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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

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September 28, 2000

Americans Opposed to National Medical Records Database
Excerpt: "The vast majority of Americans are opposed to the idea of having their medical records stored in a national computerized database, according to a Gallup Poll commissioned by The Institute for Health Freedom, a nonprofit think tank based in Washington, DC." (Reuters via Excite! News)

Pennsylvania Cases Hint at Justices' Recent Thinking About HMOs
Excerpt: "It's starting to look like HMOs can't be sued anywhere for anything.... Monday, the justices ordered the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to vacate its 1998 decision in Pappas v. Asbel and, in light of Pegram, to reconsider the question of whether an HMO can be sued for malpractice by a patient who says its rules caused doctors to hold back care." (Law.com)

California Governor Vetoes Bills That Would Have Expanded Domestic Partner Law
(San Francisco Chronicle)

University of Vermont Says Gays Must Enter Into Civil Union to Qualify for Domestic Partner Benefits
Excerpt: "The University of Vermont is giving its gay employees until the end of 2001 to enter a civil union with their partners or they will no longer receive domestic-partner benefits. The decision was made to treat the 'circumstances of married couples and civil union couples consistently,' according to a school memorandum sent to 30 affected employees Tuesday and Wednesday." (Associated Press)

New Labor Department Study: Who Is Working Second, Part-Time Jobs (PDF)
Excerpt: "More than 81/2 million workers held two or more jobs in May 1997. Four out of every ten did so to meet regular household expenses or to pay off debts." (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor)

In Their Own Words: The Uninsured Talk About Living Without Health Insurance
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Not for Sale... Health Policy and Election 2000
Excerpt: "To counter the effect of money in health care politics, we started our webpage, Not For Sale: Health Policy & Election 2000. Building on our award-winning website, www.healthlaw.org, our goal is to create a place where health advocates and campaign finance reform organizations can find a common interest and work together." (National Health Law Program (NHeLP))

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

DOL Advisory Opinion 2000-11A Released
Excerpt: "This responds to your request for an advisory opinion concerning the status of the Firefighters' Variable Supplements Fund (VS Fund) under Title I of ERISA ... we conclude that the VS Fund is a 'governmental plan' within the meaning of section 3(32) of ERISA ... [Here,] the VS Fund is the product of collective bargaining between the UFA and the City and has limited its coverage to employees of the City." (U.S. Department of Labor)

Money Talks, or Partners Walk: Structuring A Professional Service Firm's Compensation Formula
(Journal of Accountancy)

The Ins and Outs of SERP Swaps
Excerpt: "To help executives maximize wealth for future generations, some companies offer [Supplemental Executive Retirement Program, or 'SERP'] swaps. Executives can swap heavily taxed retirement benefits for tax-favored employer-funded life insurance contracts on the life of the executive or the executive and his or her spouse." (Journal of Accountancy)

How to Avoid the $1 Million Compensation Cap In IPOs and Spinoffs
Excerpt: "For federal tax purposes, public companies can deduct no more than $1 million of annual compensation for the CEO and each of four other highly paid officers. For a newly public company, disallowed deductions could create a severe cash crunch. Effective planning includes postponing the limit and structuring compensation packages that avoid it." (Journal of Accountancy)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Director of Compensation and Benefits- US/Latin Americafor America At Work
in FL
401(k) Administratorfor RPSC
in GA
Client Relationship Manager, Trust Environmentfor Reliance Trust Company
in GA

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