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September 7, 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)

Study Shows Health Plans Not Doing Enough to Educate Employers on Consumer-Directed Health Plans
Excerpt: "Agents and brokers say employers would be more likely to implement a consumer-directed health (CDH) plan if health insurers offered better tools to help members navigate the plans and comparison-shop for providers, according to a new study from the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) and consulting firm ChapterHouse LLC." (INSIDE CONSUMER-DIRECTED CARE via AISHealth.com)

Study Says Alzheimer's Caregivers Face Workplace Challenges
Excerpt: "Worsening health, higher stress and increased financial demands are some of the outcomes for individuals who care for family members with Alzheimer's disease. As a result, productivity often suffers and some workers even quit their jobs. Employers are well advised to lend a much-needed hand, experts say." (Human Resource Executive Online)

Fourth Circuit Agrees that ERISA Plan Wrongly Terminated Benefits
Excerpt: "The cite is Donovan v. Eaton Corp. Long Term Disability Plan, 2006 WL 2530393 (4th Cir. Sep. 5, 2006)." (ERISA on the web; posted by John Wood)

UnumProvident report shows Cancer the leading cause of long-term disability
Excerpt: "A recent UnumProvident report on disability trends indicates that cancer was the leading cause of long-term absence from work for Americans in 2005. Of the long-term disability claims filed with the Chattanooga, Tenn.-based insurer in 2005, 12% were for cancer, with nearly a quarter of those claims attributed to breast cancer." (Employee Benefits News)

7th Circuit Holds that Employee May Not Sue State Agency for Violation of FMLA's Self-Care Provision
Excerpt: "[T]he Seventh Circuit considered the doctrine of state sovereign immunity and whether an employee who suffered from stress anxiety and delusional disorder could sue his former employer, a state agency, for violating the self-care provision of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). (The self-care provision allows an eligible employee to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave annually because of a serious health condition preventing the employee from performing his or her job.)" (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Single-Payer Health Plan Outlined for Vermont
Excerpt: "Vermont could offer health coverage to all its residents and spend $51 million less a year on health care under a single-payer system, according to a legislative consultant's report released [September 6]." (Vermont News - WCAX.com via Physicians for a National Health Program)

Governor Schwarzenegger Announces Veto of Government-Run Health Care System Bill
Excerpt: "Socialized medicine is not the solution to our state's health care problems." (State of California, Office of the Governor via Physicians for a National Health Program)

Two Courts Address Attorneys' Fee Awards in COBRA Notice Violation Cases
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: The federal circuit courts differ slightly in the test applied for attorneys' fees, but as these cases illustrate, fee awards to prevailing plaintiffs are favored. These cases also remind us -- once again -- of the importance of having written COBRA notice procedures." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Efficiency and Convenience Driving E-Records, According to Survey
Excerpt: "Other major factors for physician offices include increased revenue from better charge capture and coding and decreased manual transcription, cited by 60% of respondents; and patient/physician satisfaction (52.6%)." (Health Data Management)

Lawmakers Must Combine Health IT Bills to Assure Passage
Excerpt: "The 109th Congress has introduced more than 50 bills related to health information technology and personal medical records, but only one piece of legislation appears to stand any chance of becoming law, health IT advocates say. That legislation is the result of two still-evolving bills in the House and Senate." (GovernmentHealthIT)

A Conversation with Molly Coye, MD, MPH, on Building the Paperless Health Care System
Excerpt: "[The goal to achieve a paperless health care system by 2010 set by the Institutes of Medicine in 2000] could only have been met through a moon-shot effort organized at a national level. There were four or five things the government could have done and would have had to do to accomplish this by 2010. Even then, we might have gotten 80 percent of the country wired. The last 20 percent is always the hardest." (Managed Care Magazine)

AMA Officials at Senate Hearing Express Concern about Effect of Health Insurance Consolidation
Excerpt: "At the hearing, AMA officials said that the Department of Justice should reduce restrictions on collective bargaining among physician groups to provide physicians will more ability to negotiate with health insurers (CongressDaily, 9/6)." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Direction Sought in Developing Rules for 'Any Willing Provider' Law in Arkansas
Excerpt: "The state insurance commissioner sought legislative direction [September 5] in determining how far the Arkansas Insurance Department can go in developing new rules and regulations for the state's so-called 'any willing provider' law." (Arkansas News Bureau)

New York Mental Health Parity Law To Be Voted on This Month
Excerpt: "The New York state Senate this month is expected to approve legislation that would require insurance companies to provide mental health coverage at the same level and out-of-pocket cost as other coverage, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reports." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Opinion: Will Mandatory Health Insurance Work?
Excerpt: "Conclusion. There are no easy solutions to America's health insurance problem. The current notion that a state legislature can solve the problem through mandatory coverage is na´ve at best and a distraction from the hard work of finding real solutions." (National Center for Policy Analysis)

Blue Cross Wants Minnesota to Require Health Insurance Coverage for All
Excerpt: "Minnesotans would be legally required to have health insurance under a proposal unveiled Tuesday by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota to prevent further increases in medical costs and the number of people lacking health benefits." (St Paul Pioneer Press via BlueCross BlueShield Association)

Nationwide Discussion on Making Health Care Available to All Americans Gives New Life to an Old Idea
Excerpt: "[The MMA produced] the bipartisan Citizens' Health Care Working Group to encourage Americans 'to engage in an informed national public debate to make choices about the services they want covered, what health care coverage they want, and how they are willing to pay for coverage,' according to Section 1014 of the act." (Managed Care Magazine)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

McDonald's Japan No Longer Serving Up Forced Retirement
Excerpt: "McDonald's Japan announced it will abolish its policy of forced retirement at 60 for its company-owned restaurants. The change complies with new Japanese legislation, but the company says that's not why it is instituting it." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

Mailbox Rule Presumption Defeats Participant's Claim for Failure to Provide Notice of Plan Amendment
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: The DOL's regulations specifically permit notice of a plan amendment by delivery of SMMs and SPDs via first-class mail. Armed with evidence of its mailing procedures and the mailing of this notice, this company created a presumption of receipt that the participant could not defeat. As this case illustrates, a plan's records should include evidence of the mailing list and the company's established business practices with respect to mailing." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Congress Is Urged to Hold Off Acting on Options and Executive Pay
Excerpt: "Linda Chatman Thomsen, the Securities and Exchange Commission's enforcement director, told the [Senate Finance Committee] panel that it might be 'premature' to introduce government policies now that new accounting and disclosure rules were discouraging the manipulation of option grants and other forms of pay abuse." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)

Senators May End Executive Pay Deduction
Excerpt: "Senators said they may close a loophole in U.S. tax law that lets companies deduct executive pay of more than $1 million, in an effort to crack down on the manipulation of stock option grants." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

SEC Executive Compensation Rules Prompt Low Expectations
Excerpt: "A majority of corporate human resources and compensation directors think new rules to rein in executive pay will have little effect on company performance or salary levels, according to a recent Watson Wyatt Worldwide poll." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

SEC's Cox Says Executive Salary Cap a Flop
Excerpt: "The $1 million legislative cap on salaries for certain top public company executives 'deserves pride of place in the Museum of Unintended Consequences,' Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Christopher Cox said in written testimony submitted Senate Banking Committee." (Investment News; registration or subscription required)

CFA Says: Ban 'Spring Loaded' Stock Options
Excerpt: "Although the use of stock options has fallen out of favor due to new option expensing rules, there is a need for 'further examination of the replacement for options and the practice of granting restricted stock,' Kurt Schacht, executive director of the CFA Centre for Financial Market Integrity, told the Senate Banking Committee [September 6]." (Investment News; registration or subscription required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

2006 Fall Forum
in Illinois on September 18, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Forum
in Georgia on October 2, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Forum
in Maryland on October 23, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Forum
in California on November 13, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Essentials
in Minnesota on October 11, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Essentials
in Massachusetts on October 17, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Essentials
in District of Columbia on October 19, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on October 24, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Essentials
in Arizona on October 26, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Update: A seminar for serious IRA professionals
in Minnesota on October 12, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Update: A seminar for serious IRA professionals
in Massachusetts on October 18, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Update: A seminar for serious IRA professionals
in District of Columbia on October 20, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Update: A seminar for serious IRA professionals
in California on October 25, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

2006 Fall Tour: IRA Update: A seminar for serious IRA professionals
in Arizona on October 27, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

A Whole New World for Multiemployer Funds
Nationwide on September 12, 2006
presented by Buck Consultants

Cross-Tested Plan Workshop - Design and Testing
in Kansas on September 19, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Cross-Tested Plan Workshop - Design and Testing
in Georgia on September 20, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Cross-Tested Plan Workshop - Design and Testing
in Michigan on September 20, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Cross-Tested Plan Workshop - Design and Testing
in North Carolina on September 21, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Cross-Tested Plan Workshop - Design and Testing
in Massachusetts on September 26, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Cross-Tested Plan Workshop - Design and Testing
in Illinois on September 26, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Cross-Tested Plan Workshop - Design and Testing
in Texas on September 27, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Cross-Tested Plan Workshop - Design and Testing
in Minnesota on September 27, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Employee Benefits in Bankruptcy & Workouts: An Update
Nationwide on October 5, 2006
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

FMLA Update (Two Day Program - Seminar Plus Workshop) Located in cities throughout the country
Nationwide on September 12, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

In-Person COBRA Seminars Located in cities throughout the country
Nationwide on September 12, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Interactive Cafeteria Plan Seminar Every Wednesday for 3 weeks (10/4, 10/11 & 10/18) 2pm-3pm EASTERN
Nationwide on October 4, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Multi-State Taxation & Reporting Webcast 2:00pm- 3:30pm EASTERN
Nationwide on September 19, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Pension Protection Act Series - Single Employer and Cash Balance Plans
Nationwide on September 19, 2006
presented by Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Pension Protection Act Series - Single Employer and Cash Balance Plans
Nationwide on September 21, 2006
presented by Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans - Design and Administration
in Georgia on September 21, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans - Design and Administration
in Michigan on September 21, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans - Design and Administration
in North Carolina on September 22, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans - Design and Administration
in Massachusetts on September 27, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans - Design and Administration
in Illinois on September 27, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans - Design and Administration
in Texas on September 28, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans - Design and Administration
in Minnesota on September 28, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

Safe Harbor 401(k)Plans - Design and Administration
in Kansas on September 20, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

The Future of Work and Health - Where do we go from here?
in Pennsylvania on September 21, 2006
presented by Central Pennsylvania Chapter - ISCEBS

Web/Telephone Seminar: Advanced HSAs
Nationwide on October 17, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Basic IRAs
Nationwide on October 5, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: General Traditional IRA Distributions
Nationwide on October 19, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Excess Contributions
Nationwide on October 3, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Fundamentals for Frontline Personnel - Part I
Nationwide on October 17, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Fundamentals for Frontline Personnel - Part II
Nationwide on October 19, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA-to-IRA Transfers and Rollovers
Nationwide on October 24, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Pension Protection of 2006
Nationwide on September 15, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services

Web/Telephone Seminar: Withholding
Nationwide on October 12, 2006
presented by BISYS Retirement Services


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Most See New Disclosure Rules Having Little Impact on Executive Pay
(Watson Wyatt)

New Book Offers Reform Agenda for a Working America
(Urban Institute)

PBGC Protects Pensions At Oneida Ltd.
(Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC))

Declining Interest Rates Fuel Boost in U.S. Pension Plan Liabilities
(Mellon Financial Corporation)

BNA Launches Portfolio Series Providing In-Depth Analysis and Insight Into Application of Accounting Rules and Standards
(BNA, Inc.)

Judy Diamond Associates Releases the Directory of Third Party Retirement Plan Administrators 2007-2008 Edition
(Judy Diamond Associates)

Wells Fargo Survey Shows New 401(k) Plan Designs Taking Hold, Employers Planning More Pension Changes
(Wells Fargo)

New Book: Restructuring Retirement Risks
(Pension Research Council)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Retirement Plan Coordinator
for American Funds, a part of The Capital Group Companies, Inc
in TX

Benefit Analyst/Consultant (Travel Required)
for CCA Strategies
in CO, GA, IL, MA, TX

Account Executive, Group Benefits
for Lenox Advisors, Inc
in CT, NY

Group Benefits Sales Professional
for Lenox Advisors Inc
in NY

General Manager
for Benefit Systems, Inc.
in TX

Retirement Medical Plans Analyst
for PepsiCo, Inc.
in NY

Retirement Plan Administrator
for TPA Firm Established in 1982
in NH

Pension Manager
for Philadelphia Area TPA (Montgomery County)
in PA

Legislative and Regulatory Advocate: Retirement Security
for The ERISA Industry Committee
in DC

Account Manager
for Pension Corporation of America
in OH

Director of Client Services
for BISYS Retirement Services
in PA

Service Delivery Manager
for JPMorgan Retirement Plan Services
in CO, KS, MO

Service Line Manager, Daily Valuation
for Spectrum Pension Consultants, Inc.
in WA

401(k) Processor
for Leggette Actuaries, Inc.
in TX

Health and Welfare Lead Analyst - MA060460
for MidAmerican Energy
in IA

401 (k) Administrator
for Compliance/Administration Company
in NJ




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