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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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July 19, 2002 - 11,391 subscribers
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IRS Finalizes Regs on Notice to Interested Parties When Filing for Plan Determination Letter
Excerpt: "Under these final regulations, the notice must be given not less than 10 days nor more than 24 days prior to the date that the application for a determination is made. This time period applies to all methods of delivering the notice to interested parties.... These regulations apply to applications made on or after January 1, 2003." (Internal Revenue Service)

Text of Class Action 401(k) Complaint Recently Filed Against Duke Energy Corp. (PDF)
From the law firm's website: 'The Complaint alleges that during the Class Period the defendants breached their fiduciary duties when they were made aware of numerous facts that made Duke Energy stock an inappropriate Plan investment during the Class Period. The fiduciaries failed in their duty to disclose and inform the 401(k) participants ... instead encouraging participants and beneficiaries of the Plan to continue to make and maintain substantial investments in the Company Stock." (Keller Rohrback L.L.P.)

Questions Raised About Stock Ownership by CalPERS Board Members, Contributions to Campaigns
Excerpt: "Directors of the nation's largest public employee pension fund-- responsible for minding the retirement nest eggs of 1.3 million people-- are involved in potential conflicts of interest that threaten to erode the fund's sterling image.... Five members of the board owned stocks also held by CalPERS in 2001 ... CalPERS President William Crist ... defended stock ownership by and campaign contributions to board members, saying no laws have been broken." (AP via Yahoo! News)

Pension Rights Center Supports Creation of Federal Office of Participant Advocacy (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The [Pension Rights] Center has long supported the establishment of such an office to complement the important work of the Pension Welfare and Benefits Administration in assisting participants understand their pension rights and secure the benefits to which they are legally entitled.... Its role would be purely advisory. Its functions would be similar to those of the Office of Advocacy of the Small Business Administration and the Taxpayer Advocate Service." (Pension Rights Center)

Benefits Council Publishes Updated Chart Comparing House and Senate Pension Bills (PDF)
15 pages. Prepared by Randy Hardock and John O'Neill of Davis & Harman LLP; copyright restricted. (American Benefits Council)

ERIC Opposes Creation of Federal Office of Pension Participant Advocacy
Excerpt: "ERIC delivered a letter to Senators urging them to defeat legislation offered by Senator Tom Harkin ... that would appropriate $3 million to create an 'Office of Pension Participant Advocacy' at the Department Of Labor. The legislation is expected to be considered by the full Senate Appropriations Committee today and if passed, would effectively create a new office in the federal government by merely adding an overnight provision to a major appropriations bill." (ERISA Industry Council)

Using "Money Attitudes" To Enhance Retirement Communications (PDF)
16 pages. Excerpt: "[O]ur research extends a traditional marketing technique known as attitudinal segmentation to retirement plan communications. Attitudinal segmentation defines an audience in terms of its psychological characteristics. Employing the technique may improve the targeted nature of benefits communications and enhance their effectiveness." (The Vanguard Group)

Retirement Crisis Looms as Many Come Up Short
Friday, July 19, 2002. Excerpt: "Already, nearly half of those saving for retirement, 46%, say they will have to postpone retiring because of the shrinking stock market, according to a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll.... More than one-third of adults say they have no money saved in any kind of retirement account, according to the poll." (USA Today)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
Company A, with one HCE and no NHCEs, has an overfunded defined benefit plan with a June 30 fiscal year. Company B has one NHCE and one HCE. We recently discovered that A and B were part of a controlled group from 1998 until May 1, 2002. Under the terms of A's plan, B's NHCE will need to accrue a top-heavy minimum benefit. Will the two corporations be treated as a controlled group for all of 2002 because a controlled group existed for part of the year (Jan. 1 through May 1)? (BenefitsLink.com)

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

European Investors Cool To Stock Options
Excerpt: "Accusations that U.S. chief executives goosed their companies' share prices to cash in on stock options, has left European investors wondering if their growing enthusiasm for option plans is courting disaster." (Reuters via Forbes.com)

Stock Options: Who Gets What?
There seems to be a lot of confusion right now about just how many people are getting stock options, how much they are getting. The truth is, no one can be exactly sure. There is no reporting system for these grants that could provide a reliable data source. So the NCEO has constructed estimates based various studies. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Benefits Analyst for Teradyne, Inc.
in MA
Senior Manager of Plan Administration Services for Clifton Gunderson LLP
in IL
Employee Benefit, Senior Manager for Deloitte & Touche, a Professional Services Firm
in PA
Relationship Manager - Senior for Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, L.L.C.
in GA
Plan Administrator for Ceridian
in WI

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Responding To The Challenge Of Rising Health Care Costsin ALL STATES on July 30, 2002
presented by Health Affairs

Newly Posted Press Releases
Alexander Hamilton Institute Releases New Free Report: "Employers Use Waivers For Legal Protection" (Alexander Hamilton Institute)

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