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Last March, $29.4 billion Memphis-based FedEx Corp. disclosed that it would expand its four-year-old cash balance plan to cover all eligible employees, not just new ones. It was no coincidence the announcement followed on the heels of two watershed events for defined benefit plans: the release of FAS 158, the new accounting rule that will compel companies to mark to market their pension liabilities and assets and report them on their balance sheets, and the signing into law of the Pension Protection Act, which legitimized cash balance plans and revised rules for determining employers’ minimum contribution levels.

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