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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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August 26, 2002 - 7,007 subscribers
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(Help BenefitsLink to provide this newsletter at no charge to you -- our sponsors pay our way. Remember to visit them periodically; we try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Demand for Educated Workers Expected to Soar
Excerpt: "New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics drive home what many economists already know: Future demand for educated workers is expected to soar. In a report derived from BLS data, the Society for Human Resource Management maintains that occupations requiring at least a bachelor's degree will grow 21.6 percent between now and 2010." (The Boston Globe via Society for Human Resource Management)

Few Workers Invoke FMLA
Excerpt: "Since Congress enacted the FMLA with great fanfare almost a decade ago, employers report that 6.5 percent of workers have used the law to take time off-- up from 3.6 in 1995." (The Christian Science Monitor via Society for Human Resource Management)

School District Program Helps Employees Buy Homes
Excerpt: "The Beaufort County School District is taking steps to eliminate one of the biggest problems it has finding and keeping employees -- the area's high cost of home ownership. The district has joined Fannie Mae, a government-backed mortgage securities company, to create an Employer Assisted Housing Program for employees. The program helps employees put together the money for a down payment on a home." (The Beaufort [Tex.] Gazette via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Benefit Assistance Nurtures Adoptive Parents
Excerpt: "Benefit sponsors are attempting to keep pace with the liberalization of laws that has more Americans choosing adoption as a route to parenthood." (

Defined Contribution Healthcare Plans Might Not Be a Panacea
Excerpt: "[Consumer-driven plans] combine a high-deductible health insurance policy with a health-care spending account that's funded by the employer. The spending account usually can be tapped the moment the consumer has a qualified medical cost, providing the ever-popular 'first dollar coverage' that workers have come to expect. But there's a catch. The spending account usually doesn't amount to as much as the deductible on the insurance policy." (Los Angeles Times; free registration required)

Prescription Drugs: In the Eye of the Healthcare Storm
Excerpt: "Often and quite correctly fingered as a major component of rising health care costs, prescription drugs have come under increased scrutiny from a broad array of constituencies, including the health insurance industry and pharmacy benefit management companies.... [But evidence] is mounting that certain brand-name prescription drugs can ward off catastrophic medical events associated with chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease, and depression." (

Strong Consensus for Health Reform Building, Survey Says
Excerpt: "The United States has a 'considerable appetite' for health care reform, and a 'stronger consensus for radical reform is building' among the public, employers, providers and others in the health care industry, according to a Harris Poll released Aug. 21." (

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General
(These items appear in both editions of the BenefitsLink Newsletter)

Opinion: Vanguard Group is Out in Front by Asking Companies to Expense Stock Options
Excerpt: "Vanguard Group, the market leader in indexed mutual funds, has been quietly turning up the heat on top corporate executives. With $300 billion worth of stocks in its dozens of mutual funds, Vanguard has tremendous potential influence over how companies are run. More and more, Vanguard is exploiting that potential to the future benefit of its fundholders." (Business Week)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings - Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Administrator
for The Benefits Consulting Group in IL

Sr. Plan Administrator
for American National Insurance Company in TX

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Lorraine Dorsa & Associates in FL

Staff Attorney
for HEREIU Welfare/Pension Funds in IL

for USI Consulting Group Inc. in NY

for USI Consulting Group Inc. in NY

Senior Recordkeeper
for Wachovia Corporation in NC

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Benefits Bootcamp
in GA on January 23, 2003
presented by WEB, Worldwide Employee Benefits Network

ERISA, EGTTRA, Sarbanes-Oxley.. Retirement Plan Sponsor Update, Issues and Liability
in NY on September 18, 2002
presented by Advanced Group and Bond, Schoeneck & King

Subscribe to the Retirement Plans Edition, too (click)

Feel free to send this email to friends, colleagues or clients, if you copy or forward this email in its entirety (including this boilerplate part). Copyright 2002, Inc.

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Editor and Publisher: David Rhett Baker, J.D.