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November 21, 2006
Today's sponsor: Benefit Software Inc.

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
Banner ad for Benefit Software Inc.

Are you achieving your important employee benefits objectives?

According to a recent survey, most employers are falling short of their benefits objectives. We can help.

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From employee enrollment to carrier notification, our team will deliver & support 24/7 communication solutions that improve employee morale while reducing administrative costs.

Email sales@bsiweb.com or call 800-533-1388 to request more info.


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

Walgreen Passes on $4 Generic Bandwagon as Target Jumps On
Excerpt: "Walgreen Co. effectively has parried Wal-Mart's $4 generic price program, confirming local executives' decision to stick with Walgreen's existing prescription prices, according to an analyst's report released Monday. The report coincided with Target Corp.'s announcement Monday that it will offer its own $4 generic prescription-drug program at all of its 1,287 pharmacies nationwide." (Chicago Sun-Times)

Status of Medicare Part D Enrollment in 2006: Analysis of Plan-Specific Market Share and Coverage
Excerpt: "An article by Kaiser Family Foundation researchers published as a Health Affairs Web Exclusive provides a comprehensive look at the 2006 private Medicare drug plan enrollment as the enrollment period for 2007 begins. The article examines organization- and plan-level market share, as well as enrollment by type of plan, benefit design, and gap coverage." (Health Affairs)

Overview: San Francisco's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "The Ordinance covers any employee who is employed within the geographic boundaries of the City and County of San Francisco, including part-time and temporary employees. The Ordinance also covers participants in the Welfare-to-Work Program when the participant is engaged in work activity that would be considered 'employment' under the federal Fair Labor Standards Act, 29 U.S.C. 201 et seq., and any applicable U.S. Department of Labor Guidelines." (Winston & Strawn LLP)

More Employers Establish Wellness Programs To Help Reduce Health Care Costs
Excerpt: "Two newspapers [yesterday] published articles that examine the growing trend of employer-sponsored fitness and wellness programs established to improve employee health and reduce future health care costs." (Kaiser Family Foundation)

Employers and Insurance Firms Providing 'Health Coaches' to Help Workers Manage and Prevent Illness
Excerpt: "Across the country, insurers and self-insured employers are creating programs that employ 'health coaches,' usually registered nurses or other health professionals, to help employees manage illnesses and lifestyle issues such as weight loss or smoking cessation. Sometimes they answer questions about insurance benefits available to them when a health problem crops up." (Los Angeles Times; free registration required)

Employers Rely on New Health Cost Containment Programs
Excerpt: "With annual cost hikes slowing on an average per-employee total health cost basis and fewer employers cost-shifting to their workers, organizations will need other cost management techniques to keep the increase rate steady or cut it further. That was the conclusion of the latest National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans, by Mercer Health & Benefits, according to a Mercer news release." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

HHS Secretary Urges Companies to Adopt Cost and Quality Criteria
Excerpt: "Secretary of Health and Human Services Michael Leavitt outlined for employers his 'cornerstone' goals for improving quality and lowering costs in the U.S. health care system: putting medical records in a nationwide electronic system, establishing health care quality and cost measures, and providing incentives for companies to select care at the lowest prices." (Workforce Management; free registration required)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: FASB Final Statement on Accounting Reform for Postretirement Benefits
Excerpt: "Sponsors must implement the balance sheet and the measurement date changes prospectively as of their first effective reporting date. They need not restate any financial statements for prior years on account of these changes." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)

Impact of Planned Accounting Changes for Pensions & Other Postretirement Benefits: An Updated Analysis (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "This paper updates [towers Perrin's] earlier analysis of the potential impact of the FASB proposal on the balance sheets of the U.S. Fortune 100 companies that sponsor DB plans to reflect year-end 2005 data, and comments on how that impact has changed during the first half of 2006. [Published July 2006]" (Towers Perrin)

Overview: PPA of 2006 Changes Affecting Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans (PDF)
1 page. Excerpt: "Two provisions of the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) directly affect nonqualified deferred compensation plans that are subject to Internal Revenue Code (Code) section 409A. One provision expands participants' ability to take distributions from these plans. The other provision limits plan sponsors' ability to make contributions to these plans in certain situations." (The Prudential Insurance Company of America)

Overview: Principal Aspects of the Summary Compensation Table and the Director Compensation Table (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "In an effort to offer shareholders a clearer picture of each NEO's compensation package, the SEC added a new Total Compensation column to the SCT. This column represents the sum of the values set forth in the columns preceding the Total Compensation column of the SCT." (Powell Goldstein LLP)

Options Backdating Gains Focus in Institutional Shareholder Services 2007 Policies
Excerpt: "Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS), provider of corporate governance and proxy voting services, said it is adopting a case-by-case analysis approach to the options backdating issue in its 2007 US, Canadian and international proxy voting policy updates, released [yesterday]." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

Opinion: SEC Enforcement Practices Regarding Director Liability for Backdated Stock Options (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "As all law students learn, directors act as fiduciaries of the corporation's shareholders and owe duties of care and loyalty to the corporation and the shareholders. But American corporate law explicitly recognizes that, although directors are properly viewed as stewards, they are not compliance cops or hallway monitors." (Legal Times via Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Direct Contract and Provider Contracting in a P4P Environment
in California on December 14, 2006
presented by Healthcare Web Summit

What Stakeholders Should Expect from Medicare Part D in 2007
in California on December 6, 2006
presented by Healthcare Web Summit


Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Project Manager - Human Resources and Retirement Outsourcing
for Fidelity Investments
in NC

Defined Contribution Conversions Project Leader
for New York Life Investment Management - Retirement Plans Services
in MA

Defined Benefit Client Account Manager
for New York Life Investment Management - Retirement Plans Services
in MA

AVP, Equity Compensation Underwriting Specialist
for Merrill Lynch
in NJ

Senior Retirement Plan Administrator
for Tofias PC
in MA

Senior Plan Administrator
for American National Insurance Company
in TX

Retirement Plan Administrator
for MVP Plan Administrators, Inc.
in NC

Pension Administrator
for S. G. Raven & Associates
in PA

Benefits Analyst
for Vanguard
in PA

Benefits Analyst
for ADP Brokerage Services
in NJ

Manager Core Operations
for Vanguard
in PA

Manager Benefits
for ADP Brokerage Services Group
in NJ

Senior Pension Administrator
for American Fiduciary Corporation
in MA

Legislative Manager, Investment Products Division
for Hartford Life
in CT

DC Conversion Analyst
for Retirement Alliance, Inc.
in NH

Pension Administrator
for Pension Professionals, L.L.C.
in AZ

Assistant 401(k) Administrator
for Ingham Group
in FL




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