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October 25, 2012          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Account Relationship Manager
for Beneco in AZ

DC/DB Pension Plan Administrator
for Feldman Benefit Services, Inc. in NJ

Client Communications Consultant
for The Newport Group in FL

Manager, Operations
for The Newport Group in FL

Relationship Manager II
for Wilmington Trust - M&T Bank Corporation in AZ

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Webcasts and Conferences

Mergers and Plan Terminations Webcast
Nationwide on November 5, 2012 presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

The Trials and Tribulations of Auto Enrollment Webcast
Nationwide on November 13, 2012 presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

RMDs for DB Plans Including Cash Balance and Other Distribution Issues Webcast
Nationwide on November 15, 2012 presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)


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Private Health Insurance Exchanges: Look Before You Leap
"[B]efore an employer implements a private exchange, there are several issues that should be considered ... [T]he exchange would most likely be treated as an employer plan subject to ERISA ... [T]he alternatives available will be subject to the COBRA continuation rules as well as the HIPAA requirements ... The employer's contribution provided through an HRA [or a cafeteria plan] may raise nondiscrimination issues ... Multi-state employers may be faced with a myriad of policies with different benefits, due to state mandates and different definitions of 'essential health benefits'[.]" (Benefits Bryan Cave)


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States Rein in Health Insurance Expenses for Public Employees
"Government workers still enjoy more generous health benefits than privately employed workers but the advantage has narrowed from $1,523 in 2007 to $891 in 2012, adjusted for inflation, federal data show. Governments also have reduced the share of full-time workers paying nothing for their coverage from 39% in 2007 to 30% in 2012. In the private sector, 17% of insured workers pay nothing." (USA TODAY)

Incentivizing Good Health: A Mid-Sized Employer's Success Story
"Here was the dilemma: our previous fitness program had awarded points for completing certain physical activities. ... [T]he program produced real winners. The problem was, those winners were the company's resident fitness buffs -- men and women for whom the program's modest exercise requirements seemed fairly routine. But for the people who weren't already icons of good health -- those with sedentary lives and borderline vital stats -- the program didn't provide an appropriate incentive. If anything, it intimidated them." (Society for Human Resource Management)

Employers Cautious Toward Exchanges, Embrace CDHPs
"In preparation for the 40 percent excise tax on high cost 'Cadillac' plans scheduled to take effect in 2018, 31 percent of employers indicated that they plan to reduce their benefits in 2014-2016, with 41 percent responding they will do so for 2017-2018. For the next few years, there is little indication that employers plan to drop health care coverage and give employees money to buy health care coverage elsewhere. Only 9 percent of employers indicated that they planned to participate in state health insurance exchanges when they begin in 2014-2016." (Society for Human Resource Management)

Commentators Want IRS To Lose FSA 'Use It Or Lose It' Rule, Treasury Official Says
"[Kevin Knopf, of the Treasury's Office of Benefits Tax Counsel] noted that some employers anticipated that the cap would apply in 2012 and decided to limit employee contributions. Now that the cap does not apply for 2012, employers want to give employees a midyear election to increase their contributions. Knopf said that employees cannot change their election unless they have a 'life event,' and that the issuance of IRS guidance is not a suitable event. He indicated that this policy is unlikely to change." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

Seven Factors Driving Up Your Health Care Costs
"There is no one villain in the battle against rising health care costs. Currently, the United States spends more on health care services than any other country, exceeding $2.6 trillion, or about 18 percent of gross domestic product. Most years, medical spending rises faster than inflation and the economy as a whole. Many factors -- and nearly everyone -- contributes to those increases." (Kaiser Health News)

Despite Recession's Effects on Incomes and Jobs, Share of People with High Medical Costs Was Mostly Unchanged
"The percentage of Americans under age 65 with high medical costs was largely unchanged over the study period: in 2006, 19.2 percent had high medical costs, compared with 18.8 percent in 2009. Over 2006-09, average annual family income decreased, from $65,000 to $61,000, but so too did average annual out-of-pocket spending, from $1,454 to $1,231.... About 18 percent of people with employer-sponsored insurance had high medical cost burdens in 2009, as did more than half (52.9%) of people with nongroup private insurance." (The Commonwealth Fund)

Affordable Care Act's Rulemaking Process: What the Research Shows
"The early and relatively minor provisions of the Affordable Care Act that Members of Congress believed would be popular took effect more quickly, but the shorter deadlines undermined the quality of the process.... The agency analyses of the regulations that implement the early ACA provisions suffered from inadequate cost-benefit analysis and insufficient consideration of regulatory alternatives. Thus, these analyses failed to properly inform the regulatory decision-making process. The ACA regulatory process fell below the normal standards of HHS and other agencies in writing regulations." (The Heritage Foundation)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Say on Pay: Takeaways from 2012 and Strategies for 2013
"First mandated for the 2011 proxy season, experience to date shows that say on pay is neither as dire nor as beneficial as some predicted. Say on pay has led to: [1] Increased efforts by boards to engage with shareholders and understand their concerns, not only on compensation-related matters but on other governance issues as well. [2] Less opposition by shareholders to board nominees generally. [3] Fewer shareholder proposals on executive compensation, with the number of proposals falling significantly to less than half the number in 2010 (the year before say on pay went into effect). However, while average levels of shareholder support remain high, failure rates for say on pay proposals in 2012 were about twice as high as in 2011." (Practical Law Company)

Cypen & Cypen Newsletter for October 25, 2012
Covers employee benefit developments with an emphasis on governmental plans. Topics in this issue include: U.S. Pension Gap Is "Good News"; Definition of "Convicted" in Forfeiture Statute Authorized by Constitution Does Not Impermissibly Broaden Constitutional Provision; Correctional Officer's Presumption of Occupational Causation for Disabling Heart Disease Not Rebutted by Presence of Viral Gastroenteritis; Colorado Appellate Court Reverses Retirees' Attack on Retroactive Cost-of-Living Adjustment; Roth IRA Not "Pension Plan?" (Cypen & Cypen)

Press Releases



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