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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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May 31, 2002 - 11,383 subscribers
Today's sponsor: Actuarial Systems Corporation

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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)

Groom Law Group's May 2002 Summary of Principal Legal Developments Affecting Qualified Plans
Articles include IRS Adopts Revamped Minimum Required Distribution Rules; Proposed IRS Rules on 204(h) Notices After EGTRRA; Long-Awaited Update of 457 Plan Regulations; IRS Guidance Disrupts Plans Sponsored by PEOs; Tax Treatment of Transfers of Stock Options and Nonqualified Plan Benefits in Divorce; Enron Legislative Update; DOL Proposes Modest Expansions of Two Class Exemptions; Gephardt Proposes IRA Overhaul; PBGC Allows Use of 100% Treasury Bill Yield for Reporting Purposes; IRA Tidbits. (Groom Law Group)

Post-Enron Reform Bills Languish in Congress
Excerpt: "For months, the skies over Capitol Hill have rained post Enron reform proposals, but the legislation effort is slowly evaporating under the heat applied by business opponents. So far not one of over 50 proposed reforms, from changes in pension rules to stronger oversight of accountants, has become law." (Reuters via Lycos News)

IRS Distributes Free CD Resource Guide for Tax-Sheltered Annuities and 457 Plans
Excerpt: "A single, free copy of the CD Resource Guide for Tax-Sheltered Annuities and 457 Plans video is now available for order. This CD-ROM provides information on the new requirements of the tax law for tax-sheltered annuities and 457 deferred compensation plans. [Includes:] 457 Basics; Frequently Asked Questions; Highlights of 403(b) Tax-Sheltered Annuities and 457 Plans - EGTRRA; Publication 571, Tax-Sheltered Annuity Plans; Publication 575, Pension and Annuity Income ..." (Internal Revenue Service)

Microsoft Word Version of Spanish 402(f) Notice for 401 and 403 Plans
Excerpt: "Explicacion del concepto de refugio tributario en los planes calificados conforme a la seccion 401(a), la seccion 403(a), planes de anualidades, o la seccion 403(b), anualidades con pago del impuesto diferido." (Pension Information Exchange)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
An insurance agency uses several independent agents who are paid on a commission-only basis. Do they have to be included in the agency's 401(k) plan, or are they considered independent contractors? (BenefitsLink.com)

Chart of Minimum Required Distribution Rule Changes for Individual Account Plans
Prepared by attorney Louis T. Mazawey; side-by-side comparison of various common distribution scenarios and how they would be treated under the 1987 proposed regulations, the 2001 proposed regulations and the 2002 final regulations. (Groom Law Group)

Employee Ownership Update for May 30, 2002
NCEO executive director Corey Rosen reports on a new Nasdaq rule requires more companies to seek shareholder approval for stock option plans; a Hewitt Associates survey finding that option use will drop in large companies; an a Grant Thornton survey finding that 18% of community banks have ESOPs. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Saver's Credit Can Boost Retirement Funds
Excerpt: "Lost in the tidal wave of reforms that came out of last year's broad tax legislation is a little-known 'saver's credit.' In essence, married couples earning $50,000 or less (or individuals earning $25,000 or less) get a government refund in addition to the normal perks of retirement savings." (The [Appleton, Wisc.] Post-Crescent via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Quebec Pension Agency Is Juggling Two Roles
Excerpt: "For most of its 36 years, the Caisse de Depot et Placement du Quebec has seen no conflict between its role as a government agency promoting economic independence for Canada's French-speaking province and its obligation to seek the highest returns for millions of Quebecers who entrust their retirement savings and auto insurance premiums to government-sponsored plans." (New York Times; free registration required)

Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser Lynchval
Excerpt: "Lynchval offers free live software demos. No demo CD can adequately show the full functionality of Lynchval Windows-based DB pension and FAS 106 systems. Our live demos ensure that you are shown the software support features important to your specific interests, and during the demo our staff ensures that all your questions are answered. A live remote/host demonstration and conference call can be quickly arranged upon your request. Request your free live demo now!"

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

Overview: DOL Makes Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance (DFVC) Program Easier
Excerpt: "Effective March 28, 2002, the DOL released a revised DFVC program that provides for substantially reduced civil penalties ... Because of the changes, we encourage employers and/or plan administrators to (a) review their various employee benefit plans to determine whether Form 5500 filings are, in fact, required for such plans, (b) verify that Form 5500s have been filed for all appropriate plan years, and (c) evaluate whether late filings need to be made under DFVC or otherwise." (Kilpatrick Stockton LLP)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Manager for TPA for Career Consulting Services, Inc.
in IL
401(k)/DC Pension Consultant for CBIZ Retirement Services, Inc.
in NY
Relius Administration Support Analyst for SunGard Corbel
in FL
Education Specialist for CIGNA Retirement and Investment Services

Newly Posted Press Releases
THE RETIREMENT ANALYST LAUNCHES BILINGUAL PARTICIPANT ADVICE: Retirement Planning Program Extends to Spanish-Speaking Workforce (Retirement Analyst, The)

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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.