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June 5, 2006
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Medical Privacy Law Nets No Fines
Excerpt: "In the three years since Americans gained federal protection for their private medical information, the Bush administration has received thousands of complaints alleging violations but has not imposed a single civil fine and has prosecuted just two criminal cases." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

No First Circuit Presumption in Favor of Vesting for Retiree Welfare Benefits (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "In a case of first impression released Wednesday, the First Circuit disavowed any presumption of vesting for collectively bargained retiree welfare benefits and announced rules of federal labor contract construction applicable to retiree benefit disputes brought under Section 301 of the Labor- Management Relations Act (LMRA). Senior et al v. NStar Electric and Gas Co. et al, No. 05-2015 (1st Cir. May 31, 2006)." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

HSA Prognosis-- Employers Have Choices (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "HDHP/HSAs have shown evidence of providing a partial cure to health care costs for many early adopters." (Buck Consultants)

As Consumer Health Care Takes Hold, Evidence-Based Medicine to Play a Bigger Role in Plan Design
Excerpt: "Evidence-based medicine -- using documented scientific results to guide choice in clinical treatments -- has not yet been reflected much in the design of employer-based health insurance. 'It does not come up in the context of benefit-plan design, and that is the problem,' says Paul Ginsburg, president of the Center for Studying Health System Change in Washington, a nonpartisan policy-research organization. 'All services are treated the same, regardless of whether they are effective or not.'" ( one-time registration required)

Bright Horizons Broadens Services to Include In-Home Care
Excerpt: "Bright Horizons, which manages 616 early care and family centers serving more than 600 employers, recently announced the launch of Bright Horizons Back-Up Care Advantage Program, offering a comprehensive array of emergency care services that could be a valuable addition to employers' work/life offerings." (Employee Benefit News)

Opinion: Taking Your Chances with Health Insurance, Money and Uncertain Treatments
Excerpt: "[W]hat is most ridiculous about the current American health care system is that we have no idea, very often, whether even the most expensive treatments do any good." (Michael Kinsley via The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Comments: Financial Acc'ting for DB & Other Postretirement Plans Amending FASB 87, 88, 106 and 132(R) (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "It would be best to allow adequate time to consider the implications of the pending legislation, determine whether adjustments to the proposed Exposure Draft are indicated and to provide a staggered timing of effective dates for certain entities, to ensure a better implementation and to allow affected entities to plan and properly address issues such as the effects of the changes on the organization, its employees and participants of affected plans, ...." (National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans)

Comment Letters to Financial Accounting Standards Board, May 31, 2006 (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "[The letters concern the] Proposed Statement of Financial Accounting Standards-- Employers' Accounting for Defined Benefit pension and Other Postretirement Plans, an amendment of FASB Statements No. 87, 88, 106, and 132(R) [The 4-page letter at is on retiree health benefits.]" (American Academy of Actuaries)

3rd Circuit Analyzes 'Top Hat' Exemption under ERISA.
Excerpt: "The Court noted that ERISA defines a top hat plan as 'a plan which is unfunded and is maintained by an employer primarily for the purpose of providing deferred compensation for a select group of management or highly compensated employees.' The primary question before the Court in IT Group was what constitutes an 'unfunded plan.'" (erisa on the web)

Overview: DOL Continues to Expand and Improve the Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "In April of 2005, the DOL proposed to revise to the VFC Program and PTCE 2002-51 (the '2005 Proposals'). The DOL has now adopted final changes to the VFC Program, based on the 2005 Proposals, with some additions and modifications, and has finalized and expanded the proposed revision to PTCE 2002-51, all effective as of May 19, 2006." (Dechert LLP)

Transforming Pay Plans: 2006 Hudson Compensation and Benefits Report
Excerpt: "Most workers are satisfied with their compensation, but given the chance, many would change their mix of cash and benefits." (Hudson)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Web/Telephone Seminar: Advanced HSAs
Nationwide on July 13, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Basic IRAs
Nationwide on July 12, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
Nationwide on July 11, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA-to-IRA Transfers and Rollovers
Nationwide on July 20, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

CFDD Announces 2007, 2008 & 2009 Advisor Conference Date & Locations
(Metrics Partners)

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Contribution Consultant (Administrative Accountant)
for First Mercantile
in TN

Customer Service/Call Center Manager
for Growing Benefits Consulting Firm
in GA

Account Manager
for Alerus Retirement Solutions
in MN

Compliance Analyst
for Transamerica
in CA

401(k) Customer Service Manager
for Professional Capital Services, LLC
in PA

Pension Analyst/Manager
for Graphic Arts Industry Joint Pension Trust
in DC

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