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October 24, 2002 - 12,057 subscribers
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Many Participants Depressed About 401(k) Quarterly Statements
Excerpt: "With the stock market down for a third straight year, many American workers have stopped opening the statements they get for their retirement savings accounts. They're just too depressing. But some of the top experts in the retirement savings field say that now, more than ever, people need to take a hard look at their accounts and take steps to begin repairing the damage." (AP via Las Vegas Sun)

Overview: Blackout Period Notice Regulations (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "The regulations specify how to calculate the 30-day notice period: the 30-day period generally is determined by counting calendar days-- not business days-- back from the last date on which the participant could take action prior to the blackout period. The preamble to the regulations provides the following example to illustrate this rule...." (Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

Retirement Guarantees in Mandatory Defined Contribution Systems
Working Paper No. 2002-20. Excerpt: "Most public pension systems ... include guarantees for retirement income ... with the two polar cases being the universal pension (such as in the United Kingdom and Argentina) and the topping-up to a minimum pension level (such as in Germany and Chile).... [This] paper will draw conclusions as to whether these guarantees are an effective instrument to protect against low retirement income and evaluate advantages and disadvantages of different designs." (Jan Walliser, published by the Pension Research Council)

Patience to Pay Off for Pensioners
Excerpt: "If you've been putting off the retirement you've been planning for decades, it might pay to wait just a little longer if you have an old-style pension fund. The reason: The tables and formulas used to calculate lump-sum payouts are set to change Jan. 1, and it may mean tens of thousands of dollars more for retirees." (Chicago Tribune; free registration required)

IRS Corrects ESOP Figure in 2003 COLA Figures: $810,000, Not $815,000 (PDF)
Excerpt: "The dollar amount under Section 409(o)(1)(C)(ii) for determining the maximum account balance in an employee stock ownership plan subject to a 5-year distribution period is increased from $800,000 to $810,000, while the dollar amount used to determine the lengthening of the 5-year distribution period remains unchanged at $160,000.' (The news release from the IRS initially stated the $810,000 figure as $815,000.) (Internal Revenue Service)

Pension Board Decides to Disregard Former Sheriff's Pay in Making Pension Calculations
Excerpt: "[T]he board of trustees of the Police and Firemen's Retirement System found that [ former Sheriff Joseph Ciccone's] criminal conduct was directly related to his public duties as sheriff and involved a breach of the public trust. The board decided that his service was 'dishonorable,' and as a result his $98,325 salary as sheriff could not be used in calculating his pension benefit." (NorthJersey.com)

The Benefits of Engaging a Retirement Plan Consulting Firm
10 pages. Excerpt: "Plan Sponsors can significantly benefit by converging professional disciplines through retaining the services of a retirement plan consulting firm. [Benefits include:] Plan Design ... Administration ... Participant Services ... Fiduciary Investing ... Risk Management ... Ancillary Topics." (Stephen J. Lansing, CLU, CIMC, CEBS, published by Walker MacRae; free registration required)

Merrill Lynch to Provide Investment Advice to Plan Participants
Excerpt: "Merrill is only legally able to offer a 401(k) plan after the Labor Department late last year approved a plan allowing brokerage firms to dispense investment advice generated by an independent, third-party expert. The Labor Department's ruling reacted to a proposal by Sun America." (Registered Rep.)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

2002 Report of the Subcommittee on Benefit Claims
29 pages; presented on February 14-16, 2002. This Microsoft Word document is a supplement to a chapter of the highly-regarded employee benefits treatise published by the American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee. (ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration Issues Annual Performance Plan for Fiscal Year 2003
Excerpt: "Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration has established the following agency goals that support the Administration's priorities of shifting the emphasis of regulatory programs from after-the-fact enforcement to compliance assistance and prevention and ensuring the security of workers' retirement programs and benefits ..." (U.S. Department of Labor, Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration)

Audio Excerpt: SEC to Appoint Board Overseeing Accounting Industry
Excerpt: "As the SEC prepares to appoint a new panel to oversee the embattled accounting industry, some criticize the process as being too politicized. Hear NPR's Jack Speer and Jeffrey Birnbaum of Fortune magazine. Oct. 23, 2002." (National Public Radio)

S&P Says 'Core Earnings' of Corporations 45% Less Than Reported, Due to Stock Options and Pensions
Excerpt: "Pension and stock option accounting helped boost reported earnings at big U.S. companies by about 45 per cent in the year to June, according to Standard & Poor's. S&P will on Thursday publish its calculation of 'core earnings' for the S&P 500, the blue-chip index of the largest U.S. companies. It deducts stock option costs from reported earnings, and excludes adjusted pension income." (Financial Times via Yahoo! Finance)

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

Pension Administrator
for The Benefits Consulting Group
in IL

Employee Benefits Account Executive Trainee (Sales)
for The Protector Group Insurance Agency, Inc.
in MA

Employee Benefits Account Executive (Sales)
for The Protector Group Insurance Agency, Inc.
in CT, MA, NH, RI

401(k) Plan Administrators
for PFPC
in MN

Human Resources Division Manager - $67k to $89k
for The County of Riverside
in CA

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

in GA
November 21, 2002
WEB Atlanta Chapter

Newly Posted Press Releases

Second Annual Summit For 401(K) Sales Professionals Expected To Be Another Sold-Out Event
(American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA))

ASPA And The IRS To Host Employee Benefits Conference
(American Society of Pension Actuaries (ASPA))

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