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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Retirement Plans Edition
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September 9, 2002 - 11,893 subscribers
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Efforts to Restrict Retirement Funds Lose Steam
Excerpt: "Congress has all but abandoned legislative proposals to ensure that employee retirement funds are not concentrated in their employers' stock, after hearing from businesses that vigorously oppose such restrictions." (Washington Post)

Analysis: SEC's Two-Day Deadline for Reporting 401(k) Plan Transactions (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Directors, executive officers, and certain stockholders who participate in their company's 401(k) plan, employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), and other employee benefit plans must report trades of employer stock to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) within two business days. The new requirements, part of recently enacted accounting/auditing reforms, are effective for all relevant transactions that occur after August 28, 2002." (Milliman USA)

Opinion: Pension Valuation Needs More Disclosure, Not a New Formula (PDF)
5 pages. From the September/October 2002 issue of Contingencies magazine. Excerpt: "Actuaries and accountants need to explore better ways to present DB pension plans on corporate financial statements, but wrapping them in a package labeled 'non-operating assets' is not the answer." (Eric J. Klieber, published by the American Academy of Actuaries)

Valuing Companies, Valuing Pension Plans (PDF)
5 pages. From the September/October 2002 issue of Contingencies magazine. Excerpt: "The recent stock market roller coaster has drawn attention to the impact of defined benefit (DB) pension plans on corporate finances and financial reporting. Under FAS 87 rules, swings in the market prices of equities and yields on bonds can cause the bottom line contribution of DB plans to fluctuate, and these fluctuations can significantly affect a company's reported financial performance." (American Academy of Actuaries)

Chief Benefits Officer at Indiana Public Employees' Retirement System Accused of Identity Theft
Excerpt: "[A] criminal investigation led to [Kevin] Scott's arrest last week, when he was charged with stealing another Kevin Scott's Social Security number to pass a state background check. Scott was hired in November as the fund's chief benefits officer even though he served two months in federal prison for stealing the names and Social Security numbers of two people to secure loans and lines of credit. This ... job gave him access to almost all parts of the pension fund." (AP via the [Louisville, Ky.] Courier-Journal)

Nevada Lawmaker Urges State To Tap Pension Funds To Lure Businesses
Excerpt: "State pension funds would be tapped to lure businesses to Nevada under proposed legislation being pushed by state Sen. Randolph Townsend, R-Reno.... George Pyne, director of the Nevada Public Employees'Retirement System, expressed skepticism about the plan, saying there's no way lawmakers can touch the $13 billion fund. He said voters in 1996 approved a constitutional amendment that prevents PERS from investing in state debt or loaning the state money." (Reno [Nev.] Gazette-Journal)

Delaware Governor's Task Force Seeks State-Level Efforts to Encourage Individuals to Save
Excerpt: "The Task Force for Financial Independence, consisting of 29 business, government and community leaders, presented a 59-page report in Wilmington on Tuesday urging the state to expand financial education initiatives, launch a statewide financial literacy program and train social service caseworkers to discuss financial literacy with clients." (The [Wilmington, Del.] News Journal)

N.Y. Firehouses Losing Many to Retirement
Excerpt: "New York's 11,500-member department ... lost 343 firefighters and officers in the World Trade Center attacks. The department now faces greater losses as hundreds of other firefighters, beset with grief and facing generous pensions thanks to the past year's extraordinary overtime, leave. Since Sept. 11, 747 supervisors and firefighters have retired." (Washington Post)

Former Milwaukee County Executive Disputes Lump-Sum Calculation Reported in Press
Excerpt: "The former Milwaukee County executive who retired rather than face a recall over lucrative pension benefits for county employees is challenging the accuracy of initial news reports about those benefits.... [F. Thomas Ament's attorney said] the $2.3 million maximum lump-sum payout figure for Ament ... was too high. Limitations on pension payments set by the Internal Revenue Service would have made the figure lower, according to his letter ..." (The Janesville [Wisc.] Gazette)

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

Opinion: Welch Gets King's Ransom in Retirement Benefits from GE
Excerpt: "When John F. Welch Jr. retired as chief executive of General Electric Co., he cast off two decades of corporate responsibilities. But not the perks. The company is still paying for around-the-clock access to a GE-owned Boeing 737, an apartment on New York's Central Park West, a limited edition 2003 Mercedes-Benz SLR and tickets to Wimbledon tennis matches, Red Sox baseball games and the Metropolitan Opera." (Washington Post)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad

Employee Benefits Attorneys Needed
for Warner Norcross & Judd LLP in MI

Actuary in Eugene, Oregon
for Summit Benefit & Actuarial Services, Inc. in OR

Administrator Opportunity
for Benefit Consultants, LLC in AL

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

The 403(b)/457 Retirement Plan Design and Management Conference
in DC on September 30, 2002
presented by World Research Group

HIPAA Privacy Requirements: Meeting the Compliance Deadline
in ALL STATES on September 18, 2002
presented by Thompson Publishing Group, Inc.

Newly Posted Press Releases

George Morrison and David Hanisco, formerly of Redwood Administrators, Inc., establish Continental Benefits Group, Inc.
(Continental Benefits Group, Inc.)

George M. Morrison establishes The Law Firm of G.M. Morrison, P.C., an employee benefits law firm.
(Law Firm of G.M. Morrison, P.C.)

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