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May 23, 2006
Today's sponsor: ASPPA • Working for America's Retirement™

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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)

Employers Are Creating a 'Culture of Health' (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "[H]ow can companies reconcile the seemingly conflicting goals of managing costs and managing people? In a nutshell, by building a culture of health. Employers that take this approach essentially do two things: They focus on the underlying causes of health care cost increases (rather than simply costs alone) and take a systematic, comprehensive approach to identifying and acting on opportunities for improvement." (Towers Perrin)

New Tools Fight Against Health Care Costs
Excerpt: "A new survey of U.S. employers has found substantial interest in 'consumer-driven' health care strategies and, to a lesser extent, wellness initiatives among big and small employers alike, but only limited implementation so far." (Providence Business News)

Legislation to Fix Health Ins. Rarely Survives: Conflicting Interests Collide Over Costs & Coverage
Excerpt: "At first glance, letting small businesses buy health insurance through associations and trade groups would seem like a minor proposal. But little is simple about health insurance. The latest ruckus in Washington over so-called association health plans shows that." (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via Human Resource Executive Online)

Houston Company Gives Employees Gasoline Gift Cards
Excerpt: "The Methodist Hospital System has distributed almost 10,000 gas gift cards to its employees to provide some relief from increasing fuel costs. .... Methodist also offers free yearly bus and light rail passes and subsidizes van pools to provide transportation alternatives for employees." ( one-time registration required)

CalPERS Ponders Health Benefits Changes
Excerpt: "The California Public Employees Retirement System is weighing a set of sweeping cost-cutting measures for next year that include across-the-board benefit cuts and trimming HMO coverage in rural areas." (Sacramento Business Journal via; one-time registration required)

One-Third of Medical Screenings Performed Are Not Recommended, Study Finds
Excerpt: "More than one-third of U.S. adults undergo diagnostic tests for conditions for which they have no symptoms, which adds to health care costs and increases patient stress, according to a study published Friday in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Scripps Howard/Long Island Newsday reports." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Overview: High Court Affirms Health Plan's Right to Recover Medical Expenses from Beneficiaries' Third-Party
Excerpt: "The U.S. Supreme Court has unanimously upheld a decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit allowing a health plan administrator to obtain reimbursement under a subrogation clause from a participant who had recovered from a third party in a tort action." (CCH Pension & Benefits)

The Employer's Guide to the Legal and Workplace Implications of an Avian Flu Outbreak (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Essentially, basic infection control measures implemented and enforced at the workplace are the cornerstone in preventing and managing the transmission of the virus. Employers should consider that these preventative measures also greatly reduce the risk of serious legal implications in the event of an outbreak among employees." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Update on Tax Legislation Regarding Personal Use of Corporate Aircraft
Excerpt: "The revenue reconciliation bill President Bush signed into law on May 17, 2006, cited as the 'Tax Increase Prevention and Reconciliation Act of 2005,' does not change the current rules regarding personal use of employer-provided aircraft. Although omitted from this legislation the Senate-proposed aircraft provisions may still appear in upcoming legislation (e.g., a second package of tax cuts or pension legislation)." (Deloitte via

Equity-Based Compensation (PDF)
42 pages. Excerpt: "Answers to Frequently Asked Questions Concerning Compensating Management, Employees and Consultants with Stock, Options and Other Equity" (O'Melveny & Myers LLP)

Combined Retirement Income/Retiree Health Acct. Would Simplify Employees' Saving for Both Needs (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Today, there are at least 17 different tax-advantaged employer- or individually-based vehicles available that distinguish between saving for retirement and health care expenses. However, with employer-provided retiree health care fading away, and medical expenses already consuming a significant portion of retirees' living costs, this distinction no longer makes sense." (HR Policy Association)

Poll Shows Benefits a Key Factor in G.ays' Job Search
Excerpt: "A majority of adults -- 67 percent -- agree the benefits a company offers its employees are critical in determining where one works, according to the Out & Equal Workplace Survey." (

Domestic Partner Benefits OK'd by Utah Court
Excerpt: "An ordinance extending health benefits to the domestic partners of Salt Lake City employees does not violate a 2004 state constitutional ban on same-sex marriages, a court has ruled." (Business Insurance)

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Workplace Options Care Coach Service Wins Caregiver Friendly Award
(Workplace Options)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Contribution Client Account Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Senior Benefits Compliance Representative
for Aerojet
in CA

Participant Services Center Supervisor
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in NJ

Product Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in NJ

Assistant Product Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

Defined Benefit Client Account Manager
for New York Life Investment Management LLC
in MA

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

Senior Manager-Retiree Health Services
in DC

Account Executive
for Transamerica
in CO

Project Manager
for The Paragon Consulting Group
in IN

Defined Contribution Plan Manager
for Freescale Semiconductor
in TX

Associate Counsel (Employee Benefits/Tax/Retirement Accounts)
for Great-West Corporate
in CO

E.B. Operations & Participant Accounting Manager
for BBT/Stanley, Hunt, Dupree, and Rhine
in SC

401(k) Enrollers/Independent Contractors - Part Time
for Diversified Investment Advisors

Recordkeeping Services Manager
for Vanguard
in AZ

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