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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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June 17, 2002 - 11,394 subscribers
Today's sponsor: The EDSA Group

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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)

IRS Seeks Comments on Phased Retirement Arrangements in Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "[T]hese arrangements generally provide employees who are at or near eligibility for retirement with the opportunity for a reduced schedule or workload ... Under what circumstances, if any, would permitting distributions from a defined benefit plan before the employee attains normal retirement age be consistent with the requirement that a defined benefit plan be established and maintained primarily for purposes of providing benefits after retirement?" (Internal Revenue Service)

PBGC Assumes Benefit Liabilities for 6,200 Participants in Plan of Bankrupt Steel Bar Maker
Excerpt: "Republic Technologies International, based near Akron, Ohio, filed for bankruptcy protection in April 2001. The company blamed steel industry market conditions, indebtedness and an overall weak U.S. economy. It's [sic] four pension plans are underfunded by a total of $310 million." (AP via Yahoo! News)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
Suppose you were the IRS. What would you do to fix Rev. Proc. 2002-21? (BenefitsLink.com)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
With regard to Rev. Proc. 2002-21, would a staffing company that only handles temps fall under the definition of PEO? Would this ruling apply to temp agencies not engaged in long-term staff leasing? This is a crazy and scary ruling! (BenefitsLink.com)

House Plans More EGTRRA Votes, Including Making Pension Changes Permanent
Excerpt: "The House of Representatives plans to vote between June 19 and June 21 on a bill making permanent a number of pension and individual retirement provisions in the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act of 2001 (EGTRRA) (P.L. 107-16). The Retirement Savings Security Bill of 2002 (HR 4931) would exempt Title VI of EGTRRA from sunsetting with the bill in 2010. Title VI addresses pension and retirement issues." (Tax.CCHGROUP.com)

Pension Fund Losses Spell Lower-Profit Era
Excerpt: "The nation's pension funds have lost money in the last two years, and that spells big changes ahead for corporate earnings growth, the stock market and the personal retirement plans of millions of Americans.... It will alter expectations of stock market gains and force companies to contribute fresh money to their defined-benefit pension plans. That will tend to reduce potential growth of earnings and arguably the potential rise in stock prices." (Los Angeles Times; free registration required)

Push Is On To Advise Employees On Company 401(k) Plan Investments
Excerpt: "The degree to which employees are knowledgeable about retirement investing is largely a by-product of current law. It's geared more toward educating investors about the importance of diversifying, understanding risk and other broad investment topics.... While some companies go as far as hiring an independent adviser their employees can consult, in general employees receive very little specific investment advice based on their circumstances." (The [Pittsburgh] Post-Gazette)

Commentary: Where's the Debate on Social Security?
Excerpt: "Many Democrats would rather boost their electoral chances by scaring seniors; many Republicans would rather avoid the fight altogether by parsing over the definition of 'privatization.' The real issue is being ignored: Social Security faces tough times ahead." (Washington Times)

Unions in Britain Say Employer Contributions to Private Pensions Should Be Compulsory
Excerpt: "The proposals are contained in a report published on Monday, and follow a warning by Amicus, a leading union, that workers are prepared to strike over the closure of generous final salary pension schemes.... [O]ver the past 10 years the number of people in final salary schemes-- generally viewed as the most generous type of pension-- has dropped by nearly two million to 3.8 million." (BBC News)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General
(These items appear in both editions of the BenefitsLink Newsletter)

Summer 2002 Issue of the Enrolled Actuaries Report (PDF)
Includes articles on the proposed ERISA 204(h) regulations, guidance on SFAS 87, pension professionalism, and trends in health care. (American Academy of Actuaries)

Supplemental Disability and Long-Term Care Insurance for Executives
Excerpt: "Supplemental executive retirement plans and supplemental executive life insurance are the most prevalent executive benefit offerings among the Fortune 1000. In contrast, just one in five companies offer Supplemental Disability Insurance (SDI) to their executives and fewer offer any Long-Term Care (LTC) insurance coverage." (Aon Consulting)

IRS Cancels Hearing On Proposed Regs Governing Golden Parachute Payments
The Internal Revenue Service has announced that it has canceled the public hearing on its proposed regulations under IRC Sec. 280G relating to golden parachute payments. Notice of the cancelation of the hearing was published in the June 14 Federal Register. (Spencernet)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
DC/401(k) Administrator for Cremen, Clements and Associates Pension Administration, Inc.
in MD
Director, Client Servicing, DC Administration for New York Life Benefit Services LLC
in MA
New Business Consultant for New York Life Benefit Services LLC
in MA
Sr. Consultant - Qualified Plans for MetLife Retirement Plans Group
in MO
Pension Administrator for Southern California Firm
in CA
Pension Consultant/Administrator for Swerdlin & Company
in GA
401K TPA Manager for Saltmarsh, Cleaveland & Gund CPAs
in FL

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
The AFP 23rd Annual Conferencein LA on November 2, 2002
presented by Association for Financial Professionals

Subscribe to the Welfare Plans Edition, too (click)

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Editor and Publisher: David Rhett Baker, J.D.