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August 24, 2006
Today's sponsor: Benefit Software Inc.

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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)

Bush Signs Executive Order Aiming To Boost Transparency of Health Services Prices, Quality
Excerpt: "President Bush on Tuesday signed an executive order that requires HHS, the Department of Defense, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Office of Personnel Management to collect more information about the quality and cost of health care they provide and to share that data with one another and with beneficiaries . . ." (KaiserNetwork.org)

New Jersey Governor Signs Health Care Insurance Reporting Bill
Excerpt: "Employers in New Jersey with 50 or more employees or employee dependants enrolled in state-supported health care programs for the poor will be singled out under a measure signed into law by Gov. Jon S. Corzine." (Business Insurance)

New Jersey Governor Signs Bill To Create Prescription Cost-Comparison Web Site
Excerpt: "New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine (D) on Monday signed a bill that will allow residents to compare prescription drug prices at various pharmacies through a state Web site or a toll-free telephone number, the AP/Philadelphia Inquirer reports." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Federal District Court Identifies Proper Defendants in ERISA Disability Case
Excerpt: "There is sometimes confusion about the proper defendants to sue in an ERISA disability case. Moreover, the law in the federal circuit courts is not entirely consistent on this point. A federal district in Ohio, which is part of the Sixth Circuit, recently addressed this issue in Dirkes v. Continental Casualty Co., 2006 WL 2381444 (S.D. Ohio Aug. 16, 2006)." (ERISA on the web; posted by John Wood)

More Reasons to Integrate Medical and Disability Data
Excerpt: "New research from the Integrated Benefits Institute . . . continues to strengthen the case for integrating medical and disability data. The group's analysis of 15,000 disability claims -- covering 53,00 medical conditions from 183 employers over an 18-month period -- from Cigna offers advisers several reasons for making sure their clients are taking a holistic approach to controlling health, disability and productivity costs." (The Advisor)

Overview: U.S. House of Representatives Passage of New Health IT Bill (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "On July 27, 2006, the U.S. House of Representatives approved by a vote of 270-148, H.R. 4157, known as the 'Health Information Technology Promotion Act of 2006' designed to spur health information technology (HIT) by health care providers." (Gardner Carton & Douglas LLP)

More Insurers Offer Limited-Benefit Plans As Interest in Low-Cost Products Increases
Excerpt: "Firms such as Aetna, Inc., CIGNA Corp., Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida (BCBSF) and Independence Holding Company (IHC) now are offering a range of plans that in many cases got their start as a benefit for employees in fast-food restaurants." (MANAGED CARE WEEK via AISHealth.com)

Segal/Sibson's 2006 Survey of Consumer-Driven Health Plans (PDF)
2 pages. (Segal/Sibson)

WellPoint To Expand Consumer-Driven Health Plans to Individuals and More Companies
Excerpt: "Officials for Indiana-based WellPoint . . . announced that the company on Jan. 1, 2007, will begin to offer consumer-driven health plans to individuals and companies of all sizes, the Indianapolis Star reports." (Kaiser Family Foundation)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Comments on Accounting for Deferred Comp & Post-Retirement Aspects of Split Dollar Arrangements
Excerpt: "The letter contains comments on EITF Issues 06-4, sent to the chairman of the Emerging Issues Task Force of the Financial Accounting Standards Board on July 27, 2006." (Executive Benefit Solutions LLC)

Abstract of Chason on Deferred Compensation Reform
Excerpt: "Eric Chason (William & Mary) [has a] new piece in the Ohio State Law Journal: Deferred Compensation Reform: Taxing the Fruit of the Tree in its Proper Season, 67 Ohio St. L. J. 347 (2006) . . . ." (Workplace Prof Blog)

The SEC's Final Rules on Executive Compensation -- What to Do Now
Excerpt: "Companies must comply with the new disclosure requirements in Forms 8-K for related triggering events that occur on or after 60 days after publication in the Federal Register and in Forms 10-K and 10-KSB for fiscal years ending on or after December 15, 2006." (Thelen Reid & Priest LLP)

Overview: SEC's Final Rules on Disclosure of Executive and Director Compensation (PDF)
21 pages. Excerpt: "The rules prescribe in detail a new regime for disclosure of executive and director compensation at a level that has been long awaited by the investing community. The new rules also address disclosures of related person transactions, director independence, corporate governance and related matters." (Alston & Bird LLP)

Overview: DOL Changes to Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program
Excerpt: "The Department of Labor issued an updated version of its Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program in April, adding transactions that can be corrected under the program and expanding the ability to obtain relief from prohibited transactions." (RLRC Department of Labor Voluntary Compliance Bulletin via Reish Luftman Reicher & Cohen)

Employer Cannot be Fiduciary Before its Existence
Excerpt: "The US District Court for the Northern District of Illinois has ruled that a spin-off company cannot be held liable for misrepresentation of benefits to employees before the transaction to create the company is complete." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Editorial: The Corporate Scandal Over Rigged Stock Options Continues to Expand
Excerpt: "More than 100 companies are now either under investigation by the federal government or performing their own internal investigations. Companies are restating earnings and preparing for new tax bills, and in extreme cases, executives are facing criminal charges." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

FMLA Seminars
Nationwide on August 28, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

WorldatWork Total Rewards Conference & Exposition 2007
in Florida on May 6, 2007
presented by WorldatWork


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

NAGDCA Announces the 2006 Media Recognition Award Winners
(NAGDCA (National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators, Inc.))

Financial Organizations See Significant Business Opportunity in Offering HSAs
(Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Six Sigma Black Belt Quality Analyst
for Mercer HR Services
in TX

Manager of Retirement Program
for Publix Super Markets, Inc.
in FL

401(k) SMART and Customer Service Supervisor
for Publix Super Markets, Inc.
in FL

TPA Relationship Manager
for Transamerica Retirement Services
in GA

Consultant 401(k)
for Qualified Benefits, Inc - QBI (a wholly owned subsidiary of BenefitStreet, Inc.)
in CA

Pension Administrator
for Fred S. Shapiro & Associates, Inc.
in MD

Compliance Consultant or Compliance Trainee
for Pinnacle Financial Services, Inc.
in FL




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