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September 1, 2006
Today's sponsor: Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

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Banner ad for Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Record Retention Requirements for Health & Welfare Plans

In Record Retention Requirements for Health & Welfare Plans, EBIA's experts analyze record retention requirements for ERISA health and welfare plans as well as other employer-provided health and welfare benefits not subject to ERISA. You'll find answers to your record retention questions for many benefits including cafeteria plans, DCAPs, qualified transportation plans, HSAs, group health plans (like major medical, dental, health FSAs, and HRAs), and other ERISA benefits.

Record Retention Requirements for Health & Welfare Plans is available now at the introductory price of $195.
Please enter priority code BL195. For more information and to order, visit http://www.ebia.com/OtherOfferings/Books/RecordRetention.


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

Health Care Consumerism: An Employer's Perspective (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "Effective health care consumerism will require the active engagement of all involved parties -- the employee, the employer, even the provider -- to drive real change in the current health care benefits and service delivery model. This active engagement must start with employers' commitment to re-shape employees' attitudes, knowledge, and skills in dealing with health care issues." (Buck Consultants)

Retiree Drug Coverage Comes Up for Renewal
Excerpt: "Decision time is running short for companies whose benefit plan years begin in January -- the most common month for plan starts. If they don't want to miss out on the tax-free federal subsidies they can get for providing retiree drug coverage, they have to decide the fate of their program by the end of September." (Society for Human Resource Management)

On the Job, Nursing Mothers Find a 2-Class System
Excerpt: "Public health authorities, alarmed at the gap between the breast-feeding haves and have-nots, are now trying to convince businesses that supporting the practice is a sound investment. 'The Business Case for Breastfeeding,' an upcoming campaign by the Department of Health and Human Services, will emphasize recent findings that breast-feeding reduces absenteeism and pediatrician bills." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Evidence-Based Care Yields Mixed Results in Pilot
Excerpt: "The effort to use evidence-based interventions to care for heart-failure patients could increase costs and worsen outcomes, according to the first year's results of a three-year pay-for-performance demonstration project by hospital alliance Premier and the CMS. [The 24-page analysis of the project is at http://www.premierinc.com/p4p/press/quality-cost-methods-paper3.pdf.]" (Modern Healthcare; one-time registration required)

Basic Medical Care Would Save Money, According to Report
Excerpt: "Simple adherence to basic medical treatment guidelines would save thousands of lives and $1.35 billion a year in medical costs, according to a large analysis of data from 260 hospitals." (Reuters Limited via Business Insurance)

New Transparency Tools at Blues Plans Help Members Pick Providers
Excerpt: "A number of Blues plans are working on ways to improve cost and quality transparency to help patients understand the cost of services and compare providers on criteria such as outcomes prior to seeking care." (The AIS Report on Blue Cross and Blue Shield Plans via AISHealth.com)

The State of Pharmacy Benefit Managers
Excerpt: "[I]n states such as Maine, the courts have actually mandated PBM transparency. In June of this year, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld statehouse legislation that regulates how PBMs -- private companies that administer pharmacy benefits for major employers and employer consortiums, health insurers, labor unions and other large health-care purchasers -- conduct business in the state." (Human Resource Executive Online)

Faith-Based Organizations Argue Against Wellness Act in New York
Excerpt: "Lawyers for the charitable arm of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany are set to argue next week before the state's highest court that a mandate to provide birth control coverage in its health plan violates freedom of religion, speech and association." (Albany Times Union via BlueCross BlueShield Association)

Audio: Employers Cut Back on Health Insurance
Excerpt: "The number of Americans without health insurance has increased by more than a million people since last year. One reason for the increase: the percentage of American's who get their health insurance from an employer keeps going down." (Morning Edition via National Public Radio)

Text of Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2005 (PDF)
86 pages. Excerpt: "This report presents data on income, poverty, and health insurance coverage in the United States based on information collected in the 2006 and earlier Annual Social and Economic Supplements (ASEC) to the Current Population Survey (CPS) conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau." (U.S. Census Bureau)

Overview: IRS Final Regulations Regarding Employer Contributions to HSAs
Excerpt: "The regulations apply to employer HSA contributions made on or after January 1, 2007." (Faegre & Benson LLP)

You Are More Likely To Be Uninsured If You Work
Excerpt: "In 2005, 1.3 million more individuals were without health insurance than in 2004, and 62% of those were employed, according to an August 2006 report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Overall, the uninsured rate went from 15.6% to 15.9% between 2004 and 2005. The uninsured rate for full-time workers went from 17.3% to 17.7%, and thus individuals are more likely to be uninsured in the United States if they are employed full-time than if they are unemployed." (Spencer's Benefits Reports)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Legal Opinions Addressing Uncertain Tax Positions May Be Desirable Under New FASB Rules
Excerpt: "Although FIN 48 does not require a company to obtain a tax opinion from outside counsel, such an opinion can be external evidence supporting the company's position and may be helpful in discussions with the company's outside auditors." (Faegre & Benson LLP)

Survey of Attitudes Toward Work and Job Security (PDF)
14 pages. Excerpt: "When asked to indicate the age at which they expect to retire completely and stop working for pay, just under four in ten workers ages 18 and older (39%) reported that they expect to retire before the age of 65, while slightly more than four in ten (42%) reported that they expect to retire at the age of 65 or older." (AARP)

Action Checklist for New Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "These new rules are generally effective for the 2007 proxy season. This alert focuses on what companies should be doing now to prepare for the new disclosure requirements." (LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP)

Overview: SEC Revisions to Executive Compensation and Related Party Disclosure (PDF)
16 pages. Excerpt: "Compensation disclosure now will start with the Compensation Discussion and Analysis, or 'CD&A', a new narrative principles-based discussion and analysis of the material factors underlying compensation policies and decisions. The CD&A is intended to be an overview explaining the material components of executive compensation as a whole and its separate elements." (LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP)

Supplemental Health Care Benefits for Executives Must Fit a Company's Overall Business Needs
Excerpt: "Many executives receive annual physicals, reimbursement for out-of-pocket medical expenses and retiree medical insurance in addition to coverage under regular group health plans. These extras don't cost much compared with an executive's salary and bonus, and they're not as controversial as stock options, consultants say." (Society for Human Resource Management)

2005 Director Compensation: Analysis of Changes from Prior Year (PDF)
Pages 11-12 of 12 pages. Excerpt: "Hay Group annually examines year-over-year changes in outside Board member compensation at S&P 1500 companies. Study data for the S&P 1500 are collected from proxy statements by the Investor Responsibility Resource Center (IRRC)." (Hay Group)

The American Dream Survey 2006 -- Hope and Fear in Working America
Excerpt: "A majority of working Americans now believe their children are going to be worse off economically than they are, according to a poll of 800 non-supervisory workers released today by Change to Win (CtW). This, along with other striking results, reveals that on Labor Day 2006, the American Dream is slipping away." (Change to Win)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

"Enhancing the Participant Retirement Plan Experience"
in Arizona on September 21, 2006
presented by International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists--Phoenix Chapter

Advanced Cafeteria Plans Conference 2007
in Washington on July 18, 2007
presented by Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

Fourth Quarter 2006 Update
Nationwide on November 16, 2006
presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Governmental Benefits Update Seminar
in Pennsylvania on September 15, 2006
presented by Rhoades & Wodarczyk, LLC and Gaitens, Tucceri & Nicholas, P.C.

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Virginia on September 19, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Michigan on September 19, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Colorado on September 19, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Michigan on September 20, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Virginia on September 20, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Colorado on September 20, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Michigan on September 21, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Minnesota on September 21, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in North Carolina on September 21, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Offshore Health Care - Can It Improve the Affordability of U.S. Employee Benefit Plans? - Teleweb
Nationwide on September 15, 2006
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

Targeted Personalized Communications: A Realistic Approach for Improving Defined Contribution Plan Utilization in Today’s Corporate Environment
Nationwide on September 21, 2006
presented by International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

PSCA Urges Employers to Use 401(k) Day to Communicate the Saver's Credit
(Profit Sharing/401(k) Council of America (PSCA))

Additional Details for Directing Mail to IRS Chief Counsel
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))

GASB Adds Short-Term Project To Enhance Disclosure Requirements of Governmental Pension Plans; Board Will Also Concurrently Conduct Research Initiative to Assess Effectiveness of Existing Governmental Pension Accounting Standards
(Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB))


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Defined Benefits Specialist - Contract - NY
for Benetemps, Inc.
in NY

Retirement Analyst
for Agfa Corporation
in NJ

Health and Welfare Analyst
for Agfa Corporation
in NJ

Pension Administrator
for Pension Planners, Inc.
in FL

Retirement Plan Writer
for The Capital Group Companies
in CA

Account Manager ~ Financial Services
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Benefits Consultant
for Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia
in GA

Retirement Plan Specialist/Education Consultant
for Diversified Investment Advisors
in CA




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