Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter
January 5, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
COBRA Subsidy Extension Complicates Benefits Administration

Excerpt: "While eleventh-hour congressional action extending a COBRA premium subsidy law assures continuation of the subsidy for millions of laid-off workers and their families, it also means more work for employers. . . . The extension will mean more work for employers and their COBRA administrators." (Workforce Management; free registration required)


Flexible Spending Accounts' Contribution Cap Included in Health Care Reform Act
Excerpt: "Both the House bill (HR 3962) and the Senate bill (HR 3590) include a provision to limit pretax contributions to FSAs to $2,500 per year." (Investment News; free registration required)


Airline Flight Crews Now Eligible to Take Leave Under the Family and Medical Leave Act
Excerpt: "[The Airline Flight Crew Technical Corrections Act, recently signed into law by President Obama,] makes a flight attendant or pilot eligible for leave under the FMLA if he or she has been paid for or worked a minimum of 504 hours a year and at least 60 percent of the employer's full-time schedule -- called a monthly guarantee -- or the equivalent in the 12 months preceding the leave." (Wolters Kluwer)


Ford Takes on $7 Billion in Debt for Retiree Health VEBA
Excerpt: "Ford Motor Co said on Monday it had taken on about $7 billion in new debt as part of a previously negotiated settlement that shifts responsibility for paying for retiree health care to a new trust fund controlled by the United Auto Workers union. Ford said it had made scheduled payments of just over $2 billion and had opted to make an additional, early payment of $500 million on debt owed to the UAW's voluntary employees' beneficiary association trust." (Business Insurance)


Now That Health Care Reform Bills Have Passed Both House and Senate, Some CFOs Seriously Considering Whether or Not to Drop Employee Coverage
Excerpt: "Among the proposed items that could raise the cost of sponsoring a health-care insurance plan are $500 billion in cuts to the Medicare budget and taxes on prescription-drug manufacturers, both of which are likely to create more cost-shifting to plan sponsors. Under one version of the bill, plan sponsors could also be subject to state-by-state inspections of their benefits administration." (CFO Publishing Corporation)


Employers Brace for Burden of COBRA Extension
Excerpt: "Unemployed workers got a holiday gift of extended subsidies for health care benefits -- but employers have to front the money and spread the news." (Sacramento Business Journal via bizjournals.com; free registration required)




Nat'l Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE), Jan. 25-26, Clearwater Beach, FL

Nat'l Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE), Jan. 25-26, Clearwater Beach, FL

Sessions by: Caterpillar, Black & Decker, L.L. Bean, HSN, Mayo, JM Family, H-E-B, Palm Beach County, NIH, Creighton University, Lincoln Industries, City of Knoxville, State of Florida, Gulf Power/Southern Co., Broward County Schools, IAP Worldwide Services, Sarasota County, National Business Group on Health, Leapfrog Group, Rosen Hotels and Resorts, Oak Ridge Nat’l Laboratory (DOE)...and more, including the Impact of Potential Health Reform Legislation. Best Value in Health Benefits Continuing Education (HBCE) - highest quality and modest registration: $275 - $345. SHRM and other CE credits.
www.HBCE.com Phone 941-484-1430 or Email: info@HBCE.com

Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE)

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
SEC Developments and Other Issues Affecting Your 2009 Annual Report and the Upcoming Proxy Season (PDF)

17 pages. Excerpt: "As always this time of year, [Snell & Wilmer presents the January issue of 'Corporate Communicator'] to help you prepare for the upcoming annual report and proxy season. This issue highlights some of the considerations your company should focus on this annual meeting season." (Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.)


[Guidance Overview]
SEC's Revised Executive Comp and Governance Disclosure Amendments for 2010

Excerpt: "For a compensation consultant who played a role in determining or recommending the amount or form of executive or director compensation and also provided additional services to a company, the proposed rules would have required the company to identify the consultant and to disclose the aggregate fees paid to the consultant along with a description of the additional services. The SEC's final rules include this requirement with modifications that limit the scope of the disclosures." (McGuireWoods LLP)


Dealing With Underwater Stock Options: Some New Twists on a Timeless Quandary (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "Many of the issues companies face with regard to underwater options are timeless. Most companies feel they must take action to: restore the options' ability to provide a meaningful performance and retention incentive to holders who view out-of-the-money options quite negatively; promote fairness between holders of underwater options and new hires who receive at-the-money options with far lower exercise prices; limit the negative effect of underwater options when there are low levels of share reserves available under shareholder-approved plans." (Towers Watson)


Employee Ownership Update for January 4, 2010
NCEO Executive Director Corey Rosen discusses the following: A new NCEO survey on ESOP governance practices shows 13% of the respondents have an independent institutional trustee. Senator Bernard Sanders has introduced two bills to encourage employee ownership. There has been a lot of buzz about replacing traditional stock awards with performance shares. You can now apply for the Winning Workplaces awards. Corey will step down as director in 2011; NCEO will soon announce the new director. (National Center for Employee Ownership)



Webcasts and Conferences

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Minnesota on January 21, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in California on January 27, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Wisconsin on January 27, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Minnesota on January 28, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Wisconsin on January 29, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in California on January 29, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Maryland on February 10, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Oklahoma on February 10, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Massachusetts on February 12, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Texas on February 12, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Arizona on February 18, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Kansas on February 24, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Virginia on February 24, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Pennsylvania on February 24, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in New Jersey on February 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Georgia on March 10, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in California on March 10, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in California on March 12, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Louisiana on March 12, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Pennsylvania on March 17, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Kentucky on March 17, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Tennessee on March 19, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Wisconsin on March 24, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Wisconsin on March 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: Advanced IRA Issues
in Florida on March 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Minnesota on January 20, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Wisconsin on January 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on January 26, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Minnesota on January 27, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on January 28, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Wisconsin on January 28, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Maryland on February 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Oklahoma on February 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Massachusetts on February 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Texas on February 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Arizona on February 17, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Kansas on February 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Virginia on February 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Pennsylvania on February 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in New Jersey on February 25, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on March 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Georgia on March 9, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in California on March 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Louisiana on March 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Pennsylvania on March 16, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Kentucky on March 16, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Tennessee on March 18, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Wisconsin on March 23, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Wisconsin on March 25, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 MidWinter Tour: IRA Essentials
in Florida on March 25, 2010
presented by Ascensus

Getting Ready for Form 5500
Nationwide on January 12, 2010
presented by Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)

The Future of the Defined Benefit Plans (Traditional, Cash Balance and DB/K)
in California on January 21, 2010
presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter

(Click to post your webcast or conference)

Press Releases

PBGC Negotiates Deal to Strengthen Pension Funding at Whirlpool Corp.
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

Diversified Investment Advisors Names New 403(b) VP
Diversified Investment Advisors

The SPARK Institute Answers Technical Questions Regarding 403(b) Plans Information Sharing, Schedules Webinar To Discuss New Material
The SPARK Institute

Towers Perrin and Watson Wyatt Complete Merger to Form Towers Watson
Towers Watson

Kring Financial Launches 401kProAdvisor.com
Kring Financial Management

(Click to post your press release)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Director, Defined Contribution / Conversion Services
for Summit Retirement Plan Services, Inc.
in OH

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