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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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August 20, 2002 - 11,391 subscribers
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Pension Bills: Where They Stand Now
One-page summary that contains a link to a side-by-side comparison of the Finance Committee bill, the HELP Committee bill, and the bill passed by the House in April. (Groom Law Group)

Remedies for Retaliatory Termination of ESOP Committee Members (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "[W]hat if the company fires ESOP trust committee members after they complain about the CEO's performance? In that case, Section 510 [of ERISA] is of little help... They might be able to sue under ERISA Section 502(a)(2) or (3), claiming that their firing is itself a breach of the employer's fiduciary duties under ERISA Section 404(a)(1). They also could sue under state law, claiming that an unlawful termination occurred." (Gregory Brown and Gary Howell of Gardner Carton & Douglas)

House GOP Working to Increase Age for Required Minimum Distributions
Excerpt: "Another key piece of the plan would be to increase the age-- 70 [sic] under current law-- at which people must take distributions from 401(k) plans, company pensions, individual retirement accounts and most other retirement plans. One proposal being circulated by a close White House ally, Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, would raise the age to 75." (AP via Yahoo! News)

State and Local Government Pension Plans Coming Up Short Due To Stock Losses
Excerpt: "More than half of all public pension plans are underfunded, up from 31 percent two years ago, a recent study shows." (Wall Street Journal via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

CalPERS Adopts Conflict of Interest Policy
Excerpt: "The nation's largest pension fund adopted policies Monday designed to end conflicts of interest by Wall Street investment bankers and money managers.... The new measures require investment banking firms and money managers doing business with the pension funds to disclose more about potential conflicts, adhere to several safeguards and accept closer monitoring." (AP via StarTribune.com)

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

IRS Updates Manual on Examination of Nonbank Trustees; Minor Modifications Only (PDF)
Excerpt: "A nonbank trustee or nonbank custodian ... is an entity that is not a bank that is permitted to act as a trustee or custodian for the arrangements listed below ... Medical Savings Accounts ... Qualified retirement plans or trusts ... 403(b)(7) Custodial Accounts ... Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs) ... Roth IRAs ... 457(b) Deferred Compensation Plans of State & Local Government and Tax Exempt Organizations Custodial Accounts [or] Education IRAs." (Internal Revenue Service)

Fast-Track Changes in Stock-Based Compensation Accounting (PDF)
Excerpt: "The FASB is moving quickly to require new disclosures by all companies awarding stock-based compensation, including traditional stock options, and to add transition alternatives for companies choosing Statement 123's fair-value method to expense stock-compensation costs. Disclosures would increase in content, be presented more frequently, and be located more prominently." (KPMG LLP via Financial Executives International)

Professional Employer Organization (PEO) Industry in Crisis
Excerpt: "Some observers are predicting that hundreds of the estimated 800 PEOs operating in the country will be forced to merge or go out of business by the end of the year." (Sarasota Herald-Tribune via Society for Human Resource Management)

Investors Unfazed By Expensed Options
Excerpt: "Wall Street doesn't seem to care if companies count employee stock options as an expense. That may come as a surprise to companies that, hoping to impress investors, have voluntarily said they will start expensing their stock options." (USA Today via Yahoo! News)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad
Employee Benefits Associate for 15 Attorney, Los Angeles, labor / employee benefits law firm
in CA
401(k) Administrator for The Preston Group LLC
in CT, MO
Web Designer for ExpertPlan, Inc.
in NJ
Executive Assistant for Multiemployer Taft-Hartley office located in Los Angeles
in CA
Pension Manager for Multiemployer Taft-Hartley office located in Los Angeles
in CA
Pension Administrator for Suburban /PA Montgomery County Pension Firm
in PA
Human Resources Analyst for Covanta Energy
in NJ
Trust/EB Administrator for Glenview State Bank
in IL

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)
Health Care Accounts: Recent Guidance on Defined Contribution Health Plans-- What Does It Really Permit?in on August 29, 2002
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Newly Posted Press Releases
The Pension Consulting Services Group of American Express Tax and Business Services Expands in the Midwest (American Express Tax and Business Services Inc.)

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