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March 14, 2008

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


Today's sponsor is CDHC Solutions

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Learn more about the only business magazine focused on the changing face of health care benefits and health care benefits management

Visit www.cdhcsolutionsmag.com to learn more about the magazine and our new social networking site which is exclusive in the field. Now you are even closer to the cutting-edge solutions and conversations discussed in CDHC Solutions magazine. No more one-way, top-down consumer-directed healthcare information from brochures, media kits, lectures and Web sites. Now you can put the power of virtual networking to use in real time. And most importantly, now you can interact easily with your peers and experts in the field about topics featured in the site or your own interests. Also, please check out our Virtual Events where you can attend keynotes; workshops and view Exhibitors all from your desk.

[Guidance Overview] Indiana Joins List of States Providing Legal Protections to Nursing Mothers at the Workplace
Excerpt: "On February 27, 2008, Governor Mitch Daniels . . . signed into law a bill that gives rights to nursing mothers in the workplace. The law, which amends Title 22 of Indiana's Code concerning labor and safety, requires private businesses with 25 or more employees to make reasonable efforts to provide a private location, other than a toilet stall, where an employee can express breast milk during any period away from the employee's assigned duties. " (Little Mendelson P.C.)


[Guidance Overview] Appellate Court Affirms State Insurance Department Cease & Desist Order Against TPA's ERISA Challenge
Excerpt: "An Indiana appellate court held that the Indiana Department had jurisdiction over a claims administrator's activities where the practical function was the provision of insurance. This case presents analysis of the oft-cited defense to insurance department regulation, that of ERISA preemption." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)


[Guidance Overview] Fifth Circuit Upholds State Insurance Regulation of Subrogation Rights
Excerpt: "In this rather unique case, the Fifth Circuit had the opportunity to interpret ERISA Section 514 in the context of a challenge to a state insurance department regulation. The regulation, a 'directive' in Louisiana regulatory parlance, subordinated insurance carrier's subrogation claims to the 'make whole' doctrine and procurement costs. The district court upheld the regulation, and the issue was appealed to the Fifth Circuit." (Health Plan Law blog by Attorney Roy F. Harmon III)


New Jersey Assembly Approves Paid Leave to Care for Baby or Ailing Kin
Excerpt: "Despite strong objections from Republicans, New Jersey moved closer on Thursday to becoming the third state in the country to give employees the right to paid leave to care for a sick relative or a newborn." (The New York Times; free registration required)


Health Care - Capturing the Opportunity in the Nation's Core Fiscal Challenge (PDF)
20 pages. March 12, 2008, presentation for Princeton University. (Congressional Budget Office)


Employer Health Insurance Costs and Worker Compensation
Excerpt: "Health insurance premiums have increased rapidly over the recent past, growing a cumulative 78 percent between 2001 and 2007 and far outpacing cumulative wage growth of 19 percent over the same period. These figures, which have been widely cited to demonstrate the growing burden of health insurance costs on employers and employees, illustrate overall trends in health benefit costs, but they do not show how this growing burden is affecting employers and employees in different settings. To address this issue, this analysis shows employer costs for payroll and health benefits over a six-year period for workers in different occupations and at different establishment sizes." (Kaiser Family Foundation)


Health Trust Needs Approval - Automakers Want Bookkeeping OK'd
Excerpt: "The $51-billion health care trust set up by Detroit automakers and the UAW can't go into effect until Detroit automakers get their preferred bookkeeping vetted by federal bureaucrats -- and if they object, automakers can quit the deal on short notice." (Detroit Free Press)


Finding Early Retirement Health Insurance
Excerpt: "Many clients with employer-sponsored group coverage have no idea how difficult - sometimes impossible - it is to find health insurance,' says Ed Stuart, a certified financial planner and principal of RegentAtlantic Capital LLC, a Chatham, N.J., wealth management firm. It's not just a question of affordability. Depending on the client's health and where he or she lives, insurance may be unavailable at any price." (Investment News; free registration required)



Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview] Hewitt Federal Legislation Quick Guide Updated March 12, 2008, on Human Resources & Employment Law (PDF)
15 pages. This Federal Legislation Quick Guide provides short updates on federal legislation that is currently under active consideration by Congress or has recently been enacted into law regarding human resources and employment law. (Hewitt Associates)


[Guidance Overview] SERP and Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Funding
Excerpt: "Employers may want to consider a qualified pension plan as a funding vehicle for executive compensation to the extent allowable. In this article, we're going to explore this potential and discuss why 2008 may be the best year to put more emphasis on your qualified defined benefit plan." (JPMorgan)


[Guidance Overview] State Source Taxation of Deferred Compensation - Employers Should Monitor Changes
Excerpt: "Employers that maintain deferred compensation arrangements should be aware of state income tax rules regarding compensation earned while an individual is a resident of a particular state. It is also important to understand how these rules intersect with the federal law limiting state source taxation. A recent development in Minnesota provides an example." (Faegre & Benson LLP)


Tips for Outsourcing Benefits Communication and Enrollment
Excerpt: "Knowing that employees need to understand the value of their benefit plans, companies of all sizes have turned to vendors that specialize in communicating employee benefits. The goal is to make open enrollment and new employee orientation less stressful, substantially elevate your workforce's knowledge and appreciation of your benefits and drive a great ROI for your company." (Employee Benefit News; free registration required)


Chrysler Buyout Count Short - Automaker Had Hoped 10,000 Would Exit
Excerpt: "Chrysler LLC, which is trying to reduce its hourly workforce, is unlikely to meet its goal of cutting 10,000 workers through its latest buyout and early retirement packages, a top UAW leader said Wednesday, further illustrating challenges Detroit automakers face convincing people to leave good-paying jobs during tough times." (Detroit Free Press via Human Resource Executive Online)




Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

37th Annual Retirement and Benefits Management Seminar
in North Carolina on April 24, 2008
presented by Moore School of Business

The Alphabet Soup of Automatic Enrollment
in Massachusetts on March 25, 2008
presented by ASPPA Benefits Council (ABC) of New England

Wellness Programs and HIPAA Compliance: What's New -- What's Working in Practice Webcast
Nationwide on March 27, 2008
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans



Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Kaiser Analysis Finds Sharp Increase in Employers' Health Costs Per Worker Per Hour and As a Share of Payroll, With Wide Variations By Occupation and Establishment Size
Kaiser Family Foundation

Hewitt and Enron to Restore $11.2 Million to Enron Litigation Settlement Fund
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

ING Launches New Campaign To Help Make Retirement Planning Easier; Wants Americans To Know Their 'Number'
ING Group

MassMutual's Center for Behavioral Research(sm) Releases White Paper Regarding Automatic Features in Retirement Plans
MassMutual

Study Finds Alternative Asset Classes Grow in Popularity Among Public Pension Plans
Bear Stearns



We're one of the top 350 employment sites on the web!Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
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Strategic Communications Consultant
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in CA

ERISA Consultant
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in CA

Relationship Manager
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in CA

Associate Director-50051959
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA

Assistant General Counsel -- ERISA Experience Required
for Nationwide Insurance
in OH

Sr. Technical Support Specialist
for First National Bank
in NE

401(k) Administrator
for Redwood Administrators, Inc.
in NJ

Director of Daily Operations
for Plan Benefit Services, Inc.
in TX

Actuarial Assistant/Analyst
for Mid-sized Northern California TPA firm
in CA

Team Leader, Retirement Plan Participant Communication
for Standard Retirement Services
in OR

Defined Contribution Client Account Manager
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in MA




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