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September 28, 2006
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Since 1992, BeneCom has provided one-stop benefit communications for organizations large and small, nationwide. Staffed by people who know benefits, we write, design and produce effective media, including SPDs, enrollment materials, newsletters, benefit statements and more. So whether you're an employer, plan administrator or consultant in need of traditional or online capabilities, we're here to help. Call (860) 674-2626 today.

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

House Panel OKs Boost to Health Savings Accounts
Excerpt: "A House committee yesterday approved legislation to encourage and expand the use of health savings accounts, a program that Republicans say could transform the health care system by giving patients more responsibility and control." (The Washington Times)

Text of Written Statements of Witnesses at Senate Hearing on Health Savings Accounts
Includes statements by Dr. Robert Carroll, U.S. Department of the Treasury; John Dicken, U.S. Government Accountability Office; Joseph V. Knight, Setpoint Systems of Ogden, UT; Dr. Sara R. Collins, The Commonwealth Fund; Dr. John C. Goodman, National Center for Policy Analysis; and Eric C. Beittel, Enders Insurance Associates of Harrisburg, PA. (U.S. Committee on Finance, Subcommittee on Health Care)

Working Mother Magazine Lists America's Best 100 Companies for Working Mothers
Excerpt: "Programs we could only imagine a few years ago -- 16 months of maternity leave, free backup care, phase-back programs, $10,000 in adoption reimbursement -- are now a reality at many of our Working Mother 100 Best Companies. In selecting this year's winners, we gave special weight to leave policies, because it's critical for a mother to be able to stay home as long as possible with her newborn without suffering professionally." (Working Mother)

The State of Health Care Quality 2006: Industry Trends and Analysis (PDF)
84 pages. Excerpt: "The State of Health Care Quality is produced annually by NCQA to monitor and report on performance trends over time, track variations in patterns of care and provide recommendations for future quality improvement." (National Committee for Quality Assurance)

Opinion: Getting More Bang for Each Dollar Spent on the U.S. Health Care System (PDF)
16 pages. Excerpt: "This brief presents four things that can be done right now. Each depends on using clinical data more effectively, or sharing that data more readily, to improve patient outcomes. Each relies on changing the behavior of doctors and hospitals, the 'supply side' of the medical system." (The Century Foundation)

Overview of the Medicare Part A and Part B Adjustments Announced for 2007 (PDF)
2 pages. (Milliman)

Safeway Chief on Wellness and CDHP Crusade
Excerpt: "Safeway Inc. CEO Steven Burd may not be the first executive to start practicing the religion of health care consumerism and wellness. He does, however, seek to be one of the chief proselytizers for the trends." (Workforce Management; one-time registration required)

New PBS Series Explores Remaking American Medicine
Excerpt: "[T]hroughout the nation there are advocates for quality improvement -- patients, providers policy-makers and others -- who are committed to change. In Remaking American Medicine, a four-part PBS documentary series underwritten by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the efforts of those 'champions of change' are examined and explicated. Indeed, their victories -- often in the face of formidable odds and in response to heartbreaking personal losses -- are celebrated." (Robert Wood Johnson Foundation)

The National Medical Support Notice: Guidance for Employers
Excerpt: "The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) offers employers guidance for responding to a National Medical Support Notice (NMSN). Developed to ensure children receive health care coverage when it is available, NMSNs are sent to employers by their state child support enforcement agency." (accountingweb)

Overview: Ruling on Medical Expense Reimbursement for Non-Dependent Beneficiary
Excerpt: "Employers should examine the language of their HRA plan documents to ensure they comply with this ruling. Because of the effective date of the ruling, plans in existence on or before August 14, 2006 have until the 2008 plan year to make any necessary amendments." (McDermott Will & Emery)

The Case of a Medical Reimbursement Plan for Employee-Spouse
Excerpt: "This case [of Peter F. and Maureen L. Speltz v. Commissioner] demonstrates how a sole proprietorship can both obtain tax benefits and provide health benefits for family members. It also illustrates the importance of carefully researching the issue and implementing a well-documented plan." (Journal of Accountancy)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

New Tax Law for BOLI/COLI has Teeth but No Bite (PDF)
At pp. 1-2 of 2-page document. Excerpt: "The enactment of the PPA represents a significant change to the taxation of employer-owned life insurance; however, most employers can satisfy the requirements and obtain fully tax-free insurance proceeds by executing a few new policies and procedures before BOLI or COLI policies are issued." (Executive Benefit Solutions)

Summary of FASB Developments on Accounting for Split Dollar Plans (PDF)
At p. 1 of 2-page document. Excerpt: "Recently, the EITF suggested that split dollar benefits could be valued at the death benefit or the employer's 'cost of insurance,' depending upon the arrangement. Currently there is no 'good' measure for 'cost of insurance.' Unless a suitable measure can be developed and agreed upon within the industry, diversity in practice will continue among employers and auditors" (Executive Benefit Solutions)

Results of the 2006 Corporate Board Member Executive & Director Compensation Study (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "The Corporate Board Member/Towers Perrin '2006 Executive & Director Compensation Study' surveyed close to 500 corporate directors. While the survey included themes that recur year to year, such as compensation and stock options practices, recruiting, and committee pay, it also homed in on some previously unexplored topics, including CEO succession readiness and the effect of the new SEC disclosure rules." (Towers Perrin)

GAO Testimony: Aligning Senior Government Executives' Performance with Organizational Results
16 pages. Excerpt: "This testimony addresses (1) the performance management system's regulatory structure, (2) OPM's certification process and agencies' views of it, and (3) OPM's role in monitoring the system, and the number of agencies that have been certified to date. [Highlights of the testimony are at http://www.gao.gov/highlights/d061125thigh.pdf.]" (U.S. Government Accountability Office)

The IRS's Employee Plans FY 2007 Work Plan: Operating Priorities (PDF)
13 pages. Excerpt: "EP Operating Priorities support the IRS's Strategic Plan for FY2007-09. The Strategic Plan outlines three strategic goals that guide the future direction of the agency: Improve Taxpayer Service; Enhance Enforcement of the Tax Law; and, Modernize the IRS through its People, Processes and Technology." (Internal Revenue Service)

Opinion: Stock Options, Performance, and the Little Guy
Excerpt: "In the days before stock option grants were counted as an expense, many companies figured it would do no harm to hand out some options to everyone. It helped with cash flow too, because the company could limit salaries. But now the ante has been raised. Give options to all employees and your profits will be hit because of the expense recorded against earnings." (Graef Crystal via Bloomberg News)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Kansas on October 31, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Texas on October 31, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Illinois on October 31, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Illinois on November 1, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Texas on November 1, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Kansas on November 1, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Kansas on November 2, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Illinois on November 2, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Journey deep into the world of IRAs
in Texas on November 2, 2006
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

ICMA-RC Launches National Save for Retirement Week Web Site
(ICMA Retirement Corporation)

Active-Duty Reservists Get Relief on Retirement Plan Payments: Refunds of 10-Percent Tax Available Back to 2001, New Law Says
(Internal Revenue Service (IRS))

Council Applauds Ways and Means Committee Approval of Health Savings Account Legislation
(American Benefits Council)

Senators Smith, Conrad, Kerry and Bingaman Introduce “Women’s Retirement Security Act of 2006”
(American Council of Life Insurers)

Towers Perrin Survey Shows Employer-Sponsored Health Benefit Costs Continue to Outpace the CPI
(Towers Perrin)

Ftwilliam.com Announces the Release of Non-Qualified Plan Documents
(ftwilliam.com)

National Survey Reveals Seniors' Reactions to Pending 'Doughnut Hole' in Their Medicare Part D Drug Plan
(Guideline, Inc.)

Beazley Expands Risk Management Offering to Include ERISA Advice
(Beazley Group)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

401(k) / Defined Contribution Administrator
for Campbells Administration Inc.
in CA

Assistant Plan Administrator
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in MN

Senior Plan Administrator
for RSM McGladrey Retirement Resources
in MD

HR/Benefits Manager
for Stephen James Associates
in

Manager, Alliance Plan Administration
for Sentinel Benefits Group
in MA

Relationship Manager
for T. Rowe Price
in MD




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