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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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May 6, 2002 - 11,615 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)

Business Group in Massachusetts Making Push for EGTRRA Conformity Bill
Excerpt: "The moves focuses on a proposal now before the state senate, which touches on how much investors can contribute to their retirement plan as well as ... rules governing retirement plan rollovers." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Catch-Up Contributions Pose New Challenges for Participants
Excerpt: "First, realistically, many workers can't afford to save anything close to the new limits.... Second, older employees may take advantage of the catch-up provision only if they were already contributing to their plan's limit.... And third, although it's rarely explained this way, the legislation is merely an invitation to employers to consider the new limits.... There are legitimate and complicated reasons for all of these stumbling blocks ..." (Washington Post)

403(b) Public Sector Employers Seek to Modernize Plans
Excerpt: "Public employees across the country are benefiting from an emerging trend to modernize their retirement plans with low-cost, high-quality investment options and access to investment education and advice." (BenefitNews.com)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
If a PEO adopts a multiple employer retirement plan in accordance with Rev Proc 2002-21, does that resolve all of the "Who's the Employer" issues in that arrangement? (BenefitsLink.com)

Another Question is Answered in the Plan Termination Q&A Column
We are preparing to issue a Notice of Intent to Terminate ('NOIT') for our defined benefit plan covered by Title IV. To whom are we required to provide the notice? Is the PBGC required to receive the NOIT? (BenefitsLink.com)

Another Question is Answered in the Plan Termination Q&A Column
Our company wants to terminate its defined benefit plan. Our actuary has advised us that we can qualify under ERISA Title IV for a 'standard termination.' What does that mean? What do we need to do to terminate the plan? (BenefitsLink.com)

How Should Employers Respond to the Threat of 401(k) Participant Class Actions?
Excerpt: "For example, companies may consider adopting some or all of the following modifications: Avoid recommending plan investments in company stock; Inform plan participants that concentrated investment in any single security may be imprudent; Negotiate a penalty or incentive provision in recordkeeping agreements to facilitate transitions to a new recordkeeper within a reasonable timeframe ..." (Linda K. Shore, Esq. of Buchanan Ingersoll)

DOL Sues New Hampshire Firm For Failing To Forward More Than $346,000 To 401(k) Plan
The Department of Labor has filed a lawsuit against International Paper Box Machine Company of Nashua, N.H., for failing to forward a total of $346,644 in employee contributions, loan repayments, and matching contributions to the company's 401(k) plan. The suit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Hampshire, as Chao v. International Paper Box Machine Co., Inc., Hugh McAdam, and Theresa McAdam (Civil Action No. 02-165-JD). (Spencernet)

Philadelphia's Pension Board Is a Jet Set
Excerpt: "Some of the people entrusted to oversee the $4.3 billion retirement fund have been jetting regularly to conferences at warm-weather vacation spots, including Palm Springs, Lake Tahoe, San Diego, Fort Lauderdale and Las Vegas. Let's not forget St. Thomas, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. And Waikiki Beach, Hawaii." (The Philadelphia Inquirer via Philly.com)

The Old-Fashioned Defined Benefit Pension Is Sticking Around
Excerpt: "A survey of companies in the Fortune 100 by benefits consulting firm Watson Wyatt found that over the past two years the decline in traditional pension plans has virtually halted, as has the growth of hybrid plans.... This leaves about half of these large companies with traditional pensions -- down from 89 percent in 1985." (Washington Post)

Employee Ownership Update for May 3, 2002
NCEO executive director Corey Rosen reviews a major new book by Jack Stack, 'A Stake in the Outcome,' and also discusses tentative guidelines from the International Accounting Standards Board for stock option accounting. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser BenefitStreet
Excerpt: "BenefitStreet offers the most advanced daily valuation platform available for TPAs. Order a free evaluation CD."

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

What Are SARs and What Happens If We Don't Provide Them to Employees?
Excerpt: "I have heard that ERISA plans are supposed to provide summary annual reports to employees. What is a summary annual report and what is the consequence of not providing them?" (EBIA Weekly (Question of the Week))

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Document and Compliance Specialist for Louis Kravitz & Associates, Inc.
in CA
Pension Administrator for Associated Pension Consultants, Inc.
in CA
Legal Analyst for First Trust Corporation
in CO
Financial Analyst for Aon Consulting - Executive Benefits
in GA
Bundled Retirement Products Alliance Manager for Bank of America
in IL
Customer Service Representative, Employee Benefits for Twentieth Century Fox
in CA
Human Resources Specialist for Harrah's - Shreveport
in LA
Benefits Analyst for BLB Consulting Inc. (Search firm)
in NY
Assistant General Counsel for Fortune 500 Staffing Firm
in TX

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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.