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October 16, 2002 - 12,057 subscribers
Today's sponsor: Actuarial Systems Corporation

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


   For the past 20 years ASC has provided complete automation for
   the pension office, including state of the art DC/401(k) and DB
   administration and valuation systems, as well as sophisticated
   compliance testing and DV Direct, a revolutionary solution for
   daily valuation functions.

   For a free demo disk and more information click here:

(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)
How Small Employers Choose a 401(k) Plan Provider
Oct. 2002 issue. Excerpt: "The small-business owner searching for a 401(k) plan is a bit like the homebuyer searching for a house. Both must sort through an overwhelming number of choices to find the one product that will meet their needs at the best possible price.... The bad news for small employers is that, amid this confusing thicket of vendors and brokers, there is no single solution that works for every company." (PLANSPONSOR magazine; free registration required)

Overview: Proposed Regulations on Disclosing Relative Values of Optional Forms of Benefit (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "In January 2000, Senator Tom Harkin wrote the Treasury Department a lengthy letter in which he expressed concern that employers were intentionally failing to provide participants with adequate information about the value of subsidized retirement benefits, including QJSAs or single life annuities paid before normal retirement age, that might be lost if a participant elected a lump sum benefit, rather than an annuity form of payment." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

Overview: Proposed Regulations on Disclosing Relative Values of Optional Benefit Forms
Excerpt: "The preamble indicates that the proposed regulations are designed to address concerns-- which have been raised by participant advocacy groups and various Members of Congress-- about whether defined benefit plan sponsors give participants enough information to make an informed choice among their various distribution options.... However, it appears the proposed regulations would impose substantial new burdens on pension plan sponsors ..." (Deloitte & Touche Human Capital Advisory Services)

Company Stock and Pension Plan Diversification
30 pages; Working Paper no. WP2002-16, temporarily available for downloading. Excerpt: "[This paper] develops a measure of the diversification level in a DC plan participant's portfolio. This measure computes how much additional risk reduction can be had by reallocating investments ... without changing the expected return of the currently chosen portfolio.... [and] shows that the plan participant can privately avail himself of insurance against the decline in his wealth ..." (Krishna Ramaswamy, published by the Pension Research Council)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: DOL Weighs In on Limitation of Liability and Indemnification Clauses
Excerpt: "ERISA plan fiduciaries may cause their plans to enter into contracts with actuarial firms and other service providers that include 'limitation of liability' and 'indemnification' provisions without necessarily violating ERISA's fiduciary standards, according to a recent [DOL] advisory opinion.... However, the advisory opinion cautions fiduciaries that it would be imprudent to agree to these provisions if they apply to fraud or willful misconduct by the service provider ..." (Deloitte & Touche Human Capital Advisory Services)

CalPERS to Challenge General Electric Over Executive Compensation Practices
Excerpt: "CalPERS also approved plans to file a shareholder challenge to 'excessive' executive compensation policies at General Electric Corp., demanding the company adopt a new policy that links pay to performance." (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

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

Actuarial Specialist
for Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, L.L.C.
in GA

Defined Benefit Calculation Manager
for Northern Trust Retirement Consulting, L.L.C.
in GA

Pension Consultant/Administrator
for Third Party Administrators, Inc.
in NH

Pension Administrator
for White Plains law firm with expanding daily valuation department
in NY

Employee Benefits Trust Officer II
for Regions Financial Corporation
in AL

Employee Benefits Trust Officer I
for Regions Financial Corporation
in AL

Defined Contribution Manager
for Deloitte & Touche
in MN

Account Executive Director
for Principal Financial Group
in NY

Manager of FSA/MSA Administration
for Company Confidential
in DC, MD

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

PENSION PLAN AUDITS: Is Your Plan In Compliance?
in CA
November 21, 2002
Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter

Advanced Writing and Editing for Lawyers: How To Be a Better Legal Writer and Editor
in PA
December 13, 2002

Newly Posted Press Releases

CNA Trust Hires Costantini As Regional Sales Director for Northwest
(CNA Trust)

Customized Benefits Newsletters To Help Strengthen Customer Relationships And Increase Sales
(Alexander Hamilton Institute - AHI's Benefits Alert)

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