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May 16, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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Banner ad for ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

Don't miss the 2006 Western Benefits Conference!

The famed Bellagio Hotel is the site of this year's WBC, held July 16-19. Sponsored by the Western Pension & Benefits Conference and ASPPA, there are more than 50 educational sessions on retirement, health, welfare, fiduciary issues and more plus networking activities such as an exhibit hall, golf outing, Sunday reception and entertainment on Monday evening.

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

Sereboff: ERISA Subrogation Regains Life After Great-West (PDF)
4 page analysis. Excerpt: "In light of Sereboff, plans seeking to enforce subrogation provisions in plan documents are likely to intervene in underlying tort actions brought by plan participants that are pending in federal court or file injunctive actions in federal court under ERISA § 502(a)(3) to preserve their rights to recovery. Plans that, in light of Knudson, have deleted subrogation and recoupment provisions are likely to amend their documents to include such provisions again." (Thompson Hine)

Overview: U.S. Supreme Court Clarifies Earlier Subrogation Decision in Great-West v, Knudson
Excerpt: "Sereboff is a major victory for ERISA-plans because it allows for equitable relief everywhere in the country, including in the Sixth and Ninth Circuits." (Lawrence & Russell LLP)

Overview: ERISA Plans Can Seek Reimbursement of Participant Recoveries from Third Parties (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "In light of Sereboff, employers and plan fiduciaries should make sure their plans have reimbursement provisions that create plan-based rights to enforce reimbursement claims against participants. Plan fiduciaries also will need to be diligent in enforcing these rights, including, when appropriate, seeking injunctive relief so that any funds recovered from third parties may be attached or segregated once they come into the participant's or his or her attorney's possession." (Proskauer Rose LLP)

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Opinion in Sereboff
Excerpt: "The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the Fourth Circuit in Sereboff v. Mid-Atlantic Medical, allowing the administrator for a health plan to obtain reimbursement under a subrogation clause from a participant who had recovered from a third party in a tort action. The opinion, written by Chief Justice Roberts, resolves a split in the Courts of Appeal." (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

High Court Approves ERISA's Equitable Relief Provisions
Excerpt: "The US Supreme Court [yesterday] upheld a decision by the 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals which said that under certain circumstances health plan fiduciaries could be reimbursed from a participant who had recovered damages from a third party." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)

House Bill Seeks to Boost HSA Deposits, Coordinate HRAs and FSAs
Excerpt: "The bill (H.R. 5262), dubbed the Tax Free Health Savings Act of 2006, is very similar to legislation Cantor introduced last December, and incorporates many of the enhancements proposed this year by President Bush. Like Cantor's Flex Health Savings Accounts Act of 2005, his latest bill would allow high-deductible health plan (HDHP) enrollees to have a flexible spending account (FSA) and/or an HRA even if they also have an HSA." (INSIDE CONSUMER-DIRECTED CARE via AISHealth.com)

Overview: CMS Revises Creditable Coverage Guidance and Issues New Model Notices (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "This issue discusses recently revised guidance on Medicare Part D Notices of Creditable Coverage and new model Notices from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS)." (The Segal Company)

Paid-Leave Proposals Gain Steam in States
Excerpt: "From same-sex marriage to universal healthcare coverage, Massachusetts has rarely shied away from blazing a trail of progressive reform. Now the state is considering another landmark proposal that would give workers here the nation's most generous paid leave policy." (The Christian Science Monitor)

Reminder-- It Is Important to Provide COBRA Notices on Time
Excerpt: "Federal law imposes strict deadlines for notifying qualified beneficiaries of their rights to elect COBRA continuation coverage after a qualifying event occurs. (For example, for a plan where the employer is also the plan administrator, the COBRA notice deadline is generally 44 days after an employee terminates.)" (Faegre & Benson LLP)

Summary: Health Care Spending and Use of Information Technology in OECD Countries (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "U.S. health spending per capita significantly and consistently outpaces that of other industrialized nations. One proposal for lowering health spending and improving quality is the adoption of health information technology (HIT). Yet the United States lags behind other countries by as much as a dozen years in its efforts to implement HIT." (The Commonwealth Fund)

Small Business Coping with the Health Insurance Blues
Excerpt: "Many small businesses simply can't keep up with rising health insurance costs, said Gary Claxton, vice president of the Menlo Park, Calif.-based Kaiser Family Foundation. From 2000 to 2005, health insurance premiums climbed 73 percent, while inflation rose a cumulative 14 percent and average wages climbed 15 percent, according the foundation's report. 'Health insurance becomes less affordable every year,' Claxton said." (Chicago Tribune; one-time registration required)

New Jersey Lawmakers Advance Bill Mandating Employer-Sponsored Health Care
Excerpt: "The New Jersey Senate Labor Committee ... voted 3-1 to approve a bill, modeled after a Maryland law, that would require large employers to spend a certain amount on employee health benefits, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports ...." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Target Corp. Unveils Dramatic Changes to Its Medical Insurance for Workers
Excerpt: "Stung by rising health costs, Target Corp. is now offering private health accounts funded in large part by individual employees. The Minneapolis-based retailer also is considering taking the unusual step of dropping its traditional health insurance coverage altogether for high-deductible plans coupled with private savings accounts." (Star Tribune; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

EPCRS Updated Webcast
Nationwide on June 6, 2006
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Carroll College and Francis Investment Counsel Announce Study Finds 401(k) Advice Improves Employee Investment Returns
(Francis Investment Counsel)

Fifth Annual National Retirement Planning Week Scheduled for the Week of Nov. 13
(National Retirement Planning Coalition (NRPC))

Major Employer Group Supports Effort to Block DOE Benefits Mandate
(ERISA Industry Committee)

Employee-Owned S Corporations of America Comment on Corporate Tax Reform for Ways and Means Hearing
(Employee Owned S Corporations of America)

National Association of Manufacturers Letter to Congress Debunks Misperceptions About Pension Bill
(National Association of Manufacturers (NAM))

Planners and Advisors Have New Option for Creating Investment Policy Statements
(Metrics Partners)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Pension and Retirement Specialist
for Aerojet
in CA

Benefits Coordinator
for The Henry M. Jackson Foundation
in MD

Vice President - Client Services (Insurance)
for Zenith Administrators
in WA

Operations Manager (Insurance)
for Zenith Administrators
in CA

Operations Manager - Medical Outreach Program
for Zenith Administrators
in WA

Account Specialist
for Princeton Retirement Group
in NC

Contract Assignment -- Pension Administrator
for The Allocation Company, Inc.
in TX

Part Time Accounting Clerk
for 401(k) Advisors
in CA

Sr. Benefits Compliance Rep.
for Aerojet
in CA

Technical Consultant, Employee Benefits
for ABD Insurance and Financial Services
in CA

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

Client Services - Account Manager
for ExpertPlan, Inc.
in NJ

401(k) Plan Recordkeeper/Specialist
for Martin, Martin, Randall & Associates, Inc.
in MS

Regional Vice President - NC, SC and VA
for BISYS Retirement Services
in NC, SC, VA




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