Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter
January 13, 2010

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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 Natíl 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. Phone 941-484-1430 or Email:

Health Benefits Conference & Expo (HBCE)

[Official Guidance]
Text of DOL Final Regulations on Participant Contributions, Loan Repayments; 7-Day Safe Harbor for Small Plans (PDF)

To be published in January 14, 2010 Federal Register. 36 pages. Excerpt: "This document contains a final regulation that establishes a safe harbor period during which amounts that an employer has received from employees or withheld from wages for contribution to certain employee benefit plans will not constitute 'plan assets' for purposes of [ERISA], and the related prohibited transaction provisions of the Internal Revenue Code. This regulation will enhance the clarity and certainty for many employers as to when participant contributions will be treated as contributed in a timely manner to employee benefit plans. This final regulation will affect the sponsors and fiduciaries of contributory group welfare and pension plans covered by ERISA, including 401(k) plans, as well as the participants and beneficiaries covered by such plans and recordkeepers, and other service providers to such plans." (Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor)

[Guidance Overview]
Enforcement of HITECH Act Breach Provisions Set to Take Effect in February

Excerpt: "[O]n August 24, 2009, HHS released regulations delineating a covered entity's duty to notify affected persons of a breach of unsecured protected health information (PHI). Although these regulations became effective on September 23, 2009, due to concerns over the period of time necessary to comply with these regulations, HHS delayed enforcement of the regulations for six months. This enforcement delay is set to expire on February 22, 2010." (The ERISA Industry Committee)

Health Bill May Be Lenient on Employers: Stiff Requirements on Coverage Opposed
Excerpt: "Democratic leaders negotiating a compromise health care bill appear likely to reject a House provision requiring employers to offer generous coverage to their workers or else pay a steep payroll tax, specialist say." (The Boston Globe)

Discussion on the Tax on 'Cadillac' Health Plans
Excerpt: "In a debate on PBS News Hour, Economist Josh Bivens outlined the problems with the Senate's proposal to tax high-priced health benefits. He said that expensive health care plans were not necessarily lavish." (MacNeil/Lehrer Productions)

Labor Campaigns Against Tax on Health Plans
Excerpt: "Mr. Stern, the union president, said that many workers with plans costing more than $23,000 a year did not have luxurious coverage. At a White House meeting on Monday, he said, labor leaders told Mr. Obama that some workers with rather ordinary health plans had to pay very high premiums because insurance companies faced little competition." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Labor Leaders Object to 'Cadillac Tax' for Healthcare
Excerpt: "A dozen of them meet with President Obama to voice opposition to the proposal, which the president supports. One says union members could skip November's election if they don't get their way." (Los Angeles Times)

New Ohio Law Caps Amount Insurers Can Charge for People With Pre-Existing Conditions
Excerpt: "Under the new law, health insurers that sell individual policies can't charge more than twice the lowest rate that it charges someone of a similar age and gender. By 2013, that cap will shrink to 1.5 times the lowest rate, according to the Ohio Dept. of Insurance (ODI)." (AIS

Who Will Pay for 'Play-or-Pay'?

Excerpt: "Members of Congress and lobbyists for employers have been concerned about the potential effects on employers of the House and Senate's 'play-or-pay' provisions. But, if several recent studies are to be believed, it is workers who ultimately will pay to play." (Wolters Kluwer) is where the best employers find the best candidates! is where the best employers find the  best candidates!

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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
Accounting for Stock Compensation Under FASB ASC Topic 718 (PDF)

13 pages. Excerpt: "Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) Accounting Standards Codification (ASC) Topic 718, Stock Compensation (formerly, FASB Statement 123R), requires generally that all equity awards granted to employees be accounted for at 'fair value.' This fair value is measured at grant for stock-settled awards, and at subsequent exercise or settlement for cash-settled awards." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Guidance on Correcting Failures under Section 409A

Excerpt: "Specifically, Notice 2010-6 permits taxpayers to correct certain failures under section 409A to comply with plan document requirements or, in certain circumstances, to limit the amount includible in income and additional taxes under section 409A as a result of the plan document failure." (The ERISA Industry Committee)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Voluntary Correction Program for Document Failures Under Deferred Compensation Plans

Excerpt: "In Notice 2010-6, the Internal Revenue Service provides methods for taxpayers to voluntarily correct many types of failures to comply with the document requirements applicable under IRC Sec. 409A to nonqualified deferred compensation plans and thereby avoid or reduce the current income inclusion and additional taxes under Sec. 409A." (Wolters Kluwer)

[Guidance Overview]
Section 409A Document Failure Correction Program Outlined in IRS Notice 2010-6

Excerpt: "In general, Notice 2010-6 provides significant relief with respect to potential document failures, in allowing correction in one year to address failures in prior years. This notice and Notice 2008-113 give taxpayers many opportunities to address noncompliance in advance of an IRS examination. Audit activity related to § 409A has commenced and individuals with noncompliant compensation are sometimes receiving notices." (Deloitte via

More of Us Will Live to 100: Here Is What Life Might Look Like
Excerpt: "If your children happened to be born since the year 2000 in developed countries, they will most likely live to be 100, and they will be healthier than elderly people in previous generations, according to a recent article in the medical journal The Lancet." (Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Sixth Annual Workplace Class Action Litigation Report
Excerpt: "[The Report] by Seyfarth Shaw LLP analyzes class action and collective action court rulings of 2009 involving claims against employers in federal and state courts. The key class action and collective action settlements over the past year are also analyzed, both in terms of gross settlement dollars in private plaintiff and government-initiated lawsuits, as well as injunctive relief provisions in consent decrees. The report analyzes 715 decisions in its comprehensive analysis of class action litigation rulings." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Webcasts and Conferences

Strategies for Saving Costs and Complying with the Mental Health Parity Act Webcast
Nationwide on January 28, 2010
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

(Click to post your webcast or conference)

Press Releases

Winston & Strawn Adds Prominent ERISA Litigator to San Francisco Office
Winston & Strawn

PBGC Protects Champion Parts Inc. Pension Plans
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

PBGC Protects Pensions at Crucible Corporation
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

US Labor Department Sues Owners of Bankrupt Aurora, Ill., Trucking Company to Recover $3 Million in Unpaid Employee Medical Claims
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

US Department of Labor Issues Final Safe Harbor Rule on Employee Contributions to Small Pension and Welfare Plans
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

New Program Provides COBRA Relief for Third Party Administrators
CobraGuard, Inc.

Guardian Introduces Enhanced Awards Program for TPAs

Archimedes Systems Names New Director of Retirement Planning Solutions

(Click to post your press release)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Plan Administrator / Consultant -- Experienced
for Madison Pension Services, Inc.
in NY

Client Consultant
for Prudential
in CA

Client Data Management Supervisor
for Decimal, Inc. (
in CA

Seeking Excellent Employee Benefits Associate Ė Temporary Position
for Clifton Gunderson LLP
in IL

Assistant General Counsel
for Nationwide
in OH

Pension Administrator
for Alliance Pension Consultants
in IL

Operations Manager
for Prudential
in IA

Account Executive, Group Benefits
for Lenox Advisors, Inc
in NY

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