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August 7, 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)

Overview: FASB Mandates Accruals for Paid Absences (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Employers must accrue an expense for future sabbaticals or similar paid absences over the service period during which the benefits are earned, according to the Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) Issue 06-2." (Aon Consulting)

Judge Agrees Lack of SPD Caused Coverage Lapse
Excerpt: "The US District Court for the Western District of Virginia ruled that an employer breached its fiduciary duties by not providing a Summary Plan Description (SPD) for a life insurance policy that could have been continued after an employee retired." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Final Regs on Withholding Taxes on 'Supplemental Wages' Over $1 Million Are Useful to All Employers
Excerpt: "Supplemental wages include bonuses, nonstatutory stock options, restricted stock, severance, deferred compensation, and other types of payments that are not regular base salary or hourly wages. The final rules . . . . (1) provide detailed guidance as to how employers should classify particular wage payments as regular wages or supplemental wages and (2) outline the procedures for withholding on supplemental wages both below and in excess of $1 million." (Ice Miller LLP)

Americans: Are They Reluctant Vacationers?
Excerpt: "U.S. workers get half the paid time off as Europeans. Several experts link the disparity to cultural and historical differences. A Nobel laureate, in contrast, says it boils down to taxes. And one expert says three days for 'recharging' may be all most workers need." (The Wharton School via Human Resource Executive Online; one-time registration required)

Vacation Leave Can Make Up for a Lower Salary, So It's Now an Interview Topic
Excerpt: "Paid vacation time may not be up there with salary or health insurance in importance to job seekers, but it's a significant and attractive workplace benefit." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Overview: OPM Proposed Rules on Requirements for Health Care Continuation during Retirement
Excerpt: "The Office of Personnel Management has proposed a revision to regulations under which it will waive the eligibility requirements for a federal employee to continue coverage under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program as a retired annuitant. [Proposed Reg. 890.108]" (Pensions & Benefits Weblog)

Blues To Establish Mammoth Claims Database
Excerpt: "A group of 20 Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans is trying to increase insurers', employers' and consumers' [understanding] of the health care system by establishing the Blue Health Intelligence system." (National Underwriter Life & Health; free one-time registration or paid subscription)

Administration Aims to Set Electronic Health Care Information Standards
Excerpt: "The Bush administration will soon launch an ambitious effort to require that all providers of federally financed health care adopt quality-measurement tools and uniform standards for their information technology, Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt said [yesterday]." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Court Certifies Class Action Relating to ERISA Subrogation
Excerpt: "What happens . . . when a state legislature expressly prevents an ERISA plan from pursuing subrogation against its participant through an 'anti-subrogation' statute?" (erisa on the web; posted by John Wood)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts -- Health and Welfare -- Updated July 7, 2006 (PDF)
34 pages. Excerpt: "These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employee benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors." (Towers Perrin)

Overview: IRS Final Regulations on Comparability Rules for Employer HSA Contributions
Excerpt: "The final regulations clarify that employees who are included in a unit of employees covered by a bona fide collective bargaining agreement are not comparable participating employees if health benefits were the subject of good faith bargaining between employee representatives and one or more employers." (CCH Pension and Benefits)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Pension and other Benefit Provisions of H.R. 4 -- Pension Protection Act of 2006, As Passed by House (PDF)
22 pages. (U.S. Senate via American Benefits Council)

Compilation of Links Pertaining to the Pension Protection Act of 2006
Excerpt: "The 907-page Pension Protection Act of 2006 passed last week by Congress is sure to keep benefits lawyers busy for years to come. [Ms Grenier has] compiled a collection of links pertaining to the Act, some of which [will be housed] permanently . . . in a sidebar section . . . ." (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

A Personal Version of the Pension Protection Act of 2006
Excerpt: "This version of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) includes numerous inserted elements, including TOC listings, an index, links, style coding, and other features intended solely for purposes of aiding PPA reading and research. These additional elements are not a formal, official part of PPA itself; and no inferences should be drawn from their presence in this particular document." (Fuguerre's Pensions & Benefits Pages)

Overview: Split-Dollar and Corporate-Owned Life Insurance Accounting Clarified (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) of the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has proposed new guidelines that clarify the accounting for insurance contracts used to finance popular nonqualified executive benefit offerings such as executive life insurance, supplemental executive retirement plans, and deferred compensation plans [such as endorsement split-dollar arrangements and corporate-owned life insurance]." (Aon Consulting)

Employee Benefits Bulletin, July 31, 2006 (PDF)
The newsletter includes articles titled: House Passes Pension Reform Bill, But Future Far from Certain; 409A Update: Still Waiting for Final Regulations; IRS Guidance on Use of Debit and Credit Cards with Reimbursement Plans; and, IRS Guidance on Disaster Leave-Sharing Plans. (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

ERISA Claim is Time-barred in Spite of Disclosure Violation
Excerpt: "The 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that, though a pension plan violated its duties under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) to provide an employee with reasons for its denial of benefits and a reasonable opportunity for review, the participant had reason to know his benefits denial was final." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Overview: Chicago Passes 'Big Box' Ordinance (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Chicago's City Council recently passed the hotly-contested Living Wage or 'Big Box' Ordinance (the 'Ordinance'), which imposes higher minimum wage and fringe benefits obligations on large retailers located within Chicago." (Winston & Strawn LLP)

Military's Benefits Often More Generous than Private Sector's
Excerpt: "'Since about 1999, the benefits in the private sector and the military have gone in opposite directions,' said Steven Kosiak of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments in Washington. 'The military has gotten more expensive benefits, in terms of health care and retirement, and in the private sector those offerings have become fewer.'" (AirForceTImes.com)

Towers Perrin U.S. Legislative Tracking Charts -- Human Resources -- Updated July 4, 2006 (PDF)
10 pages. Excerpt: "These charts summarize selected federal legislation that would affect employee benefit programs. The bills included on the charts are based on judgments regarding the prominence of the issue, the likelihood of enactment, and the influence of the sponsors." (Towers Perrin)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

401(k) Plans
in Ohio on October 31, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

401(k) Plans
in Maryland on November 7, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

401(k) Plans
in Minnesota on November 14, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Ohio on November 1, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Maryland on November 8, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Cafeteria Plans
in Minnesota on November 15, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Ohio on November 3, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Maryland on November 10, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

COBRA Compliance for Group Health Plans
in Minnesota on November 17, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Ohio on November 2, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Maryland on November 9, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

ERISA Compliance for Health & Welfare Plans
in Minnesota on November 16, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Ohio on November 3, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Maryland on November 10, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HIPAA Portability, Privacy & Security
in Minnesota on November 17, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Ohio on November 2, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Maryland on November 9, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

HSAs, HRAs, and Consumer-Driven Health Care
in Minnesota on November 16, 2006
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Options Backdating - The New Wave of Securities Lawsuits and Investigations - Webcast
Nationwide on August 7, 2006
presented by West LegalEdcenter

Pension Protection Act of 2006 Webcast
in Georgia on August 10, 2006
presented by Swerdlin & Company

Pension Protection Act of 2006 Workshop at the Ashford Club in Atlanta, Georgia
in Georgia on August 17, 2006
presented by Swerdlin & Company

Pension Reform Passes House and Senate
Nationwide on August 8, 2006
presented by Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, LLC

Retirement Plan Strategies
in Georgia on August 24, 2006
presented by Swerdlin & Company


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Pension Bill a Huge Missed Opportunity for Retirement Security
(Pension Rights Center)

Statement by U.S. Labor Secretary & PBGC Board Chairman Elaine L. Chao on Passage of Comprehensive Pension Reform
(U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C.)

NCCMP Commends Congress on Passage of Historic, Bi-Partisan Pension Reform Legislation
(National Coordinating Committee for Multiemployer Plans)

ICMA-RC Commends Congress for Supporting EGTRRA Permanency and Retirement Reform
(ICMA-RC)

Nexus Financial Management Explains How High Income Taxpayers Can Take Advantage of a Roth IRA
(Nexus Financial Management)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Account Consultant
for Diversified Investment Advisors, a business unit in the AEGON Group.
in IA

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for CBIZ Actuarial & Benefit Consultants
in AZ

Retirement Plan Supervisor
for SVA Retirement Plan Services, LLC
in WI

Health and Welfare Vendor Manager
for Constantin Control Associates
in NJ

Assistant Plan Administrator
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in MN

Tax and Accounting Services Consultant
for The Newport Group
in FL

Defined Benefit Pension Analyst
for Chittenden Services Group
in VT

Employee Benefits Administrative Officer
for National Penn Investors Trust Company
in PA

Attorney, VP, Corporate Counsel
for Prudential Financial
in NJ

Pension Administrator
for Pension Dynamics Corporation
in CA

401(k) Plan Support Account Manager/Representative
for Great-West Retirement Services
in WI

Sales & Marketing Associate
for Advanced Benefits Consulting
in MO

Defined Benefit Administration Software Consultant (ProAdmin)
for Winklevoss Technologies
in CT

Director, Product Development/Mgmt. (Insurance)
for Premier Recruiters & Associates
in DC

Retirement Services Account Manager 2
for SunTrust Bank
in DC




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