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State considers lawsuit over Lehman pension losses


New Jersey investment director William Clark said the state pension board is considering a lawsuit against Lehman Brothers. The state bought approximately $180 million of Lehman stock in June, only to sell it at a loss of about $100 million …

AG recommends no pension for convicted prisons director


Donald Snyder, former director of the Illinois Department of Corrections (IDOC), forfeited his right to pension benefits when he was convicted of engaging in “a scheme to defraud the people of the state of Illinois,” Attorney General Lisa Madigan said.

Laser Saver owner pleads guilty to stealing 401(k) contributions


Gregory Lockhart, owner of Laser Saver Inc., a printer cartridge remanufacturer in Columbus, has pleaded guilty to willful failure to file financial reports for the company’s 401(k) plan with the U.S. Department of Labor.

HR must step up as economy takes a tumble


As the impact of the global economic crisis takes hold, a quarter of U.S. employers expect to make layoffs in the next 12 months—if they haven’t already done so. However, most companies are focusing on increased employee communication and smaller cost-saving measures.

State employee benefits cut


Gov. Jon Corzine signed into law a new benefits package for state employees that raised the retirement age from 60 to 62 and increased the minimum salary workers must earn before being eligible for pension benefits. Now state government employees must earn at least $7,500 per year to qualify for a pension. The previous minimum was $500.

Self-administered benefits plan? Make sure your records are impeccable


Companies that self-administer their ERISA benefits plans, take note: Because your benefits decisions carry an implied conflict of interest (since rejecting a request for benefits such as retirement or payment of a medical bill means spending fewer company assets), courts expect your decisions to be transparent and based on good documentation.

More employers create ‘bridge jobs’ to appeal to retirees


New research shows that more workers of retirement age are staying in their current jobs or returning to work, in part because of the sinking economy and dwindling nest eggs. Many of these older employees aren’t seeking full-time return at their past pay rates. They’re hunting for “bridge jobs.”

Cash-balance pension plans don’t violate ERISA rules


A cash-balance pension plan is one in which the employer contributes a set amount each month on behalf of an employee. The employee eventually collects pension benefits based on the cash balance in his or her account. Some employees have claimed that such plans favor younger employees and therefore are illegal …

State pension data available online


Here’s a new resource for HR pros who work for state and local governments: You’ll find detailed, defined-contribution data for the 20 primary plans operated by state governments at http://tinyurl.com/SLGEstatepensiondata.

SSA unveils online calculator


The Social Security Administration (SSA) has unveiled a new online calculator that allows people to estimate their monthly Social Security benefit checks based on their retirement dates. Go to www.socialsecurity/gov.estimator.