Does Your Plan Measure Up?
According to the 44th annual survey conducted by the Profit-Sharing/401(k) Council of America, average retirement fund participant contributions were $3,806 in 2000. Average company contributions totaled 5 percent of ...

Pension Plans Face Tougher Times as Funding Levels Dip
Pension funds have been overfunded for years, but it looks like the contribution holiday could be ending for a majority of employers, especially those in the airline or financial industries. ...

DB Pensions Garner New Respect as DC Plans Falter
As corporate scandals and falling stocks have caused 401(k) balances to decline, they have also increased the allure of defined benefit (DB) pension plans. Despite the known risks involved ...

The Long View
With the average age for buyers of long-term care insurance now 60 or under, coverage is no longer exclusively for the elderly. Given the changes in the long-term care ...

Running the Odds
Increasingly, online retirement income calculators are abandoning "deterministic gap analysis" as a way to provide a comprehensive range of retirement income probabilities for 401(k) participants. Instead, Monte Carlo simulation ...

Pension Pangs
Some large companies have been inflating earnings by making unsupported assumptions about their pension fund returns, this article says. Pension accounting is complicated, and Financial Accounting Standards Board Chairman ...

Credibility GAAP
Last Tuesday, AICPA's Auditing Standards Board approvedstandards for auditors to sign off on "pro forma" financial numbers, or numbers that are not computed under generally accepted accounting standards (GAAP). ...

Funding Fun House
After three years of declining stock markets following thebull market of the 1990s, many large companies are finding they willhave to contribute to their underfunded pension funds. Companiescurrently experiencing pension ...

Public Feuding at Pension Fund
For the past two years the members of the board of the California Public Employees' Retirement System, or Calpers, have been battling one another, thereby tarnishing the reputation of the ...

Schwab Books First Net Loss in 14 Years
Charles Schwab Corp. posted the company's first net loss in 14 years following a tough fourth quarter that was marked with a steep fall-off in customer stock trading and massive ...

Pensions Liabilities Cut Room for Manoeuvre
Pension liabilities are beginning to affect the flexibility of companies, as ratings agencies continue to downgrade those with huge pension deficits. Standard & Poor's (S&P) and other ratings agencies ...

Benefit Plan Risks Need Managing, Too
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 is a set of process-oriented regulations that companies need to follow implicitly from decision-making to what decisions have been made and why. ...

Insured Returns
By financing their premiums with a loan to an insurance trust, policyholders can avoid hefty estate taxes and ensure that their beneficiaries' inheritance stays intact. Insurance policies that have ...

Advisers Court the Mega-Rich Investor
The super-rich are being wooed by Wall Street advisers who want tohelp them manage their millions. Today's market is brimming withmultimillionaires, but more specifically an emerging group known as"Pentamillionaires," ...

Easy 4-Step Plan to Calculate ROI Self-Service Benefits
Anna Carsen, senior director of HR product marketing atADP Employer Services, offers an easy three-step approach to calculating ROI analysis for a self-service application. Step one involves estimating current ...

Estate and Personal Financial Planning
According to AICPA, about 66,000 CPAs are now, or are in the process of becoming, registered investment advisers. There is currently a trend in which CPAs are moving from ...

Possible Professional Internet Domain: YourName.cpa.pro?
A proposal has been floated to allow Internet domain names ending in ".pro" for accredited professionals and their companies and associations. For example, a CPA's domain could end in ...

LOMA: Financial Firms Need Better Customer Relations
LOMA released a report indicating that financial institutions fail to keep up with customer service needs and expectations, which could cost them an estimated $700 million annually. About 55 ...

After Court Ruling, Calm Urged on Cash Balance Plans
Despite a recent ruling that IBM's cash balance plan conversion violated the U.S. Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), many pension and employee benefit specialists are urging employers to maintain ...

NPC Creates Accountants Financial Planning Program
The National Planning Corp. (NPC) has created the NPC Partners' Alliance (NPCPA), a new division that will concentrate on the accounting/financial planning market. Scott Grayson, the leader of NPCPA, ...

Skittish Sponsors Reconsider Plan Blackouts
In light of the Enron debacle, employers nationwide are re-examining the routine operations and policies of their 401(k) retirement plans. There are no current statutes governing how much notice ...

NASD Weighs in on Analysts' Conflicts
The National Association of Securities Dealers (NSAD) hasproposed that Wall Street analysts more prominently disclose ownershipin companies they cover, including making such disclosures during TVinterviews and other public appearances. ...

2000 Is Worst Year Ever for Liabilities Outpacing Assets
According to Ryan Labs, pension fund asset growth was 26percent behind liability growth through Dec. 13, 2000. This negativeasset-to-liability ratio erases the 26 percent increase in asset growthover liability ...

New Financial Services Education Organization
The American College and LUTC plan to combine bothorganizations into an educational organization that will serve thefinancial services industry. The plan will combine LUTC's lifeinsurance sales training expertise with ...

Survey: Americans Hate Talking About Estates
A new survey sponsored by Zurich Scudder Investments indicates that U.S. consumers have difficulty discussing estate planning with their children and other heirs. According to the survey, 72 percent ...

Web Unites Accountants
The International Federation of Accountants is offeringinformation and discussion forums on the Web for its 153 professional organizations worldwide. The site is located at ...

Employer Throws Retirement Party to Boost 401(k) Participation
Few employers attempt to provide their Hispanic employees with the education they need to make informed decisions about their retirement benefits, says Carla Martinez, president of Buenfutoro, a Hispanic retirement ...

401(k) Plan Options Trend Higher
The Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America's annual survey indicated that 69.8 percent of plans offered participants 10 or more fund choices in 2001, which is up from only 51.2 percent ...

Deficit Grows at Agency That Backs Pensions
The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) has reached a deficit of approximately $5.4 billion in the last six months, but says it will have no problem supporting retirees. Only ...

Pension Bill May Benefit Employees--Maybe Employers Too
The Pension Preservation and Savings Expansion Act of 2003 will cost taxpayers about $100 billion or more, but would allow employees to contribute more to their retirement plans in 2004, ...

Market for 401(k) Rollovers Eludes Funds
As people change jobs more frequently, or lose them or retire,mutual-fund companies risk losing their accumulated 401(k) assets fromthe plans they have managed since the 1990s. Many employees roll ...

Online Billing: Savings Oversold?
While all in the electronic bill presentment and payment (EBPP) business have yet to see a profit, none are doubting that they will. Analysts believe that by 2005, EBPP-related ...

New Way to Learn Odds in Financial Planning
The Monte Carlo financial planning tool aims to take the guessworkout of long-term planning. While most financial planners would agree withthe old adage that long-term financial planning is a ...

In Brief: With Affluent, Returns Trump Relationships
A recent Fidelity Investments survey indicated that high-net-worth investors are choosing to retain advisors based on portfolio performance rather than based on their relationship with them. Almost all of ...

Updated Study Aids
Dearborn has updated test materials for the Series 24examination in anticipation of coming changes to the NationalAssociation of Securities Dealers examination. The company's newPASSTRAK Premier Set, which includes an ...

Community Banks Mark Second Year Profitability
The booming economy of the late 1990s has brought community banks back to life from the recession of the early 1990s, including two banks started in mid-1998 in the Washington,D.C., ...

Maximising the Benefits
A new best practice benchmarking study from HackettBenchmarking & Research indicates that while most finance executivesbelieve that shared services are a best practice, only 48 percent ofcompanies have implemented them. ...

Employment Benefits and Divorce
Baby boomers have billions of dollars invested in employee benefit plans, thus dividing those assets in the event of a divorce can prove complicated. There are several rules CPAs ...

401(k) 'Bottoming-Up' Under IRS Scrutiny
The IRS is reviewing a technique known as "bottoming-up," in which higher-paid employees contribute more to their 401(k) plans and still have the plans pass discrimination tests. Only a ...

Employee Benefits
In line with annual changes in the factors the Social Security Administration uses to calculate benefits and payroll taxes, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. is raising to $3,579.55 per month ...

Firms Had a Hand in Pension Plight They Now Bemoan
While companies complain that pension costs rose too fast, many experts believe that strategic decisions made by executives to cut costs or boost earnings are to blame. In fact, ...

Buy? Sell? 401(k) Help Gets Specific
Following the approval last year by the Labor Department of American International Group unit Sun America's plan to make retirement advice generated by a third party firm available to retirees, ...

Profiting From Retirement Planning
Investment advisors can capitalize on the current retirementplanning trend if they offer comprehensive, easy-to-understand financialplans. Financial planners can accomplish this by providing information,service, assistance and advice in the following ...

A Society's Site
The National Society of Accountants (NSA) site, www.nsacct.org, has a search engine for finding local NSA memberswho are qualified professional accountants, tax preparers, and financial planners. The site also ...

Plan Sponsors: Is Your Retirement House in Order?
Retirement plan sponsors should be making sure their "retirement house" is in order as their organizations come under more questions from internal and external stakeholders during tough times of underfunded ...

Advisers Court the Mega-Rich Investor
The super-rich are being wooed by Wall Street advisers who want tohelp them manage their millions. Today's market is brimming withmultimillionaires, but more specifically an emerging group known as"Pentamillionaires," ...

How to Pay Advisors
The Securities and Exchange Commission requires fulcrum fees to be equal, meaning that advisors receive or be penalized the same percentage depending on how mutual funds perform. The number ...

Moving Assets Between Managers Costs Funds $21 Billion
According to a study conducted by Frank Russell Co., portfolio transition management services have cost pension funds about $21 billion more than expected by analysts in 1998, which means that ...

Companies May Save Billions With Passage of Pension Reform=20
Congressional lawmakers are working on providing companieswith help funding their pensions, many of which have been leftunderfunded. Legislation that could soon be approved by the Senatewould allow companies to ...

30-to-45 Bracket Proving Hard to Reach for Banks
Banks must use alternative selling tactics to persuade young professionals to buy insurance products from them, according to Gary Warden, vice president of financial institutions marketing at CGU Life. ...

'Wealth Management' Could Seal Fate of Companies, Not Just
Wealth management may determine the fortunes of financialservices companies and not just the wealthy clients they serve. Theargument is that the sum of financial services businesses is preferableto individual ...

Life Executives Expect Global Changes
A new survey of life insurance executives by ACLI indicates that the world's life insurance industry could be changed over the next 10 years by the International Accounting Standards Commission, ...

SunTrust, Nationwide Join to Offer Small-Biz 401(k)
SunTrust Banks and Nationwide Financial Services have joined forces to develop, market, and service retirement plans for SunTrust's small and midsize commercial clients. Under the tie-up, SunTrust Bank's proprietary ...

ICI: Traditional IRA Holders Own More Annuities
A new report by the Investment Company Institute shows that those who own traditional individual retirement accounts are more likely to own whole life insurance policies and annuities than those ...

Bending the Rules
Plan trustees and service providers were thrust into a financial and record-keeping nightmare after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, and according to ACLI chief counsel for securities Carl Wilkerson, some ...

Banks Toy Around With Burgeoning Kids Market
In the past, banks have typically ignored the youth market. However, with the continuing advancement of online banking and marketing this may be changing. In the eyes of ...

Are Pension Fund Status Assumptions Consistent?
Three professors at Western Michigan University conducted a study of the relationship between pension plan assumptions and the funding status of a pension plan. The study revealed that defined ...

Financial Planning for Employees Post-Enron
The Enron disaster may be the event that leads to defined contribution pension reform. In a post-Enron world, employers could emphasize the importance of employee financial planning by viewing ...

Funds Turmoil Push Due Diligence by Plan Sponsors
Fallout from the mutual fund scandal proves that retirementplan sponsors cannot afford to abandon the practice of due diligencewhen deciding whether to eliminate funds from their 401(k) portfolio. Although daily ...

The Promise of Web-Powered 401(k) Plans
Electronic 401(k)s have been launched. For participatingemployees, this means a wider selection of investments and access toonline personal financial analysis and advice at affordable prices.Employer plan sponsors can take ...

NASD Fines 10 Companies for Violations
The brokerage units of Goldman Sachs Group, Merrill Lynch, andDeutsche Bank are among 10 firms agreeing to pay a total of $473,000 tosettle charges that they violated rules involving pre-trading ...

Women, Men Differ in Approaches to 401(k) Investing
Results from a survey conducted by the Melior Group for Northern Trust Retirement Consulting shows a marked difference in how men and women manage their 401(k) accounts. Research indicates ...

Who's the Average Annuity Owner?
According to a new Gallup poll released by the Committee of Annuity Insurers, the profile of a typical non-qualified annuity-holder looks like this: a 65-year-old, married, retired female with an ...

Privacy Notices Only Opening Act in Firms' Legal Duties
Privacy notices are only the beginning for financialinstitutions ordered to comply with new privacy laws. Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) requires financial services companies to issueprivacy notices to their customers allowing them to ...

Advisers Shift to Retirement Income Planning
Financial advisers say professionals need to redirect their clients' focus from solely wealth accumulation to a focus that combines income planning and management strategies with continued accumulation. As more ...

CPA-Client Confidentiality, the New Federal
Under the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Restructuring and Reform Act of 1998, taxpayers are accorded a privilege regarding written and verbal tax advice from a CPA, attorney, enrolled agents, and ...

The Cost of Constraint
A recent study concedes that while rules governing pension funds are necessary, constraints that are overly stringent can also be detrimental. In the report titled, "Portfolio Constraints and the ...

Auto Industry Faces $30 Billion Pension Gap, Fitch Says
Fitch Ratings announced that auto-related companies, including General Motors, Ford Motor, Goodyear Tire and Rubber, and Cummins, could face $30 billion in underfunded pensions, compared to just $13.9 billion in ...

Defined Contribution Plan Providers Hurt by Dwindling Fees
The costs of defined contribution plans have dipped 30 percent since Sept. 11, says a recent study by Boston Research Group, and while plan sponsors benefit from lower costs, service ...

30-Day Notice of 401(k) Blackouts Required
The Labor Department has released a new regulation requiring businesses to issue notices of 401(k) blackout periods 30 days before the period begins. Employers and plan administrators are required ...

IRS Preps Desktops for Smoother Transitions
In an effort to standardize its 130,000 desktop computers, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is replacing its outdated 486 environment with desktops that will be configured with a minimum 166 ...

N.A.S.D. Criminal Unit's Activities Face Legal Challenge
Three years ago, the National Association of SecuritiesDealers (NASD) set up a unit to help federal prosecutors with criminalsecurities fraud cases. Today, however, this little-known criminal unitis the one ...

PWBA: Benefit Plans Can Sell Life Policies to Trusts
The Pension Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) is expanding on earlier amendments that allow benefit plans to sell life policies and annuities to participants and other parties. In an amendment ...

Estate-Tax Reform Adds to Financial Planning Confusion, Experts
Wealth management firms and their clients must learn toquickly adapt to the regulatory and market changes taking place inestate planning if they expect to survive, warns estate planningattorneys Robert A. ...

On the Radar: Wealthy Investors
The goal of many financial institutions is to attract wealthyinvestors, and new federal rules are enabling smaller banks and thriftsto directly purchase investment firms. For example, Great AmericanFederal Savings ...

The Treasury Will Turn Up the Heat on Corporate Tax
Changes are being drafted for a proposal to create new professional standards for lawyers, accountants, and other tax specialists authorized to practice before the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Jonathan ...

Estate Tax Chaos Lingers
Estate planning professionals say they expect to cash in onthe estate tax issue. Lincoln Financial Distributors President WestleyThompson says since President Bush's tax plan was signed into law,requests for ...

Some Cash-Balance Pension Plans Leave Workers Underpaid
A recent report by the Department of Labor found that some cash-balance pension plans cheated workers, but neither Labor nor the Internal Revenue Service and Treasury Department can decide who ...

O Death, Where Is Thy Sting?
With just a small amount of planning, a family businesscan easily be protected from the ravages of estate taxes. According to a recent poll, only 14 percent of small ...

401(k) Participants Clamor for Help as Stocks Continue Dropping
Although the volatile stock market, increased risk, and decreasing investment returns warrant more 401(k) participant education from employers, fear of legal liability is stopping some employers from offering such financial ...

Investment Management: 8 Steps to Improve Performance
Companies can improve their prospects for investment success in their defined-benefit plans with help from an investment process that is based on established economic practices. The first thing companies ...

Judge Faults Pension Plan Payout Calculation
In the Western District of Michigan, U.S. District Court JudgeRichard Alan Enslen has ruled that Bowater Inc. cannot includecalculations on life expectancy in determining the lump-sum payouts fromthe company's cash ...

Surplus? What Surplus?
A new report by Ryan Labs finds that pension fund liabilities outperformed pension assets by 45 percent between December 1999 and September 2001. According to the report, for the ...

Sophisticated Sales With the Old-Fashioned Touch
Financial advisor Patrick J. Kenney of Wilcox Financialrecommends that planners return to the "old-fashioned" planning strategyof getting to know your client when dealing with employer-sponsoredretirement plans. At the heart ...

Pension Pain
Between 2000 and 2002, the assets of U.S. corporate and public pension funds and endowment funds fell in value by over $1 trillion, according to Greenwich Associates, which also notes ...

Pressure on SEC to Delay New Rule
The National Investors Relations Institute and the Securities Industry Association have petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission to delay the starting date of the new Regulation Fair Disclosure rule. ...

Survey Says: 96 Percent of Accountants Have Internet
According to the CCH Accountants on the Internet 2000 poll, conducted by Harris Interactive, accountants use the Internet for a variety of reasons, including checking and sendingemail, performing professional research, ...

Sowing the Seeds for Long-Term Care Insurance
Experts say the launch of the federal government's new long-term care insurance program for federal employees and retirees could provide a boost for the private long-term care insurance market, and ...

Pension Income Belongs Only in Pensions
The new corporate-earnings guidelines issued by Standard & Poor's include stipulations that stock options be counted as expenses and that pension income not be included in core earnings--the latter stipulation ...

Making the Case for Annuity Income
This article discusses ACLI's "Profile of Immediate Annuity Owners," which was based on a November-December 2002 phone survey of 460 immediate annuity owners. According to the survey, 72 percent ...

The War on Financial Illiteracy
Employees' 401(k) plans are overrun by company stock, but companies have been reluctant to offer investment advice, fearing retaliation for stock market losses. However, the recent buzz about employee ...

Survey: Tax Advisors Still Selling Variable Annuities
When finding life insurance and annuities for clients, independent tax advisors work with many different insurance companies, according to Tiburon Strategic Advisors, Tiburon, Calif. After analyzing 500 user surveys, ...

Do Retirement Jitters Have Silver Lining for Providers?
The recent decline in workers' confidence regarding retirementsavings could be good news for the 401(k) business. The 2001 RetirementConfidence Survey, compiled by Mathew Greenwald & Associates and by theEmployee ...

Agents: Sell LTC Policies to Women
Carroll Busher of Financial Care Services advises agents tosell more long-term care (LTC) insurance policies to women. From astatistical standpoint, targeting women for LTC coverage makes moresense. Busher ...

Industry Debates Wooing the 'Mass Affluent'
Wealth managers at advisory firms, banks, and brokerages, in the face of the slowing market, are beginning to wonder whether cultivating the "mass affluent" is worth the effort, since they ...

Casting for Returns
Plan sponsors with underperforming portfolios are using alternative investments to rejuvenate their pension monies. Falling interest rates and slumping equity markets have wreaked havoc on pension plans. Credit ...

Survey: Women Business Owners Lag in Estate Planning
Women who own family-run businesses need more succession planning advice than their male colleagues, according to a recent survey by Babson College. While 71 percent of men understand their ...

401(k) Investors Want More Advice
Results from a new poll show that most 401(k) participants want their employers to supply more investment advice. According to a survey that was commissioned by Cigna Retirement and ...

A Break for Web-Based Financial Advisers?
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has proposed new rules that would allow Web-based financial advisers to register only with the commission to fulfill regulatory requirements, rather than having to ...

N.Y. Society Voices Opposition to Proposed Audit
The accounting industry, which is protesting tougher rules by the Securities and Exchange Commission regarding auditorindependence, has gained the support of the New York State Society of CPAs concerning the ...

Ticking Bomb
According to Fitch Ratings, the shortfall of America's pension funds will equal $30 billion in the car manufacturing industry sector, and Standard & Poor's estimates that pension funds across all ...

Rebalancing Pension Funds With Stock
Many pension funds have been buying stocks during the recent market downturn, trying to strengthen their equity portfolios to meet their long-term investment policy levels through portfolio rebalancing. Some ...

Corporate Pension Plans: How Consistent are the Assumptions?
Noting that accounting for pension plan obligations requires companies to make certain assumptions about discount rates, future salary increases, and long-term return on assets, the authors of this article examined ...

The Party's Over; Why Plan Like It's 1999?
Critics complain that investment return assumptions andinterest rate assumptions are outdated and that pension plan sponsors need to update them to reflect current conditions. Stephen Church, president of Piscataqua ...

Retirement Fund Survey Shows Surprising Result
Mercer's 2001 Survey on Employee Savings Plans shows plan sponsors that offer both defined benefit and defined contribution plans fare better among employees than companies that offer only a defined ...

Breaking Up (Pension-Fund Assets) Is Hard to Do
Qualified domestic relations orders (QDRO) are the best way divorcing couples can divide their retirement savings and avoid early withdrawal penalties, according to this article. QDRO apply to 401(k)s ...

Aligning Your Retirement Program With Today's Workforce Realities
Believing that plan sponsors should amend their plans to reflect the changing realities of today's marketplace, Ian Glew, senior vice president of Plan Sponsors Solutions for CIGNA Retirement & Investment ...

Know Thy Core Constituency
While measuring the performance of the investor relations function has never been an easy task, research companies that specialize in conducting surveys among investor and analyst constituencies can advise companies ...

Risk Gets Riskier
For nearly 40 years, investors have relied on the Sharpe ratio to give them an indication of how much of their investment they can expect back for every unit of ...

Financial Professionals Find What They Need Online
According to new findings by the Association for Financial Professionals, 73 percent of financial and treasury experts follow news related to their profession on the Internet. Additionally, "The Internet and ...

Tiburon Puts Up Free Rep Benchmarking Site
California-based Tiburon Strategic Advisors has unveiled a free Web site, www.independentrepbestpractices.com, for use by independent financial representatives looking to compare their performance with other reps. Tiburon and SunAmerica Financial ...

How Tax Law Changes Can Mean More Annuity Sales
With every change in the tax law, there is greater opportunity for producers to sell annuities, writes Bill Berg for Life Insurance Selling magazine. Much of this is due ...

Prospecting for Niches
Accounting firms are focusing on providing advisory servicesin particular disciplines--from process reengineering to investmentadvice. Practical Accountant magazine says that most firms developexpertise in a discipline and then concentrate on ...

Study: Boomer and Gen X Priorities Shifting
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America released the results of two surveys--one conducted in August 2001 and the other conducted in early January 2002--that indicated what priorities Americans have ...

Investment Slump Hits Pension Plan Sponsors
A new survey by Deloitte & Touche shows that companies will have to pay out more in 2003 to compensate for the losses they sustained in traditional defined-benefit pension plans. ...

IRS Posts GUST Retirement Plan Filing Tips
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released a special newsletter edition of its Employee Plans News, intended for sponsors of GUST-affected retirement plans. The newsletter offers procedures for complying ...

Retirement Savings: Comparing Men & Women in Their Forties
M. Kabir Hassan and Shari Lawrence examine the similarities and differences in the retirement planning habits of men and women in their forties in the August issue of the Journal ...

Pension Bill Cuts Amounts Put Aside for Union Workers
Statistics indicate that blue-collar workers tend to live shorter lives than other citizens, and a bill pending in the House would therefore let businesses with union workers cut their pension ...

Schwab's New Tool Sifts Money Managers on Web
Schwab Institutional will release its Money Manager Analysis and Proposal System (MMAPS) next month to help independent investment advisors weed through the wealth of money managers and products available today. ...

TIPS for 401(k) Plans
Lawmakers in the House and Senate should include treasury inflation-protected securities (TIPS) in their pension reform plans, according to a commentary in Pensions & Investments magazine. Although the ...

Financial Firms Targeting the Rich Need Brick-and-Click Combo
A new study by Forrester Research indicates that companiesseeking to attract affluent investors should integrate their offline andonline offerings, among other steps. According to the study, consumerswith investable assets ...

House Panelists Pan Analyst Self-Regulation Plan
Equity analysts testifying before the House Financial Servicescapital markets panel Thursday presented their case as to why analystsshould not be held accountable when investors act independently of themand make their ...

Accountants Trying to Expand Beyond Bean-Counting Biz
CPA firms are expanding their service territory to include theretail financial services marketplace. The trend comes three yearsafter the Uniform Accountancy Act was revised. The law freed CPAs toaccept ...

Profit-Hungry Companies Take Ax to 401(k) Matches
Several companies are eliminating or slashing their 401(k) employer match in an effort to save money. General Motors, for example, is cutting its company contribution to 60 cents from ...

Life Insurance in Retirement Planning
There is a considerable amount of commotion in the financial planning community as planners search for the best way to communicate to the consumer about how they are compensated. ...

Manager Searches Down for Year
A survey conducted by 401kExchange discovered that 11.7 percent of plan sponsors expect to change service providers in 2001, which decreased from the 13 percent that planned to change providers ...

Swap-Based Structures Under Rule 2a-7 Under the 1940 Act
Money funds sometimes have trouble finding enough investment products, due to changes in the interest rate environment, and the Investment Company Act of 1940's Rule 2a-7, among other things. ...

The 'Crisis' in Pension Plans May Not Be a Crisis After All
Media reports about failing and underfunded pension plans coupled with recent corporate scandals have frightened manyinvestors into seeking out more information about how pension plans affect companies' bottom lines. ...

Qualifying for Mortgage Late in Life
Many seniors believe that age or retirement present obstacles for obtaining home loans. While they may have been true once, lenders' mentalities are changing. Smaller lenders may still ...

Market Timers Target Annuities
Some market timers are suing when the insurance companies that sell the variable annuities that the timers are targeting try to stop them, but representatives of the mutual fund and ...

The Overlooked Seniors Market: Loaded and Looking for Investment
In his new book entitled, "Marketing Financial Services toSeniors," financial planning expert Larry Klein takes a look at theemerging seniors market and offers useful strategies for investmentadvisers. "Marketing Financial ...

House Passes Bill to Loosen 401(k) Rules
In a 271 to 157 vote, the House has passed a bill that would allow financial services companies to provide 401(k) plan participants with investment advice, give plan participants the ...

Pension Accounting Rules Led to Overvalued Stock, Fed Says
A Federal Reserve Board study casts a negative light on the Financial Accounting Standards Board's (FASB) rules for pension accounting, which it claims led to the systematic overvaluation of stock. ...

To Convert or Not to Convert
Cash balance pension plans have become increasingly popular, especially among younger workers who do not intend to remain at the same job throughout their careers. Companies seeking to convert ...

Retirees Score Hits Battling Executive Perks
While retirees have long fought executives to retain their own medical and pension benefits, many are now fighting to reduce executives' compensation pay and benefits. Retirees are protesting, initiating ...

Employers Can Create Do-It-Yourself 401(k) Plans
The Internet can reduce employers' costs in creating and administering a 401(k) plan, but the complexity of pension laws means that a professional pension consultant may still be necessary. ...

Senate Passes a Bill to Cover Pension Plans
It is unclear whether the Bush administration will supportpension legislation recently approved by the Senate that would have tobe reconciled with two similar House measures before it could becomelaw. ...

Benefits Experts Rebut Report Hitting Cash Balance Payouts
The Labor Department Office of the Inspector General's report on cash balance pension plans took several hits from benefits consultants, who claim that the findings are biased. According to ...

Article Abstracts for /news/prof
Principles of Engagement Teaches Agents Service, Not Selling
The "Principles of Engagement" course aims to strengthen the agent/client relationship by teaching insurance agents to place service before selling. Lou Cassara, president of the Cassara Clinic, founded the ...

Regulators May Drop Plan to Limit Auditors' Work
The accounting industry could be on the verge of a victory in its hard fought battle against the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), because the commission may possibly back off ...

Lawyers and Accountants Expect Windfall From Estate Tax Repeal
New estate tax laws are expected to drum up more business forattorneys and accountants of wealthy Americans. Accounting experts andlawyers say people with a net worth of $500,000 or ...

Assets of Top 200 U.S. Pension Funds Sink 14 Percent
Results from Pensions & Investments magazine's annual survey finds a continued decline in the assets of the nation's biggest retirement plans. According to the survey, assets of 200 of ...

Can DC and DB Plans Offer Actuarial Fairness? Absolutely!
According to the federal government, the number of defined benefit plans has declined significantly as the number of defined contribution plans has increased, causing many retirees to have less money ...

Tax Research Takes Hold of the Web
The Internet is becoming a hotbed for new online tax research products that let firms do away with CD-ROM tools, whichtake up space and become quickly outdated, and allow firms ...

Life's Trade-Ins
Financial experts say people should look into a 1035 exchange before they dump an underperforming variable life insurance policy. Experts like insurance consultant Glenn Daily say converting a Section ...

Life Insurer Woe Seen; P/C Firms Wield Pricing Power
According to Morgan Stanley analyst Alice D. Schroeder, the property and casualty insurance market is not expected to soften in the near future despite indications that some personal lines prices ...

Suddenly Wealthy Require Special Skills
As individuals are finding themselves with large sums of money from inheritances and huge stock market gains, financialplanners must serve this fast-growing market with customizable plans that allow for successful ...

Pension Roulette: Have You Bet Too Much on Equities?
When it comes to maintaining pension portfolios, companies would do better investing in bonds rather than stocks. Many companies prefer to fill their pension funds with stocks instead of bonds ...

Companies Pass the Buck on Benefits
According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, workers already pay for about 27 percent of their health insurance, and companies are being forced to decrease labor costs further through other benefit ...

Planners Need to Plan for Disaster
As the data handled by CPAs widens to include client investment data and financial plans, it is important for them to implement some sort of backup system to guard against ...

Doubt on 401(k)s Seen as Opening to Cross-Sell
Since many Americans feel unprepared for retirement with just their 401(k) plans, many banks are devising ways to cross-sell their retirement savings products to 401(k) participants. According to a ...

Firms Changing How They Match Pension Funds
Continued class-action litigation against companies that offer to match employees' 401(k) plan contributions with company stock may prompt companies to reduce their matching contributions or stop offering company stock altogether. ...

Joint Trustees for DC Plans--Then What?
Democrats' proposals for solving the problem pointed up by the Enron 401(k) losses include requiring a joint board of trustees for defined contribution (DC) plans, in which the board would ...

NUCO Releases CD-ROM of Estate Planning Course
The National Underwriter Co. is now offering a CD-ROM course titled "Estate Planning" as part of its e-Learning Courseware. The CD-ROM incorporates recent tax-relief legislation and covers such topics ...

Taking an Interest
According to recent figures by the U.S. Department of Labor, 32 percent of Hispanics in the work force in 1995, compared to 51 percent of whites, and 44 percent of ...

The Pros and Cons of Equity Indexed Annuities
Equity indexed annuities (EIAs) are very popular in the investment marketplace, particularly with conservative investors, according to this article. EIAs offer a minimum guaranteed interest rate and the possibility ...

Pension Funds Pinched, Stirring Calls for Reform
Whether poor planning or the fall of the stock market has caused pension shortfalls, over 300 companies in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index have traditional pension plans that are ...

Pension Fund Adopts Conflict Policy
The $137 billion California Public Employees' Retirement System is adopting policies aimed at ending conflicts of interest by Wall Street investment bankers and money managers. The new measures, which ...

Supporting 401(k) Bill
The ACLI strongly supports the Retirement Security Advice Act, introduced by Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio). While Boehner himself admits that his bill is not perfect, its shortcomings are heavily ...

Analysts: 401(k) Providers Must Appeal to Participants
A new report by Lehman Brothers reveals that life insurers looking to increase 401(k) plan services profits will have to look to "assets under management." According to figures from ...

Clients for Life: How Great Professionals Develop
The new book, "Clients for Life: How Great Professionals Develop Breakthrough Relationships" by Jagdish Sheth and Andrew Sobel, identifies seven characteristics needed if a professional wants to develop from an ...

Some Sure-Fire Ways to Find More Retirement Plan Prospects
Catherine N.H. Lewis, principal and marketing consultant atBenefit Services, offers eight methods guaranteed to produce moreretirement plan business. First, Lewis says, planners should pursuebusinesses that are growing and changing. ...

Delta to Overhaul Pension Plan
Delta Air Lines announced that it would phase in a cash-balance pension plan over the next seven years for current employees, and those who are hired after June 30, 2003, ...

NAPFA
The Grand Marriott in Point Clear, Ala., will host theNational Association of Personal Financial Advisors' (NAPFA)presentation of "Advanced Planners Conference, Report From the Future:What Will Yours Look Like?" This ...

IBM Memos Show Awareness of Pension Moves
Certain email memos from benefits consultants to IBM human-resources executives were exhibits in a recently decided court case, in which the judge ruled that IBM had discriminated against older workers ...

Consultants Face the Lure of a Listing
In the wake of the decision by an international arbitrator that will allow Andersen Consulting to separate from Arthur Andersen, the path is cleared for the consultants to list their ...

Future of Financial Services Not Much Different: LIMRA
Speaking at LIMRA International's recent annual meeting, a panel of experts speculated that only gradual changes will occur in the financial services market by 2010. According to the panel, ...

Only 9 Percent of Large Pension Plans Didn't Rebalance Last Year
Rebalancing was commonplace among large pension plans last year, according to Greenwich Associates. A new survey by the consulting firm reveals that 91 percent of pension plans with more ...

Outliving Assets Problem Looms
With the anticipated age of death for healthy persons lengthening every year, more Americans are turning away from traditional defined benefits plans, to their detriment, some observers say. Anna ...

Mutual Fund Scandal Prompts Scrutiny of 401(k) Practices
Sponsors of 401(k) plans are watching to see the outcome ofthe mutual fund scandal, as curiosity over their own fiduciary liabilitygives way to concern. Many companies that do business ...

Employee Benefits: A Perilous Chopping Block
Legally, unless the benefit has already been accrued, businesses can terminate retirement plans or health benefits--but in doing so could lose employees. An automotive supplier, DCT Inc., filed for ...

No More Free Rides for Pension Plan Managers
Corporate pension plans are starting to see their "free ride" of not having to fund their plans for years come to an end. Investment gains alone may no longer ...

FASB Cash-Balance Pension Change Could Hit Earnings
According to Watson Wyatt benefits consulting global director Eric Lofgren, the cash-balance pension changes recently proposed by the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) could hurt fourth quarter earnings at companies ...

Proposal May Aid Pension Sponsors
The ERISA Industry Committee has gone to Capitol Hill to submit a proposal they say would lower the contribution amount employers pay to pension plans. The centerpiece of the ...

Financial Pros Joining Forces to Offer Clients One-Stop Shopping
Financial services professionals are expanding theirbusinesses and forming strategic alliances with complementarypractitioners in an effort to create one-stop shopping. CPAs aremoving, quietly, into the financial planning market, and they ...

Bond Yield Hits Plans
ACLI is among a group of trade organizations that have warned lawmakers that the dip in T-bond rates will have an adverse impact on defined benefit pension plans. Eight ...

Pension Fund Time Bomb Makes the US Go Grey
The combination of low interest rates, weak equities, and an aging population has left defined benefit pension plans at U.S. companies severely underfunded. According to the Pension Benefit Guaranty ...

Retirement Planning Aid Falls Short of Demands
According to a recent study by Boston Research Group, 1,700 401(k) plan sponsors gave their provider good marks for such items as participant statements, recordkeeping, and call center support. ...

Back to Basics
According to ACLI, about five to seven times an annual salary represents adequate life insurance coverage, but experts note that employees are largely unaware of what constitutes appropriate life insurance ...

Consider Enrolled Agents
Enrolled agents (EA) represent another source for getting your tax returns prepared. Often less expensive than certified public accountants (CPAs) and public accountants (PAs),EAs can be hired to prepare ...

PBGC Appointment a Surprise in Washington Pension Circles
Orion Partners founder Steven A. Kandarian has been appointed executive director of the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC) in a move that surprised Washington representatives of pension plan sponsors, labor ...

This Is a Great Time for Back-to-Basics Annuity Selling
Thomas F. Streiff, president of IAC Securities and MoneyMatters Exchange, says now is the time for annuity marketers to switchto a "back-to-basics" sales approach. According to Streiff, currentmarket conditions require ...

Overseeing Plans Just Got a Lot Harder
The mutual-fund scandal currently plaguing the industry willlikely lead to significant regulatory changes for defined contributionplans. Regulators are expected to impose a strict 4 p.m. cutoff timefor pricing mutual ...

Auditor-Tech Consultants Say Their Two Functions Add Up
In recent years, the Big Five accounting firms have diversified their services and moved beyond auditing to include tech consulting, management, and corporate finance. The Securities and Exchange Commission ...

Feeding the 401(k), Even in Bad Times
A new study indicates that even though the stock market fell last year, workers' 401(k) balances dropped only single digits on average, with the accounts of younger workers growing. Balances ...

Portals: Accounting Web
Accounting professionals now have a new online community. AccountingWeb, an English company recently launched in the United States, provides an outlet for today's cyberspace accountant. Online tools and ...

Start Your Engines
Financial Engines (financialengines.com) and 401k Forum(401kforum.com) were the first two financial planning engines on the Web and they still dominate the market. 401k Forum has sincechanged its name to ...

One-Person 401(k)s Make a Lot of Sense for Self-Employed
One-person, or owner-only 401(k) plans have become more attractive for some self-employed workers since last year's tax-cut bill. The individual plans can be less costly and more advantageous for ...

Ways & Means Committee OK's Bill Enhancing Retirement Savings
H.R. 5558 has been approved by the House Ways and Means Committee, clearing the way for a vote in the House. The legislation would permit employees to increase their ...

Replacing a Money Purchase Plan: A Practical Guide
When it comes to deciding whether to replace a money purchase plan with a profit-sharing plan, understanding the restrictions that apply to plan contributions and other limits on plan operations ...

Employees May Pay More on Retirement Plans
The Employee Benefits Security Administration and the U.S. Labor Department issued new guidelines for employers, allowing them to pass some of the administrative costs associated with defined contribution plans onto ...

SEC Focuses on Pension Funds' Unrealistic Assumptions
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is pledging to take a hard stand against companies that make aggressive performance assumptions. The SEC announced that it will challenge any pension ...

Marketing LTCI to Women Is Powerful
When couples are making decisions about long-term care insurance, the female of the pair is usually the decision maker, so those selling long-term care should know how to market to ...

Refilling the Pension Tank
Global defined benefit pension funding levels dropped 10 percent to 15 percent worldwide in 2001, according to a recent report from Towers Perrin. Because more than 10 percent of ...

The Future of Retirement Planning: Beyond the Present
Over the past decade, retirement planning specialists have noticed that very few middle-aged adults are seeking professional retirement-planning services. With the advent of the Internet, online investment information has ...

TAA Is Back
Tactical asset allocation (TAA) has made a quiet comeback in 2001 after a brief respite. "TAA was dead and buried," according to David Lunt, managing director of quantitative analysis ...

What Financial Advisors Do
Financial planning should be an in-depth process that beginswith establishing a working relationship with the client, argues RichardJ. Weikart of LUTC. The CFP Board's six-step process for financialadvising begins ...

Schwab Joins Others Ending Contributions to 401(k)'s
Charles Schwab Corporation recently announced that it would no longer match contributions to employees' 401(k) plans, as the company continues to cut costs and lay off employees. Other companies ...

AICPA Chair Discloses Plans for Accountants of Tomorrow
Bob Elliot, Chairman of AICPA, told future accountants at the Beta Alpha Psi annual meeting that the role of the CPA in today's society has expanded to include tax services, ...

Midwest CPAs Buck Trend on New Initiatives
The AICPA's latest initiatives--one that would introduce the term "Cognitor" as a description of a new breed of CPAs who can work with clients as strategic business advisors, and the ...

Pro2Net: Profession-Specific Web Sites
Pro2Net recently launched a group of Web sites that deliver comprehensive resources for professionals in accounting, financial services, human resources, insurance, and law. The sites contain daily insight analysis ...

401(k) Scramble; Is (k) for (k)aput?
Companies are not paying enough attention to how their 401(k) plans are being managed and are increasing their risk of being sued by disgruntled plan participants, according to Ted Benna--creator ...

Sell DI Insurance to Protect Savings in Retirement Plans
Dennis P. Mullen of Massachusetts Mutual Life urgesindividuals planning for retirement to augment their financial plan withdisability insurance (DI). DI works to protect lost wages, providesreturn-to-work benefits, helps cover ...

Citrix and Entrust Team Up to Enable Enhanced Security
The Entrust Entelligence 6.0 software is now fullyinteroperable with Citrix Systems' MetaFrame XP and Extranet software. The MetaFrame XP allows applications to be managed centrally on theEntrust-secured server; and the ...

Targeting Venus on the Web
Financial services providers need to adapt their marketingpitch to the behavioral habits of women if they expect to make gainsamong female Internet users. During a time when information-sharing andnetworking ...

Move Launched to Globalize CFP Designation
The Certified Financial Planning Board has decided to create aglobal CFP certification program for its Certified Financial Plannercredential. CFP Board Chair Patricia P. Houlihan said consumersincreasingly see CFP credentials ...

Personal Service a Key to 401(k) Asset Growth
While online 401(k) services reduce many of the expensesrelated to sponsoring a retirement plan, financial services companiesshould be aware that personalized services and relationships are whatsmall and medium-sized companies are ...

Retirement Assets Drop $630 Billion in Two Years
In 2000 and 2001, the private retirement market lost 11 percent, or $630 billion, according to a study by Cerulli Associates. Private defined benefit plans suffered the most, losing ...

Buying Life Insurance With Tax-Deductible Dollars
Financial planning professionals are able to pay the premiums from pre-tax accumulated plan assets by making the purchase of life insurance part of their qualified retirement plan. Although retirement ...

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