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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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May 24, 2002 - 11,355 subscribers
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Witness List and Testimony: the Special Challenges of Women in Retirement Planning and Security
May 23, 2002. Excerpt: "The purpose of this hearing is to discuss practical ways in which women can better plan for their own retirement security.' Includes testimony by Cindy Hounsell, Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement; Dorcas Hardy, Former Commissioner, Social Security Administration; Muriel Siebert, Women's Financial Network at Siebert; Laurie Young, Older Women's League; Irene LaMarche, Retired; Joan Mackey, Pension Counseling Client; and John Hotz, Pension Rights Center. (U.S. Senate, Special Committee on Aging)

Your Future Paycheck ® - What Women Need to Know Pay, Social Security, Pensions and Investments (PDF)
66 pages. Excerpt: "This groundbreaking report educates policymakers, educators, and women about the challenges women face in planning a secure retirement. Your Future Paycheck® pulls it all together - statistics, policy analysis, and personal stories. The report demonstrates how the key choices and barriers women face regarding their personal paychecks impact their financial futures." (Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement)

Analysis: Plan Sponsor Did Not Breach Duty in Delayed Deposit of 401(k) Funds, Court Says
Excerpt: "In Golden v. wwwrrr, Inc. ... (D. Minn.), a case brought against a now-defunct 'dot-com' company, plan participants charged that the plan fiduciaries of the wwwrrr, Inc., 401(k) retirement savings plan violated ERISA by not depositing plan assets in a timely manner, a charge that a U.S. district court in Minnesota rejected." (Thompson Publishing Group)

Commentary: 401(k) Self-Direction-- We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us
Excerpt: "Sure, some 401(k) participants do very well with 401(k) plans. But this tends to be a small minority who have some combination of more affluence, more discipline or more sophistication than the majority can hope to muster.... So what do we do? Perhaps nothing. It is possible that the system is fine.... If, as a culture, we really wanted to prevent lost pensions, Congress could do a lot of things ..." (Nixon Peabody LLP)

Analysis: a Trio of QDRO Cases
Excerpt: "Former Spouse Bags Ex's Entire Benefit.... QDRO Transferred to DRO on Death of Alternate Payee.... Post-Death QDRO Approved." (Nixon Peabody LLP)

Participants Sue R.J. Reynolds 401(k) Plan: 'You Shouldn't Have Sold Stock When Price Was Low'
Press release. Excerpt: "The lawsuit charges that RJR and other defendants breached their duty as fiduciaries of the employee benefit 401(k) plan by selling at a loss stock held in Nabisco foods in January 2000 after the split between the tobacco and food businesses of the former R.J. Reynolds Nabisco company, although market analysts recommended buying or holding the stock." (Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP)

New Minimum Distribution Regulations Bad News for Some Beneficiaries
Excerpt: "Starting in 2003, and optionally for 2002, beneficiaries of inherited accounts must use the new regulations to determine their annual minimum required distribution. For many beneficiaries, the new regulations will be beneficial, resulting in smaller annual minimum required distributions. However some beneficiaries may be forced to take larger minimum required distributions; in some potential cases, significantly more." (Barry C. Picker, CPA/PFS, CFP)

Federal Thrift Board Proposes Rules On Contributions, Loan Repayments, Death Benefits
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board has issued proposed regulations that would amend the existing rules governing Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) contributions and loan repayments under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA) as well as the existing rules governing death benefits under the TSP. The proposed regulations appeared in the May 17 Federal Register. (Spencernet)

Commentary: Testing 25 Years of Passive Investment Management
Excerpt: "Long term, how do managed portfolios stack up against simple indexing? To examine that question I went to the Morningstar database and found the domestic equity funds with the longest possible track records. The idea was to measure established funds against the Vanguard 500 Index fund, which has been in operation since 1976." (Scott Burns of The Dallas Morning News)

Commentary: How Much Do Brokers Have to Hide?
Excerpt: "[T]he overwhelming majority of securities dealers are ethical, law-abiding professionals. However, as the recent news makes eminently clear, there are unscrupulous operators ... Now for a critical question: How can you find out if the people you've entrusted with your money are on the level? The way the system works now, investors often have no clue." (Forbes.com)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Pension Administrator 401(k) Defined Contribution for Davey Administration Group
in CA
ERISA/Employee Benefits Partner for Swift & Associates, Executive Search Consultants, Portland, ME
in ME, NH
Pension Consultant, Employee Benefit Services for Tofias PC
in MA
Actuarial Student for San Diego-Based Pension Consultant
in CA
Actuarial Consultant for Argus Consulting Ltd
in MA
Manager, Benefits for Agfa Corporation
in NJ

Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)
AHI's Benefits Alert Releases New Free Report: "Supremes Rule On Benefits" (Alexander Hamilton Institute - AHI's Benefits Alert)
DST Vision® to Provide Single Sign-on Access to Search401k® (Search401k)
Senate Hearing Highlights WISER Report on Women & Retirement (Women's Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER))

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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.