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May 19, 2006
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Since 1992, BeneCom has provided one-stop benefit communications for organizations large and small, nationwide. Staffed by people who know benefits, we write, design and produce effective media, including SPDs, enrollment materials, newsletters, benefit statements and more. So whether you're an employer, plan administrator or consultant in need of traditional or online capabilities, we're here to help. Call (860) 674-2626 today.

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

Huge Medical Bill for Public Retirees Hits Soon
Excerpt: "Taxpayers will soon get a surprise bill that could exceed $1 trillion for the cost of paying future medical benefits for state and local workers who retire. Retiree medical costs are the biggest long-term challenge that state and local governments face. By comparison, state and local pensions have an unfunded liability of about $500 billion." (USA TODAY)

Japanese Car Companies and their American Retirees
Excerpt: "In the United States, retirees of the Japanese companies pay part of their health care costs. And the Japanese companies' pension obligations are a fraction of that of the American carmakers." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Employers Offer Workers Opportunities to Trade Fat for Fitness
Excerpt: "Whether it's by providing employees with a place to work out or by promoting weight loss competitions, smoking cessation programs and healthy living seminars, businesses across the country are making it their job to ensure that employees are healthy -- or at least taking their health seriously." (Detroit Free Press)

New Workplace Options Service Helps Employees Find Backup Childcare
Excerpt: "Each year, 80% of all employees need to work shortened workdays because their child care or elder care arrangements fall through -- hurting productivity and costing employers billions of dollars per year. Workplace Options, the largest provider of work-life employee benefits in America, is tackling this issue by adding a new back-up care solution to their comprehensive work-life benefits portfolio." (dBusinessNews)

Lack of Proof of Good Health Reason for LTD Benefit Denial
Excerpt: "The US District Court for the District of Massachusetts has upheld a long term disability plan administrator's denial of increased benefits to a participant who failed to provide evidence of good health." ( one-time registration required)

Microsoft Unveils New Worker Perks
Excerpt: "Amid signs of sagging employee morale, Microsoft Corp. on Thursday presented a plan to overhaul its performance-review process, increase stock awards, boost on-campus perks and address a wide range of additional concerns." (The Seattle Post Intelligencer via

For Small Businesses, Quality Health Insurance is Key to Keeping Employees and Profitability
Excerpt: "For 36 percent of small business decision-makers responding to a survey commissioned by Aflac, their current health benefit offering has negatively affected business." (

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: Further IRS Section 409A Guidance and Possible Impact on 2006 Amendment Deadline (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "The next round of IRS guidance is expected to deal with the distribution requirements of Section 409A among many other things. Senior IRS officials have consistently predicted that such guidance would be published 'this summer.'" (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

Watson Wyatt Comments on the SEC's Proposed Disclosure Regulations
Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently proposed new rules for disclosing executive compensation to make compensation information easier to find, understand and compare. The new transparency should give corporate stakeholders a clearer picture of all elements of executive pay, including its rationale, practice and results." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Federal Workforce is 'Elite Island of Secure and High-Paid Workers'
Excerpt: "[A] report from the Cato Institute entitled 'Federal Pay Outpaces Private-Sector Pay ... contends that federal employees are significantly overpaid--perhaps by as much as 50%. Here is a quote from the report that captures its essence: 'The average federal worker earned $100,178 in wages and benefits in 2004, which compared to $51,876 for the average private-sector worker, according to U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis data.'" (

ACLI Promotes Annuity-LTC Hybrid Concept
Excerpt: "Congress should help workers save for ordinary retirement costs and the cost of long term care at the same time. Greg Jenner, an executive vice president at the American Council of Life Insurers, Washington, made the case for that position Wednesday at a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Ohio Regulators Investigate Benefits Brokers
Excerpt: "The Ohio Department of Insurance is still checking to see whether insurance brokers told government agency clients enough about their compensation arrangements." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription required)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Current Pension and Employee Benefits Law and Practice Webcast
Nationwide on July 3, 2006
presented by ALI-ABA (American Law Institute-American Bar Association)

The 2006 Pensions & Retirement Conference: Redefining & Reinventing Retirement - The Primacy Shift
in New York on November 6, 2006
presented by The Conference Board

U.S. Labor Department Sponsors New York Seminar on Retirement Solutions for Small Businesses under Federal Employee Benefits Law
in New York on June 20, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Two Step Release Corporate Focus Version 5.1; New Executive Dashboards Improve Corporate Governance Transparency as SOX Continues to Influence Best Practices at All Companies
(Two-Step Software, Inc.)

National Sales Consultant Added to Growing Gilsbar, Inc. Team
(Gilsbar, Inc.)

CFDD Announces Partnership With The McHenry Group To Offer A Discount On The PlanTools(tm) Fiduciary Reporting System
(Metrics Partners)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Plan Document and Administration Consultant
for Southern Pension Services
in FL

Actuarial Analyst
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in IL

Employee Benefits Compliance Specialist II
for Union Bank of California
in CA

Senior Actuarial Analyst
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in IL

Health and Benefits Team Leader
for Mercer HR Services
in MA

Consulting Associate
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in MN

Account Manager - Employee Benefits
for Kelley & Swain, Inc.
in CA

Employee Benefits Attorney
for Frost Brown Todd LLC
in OH

Retirement Planning Consultant-- Team Lead
for Invesmart, Inc.
in OH

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