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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition

November 10, 2000

Today's sponsor is 2e Corporation
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Funding Employee Benefits with Captive Insurers-- Is DOL Easing the Rules?
Excerpt: "[T]he Department of Labor (DOL) has begun a process that may loosen existing rules against companies funding their employee benefits plans through their "captive" insurance subsidiaries. Captive insurance companies primarily insure only the risks of the owning parent company and its subsidiaries. Generally, ERISA-prohibited transaction rules forbid such inside dealing between the plan and an employer, but ERISA also permits the DOL to issue 'prohibited transactions exemptions.'" (Deloitte & Touche)

Beneficial Relationships: More Employers Offering Benefits for Singles Who Are Couples
Excerpt: "In a tight job market, extra benefits can mean the difference between having workers and looking for them. That may be why more companies nationally are starting to offer health insurance for unmarried partners of their employees - called domestic partner benefits." (Savannah [Ga.] Morning News)

Health Insurance Benefits For Domestic Partners
Excerpt: "Whether the motive is image or ideals, more and more public and private employers are offering domestic partner benefits, signaling the possibility that such insurance is becoming a standard feature of health insurance coverage in mainstream corporate America." (insure.com)

New OSHA Ergonomics Proposal Enrages Business Advocates
Excerpt: "Federal workplace-safety regulators have drafted a revamped version of the administration�s controversial ergonomics rules that business advocates say is more onerous than the proposal that helped to stalemate budget talks between Republicans in Congress and the White House." (MSNBC.com)

Health Care Premiums Expected To Rise At Double Digit Rates In 2001

President Signs Into Law Bill On Military Retiree Health Benefits
Excerpt: "President Bill Clinton has signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2001 (H.R. 4205), which includes a provision that would provide permanent health insurance benefits for military retirees. The law has been designated as P.L. 106-398." (Spencernet)

Employers Responsible for Broadest Health Care Coverage in 12 Years
Excerpt: "Employers can congratulate themselves on being the primary source of the highest percentage of Americans with health care coverage in 12 years, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of the Census." (Deloitte & Touche)

Health Care Was Not The Decisive Issue In Presidential Race

Employer Health Care Coverage: Can't Live Without It (MS Powerpoint)
Requires Microsoft PowerPoint to view. Excerpt: "Davis argues that incremental expansion of current arrangements, especially employer-based coverage, holds the most promise for extending coverage to the nation�s uninsured and provides snapshot critiques of other approaches including, a single payer system, medical savings accounts, and tax credits for individual health insurance." (Karen Davis of the Commonwealth Fund)

(Following also appears in Retirement Plans Edition)

Valuing Unvested Stock Options As A Marital Asset In An Equitable Distribution Dissolution (PDF)
Excerpt: "A recent Connecticut decision, Wendt v. Wendt, 1998 WL 161165 (Conn. Super.), provides business types with grist for boardroom chat among the highly compensated elite in corporate America." (Lynn H. Karlet, MBA, JD, published by OptionWealth.com)

Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in ERISA Beneficiary Dispute
Excerpt: "Divorce can create sticky situations, especially if the husband dies soon afterward without removing his ex-wife as his life-insurance beneficiary. The Supreme Court wrangled Wednesday over what law governs who gets someone's employee benefits after the employee dies." (Miami Herald)

Employee Plan Disclosures: It's Cheaper to Communicate Than to Litigate -- Part II
Excerpt: "The employer's duty to disclose ERISA plan changes and the timing of that duty is becoming an ever-increasing area of contention between participants and plan sponsors.... [this article] addresses: (1) the recent Department of Labor's (DOL) request for information on plan disclosures, and (2) the types of disclosure duties imposed when plan changes are under consideration." (Deloitte & Touche)

New SEC Regulation Will Make it Easier for Insiders to Make Legal Trades
Excerpt: "SEC rule 10b5-1, which was adopted with little fanfare last month ... could have profound implications for employees, directors and shareholders of public companies. The rule, which takes effect Oct. 23, says insiders can legally buy or sell their company's shares while they are aware of material nonpublic information if the trade was specifically set forth in a written contract before the person acquired the inside information." (San Francisco Chronicle)

Graef Crystal: U.S. CEOs With the Most Underwater '99 Options
(Graef Crystal, on Bloomberg.com)

Job Openings Newly Posted or Reposted on EmployeeBenefitsJobs.com

Testing Compliance Specialistfor The 401(k) Company
in TX
401(k) DC Administratorfor Fringe Benefits Design, Inc.
in MN
Managing Director-Executive Benefits-Dallasfor Clark Bardes/ Compensation Resource Group
in TX
Client Service Consultantfor Diversified Investment Advisors
in NY
Senior Defined Benefit Analystfor Administrative Management Group
in IL
Defined Contribution Administratorfor Thomas, Beck, Zurcher & White, P.A.
in FL
401K Administratorfor Ross Stores,Inc
in CA
Employee Benefits Attorneyfor Cincinnati Law Firm
in OH

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