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March 17, 2006
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Response to Remarks by Michael H. Moskow on Public Pension and Retiree Health Plans (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "[Regarding] remarks to the State and Local Government Pension Forum on February 28 [the authors] recognize [Mr. Moskow's] concerns about public pension funding and the potentially large liabilities related to retiree health care benefits." (Gabriel, Roeder, Smith & Company and National Association of State Retirement Administrators)

Employee Benefits Alert: Severance? It's Not What It Used to Be
Excerpt: "Issue No. 7 in the Mintz Levin Deferred Compensation Advisory Series provides a synopsis of Code 409A's treatment of severance pay and what to be on the look out for in crafting severance arrangements." (Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.)

City of San Diego's Retiree Health Care Liability at $1 Billion
Excerpt: "San Diego's long-term retiree health care liability is estimated at nearly $1 billion, according to a report released [March 14], and could grow to $1.8 billion by 2015 if the city doesn't end a practice of paying only the minimum for retiree health costs each year." (The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Healthy New York: A Poor Fix to a Dysfunctional Insurance System (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Known as Healthy New York, the program combines a private mandate-lite benefit plan with a state reinsurance subsidy, and is only available to lower-income workers." (Council for Affordable Health Insurance)

Panel Says Interoperability Will Improve Health Care
Excerpt: "According to some estimates, full implementation of interoperability would save the health care industry $78 billion a year, or 5 percent of its total costs, ...." (Government Health IT)

Fighting Off Health Care Insurance Headaches
Excerpt: "Rising premiums have made it difficult for small businesses to provide health insurance. A good plan [would be to c]onsider many options." (BusinessWeek Online)

Consumer-Driven Health Plans a Growing Health Care Offering from Employers
Excerpt: "A growing number of US employers are implementing consumer-driven health plans (CDHP) to help control rising costs, according to a study from Watson Wyatt Worldwide and the National Business Group on Health." ( one-time registration required)

New Jersey to Allow Parents to Insure Unmarried Adult Children to Age 30
Excerpt: "In New Jersey, you can be a kid until you're 30 -- or at least you can be a dependent on a parent's health insurance plan." (USA TODAY)

Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Approves Bill on Association Health Plans
Excerpt: "The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on [March 15] voted 11-9 along party lines to approve a bill (S 1955) that would allow small businesses to form association health plans under certain conditions, CongressDaily reports ...." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Opinion: Before We Go 'Single Payer' -- Insurance Reforms We Should Try
Excerpt: "Krugman and Wells are persuasive -- it's not a hard sell -- about the nightmarish complexity and administrative costs of the current fragmented system. But they don't do much more than simply assert that a single, government-run insurance program would be more efficient." (Michael Kinsley via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Canine Companions at Work Enhance Corporate Culture
Excerpt: "Loyalty appears to be the juicy reward for employers that permit their dog-loving employees to bring pets to work." (BenefitNews Connect)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Tailoring Benefit Communications for Spanish-Speakers
Excerpt: "Spanish-speaking employees have different attitudes toward insurance and respond to different communication styles than their English-speaking counterparts, something that benefit managers may wish to consider in planning and designing their benefit communications." (BenefitNews Connect)

National Employee Benefits Day
Excerpt: "The White House has issued a Presidential Message sending greetings to the International Foundation members as we celebrate the third National Employee Benefits Day. Today, the International Foundation encourages you to take pride in the critical role you play to ensure benefits coverage for plan participants. As a trustee, administrator, advisor or benefits manager, your duties are complex and carry significant gravity." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2005 Form 5500, Schedule A to SSA and Back Again - Audio Conference
Nationwide on April 27, 2006
presented by Thompson Interactive, A Division of Thompson Publishing Group

Catch-Up Contributions - Basics and Beyond
Nationwide on April 25, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

New Options for Part-timers - The Best of Both Worlds
Nationwide on April 6, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Spring 2006 Webinar Series
Nationwide on March 28, 2006
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension Analyst II
for SouthEastern Employee Benefit Services, Inc. a subsidiary of First Charter Bank
in NC

Manager, Operations
for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA

Retirement Services Associate
for 401kExchange
in FL

Retirement Plan Administrator
for PensionOne Advisors
in CA

Senior Benefits Specialist
for Olympus America
in PA

Lead Retirement Plan Specialist
for Financial Services Company (c/o Gundersen Partners Executive Search)

Benefits Analyst (Retirement Plans)
for Scripps Health
in CA

Senior Pension Administrator/Consultant
for Chambers Benefit Group, APC
in NM

Document and Fiduciary Compliance Coordinator
for Actuarial Consultants, Inc.
in CA

Senior Administrator
for CJA and Associates
in IL

Handy Links:

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