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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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June 6, 2002 - 11,383 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)

New Milwaukee County Administrator Ties Top County Jobs To Waiver of Pension Enhancements
Excerpt: "In the bluntest of terms, County Executive Scott Walker has asked 14 Ament-era department heads vying for jobs in his administration to renounce the controversial pension sweeteners that proved F. Thomas Ament's undoing, county officials said Wednesday. Walker's faxed request left some department leaders privately miffed because they received it Tuesday afternoon or Wednesday morning and were asked to sign and return it by Thursday." (The [Milwaukee] Journal Sentinel)

Overview: Qualified Defined Contribution Plans in Mergers and Acquisitions (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "There are many decisions and legal complexities that face corporation sponsoring qualified plans in mergers and acquisitions. Putnam Investments has created this brochure to help clarify the process of rolling over, transferring, and terminating 401(k)plans, as well as to address some of the more frequently asked question regarding defined contribution plans in the context of merger and acquisitions." (Putnam Investments)

25% Cap on Employer Stock Saves Tyco 401(k) Plan Participants from Enron-Type Losses
Excerpt: "Workers at beleaguered Tyco International have watched their former CEO get indicted for tax evasion and the company's stock get pummeled. But they say they can take comfort in one thing: It's not as bad as Enron. Many Enron employees lost nearly all their retirement savings because they loaded up on company stock. By contrast, Tyco workers are limited to putting no more than 25% of their 401(k) assets into company stock." (USA Today)

How Wealthy Nations Can Avoid a Looming Retirement Crisis
Excerpt: "The rapid aging of the world's industrialized nations poses problems for consumer and capital markets, including the risk that individual and government retirement plans will come up short as the population of retirees starts to explode over the next 20 years." (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania; free registration required)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
We have employers who hire employees in the Amish religious order. They execute the appropriate forms exempting them from certain government laws and regulations and of course do not participate in the qualified retirement plan. I am unable to locate information in ERISA and the IRC concerning how to handle their lack of participation. How should they be considered? (BenefitsLink.com)

Another Question is Answered in the Stop, Look & Listen: Railroad Retirement Q&A Column
I'm 81 and have 6 years with Amtrak as a train attendant. I started my 'second career' at 75. Last year, I was off sick for several months but could not receive any sickness benefits because I receive over $1,100 a month in Social Security. I understand that I'm now vested for Railroad Retirement but I don't expect to receive anything because of my Social Security. I don't think it's fair for me to pay the higher Railroad Retirement payroll taxes and not get a single cent in benefits. Can I sue? (BenefitsLink.com)

PBGC Issues Corrections to Regulations on Optional Forms of Benefit Payments (PDF)
Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's final rule on PBGC Benefit Payments, published on April 8, 2002 (at 67 FR 16950), contains an inadvertent error relating to the PBGC's regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans. This document corrects that error." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Small Businesses Should Take Advantage of EGTRRA, Review Asset Allocation
Excerpt: "The Enron Corp. collapse, the debate over privatizing Social Security and potential changes to retirement plans are casting a lot of attention on pension programs. Now, financial advisers and advocacy groups say it's as good a time as any for business owners to double-check their own company programs." (Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Annuities: the Problems (PDF)
Excerpt: "I identify four problems with the annuity market in the [United Kingdom] ... 1. Perceptions - the belief that annuities are 'poor value for money' or that insurers act as a 'cartel' ... 2. Products - the lack of products that match consumer needs ... 3. Processes - inadequate distribution and marketing processes ... 4. Politics - the requirement that individuals purchase an annuity by age 75 and hence surrender their capital on death." (Watson Wyatt)

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


Business Lobby Seeks to Limit Investor Votes on Options
Excerpt: "An effort by the New York Stock Exchange to require companies whose shares it trades to put all stock option plans to shareholder votes is coming under fire from the Business Roundtable, a lobbying organization that represents chief executives of large United States corporations." (New York Times; free registration required)

Survey: Benefits Increase, Not Decrease, for American Workers
Press release from The Principal Financial Group. Excerpt: "The Second Quarter 2002 Principal Financial Well-Being Index(SM) just released revealed the fourth consecutive quarterly increase in the number of firms that offer health insurance, defined contribution plans, life insurance and disability insurance. These four benefits are also ranked as the four most important benefits among workers." (Business Wire via Yahoo! Finance)

Amid Turmoil, Question of Severance Pay for Former Tyco Executive Remains
Excerpt: "Having secured the resignation of former chairman and chief executive L. Dennis Kozlowski less than two days before the executive was indicted on charges of conspiracy and tax evasion, Tyco International's board of directors now faces an even thornier problem: Should it pay Tyco's leader for the past decade any money for going away quietly?" (Boston Globe)

Survey: Executive Compensation Plans Tighten
Excerpt: "The Hewitt study shows that nearly two-thirds of companies paid out executive bonuses below target this year (for 2001 performance).... As a result of declining bonus opportunities, several survey respondents indicated that they are taking a more cautious approach with executive bonus plan designs for 2002." (SmartPros)

Your HR Career: Online Job Boards
Excerpt: "This article profiles 27 job boards that are dedicated - either in whole or in part - to Human Resources opportunities." (Christina Morfeld on Suite 101.com)




Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Retirement Service Specialists for Constantin Control Associates
in NJ, NY
Client Services Consultant for American United Life Insurance Company
in TX
Rollover Consulting Group Representative for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in NJ



Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)
Professional Employer Organizations on June 25, 2002
presented by SunGard Corbel



Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Norfolkin VA on September 10, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Sioux Fallsin SD on September 10, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Spokanein WA on September 10, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Charlottein NC on September 10, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Baltimorein MD on September 10, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Las Vegasin NV on September 18, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Richmondin VA on September 18, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Little Rockin AR on September 18, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Green Bayin WI on September 18, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Charlestonin SC on September 18, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Washingtonin DC on September 23, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Oklahoma Cityin OK on September 24, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Raleighin NC on September 24, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Milwaukeein WI on September 24, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company
FMLA, COBRA (including HIPAA portability), Section 125, and HIPAA Privacy - Fargoin ND on September 24, 2002
presented by A.E. Roberts Company



Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)
Fears About 401(k) Plan Demise Eased With New Communication Tool (Benefit Software)

Subscribe to the Welfare Plans Edition, too (click)


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.