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January 30, 2008

Here are the Web's best new links about compliance and cost aspects of plan operation, design and policy.


Today's sponsor is WorldatWork

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WorldatWork publications in the BenefitsLink Bookstore

WorldatWork, a not-for-profit professional association, is a leading publisher of compensation, benefits and total rewards information. With a portfolio of books, reports, survey briefs, booklets and online learning programs, WorldatWork creates, markets and distributes publications that are critical to improved organizational performance. WorldatWork has contributed to the education and development of business professionals worldwide since 1955.

[Guidance Overview] Massachusetts Issues Helpful Guidance on the Personal Income Tax Treatment of Employer-Provided Health Coverage for Children Who Are Not Dependents
Excerpt: "In a Technical Information Release, the Massachusetts Department of Revenue outlined the personal income tax treatment of providing coverage to a nondependent, and delineated the differences between the state and Federal tax treatment. Massachusetts Department of Revenue, Technical Information Release 07-16 (December 21, 2007)." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview] FMLA Expansion for Military Families Signed into Law
Excerpt: "President Bush on Monday signed into law legislation that includes an expansion of Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) coverage for family members of military personnel." (PLANSPONSOR.com; free registration required)

VEBAs - Union Slush Funds for the 21st Century (PDF)
6 pages. Excerpt: "Summary: Labor unions have been searching for a revenue enhancer, something to overcome their loss of dues-paying members and increased Labor Department oversight of their financial activities. And they've found it in VEBAs, the acronym for a heretofore obscure entity called a 'voluntary employee benefit association.' More and more corporations may soon be giving unions control over their employee benefit trusts. These multi-billion dollar concessions are the unions' golden ticket to renewed power." (Capital Research Center)

[Opinion] Is It Possible to Achieve Universal Coverage Without an Individual Mandate?
Excerpt: "The evidence is strong that voluntary measures alone would leave large numbers of people uninsured. Voluntary measures would tend to enroll disproportionate numbers of individuals with higher cost health problems, creating high premiums and instability in the insurance pools in which they are enrolled, unless further significant government subsidization is provided. The government would also have difficulty redirecting current spending on the uninsured to offset some of the cost associated with a new program without universal coverage." (Urban Institute)


Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview] The Principal 10 Best Practices Guide
Excerpt: "A Guide to Best Practices in Employee Benefits from The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security[.] This invaluable guide outlines the experiences of 10 outstanding small and medium-sized companies recognized in 2007 for excellence in employee benefits. The Principal 10 Best Companies for Employee Financial Security were selected by a blue ribbon panel of judges, renowned for their expertise in employee benefits." (Principal Financial Services)

[Guidance Overview] EBSA's Semiannual Regulatory Agenda
Excerpt: "The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has released its semiannual regulatory agenda, which outlines regulations that have been selected for review or development during the next year, as well as any regulations that have been finalized during the last six months." (Wolters Kluwer Financial Services)

[Guidance Overview] IRS Sending Taxpayer Delinquency Investigation Notices About Failures to File 5500 or 5500-EZ in 2004 and Later Years
Excerpt: "This IRS initiative currently targets only employers that have failed to file a required Form 5500 series return rather than late or incomplete Form 5500s. The IRS has reinstated the program to allow it to obtain missing returns and to allow non-filers to become compliant." (McDermott Will & Emery)

[Guidance Overview] Executive Compensation 2008 Planning Tips (PDF)
5 pages. The newsletter includes information on: ISO and Stock Purchase Plan Tax Returns; Registration Exemption for Stock Options; Rule 144 Restricted Stock Holding Periods; and, 409A compliance. (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

[Guidance Overview] New IRS Correction Program for Deferred Compensation Violations
Excerpt: "The initial correction program announced by the IRS last month is a welcome development, but it provides very limited relief. This limited relief highlights the importance of employers taking steps soon to prevent, and to address, violations of the Deferred Compensation Requirements." (Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC)

California Health Care Reform Bill Rejected - Gov. Vows to Continue Effort
Excerpt: "A California Senate panel voted 10-1 late Monday, January 28, to reject comprehensive health care reform crafted by Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Democratic Assembly Speaker Fabian Nez." (Workforce Management; free registration required)

2008 EITC Toolkit
Excerpt: "The 2007 Employer Guide: Educate Your Employees About Benefits They've Earned, with information for tax year 2007, will provide you with information on multiple federal programs, [with] links to each of the programs: Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Child Tax Credit (CTC), State Children's Health Insurance (SCHIP), Food Stamps and The Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP)." (Corporate Voices for Working Families)

GAO Testimony on Long-Term Fiscal Outlook - Action Is Needed to Avoid the Possibility the Possibility of a Serious Economic Disruption in the Future (PDF)
21 pages. Excerpt: "During the past 3 years, the Comptroller General has traveled to 25 states as part of the Fiscal Wake-Up Tour. Members of this diverse group of policy experts agree that finding solutions to the nation's long-term fiscal challenge will require bipartisan cooperation, a willingness to discuss all options, and the courage to make tough choices." (U.S. Government Accountability Office)


Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

EEOC and Consideration of Age in Providing Retirement Benefits - Webcast
Nationwide on February 14, 2008
presented by West LegalEdcenter

Executive Deferred Compensation for Tax Exempt Entities: Is There Anything Left That Still Works? - Webcast
Nationwide on February 14, 2008
presented by Retirement Capital Group

Health Plans Update: HIPAA, Cafeteria Plans & Other Welfare Plan Issues - Webcast
Nationwide on January 31, 2008
presented by West LegalEdcenter

Independent Contractor: Is Your Worker Really Independent? - Webcast
Nationwide on January 31, 2008
presented by West LegalEdcenter

Online Total Reward: The Challenge of Going Global Workshop
in Pennsylvania on May 22, 2008
presented by Buck Consultants, an ACS Company

Using Technology and Partnerships to Communicate Total Rewards Workshop
in Pennsylvania on May 21, 2008
presented by Buck Consultants, an ACS Company

What DB Plan Administrators Need to Know About PPA - Webcast
Nationwide on February 5, 2008
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)


Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

New Best Practices Guide on Employee Benefits
Principal Financial Group

Corporate Voices for Working Families Releases Employer Guide Providing Companies With the Tools to Help Employees Take Advantage of Tax Credits and Other Federal Benefits
Corporate Voices for Working Families

National Business Coalition on Health Convenes Multi-Stakeholder Leadership Group to Address Value Based Purchasing Trends
National Business Coalition on Health

Small Business Owners' Concern: Not Enough Money for Retirement
Wells Fargo

Minnesotans' Health Stuck in Idle From Inactivity, Unhealthy Eating
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota


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Assistant Vice President & Counsel-50037228
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Data Conversion Specialist
for Vanguard
in ANY STATE, PA

Defined Contribution Analyst III
for Standard Insurance Company
in TX

New Business Data Specialist
for Standard Insurance Company
in PA

Defined Contribution Analyst
for Standard Insurance Company
in OR

Account Mgr I - SRS
for Standard Insurance Company
in WA

Retirement Plan Consultant/Administrator
for Third Party Administrators, Inc.
in NH

Operations Officer
for CitiStreet
in MA




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