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September 26, 2008

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


Today's sponsor is BeneCom Associates, LLC

(Click on company name or banner to learn more.)
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[Guidance Overview] Brazilian Workers to Have Longer Paid Maternity Leave
Excerpt: "The length of paid maternity leave has increased from 120 days to 180 days, according to a new regulation approved by the Brazilian Congress on September 3, 2008." (Watson Wyatt Worldwide)


Health Care Proposals of the 2008 Democratic and Republican Presidential Nominees: Implications for Improving Access, Affordability and Quality for America's Minorities
Excerpt: "This report compares the health care reform plans of Senator Barack Obama and Senator John McCain in the context of eliminating the nation's longstanding racial and ethnic disparities in health and health care. It examines how the respective plans address existing racial and ethnic disparities in access to health insurance and services, affordability of care, and the quality of health care. Side-by-side tables that compare various aspects of each candidate's proposals are included in the report." (Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies)


Presidential Candidates on Key Health Care Issues -- New Side-by-Side Comparison
Excerpt: "The Kaiser Family Foundation has added two new resources on its health08.org Web site detailing presidential candidates Sen. John McCain's and Sen. Barack Obama's stance on key health care issues, building upon health08.org's existing comparison of the candidates' health reform proposals. A new, interactive tool [on the target page] allows users to compare the candidates proposals and positions on a range of health care issues . . . . [and a new compilation of video clips at http://www.health08.org/ontheissues/healthreform presents the candidates speaking about various aspects of health reform.]" (Kaiser Family Foundation)


Federal Employee Health Insurance Costs to Jump an Average 8 Percent
Excerpt: "Health insurance premiums for federal employees will jump almost 8 percent, on average, in 2009, a sharp increase over the 2.9 percent increase this year and the 2.3 percent increase in 2007, the Office of Personnel Management announced yesterday." (The Washington Post; free registration required)


Full Committee Hearing: 'Safeguarding Retiree Health Benefits,' September 25, 2008
Excerpt: "This hearing explored options to safeguard promised retiree health benefits. With insurance premiums skyrocketing and companies looking to cut expenses, an increasing number of companies have been rolling back or eliminating promised retiree health benefits." (U.S. House of Representatives Education and Labor Committee)


Variation in Medical Care Benefits by Occupation, 2008
Chart. Excerpt: "Among the five major occupational groups, the percentage in private industry with access to medical care benefits ranged from 46 percent for service workers to 86 percent for management, professional, and related employees in March 2008." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)


Republican Senators Block Plan To Pass Mental Health Parity Bill by Unanimous Consent
Excerpt: "Senate Democrats on Wednesday tried to determine whether House-approved mental health parity legislation (HR 6983) could pass by unanimous consent but faced opposition from Republicans, CongressDaily reports (CongressDaily, 9/25)." (Kaiser Family Foundation)



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Links to Items on Executive Comp, Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview] Eleventh Circuit Eliminates 'Heightened' Standard of Review for Benefit Claim Decisions (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The Eleventh Circuit has held that the 'heightened' arbitrary and capricious standard of review previously used by the court in cases where a conflicted plan administrator decided a claim for benefits -- and its accompanying burden-shifting analysis -- does not survive the Supreme Court's recent decision in Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn, 128 S. Ct. 2343 (2008). Instead, where a plan grants the fiduciary discretionary authority to determine eligibility for benefits, a decision denying plan benefits should be reviewed under an arbitrary and capricious standard, with the reviewing court considering any conflict as 'a factor' in its decision." (Alston & Bird LLP)


Rewarding a Multigenerational Workforce: A Survey of WorldatWork Members, September 2008
14 pages. Excerpt: "For the first time, WorldatWork conducted a survey to gather information about how employers are approaching the challenge of rewarding a multigenerational workforce. The goal was to increase understanding about the relationship between reward practices and generational issues, as well as identify best practices for rewarding multigenerational workforces." (WorldatWork)


HEART Act Guidance Coming, Says Key IRS Official
Excerpt: "The IRS is preparing guidance on the pension and benefit provisions in the Heroes Earnings Assistance Relief Tax (HEART) Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-245), according to Martin L. Pippins, manager, IRS Employee Plans Technical Guidance and Quality Assurance. However, Pippins, who spoke at the American Law Institute-American Bar Association (ALI-ABA) retirement benefits conference in Washington, D.C. on September 6, 2008, did not indicate when the guidance would be issued." (Wolters Kluwer)




Newly Posted Events
(Post Yours!)

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour - Just the Basics
in Texas on October 7, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour - Just the Basics
in West Virginia on October 7, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour - More than the Basics
in Pennsylvania on October 7, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Wyoming on October 7, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Arkansas on October 8, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Colorado on October 8, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Pennsylvania on October 8, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Arkansas on October 9, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Colorado on October 9, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Texas on October 14, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Indiana on October 14, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Tennessee on October 14, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Tennessee on October 15, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Kentucky on October 15, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Texas on October 15, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Indiana on October 15, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Kentucky on October 16, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – Just the Basics
in Tennessee on October 16, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – More than the Basics
in Pennsylvania on October 10, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Fall/Winter IRA Seminar Tour – More than the Basics
in Texas on October 16, 2008
presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services



Newly Posted Press Releases
(Post Yours!)

Gilsbar, Inc. Launches Gilsbar 360° AllianceSM -- A Proprietary PPO Network for Louisiana Providers, Employers and Employees
Gilsbar, Inc.

Fidelity Realizes More Than $7 Billion in New Assets From Breakaway Brokers Establishing RIAs
Fidelity Investments



We're one of the top 350 employment sites on the web!Newly Posted or Renewed Job Openings
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Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for Schloss & Co, Inc.
in NY

Benefits Analyst
for Lockton Companies, LLC
in MO

ERISA Compliance Trainer
for T. Rowe Price
in MD

Pension Administrator
for The Finway Group
in IA

Benefits Compliance Specialist
for Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.
in CA

Retirement Consultant - Northern Virginia
for Lincoln Financial Group
in VA

North American Benefits Manager
for ITR - Itron, Inc.
in WA

Relationship Manager - Taft Hartley
for MassMutual Financial Group
in MA




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