No Such Thing as a Perfect Law

As they wrangled over details of US health care
reform on Capitol Hill last summer, US legislators might have
benefited from a few sidelong glances at the ERISA debate of
exactly 20 years ago.

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If At First…

Illinois' latest attempt to cure unfunded pension obligation woes looks to have the best chance of success yet. But a hefty tax increase would likely be part of...
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Mixed Reviews

Twenty years after ERISA's passage, the US private pension system is very different from what the law's framers imagined. If its central element-the defined benefit plan-is to be...
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A Legislative Draftsman’s Perspective

ERISA succeeded in accomplishing its chief objectives, says one of its authors. But times have changed, and a great debate about the future of private pension development is...
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The Employers Changing Role

The accent is on self-reliance as employers large and small are rethinking their old paternalistic role, including the firmness of their commitment to providing retirement benefits, says EBRI's...
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Preemption Taken to the Extreme

ERISA allows the states to enact laws in certain areas that are important to multi-employer plans. But these are being seriously threatened by courts that interpret ERISA's preemption...
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Hydro’s Shake-Up

Faced with a budget crunch and rising employee benefit liabilities, Ontario Hydro has turned to one of Bay Street's biggest money managers to carry out a sweeping reorganization...
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Budapest to Bay Street

A skeptic of government promises, Andrew Sarlos is now charged with preserving and extending such promises to some 18,000 Ontario public utility workers.
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A study commissioned by the big fund links workplace conditions and employment practices with stock performance. But CALPERS officials downplay the effect its findings will have on investment...
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Broader Scope of Vulture Funds

Dwindling deal supply has caused a slowdown in vulture fund launches this year. Managers are compensating by expanding the range of distressed securities that can go into new...
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Stuck on the Mezzanine

Demand for mezzanine financing is down but some investors still like them. So managers are developing novel structures to meet the demand.
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No Fear

Despite the first-quarter downturn in international markets, North American pensions are stepping up their commitments to overseas money managers this year.
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A Lesson from Down Under

Melbourne's Transport Accident Commission has been one of Australia's best performing public funds. Now its investment team can bring other funds into its orbit.
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Retro Active

A new Supreme Court decision in an ESOP case upholds Congress's right to pass retroactive tax law changes.
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Speaking in Tongues

As more non-English speakers enter the workforce, employers concerned about discrimination testing supply multilingual plan descriptions for their DC participants.
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The Age Game

CIBA's pension trust is searching diligently for derivatives strategies that will help it not only to control risk but boost yield for its youthful participants.
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High Fliers

The United Airlines buyout, while setting up an ESOP that will eventually own 55% of the company, preserves most of employees' current retirement benefits.
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Squeezing Out Overdrafts

Higher daylight overdraft penalties are changing the way your bond brokers operate in the repo market. By encouraging tri-party repos, they hope to minimize the impact.
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Navigating the Tax Reclaim Jungle

A well-defined tax reclaim strategy can mean significant savings for large international investors. But in most markets, the process is not easy.
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Tax Recovery in Europe

Conditions in a selection of large markets. From BDG Management Consulting's survey of income withholding tax regimes in European markets.