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September 18, 2002 - 11,860 subscribers
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(Help BenefitsLink to provide this newsletter at no charge to you -- our sponsors pay your way. Remember to visit them periodically; we try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Facts from EBRI: Retirement Plan Assets at Year-End 2001 (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "As of year-end 2001, total retirement plan assets amounted to $10.69 trillion. These assets consisted of $4.0 trillion in private trusteed plans ($1.89 trillion in defined benefit plans and $2.11 trillion in defined contribution plans), $2.40 trillion in individual retirement accounts (IRAs) and Keogh plans, $2.18 trillion in state and local government plans, $1.34 trillion in private insured plans, and $811 billion in the federal government's plans for its employees." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

Fiduciaries Held Liable to Restore Investment Losses to Pension Plan
Springate v. Weighmasters Murphy, Inc. Money Purchase Pension Plan (C.D. Cal. 2002). Excerpt: "This case involves investment losses in an ERISA money purchase pension plan that occurred after the plan's fiduciaries delayed for over a year in making a requested distribution under the plan.... The court held ... the fiduciaries personally liable to restore to the plan the amount lost ... along with prejudgment interest and attorneys' fees, and then disburse the balance of the account ..." (EBIA Weekly)

DOL Advisory Opinion Allows Governmental Agency to Receive QDRO Payments
DOL Advisory Opinion 2002-03A (June 7, 2002). Excerpt: "[T]he Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Child Support Enforcement (DCSE) ... could be designated as the party to whom payments should be made on behalf of an alternate payee when paid pursuant to a qualified domestic relations order ('QDRO').... In the DOL's view, this reimbursement of advance child support from pension plan funds would not cause the order to fail as a QDRO." (EBIA Weekly)

Widows of Firefighters and Police Asked to Return Overpayments from Pension Plan
Excerpt: "Marilyn Rago, a police officer's widow who was asked to repay $176,000 to the El Paso Firemen and Policemen's Pension Fund earlier this year, is not alone anymore. Pension fund lawyers have identified 13 more widows and one retiree who were overpaid a total of $750,000.... Many of the women have hired lawyers and have enlisted the support of state Reps. Manny Najera and Paul Moreno ..." (ElPasoTimes.com)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Analysis: Notice Puts a Damper on Split-Dollar
September 16, 2002 'article of the week.' Excerpt: "[T]he Service recently issued a notice on the valuation of current life insurance protection under split dollar life insurance arrangements. The notice will have a direct affect on reverse split dollar, and some commentators have said that it will cause the end of the usefulness of reverse split dollar arrangements and also affect reverse split dollar arrangements that were entered into before the notice was issued." (The National Underwriter Company)

Commission Calls for Major Compensation Reforms
Excerpt: "The Conference Board's Blue-Ribbon Commission on Public Trust and Private Enterprise today proposed a wide-ranging series of reforms to strengthen corporate compensation practices and help restore trust in America's corporations and capital markets.... This report, the first in a series of three reports, focuses on executive compensation. Subsequent reports will deal with reforms on other areas of corporate governance as well as accounting and auditing issues." (The Conference Board)

Analysis: Options Accounting Changes Backed
Excerpt: "A special task force of the Conference Board, a respected business policy group, is set to add its name [on Tuesday, September 17, 2002] to a growing list of companies and organizations that favor counting executive stock options as an expense against earnings. But two well-known members of the 12-person task force will dissent from the group's recommendation." (Washington Post)




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

Senior DC / 401(k) Administrators
for L.A. Area TPA with Ocean View
in CA

Project Manager
for Transamerica
in CA

Conversion/Installation Specialist
for BenefitStreet
in CA

National Sales Manager - Qualified Retirement Plan Sales
for Metavante 401(k) Services
in ALL STATES

Healthcare Claims Audit Consultants - NYC & Chicago
for PricewaterhouseCoopers
in IL, NY

Health and Welfare Consultant - Dallas
for PricewaterhouseCoopers
in TX


Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)

Pensiononline releases latest version of web-Based Plan Design System
(Pensiononline)

Alliance Benefit Group Chooses SunGard for Straight-Through Processing
(SunGard Corbel)

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