The World Bank launched a new cash balance plan to replace its frozen defined benefit plan. Under the new plan, participants allocate contributions to passive investment options. But the money isn''t invested in index funds. Instead, participants are promised the return of the indexes they choose. World Bank actively manages the underlying assets and pockets any return above that of the index. Current employees will continue to be covered by the now-frozen $9.7 billion defined benefit plan and also accrue benefits under the existing benefits formula. New employees will participate in the new plan, which also will cover about 2,000 ``nonregular'' employees who have worked as consultants for years and whose contracts routinely are renewed. Morton International Inc., Chicago, outsourced the investment management of its $600 million defined benefit plan to Northern Trust Global Advisors. As part of the switch, Morton will do an asset-liability study, said Michael Meegan, director of benefit finance. It also will review the fund''s asset allocation, investment policies and objectives and risk tolerances, he said. The review is expected to take six months to a year. Morton executives will continue to make asset allocation and actuarial-related decisions under the arrangement with Northern. Other firms considered were: Frank Russell; Morgan Stanley; Brinson Partners; and SEI Asset Management. Morton''s U.S. stock managers are: Neuberger & Berman; Fisher Investments; Northern''s index fund group; Lynch & Mayer; Trend Capital; State Street Research; William Blair; and John A. Levin. International equity managers are Northern and Frank Russell. Bond managers are Bankers Trust, Northern and CIGNA. Neither poor performance nor dissatisfaction with existing managers was part of the decision to outsource, Mr. Meegan said. Two tornadoes that hit Nashville yesterday forced Decosta Jenkins, director-investments, Electric Power Board, to spend today in the ``war room'' with the emergency power restoration group, instead of working on the $100 million pension fund. ``We all wear several hats here,'' said a spokeswoman. Downtown offices of Ameristar Investment & Trust, which runs $3.2 billion, were closed. Staffers moved to a temporary office 12 miles away, said Frederick S. Crown, executive vice president. One tornado damaged Columbia/HCA Healthcare Corp.''s headquarters, including the treasury department, which manages the $4.8 billion pension fund. The treasury staff today cordoned off damaged areas of their department, said James Glasscock, assistant vice president and director-investments. Also, the Tennessee Consolidated Retirement System was closed. Richard N. Rose, former CIO of the San Diego County Employees'' Retirement Association, San Diego, paid court costs of $50 and will complete a shoplifting ``diversion'' program in a plea agreement with the city of Scottsdale, Ariz., a court clerk said. If he completes the program, shoplifting charges will be dismissed, the clerk said. Mr. Rose was charged with shoplifting $900 worth of items from a Scottsdale hotel gift shop in October. He pleaded not guilty at that time. Mr. Rose declined to comment on the plea agreement.
Chicago Laborers'' Annuity & Benefit Fund met with four brokerage firms yesterday in anticipation of establishing a commission recapture program at the $1.4 billion fund. Trustees met with Loop Capital Markets, Melvin Securities, Frank Russell Securities and Lynch Jones & Ryan. A broker will be picked next month at the earliest, said James Capasso, executive director. Merrill Lynch introduced record keeping and administration for defined benefit plans. The system can interface with Merrill Lynch''s 401(k) plan record-keeping and administrative systems to provide employers and employees with a picture of an individual''s retirement and benefits records. Chicago Municipal Employees'' Annuity & Benefit Fund, with $4.4 billion in assets, plans to hire an outsider to review the work of its actuary, Donald F. Campbell, in the fourth quarter. The idea resulted from actuarial errors recently discovered by the Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association. Miriam Santos, trustee and city treasurer, said she ``doesn''t want to get caught'' in the same situation. Central Reserve Life Insurance Co., Strongsville, Ohio, hired Conseco Capital to manage $90 million in fixed income for a general insurance account, said Frank Grimone, CFO. Funding will come from another manager that was dropped. Jorge Morales was named permanent executive director of the District of Columbia Retirement Board. Mr. Morales previously was acting executive director of the $4.9 billion fund