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The BenefitsLink Newsletter -
Welfare Plans Edition
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August 28 and 29, 2002 - 7,007 subscribers
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California Assembly Approves Paid Family Leave Bill
Excerpt: "The state Assembly, on a 45-28 vote, approved a bill that would allow workers to collect disability insurance for as long as six weeks for family leave. The bill ... now goes back to the Senate for final approval. The governor has not said whether he will sign it. If enacted, the bill would take effect Jan. 1, 2004." (The Orange County [Calif.] Register via Society for Human Resource Management)

How Paid Family Leave Would Work In California
Excerpt: "California is close to becoming the first state in the country to provide paid family leave through a workers disability insurance program. Here are questions and answers about the legislation: ..." (The Orange County [Calif.] Register)

Trend: Workers Fighting for Severance Benefits in Corporate Bankruptcy Proceedings
Excerpt: "Workers who lost severance pay and benefits when their employers landed in bankruptcy court are fighting back as never before. They are raising money in courts and on Capitol Hill. They are seeking tax-exempt status to collect donations and using Web sites to spread their messages. The new wave of activism stems from an unprecedented spate of bankruptcy filings, including the two largest ever, legal experts say." (USA Today via International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Provisions of Draft ERISA Plan Found Enforceable
Jones v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., No. 01-2476 (E.D. Pa. Aug. 14, 2002). Excerpt: "Although the plan had gone into effect six months before the accident, the plan documents were not yet final, so the employer provided only a draft copy of the insurance booklet. The draft booklet was similar to the insurer's initial written proposal to provide coverage, which contained an exclusion for losses 'caused or contributed by use of alcohol' ..." (EBIA Weekly)

Elder Care Becomes Increasingly Important Issue for Employers
Excerpt: "Elder care is becoming an increasingly big issue for employees and their employers, experts say. For employers, it means reduced productivity. For the employee, it means loss of wages -- and sometimes the job." (The Dallas Morning News via Society for Human Resource Management)

Christian Science Monitor Examines 'Crumbling' Canadian Health Care System
Excerpt: "The Christian Science Monitor on Aug. 28 examines the 'crumbling' Canadian health care system, a publicly funded, universal care system touted by former President Bill Clinton in 1994 as a model for reforming the U.S. system." (

Will Oregon Voters Say No to HMOs and Yes to Single-Payer Health Insurance?
Excerpt: "Oregon voters will decide on Nov. 5, 2002, whether to take employers and insurers out of the health insurance loop and embrace a single-payer system that promises health care for every resident. If the ballot initiative succeeds, the new single-payer system is slated to begin in 2005." (

Next Big Health Debate: How to Help Uninsured
Excerpt: "Senator John B. Breaux of Louisiana, an influential moderate Democrat, and leaders of the nation's largest pension plans are trying to drum up support for universal health insurance, a proposal that has received little attention, except from labor unions and liberals, since the collapse of the Clintons' health plan." (New York Times; free registration required)

Health Care Costs Continue To Rise For Second Half of 2002, Buck Survey Finds
Employers' health care costs will continue to rise, according to the results of a national survey of more than 80 U.S. health insurers, HMOs, and third party administrators. Released by Buck Consultants, a global human resources consulting firm, the eighth National Health Care Trend Survey shows increases in health care costs for the remainder of 2002 and for the first half of 2003. (Spencernet)

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

Congress May Change the Rules for Executive Deferred Compensation Arrangements
Excerpt: "Congress is currently considering legislation that could have a significant impact on the nonqualified deferred compensation plans maintained by many employers. One of the bills which appears to have bipartisan support is H.R. 5095, the 'American Competitiveness and Corporate Accountability Act of 2002.' [The bill] contains provisions that would adversely affect many executive deferred compensation arrangements." (Faegre & Benson LLP)

Opinion: Program for Underwater Options Excludes Executives, But Can't Hide Executive Largesse
Excerpt: "Foundry Networks [last week] announced a stock option exchange program for its employees in which all underwater options held by employees could be exchanged on a 2-for-1 basis. The new options will have an exercise price of the closing price on the date of the grant. And here's the kicker: executive officers of the company aren't eligible to participate in the exchange. Oh, the beneficence! ... It doesn't look so good when you run the numbers." (

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

Client Relationship Manager
for Pension Third Party Administrator in MI

Retirement Plan Administrator
for InWest Pension Management, Inc. in TX

Implementation Team Manager - Health and Welfare
for Fidelity Investments - Merrimack, NH in NH

Legal Department
for Benefit Professionals, Inc. in AL

Manager, Group Medical and Long Term Care Plans
for Allied Pilots Association in TX

401(k)/Pension Administrator
for Contemporary Pensions, Inc. in CA

Retirement Plan Administrator
for National Benefits Consulting Firm in CA

401(k) Administrator
for Administrative Retirement Services, Inc. in IL

Defined Contribution Administrator
for Carley & McCaw, Inc. in TX

Pension Administrator
for Benefit Planning, Inc. in CA

Plan Administrator
for Shievitz Enterprises, Inc. in IL

Fun & Challenging DC Compliance Position
for Louis Kravitz & Associates, Inc. in CA

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

ISCEBS 21st Annual Employee Benefits Symposium
in CA on October 21, 2002
presented by International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists

Interviewing Skills for Effective Staff Selection
in on November 2, 2002
presented by Institute for International Research, Dubai

Economic Forecast
in GA on September 19, 2002
presented by WEB Atlanta Chapter

Industry & Legislative Update
in OH on October 9, 2002
presented by ASPA Benefits Council of Greater Cincinnati

Introduction to COBRA Coverage
in NJ, NY on September 23, 2002
presented by Matthew Justin Vance

Newly Posted Press Releases Releases Free Report: "Cost Sharing Strategies For Medical Benefits"
(Alexander Hamilton Institute - AHI's Benefits Alert)

Subscribe to the Retirement Plans Edition, too (click)

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