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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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July 10, 2002 - 11,391 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)

Pension Legislative Update: Markup Scheduled for Thursday, July 11
Excerpt: "The Senate Finance Committee is scheduled to mark-up pension legislation this Thursday. ASPA's Government Affairs Committee was very involved in the development of this legislation, and we were able to obtain some positive changes and prevent some negative proposals.... In summary, the proposed legislation includes: ..." (Brian H. Graff, Esq., of the American Society of Pension Actuaries)

Baucus Plans Markup of Pension Reform Bill on July 11
Excerpt: "Baucus said he would not attempt to offer the bill as an amendment to the accounting bill, Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002 (Sen 2673), currently under debate on the Senate floor. Rather, it would most likely be taken up before the end of the 2002 session, he said." (tax.CCHGROUP.com)

Joint Committee Explains Pension Bill Scheduled for Senate Finance Committee Markup on July 11 (PDF)
Excerpt: "Certain defined contribution plans would be required to provide diversification rights with respect to amounts invested in employer securities.... [T]he Code and ERISA would require that advance notice of a [blackout] period would have to be provided by the administrator of an applicable pension plan to the applicable individuals ... The proposal would provide new benefit statement requirements under the Code and ERISA ..." (Joint Committee on Taxation)

One-Person 401(k)s May Make Sense for Owner-only Businesses
Excerpt: "[I]f you are self-employed, rule changes contained in the 2001 tax bill may make a one-person 401(k) plan a viable alternative to other retirement plans for small businesses. One catch is that it likely wouldn't be cost-effective if your business has any employees who would be eligible for the plan." (mPower.com)

ASPA Comments to IRS on Application of 401(m) Matching Contribution Rules to 403(b) Programs
Excerpt: "The comments in this letter are submitted with the request that the Service clarify, expand or modify existing guidance to address the points raised in this letter affecting matching contributions under 403(b) plans." (American Society of Pension Actuaries)

Early Retirement Program Signed Into Law by Illinois Governor
Excerpt: "Thousands of state workers can start planning for early retirement after Gov. George Ryan's signing into law Tuesday a retirement incentive program.... The precise savings will depend on the number of state workers who take advantage of the plan." (The [Springfield, IL] State Journal-Register via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Presentation Slides: What's Happening in the IRS Employee Plans Office? (PDF)
41 pages, very nicely done; includes organization charts showing names, phone numbers and some email addresses for Paul Shultz, Joyce Kahn, Richard Wickersham, Carol Gold and more. (Internal Revenue Service)

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

Overview: IRS Publishes Proposed Regs on Split-Dollar Life Insurance Arrangements (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "On July 3, 2002, the Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service, following up on notices issued in 2001 and 2002, issued proposed regulations that provide the most far-reaching guidance ever issued on split-dollar life insurance arrangements. The proposed regulations generally retain the approach of Notice 2002-8, issued in January, but expand the scope of and elaborate on the guidance provided in that Notice." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

Unsettled Labor Situation Is Hurting UPS; Pension, Health Benefits at Issue
Excerpt: "United Parcel Service Inc. , the world's largest package delivery firm, on Wednesday said it was losing business to competitors as labor talks with the Teamsters stretched on with just three weeks remaining in its current contract with 230,000 union workers.... Teamsters spokesman Bret Caldwell said progress had been made but the parties remain 'at a crossroads' over pension and health care benefits." (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

IRS Issues 2002-2003 Priority Guidance Plan Showing EP Rulings and Regs in the Works (PDF)
25 pages; see especially pages 5 and 6. Excerpt: "The published guidance process can be fully successful only if we have the benefit of the insight and experience of the taxpayers and practitioners who must apply the rules. Consequently, we invite the public to continue to provide us with their comments and suggestions as we write guidance throughout the plan year." (Internal Revenue Service)

Reforming Stock Options in the Post-Enron, Post-WorldCom Era
NCEO executive director Corey Rosen discusses the issues surrounding calls for the reform of how compensatory stock options are granted and accounted for. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Pension and 401(k) Manager for Knight Ridder
in CA
Pension Administrator for Karel & Associates, Ltd.
in IL

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Unlocking The Secrets of ERISA Section 404(c)in FL on August 23, 2002
presented by Nova SouthEastern University Communiversity, Fort Lauderdale Florida

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