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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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April 2, 2002 - 11,902 subscribers
Today's sponsor: ASPA

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ASPA Publishes Side-by-Side Comparison of House and Senate Pension Reform Bills
Prepared by Brian H. Graff, Esq.; copyright 2002, ASPA. (American Society of Pension Actuaries)

Supreme Court Throws Out Age Discrimination Case Allegedly Involving Pension Cost-Saving Motives
Excerpt: "The case asked whether a 1967 law that bars on-the-job age bias allowed lawsuits on grounds that an employer's action had a disproportionate impact on older workers. Justices have already settled that impact suits are allowed under the 1964 Civil Rights Act ..." (AP via FindLaw.com)

Retirement at Risk: What HR Must Do
Excerpt: "A 'perfect storm' of forces is bearing down on retirement. The stock market rumbles, Enron crumbles, and Social Security quavers. Here's how HR should respond." (Workforce Online)

Audit Shows Series of Miscalculations in Milwaukee Pension Plan Changes That Brought Down Executive
Excerpt: "The audit provides no bombshell revelations that solve some of the central mysteries as to who drew up key parts of the pension plan, which became the undoing of County Executive F. Thomas Ament's political career. Rather, it describes a remarkable series of missteps and leaves readers to draw their own conclusions about the motivations of county officials - some of whom stood to benefit greatly from the changes." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
I have a professional corporation, which has two sources of income: (1) income from my professional services, and (2) royalty income from a book a wrote. My accountant has advised to have my publisher pay me separately, as a sole proprietor, for the royalties, so as to avoid FICA and Medicare taxes on the royalty income. Because the sole proprietorship will be under common control with my corporation, will this change my compensation for plan purposes? (BenefitsLink.com)

EGTRRA Video Series Available Online from Fidelity
Excerpt: "Thanks to the new tax law, you not only have the opportunity to save on your taxes, but also save more for your retirement. To help you take advantage of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 20011, Fidelity created these videos, featuring a panel of financial professionals, to put it into terms you can understand and use: Saving for Retirement with an IRA; Catch-up Contributions; Consolidating Rollover Money; Workplace Savings Plans; Small Business Retirement Plans" (Fidelity Investments)

Opinion: America's Moms Need Better Retirement Safety Net
Excerpt: "Women who do join the workforce are often torn between earning an income and looking after the family. For this reason, they tend to change jobs fairly often, at least on average. This frequent job turnover has rough consequences for their retirement prospects. It precludes many women from becoming fully vested in company programs. When they do leave, they often cash out their retirement program, forgoing the ability to access pension benefits they will need later on." (Pete duPont on Tallahassee.com)

Studebaker's Demise Offers a Lesson
Excerpt: "Long before there was Enron and its nearly worthless 401(k) accounts, the people of South Bend and neighboring towns lived through the demise of Studebaker, the fabled company that built horse-drawn carriages and later automobiles here for more than a century before shutting its doors in 1963. Workers who had already retired, or were at retirement age, got their pensions. Most, however, got small, lump-sum payouts, or nothing." (The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Poll: Majority Favors Privatizing Social Security
Link to audio file from Morning Edition program for April 1, 2002. Excerpt: "A majority of likely voters favors the idea of allowing people to invest some of their Social Security taxes in the stock market, according to the results of a bipartisan survey." (National Public Radio)

Opinion: Unwelcome Conclusion-- Social Security In Good Shape
Excerpt: "[T]he bottom line is that the long-run sustainability of Social Security looks better than ever.... I hope this satisfies readers who, when I criticize bogus arguments for privatizing Social Security, demand to hear my answer to the crisis. There isn't any crisis ..." (Paul Krugman in the New York Times; free registration required)

Empty Nest Eggs: Do You Plan to Retire? Think Again
Excerpt: "Social Security still holds up its end. But the company plans are disappearing, and their replacement, 401(k) accounts, which people use to save for their own retirement, are falling short. Many Americans are simply not saving enough." (New York Times; free registration required)

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

Executive Compensation Year in Review (2001) (PDF)
Excerpt: "The following is a review of key accounting, legislative and regulatory developments of 2001 that impact the field of executive compensation. Additional details for each of these summaries may be found in corresponding 'alert' letters on our website at www.fwcook.com." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

Opinion: Requiring Companies to Treat Stock Options as Charge to Bottom Line is Misguided
Excerpt: "Whereas Enron insiders may have wildly profited from what appears to be illegal and undisclosed self dealing, the lack of disclosure had nothing to do with its granting of stock options.... By throwing out stock options along with the Enron bathwater, we put at risk one of the most potent fuels for our economy's growth engine for the past decade." (Les Trachtman of Transcentive, Inc., published by the Foundation for Enterprise Development)

Lieberman Suggests Tax Incentives for Companies to Broaden Employee Stock Issues
Excerpt: "The senator said that currently the majority of stock options issued by corporate America goes to top managers. With the proposed tax incentives, at least 50% of the issuance should go to employees, he said. Meantime, he said other tax benefits should also be developed to encourage managers and employees to hold their options longer." (Dow Jones Business News via Yahoo! News)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Conversion and Trading Analyst for Invesmart
in PA
Health & Welfare Operations Manager for Ceridian
in FL
Retirement Plan Consultant for Invesmart
in MA

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
2002 PenServ Academy Seriesin TX on April 23, 2002
presented by PenServ Inc.
2002 PenServ Academy Seriesin TX on July 9, 2002
presented by PenServ Inc.

Newly Posted Press Releases
NuView Systems, Inc. Appoints James McAuliffe As Chief Operations Officer (NuView Systems, Inc.)

Newly Posted Announcements of Promotions and New Personnel (Post Yours!)
Robert W. Lemke (Creative Strategies, 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.