CA
Financial Control Specialist for CNA TRUST
in CA
401(k) / Retirement Plan Administrator for Stephen Eldridge & Company, Inc.
in NH



Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)
Treading Water: Americans' Access to Needed Medical Care, 1997-2001 on March 21, 2002
presented by KaiserNetwork.org



Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
401(k) Plansin KS on May 7, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
401(k) Plansin MN on May 14, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
401(k) Plansin CO on April 23, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
Cafeteria Plansin KS on May 8, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
Cafeteria Plansin MN on May 15, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
Cafeteria Plansin CO on April 24, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plansin CO on April 26, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plansin MN on May 18, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plansin KS on May 10, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plansin MN on May 16, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plansin CO on April 25, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plansin KS on May 9, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
HIPAA & Other Federal Mandates for Group Health Plansin KS on May 9, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
HIPAA & Other Federal Mandates for Group Health Plansin MN on May 16, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
HIPAA & Other Federal Mandates for Group Health Plansin CO on April 25, 2002
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America LLC (EBIA)
Retirement Distributions: Estate and Tax Planning Strategiesin NC on July 15, 2002
presented by Professional Education Systems Institute, LLC
Retirement Distributions: Estate and Tax Planning Strategiesin NC on July 16, 2002
presented by Professional Education Systems Institute, LLC
Retirement Distributions: Estate and Tax Planning Strategiesin NC on July 18, 2002
presented by Professional Education Systems Institute, LLC
Tax and Estate Planning with Retirement Assetsin OH on June 27, 2002
presented by Professional Education Systems Institute, LLC
Tax and Estate Planning with Retirement Assetsin OH on June 28, 2002
presented by Professional Education Systems Institute, LLC

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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.