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October 30, 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 Executive Director: Agency Being Hit by 'Perfect Storm'
Excerpt: "Being slammed by taking over pension plans from many defunct steel companies, including the 82,000-participant LTV Steel plan, has taken a sizable bite from the federal pension insurer's fiscal surplus. That's was the sobering report by Steven Kandarian, executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC), who dubbed his agency's recent times 'a perfect storm.'" (PLANSPONSOR.com)

United Airlines ESOP May Sell Shares
Excerpt: "The independent fiduciary, State Street Bank and Trust, said in a recent regulatory filing it may sell up to 20% of the plan's UAL shares, while the financial outlook for the airline is so uncertain.... The bank decided independently that keeping the ESOP plans invested exclusively in UAL stock, given the company's financial troubles, was not consistent with laws governing employee stock plans, according to a message to United employees taped Monday." (USA Today via Society for Human Resource Management)

ERISA Arising: Financial Planners Must Know the Fiduciary Responsibility Laws
Excerpt: "If you work with qualified plans -- including defined benefit, defined contribution plans, 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans and IRAs -- you need to understand these regulations thoroughly for your own self-protection. In case of errors, lack of knowledge is no excuse. If you think ignorance is bliss, just wait until you find yourself in court. Figure 1 shows the numbers of civil law suits concerning ERISA." (Financial Planning Interactive)

Helping Your Employees Choose Between Lump Sums and Annuities
Excerpt: "Longer life expectancies and uncertain financial markets mean more retirement plan participants are likely to outlive their lump sum distributions. Employers should consider increased education to help participants make informed decisions when choosing between lump sums and annuities. One option is to show employees the probabilities of outliving a lump sum under different investment return scenarios." (Watson Wyatt's HR Finance Alert)

Nice Niche Site: 72t On the Net
Excerpt: "This site is dedicated to those individuals seeking information on IRC Section 72(t), the exception to the 10% penalty tax for withdrawals from IRA accounts taken prior to the age of 59.5 and the NEW Proposed Regulations on Minimum Distributions. The information and tools on this web site are provided for informational purposes ..." (Gordon F. Weis, CLU, CPC, ChFC)

Employee Ownership Update for October 29
NCEO executive director Corey Rosen discusses the United Airlines ESOP trustees' decision to start selling United shares; the threat posed to Southwest Airlines' stock option plan by proposed SEC requirements; the SEC chair's opinion that shareholders should vote on option accounting; and the prospects for pension reform. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Surviving Spouse Can Roll Over Distribution from IRA Naming Trust as Beneficiary (PDF)
PLR 200242044, 7/23/2002. Excerpt: "[T]he IRA X account balance ... is payable to Trust E. Taxpayer B, [the IRA owner's] surviving spouse, as co-trustee of Trust E, will initially request from the custodian of IRA X that the remaining IRA X balance be paid to Trust E [and then] will ... demand payment of the IRA X balance and will then roll over the IRA X balance into IRA Y." (Internal Revenue Service)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

2002 Midyear Report of Subcommittee on ERISA Preemption and Effects on Other Laws
96 pages; originally published February 2002. Discusses recent case law on interaction of ERISA with state law claims of wrongful discharge, claims processing, wrongful death, medical malpractice, domestic relations, severance pay and more. (ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

2002 Midyear Report of Subcommittee on Employment Discrimination and Employee Benefits
27 pages; originally published February 2002. Discusses recent case law on pregnancy discrimination, contraceptive drug coverage, gender-based plan design differences, Americans With Disabilities Act coverage, the Erie County ADEA case, and ERISA section 510 claims. (ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

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

Client Relationship Manager
for TeamVest RPS, Inc
in NC

Retirement Plan Analyst - Implementation
for Invesmart
in OH

401(k)/Benefit Consultant
for U.S. Benefits, Inc.
in NY

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)

Pharmacy Benefit Trends: Where are they going? How can we control costs?
on November 12, 2002
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Newly Posted Press Releases

PlanAnalytics Names Susan Grant Palombo Vice President Sales & Marketing
(PlanAnalytics, Inc.)

Help Made Available for Those Looking For Solo(k) Retirement Plan Providers
(401khelpcenter.com, LLC)

New look and feel for interaKt(tm)

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