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Private Pension Issues

Archives: 2002

The Super Rich Are Out of Sight (December 27, 2002)
The most recent US census shows that income inequality in the US has widened, but the census doesn’t even count the thousands of people making over one million dollars a year into its figures. Census officials claim their computers can’t handle such large numbers.

A Tale of a Broker, His Clients And the End of the Bubble Era (December 27, 2002)
When friendships can’t survive money loss in the stock boom-gone-bust: personal stories about ordinary Americans who lost a lot in the bubble inflation like Mr. Randall’s (a Merrill Lynch & Co. broker ) not only clients but also friends.

Employers Reducing Retiree Health Plans (December 23, 2002)
Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a survey along with Hewitt Associates, a consulting firm. The study is based on a survey of 435 private companies with 1,000 or more employees that now offer retiree health benefits. For the next three years, 95 percent of large employers surveyed plan to continue offering health insurance to retirees now in company-sponsored plans. However, 22 percent of companies surveyed said they are likely to eliminate such coverage to future retirees, primarily new and recent hires.

Gap in Pay Divides Pilots From Other United Unions (December 19, 2002)
The United Airlines pilots seem to have lost the most in the airline's bankruptcy filing. But they fought for special compensation. Indeed pilots persuaded United to make large contributions to a tax-deferred trust fund for their retirement. Furthermore, that shows the gap between the pilots' and the mechanics' compensation packages. Because pilots have the most attractive provisions, tension increases in the 4 main labor groups: pilots, flight attendants, machinists and nonunion ground workers.

United Puts Pressure on Unions (December 18, 2002)
United Airlines will fall under Section 1113 of the bankruptcy code, which allows companies to cancel work contracts that impede its return to financial health. Spokesmen from both flight attendants' or pilots' unions are not surprised by the decision but are fighting for more employees’ protection.

It May Be Time to Plumb Your Pension's Depths (December 15, 2002)
The new Bush administration rules would make it easier for companies to switch to another type of pension plan that would shrink their pension liabilities. Unfortunately, millions and millions of employees don't have a clue what's going to happen to them. Indeed, if the Treasury really wants to help American employees, they've got to make regulations that will force employers to” disclose this stuff in eighth-grade language “ as said an I.B.M. accountant and the lead plaintiff in a pending suit against the company's pension conversion. 

Treasury says cash-balance pensions are OK (December 12, 2002)
In a 75-page document, the US Treasury Department said that so-called cash-balance pension plans do not discriminate against older workers. Companies have been abandoning traditional pensions in favor of less expensive cash-balance and 401(k) plans. They argue that cash-balance plans are a better fit for today's workers. Older workers will suffer.

Bush Proposes Rules on Some Pensions (December 10, 2002)
The Bush administration proposed regulations seen as an effort to avoid age-discrimination. Cash-balance pensions have been the target of age-discrimination complaints. For example, 800 claims of age discrimination have been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over conversions to cash balance plans.

I.B.M. Will Move Faster to Fill Its Pension Fund Gap (December 5, 2002)
Some good news in the IBM pensions’ issue: IBM planes to put $3 billion in cash and stock in its United States pension fund this year. The company's United States pension funds represent about two-thirds of I.B.M.'s worldwide pension obligations. Once, a company decides to face the pension gap while there is still time to deal with it.

Bush Plan Ties Foreign Aid to Free Market and Civic Rule (November 25, 2002)
The Bush administration has proposed  a new foreign aid plan that would make aid conditional on a country’s commitment to “curbing corruption, spending more on education and following free market economic principles.” Bush describes the plan as “a key element in maintaining American influence in the world.” (New York Times)

Another Workday for Pitt and the SEC (November 7, 2002)
The SEC faces a record enforcement caseload stemming from the collapse of Enron and WorldCom Inc. The commission's staff has been demoralized by Pitt’s behavior. He failed to inform the other commissioners about Webster's ties to a Washington company that is under investigation for possible fraud.

GM Raises Retirees' Health Premiums (November 5, 2002)
GM spent $4.2 billion last year on health care, and most of those covered are retirees or their spouses. The firm will substantially increase premiums next January.

S.E.C. Orders Investigation Into Webster Appointment (October 31, 2002)
An investigation has been ordered against William H. Webster, recently appointed head of a new board overseeing the accounting profession, after Mr. Webster's disclosure that he told the Security and Exchange Commission chairman, Harvey L. Pitt, that he had headed the auditing committee of a company facing fraud accusations.

Union: 4-Day Strike Is Set At GE Plant (October 30, 2002)
General Electric's 2500 employees plan to begin a four-day strike on pension issues, if the retirees must pay increased amounts for health care.

US Seniors Face Higher Medicare Rates for 2003 (October 18, 2002)
Medicare's 40 million beneficiaries will pay higher premiums and deductibles next year, on top of a slim cost-of-living adjustment for 2003. But the 1.4% cost-of-living adjustment announced will be far outstripped by growing prescription drug costs.

Even if Heads Roll, Mistrust Will Live On (October 6, 2002)
This article is sending a strong message to corporate leaders that they must regain America’s public’s trust in the business world.

U.S. Hints Ex-Enron Accounting Chief Had Role in Fraud (October 4, 2002)
Mr. Causey was not charged with any crime before. But now he is suspected of false representations to Enron's board about dealings with a pair of off-balance-sheet partnerships.

S.E.C. Chief Hedges on Accounting Regulator (October 4, 2002)
Chairman Pitt is trying to circumvent the Sarbanes legislation by making certain that the board does not include any reform-minded persons : the choice of  John H. Biggs for the new executing board chief is being re-evaluated.

Ralph Nader Takes on Wall Street (October 3, 2002)
Mr Nader is calling for greater regulation and enforcement of the securities industry.

Best companies for older workers (October 2, 2003)
The AARP Magazine just released a list of 15 companies chosen for their friendliness to workers over 50 in the United States. The survey covered different categories such as recruiting, wages, corporate culture, and package retirement…

Case Sees Continuing Role at AOL (October 1, 2002)
In the financial meltdown of AOL Time Warner, Steve Case is fighting for his job. However, financial shenanigans may push him out the executive door.

Global Crossing Chairman Denies Inside Information (October 1, 2002)
Gary Winnick (Global Crossing Chairman) said he was not informed about the company's deteriorating financial condition.
Was he coming into the office at all?

In a Broker's Notes, Trouble for Salomon (September 22, 2002)
Philip L. Spartis was a broker at Salomon Smith Barney. His notes, which fill seven spiral notebooks and three calendars, detail the daily conversations Salomon had with clients and with other employees from 1997 to 2001.Is it an other dangerous matter for WorldCom justice’s case?

Land of the Free, Home of the Perk (September 22, 2002)
New York is a home for the perks. Especially when perks are given to former executive chiefs. It can quickly become another disgraceful tale.

In Charity, Where Does a C.E.O. End and a Company Start ?(September 22, 2002)
Corporate charity is becoming more dubious for non-profits. The smell of corruption can spill over onto the non-profits when the industry chief gets indicted.

Rank-and-file pensioners struggle  (September 22, 2002)
The gap between executive and worker pensions has become downright obscene. “When Hugh McColl retired as BofA's chief executive officer in 2001, he was guaranteed a pension of about $2.4 million per year, plus other benefits. Louise LaMuth retired from BofA in 1970 after working at the bank in San Francisco for more than 20 years. She receives a monthly pension check for $47. 57.’’ What else to add?

401(k) Investors Want More Advice ( September 22, 2002)
Many employees want more information about their 401 (k) plans.  Unfortunately, scandals everywhere involving deceptive accounting practices, it is more difficult than ever to make a good choice of stocks. 

Employers Reducing Retirement Health Benefits, Study Finds (September 16, 2002)
Employers have begun to reduce their “contributions” to retired workers medical benefits, even though the high cost of US medical care outstrips what Medicare pays even now.  And a Washington-based consultant firm says that employers will reduce their benefits even more in the years ahead.  Is it time for a cap on health care charges? 

More retirement dreams fade (September 12, 2002)
More and more people worry that they will not being able to retire before age 60. We can find two huge explanations : life expectancy is longer and the pension amounts may be lower.

Shriveling of Pensions After Halliburton Deal (September 11, 2002)
In an astonishing chronicle of cynical management, Halliburton bought Dresser Industries and Dresser-Rand, Inc. and then sold them off to Ingersoll-Rand.

Trying retirement early (September 11, 2002)
If you’re worried about your job future at the company, the early-retirement plan may well be your most palatable option. Unfortunately, the truth is that most people cannot afford to retire early because it is a huge financial challenge ( inflation, Social Security reduced...)

Many Chiefs Are Retaining Extra Benefits in Retirement (September 11, 2002)
The institution of giving some extra benefits to the executive is increasing. Protecting these shareholders implicate a higher level of the total amounts too even though the workers are not.

Pa. Treasurer Urges Stricter Oversight of Local Pensions (August 27, 2002)
Barbara Hafer, Chair of PSERS board, calls for more detailed and current information on the “status of municipal pension funds.” Pennsylvania’s record of upholding pensions is strong, consistently outperforming benchmarks and fully funding all pension programs.

American seniors rack up debt like never before (August 24, 2002)
Once known for their thrift, older Americans are piling on debt — filing for bankruptcy in record numbers and jeopardizing retirement dreams. Many live on little more than Social Security. A sluggish stock market and painfully low interest rates pinch returns on their CDs, bank accounts and stock investments. Tapped out, many in this new generation of seniors turn to credit cards to finance medical bills, expensive prescription drugs and comfortable lifestyles.

Enron Scandal at-a-glance (August 22, 2002)
Here is a summary of people who contributed to the Enron scandal. Take a look at the financial and political aftermaths.

Getting Going: Rethink Retirement Money Strategies During Retirement Years (August 18, 2002)
Throw away old financial notions, for they will serve you no longer as a retiree.  Rethink ways to look at your assets and focus less on shrinking your portfolio’s tax bill.

Public Pensions Come UP Short as Stocks' Swoon Drain Funds (August 16, 2002)
Wavering stock market is main culprit for more than half of all public pension plans that are underfunded.  Other statistics show that pension systems catering to teachers, firefighters, and municipal employees may well be up to 75% underfunded.

Wall Street scandals at a glance (August 14, 2002)
Here are the companies that have dominated the headlines and planted doubts about the integrity of corporate America.

Officials of 14 States Pledge Protection of Pension Assets (August 13, 2002)
Fourteen individual states are joining arms together to fight corporate corruption and, “bring a renewed faith in the financial marketplace.”  Representatives from these states agree protecting pensions is a top priority.

New Jersey Plans to Sue Companies Over Losses to Pension Funds (August 7, 2002)
Several states file suits to recover pension losses. New Jersey sues its major companies for mismanagement and misleading accounting practices, which costs the states’ retirement system more than $1billion. The New York State Common Retirement Fund plans to sue WorldCom for the loss of $112 billion fund.

The way forward for pension provision (August 5, 2002)
The article considers a new proposal of a universally protected pension scheme proposed by the Pensions Reform Group.

The Great Retirement Scare (August 2, 2002)
Relying on the investment returns for retirement could threaten the well being of older people. However, the author claims that it is wrong, and the market can and will secure the retirement.   

Labor to Press for Changes in Corporate Governance (July 30, 2002)
A.F.L.-C.I.O President John Sweeney, hopes to seal the loopholes of big business.  He spoke of laying a heavy hand on corporate criminals, comparing today’s new mongrels as yesteryears’ robber barons.  Sweeney will continue to represent unions and the thousands who lost their jobs from the bankrupt corporations of Enron, World Com, and Anderson Consulting.

Market Veterans Say Stay Put: Don't Let the Bear Scare You (July 29, 2002)
As edgy as everyone seems with downturns in the market, veteran brokers are confident that staying put, and not selling is the best move for investors to make.  With low buying prices, now is a better time than ever to buy they claim. And the brokers will collect commissions.

Broken System? Tweak It, They Say (July 28, 2002)
In light of all the embarrassing debacles that have hit Wall Street, the U.S. House and Senate have responded swiftly, approving a new regulation package on big business corporations.  The future, however, does not look as promising for more regulation. With elections around the corner, are these regulations real or a hall of mirrors?

Wall Street Waves are a Riptide to Some, a Ripple to Others (July28, 2002)
People all over New York region, from rich to middle class to poor are worrying about the stock market;  the middle class, however, carries the brunt of the depressed market.

Pension Funds in New Jersey Face Shortfall (July 26, 2002)
State pensions in New Jersey face troubling times to come. One billion dollars is the estimated payment NJ owes to its pensioners by year's end.  How will NJ pay its debt and how does former Governor Christie Whitman’s poor pension financing play a role in the state’s current pension crisis.

Firms Upgrade Retirement Plans Amid Clamor for Greater Choice (July 25, 2002)
Firms, including Verizon Communication Inc. and Ford Motor Co., are revamping retirement plans to give employees better options. For more solid returns, firms plan to diversify workers’ 401K plans.

Bush Bids to Regain Economic Initiative (July 24, 2002)
The Bush Administration is ready to to focus on pensions as its next big issue.

Wall St. Damage Ripples Across the Population (July 21, 2002)
Dow falling more than 1360 points is the worst loss since the October crash of 1987. Dipping numbers spark fear all over America from families in New York to Houston, people are worried about retirement money depreciating in value in the depressed economy.

Retirement Crisis Looms As Many to Come Short (July 19, 2002)
Recent severe stock market losses threaten the incomes of older Americans who put money into 401 (k) plans and other instruments for retirement.   Too many persons were put at tremendous risk that they had no capacity to assess.  Will those who entered false information onto to the accounting books get off free?  

G.M. Profit Doubles, but Worries on Pensions Hurt Stock (July 17, 2002)
Even though General Motor’s profit doubled in the second quarter, its stock went down. The company faces the dilemma of how much money to invest in its pension system to provide payments to 400,000 retirees.

Calif Pension Funds Sue WorldCom, Invest Banks, Seek $318M (July16, 2002)
WorldCom is under pressure facing a joint lawsuit filled in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on behalf of the California State Teachers' Retirement System and the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association.

The Secrets of Plan E (July 15, 2002)
Pensioners in California fall into a trap of corrupt policy. Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association’s Plan E has left pensioners who were expecting to receive half of their salary – now only receiving pennies in comparison.

A Stocks' Slide Is Playing Havoc With Older Americans' Dreams (July14, 2002)
In the 1990’s the Dow was going up and more people put their money into the market with the hope to retire early. However, the current “economic hangover” of the 1990’s coerces people to retire later.  Retirees now are looking for a job to survive.

Pension, health care funds may see shortfall (July 11, 2002)
Major US corporations with defined benefit pensions and health programs for retirees in national union contracts have failed to assure the integrity of these obligations.  The steel makers want the public—the government—to bail them out; others firms mask the current situation by painting rosy pictures of a future market recovery. 

Stock Market Stumble Forces New Thinking on Retirement (July 9, 2002)
Market fluctuations are painful for retirees. According to a report of the University of Michigan’s Health and Retirement Study, $672 billion of retiree’s wealth was wiped out by the market downturns in the last two years.

Variable Annuities Offer Safety, at a Price (July 7, 2002)
Variable annuities are risk free mutual funds. Investing money into variable annuities, an investor cannot withdraw them for 7 to 10 years without a penalty of up to 20 per cent. The protection and stability of future returns increases the price of variable annuities.

At Annuity University, Agents Learn How to Pitch to Seniors (July 2, 2002)
Experts claim that annuities are not suitable and risky for older investors. However, those Mr. Clark, are in the business of teaching seminars on  how to persuade seniors to buy annuities -- seems a bit disturbing.

A pension policy that has turned gold to dust (July 1, 2002)
The latest research from the Association of Consulting Actuaries, based on the survey of 3,000 pension schemes with 7 million members, revealed that retirees need “a very different pension world.”  According to the research fewer than four out of ten pension schemes are open to new members. Almost half of the pension schemes are going to shut down, and 14 per cent of the existing pension schemes are closed to new members.

Stocks vs. Bonds: A Risk Scoreboard (June 30, 2002)
The risk to earn the highest return could be reduced if money is invested in an array of different asset classes. A new study by Moody’s Investors Service reveals that a basic portfolio has to be diversified, and an investor has to consider the risk and returns of one asset class in correlation to the risk and returns of another.

Lies My C.F.O. Told Me, Act XIII (June 30, 2002)
WorldCom has been charged with overstating profits by $4 billion dollars. The House and the Senate are going to pass a bill that will prevent future accounting malpractice. One of the possible remedies is the periodic changing of auditing firms.  Both companies and auditors, however, strongly oppose the idea.

Could Capitalists Actually Bring Down Capitalism? (June 30, 2002)
The false accounting practices of Enron and WorldCom are causing investors to lose their confidence in the market. Meanwhile, accounting firms claim they are trying to strengthen auditing regulations. However, investors do not need substantial changes to justify their confidence in the market. “People will forget Enron and WorldCom, and it will all happen again”.

Does It Cost the Wealthy Too Much to Die? (June 30, 2002)
Republicans in the Senate, with presidential support, are ready to abolish the estate tax. Even though wealthy taxpayers whose estates amounted to $2.5 million are offended by the estate tax, the elimination of the estate tax could hurts the estate-planning industry and charitable giving. 

The Money Flows In. The Value Keeps Falling (June 30, 2002)
A new report on retirement accounts by the Investment Company Institute reveals that mutual funds lost 4 per cent of their value. However, declining stock prices did not affect the balance of portfolios; stocks remain the largest investment holdings.

Police Hero in 1994 Is Now a Bitter Retiree (June 30, 2002)
Arlene Beckles, a New York Police hero in 1994, is presently fighting for the larger pension.  She retired in 2000 with an ordinary disability pension after being suspended from the Police Department for calling in sick too often.  Her lawyer is appealing to the courts for a line-of-duty disability pension.

New York: Comeback (After a Lag) Kid (June 29, 2002)
Mr. Ehrenhalt, an economist retired from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, studied the New York City economy through half a century. He explains that the city’s economy will continue to suffer in the short-term, but it will recover in the longer run. “We have a record of going through tough times and coming back stronger then ever”.

Pension Funds Won't Change Strategies After WorldCom (June 29, 2002)
Even though the California Public Employees Retirement System lost $235 million in WorldCom shares and about $330 million in WorldCom bonds, it is only about 0.4% of the fund’s total assets of $150 billion. Their managers say they have no immediate plans to change strategies, the public portfolios are well-diversified, and none of the losses will affect fund ability to pay pensions.

Bonuses Once Meant to Retain Talent Now Risk Outrage (June 29, 2002)
WorldCom repeats Enron’s collapse?  WorldCom is enduring an inquiry into its accounting practices and faces bankruptcy. Top managers are being paid high bonuses even when thousands of workers are being laid off.

WorldCom collapse cost state pension funds millions (June 27, 2002)
The WorldCom confession that it wrongfully listed $3.9 billion as capital expenses in 2001 and 2002 sharply affected the NY State Pension fund. Since WorldCom duped NY trustees into buying their supposedly profitable stock, NY State Comptroller Carl McCall is considering legal action.  If the State Comptroller can’t make informed decisions, then how can anyone make a good decision on stock choices?  Who will pay?  WorldCom executives and directors?  Or NY State pension holders?  

GM denies accounting problems (June 27, 2002)
GM executives strongly refute the claim that their company is subject to an accounting investigation. According to an industry analyst, the size of the GM pension deficit could increase by $8 billion. Moreover, the GM balance sheet could be cut by healthcare obligations by $3.8 billion.

The Nest-Egg Blues (June 24, 2002)
In the article, experts discuss the flaws of the retirement portfolios of older people. There are recommendations how to balance your portfolio to be financially independent in the future.

Home-Based Businesses Add Income and Life (June 23, 2002)
The “Earnest Test,” a governmental punishment for making extra money after retirement, i.e. the more money you earn, the more money that is subtracted from your Social Security checks, did not provide any incentives for old people to have a part time job or run one’s own business. However, it was revisited, and now retirees can earn money without reducing Social Security benefits. 

Prominent Wall Street Figure Convicted of Fraud (June 10, 2002)
Alan Bond, who is an graduate of Harvard Business School, was convicted of fraud for cheating pension funds. It is three counts of investment advisory fraud and three counts of wire fraud, which is the maximum is 55 years of the prison term. 

Whose Money is it Anyway? (June 9, 2002)
Employee-employer joint administration is what is needed to prevent future pension abuse. The structure needs to be amended and employees need more security, instead of what appears to be consistent exploitation.

Her Next Step? Growing Numbers of American Women Face Retirement Financially Insecure (June 2, 2002)
A real story about a 76-year-old woman, who faces financial problems and struggles to survive with a total income of $1,000 but with no pension coverage from her ex-husband. Old women are more financially insecure not only because they earn less and save less, but also because their retirement rate is based on lower earnings.

Can we afford to repeal the estate tax? (May 30, 2002)
In June Senate Republicans are going to bring up an amendment to permanently repeal the estate tax, which will benefit only the wealthiest 2% of Americans with estate more than $2 million. However, it will eliminate vital funds for education, health and social security programs for the rest. The author argues that people can and ought to overcome the unfair pressure of the wealthiest.

Salary Grows, So Does a Gender Gap (May 15, 2002)
Even though women may be coming home with larger paychecks, study results show that when it comes to bringing wages of $1 million, men still outnumber women, just as they did generations ago.

Stanley Hails Bermuda Vote, but Employees Cry Deception 
(May 13, 2002) 

Stanley Works said shareholders had approved to become a Bermuda company, but that employees and retirees complained about the outcome, saying managers had misled them about how the votes would be counted.

Survey: Pension Plans, Foundations Saw Modest 1Q Returns 
(May 8, 2002)

 Investments returns grow in pension plans, foundations and endowments in the first quarter, but the results were still below what they needed to be, according to a survey conducted by Mercer Investment Consulting.

Wrong Payouts Are Uncovered in Pension Plan (May 8, 2002)
It has been discovered by the Labor Department inspector that more than 20% of cash balance pension plans violated the law by not supplying workers with all of the benefits expected. Thirteen plans were underpaying workers by $17 million a year.

BBC Launches Google Powered Search Engine (May 6, 2002)
BBC launched a “ family friendly” search engine powered by google, intended for UK searchers’ who were frustrated over results geared toward American websites and advertisers. We’re proud that Global Action on Aging’s website shows up prominently on this listing of those “ judged to be the best of what they do.”

The Great 401 (k) Hoax (April, 2002)
Is the economy really recovering? What are we to believe when the stories that appear in the media are contrasting stories? The following article was taken from The Employment Project. Please contact them for any further information at: 130 Mac Douglas St, Apt D, New York, NY; 10012, Telephone (212) 533-6945, Fax (212) 5336973, or at

Judge Ends Enron Executives' Control of Employee Pensions
(April 20, 2002)

The Labor Department was granted a request from the Judge controlling the Enron’s bankruptcy case to take out the company’s executives as trustees of employees pension plans and to appoint an independent manager.

Verizon Retirees Almost Force a Change in Pay (April 28,2002)
Retired workers of the phone giant company Verizon Communications Inc. came close to demanding a change in pay. They wanted the company to stop including income generated by its pension plan in its formula for setting executive pay.

Enron Pensions Still Under Old Management (March 5, 2002)
Enron retirement plans are stills under old management; despite an agreement to replace Enron’s pension plans with an independent official.

Bush, in Iowa, Urges Patience in War Effort and Reform of Pension Plans
(March 2, 2002)

In Iowa, President Bush talked about terrorism. Also, President Bush expressed deep concerns about pension plan abuse, “ We need to make sure that workers don't lose everything if their company were to fail, he said". (GAA will publish a critique of his suggestions in these pages.)

Paper Says Enron May Owe More in Pensions (February 27, 2002)
If the pension benefits of Enron Corp. that manipulated its employee stock ownership plan is found to be illegal, the pension plan could then owe millions more dollars to participants with the public picking up the tab.

Why a Business Scandal Became a National Spectacle
(February 17, 2002)

The Enron scandal can be easily translated into the language of the greed of corporate bosses and the losses suffered by ordinary individuals. "It's a case where the rich guy took the upside and stuffed the poor guy with the downside," said Paul McCulley, chief economist at Pimco, an investment firm.

As It Beat Profit Forecast, I.B.M. Said Little About Sale of a Unit 
(February 15, 2002)

Letter from GAA Subscriber: 
This article in today's 2-15-02, New York Times, sec C1, is reflective of the stealth, manipulation and inherent dishonesty, being displayed by so many of our Corporate executives. All awhile, they expect the employees to trust them with handling their retirement futures, and the public to buy and hold their stock?

Enron Paid Some, Not All, Deferred Compensation ( February 13, 2002)
While midlevel and high-level executives who were still working at Enron in late November received deferred salaries and bonuses just before the December 2nd bankruptcy filing, employees who had retired or recently left the company were denied such payments.

Questions Were Answered at Board's Investigation (February 13, 2002)
Mr. Kenneth L. Lay cited his Fifth Amendment right before the Senate committee against self-incrimination, even though he had just four weeks before his decision to decline to testify, answered questions from lawyers investigating partnerships that ultimately brought the company to its knees.

At Labor Dept., Workforce Restructuring in Progress 
(February 12, 2002) 

The Bush administration has asked major agencies to complete workforce restructuring plans so that the government can figure out staffing requirements for the next few years. It is too early to say how reshaping their staff will play out but administration has promised to keep up. To make the change slightly easier, Labor Secretary Elaine L Chao has said that the department will offer early retirement to qualified employees from March 1 through September 30.

U.S. to Seek Retirement Plan Control At Enron (February 11, 2002)
After about 20.000 Enron Corp. workers and retirees lost more than $1 billion in the company’s energy-trade bankruptcy, the Labor Department announced yesterday that it is seeking to remove officials who oversee the company’s retirement plans and replace them with independent experts.

Ex-Chief of Enron Will Not Testify Before Congress (February 11, 2002) After Mr. Lay refused to appear voluntarily, lawmakers issued subpoenas, and he is still expected to appear on Tuesday 12th before the Senate Commerce Committee. But, Mr. Lay's spokeswoman, Kelly Kimberly, said, "Under the instructions of counsel, Mr. Lay will exercise his Fifth Amendment rights at the hearing Tuesday" exercising his right to avoid incriminating himself in the accounting and pension 401(K) scandal that has impoverished hundreds of former workers. Is there a way to find out how many Employers got hurt by Lay?

Enron Testimony Clashes (February 8, 2002)
Enron’s former CEO told Congress yesterday, February 07 that when he resigned from the company he did not realize that the company was in any financial threat, while the company's onetime chief financial officer, and three other senior executives cited their Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination and refused to answer questions.     

Former Enron CFO Fastow refuses to testify ( February 7, 2002)
Andrew Fastow, a former Enron chief financial officer who collected $ 30 million for keeping company debt off book said today, “ On the advice of my counsel I respectfully decline to answer the questions” invoking his Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination and refusing to testify to Congress.

White House Opposes Stock Cap (February 7, 2002)
The Bush administration does not see anything wrong with the nation’s private retirement system. It is thought that Bush's reform proposals strike a balance between the needs of employees and employers and will restore safety and confidence to the nation's retirement savings system. It would require that workers be free after three years to sell stock contributed to their accounts by their employers, and make employers responsible for losses by employees when their accounts are frozen for administrative reasons.

Enron Lawyer Says Company Ignored Alarm (February 7, 2002)
A senior lawyer of Enron Corporation said the company overlooked his alarm more then a year ago about the corporation’s approval of supposedly arm’s-length deal with partnerships managed by Enron insiders.

Tyco Shares Plunge on growing Worries of a Cash Squeeze 
(February 6, 2002)

Wall Street grew increasingly nervous yesterday about the prospect of a cash squeeze at Tyco International, after losing access to the commercial paper market. So far this year, Tyco's stock has dropped about 50 percent, along with concerns that the company uses aggressive accounting practices to inflate its growth rate and profits. 

Even a Watchdog Is Not Always Fully Awake (February 6, 2002)
In the case of the Enron Corporation, Calpers, the California, giant pension fund, with assets of about $144 billion, was the watchdog that did not bark. Records show that Calpers was alerted by its advisers in December 2000 about the serious conflicts inherent in one of a web of private partnerships set up by Enron's chief financial officer, Andrew S. Fastow. But Calpers did not publicize its concerns that Mr. Fastow could not protect both parties' interests between the partnership and Enron, it simply declined to invest in the troublesome partnership, LJM3, and kept silent, continuing to reap profits.Why?

Former Enron chairman ordered to testify (February 5, 2002)
Mr. Kenneth Lay was called today, February 5, 2002 to appear before Congress, after the Senate issued a subpoena.  But even if he did appear, congressional officials are very unlikely to get much information out of Mr. Lay, since he would most likely refer to his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent so as not to incriminate himself.

Enron chief will be forced to testify (February 5, 2002)
Yesterday, February 4, the Enron scandal exploded into political warfare after Congress confirmed its aim to subpoena Enron’s former chief executive Kenneth Lay. Congress accused Enron executives of “ corporation corruption” and suggested someone may end up going to jail. Senator Ernest Hollings, the Democratic chairman of the Senate commerce committee, accused President Bush of being in Enron's pocket, and creating a "culture of government corruption".

Bush Chooses Head of Faith-Based Office (February 1, 2002)
President Bush has chosen an advocate for the aging who once worked with Mother Teresa to head his revamped effort to provide federal funds to religious charities. Mr. Jim Towey worked with Mother Teresa's ministry for more than 10 years and latter founded the advocacy group Aging With Dignity. The appointment does not remove objections based on us constitutional guarantees to keep church and state separate.

Bush Seeks New Rules On Pensions (February 1, 2002)
President Bush proposed giving workers greater freedom to diversify their company retirement accounts. Workers would be permitted to sell company stock after three years, and pursue other investment options, while companies would be encouraged to make outside financial advice available to employees, at a fee charged to the 401k. Employees who have worked hard and saved all their lives should not have to risk losing everything if their company fails," said President Bush. But aging advocates believe that President Bush leaves the fundamental problems untouched. With the door open to more abuse.

Global Crossing Lockdown Stopped Workers From Protecting Pensions (January 31, 2002)
Global Crossing Ltd. prevented its workers from selling company shares, for a total of four weeks during December and January, during a time of uncertainty.  Since this practice is still legal it has been bringing up new concerns. Such 401(k) freezes can be harmful to workers investments in the fund. With such plans in a lockdown when a company is in a precarious state, it raises "a real question of fiduciary responsibility," said Lois Berney, editor of DC Plan Investing. These Lockdowns have already caught the eyes of Congress, which is expected to review its use during meetings on retirement plans.

Enron Directors Backed Moving Debt Off Books (January 31,2002)
Enron’s investigation is focused on whether Enron hid debt and inflated its profits by using the private partnerships run by its chief financial officer. This investigation, while expensive may produce measures to present such highly questionable practices in the future. It is identified that members of Enron Corp’s board of directors received briefings in the past about controversial partnership whose losses initiated Enron’s bankruptcy, according to the minutes, which cover four meeting in 1997 and 1999, and other three meetings of finance in 2000, it does not cover every board meetings and it does not include documents that are attached to the summaries of the board's actions.

Enron Workers Gather to Share Plight (January 30, 2002)
Workers gathered to draw attention to the financial problems and to fight for better oversight of corporate accounting practices, this morning, January 30. Many affected by Enron’s turbulence have lost their life long saving, no longer have health insurance and are faced with troubles of finding new employment. 

Enron Admits Error in Lobbying Costs (January 30, 2002)
Enron confesses to having failed to reveal some of the lobbying expenses to Congrees last year as it headed for bankruptcy. Enron’s spokes woman said ``We are reviewing those fees and will respond in writing to the Secretary of the Senate''.

Enron Names Stephen Cooper Interim Chief During Bankruptcy 
(January 29, 2002)

Mr. Stephen Cooper has been chosen as interim CEO and chief restructuring officer to guide Enron’s company through its bankruptcy along with its investigations into the collapse.

Enron's Way: Pay Packages Foster Spin, Not Results (January 27, 2002)
Even though the stocks dropped one group of shareholders came out of the fall ahead of others. Management board members and top executive managed to sell millions of dollars of shares before the drop of the stocks.

The Enron Scandal Grazes Another Bush in Florida (January 27, 2002)
The Enron outrage is starting to touch another Bush:  Florida’s governor Jeb Bush. Florida's state pension fund lost $335 million from its Enron holdings. Florida is also home to thousands of Enron investors and retired employees, who have seen their Enron shares become worthless. Mr. Bush has sidestepped this political minefield, avoiding, at least for sometime, any negative association with Enron. Mr. Bush particularly has been able to stay clear of the enormous damage to the state employees' pension fund. As governor, Mr. Bush is one of the fund's three trustees; it brings questions about whether or not Mr. Bush had any specific connections with Enron. Investigations may reveal the governors involvement.

Wide Effort Seen in Shredding Data on Enron's Audits (January 24, 2002)
The Chairman James C. Greenwood of the Arthur Andersen’s Houston office said that a group of people working at Andersen collaborated in the destruction of documents related to the Enron Corporation. Mr. David Duncan the lead partner on Enron’s account was soon fired after being accused of planning the destruction of Enron documents knowing of a governmental financial investigation. But investigators are skeptical and want to look into why the firm waited more than two weeks after Enron disclosed the S.E.C. investigation to order the shredding stopped.

Bush to Look at Employee Risks, but Experts Say Solutions Won't Be Easy (January 11, 2002)
Many Enron employees lost their retirement savings because the savings were tied up almost exclusively in company securities. President Bush asks his Administration to look at ways “ to make sure that people are not exposed to losing their life savings as a result of a bankruptcy”.

Bush Orders Review of Pension Rules (January 11, 2002)
Enron bankruptcy sheds light on potential problems in the nation’s pension system. President Bush ordered his economic team to review pension rules that could put other workers and pensioners at risk.

Democrats Try to Make Hay of Enron Fall As Lieberman Calls Hearings on Collapse (January 3, 2002)
At the new congressional-election this year Sen. Joseph Lieberman announced that the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee later this month, will hold hearings into Enron's collapse. It will focus on the sudden collapse and what might have been prevented. But Democrats believe further exposure can only embarrass Republicans. Who benefited mightily from Enron’s campaign donations.