Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter
January 25, 2010

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EFAST 2 5500 Software.

EFAST 2 5500 Software.

Three crucial questions you should ask your Form 5500 Software provider:
1. Is your Form 5500 software approved for EFAST 2?
2. Can I see a demo of how you are handling e-filing?
3. How much do you charge to e-sign using your software?
Itís not too soon to be thinking about these three questions and getting the right answers.
ftwilliam.comís software solutions will make your life easier and save you money. For more information, visit www.ftwilliam.com or call 800.596.0714.

www.ftwilliam.com


[Guidance Overview]
IRS Clarification of Treatment of COBRA Subsidy Premiums Received in January for December Coverage

Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: This result is not surprising as it follows the general rule that the credit may be claimed in the quarter during which reduced premium payments are received or in a later quarter. What's new, however, is a greater likelihood that this issue will arise this quarter. With the latest premium subsidy extension and its related transition rule . . ., employers will need to be prepared to receive reduced premium payments in January or even later for December 2009 coverage." (Employee Benefits Institute of America)


[Guidance Overview]
First Circuit: Expenses of Fathering Children Through Unrelated Egg Donor and Gestational Carriers Aren't Medical Care

Excerpt: "EBIA Comment: Infertility expenses can raise thorny issues for health FSA administrators. Consequently, health FSA administrators should not rely solely on entries in Publication 502 for guidance when determining whether a particular infertility expense qualifies as medical care under Code Section 213(d). Even when infertility services are qualified medical expenses, we note that infertility treatment programs often require participants to make substantial payments before medical services are provided." (Employee Benefits Institute of America)


Court Moves Forward Claim Employer Interfered with Health Benefits
Excerpt: "A federal court has refused to dismiss a claim by a Jersey Construction employee that he was fired for pursuing health benefits for his wife's chemotherapy." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


Additional Information from CBO on Effect of Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Hospital Insurance Trust Fund (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "This letter responds to questions you posed about the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO's) analysis of the effects of H.R. 3590, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), as passed by the Senate on December 24. In particular, you asked for clarification on several issues regarding the effect of the legislation on the Hospital Insurance (HI) trust fund, from which Medicare Part A benefits are paid." (U.S. Congressional Budget Office)


Podcast: Employees Need Follow Up to Be Satisfied with CDHPs
Excerpt: "So says OptumHealth's Kathleen Frey. The vice president of client engagement shares why it's crucial to keep communication on consumer-driven plans flowing long after open enrollment ends and how to avoid the common dip in satisfaction new HSA participants experience after six months on the plan." (Employee Benefit Adviser; free registration required)


Workplace Health Programs and Cost Containment
Excerpt: "As health care costs continue to rise and employers look for creative solutions to control costs, many see the variety of workplace wellness programs, worksite clinics, and HRAs as a valuable opportunity to control costs while increasing worker health and productivity. Current research has the potential to shed more light on this developing field of health care and its potential cost savings to both employers and employees." (Changes in Health Care Financing & Organization)




The World Congress 7th Annual World Health Care Congress

The World Congress 7th Annual World Health Care Congress

The World Congress 7th Annual World Health Care Congress | April 12 - 14, 2010 | Washington, DC
The MUST attend event for health care government and corporate leaders to formulate business strategies in a
new era of reform and market competition!


World Congress

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

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

13 pages. Excerpt: "Topic 718 creates a more 'level playing field' for equity incentive design that is expected to result in the increased prevalence of full-value and performance-vesting awards, and a corresponding decline in plain-vanilla, tax qualified, and reload stock options, and employee stock purchase plans. This paper summarizes the most pertinent provisions of accounting for stock compensation under Topic 718 and other related FASB and Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Topics." (Frederic W. Cook & Co., Inc.)


[Guidance Overview]
Section 409A Documentary Compliance Deadline (PDF)

5 pages. Excerpt: "This program is a good opportunity to check with benefits counsel regarding any further corrections and/or clarifications that may be required under a nonqualified plan or agreement to make it Section 409A compliant and to take advantage of the transition relief period to amend these documents. Please keep in mind that Section 409A affects any document that permits deferral of compensation." (Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)


Another Trap for Employers Under the IRS' Notice on 409A Correction Procedures
Excerpt: "As I noted in the first two Blogs, the Notice does much more than just offer correction methods. It contains examples of situations that the 409A final regulations do not clearly address - and provides for significant penalties for many plan provisions that a normal person might view as a foot fault. The Notice includes this example relating to the everyday situation where the employer requires the employee to sign a release of claims before it pays him/her severance." (Michael Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)


Missouri State Employees Retirement System Board Votes to Drop Staff Bonuses
Excerpt: "The Missouri State Employees Retirement System (MOSERS) board voted 8-1 Thursday to discontinue bonuses and automatic cost-of-living raises for the system's 72 employees. According to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, MOSERS Executive Director Gary Findlay said anything that can be termed a bonus is 'poison' in the current economic climate and hurts the image of the retirement system, the Post-Dispatch reported." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


Tallahassee, FL City Officials Amass More Than $1 Million in 'Deferred Compensation'
Excerpt: "Tallahassee city commissioners and top-ranking city officials have amassed a small fortune -- more than $1 million combined -- in their 'deferred compensation' retirement accounts. Commissioners quietly approved the benefit in 2005 with a 4-1 vote. But it wasn't until last year that they began facing criticism over the practice. Citizens and candidates have been hammering commissioners in public meetings, and one candidate, Erwin Jackson, recently filed a complaint with the Florida Commission on Ethics saying commissioners illegally increased their salaries by approving the measure and violated the city charter in the process." (tallahassee.com)


Report from Executive Compensation Research Firm Paints Picture of Changed Executive Compensation Landscape
Excerpt: "Among the issues addressed in Equilar Inc.'s 2010 Executive Compensation Outlook Report: giving executives salary bumps instead of traditional perks, clawback policies designed to recoup ill-gotten compensation from executives; and some companies increasing salary to make up for recent cutbacks because of the economic downturn." (PLANSPONSOR.com)


ERISA Class Action Settlements & Attorney Fees (PDF)
87 pages. Excerpt: "The site includes information on past ERISA settlements, to help plan fiduciaries and litigators evaluate future settlements. [The ERISA class action settlement chart has been updated 1/23/2010. Settlements in 2009 and early 2010 are highlighted in yellow.]" (Fiduciary Counselors Inc.)


100 Best Companies to Work For in the U.S.: Perks
The target page has links to the best in Health care provision, Child care benefits, Work-life balance, Telecommuting, Sabbaticals, and Unusual perks. (Fortune via CNNMoney.com)


Michigan Legislators Take on Public Employees' Pay and Benefits
Excerpt: "Pay and benefits for public employees -- the Legislature included -- bubbled to the top again last week as a topic of government reform, as the state faces further financial problems in the coming year. House Democrats proposed an end to lifetime health coverage for retired lawmakers, who are eligible for that benefit at 55 years old if they've served at least six years in the House or Senate. The Democratic plan would wipe out the generous health benefit for all sitting and future legislators. It would save the state about $5 million a year, according to House Democrats." (Detroit Free Press)



Press Releases

ERIC Urges PBGC to Withdraw Proposed Regulations on New Reportable Events Requirements
ERIC (ERISA Industry Committee)

Ftwilliam.com Announces the Release of the Companyís EFAST 2 Form 5500 Software
ftwilliam.com

IBI Research Indicates that U.S. Businesses Consider Health & Productivity Programs Critical to Maintaining Employee Health and Containing Costs
Integrated Benefits Institute

Frozen Defined Benefit Pension Plans - A Way Out
Lockstone Advisors, LLC

Westminster Consulting Hires Eric Grimes as a Senior Consultant
Westminster Consulting

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