Benefits Experts Rebut Report Hitting Cash Balance Payouts
Business Insurance Online (05/13/02) Vol. 36, No. 19 p.3; Geisel, Jerry

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 the report, 13 of the 60 cash balance plans reviewed underpaid employees that left their jobs prior to normal retirement age. Using a calculation method, never required by the Internal Revenue Service, the department estimated that the 300 to 700 plans in use underpaid participants between $85 million and $199 million annually. The Labor Department's assistant secretary for pension and welfare benefits, Ann Combs, stated that the sampling methodology used by the audit team was questionable, and the broad conclusions reached by the study warrant further examination.

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