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February 15, 2006
Today's sponsor: Financial Research Associates

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
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STARS & STRIPES: National Public Employees’ Retirement Funds Summit

April 2rd - 4th, 2006
The Wyndham Casa Marina Resort, Key West, FL

Stars & Stripes gives you the information you need to best manage your fund in these challenging times. With the majority of our attendees from the plan sponsor community, you’re certain to learn both from the outstanding speaker faculty and your peers!

(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Court Ruling Clarifies FMLA Requirements
Excerpt: "FMLA applies only to companies with at least 50 employees within 75 miles of a worksite. The U.S. Supreme Court on Jan. 17 confirmed that the distance should be measured in surface miles over roads or waterways, not as the crow flies, in the case Larry Bellum v. PCE Constructors." (BenefitNews Connect)

OPM Seeks to Expand High-Deductible Health Plans
Excerpt: "The Bush administration wants to expand a controversial health insurance option for federal employees, retirees and their families. It also is proposing to correct faulty pension formulas that now result in retirees receiving higher or lower annuities than they're entitled to. The reforms, included in President Bush's fiscal 2007 budget request released Feb. 6, would require congressional approval." (

Consumer Advocate, Consumer Reports, Worries about Health Data Privacy
Excerpt: "Electronic medical records could jeopardize the security of personal health information, causing Americans to be bombarded with marketing pitches and turned down for jobs and loans, according to the March issue of Consumer Reports." (BenefitNews Connect)

P4P Program Improves Medical Quality
Excerpt: "A recent report from the Integrated Healthcare Association offers lessons learned from one of the nation's largest health care pay-for-performance programs." (BenefitNews Connect)

Opinion: Maryland Puts a Premium on Employer-Paid Health Care
Excerpt: "[B]y asking employers to reach into their pockets, these state initiatives may encourage business to come back to the table -- and help craft a comprehensive solution that would equitably divide the burden of providing reliable healthcare to all Americans." (Los Angeles Times via BlueCross BlueShield Association)

AFL-CIO and Democrats Propose Health Benefits Law for Florida
Excerpt: "A nationwide drive by organized labor to force Wal-Mart ... and other big companies to pay a larger share of their employees' health care costs is taking hold in Florida, but its prospects are bleak in a probusiness Legislature. The Florida AFL-CIO and its Democratic allies in the Legislature on Tuesday proposed 'Fair Share Health Care.'" (St. Petersburg Times via BlueCross BlueShield Association)

Opinion: Union-Backed 'Pay or Play' Health Insurance Laws Put Jobs at Risk
Excerpt: "As [the Washington State] legislature heads toward the home stretch, union leaders are pressing their 'pay or play' legislation requiring companies in Washington with more than 5,000 employees to spend 9 percent of their payroll on employee health care benefits. It is organized labor's latest salvo at Wal-Mart, a company whose employees have repeatedly rejected joining the union." (The Columbian)

Free Employer Guide Combats Obesity through Education
Excerpt: "The toolkit was developed by the National Business Group on Health, which represents more than 240 large employers, and Sodhexo USA, a provider of food service and facilities management." (BenefitNews Connect)

Proposed Health Insurance Tax Break May Spur Companies to Discontinue Benefits
Excerpt: "President Bush's proposal to give individuals tax breaks for the purchase of high-deductible health plans through HSAs could prompt younger, healthier employees to drop their employer-sponsored coverage, some experts say." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Opinion: New Health Care Tax Proposals (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The new proposals would make the tax system more complex and less fair, and add to the country's budget woes, especially over the long run. The proposals would reduce revenues by $156 billion over 10 years. Perhaps most problematic, they are likely to exacerbate the problems in the healthcare market." (Tax Notes via Urban Institute)

Hillary Promotes Expanding Federal Health Care Coverage
Excerpt: "Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton yesterday told AARP that she still bears 'scars' from her failed health care proposal 13 years ago, but the same problems she tried to address are back, and the atmosphere is ripe to make health care more cost efficient and accessible." (The Washington Times)

Important Changes on Disability Proposed in Netherlands
Excerpt: "On 10 February 2006, the Dutch Minister of Social Affairs announced a change in the Regulation on Resumption of Work for partially Disabled Persons (Regeling werkhervatting gedeeltelijk arbeidsongeschikten, WGA)." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Apart at the Seams: The Collapse of Private Pension and Health Care Protections
Excerpt: "In today's world of global competition old traditions of employer-employee loyalties are a distant memory and companies have been shedding benefit commitments as rapidly as possible." (The Century Foundation)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Call For Specialized 401(k) Investment Advice Service Is Answered
(Zacks IFE)

Union Central Retirement and Investment Services Highly Ranked in Two Surveys
(Union Central Life Insurance Company)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Retirement Compliance and Administration Associate
for Towers Perrin
in NJ

Call Center Representative
for The Newport Group
in NC

Defined Contribution Conversion Specialist
for Loren D. Stark Company, Inc.
in TX

Investment Manager
for W.W. Grainger
in IL

Pension Administrator
for The Benefits Consulting Group, Inc.
in IL

Defined Benefit New Business Consultant
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Relationship/Implementation Manager
for John Mulligan & Associates, Inc.
in CT, NJ, NY, PA

Proposal Quality Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Product Development Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in NJ

Senior Investment Specialist
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Retirement Plan Analyst
for Invesmart, Inc.
in MA

Handy Links:

Copyright 2006, Inc.; except that you may reprint this newsletter in full (including this sentence) without obtaining our permission.

Published by:, Inc.
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Winter Park FL 32789
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Fax: (407) 644-2151

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