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October 28, 2002 - 7,545 subscribers
Today's sponsor: World Research Group

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   Voluntary Benefits Management & Enhanced Benefit Communications Forum

   January 29th & 30th, 2003 - Orlando, FL

   This event will examine new trends in voluntary benefits, but it
   will also address how to solve employee communication needs.
   Attend this forum to receive an in-depth analysis on how to design
   an effective benefit communications strategy, choose which
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(Help BenefitsLink to provide this newsletter at no charge to you -- our sponsors pay your way. Remember to visit them periodically; we try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)
Human-Implanted ID Chip's Controversial Approval
Excerpt: "A surprise decision by the Food and Drug Administration permits the use of implantable ID chips in humans, despite an FDA investigator's recent public reservations about the devices." (Wired magazine)

Health Insurance Benefits Fading as Employee Lure
Excerpt: "The days of using company-sponsored health benefits to attract and keep employees appear to be over, a recent national survey concludes. In short, fewer workers have coverage, while benefits for the rest are dropping. And things likely won't get better anytime soon." (Knight Ridder/Tribune Business News via Society for Human Resource Management)

More Group Health Plans Testing Patient Incentives/Disincentives
Excerpt: "Attempting to engage consumers in employer-sponsored health plans, more companies are dabbling with motivation theory in an attempt to evoke healthy behaviors among employees. Since 1996, the percentage of companies offering financial incentive and disincentive programs in their health plan has increased from 34% to 42%, according to data from Hewitt Associates." (BenefitNews.com)

Opinion: Sweetheart Deals and Patent Extensions Keep Lower-Cost Generic Drugs From Consumers
Newly available online; originally published July 2001. Excerpt: "If you or a family member have taken brand-name prescription drugs for such ailments as allergies, anxiety, heartburn, or high blood pressure, you can stop wondering why your bills have been so high. In many cases, cheaper generic equivalents have not made it to the marketplace as early as they could have after expiration of the typical 20-year drug patent." (Consumer Reports)

Health Insurance Association of America Hails Bush's Generic Drug Proposal
Press release. Excerpt: "The new rule improving access to generic medicines announced by President Bush today is an important step toward making health insurance more affordable, and hence more available, for millions of Americans.... [W]e believe that this proposed rule could help make lower-cost generic medicines more readily available by reducing the unfair manipulation of patent laws by a few." (Health Insurance Association of America)

Opinion: Congress Falls Flat on Drug Promises
Excerpt: "As older Americans head for the polls on Nov. 5, they may well wonder why Congress has failed to honor endless promises to help them afford needed medicines and whether the candidates they vote for now will do any better in the future. Over the past three years lawmakers have repeatedly pledged, as a priority, to add prescription drug coverage to Medicare or rein in escalating drug costs, or both. So far, they have accomplished nothing." (AARP Bulletin)

A Canadian Critiques the Results of Canada's Single-Payer System
Excerpt: "Oregon voters next month will decide whether the state should increase taxes and use the revenue to pay for health care for all Oregon residents.... When the subject of governmental health systems arises, many locals probably think of the Canadian model, though Washington advocates of a single-payer system have said they have a somewhat different model in mind." (Puget Sound Business Journal via bizjournals.com; free registration required)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Leading Law Firms Provide Interpretation of Sarbanes-Oxley Act Prohibition on Insider Loans (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "Section 402 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 was enacted to prohibit publicly-traded companies from providing personal loans to directors and executive officers.... In the absence of legislative or regulatory guidance, private practitioners are in the position of having to interpret the statutory provisions in order to advise companies on compliance." (Winston & Strawn, Alston & Bird LLP, 23 More Firms)

SEC Names Accounting Board; Webster To Be Head
Excerpt: "A deeply divided U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday voted to approve five members of a new national board to police corporate accountants, with ex-FBI chief William Webster as chairman." (Reuters via Yahoo! News)

Multinational Companies Begin To Seek Consistency In Worldwide Benefits
Excerpt: "[K]ey findings from a late-2001 survey by Towers Perrin of 157 global companies including the likes of Daimler Chrysler, Microsoft, and Swiss Re suggest that many multinational companies struggle to set a consistent strategic direction for their worldwide benefit plans." (BenefitNews.com)

SEC Proposal Could Block Southwest Airlines From Giving Workers Stock Options
Excerpt: "A Securities and Exchange Commission proposal could end Southwest Airlines' practice of granting employee stock options, a tool the low-cost carrier uses to limit expenses. The SEC proposal would require shareholders to approve any plan that gives stock options to rank-and-file employees. It would amend an existing rule that allows companies to give options, without a shareholder vote, to nonexecutives and nondirectors." (The Dallas Morning News via Society for Human Resource Management)




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

401(k) / Pension Administrator
for O'Sullivan Creel, LLP
in FL

Senior Administrator - Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Consulting and Administration
for Markley Actuarial Services, Inc.
in PA

Qualified Retirement Plan Administration Specialist
for RSM McGladrey, Inc.
in NC

Premium Only Plan Implementation Specialist
for ADP, Inc.
in NJ

Compliance Officer
for American Express Financial Advisors
in MN

Senior Plan Administrator
for RPS Plan Administrators
in CO


Newly Posted Conferences (Post Yours!)

Nuts and Bolts of 401(k) Plans In Florida
in FL
November 12, 2002
Lorman Education Services

Nuts and Bolts of 401(k) Plans In Florida
in FL
December 5, 2002
Lorman Education Services

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in CO
November 21, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in TX
November 22, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in KS, MO
December 4, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in CA
December 5, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in MN
December 5, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in IL
December 6, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in NC, SC
December 12, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in PA
December 12, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in GA
December 13, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am)
in MA
December 13, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in CO
November 21, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in TX
November 22, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in KS, MO
December 4, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in CA
December 5, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in MN
December 5, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in IL
December 6, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in NC, SC
December 12, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in PA
December 12, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in GA
December 13, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm)
in MA
December 13, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Distributions & Taxation Workshops (1/2 day program--1 pm - 4:30 pm) offered in 10 locations in November & December!
in CA, CO, GA, IL, KS, MA, MN, MO, NC, PA, SC, TX
November 21, 2002
SunGard Corbel

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) Specialty Workshop (1/2 day program--8 am - 11:30am) presented in 10 locations in November & December!
in CA, CO, GA, IL, KS, MA, MN, MO, NC, PA, TX
November 21, 2002
SunGard Corbel

17th Annual National Institute on Compensation for Executives and Directors
in NY
November 7, 2002
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

12th Annual National Institute on ERISA Litigation
in IL
November 14, 2002
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Ethical Considerations in ERISA Litigation
in ALL STATES
November 15, 2002
ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

VOLUNTARY BENEFITS MANAGEMENT & ENHANCED BENEFIT COMMUNICATIONS FORUM
in FL
January 29, 2003
World Research Group


Newly Posted Press Releases (Post Yours!)

United Benefit Advisors Unveils Wisdom Network (tm)
(United Benefit Advisors)

Pyramid Digital Solutions Named to Inc. 500 for Third Consecutive Year
(Pyramid Digital Solutions)

Pyramid Named to the 2002 Deloitte & Touche Technology Fast 500
(Pyramid Digital Solutions)


Newly Posted Announcements of Promotions and New Personnel (Post Yours!)

Robert Cirkiel (Hilb, Rogal and Hamilton)

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