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May 3, 2000

New Change-in-Election Rules Provide Greater Flexibility
Excerpt: "New IRS rules issued in March allow employers and employees more flexibility and additional opportunities for making mid-year changes to benefits elections under flex plans. The rules apply to plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2001, but they may be relied on immediately, according to the IRS." (Thompson Publishing Group)

Appeals Court Rules That Widow Was Not Entitled To Additional Life Insurance Benefits
Excerpt: "The Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that a widow was not entitled to an additional $202,000 in life insurance benefits from her husband's employer because her husband was not in 'active service' on the date those benefits became effective. The case is Katz v. Comprehensive Plan of Group Insurance, ALLTEL Pension and Benefits Committee." (Spencernet)

Court Rules Public Employers Have Say in Use of Comp Time
Excerpt: "Public employers can force their hourly workers to take time off to avoid paying them overtime, the Supreme Court ruled Monday." (Los Angeles Times)

Lawsuit Says Humana Encourages Treatment Denials To Gain Profit
Excerpt: "Humana Inc., one of the nation's largest health insurers, faces another lawsuit claiming it has offered doctors, hospitals, and other medical providers discounts and incentives to deny some medical treatment in order to reap a bigger profit." (insure.com)

Participation By Small Number of Private Sector Employees Does Not Alter Status of Governmental Plan
Excerpt: "In Advisory Opinion 2000-04A, the Department of Labor's Pension and Welfare Benefits Administration (PWBA) states that the participation by a de minimis number of private sector employees in a governmental plan does not alter the plan's status as a governmental plan." (Spencernet)

Private Pension Plan Bulletin: Abstract of 1996 Form 5500 Annual Reports
Excerpt: "This is the ninth edition of the Private Pension Plan Bulletin. The tabulations presented in this report contain data based on 1996 Form 5500 filings. Reports for 1996 plan years were filed by plans for fiscal years ending anywhere from December 31, 1996 to December 30, 1997." (U.S. Department of Labor)

Self-Insured Death Benefits: A Question of Equity (PDF)
Excerpt: "In recent court rulings and private letter rulings (PLRs), self-insured death benefits are also excludable from gross income for tax purposes, provided the arrangement meets the conditions of a life insurance contract." (Milliman & Robertson, Inc.)

An Update on Section 415 for Multiemployer Plans (PDF)
Excerpt: "Recently, the IRS issued Notice 99-44, technically detailing how trustees can take action to effect the repeal of Section 415(e) and remove the burden of compliance with that section of the Code. However, doing so may be tricky." (Milliman & Robertson, Inc.)

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