New Pension Bill Expands Leeway to Invest Savings
Wall Street Journal (07/10/02) p.D2; Chen, Kathy

The Senate Finance Committee is due to vote on a bill that would give workers more flexibility in investing their retirement savings, and would also strengthen rules concerning executive compensation and other perks, but while the bill will probably pass the committee, it would have to be combined with a stricter bill from the Senate Health and Labor Committee, and Sen. Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.) says he does not intend to schedule a full vote on the bill until September. The Finance Committee bill would make employers let workers diversify their 401(k) holdings after they worked for the company three years, and would encourage employers to provide independent investment advice to their employees, but the House bill would give employers the option of letting workers diversify beyond company stock in their retirement plans three years after acquiring the stock. The Finance Committee bill would also progress toward letting the Treasury Department move on companies that stretch the limits on deferred-compensation arrangements for executives, allow taxation of offshore executive-compensation funds, up the income-tax withholding rates on executive bonuses, and strengthen rules on company lending to executives; one expected amendment would reduce the tax incentives for companies that take out life insurance on their non-executive employees.


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