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BenefitsLink
Retirement Plans
Newsletter
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November 6, 2002 - 12,746 subscribers
Today's sponsor: NCEO

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

   Our Bookstore now carries books published by the NCEO!

   The National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO), a nonprofit
   membership and research organization that provides information on
   broad-based employee stock plans, now has over a dozen of its
   most popular publications available for purchase in the
   BenefitsLink bookstore. Topics range from employee stock
   ownership plans (ESOPs) to stock options to employee stock
   purchase plans (ESPPs).

(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)
2002 Annual 401(k) Benchmarking Survey
8 pages; executive summary. Excerpt: "Nearly 70 percent of respondents allow for plan entry within the first three months of employment.... [S]horter service requirements, particularly immediate eligibility, were positively related to the number of employees at a company.... The fixed-match formula ... continues to gain in popularity, with 83 percent of respondents ... offering a fixed-match formula [rather than a discretionary matching formula]." (Deloitte & Touche Human Capital Advisory Services, Pensions & Investments magazine)

Funding and Accounting Problems for Defined Benefit Plans (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Low interest rates converging with weak investment markets have created critical problems for employer-sponsored defined benefit pension plans. The low interest rates increase the plan's benefit liabilities, while depressed asset values may no longer be sufficient to cover those liabilities, even if the employer has been meeting or even exceeding minimum funding requirements." (Milliman USA)

ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Publishes Exchange of Q&As with PBGC Officials (PDF)
5 pages; 10 questions and answers. Excerpt: "[The Q&As are based] on a meeting with [PBGC] staff May 8, 2002 ... The responses reflect the unofficial, individual views of the government participants as of the time of the discussion, and do not necessarily represent agency policy." Includes Q&As on estimated premiums, multiemployer plans, post-termination audits, and more. (ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits)

U.S. Postal Service Asks Permission to Lower Pension Fund Contributions
Excerpt: "Consumers could be spared an increase in the price of stamps until 2006 if Congress allows the U.S. Postal Service to scale back its payments into a pension fund that is on track to have a surplus, postal officials said yesterday." (Washington Post)

2002 Report of the Subcommittee on Plan Design, Qualification and Administration
54 pages; originally published February 2002. Includes discussion of recent case law on issues affecting requirements for tax-qualified retirement plans, summary of EGTRRA changes affecting such plans, and summary of new IRS rulings and regulations affecting such plans. (American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

IRS Minimum Distribution Regulation for Defined Benefit Plans Will Be Delayed
Excerpt: "The regulation is scheduled to take effect January 1, 2003. We were told that the temporary regulation (Treas. Reg 1.401(a)(9)-6T) relating to minimum distributions from defined benefit plans will be 'delayed until further notice.' This is very important as some plans had already begun to draft changes in their plan documents to comply with the temporary regulation." (National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems)

IRS Addresses Accounting Method Changes and Deductions For Certain 401(k) Contributions
In Rev. Rul. 2002-73, the Internal Revenue Service addresses the timing of accounting method changes necessitated by a previous revenue ruling concerning the deduction of certain contributions made to 401(k) plans and other defined contribution plans. Rev. Rul. 2002-73 modifies Rev. Rul. 2002-46, I.R.B. 2002-29, 117. (SpencerNet)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

GOP Captures Control of Senate
Excerpt: "Republicans on Wednesday morning took control of the U.S. Senate, breathing new life into President George W. Bush's tax-cut priorities for the next session of Congress." (Dow Jones Newswires via Yahoo! News)

ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Publishes Exchange of Q&As with IRS EP Officials (PDF)
13 pages; 28 questions and answers. Excerpt: "[The Q&As are based] on a meeting with [IRS and Treasury Department] staff May 11, 2002 ... The responses reflect the unofficial, individual views of the government participants as of the time of the discussion, and do not necessarily represent agency policy." Includes Q&As on cafeteria plans, 401(k) plans, qualified transportation fringe benefits, new comparability regs, ESOPs, anti-cutback rules, and more. (ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits)

2002 Report of the Subcommittee on Reporting and Disclosure
23 pages; originally published February 2002. Includes discussion of recent case law on interpretation of plan documents and summary plan descriptions, application of ERISA penalty provisions for failure to provide requested documents, case law on failure to provide COBRA/HIPAA notices, more. (American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

2002 Report of the Subcommittee on Jointly Administered (Taft-Hartley) Plans
25 pages; originally published February 2002. Includes discussion of recent case law on employer contribution obligations, contract interpretation issues, piercing the corporate veil, more. (American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

2002 Report of the Subcommittee on Public Plans and Plans Sponsored by Tax-Exempt Organizations
21 pages; originally published February 2002. Includes discussion of recent case law on issues particularly affecting governmental plans and plans sponsored by tax-exempt organizations, summary of EGTRRA changes affecting such plans, and summary of new IRS rulings and regulations affecting such plans. (American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

2002 Report of the Subcommittee on Fiduciary Responsibility
22 pages; originally published February 2002. Includes discussion of recent case law on fiduciary status, duties of prudence and diversification, liability of fiduciaries and non-fiduciaries for breaches, prohibited transactions and statutes of limitation. (American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

2002 Report of the Subcommittee on Ethics
29 pages; originally published February 2002. Includes discussion of recent case law on attorney-client privilege issues in representing benefit plan fiduciaries. (American Bar Association, Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Subcommittee)

Welcome to new BenefitsLink advertiser Mike Pavlicek
Excerpt: "Mike Pavlicek, who became a partner in Nisen & Elliott in 1996, practices in the areas of employee benefits, executive compensation, ERISA and taxation. He has drafted (and advised clients regarding) qualified plans, non-qualified executive compensation plans, flexible benefit plans and welfare plans. Mike Pavlicek has frequently advised clients regarding the employee benefit aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including evaluation of benefit ."




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

Pension Administrator
for Means & Associates, LLC
in CA

Director/Global Retirement Plans
for MasterCard International
in NY

Retirement Plan Sales Consultant
for Invesmart
in KY

Senior Regulatory Support Officer
for American Express Financial Advisors
in MN


Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Employee Benefits Litigation
in CA
January 16, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Representing the Professional and Closely Held Business: Qualified Plans, Welfare Benefits, and Tax Planning
in AZ
February 13, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Complying with Labor and Employment Laws of the NAFTA Countries
in FL
March 6, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Pension, Profit-Sharing, Welfare, and Other Compensation Plans
in CA
March 19, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Health Plans, HIPAA, and COBRA Update
in
March 27, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Annual Spring Employee Benefits Law and Practice Update
in
April 3, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Expensing Stock Options - Is It Inevitable? So What's Next?
in CA
December 3, 2002
Bingham McCutchen LLP and Certified Equity Professional Institute


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