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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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July 30, 2002 - 11,391 subscribers
Today's sponsor: Actuarial Systems Corporation

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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)

Wisconsin Now Conforms to EGTRRA Retirement Plan Changes to Internal Revenue Code
Excerpt: "Wisconsin was brought into conformity by the 'budget repair bill' signed by Governor Scott McCallum on July 26, 2002 ... The only income-tax provision of EGTRRA not adopted in Wisconsin was EGTRRA section 431, pertaining to qualified higher education expenses ..." (BenefitsLink)

Bankruptcy Legislation May Be Stalled
Excerpt: "Senate leaders are expected to delay a final vote on a bill to overhaul the nation's bankruptcy rules until at least September, Congressional officials said [Monday, July 29, 2002]." (New York Times; free registration required)

Who's Afraid of Ownership?
Employee stock plans such as ESOPs an stock options are great, but when stock markets are turbulent, participants in these plans find they have something to lose. Loren Rodgers discusses how to talk about risk as an inevitable consequence of having a stock plan. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Divorcing Spouse Wants N.J. Police Pension Law Amended So Benefits Can Continue After P's Death
Excerpt: "Under the law governing the Police and Firemen's Retirement System, only a surviving spouse and dependent children are eligible to receive benefits when a retiree dies. That law applies regardless of what was awarded in a divorce judgment." (NJ.com)

British Law Requiring Reporting of 'Socially Responsible Investing' Not Causing Plans to So Invest
Excerpt: "Many funds hire firms to manage their investments without establishing a means to monitor how the managers assess ethical, social, and environmental issues and incorporate them into investment decisions. Such disjunction undermines the intended effect of the Pension Disclosure Regulation by allowing funds to disclose policies that bear little or no relation to their actual practice." (SocialFunds.com)

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

Labor Department, EEOC Seek Cooperation With Employers
Excerpt: "The Labor Department has created new positions to help employers understand and comply with labor laws." (AP via FindLaw.com)

Recent Developments in Accounting for Stock Compensation (PDF)
12 pages. Excerpt: "The following is a discussion of the IASB's and Congress' initiatives and a summary of Statement 123 (including the significant differences between the recognition provisions of Statement 123 and APB Opinion No. 25, Accounting for Stock Issued to Employees)." (Ernst & Young, published online by Financial Executives Institute - www.fei.org)

White Paper: Correcting the Record on Stock Option Penetration (PDF)
Excerpt: "Part of the campaign to force companies' to deduct the value of employee stock options from their profits is to convince the public that only senior executives benefit from stock options. Grants to lower-level employees, if they exist at all, are at most tokenism.... The CEOs are right and the news reports are wrong." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

Opinion: Adding Confusion To Earning Reports by Valuing Stock Options Won't Solve Our Problems
Excerpt: "The problems start with the question, how much do you deduct? What is that option grant worth today, before the right can even be exercised? Maybe a lot if the stock will rise, but maybe zero if it turns out to fall. The only reliable way to find true present value would be to create a market by letting the employees sell the options. This would defeat the whole purpose of options ..." (OpinionJournal.com)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Director, Client Servicing, DC Administration for New York Life Benefit Services LLC
in MA
Managing Director of Retirement Services for Confidential
in TX
Project Manager for Transamerica
in CA
District Marketing Manager for Retirement Marketing Specialists
in PA
Pension Researcher for LIMRA International, Inc.
in CT

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
AICPA National Conference on Employee Benefit Plansin TX on May 4, 2003
presented by AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)
SWBA/IRS 13th Annual Employee Benefits Conferencein TX on October 21, 2002
presented by SouthWest Benefits Association and Internal Revenue Service

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