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September 27, 2002 - 11,860 subscribers
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October 1 Is Deadline To Satisfy Universal Availability Requirement for Catch-ups In 2002
Sept. 27, 2002 item. Excerpt: "Notice 2002-4 deems an employer's plans as satisfying the universal availability requirement for 2002, with respect to catch-up contributions, if all of the employer's elective deferral arrangements have implemented the catch-up contribution rule by October 1, 2002. This relief for 2002 recognizes that where an employer maintains more than one elective deferral arrangement, the plans might not all implement the catch-up contribution rule at the same time." (TRI Pension Services)

Unorthodox Alabama State Pension Fund to Acquire 37.5% Stake in US Airways
Excerpt: "US Airways accepted a bid Thursday from an unconventional Alabama state workers' pension fund to help finance its bankruptcy reorganization ... The fund is one of US Airways' largest creditors. It owns nine US Airways planes, worth about $200 million, and indirectly controls others ... It owns 118 daily newspapers, 150 weekly newspapers and 36 television stations ... [T]he media outlets already advertise the fund's eight-course Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail in Alabama." (USA Today via Yahoo! News)

Side-by-Side Comparison of 401(k) Legislation Pending Before the House and Senate (9/24/2002) (PDF)
19 pages; nice! Includes effect of Sarbanes-Oxley Act on various provisions in the bills. (ERISA Industry Committee and Deloitte & Touche Human Capital Advisory Services)

Investor Behavior and the Purchase of Company Stock in 401(k) Plans - the Importance of Plan Design (PDF)
54 pages; second draft of working paper. Excerpt: "Using panel data for nearly 1,000 companies during 1991 to 2000, this paper documents that the average share of participant's discretionary 401(k) contributions in company stock was almost 20 percent, and then relates this share to plan design features and firm financial characteristics." (Nellie Liang of the Federal Reserve System, Scott Weisbenner of the University of Illinois and the National Bureau of Economic Research)

Defunct Dot-Com Escapes Employees' 401(k) Lawsuit
Excerpt: "Employees for the defunct dot-com Wwwrrr Inc. plan to appeal a court decision that rejected their efforts to collect back pay and retirement-plan contributions that they claim were wrongfully withheld in the weeks leading up to the startup's collapse in early 2001." (The [Minneapolis - St. Paul] Business Journal)

Employee Ownership for Update for September 26, 2002
NCEO executive director Corey Rosen reports on a Business Week Online article that bucks the trend of the news media to focus only on executive options rather than the benefits of broad-based plans; the progress made by Senate negotiators on a pension reform bill that would affect company stock in 401(k) plans and certain ESOPs; and an SEC ruling on whether a company had to subject a shareholder proposal to expense options to a shareholder vote. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Opinion: For Veterans, It's Duty, Honor, Pension
Excerpt: "Who can say no to the veterans lobbies? Certainly not Congress.... With little debate, 402 House members and 83 senators signed on to bills granting military retirees an expensive new benefit that goes by the euphemism 'concurrent receipt.' The vernacular is 'double-dipping.'" (Forbes via Yahoo! Finance)

Pension Reform Slouches Along
Excerpt: "The Democratic-led Senate has been sitting on pension reform legislation passed by the Republican-led House last spring, but the Democrats say there is a good reason: the proposed reforms won't effectively protect the average worker." (United Press International)

Survey of SIMPLE IRAs as of June 30, 2002
Excerpt: "The [Investment Company] Institute recently surveyed certain of its members in a continuing effort to track developments in the SIMPLE IRA market.... The Institute's survey requested SIMPLE IRA data on the number of plans, number of plan participants, and value of the assets as of December 31, 2001 and June 30, 2002." (Investment Company Institute)

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

Retirement Data Specialist
for Delaware Investments
in PA

Enrolled Actuary
for MetLife
in IL, MA

Benefits Paralegal
for Bristol-Myers Squibb
in NJ

Newly Posted Press Releases

Insurance Agents offering Web-Based HR Portal
(Benefit Software Inc.)

Technical Amendment Extends Mental Health Parity Act Regulatory Sunset Date to Dec. 31, 2002
(U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

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