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May 26, 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)

Vermont Signs Ambitious Health Insurance Law
Excerpt: "Vermont's governor signed a bill on Thursday that would make the state the second in the nation with near-universal health-care insurance by extending coverage to as much as 96 percent of its residents by 2010." (Reuters via The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Many Workers Don't Take All Their Vacation Days
Excerpt: "When it comes to taking vacation days, a third of U.S. workers apparently aren't members of the clean-plate club. A survey conducted by Harris Interactive and commissioned by the travel site Expedia found that 33 percent of us leave vacation days on the table. The average number of days workers forfeit: four, up from three in last year's survey." (CNNMoney.com)

Technology Speeds Paying of Health Bills
Excerpt: "Hospitals, doctors and pharmacies are now sending most of their bills to insurance companies electronically, helping speed payment on claims that are not delayed by an insurer's request for more information, or denied outright, an industry trade group said yesterday." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Some Employers Finding Relief from Rising Health Care Costs, According to NBGH/Watson Wyatt Survey
Excerpt: "[S]ome employers are finding ways to regain control over [health care] costs, according to the latest National Business Group on Health/Watson Wyatt Employer Survey on Purchasing Value in Health Care. The survey tracks employers' opinions, practices and results of their health benefits programs." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Opinion: Massachusetts' Health Care Reform Plan: Too Many Sticks; Not Enough Carrots (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "On April 12, 2006, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (R) signed one of the most far-reaching state health reform plans .... The Romney plan purports to: Fix the 'free-rider problem,' where those with insurance subsidize those without; Ensure access to a wide range of affordable policies -- especially in the individual market; and, Subsidize insurance for those who can least afford it. The goal is to get every Massachusetts citizen insured, known as 'universal coverage.'" (The Council for Affordable Health Insurance)

Critics Say Wal-Mart Grows Part-Timers to Cut Benefits
Excerpt: "Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is shifting a portion of its full-time employees to part-time status, company critics say, which they assert will have the effect of limiting health insurance, even though the company is expanding coverage for its part-time workers." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Access to Health Care Options on the Web Can Ease Costs
Excerpt: "There is a link between a company's ability to keep down its health care costs and the Internet tools it has available to help employees model health care options, according to a survey." (PLANSPONSOR.com: one-time registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Attorney Sherwin P. Simmons Dies
We are saddened to learn of the death on May 24, 2006 of highly-esteemed lawyer Sherwin P. Simmons. He was a frequent speaker at ALI-ABA conferences. He had more than 50 years of experience with compensation and benefits, business tax and transactional practice, estate and trust planning, executive compensation and benefits, pension, ERISA, and benefit plan controversies and litigation, qualified plans and welfare benefit plans, and other areas of legal practice. He will be missed! (Buchanan Ingersoll PC)

Overview: FASB's Phase 1 Proposals Contain Several Controversial Provisions
Excerpt: "On March 31, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) released its exposure draft of proposed phase 1 changes to accounting for defined benefit pensions and other postretirement benefit plans. Some of the more controversial changes could significantly affect corporate financial statements and impose new administrative burdens on some companies." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Lawmakers Address Issue of Executive Pay
Excerpt: "Lawmakers [yesterday] addressed an issue that rankles company shareholders and the public-- executive pay packages and perks-- at a time when revelations of excess surface almost daily. A senior Democrat, Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts, wants Congress to give shareholders a greater say over executive compensation." (AP via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Reminder: Deadline for Bonus Deferral Election Is June 30
Excerpt: "Advisers will want to inform their clients that they have until June 30 to defer bonuses earned during the 2006 calendar year and paid in 2007, allowing highly compensated employees to save even more money for retirement." (The Advisor)

Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated as of May 23, 2006
Excerpt: "Hewitt's Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding health and welfare benefit plans, retirement plans, and human resources and employment law." (Hewitt Associates)

The BenefitsLink Newsletters Will Not Be Published on Monday, May 29
We'll be observing Memorial Day on Monday, May 29. (BenefitsLink)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

The Hartford Details High Business Interest in Roth 401(k)
(The Hartford)

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield Of New Jersey Offers Self-Insured Employers Resolution Health's Direct-To-Member Communications Suite
(Resolution Health)

UnumProvident Research Points to Value of Integrated Claim Management
(UnumProvident)

Benefit & Risk Management Services Launches Vbas® V3
(Benefit & Risk Management Services, Inc.)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Investment Education Consultant
for Fidelity Investments
in NJ, WI

Conversion Specialist
for Fifth Third Bank
in OH

Installation/Conversion Technical Analyst
for WySTAR
in MN

Account Manager
for Buck Consultants
in GA

Tele Sale Professionals (Inside Sale - Business to Business)
for Corporate Synergies Group, Inc.
in NJ

Benefits Manager
for TIAA CREF - Fortune 100 Financial Services Company
in NC

Benefit Consultant (Sales Agent)
for Corporate Synergies Group, Inc.
in NJ

Retirement Member Services Manager, Communications
for San Diego County Employees Retirement Association
in CA

Licensing & Commission Analyst
for Corporate Synergies Group, Inc.
in NJ

Consultant
for Louis Kravitz & Associates
in CA

Pension Plan Administrator - 401K/Profit Sharing
for Alan T. Nahoum, Inc.
in NY

Vice President
for Lockton Dunning Benefits Company
in TX

Account Executive
for Lockton Dunning Benefits Company
in TX

Sr. Account Executive
for The Principal Financial Group
in CA




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