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September 12, 2002 - 7,257 subscribers
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Northwest Airlines to Begin Sharing Cost of Health Coverage with Employees
Excerpt: "Northwest Airlines will require employees to start paying 20 percent of their health care insurance premiums starting Jan. 1, the carrier announced Tuesday. Unions representing the carrier's 45,000 employees reacted with anger and said they are considering legal action ..." (Detroit Free Press)

Insurers May Limit Allergy Drug Coverage, Requiring Use of Upcoming Generic Form of Claritin
Excerpt: "Health insurers ... will likely mimic WellPoint Health Networks Inc. in erecting barriers to rivals of the allergy drug Claritin once it goes over the counter. Schering-Plough Corp.'s Claritin will likely be available without a prescription at local drugstores in coming months. Analysts fear insurers will cut their coverage of rival drugs in the same class of antihistamines." (The Chicago Tribune; free registration required)

Employer Was Not Required To Inform Employee of Benefits Loss After Move To Part-Time Status
An employer did not breach its fiduciary duties under ERISA when it failed to inform an employee that he would lose his eligibility for long term disability benefits when he moved from full-time to part-time status. This was the ruling of the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in Watson v. Deaconess Waltham Hospital, et al. (No. 01-2133). (Spencernet)

Researcher Looks at Employer-Paid Tuition Plans
Excerpt: "The research [by Peter Cappelli, director of Wharton's Center for Human Resources] has led him to consider how companies might handle tuition reimbursement more strategically. 'We know companies don't think systematically about how to use this as a way to develop employees,' he says. 'For the most part it is administered out of a benefits office; it's not thought of as a human capital investment.'" (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Study of Chronic Illness in America
Excerpt: "More than half of Americans have some type of chronic illness, and these people account for three-fourths of national health care spending. Yet many are not receiving necessary services-- particularly support services, such as home care-- and more than half do not feel confident in their relationships with their physicians." (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

Sparing No Expense: PBS Looks at the Cost of New Medical Technologies
Excerpt: "Paul Solman looks at the rising costs of health care and weighs the pros and cons of new medical technologies." (Online NewsHour from PBS)

Commentary: Universal Health Coverage for Oregon Residents is Universally Controversial
Excerpt: "Supporters call it Measure 23, the Oregon Comprehensive Health Care Finance Act of 2002. It's also known as the single-payer health plan. But they might as well call it the revolution. The measure, which proposes a ground-breaking funding mechanism to support comprehensive coverage for all Oregon residents, is the only universal health care initiative on a state ballot this November." (The Business Journal of Portland via; free registration required)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Cheap Seats in Private Jets for Executives on Vacation
Excerpt: "The cost to executives who use corporate jets for personal travel is low because of a 1985 tax law that allows corporate executives and directors to fly on personal trips in company planes at rates far below what business travelers pay to sit in a middle seat in coach.... 'It's a great deal,' said Mary B. Hevener, a partner at the law firm of Baker & McKenzie who represents a third of the Fortune 500 companies on tax issues connected with their corporate jets." (New York Times; free registration required)

Congress Considering Far-Reaching Executive Deferred Compensation Legislation (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Congress is now considering two bills that, if enacted, would significantly impact the vast majority of nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements. [T]he 'American Competitiveness and Corporate Accountability Act of 2002' ... and the 'National Employee Savings and Trust Equity Guarantee Act of 2002' ... have thus far received strong bi-partisan support, and are likely to garner more support ... particularly with Congress focused on upcoming elections." (LeBoeuf, Lamb, Green & MacRae, L.L.P.)

One Way to Settle the Controversy over Stock Options: Eliminate Them
Excerpt: "Cendant [recently announced that it] expected to reduce the issuance of employee stock options and instead utilize grants of restricted stock (securities that are granted subject to certain voting and transfer rules, time constraints or other limitations). That decision has placed Cendant ... in the vanguard of a movement to reject option-based incentives and return to a more traditional way of rewarding performance." (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

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

Pension Administrator
for L-3 Communications, Link Simulation & Training
in TX

New Business Implementation Specialist
for DailyAccess.Com,Inc.
in AL

Pension Administration Compliance
for VPC Group
in VA

Newly Posted Webcasts (Post Yours!)

Minimum Distribution: The Finalized Rules from the Treasury Department and the IRS
on October 24, 2002
presented by ABA Center for Continuing Legal Education

Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

The DC/401(k) Reform Conference
in CA
October 27, 2002
Pensions&Investments/International Business Forum

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