Washington Conversation: Reps. Portman and Cardin, Part 2

In a legislative session frequently marred by partisan bickering, the need for dramatic pension reform drew an astounding level of bipartisan support in 2000 - only to run out of time. So, it's no surprise that it has managed to return with no apparent loss of momentum, thanks largely to the informed and enthusiastic support of two key individuals from each side of the aisle.

IRS Rules on Stock Ownership in Rabbi Trust

October 6, 2000 ( - The Internal Revenue Service says that a parent company's contribution of stock to subsidiary in a so-called rabbi trust has not changed hands until it has actually been used to satisfy claims of the subsidiary, either to participant/beneficiaries or creditors of the subsidiary, as long as certain conditions are satisfied.

IRS Issues Proposed Comparability Regs

October 6, 2000 ( - The Internal Revenue Service has issued proposed regulations that new comparability plans must satisfy to use the cross-testing method in meeting nondiscrimination requirements.

DIFFERENT STROKES? – Senate Version of Retirement Bill Differs From House

September 5, 2000 ( - There are some noticeable differences between the House and Senate versions of the pending retirement savings legislation that impact plan sponsors, including a new type 401(k) plan, expanded catch-up savings provisions for older workers and a ban on wearaway provisions in cash balance plan conversions.

"Missing" Participants Reunite with $10 Million

October 4, 2000 ( - Nearly five thousand pensioners have been reconnected with their "missing" pensions totaling some $10 million during the past year, thanks to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation's (PBGC) Pension Search Directory.

Retirement Assets Might Escape Creditor Clutches

May 3, 2000 ( - Retirement plan balances may escape creditor clutches, after all. A controversial pension plan waiver provision will be removed from the pending bankruptcy reform bill, according to aides of Senators Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.). The provision would have allowed individuals to waive the current exemption that protects retirement plan assets from creditors, either while in bankruptcy, or as part of a loan agreement.

GAO To Recommend Cash Balance Hiatus

October 2, 2000 ( - The General Accounting Office (GAO) is expected to issue a report urging the Internal Revenue Service to stop approving cash balance plans until their impact on retirement benefits can be determined.

PBGC Simplifies Premium Regs

December 1, 2000 ( - The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has announced changes to its premium regulations to make things easier for sponsors of defined benefit pension plans.

Pension Reform Vote Postponed – Again

November 1, 2000 ( - The Senate has once again put off a floor vote on HR 2614, the tax bill that contains pension reform legislation and several health care provisions.

Pension Reform On Hold

November 1, 2000 ( - It looks like Congress is going to wait until after the election to deal with pension reform, following the Senate's passage of a short-term spending bill.