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December 31, 2002 - 8,030 subscribers
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Bishops Sue New York State to Block Mandatory Coverage for Contraceptives
Excerpt: "Roman Catholic bishops in New York sued the state yesterday to overturn a new law that requires insurers to cover birth control and other women's health services, contending that it essentially forces Catholic institutions to endorse practices barred by the church." (New York Times; free registration required)

U.S. Firms Built Controversial Finance Tool Out of Death Benefits
Excerpt: "Unknown to most people outside the insurance world, corporations now are among the largest beneficiaries of life insurance, collecting on policies they purchased on the lives of employees.... For some big insurers ... sales of corporate-owned life insurance are a source of growth as traditional sales stagnate." (Wall Street Journal via Yahoo! Finance Singapore)

Split-Dollar Policies Getting Closer Look; More Legislation to Be Proposed
Excerpt: "[T]he life insurance industry is fighting to protect the benefit amid greater scrutiny and regulation. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act, set to take effect in late January, bans corporate loans to executives, putting into limbo many split-dollar arrangements, which are essentially loans. Industry lobbyists are seeking to reverse the effect of the act by introducing a technical correction, among other moves, in the coming session of Congress." (Wall Street Journal via DelawareOnline.com)

GE Workers Set to Strike Over Health Insurance Premium Increases
Excerpt: "The General Electric Company's union workers are planning their first national strike in more than 30 years as the company prepares to raise health care co-payments on Jan. 1." (New York Times; free registration required)

Opinion: Opposition to Proposed Kickback Regulations by Doctors and Big Pharma is Shameful
Excerpt: "[Prior to issuance of the proposed regulations, the] Department of Health and Human Services has officially looked askance at the drug industry's long-time habit of influencing the decisions doctors, hospitals and insurance providers make about what drugs patients should receive." (Salt Lake Tribune)

Lowering Pollution Cuts Medical Costs
Excerpt: "Even accounting for factors such as population size, income, cigarette use and educational level, Medicare recipients still needed substantially more health care in areas with more pollution -- driving costs up for all patients." (Greensboro [N.C.] News-Record)

One Flight Attendant's Story: Family Life on the Fly
Excerpt: "[W]ith United Airlines in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, losing $20 million a day, and the firm's lenders keeping a sharp eye on the company's progress in reducing labor costs, Kelly and tens of thousands of other United employees have joined workers in many troubled industries who must cope with changes in pay, benefits and work rules that can shake the careful balance between work and family life." (Washington Post)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

FASB Amends Transition Guidance for Stock Options
Press release. Excerpt: "The FASB has published Statement No. 148, Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation--Transition and Disclosure, which amends FASB Statement No. 123, Accounting for Stock-Based Compensation. In response to a growing number of companies announcing plans to record expenses for the fair value of stock options, Statement 148 provides alternative methods of transition for a voluntary change to the fair value based method of accounting for stock-based employee compensation." (Business Wire via NewsAlert.com)

Who Is a Fiduciary and What Are Plan Assets?
19 pages; click on title of article on the target web page. Good nutshell summary, with citations. (Attorneys Sarah Bassler, Gary Howell of Gardner, Carton & Douglas)

Humor: Congress Approves Death Penalty for Anybody Convicted of Exercising Stock Option
Excerpt: "In financial news, Congress, addressing the corporate accounting scandals, approves the death penalty for anybody convicted of exercising a stock option. As the market plunges 128,500 points, Federal Reserve Board Chairman Alan Greenspan, in a move that fails to bolster investor confidence, announces that from now on he wants to be paid in gold." (Dave Barry on Charleston.net)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
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Financial Analyst - Executive Benefits - Deerfield, IL
for Mullin Consulting, Inc.
in IL

Senior Health Benefits Analyst
for The Segal Company is an employee benefits, human resources consulting firm
in CA
Newly Posted Conferences
(Post Yours!)

Cross-Tested Plans Specialty Workshop (1/2 day only) offered throughout the country--various dates and locations beginning 2/5/2003 thru 2/28/2003
in CA, DC, IA, IN, MI, MO, NY, OH, TX, WA
February 5, 2003
SunGard Corbel

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan Specialty Workshop (1/2 day only) offered throughout the country--various dates and locations beginning 2/5/2003 thru 2/28/2003
in CA, DC, IA, IN, MI, MO, NY, OH, TX, WA
February 5, 2003
SunGard Corbel

2003 National Health Policy Conference
in DC
January 22, 2003
AcademyHealth and Health Affairs

2003 Business Management Conference
in AZ
January 11, 2003
National Institute of Pension Administrators

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