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December 4, 2006
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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)

At Bosses' Invitation, Chaplains Come Into Workplace and Onto Payroll
Excerpt: "Workplace chaplaincies are generally less costly to operate than the more familiar employee assistance program model of counseling and making referrals. Most chaplaincies also go beyond such programs to bring something of the local pastor to the workplace . . . ." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Wisconsin Lawmakers See 'Nothing Wrong' with Their Sick Leave Benefit
Excerpt: "A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel investigation showed that legislators are allowed to bank unused sick leave benefits and use the monetary value to buy health insurance after they leave office. The newspaper also reported that only two legislators ever reported taking sick days, meaning that nearly all the legislators are banking the benefit." (Ironwood Daily Globe)

Are Health Care Debit Cards a New Patient Privacy Risk?
Excerpt: "As cards that combine financial and medical information become increasingly common, and more information about patients gets stored on patient portals, health insurers are seeking new ways to guard against identity theft and ensure patient data doesn't fall into the wrong hands." (REPORT ON PATIENT PRIVACY via

Company Rates Your Health Care
Excerpt: "[Three companies] start their work with data on mortality and complications that hospitals report to the federal Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. But from there they vary in what they look at and how they sell it." (Herald Tribune via BlueCross BlueShield Association)

Payers Urged to Use Evidence-Based Medicine to Manage Specialty Drug Costs
Excerpt: "The cost [of specialty drugs] can be 10 to 50 times that of more traditional treatment options [and] the therapy is not necessarily that many times more effective." (SPECIALTY PHARMACY NEWS via

Exposing the Super-Secret Lists of Health Care Pricing Could Lead to Huge Changes
Excerpt: "Many health insurers and governments are already charging ahead to make information about hospital and doctor quality performance available to the public, but many believe the biggest push -- and the biggest battleground -- will be the revelation of healthcare pricing. At the moment, healthcare prices are so convoluted that even experts struggle to make sense of them." (The Miami Herald; free registration required)

Court Declines to Allow Halliburton to Unilaterally Take Away 'Bargained-for Rights' of Retirees
Excerpt: "Only because of the merger agreement is Halliburton restricted regarding benefits for active employees and retirees. Even in unionized companies, employers can negotiate reductions in coverage." (Business & Legal Reports, Inc.)

Aetna Study Shows Big Savings for Full-Replacement Consumer-Directed Plans
Excerpt: "Large employers that launched a full-replacement health reimbursement arrangement (HRA)-based strategy on Jan. 1, 2003, saw a savings of $1 million per 1,000 members during a three-year period, according to a study released Oct. 2 by Aetna, Inc." ( via INSIDE CONSUMER-DIRECTED CARE)

Opinion: National Health Care? We're Halfway There
Excerpt: "While the administration may oppose government-run health care in principle, the government's role in the vast health industry has been expanding. By various measures, the United States is about halfway toward a system in which the government and taxpayers fully fund health care. And trends are pushing the government to become more involved each year." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

Overview: Executive Compensation Disclosure -- The Supplemental Tables (PDF)
9 pages. Excerpt: "[This memo] summarizes the principal aspects of the supplemental tables that are required to accompany the Summary Compensation Table . . . in proxy statements (or 10-K's for companies not subject to the proxy rules) filed during the upcoming proxy season." (Powell Goldstein LLP)

Overview: Guidance on Deferred Compensation Income Reporting and Withholding for 2005 and 2006 (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "Notice 2006-100 supersedes Notice 2005-94, which alerted employers and payers last year that they might have to file amended information returns to report amounts includible in income in for 2005." (Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Accounting for Social Insurance (Including Social Security and Medicare), Revised -- Statement of Federal Financial Accounting Standards (PDF)
150 pages. Excerpt: "The Board is proposing improvements in the information provided about the effect of social insurance programs. This preliminary views document contains two views of how financial reporting for social insurance can be improved, a Primary View and an Alternative View." (U.S. Federal Accounting Standards Advisory Board)

Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

DOL Audit and Enforcement Activity
in Ohio on December 12, 2006
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council of Cleveland

Getting It Right -- Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities
in California on December 5, 2006
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Getting Started with Writing the 2007 CD&A - Audioconference
Nationwide on December 14, 2006
presented by BNA, Inc.

Plan Design Workshop - Strategies for PPA 2006
in North Carolina on December 13, 2006
presented by SunGard Relius

Plan Design Workshop - Strategies for PPA 2006
in Pennsylvania on December 13, 2006
presented by SunGard Relius

Plan Design Workshop - Strategies for PPA 2006
in Georgia on December 14, 2006
presented by SunGard Relius

Plan Design Workshop - Strategies for PPA 2006
in Massachusetts on December 14, 2006
presented by SunGard Relius

Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Labor Department Sues Iowa Association to Recover Millions in Employee Benefit Assets
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Labor Department Seeks Comments on Investment Advice Exemption for 401(k) Plans and IRAs
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

America's Youngest Workers Strongly Support Radical Redesign Of Nation's Retirement Plans
Prudential Financial, Inc.

HHS Secretary Leavitt Asks Employers to Commit to Health Care Quality and Cost Reporting for Employees
U.S. Department of Health & Human Services

Mutual Fund Study: Huge 'Broker Penalty' Sees Unwary Index Fund Investors Paying 3 Times More In Fund Expenses
Zero Alpha Group and Fund Democracy

Clark Capital Management Group Introduces The Navigator Simplified 401(k)
Clark Capital Management Group

Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
Post a Help Wanted Ad

Implementation Specialist
for CitiStreet
in NJ

Defined Benefits Administrator
for The Rosen Group
in WA

Compliance Account Manager
for First Niagara Benefits Consulting
in NY

DC Implementation Business Analyst
for CitiStreet
in MA

Senior Account Manager
for CitiStreet
in NJ

401(k) Administration Superstar
for Law Offices of R. David Danziger
in PA

Marketing Assistant
for Pension & Benefits Associates, Inc.
in CT, MA

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for Papalia Retirement Plan Services, Inc.
in PA

Call Center Supervisor
for Benefits Consulting Firm
in GA

Pension Plan Administrator
for Robin S. Weingast & Associates, Inc.
in NY

Pension Associate
for BST
in NY

OmniPlus Consultants
for Chesapeake Benefit Partners

Retirement Plan Administrator
for FM International
in NY

Retirement Sales Assistant and Administration
for Lifetime Benefits LLC
in MD

ERISA Associate
for Trucker Huss, A Professional Corporation
in CA

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