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October 23, 2006
Today's sponsor: Financial Research Associates

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MADE IN AMERICA 2007: The 4th Annual Taft-Hartley Benefits Summit

MIA's mission is to provide pro-active solutions and help foster initiatives which will translate into action at the trust fund level. Our speaker faculty has empowered Trustees and Administrators for three years now and we are committed to giving funds a no-nonsense, solution-driven Summit.

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

Delta Can Cut Retiree Benefits by $50M
Excerpt: "A federal bankrup.tcy judge [last week] approved a plan by Delta Air Lines Inc. to cut $50 million a year in health benefits for about 42,000 retirees, spouses and survivors." (The Washington Post; one-time registration required)

Employers to Employees -- Take Your Vacations, Please
Excerpt: "Worried about employee burnout and turnover, some employers are forcing workers to take the vacation time they are entitled to. Determined to take some of the 'labor' out of Labor Day and other holidays, employers are encouraging workaholics to switch off their cellphones and log out of e-mail while away." (Los Angeles Times via The Hartford Courant; one-time registration required)

Fired Employee Due Pay for Unused Vacation, Says Court
Excerpt: "In overturning a lower court ruling, the Minnesota Court of Appeals found that a provision in an employer's employee handbook saying workers fired for misconduct would not be paid for unused vacation violated state law." (PLANSPONSOR.com; one-time registration required)

Wall Street Journal Examines Concerns Over Limits of HIPAA Medical Privacy Rule
Excerpt: "The Wall Street Journal on [Oct. 21] examined how forms that outline the medical privacy rule under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act 'essentially detai[l] the many ways a doctor can use and disclose medical information -- often without a patient's consent or knowledge' -- and how patients who visit physician offices, hospitals and pharmacies mistakenly 'assume signing somehow protects their privacy' (Francis, Wall Street Journal, 10/21)." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Can We Take Talk of a Single-Payer, Government-Run Health System Seriously in the United States?
Excerpt: "In Europe, Americans are seen as barbarians, and market-based health care as nothing short of immoral, especially with 47 million uninsured. 'Europeans just won't listen when we explain that nearly half of all health spending in America is through government programs for the poor, the elderly, and children and that no one actually is denied health care when they need it. They just don't believe it,' . . . ." (Galen Institute)

Health Poll Report Survey: Voters on Health Care and the 2006 Elections
Excerpt: "This October 2006 survey examines voters' views and worries on health care and other issues in advance of the midterm Congressional elections. Overall, nearly half (46%) of voters say they are 'very worried' about having to pay more for their health care or insurance, putting health care costs at the top of voters' personal worries." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Discussion: Application of Subrogation Provision Does Not Trigger Claims Procedure Regulations
Excerpt: "In Demag Crane and Components v. Gehrke, 2006 WL 2946943 (N.D.Ohio) (October 16, 2006), the plan filed an action against a plan beneficiary, her father and their bank seeking to impose a constructive trust on funds recovered in a personal injury action. The plan asserted rights under a subrogation provision to reimbursement from such funds for accident-related benefit payments. In addition, the plan filed a motion for discovery in aid of its claims." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Misdated Options and Section 409A: A Toxic Mix (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "Any corporation that may have discounted options or SARs should consider whether corrective action should be taken to avoid adverse tax consequences for corporate insiders holding such stock rights. Corporations that are adversely affected by IRS Notice 2006-79 should realize that such corrective action must be taken on or before December 31." (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

FASB Staff Position No. FAS 123(R)-6: Technical Corrections of FASB Statement No. 123(R) (PDF)
Excerpt: "This FASB Staff Position (FSP) addresses certain technical corrections of FASB Statement No. 123 (revised 2004), Share-Based Payment." (Financial Accounting Standards Board)

Discussion on Judge Ordering Repayment of Millions under Supplemental Executive Retirement Plans
Excerpt: "The Corporate Counsel.net. Blog has the latest here on yesterday's decision issued by New York State Justice Ramos in Spitzer v. Grasso. (Access the opinion here.) This opinion is a must-read for every benefits lawyer who drafts or advises clients on nonqualified deferred compensation plans." (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

The Confusing World of ERISA Preemption
Ms. Grenier comments on recent cases involving ERISA preemption. (Attorney B. Janell Grenier via BenefitsBlog.com)

New Federal Law Requires Adoption of Additional Fraud and Abuse Policies Effective January 1, 2007
Excerpt: "On February 8, 2006, President Bush signed into law the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 . . . . To comply with the DRA, covered healthcare entities must establish written policies, applicable to all employees, including management, as well as any contractor or agent of the entity." (Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC)

Book Review: The Great Risk Shift-The Assault on American Jobs, Families, Healthcare, and Retirement
Excerpt: "Whatever happened to the good old days of cradle-to-grave security -- of a steady job, a lifetime pension and paid-for health care along the way? This is the question at the heart of 'The Great Risk Shift' . . . by the political scientist Jacob S. Hacker . . . ." (The New York Times; one-time registration required)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Deciphering Business Process Management (BPM) for Health Plan Administration
in California on November 16, 2006
presented by DST Health Solutions

Managing Health Care Costs 2006 Web Summit
in California on November 13, 2006
presented by Healthcare Web Summit


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

New Study Rates Life Cycle Funds
(Turnstone Advisory Group)


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Trust Administrator II or III
for Associated Pension Consultants
in CA

Sales - Retirement Wholesaler
for John Mulligan & Associates
in AZ, CO, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NM, OH, OK, SD, TX, UT, WI, WY

Research Analyst
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for Pension Specialists, Inc.
in AZ

ERISA Paralegal
for Hill, Ward & Henderson, P. A.
in FL

Data Project Administrator
for Vanguard
in PA




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