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February 3, 2006
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WorldatWork publications in the BenefitsLink Bookstore

WorldatWork, a not-for-profit professional association, is a leading publisher of compensation, benefits and total rewards information. With a portfolio of books, reports, survey briefs, booklets and online learning programs, WorldatWork creates, markets and distributes publications that are critical to improved organizational performance. WorldatWork has contributed to the education and development of business professionals worldwide since 1955.

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FEHBP: First-Year Experience with High-Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts
28 pages. Excerpt: "GAO was asked to evaluate the experience of the 14 HDHPs coupled with an HSA that were first offered under the FEHBP in January 2005. [Highlights of the report are at]" (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

Interview: Is Managed Consumerism the 'Third Way'?
Excerpt: "[Health economist James Robinson] spoke recently with 'Managed Care' Senior Contributing Editor Patrick Mullen about how the health system finds itself in its current transitional state and how he would like to see it change." (Managed Care)

2006 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey (PDF)
4 pages. (The Segal Company via Financial Executives International)

She Did It Her Way -- Convened Her Own Self-Funding Conference
Excerpt: "Karrie Andes is the director of human resources at Deffenbaugh Industries .... she needed to find a way to cut health benefit costs. 'We had a fully insured HMO that left about $1 million on the table over three years,' she recalls. 'It was a huge eye-opener that we needed to be self-funded. I needed more information, so I started looking at training for self-insured plans. At the conferences I attended, my questions just weren't being answered.'" (Employee Benefit News)

Federal Costs Dropping under New Medicare Drug Plan
Excerpt: "Federal spending on the new Medicare drug benefit will be 20 percent lower than expected this year because beneficiaries are choosing pres.cription drug plans with lower premiums, the Bush administration said [yesterday]." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Requiring Employees to Contribute More to Cost of Pres.cription Drugs May Not Be the Best Medicine
Excerpt: "[S]hifting a substantially larger share of pres.cription costs to employees could discourage them from taking maintenance medications, which in turn could lead to more serious, and more expensive, health problems." (Society for Human Resource Management)

Editorial: The Lopsided Bush Health Plan
Excerpt: "The health care proposals put forth by President Bush in his State of the Union address this week will not make much of a dent in the two main problems plaguing the nation's health care system -- the escalating costs and the growing legions of the uninsured. His proposals simply show where he and many conservatives want health care financing to go -- toward a system where consumers will be expected to pay more of their care themselves, ...." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Comments from the President of The Commonwealth Fund on the State of the Health Care System
Excerpt: "President Bush outlined several strategies to reform the U.S. health care system in his latest State of the Union Address. Recognizing the need to improve the affordability and availability of health care is an important step toward a health care system that works for all Americans. However, the proposals the president put forward do not go far enough to reverse the alarming trends we have seen in recent years." (The Commonwealth Fund)

Voluntary Benefits Cost Employers Virtually Nothing While They Help Workers Round Out Their Benefits
Excerpt: "A voluntary-benefits program is most likely an ERISA plan, ..., if an employer promotes the program, distributes benefits information in its name or allows payment through a Section 125 plan (a plan that permits pretax payroll deductions for employees' costs)." (Society for Human Resource Management)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: FASB Proposed Changes to Accounting Standards for Pensions & Postretirement Benefit Plans (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The objective of this project is to improve the reporting for pensions and other postretirement benefit plans in company financial statements by making this information more useful and transparent for investors, creditors, employees, retirees, and other users. The project will proceed in two phases." (Dechert LLP)

Mick, Cher and The Donald show no signs of slowing down, and baby boomer employees may well follow s
Excerpt: "This year, baby boomers -- approximately 75 million people born between 1946 and 1964 -- began to turn 60. Don't expect most of them to retire right away, however. According to the AARP, 68 percent of workers between the ages of 50 and 70 plan to work during retirement or forgo retirement altogether." (Society for Human Resource Management)

Research Paper: Nonqualified Deferred Compensation (PDF)
61 pages. Prepared for the 'Order Out of Chaos - Analyzing the 409A Guidance' ABA Section of Taxation Midyear Meeting 2006, February 2-4, 2006 (Haynes and Boone, LLP. and T. David Cowart)

409A: Five Points that May Surprise You (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "A significant portion of the payments made under a typical ad hoc separation agreement, whether voluntary or involuntary, are not deferred compensation subject to 409A." (Ivins, Phillips & Barker)

Compensation Costs in State and Local Government
Excerpt: "Compensation cost gains for State and local government workers were the same in the September to December quarter as in the prior quarter -- 1.1 percent." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated as of January 31, 2006
Excerpt: "Hewitt's Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding health and welfare benefit plans, retirement plans, and human resources and employment law." (Hewitt Associates)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Health Plan Notices for 2006: COBRA, HIPAA, and More--You Might Need to Change Your Forms or Your Procedures!
Nationwide on January 26, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Here Comes the Sun: The SEC's New Executive Pay Proposals
Nationwide on March 1, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PBGC Moves to Protect WCI Steel Pension Plan
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Welfare Fund Administrator
for Taft-Hartley Benefit Plan - Milwaukee Wisconsin
in WI

Account Executive Director
for The Principal Financial Group
in IN

Defined Benefit Administrator
for The Senex Group
in CA

Junior Document Specialist
for Loren D. Stark Company, Inc. (LDSCO)
in TX

Regional 401(k) External Wholesaler
in DC, DE, MD, NJ, PA

Handy Links:

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