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October 28, 2002 - 12,216 subscribers
Today's sponsor: World Research Group

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   Voluntary Benefits Management & Enhanced Benefit Communications Forum

   January 29th & 30th, 2003 - Orlando, FL

   This event will examine new trends in voluntary benefits, but it
   will also address how to solve employee communication needs.
   Attend this forum to receive an in-depth analysis on how to design
   an effective benefit communications strategy, choose which
   voluntary benefits to offer, select benefit providers, administer
   plans and educate employees about voluntary benefits. Earn up to
   14 CPE Credits!

(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)
PBGC Extends Some Deadlines for Certain Persons Affected by Tornadoes in Indiana (PDF)
(Or is it 'tornados'?) 5 pages; Technical Update 02-04. Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the major disaster declared by the President of the United States on account of the tornadoes in Indiana on September 20, 2002." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

PBGC Extends Some Deadlines for Certain Persons Affected by Isidore or Lili (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "The PBGC will waive the late payment penalty charge with respect to any premium payment required to be made on or after September 21, 2002, and before December 2, 2002, if the payment is made by December 2, 2002." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

American Bankers Association's Amicus Brief in Enron Case Addresses Duties of Directed Trustees (PDF)
61 pages. Excerpt: "DOL suggests that the Court should adopt a broad 'know or should know' standard for a 'directed trustee' under ERISA, which is inconsistent with existing law and long-established trust industry practice. DOL fails to cite any legal basis grounded in ERISA in summarily rejecting the more limited 'clear on their face' standard found in the ERISA legislative history ... DOL suggests instead what would be an unworkable alternative." (American Bankers Association)

ASPA Comments on Final 401(a)(9) Minimum Distribution Regulations
Excerpt: "The mandatory annuity distribution requirement with respect to defined benefit plans contained in the Regulations results in a tremendous loss of flexibility and can produce some harsh results for participants and their families." (American Society of Pension Actuaries)

Actuaries Comment on Proposed 411(d) Regulation Affecting DB Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "Members of the Pension Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries appreciate the opportunity to present our ideas on ways to eliminate certain optional forms of benefit payment in a defined benefit plan without violating the anti-cutback rules of IRC Section 411(d)(6). In the comments that follow, we suggest a framework that should ease the administrative burden for defined benefit plans without compromising the retirement security of their participants." (American Academy of Actuaries)

Massachusetts State Pension Fund Refuses to Disclose Venture Capital Performance Data
Excerpt: "The state pension fund has refused to comply with an order from the secretary of state's office to disclose its venture capital investment performance to a private citizen who requested them. The matter is now in the hands of Attorney General Thomas F. Reilly." (The Boston Globe)

CalPERS Details New Golden Handshake Program for Early Retirees from California State Employment
Excerpt: "On October 4, 2002 the Governor signed an Executive Order providing State employers the opportunity to provide an early retirement program. State agencies are preparing documentation to present to the Department of Finance and the Department of Personnel Administration to determine if they are able to participate." ( California Public Employees' Retirement System)

Painful News Triggers Retirement Financial Management Reviews
Excerpt: "Many pension plan sponsors face the prospect of pension costs (FAS expense and cash funding) over the next couple of years that are expected to be two or three times higher than in recent years. For many organizations, this is painful news. In response, they have begun to review their retirement financial management policies (funding, accounting, investment, and benefit) to help manage the additional costs they will bear." (Mercer Human Resource Consulting; free registration required)

Planning Ahead: Consumer Expenditure Patterns In Retirement
From the July 2002 issue of the Monthly Labor Review Online. Excerpt: "[T]he decision to retire has major implications for individuals and families. Understanding differences in spending patterns for preretired and retired consumers can help workers plan for the future." (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor and Statistics)

From Credit Suisse/First Boston: the Magic of Pension Accounting (PDF)
168 pages. Excerpt: "This report [focuses] on the defined benefit pension plans of companies in the S&P 500. To better understand actual exposure for those companies, we replace the magic of pension accounting with each plan's economic reality. We identify varying degrees of exposure to pension issues across industries and companies while evaluating the associated risks." (Reprinted by the ERISA Industry Committee (www.eric.org))



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Leading Law Firms Provide Interpretation of Sarbanes-Oxley Act Prohibition on Insider Loans (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "Section 402 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was enacted to prohibit publicly-traded companies from providing personal loans to directors and executive officers.... In the absence of legislative or regulatory guidance, private practitioners are in the position of having to interpret the statutory provisions in order to advise companies on compliance." (Winston & Strawn, Alston & Bird LLP, 23 More Firms)

SEC Names Accounting Board; Webster To Be Head
Excerpt: "A deeply divided U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday voted to approve five members of a new national board to police corporate accountants, with ex-FBI chief William Webster as chairman." (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

Multinational Companies Begin To Seek Consistency In Worldwide Benefits
Excerpt: "[K]ey findings from a late-2001 survey by Towers Perrin of 157 global companies including the likes of Daimler Chrysler, Microsoft, and Swiss Re suggest that many multinational companies struggle to set a consistent strategic direction for their worldwide benefit plans." (BenefitNews.com)

SEC Proposal Could Block Southwest Airlines From Giving Workers Stock Options
Excerpt: "A Securities and Exchange Commission proposal could end Southwest Airlines' practice of granting employee stock options, a tool the low-cost carrier uses to limit expenses. The SEC proposal would require shareholders to approve any plan that gives stock options to rank-and-file employees. It would amend an existing rule that allows companies to give options, without a shareholder vote, to nonexecutives and nondirectors." (The Dallas Morning News via Society for Human Resource Management)




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

401(k) / Pension Administrator
for O'Sullivan Creel, LLP
in FL

Senior Administrator - Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Consulting and Administration
for Markley Actuarial Services, Inc.
in PA

Qualified Retirement Plan Administration Specialist
for RSM McGladrey, Inc.
in NC

Premium Only Plan Implementation Specialist
for ADP, Inc.
in NJ

Compliance Officer
for American Express Financial Advisors
in MN

Senior Plan Administrator
for RPS Plan Administrators
in CO


Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Nuts and Bolts of 401(k) Plans In Florida
in FL
November 12, 2002
Lorman Education Services

Nuts and Bolts of 401(k) Plans In Florida
in FL
December 5, 2002
Lorman Education Services

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in CO
November 21, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in TX
November 22, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in KS, MO
December 4, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in CA
December 5, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in MN
December 5, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in IL
December 6, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in NC, SC
December 12, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in PA
December 12, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in GA
December 13, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in MA
December 13, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in CO
November 21, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in TX
November 22, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in KS, MO
December 4, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in CA
December 5, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in MN
December 5, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in IL
December 6, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in NC, SC
December 12, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in PA
December 12, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in GA
December 13, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in MA
December 13, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm) offered in 10 locations in November & December!
in CA, CO, GA, IL, KS, MA, MN, MO, NC, PA, SC, TX
November 21, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am) presented in 10 locations in November & December!
in CA, CO, GA, IL, KS, MA, MN, MO, NC, PA, TX
November 21, 2002
SunGard Corbel

17th Annual National Institute on Compensation for Executives and Directors
in NY
November 7, 2002
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

12th Annual National Institute on ERISA Litigation
in IL
November 14, 2002
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Ethical Considerations in ERISA Litigation
in ALL STATES
November 15, 2002
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

VOLUNTARY BENEFITS MANAGEMENT & ENHANCED BENEFIT COMMUNICATIONS FORUM
in FL
January 29, 2003
World Research Group


Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)

United Benefit Advisors Unveils Wisdom Network (tm)
(United Benefit Advisors)

Pyramid Digital Solutions Named to Inc. 500 for Third Consecutive Year
(Pyramid Digital Solutions)

Pyramid Named to the 2002 Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500
(Pyramid Digital Solutions)


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

Robert Cirkiel (Hilb, Rogal and Hamilton)

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