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September 12, 2006
Today's sponsor: Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc. (EBIA)

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
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)

Personal Health Records: What Employers Need to Consider
Excerpt: "[The authors] discuss the implications for employers looking to offer PHRs to employees, and the challenges involved with the use of claims data as well as issues of privacy, portability and interoperability." (CCA Strategies, LLC)

Massachusetts Finalizes Health Plan Coverage Test
Excerpt: "Under the final regulations, issued by the state's Division of Health Care Finance and Policy and which closely follow rules the division proposed in late June, employers that pass either of two tests would be considered to have made a fair and reasonable contribution and thus be exempt from the assessment." (Business Insurance)

Chicago Mayor Vetoes 'Big Box' Wage and Benefits Ordinance
Excerpt: "Chicago Mayor Richard Daley vetoed an ordinance that would have mandated a minimum amount for the city's largest retailers to pay workers in wages and benefits." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Going on Strike Is a COBRA Qualifying Event
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: We are surprised . . . that [the court] did not mention controlling IRS COBRA regulations under which 'a strike or a lockout is a termination or reduction of hours that constitutes a qualifying event if the strike or lockout results in a loss of coverage' and under which a loss of coverage includes '[a]ny increase in the premium or contribution that must be paid by a covered employee (or the spouse or dependent child of a covered employee).'" (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

SPD Saves Plan's Subrogation Rights
Excerpt from opinion discussed: 'Defendants do not dispute that the plain language of the SPD provides for the right of reimbursement and subrogation. Rather, at issue is whether the SPD is properly part of the Plan so that its reimbursement provision is enforceable against defendants . . ." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)

Health Coverage Cost Hikes Expected to Slow, According to Mercer
Excerpt: "While the rate of health care benefit cost growth is expected to continue slowing next year, it will still be more than twice the rate of inflation, according to new data. According to a news release on preliminary survey data from Mercer Health & Benefits LLC, the same exact health package a company has now will cost employers about 9% more in 2007." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Higher Copays Don't Deter Use of Needed High-Cost Medication
Excerpt: "That finding, being published today in the policy journal Health Affairs, is important because health plans are struggling to pay for the drugs, which can cost as much as $10,000 per month." (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

Employer-Sponsored Insurance Coverage of Smoking Cessation Treatments
Excerpt: "Conclusion: Both insurers and employers may add smoking cessation benefits at minimal burden to their members and with potential savings, particularly where the population of interest is relatively stable." (The American Journal of Managed Care)

Opinion: Turning the Health Insurance Coverage Debate into Action (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "Can Massachusetts serve as a model for expanding coverage in other parts of the country? The regulatory, financial, and political situation in Massachusetts made it ripe for reform. Any state will have to tailor potential reform to its own market conditions and financial situation. There are certainly lessons that can be learned not only from the reform itself but also in showing how legislators and the business community can work together to make real reform a reality." (Contingencies)

Humor: The Health Practice Council's 2006 Capitol Hill Visits -- The Logic Behind It All (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Despite the general tendency toward caution that pervades Capitol Hill, every once in a while we'd come across a Hill staffer who wasn't afraid to ask for the moon." (Contingencies)

Provision of Merger Agreement Limited Right to Change Retiree Medical Benefits
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: The retirees probably wouldn't have prevailed if they had attempted to enforce the merger agreement itself, because they weren't parties to it. However, their argument that the merger agreement constituted a plan amendment overcame that problem." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Overview: IRS Final Regulations on Comparable Contributions to HSAs
Excerpt: "The IRS has clarified that employer contributions to employees' HSAs will be treated as having been made through a cafeteria plan if, under the cafeteria plan, employees have the right to receive cash or other taxable benefits in lieu of all or part of an HSA contribution. This holds true regardless of whether the employee actually elects to contribute anything to the HSA by salary reduction." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

FASB Tells Task Force to Reconsider Split-Dollar Arrangements
Excerpt: "After addressing comments to its proposal on accounting for deferred compensation and postretirement benefit aspects of endorsement split-dollar life insurance arrangements, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) issued a new view for its Emerging Issues Task Force (EITF) to consider." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Penalties Awarded Where SPD Lacked Description of Claims Procedures
Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: Several courts have held that when the plan and SPD conflict, the SPD controls. Other courts, like the one in this case, hold that the SPD controls only if a participant relies on a direct conflict between the SPD and the plan and incurs damages as a result." (Employee Benefits Institute of America Inc.)

Overview: SEC's Final Executive Compensation Disclosure Rules (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

Effective Dates for New Rules on Executive Compensation and Related Person Disclosure (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "The new rules were published in the Federal Register on Friday, September 8, 2006." (LeBoeuf, Lamb, Greene & MacRae LLP)

409A Final Regulations: Effective Date Likely Delayed
Excerpt: "At the recent ALI-ABA Conference entitled 'Retirement, Deferred Compensation, and Welfare Plans of Tax-Exempt and Governmental Employers,' Dan Hogans, Office of Benefits Tax Counsel, U.S. Department of the Treasury, gave a presentation on Internal Revenue Code section 409A and remarked that the IRS is 'moving forward' with preparation of final regulations to be issued 'this fall.'" (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

Humor: Nomadic Lifestyle for Seniors Remedies Retirement Crisis
Excerpt: "As a result of the McCain-Clinton Act, which met with almost unanimous acceptance in the House and Senate, all recipients of Social Security and Medicare will now be transferred from their increasingly expensive assisted-living facilities to millions of square miles of rent-free, shelter-free living facilities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which has now been renamed the Arctic National Senior and Wildlife Refuge, or ANSWR." (The Northern Light Online)

Overview: Electronic Filing of Form 5500 and Proposed Form Revisions
Excerpt: "[T]he EBSA, IRS and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) jointly proposed revisions to Form 5500 to facilitate electronic filings, and the EBSA proposed regulations to adopt the revisions. Comments on the proposal may be mailed or e-mailed through September 19, 2006. The [balance] of this article focuses on those proposed revisions." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Basics of Retirement Plans
in California on September 21, 2006
presented by No. Calif. Chapter of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS)

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Illinois on October 18, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Minnesota on October 18, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Tennessee on October 18, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Missouri on October 18, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

ERISA Workshop - With Significant Coverage of PPA 2006
in Missouri on October 19, 2006
presented by SunGard Corbel

HSAs, HRAs, FSAs -- Why Multiple Plans May Be Your Best Solution Webcast
Nationwide on September 26, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in New Hampshire on October 3, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Georgia on October 3, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in South Dakota on October 3, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Massachusetts on October 4, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in North Dakota on October 4, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Georgia on October 4, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Georgia on October 5, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Minnesota on October 5, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in New York on October 5, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Kansas on October 10, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Florida on October 10, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Alabama on October 10, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Oklahoma on October 11, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Florida on October 11, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Louisiana on October 11, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Florida on October 12, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Oklahoma on October 12, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Mississippi on October 12, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Tennessee on October 17, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Texas on October 17, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in West Virginia on October 17, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in West Virginia on October 18, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Tennessee on October 18, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Arkansas on October 18, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

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

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

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

Retirement Plan Legislation and Its Implications for All Employers
in Ohio on September 21, 2006
presented by WEB (Worldwide Employee Benefits Network) Cleveland Chapter

Tips For The Cost & Compliance Conscious Employer: Top 10 Things To Cover At Renewal Time Webcast
Nationwide on September 26, 2006
presented by HRTrainingCenter.com


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

USW Denounces Off Shoring of Health Care Services
(United Steelworkers)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Senior Plan Administrator
for American National Insurance Company
in TX

Pension Administrator
for Pension Administration firm in Eastern PA
in PA

401(k) Plan Administrator
for Compass Pension Partners
in WA

Actuarial Benefit Consultant
for Fidelity Investments
in MA, NC, NY

Defined Benefit Implementation Analyst
for Fidelity Investments
in NC

DB Administrator
for Matthews, Gold, Kennedy & Snow, Inc.
in AZ

Pension Plan Administrator
for Palmer Pension Services, Inc.
in GA

401k Plan Administrator
for City National Bank
in CA

Administrator - Aris Pension Services - Defined Benefit & Defined Contribution
for Aris Corporation of America
in PA

Communication Specialist
for BB&T
in GA, WV

Pension Administration Director
for Florida Pensions, LLC, a veteran TPA practice
in FL

Employee Benefits Account Manager
for McGriff, Seibels & Williams of Georgia
in GA

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Dougherty McKinnon & Luby Benefit Services, LLC
in GA

Actuarial Assistant
for Bolton Partners, Inc.
in MD

Investment Consultant Xl
for Hewitt Associates
in CT

Compliance Specialist
for Retirement Alliance, Inc.
in NH

Defined Benefit Pension Plan Administrator
for The Angell Pension Group, Inc.
in ANY STATE

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Wolf Financial Management LLC
in IL




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