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July 24, 2006
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(Please visit our sponsors. We try to make sure their products and services will be of interest to you. Thanks! --Editor)

Legislators Reconsider Health Care Mandates After Wal-Mart Bill Is Dismissed
Excerpt: "'I don't know how [proponents of the bill] are going to get around ERISA,' says Jim Hendricks, a labor and employment attorney with the Chicago office of Fisher & Phillips, a firm that represents employers in labor disputes. A similar bill is to be voted on in Chicago. 'Each state and municipality will have to go to the drawing board to see how they can get around this decision.'" (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Notable Quotes from District Court Opinion that ERISA Preempts MD's Fair Share Health Care Fund Act
Excerpt: "1. 'The fact that two local jurisdictions, New York City and Suffolk County, have enacted 'fair share' legislation of their own highlights the uniformity problem. Unless such legislation is deemed to be preempted, nationwide employers potentially will face not only fifty different requirements imposed by the States, but also a virtually limitless number of requirements that local subdivisions in each State may enact.'" (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via Benefitsblog.com)

Editorial: Maryland's 'Wal-Mart Law' Is a Bad Idea that Doesn't Deserve a Second Chance
Excerpt: "Targeting a single company because it's unpopular -- or . . . because it's buying political protection with 'contributions to the Republican Party' -- is a misuse of governmental power. And repassing the law would have nothing to do with solving the problem of rising state health-care costs." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

ERISA Insurer Allowed to Sue for Social Security-Based Overpayment
Excerpt: "The Eighth Circuit issued a dramatic decision . . . permitting an insurer to sue an ERISA plan participant to recoup an overpayment resulting from her receipt of Social Security disability benefits." (erisa on the web; posted by John Wood)

Obesity Surgery Often Leads to Complications, Study Says
Excerpt: "Arthur G. Richards, an insurance agent in Portland, Ore., said some insurers were refusing to pay for obesity surgery and its complications. Such complications can lead to lawsuits, even when doctors meet the prevailing standards of care. Mr. Richards said his company was developing special insurance policies that would pay doctors for treating foreseeable complications." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Spending to Save on Diabetes
Excerpt: "Chronic illnesses compose a majority of a company's health care costs. Managing a chronic illness, like diabetes, is cheaper than paying for the hospitalizations that result from not managing it." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

EBRI Issue Brief: Savings Needed to Fund Health Insurance and Health Care Expenses in Retirement (PDF)
32 pages. Excerpt: "A couple age 65 retiring today and living to average life expectancy would need $295,000 to cover premiums for health insurance and out-of-pocket expenses during retirement, according to a new study by the nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI)." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

IOM Report Calls for E-Prescribing
Excerpt: "All prescriptions should be written electronically by 2010 in an effort to reduce prescription drug errors, according to a report released Thursday by the Institute of Medicine, AP/Yahoo! News reports (Neergaard, AP/Yahoo! News, 7/20)." (California HealthCare Foundation)

Policy Brief: Recent Changes in the University of Pennsylvania's Retiree Medical Plan (PDF)
24 pages. Excerpt: "In the Spring of 2004, the Retiree Benefits Task Force of the University of Pennsylvania was established by the University Provost and President. It was charged with examining and proposing alternative approaches to the medical plans offered to retired staff and faculty. This document describes the recommendations made by the Task Force to change the Retiree Medical Plan, the changes adopted by the University Administration, and subsequent results." (TIAA-CREF Institute)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Participant Did Not Revoke His Written Beneficiary Designation When He Visited Plan's Website
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: This case serves as a useful reminder to plan sponsors using electronic administration to ensure that plan websites (and other electronic features) are consistent with plan documents and SPDs. This plan's website allegedly stated that beneficiary designations 'previously made on paper will no longer be valid,' . . . ." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Fiduciary Duty Breached Where Failure to Credit Plan Accts Is Based on Misreading of Plan Language
Excerpt: "An employer's misreading of defined contribution plan terms, which served to divest plan participants of vested benefits, justified the removal of the employer as a plan fiduciary because the flagrancy of the misreading was evidence that the employer was not acting in the best interests of the participants, according to the U.S. Court of Appeals in Richmond (CA-4)." (CCH Pension & Benefits)

New GASB Staff Guidance on Qualifying OPEB Plan Trusts and Fiduciary Responsibilities (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Because the guidance is of immediate relevance for many governments who are implementing the OPEB standards, it is being posted to the GASB Web site in advance of publication." (Governmental Accounting Standards Board)

Overview: Discretionary Anti-Dilution Adjustments in Equity Compensation Plans (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Major accounting firms recently have interpreted the guidance in FAS 123R in a manner that could lead to significant unanticipated compensation charges in connection with equity restructurings. Common anti-dilution adjustments that had no accounting consequences under APB 25 and FIN 44 could result in substantial additional compensation expense under FAS 123R if they are done on a permissive, rather than mandatory, basis." (Alston & Bird LLP)

New Web Site Pairs Older Workers with Firms Seeking Experienced Employees
Excerpt: "Borders . . . is one of the companies recruiting through an online service, Retirementjobs.com, which connects workers ages 50 and older with jobs. Retirementjobs.com is the latest player focused on helping recruiters find qualified mature workers. Rivals include retireejobs.com and Senior Job Bank." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

SEC To Vote on Final Rule on Executive Compensation July 26
Excerpt: "On July 20, 2006, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) posted a Sunshine Act notice announcing it will hold an open commission meeting on Wednesday, July 26 to consider adopting final rule(s) amending the disclosure requirements on Executive Compensation." (Financial Executives International)

Managing ERISA Risk: Some Thoughts on Limiting Liability
Excerpt: "[V]irtually all plan sponsors and plan administrators must contend with the very real possibility of suffering large actual losses as a result of their sponsorship of employee benefit plans. In strategizing methods for avoiding such losses, sponsors and administrators should examine their exposure in two critical areas: (1) liability for errors made by sponsors and administrators; and (2) employment discrimination claims brought under ERISA Section 510." (Faegre & Benson LLP)

DOL FAQs for Reservists Being Called to Active Duty
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) has information for veterans, National Guard or reservists who may be activated for military service. National Guard and reserve members called to active duty, and their civilian employers, have certain rights and responsibilities under the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA). [T]he USERRA Advisor . . . . and other USERRA information, can be found on the VETS Web site." (U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration)

Audio: A Conversation on the SEC's Targeting of 80 Companies in Stock Option Probe
Excerpt: "The Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating more than 80 companies in cases related to backdating executive stock options. Robert Siegel talks with John (Jack) Coffee, professor of law and director of the Center on Corporate Governance at Columbia University Law School." (All Things Considered via National Public Radio)

Silicon Valley Firms Scrutinized on Stock Option Policies
Excerpt: "[O]nce again, the corporate scandal of the moment -- the manipulation of stock options -- is placing Silicon Valley and its past practices in an unflattering light. Of the more than 80 businesses that have been caught up in federal investigations or have announced their own internal reviews, technology companies make up the overwhelming majority." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

All Day Summer Workshop
in Ohio on August 22, 2006
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Cleveland

ERISA Litigation Forum
Nationwide on August 1, 2006
presented by Paul, Hastings, Janofsky & Walker LLP


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Contribution Administrator
for Pension Plan Professionals, Inc.
in FL

Actuary Analyst Exp-Retirement
for Hewitt Associates
in TX

Healthcare Consultant
for SHPS
in CA

Corporate Services Account Officer- Trust
for National Penn Investors Trust Company
in PA

Human Resources Benefits Analyst
for MTA- New York City Transit
in NY

Retirement Analyst
for San Diego County Employees Retirement Association
in CA

Manager - Technical Services - Aris Pension Services
for Aris Corporation of America
in PA

Qualified Retirement Plan Administrator
for Benefits Integrity
in CO

401 (k) Administrative Assistant - Director of First Impressions
for Scholz, Klein & Friends Enlightened Retirement Group, Inc.
in TX

Sr. Sales Rep - Mgr Public Safety - West
for ICMA-RC
in AZ, CA, CO, ND, NE, NM, SD, TX

Retirement Plan Specialist - Sales Representative
for ICMA-RC
in NH

Retirement Plan Consultant
for Qualified Plan Consultants, LLC
in IA

Employee Meeting Liaison
for T. Rowe Price
in MD, NY




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