Budget conferees have included a provision in the massive tax package that would encourage small employers to set up pension plans. The provision, which would exempt small employers from non-discrimination rules and give them a tax credit for start-up costs, was part of the Senate version of the tax bill.
A companion House bill was introduced separately by Rep. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, last week. President Clinton is expected to veto the tax package later this week.
Mr. Portman introduced the bill to put the House's stamp on such a provision and ``to give the conferees some leverage,'' according to Julie Williams, a spokeswoman, who confirmed the provision was in the tax package crafted by lawmakers yesterday.
As expected, Bankers Trust Corp. announced its New York-based investment management group will be headed by Frank P.L. Minard, who will join the firm after his contract as chairman and CEO of Mitchell Hutchins Asset Management expires at year end.
BT is consolidating its worldwide investment management functions under the direction of Ian Martin, head of funds management at Bankers Trust Australia Ltd. He replaces Ivan Wheen, who is moving to Singapore to head Bankers Trust's business strategies for Southeast Asia.
Mr. Martin will remain based in Sydney and portfolio management activities in Bankers Trust's New York, Sydney and Tokyo offices will not be affected.
More federal government employees are participating in the Federal Employees' Retirement System than ever before, bumping up contributions into the Federal Thrift Savings Plan, the defined contribution plan for federal workers, more than at any time in the past, according to new data released by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.
Information from a pending General Accounting Office report shows higher-paid federal employees are not participating sufficiently in the plan to maintain their current standard of living when they retire.
The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board's data show more than three-fourths of eligible federal workers participated in the program last year, and the participation rate climbed to 78.4% at the end of September 1995. More than 90% of eligible employees earning $40,000 a year or higher participated in the program, while nearly half of lower-paid employees also contributed.
On average, federal workers paid between 6.9% and 7.7% of their pay into their savings plan in 1994, while nearly half of the highest-paid employees (earning $60,000 plus) contributed the maximum 10% rate allowed.
The $8.6 billion Mississippi Public Employees Retirement System is preparing to invest in REITs, said a fund spokesman.
The fund plans to invest 5% - or $400 million - in the new asset class. At its mid-December meeting, the board will discuss the parameters of an RFP, the spokesman said.
Money to fund the new allocation will come from fixed income; no managers will be terminated.
The London International Financial Futures & Options Exchange and the London Commodity Exchange agreed to begin negotiations to merge.
Under current proposals, LIFFE would acquire all of the shares of the LCE through an offer to LCE shareholders of either cash or a combination of cash and to-be-issued class ``F'' LIFFE shares. Both exchanges already clear trades through the London Clearing House.
Norcal Waste Management Inc., San Francisco, has agreed to pay $3.5 million into its three pension plans to settle a lawsuit filed by the Labor Department alleging violations of federal pension law.
The Labor Department's allegations concern Norcal's acquisition of Envirocal Inc., and the merger of the two companies' ESOPs without independent advice. The Labor Department also alleged the pension plan acquired stock in a Colorado-based manufacturer of space heaters without checking whether it would be a good investment.
The KR-CRB Index, a widely watched index of commodity prices, will be altered beginning Dec. 6. The index, viewed by some as a bellwether for inflation, is being changed to improve the ability to trade futures on the index and to reflect structural changes in the commodity markets.
The following commodity futures contracts will be dropped: pork bellies, soybean meal, soybean oil, lumber and unleaded gas. Natural gas futures contracts will be added.
Futures contracts expiring in March 1996 will be the first to be affected in trading on the New York Futures Exchange.