Your Aug. 23 issue included an article about the number of firms moving to a cash balance pension plan. You quote a Todd Peterson of Arthur Andersen as saying that many large companies have moved to a cash balance plan: "IBM, Shell Oil, Eastman Kodak and Time Inc. are just a few of them."
As director of benefits for Time Inc., I can tell you that this is erroneous. Time Inc. has not adopted, nor do we have any immediate plans to adopt, any sort of hybrid pension plan. Time Inc. participates in a traditional defined benefit plan sponsored by our parent, Time Warner Inc. I am not working with Arthur Andersen on any benefits matters and would certainly not have given them this misinformation. We are contacting them separately about this.
We, too, are a publishing company, and I realize that mistakes do happen. I would ask you to print a retraction of this statement. It's particularly important as we just assured our union and other employees that we are not adopting a cash balance pension plan.
Changing the system
"Naive" is a word I never think of in connection with P&I - but your editorial "Sole trusteeship too tempting" (Oct. 4) falls under that word.
You write, and everyone agrees, that Connecticut and New York should not have sole trustees of their public funds. You note that New York's Carl McCall and his predecessor, Ned Regan, urged change, and they have truly tried.
But the question isn't whether " it's time for those with the power to change the system to listen." The question is how to design the new regime - just who will have the power to appoint just how many trustees. Unsurprisingly, the relevant players prefer the status quo over newly empowering X instead of Y.
You would render your usual valuable service by having an interview series, from the governors on, about their proposals for change and whether they have the imagination to work out an advance on this long-standing need for better accountability.
Roy A. Schotland
professor of law
Georgetown University Law