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October 25, 2002 - 12,216 subscribers
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(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)
Private Letter Ruling: 403(b) Plan Not Disqualified Despite Pooling of Assets With 401(a) Assets (PDF)
4 pages; PLR 200242047, dated 7/27/2002. Excerpt: "The arrangement herein described is analogous to the facts as described in Revenue Ruling 81-100, wherein individual trusts were combined into a group trust." (Internal Revenue Service)

Tyco Suits Mount In Wake of Pension Losses
Excerpt: "Financial improprieties by former Tyco International executives have imperiled the retirements of many as 100,000 Tyco employees and former employees who have suffered huge drops in the value of their pension plans, federal lawsuits allege. Dozens of shareholder actions have been piling up at the U.S. District Court in Concord ..." (The Union Leader)

Teachers Stuck With High-load Funds Do Have Options
Excerpt: "[M]ost teachers have a very interesting alternative. Instead of accepting high-commission load funds and variable annuities in their 403(b) plans, they can vote with their feet. They can stop participating. Instead, they can contribute to a Roth IRA from a low-cost, high-quality provider." (Scott Burns in The Houston Chronicle)

Pension Squeeze: Funding Requirements Pinching Profits
Excerpt: "From General Motors to Maytag, companies around the country face growing shortfalls in their pension plans, threatening profits and shareholder earnings and making it harder for firms to fund investments needed to spark a business turnaround." (The Boston Globe)

Rep. Bernard Sanders Pushes IRS on Cash Balance Plan Conversions; Many Legislators Co-Sign
Excerpt: "Dear Commissioner Rossotti and Ms. Olson: We are writing to urge the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to take immediate action and issue guidance to enforce all of the pension laws, regulations and notices that are on the books to prevent companies from illegally slashing the pension benefits of American workers and retirees as a result of cash balance conversions." (BenefitNews.com)

Retirement Guarantees in Voluntary Defined Contribution Plans (PDF)
27 pages; Working Paper no. 2002-21. Excerpt: "This article surveys the types of guarantees that have been provided in voluntary defined contribution plans around the world." (John Turner and David Rajnes, published by the Pension Research Council)

Why Monitoring Investment Fees Is Vital
Excerpt: "[B]efore you can make accurate cost comparisons, you need an accurate assessment of all plan expenses for investments, recordkeeping, administration, and other services. This information helps you fulfill your fiduciary responsibilities and maximize your participants' retirement security." (The Vanguard Group)

Risk Budgeting: An Alternative to Traditional Asset Allocation
Fall 2002 issue; scroll down a bit. Excerpt: "One means of increasing returns on a plan-wide basis is to employ effective asset allocation and rebalancing strategies. Risk rebalancing-- or risk budgeting-- is a promising field of study that allocates and rebalances assets relative to a risk target, not asset levels. Traditional asset allocation targets an asset level ..." (Joanna Bewick, CFA, published in the TexPERS Pension Observer)

France Shelving Idea of Personal Retirement Accounts
Excerpt: "Government sources insist that the government hasn't totally given up on the idea of what [President Jacques] Chirac referred to in his successful re-election campaign as 'French-style' pension funds, which would allow workers to set aside money on a tax-free basis." (AP via Yahoo! News)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

2002 Report of the Subcommittee on Collective Bargaining and Employee Benefits
21 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; the chapter is entitled 'Collective Bargaining and Employee Benefits." (ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)




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

Defined Benefit Analyst - New Business - Consultant
for MK Consulting, Inc.
in ALL STATES

Defined Benefit Systems Analyst - Consultant
for MK Consulting, Inc.
in ALL STATES

DB/DC Plan Administrator
for Benefit Solutions Corp.
in WI

Individual Consultant
for TIAA-CREF
in GA

Institutional Pension Consultant
for TIAA-CREF
in GA


Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)

Individual Health Insurance: Fact, Opinion and Policy
on October 23, 2002
presented by Kaisernetwork.org


Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Nuts and Bolts of 401(k) Plans
in FL
November 21, 2002
Lorman Education Services


Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)

MONTVALE, New Jersey - October 16, 2002 - Colonial Surety Company introduces 5-year ERISA bonds with automatic bond increase endorsement to meet new DOL bonding requirements for small company 401(k) plans.
(Colonial Surety Company)

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