Jobs | Today's Messages | Topical News | Q&A Columns | Services & Products | Search | Reference

Retirement Plans
To BenefitsLink home page Fill your job openings fast by advertising on BenefitsLink

October 9, 2002 - 12,057 subscribers
Today's sponsor: PensionOnline

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)

   PensionOnline Provides Web-Based Tools for Retirement Plan Professionals

   Our products are designed to support retirement plan professionals'
   efforts to clearly illustrate the benefits of retirement plans to
   employers and employees.

   PscNet: our Web-based plan design and compliance tools allow you
   to prepare a side-by-side analysis of retirement plans.

   Employee Communication System: our Web-based communication system
   allows you to create and distribute employee communication
   material for 401(k) plans.

   Visit our web site at for more information.

(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)

DOL Sues Employer for Failure to Remit 401(k) Deferrals, Reminds Employers of VFC Program
Press release. Excerpt: "Employers with similar problems, who are not yet the subject of an investigation by PWBA, may be eligible to participate in the department's Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP). Participation in the VFCP requires employers to restore all losses to the plan, without PWBA enforcement actions and civil penalties, as well as applicable excise taxes." (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

Ways and Means Committee Describes Portman-Cardin Bill
Press release. Excerpt: "[L]awmakers reported favorable passage of two bills intended to bring relief to investors.... H.R. 5558, the Retirement Savings and Security Act of 2002, was reported favorably with a vote of 24-10.... H.R. 5558 increases the age at which Americans are required to begin withdrawing money out of their IRAs and 401(k) plans from 70-1/2 to 75 ... In addition, this bill accelerates the IRA, 401(k) plan, and catch-up contribution limits ..." (U.S. House of Representatives, Committee on Ways and Means)

Washington Times Coverage of Portman-Cardin Bill
Excerpt: "As the House opened debate yesterday on a resolution authorizing President Bush to use military force against Iraq, the Republican-led Ways and Means Committee approved two bills intended to ease investor anxiety.... Committee Chairman Bill Thomas, California Republican, said the measures would 'help build the confidence and restore the losses of America's investors.' But all Democrats on the committee voted no, calling the measures an election-year ploy." (The Washington Times)

Portman-Cardin Bill Clears House Ways and Means Committee But Senate Democrats Skeptical
Excerpt: "Only about 3 percent of people with retirement accounts currently contribute the maximum amount, raising questions about how much the higher limits would help. And Democrats noted that senior citizens without other sources of income would be unlikely to wait until age 75 to begin withdrawals." (AP via The Boston Globe)

Overview: Value Comparisons to be Required in QJSA Notices (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Although the new rules do not take effect until 2004, plan sponsors should start preparing now for the new required information in QJSA and QPSA notices. Plan design should be reviewed to ensure that the relative values for all optional benefit forms comply with the QJSA, QPSA, and nonforfeiture requirements." (Milliman USA)

Is the 100%-of-High-Three-Year-Pay Limit in 415(b)(1)(b) Subject to the 401(a)(17) Pay Cap?
Excerpt: "[R]emember that the 100% of compensation limit is a Code section 415 limit, rather than a limit under Code section 401(a)(17). Therefore, a plan could fund for an annual benefit of $250,000 for a participant whose highest 3 consecutive year average compensation is $250,000 provided [the following conditions are met ...]" (Reish Luftman McDaniel & Reicher)

Opinion: Accounting Firms See TIAA-CREF Pension Fund Chief as Too Tough to Regulate Them
Excerpt: "Let me just quote The Wall Street Journal on this: 'The big accounting firms won't dare speak on the record.... All signs suggest they're working instead through Republicans in Congress, specifically Ohio's Mike Oxley.... They don't want pension fund chief John Biggs to lead the new accounting board because they fear he might actually force the industry to shape up.'" (Paul Krugman in the New York Times)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Tyco Sues to Recover $45 Million Severance Payment to Former CFO
Excerpt: "Tyco International filed a claim to recover $45 million in severance damages from Mark Swartz, the former chief financial officer ..." (The Washington Post)

Buying Underwater Options to Buoy Morale
Excerpt: "With the Nasdaq at six-year lows, technology workers ... face the stark prospect that the yawning gap between the strike prices of their options and their companies' falling stock prices will never close. That does not make for a happy worker.... On Sept. 30, 3,420 Siebel employees decided to take the company up on its late August offer to pay them roughly $21 million in cash and stock for their options." (

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

Senior Recordkeeper
for Wachovia Corporation
in NC

ERISA/Benefits Attorney
for DeMark, Kolbe & Brodek, S.C.
in WI

Compliance Officer
for American Express Financial Advisors
in MN

Pension (Defined Benefit) Administrator
for Matthews Benefit Group, Inc.
in FL

Benefits Assistant
for Valley National Bank
in NJ

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)

Navigating Your Way Through New DOL Claims Regulations?
on October 24, 2002
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Latest Legislative Initiatives
on October 21, 2002
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Sarbanes-Oxley Act: What Does it Mean for Executives and Executive Compensation
October 23, 2002
Thompson Publishing Group

Safety Seminar (Employee Compliance)
in OH
October 24, 2002
The Cardinal Group

HRA: New Solutions for Consumer-Directed Healthcare
in IL
October 24, 2002
Hewitt Associates and ECFC

HRA: New Solutions for Consumer-Directed Healthcare
in GA
October 15, 2002
ECFC and Marsh Advantage America

HRA: New Solutions for Consumer-Directed Healthcare
in MA
October 23, 2002
ECFC and Crosby Benefit Systems

Newly Posted Press Releases

Work & Family Benefits Inc. Pioneers Innovative Benefits Delivery Model, Providing "Big Business Benefits" to Small and Medium Sized Companies
(Work & Family Benefits Inc.)

Standard Insurance Company Introduces Participant Data Management Tool to Retirement Plan Sponsors
(Standard Insurance Company)

International Foundation Announces Winners of Creative Excellence in Benefits Award
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

New Guide Helps Multiemployer Trustees Select Fiduciary Liability Insurance
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Newly Posted Announcements of Promotions and New Personnel (Post Yours!)

Michael Wilson (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

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

Feel free to send this email to friends, colleagues or clients, if you copy or forward this email in its entirety (including this boilerplate part). Copyright 2002, Inc.

Published by:, Inc.
1298 Minnesota Avenue, Suite H
Winter Park FL 32789
(407) 644-4146
Fax: (407) 644-2151

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