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Retirement Plans
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December 5, 2002 - 12,959 subscribers
Today's sponsor: Actuarial Systems Corporation

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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)
Disaster Relief Relating To PBGC Deadlines In Response To November Storms/Tornadoes
PBGC Technical Update 2002-5. Excerpt: "The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to the major disasters declared by the President of the United States on account of the November 10, 2002, tornadoes and storms in Alabama, Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation)

Alabama Retirement Fund Renegotiating US Airways Deal
Excerpt: "Alabama's pension fund is renegotiating its offer to buy a 38 percent share of US Airways for $240 million.... US Airways has to file a revised reorganization plan with the bankruptcy court this month." (AP via The [Raleigh, N.C.] News & Observer)

Hewitt Study Finds Employers Worried About Workers' Exposure To Company Stock
Excerpt: "Of the firms worried about employee exposure to company stock, 38 percent said they planned to cut or eliminate restrictions on workers trading shares obtained through a matching program. The number of companies that offer stock in matching programs and restrict the trading of those shares has dropped to 62 percent from 82 percent since February, Hewitt said." (The Boston Globe)

IBM to Fully Fund Pension Plan By End of 2002
Excerpt: "International Business Machines Corp. on Wednesday said that it would close a $3 billion gap in its underfunded pension fund by the end of 2002 instead of over the next three years. 'We just wanted to put this pension issue behind us for 2003,' IBM Chief Financial Officer John Joyce said during a conference call." (Reuters via Lycos News)

Guide to 2002 401(k) Corrective Distribution Forms (PDF)
1 page, with hypertext links to CIGNA's forms. Written for CIGNA plan customers, but potentially useful for just about everybody. Excerpt: "Complete this form if any participant exceeded the pre-tax deferral limit, e.g., $11,000 ($12,000 for catch-up eligible employees) for 2002, to distribute the excess amount." (CIGNA's Pension Analyst)

2002 Plan Year: Year-End Compliance Reminders (PDF)
5 pages. Written for CIGNA plan customers, but potentially useful for just about everybody. Excerpt: "Every year, defined contribution plan sponsors must make sure their plans meet certain compliance requirements, including those listed below. This checklist identifies the materials you need to review and will help you track their completion." (CIGNA's Pension Analyst)

Have You Checked Your Pension Plan's Funding Level Lately?
Excerpt: "An underfunded plan is a business problem. Thus, it would be prudent to carefully review the current funding status of the plan and, depending upon the results of this review, take steps to ensure the plan is optimally structured to meet its future liabilities and fiduciary obligations.... [W]ork with the plan's actuary and legal counsel to review the census information and investment assumptions used to determine the plan's funding status. The latter is especially important." (State Street Global Advisors)

Analysis: Final Rules on Loans from Qualified Retirement Plans (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "All plan loan-related communication materials-- such as plan documents, summary plan descriptions, loan policies and forms, administrative procedures, military leave policies, telephone voice response systems-- should be reviewed and updated as necessary. Employers should ensure that their plan loan and military leave policies reflect the 6% interest rate cap for employees who are on military leave." (Milliman USA)

Analysis: IRS Issues Final Participant Loan Regs
Excerpt: "The new final regulations address four issues: (1) the effect of multiple loans; (2) the effect of loan refinancing; (3) the effect of a new loan following a deemed distribution of a prior loan; and (4) suspension of loan payments during a leave of absence for military service under Code §414(u)(4). The most significant change from the proposed regulations involves the elimination of any regulatory limitation on multiple loans." (SunGard Corbel)

Workers in China Failing as Business Owners
Excerpt: "Tens of thousands of state-owned businesses that once formed the backbone of the Chinese command economy -- and the foundation of Communist power -- are gradually being transferred into the hands of private individuals.... [F]rom interviews with Chinese officials and visits to nearly a dozen factories in five provinces, it appears these worker-owned businesses have encountered serious difficulties." (Washington Post)

Opinion: United Airlines Not a Good Example of Employee Ownership
Excerpt: "Was employee ownership simply a bad idea at United? Or is there a bigger lesson that workers at other companies -- especially those at the 11,000 firms in the U.S. that have ESOPs -- should take away from the airline's woes? The answer is that, despite what is happening at United, ESOPs can be a real boon to companies and their workers. But ESOPs aren't a panacea ..." (Los Angeles Times via Society for Human Resource Management)

Analysis: Use of Multiemployer Plan Assets to Pay for Amendments (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The DOL's position as articulated in [Field Assistance Bulletin 2002-2] should serve as a warning to multiemployer plan trustees that, when amending a plan, the DOL could disallow payments from plan assets for any studies and associated costs." (Milliman USA)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

2003 Annual Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Multiemployer Plans
Excerpt: "The Segal Company's 2003 Reporting & Disclosure Calendar for Multiemployer Plans summarizes compliance requirements for qualified, single employer benefit plans. To see a brief description of each requirement and information about such details as the plan(s) affected, filing requirements and due dates, click on any underlined item ..." (The Segal Company)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Senior Health Consultant/Public Sector
for Segal Company, employee benefits, human resources, compensation consulting
in OH

Newly Posted Webcasts
(Post Yours!)

Participant Loans After The Final Regulations
on December 18, 2002
presented by SunGard Corbel

Newly Posted Conferences
(Post Yours!)

Advanced Law of Pensions, Welfare Plans, and Deferred Compensation
in CA
July 7, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Basic Law of Pensions, Welfare Plans, and Deferred Compensation
in MA
June 30, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

ERISA Fiduciary Responsibility Issues Update
May 29, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Executive Compensation: Strategy, Design and Implementation
in NY
June 19, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Fundamentals of Employee Benefits Law
in LA
March 6, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Retirement, Deferred Compensation and Welfare Plans of Tax-Exempt and Governmental Employers
in DC
September 4, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Conference on Life and Health Insurance Litigation
in DC
May 1, 2003
ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

Online Class - CEBS Course 2 - Employee Benefits: Design, Administration and Other Welfare Benefits
March 10, 2003

16th Annual Cincinnati Employee Benefits Conference
in OH
June 19, 2003
Cincinnati Bar Association, U.S. Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

SunGard Corbel Introduces 1099/W-2 Outsourcing Service with Relius(tm) Government Forms
(SunGard Corbel)

Search401k Retains 100% of Provider and Adviser Group Clients in 2002
(PlanAnalytics, Inc.)

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