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September 30, 2002 - 11,860 subscribers
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General Motors to Increase 401(k) Matching Contributions
Excerpt: "Currently, GM matches 20 cents for every dollar an employee contributes up to 6 percent of his or her salary ... The move comes after the company twice cut its match since March 2001. First, the match fell from 80 cents to 60 cents. And then in January, it went from 60 cents to 20 cents." (AP via Yahoo! News)

Pension Funding Requirements to Hit S&P 500s in 2003
Excerpt: "Merrill Lynch estimates that the traditional pension funds, also known as defined benefit plans, for 98 percent of 346 S&P 500 companies are expected to be underfunded at the end of 2002.... So far this year, the S&P 500 has fallen 28 percent. It has tumbled about 46 percent from its all-time high reached in March 2000." (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

Pensioner Fights for COLA from Bank of America
Excerpt: "Louise LaMuth retired from BofA in 1970 after working at the bank in San Francisco for more than 20 years. She receives a monthly pension check for $47.... [L]ast month, LaMuth placed classified ads in the San Francisco Bay Guardian and SF Weekly, soliciting BofA retirees who think their pension is too low.... LaMuth hasn't given up her fight, but it's an uphill battle. Many companies are struggling with their bottom lines, although BofA is doing better than many." (The San Francisco Chronicle)

Beyond the Nest Egg: Some Retirement Decisions Can Cost You Money
Excerpt: "[K]nowledge about the rudiments of retirement plans and finances-- about corporate rules governing matching contributions and early retirement, about pensions and vesting, about health benefits in later life, rollovers of savings plans, annuities and even one's own Social Security payments-- appears to be in remarkably short supply." (Wall Street Journal via MSNBC.com)

Agencies Squabble Over Failure to Move Federal Thrift Savings Plan to Daily Valuation
Excerpt: "The Thrift Savings Plan for federal workers is caught up in an interagency flap over how best to protect the interests of the nearly 2.9 million employees who use the 401(k)-style program to save for their retirement." (Washington Post)

Commentary: How New Jersey Lawmakers Pile Up Pension Cash
Excerpt: "When Republican Ray Zane was thrown out by voters last November after 28 years in the New Jersey Senate, there was one consolation. He doubled his state income, from $35,000 a year to an annual pension of nearly $70,000. Democrat Ray Lesniak can also look forward to a comfortable retirement. As a senator ... he earns $49,000 a year. [But] he will be eligible for an annual pension of at least $83,764 -- 70 percent more than his legislative salary." (NJ.com)

Phased Retirement Gaining New Interest
Excerpt: "[T]he concept of phased retirement-- allowing older employees to work full- or part-time while they receive pension benefits-- has resurfaced as a possible option for employers facing rafts of empty positions once their boomer-age workers retire." (BenefitNews.com)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Effective Strategies for Defending Against Worker Misclassification Attacks
1-1/2 hour tape of a recent continuing education course from the ABA, newly available for purchase from the ABA. Excerpt: "In this audio program, our experienced faculty guide you on how to protect against attacks by government agencies and plaintiff lawyers based on claims that workers have been misclassified as independent contractors." (American Bar Association, Section of Taxation)

Overview: the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002-- Prohibition of Personal Loans to Executives
Excerpt: "Section 402 of the Act makes it unlawful for any public company, directly or indirectly, to extend credit, maintain credit or arrange for the extension of credit in the form of a personal loan to or for the benefit of any director or executive officer. This prohibition on loans is broadly worded ..." (Cooley Godward LLP)

Commentary: CEOs' Fat Checks Belie Troubled Times
Excerpt: "If early 2002 proxy statements are a barometer, the disconnect between executive compensation and performance remains wide. While average worker salaries are rising just 3.6%, many CEOs are getting double-digit salary increases, fat bonuses, large stock option grants and lavish perks more reminiscent of the bull market 1990s than a 30-month-long bear market, according to a USA TODAY analysis ..." (USA Today via Yahoo! News)

Federal Pension, Health Legislation Probably Will Fall Victim to Calendar
Excerpt: "With Congress trying to wrap up its work and go home to campaign in less than two weeks, both President Bush and congressional Democrats are watching some of their top initiatives fall by the wayside -- victims of the calendar and the two parties' skillful manipulation of it ... Some of the imperiled initiatives could be resurrected if a post-election session is called ... But such 'lame-duck' sessions are notoriously unproductive ..." (Washington Post)




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

Employee Benefits Trust Officer
for Regions Financial Corporation
in AR

Employee Benefits Supervisor
for The Protector Group Insurance Agency, Inc.
in MA

Benefits Supervisor
for QVC, Inc.
in PA

Employee Benefits Broker/Manager
for Omni Employee Benefits Consultants, LLC
in FL

In House Employee Benefits Attorney-N. Orleans
for Davis Search
in LA


Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

HRA: New Solutions for Consumer-Directed Healthcare
in TX
October 9, 2002
ECFC, ERN Holdings, Inc. and Comsal, Inc.


Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)

PSCA ANNOUNCES 2002 SIGNATURE AWARDS WINNERS
(Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America)

Subscribe to the BenefitsLink Welfare Plans Newsletter, too (click)


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