TAX FILE

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations last month giving small firms that want to start pension plans a little more certainty. The regulations set out standards for so-called "new comparability" plans. Last February, the agency announced that it was considering restrictions on new comparability plans. This left pension-plan designers unable to set up any new plans until they

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations last month giving small firms that want to start pension plans a little more certainty. The regulations set out standards for so-called "new comparability" plans. Last February, the agency announced that it was considering restrictions on new comparability plans. This left pension-plan designers unable to set up any new plans until they knew whether they would have to revise them to conform to whatever rules the IRS eventually adopted. The latest proposal makes it clear that many common plan designs will continue to be acceptable.

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has simplified the medical form for commercial drivers, including a change that affects drivers with heart problems. Rather than stipulating specific diagnostic tests, decisions are left to individual physicians. FMCSA will convene a medical panel to study standards for drivers with coronary conditions. The new form must be used starting November 6.

Texas' first privately funded toll road opened in Laredo last month. The $85-million road, dubbed Camino Colombia, is a four-lane, 22-mi. limited access highway using a state-of-the-art toll collection and vehicle ID system to allow fleets to travel in and out of Mexico without stopping. As the region's only hazardous-cargo route, it ensures unimpeded passage for the more than 14,000 trucks that cross the border daily.

J.B. Hunt recently recognized 23-yr. veteran driver Tommy Whitman as its second driver to log 3-million miles without an accident. Whitman was honored at the carrier's Lowell, Ark., headquarters. On hand to help celebrate was Lonny, Whitman's identical twin brother, the first J.B. Hunt driver to reach the 3-million-mile mark. Each brother received a $20,000 bonus from the TL carrier.

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