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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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August 1, 2002 - 11,391 subscribers
Today's sponsor: The Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)

   FIDUCIARIES  - This is one conference you CAN'T afford to miss!

   The Solution Source for Plan Sponsors!

   "All of the latest trends, legislation and best practices
   affecting profit sharing and 401(k) plans are conveniently
   packaged and brought to me in this conference!" - Sharon Shea,
   The Procter & Gamble Company

   PSCA presents its 55th National Conference and Exhibition,
   September 18-20, 2002 in Chicago, IL.
      * Practical Solutions
      * Education by Experts
      * Networking with your Peers

   Go to http://www.psca.org for information.

(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 Updates Examination Guidelines on Code Section 415 Limits and Prohibited Transactions
Excerpt: "The IRS maintains examination guidelines for the purpose of helping its auditors identify and focus on relevant issues in a plan audit. The guidelines cover a wide variety of issues, including qualification requirements for 401(k) plans. The guidelines are available on the IRS website.... The IRS has updated and renumbered its examination guidelines on the Code Section 415 limit on annual additions and the excise tax on prohibited transactions." (EBIA Weekly)

Growing Numbers Choosing to Delay Retirement
Excerpt: "Although the 2000 census figures for the local labor market are not yet available, statistics indicate a trend toward postponing retirement or working in retirement. In 1997, 78.3 percent of Massachusetts residents who were 60 and older were neither working nor looking for work; by 2001, that number had dipped slightly to 78 percent ..." (Boston Globe)

Another Question is Answered in the Who's the Employer Q&A Column
It's been three months since you suggested that we might be getting some additional guidance on Rev. Proc. 2002-21 dealing with PEOs. Any idea of when that guidance might be coming? If that guidance isn't coming, what should a PEO do about the questions that the Rev. Proc. leaves open? (BenefitsLink.com)

Ex-Chief of D.C. United Way Catches Flak Over Commencement of Retirement Payments Before Retirement
Excerpt: "The former chief executive of the United Way of the National Capital Area received an estimated $200,000 in additional benefits by taking his pension nearly two years before actually retiring, an act that was not authorized by the organization's rules at the time, records and interviews show." (Washington Post)

Overview: IRS Finalizes Regulations on Notice to Interested Parties for Determination Letters
Excerpt: "Before the IRS can issue a determination letter regarding the qualified status of a retirement plan, the plan sponsor must provide evidence that it has notified all persons who qualify as interested parties that an application for a determination letter will be filed with the IRS. The final regulations provide guidance on the nature and method of giving notice to interested parties." (EBIA Weekly)

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

Improved Search Engine on BenefitsLink Lets You Ignore Message Boards
Acting on a reader's suggestion, we have improved the search engine for the BenefitsLink website. Now you can choose to ignore the message boards when searching; note the new 'radio button' at the top of the left-hand navigation bar. (Although the message boards contain a great deal of useful content in the form of online discussions by benefits practitioners, sometimes they get in the way of searches for source documents.) (BenefitsLink)

FASB's Plans Regarding Accounting for Employee Stock Options
Press release. Excerpt: "[The Financial Accounting Standards Board] plans to issue an Invitation to Comment summarizing the IASB's proposals and explaining the key differences between its provisions and current U.S. accounting standards. The FASB will then consider whether it should propose any changes to the U.S. standards on accounting for stock-based compensation." (Business Wire via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Some in Silicon Valley Are Breaking Ranks on Expensing of Stock Options
Excerpt: "Amazon.com defected first, last week. Iomega Corp., which makes data-storage devices, came next. The most recent defection came Monday, from the software maker Computer Associates International Inc. Under pressure from scandal-weary investors clamoring for more accurate numbers in corporate financial statements, the three high-tech concerns decided to begin listing their employee stock options as business expenses against profits, even though no regulations compel them to." (Boston Globe)

General Electric Becomes Latest High-Powered Company To Expense Stock Options
Excerpt: "GE said it will expense the fair value of employee stock options starting this quarter. The move will reduce this year's net income by less than $30 million, or less than 1 cent per share.... GE will implement a holding period on stock option exercises for 22 senior officers, who will be required to purchase GE stock with option gains and hold that stock for at least one year." (AP via NJ.com)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Defined Contribution Plan Administrator for Pension Works, Inc.
in VT
Retirement Plan Administrator for Pension Consulting Services, Inc.
in NJ
Data Processing Manager for Established ERISA TPA Firm Needs Motivated Self-Starter
in TX

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)
Practical Tips on Distribution Procedures Webcast on August 15, 2002
presented by ASPA

Newly Posted Press Releases
NAGDCA Announces 2002 Leadership Recognition Award Recipients (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc.)

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