March 1998

Braving buyout funds

Public fund money is lining up. To get it, some partnerships are accepting stricter rules

Streamlining 5500

Tax season is upon us again, and for employers that sponsor pension plans, the burden is all the heavier because of Form 5500.

Too Much Success

High investment returns, and a quirk in their pension plan structure, have Oregon's state and local workers rushing for the early-retirement exit

Losing ground

Three years of decline in the number of defined benefit and 401(k) plans covered by collective bargaining agreements are cited in a new study

New CIO for San Diego County fund

Robert Snigaroff plans no immediate changes in the fund's venturesome asset allocation, but a new study is planned for the fourth quarter

Planning ahead

The IRS loosens the rules for plan sponsors who prefer to determine 401(k) contributions in advance for highly compensated employees

Public Servant

David Strauss Executive Director, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation

The Horror, The Horror

Form 5500, the plan sponsor's equivalent of a tax return and just as scary is being reinvented. But will the new document and processing system really be a step forward?

From too much disclosure to too little?

The 5500 redesign proposal would remove some financial information that helped an enterprising reporter to uncover a pattern of questionable investments by an IBEW pension fund

The Mortgage Store

New York City's pension funds have made a profitable business of mortgage lending for local low income housing projects. Now, competition is pushing the funds to widen their lending even further

Visual Aids

Videotapes that teach the investment basics are popping up in VCRs everywhere. But some are better than others. Here's how to tell the helpful tapes from the timewasters

Desktop investors

Almost anything plan participants want to know about their accounts is now available online, plus transaction capabilities. Increasingly, plan sponsors feel comfortable with the change

Surfing the Web in Saftey

Vanguard Institutional Investment Group administers Science Applications International Corporation's $1.8 billion defined contribution plan.

Managing Transition Costs

Plan sponsors, large and small, are growing increasingly conscious of the costs, both direct and indirect, that are associated with terminating fund managers and re-investing portfolios.

Fair Weather Friends

Catastrophe bonds are more dependent on the greenhouse effect than Greenspan

Losing the Middleman

Why the Methodists 403(b) plan insists on a manager with internal crossing capability

Clinton’s New Deal

SMART plan for small employers draws some praise, while critics attack life insurance tax

Disability Dilemma

How to keep defined contribution plans working when employees can no longer contribute

Young and mobile

Cognizant Corporation retailors its employee benefits plans for more mobile workers