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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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April 26, 2002 - 11,721 subscribers
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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)

State Income Tax EGTRRA Conformity Update (PDF)
April 19, 2002. Excerpt: "Here is the latest on the issue of state tax conformity with the retirement provisions of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA)." (American Benefits Council)

"Nonconforming States" Delay Adoption of New Retirement Savings Limits
Excerpt: "New, higher 401(k), 403(b), 457 and IRA contribution limits were passed by Congress as a part of the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA) of 2001. ... The problem is that some states have not amended their tax codes to conform with these laws." (mPower Cafe)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
Now that you've had a whole 24 hours to think about it, do you have any comments about the transition rule in Rev. Proc. 2002-21? (BenefitsLink.com)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
Is this an affiliated service group? Company A sells property and casualty insurance. Company B sells life insurance, group insurance benefits, retirement planning and financial planning. Company A owns 49% of Company B. Both companies regularly refer clients to each other. There are no shared employees or expenses. The only connection between the two companies is the mutual referrals. (BenefitsLink.com)

Annuities: Protection That Lasts as Long as You Do
Click on 'PDF Version' button on target page. Excerpt: "This article addresses two of the commonly asked questions about annuities: What advantages does a fixed annuity provide over a bond portfolio earning the same interest rate? What are the trade-offs between a pure lifetime annuity and an annuity with a guaranteed period certain?" (TIAA-CREF Institute)

Opinion: Employees Aren't Clueless; Go Slow on 401(k) Reforms
Excerpt: "House Republican leaders want to let mutual-fund companies and others that manage retirement-savings plans offer advice to plan participants.... Instead of Congress easing regulations, employers could do more to help the minority -- experts peg it at 10% to 20% of workers -- who don't seem to understand investment basics. Lawmakers could urge companies to blanket employees with educational materials ... that spell out, in plain English, the importance of diversification." (Business Week)

Overview: Notice of Plan Amendments Reducing Future Accruals (PDF)
Excerpt: "The proposed rules, which implement changes to the tax code and to ERISA §204(h) that were made by last year's tax law (EGTRRA), will not become effective until 120 days after the IRS publishes the regulations in final form. Until then, plan administrators must make reasonable, good-faith efforts to comply with the proposed regulations." (Milliman USA)

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

ERISA Decision Gives Chevron Retirees Back Pay
Excerpt: "Chevron employees duped into retiring just before the company offered lucrative buyout packages will get paid retroactively as the result of a San Francisco federal court decision holding the oil giant liable for misleading the workers at its Richmond refinery." (The San Francisco Chronicle via Society for Human Resource Management)

ABA Tax Section Members Comment on Use of Partnership Interests and Options as Compensation (PDF)
The document was prepared on January 28, 2002, in response to an IRS request for practitioners' comments. Excerpt: "[The IRS and the Treasury Department] requested public comment on 'the tax consequences to the recipient of the partnership interest as well as to the partnership upon the exercise of a partnership option or conversion of a debt or preferred interest in that partnership.' These Comments and recommendations were prepared in response to the request ..." (American Bar Association)

Commentary: Pension Folly-- How Losses Become Profits When CEO Compensation is Calculated
Excerpt: "In the land of executive compensation, there is nothing like being paid for profits that you can be sure will be counted, even if they do not exist. Why take chances with real earnings?" (New York Times; free registration required)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Marketing Consultant (Conversion & Case Management) for WESPAC Plan Services, Inc.
in CA
Benefits Analyst III for Raley's
in CA
Sr. Benefits Administrator for Lynden Incorporated
in WA

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
401(k) Plan Fiduciary Concerns After Enron: No Stock, No Problems?in ALL STATES on April 30, 2002
presented by ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education, Others
After Enron: Employer Securities in Qualified Plansin ALL STATES on May 10, 2002
presented by ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education, Others

Newly Posted Press Releases
Findley Davies Launches HR Technology Consulting Services (Findley Davies, Inc.)
Scott Spiker Joins Stanton Group as President and Chief Executive Officer (Stanton Group)

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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.