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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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June 3, 2002 - 11,383 subscribers
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May 30 Update to List of EGTRRA Non-Conforming States (PDF)
Excerpt: "Please note that only nonconforming states (or states previously considered to be nonconforming) are listed below - For all other states, either they automatically conform with EGTRRA or conformity was never an issue (e.g. the state does not have an income tax)." (American Benefits Council)

401(k) Growing Pains
Excerpt: "Many HR managers are scratching their heads over how to solve longstanding problems of participants' behavior. The gray area of employers' legal liability for providing education and advice inhibits many companies from doing much at all." (HR Magazine)

The Effects of Adopting Cash-Balance Pension Plans
Originally published in the March 2001 issue. Excerpt: "Cash-balance pensions are growing more and more popular with employers because they tend to be less costly, attract younger workers, and limit the incentive for workers to stay on the job longer just to build their pensions. However, they are not necessarily favorable to midlife and older workers, whose accounts have less time to grow." (Business Horizons)

Opinion: Pension Reform Is Quietly Being Retired
Excerpt: "The Senate Banking Committee is no longer actively considering a reform bill to change accounting procedures. The Senate has not even scheduled action on a pension reform bill that would let employees sell company stock ... With only a few months before lawmakers go home to campaign for re-election, controversial legislation is doomed." (The [Pittsburgh] Post-Gazette)

Enron Agrees to Pay State Street from Its Own Assets
Excerpt: "Lawyers for Enron Corp. have told the federal judge overseeing the fallen energy trading giant's bankruptcy proceeding that the company is now eager to pay an independent manager almost $6 million annually to handle employee-retirement plans." (AP via Las Vegas Sun)

More Unions Are Adopting Self-Directed DC Plans
Excerpt: "Bill Cottongim, vice president of Taft-Hartley plans for CIGNA Retirement & Investment Services ... and his sales team have convinced 70 unions around the country to convert their trustee-directed DC plans into self-directed plans." (BenefitNews.com)

Sour Market Pinches Retirement Funds
Excerpt: "Out of 16 companies examined by The Post-Gazette, only Alcoa's defined benefit plan reported a gain last year, up 0.7 percent. U.S. Steel's plan nearly broke even. Pension fund losses for the other 14 companies ranged from 2.3 percent ... to 27.1 percent ..." (The [Pittsburgh] Post-Gazette)

Fidelity Investments Has Penchant for Traditional Pensions
Excerpt: "Five years ago, Fidelity oversaw $40 billion in accounts for U.S. pension funds, endowments, and foundations. Today, that figure has jumped 75 percent, to $70 billion, in accounts managed individually for clients, not mixed into Fidelity mutual funds." (Boston Globe)

Keep Reality In Mind When Planning Investment Returns
Excerpt: "A new study by John Hancock Financial Services shows that investors are clinging to some out-of-date, '90s-style expectations that could leave many short of the money they need in retirement. According to Hancock's survey of 801 retirement-plan investors, the average participant expects stocks to furnish annual returns of nearly 16 percent over the next 20 years." (The Seattle Times)

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

Opinion: Time to Cry 'Enough!' to Stock Options Escalation
Excerpt: "[T]here is a kind of arms-race effect of companies' constantly bidding up pay. You could shrug that off as a marketplace in action, except that this marketplace doesn't have the usual restraints. After all, boards of directors aren't spending their own money, and many directors are themselves executives who profit from a rising tide in executive pay." (The [Philadelphia] Inquirer)

Loans for Executives Scrutinized
Excerpt: "Top executives of publicly traded companies have increasingly received loans from the businesses they head in the past few years, with more than one in four large companies granting them in 2000, according to Mercer Human Resource Consulting." (PoughkeepsieJournal.com)

CEOs Oppose Shareholder Approval for Broad-Based Stock Option Plan Implementation
Excerpt: "In a letter to NYSE Chairman Richard Grasso, a Business Roundtable official said shareholder approval should be required for stock option plans for directors or executive officers. But the organization opposes a blanket requirement, saying it would make the stock option plans more costly and difficult to set up for other employees." (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Individual Consultant for TIAA-CREF
in NJ, NY
RFP Consultant for Diversified Investment Advisors
in NY
RFP Team Manager for Diversified Investment Advisors
in NY

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Understanding How to Deal With The Complexity of COBRA's 'Basic' Rules, as Well as its Special Notice and Election Provisionsin ALL STATES on June 11, 2002
presented by Thompson Publishing Group, Inc.
Form 5500 Workshopin NJ on June 12, 2002

Newly Posted Press Releases

Newly Posted Announcements of Promotions and New Personnel (Post Yours!)
Gerry Crews (Crews MacQuarrie & Associates, 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.