Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter
January 27, 2010

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Employee Benefits Producer Training Program

Employee Benefits Producer Training Program

April 19-30, 2010 ∙ Brookfield (Milwaukee), Wisconsin
The new Employee Benefits Producer Training Program brings together the best in insurance sales training and employee benefits education in an intensive two-week program. Co-sponsored by the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans and The National Alliance for Insurance Education & Research, the one-of-a-kind curriculum provides attendees with essential sales skills and valuable employee benefits industry knowledge that will result in new revenue, customers and sales.
Learn More.

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


Health Care Reform Proposals: Side-by-Side Comparison as of January 26, 2010 (PDF)
51 pages. Excerpt: "Both the House and Senate have now passed comprehensive health care reform bills. The House passed the 'Affordable Health Care for America Act' (H.R. 3962) on November 7, 2009, while the Senate passed the 'Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act' (H.R. 3590) on December 24, 2009. Since then, House and Senate Democratic leaders and the Obama administration have been working behind the scenes to attempt to reconcile the two bills and ready the legislation for final action." (Groom Law Group)

Changes to Excise Tax on High-Cost Health Plans Address Criticisms, Retain Long-Term Benefits
Excerpt: "Many analysts, including Nobel-prize winning economist Paul Krugman, have found the basic concept of the excise tax to be sound but have noted that certain aspects of the Senate-passed measure -- those that, in the popular parlance, would have taxed some 'Chevy' plans as well as 'Cadillacs' -- were problematic and needed to be changed. 'The details of the excise tax should be fixed,' Krugman wrote, 'but it's on balance a good idea.' . . . . Sharing that basic view is a broad cross-section of health economists, including many of the nation's leading progressive economists." (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)

Cleveland Clinic Opens Free Wellness Programs for Employee Dependents
Excerpt: "The fact that a high-profile healthcare institution like Cleveland Clinic is aggressively expanding wellness benefits is another sign that wellness programs work." (HealthLeaders Media)

ERISA Preempts Utah's Discretionary Clause Rule
Excerpt: "Under these clauses, the insurer generally has the exclusive right to interpret and administer plan terms. Utah law doesn't prohibit using these clauses for ERISA-governed plans but imposes specific disclosure requirements. The court held that ERISA pre-emption applies because the Utah rule doesn't affect risk pooling as a rule simply regulating insurance." (Mercer LLC)



THE DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLANS SUMMIT

THE DEFINED CONTRIBUTION PLANS SUMMIT

The Defined Contribution Plans Summit taking place February 24-25, 2010 in New York, NY is the perfect platform for corporate and public DC plans to hear from their plan sponsor peers, leading policymakers and top investment executives. Attendees will share ideas through tailored interactive roundtables, benchmark their DC plans through case studies, and network with fellow plan sponsors and investment professionals. For more information please visit – www.dcplanssummit.com

IQPC

Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
Correction Program for Section 409A Document Failures Issued; Changes to Form 5500 for 2009; IRS Clarifies Timing to Claim COBRA Subsidy Credit
Focus on Employee Benefits, January 27, 2010. (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

[Guidance Overview]
Accrual-Basis Taxpayer Cannot Take Bonuses into Account until Paid
Excerpt: "Further, the IRS pointed out that the 'all events' test cannot be satisfied earlier than when the 'economic performance' occurs. Because the employer's bonus plan required the employees to continue their service to the company until the date the bonuses were paid, the economic performance did not occur and the liability was not fixed until the date the bonuses were actually paid." (Deloitte via BenefitsLink.com)

[Guidance Overview]
Some Good News Under the 409A Correction Program
Excerpt: "The good news is that the Notice permits the employer to amend the plan or agreement to precisely specify the designated period according to the requirements of the regulations. The bad news is that the employer had better amend the plan or agreement quickly, or its affected employees could face stiff penalties." (Michael Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

Employee Benefits Update, January 2010 (PDF)
The six-page newsletter presents select compliance deadlines and reminders; retirement plan developments; and, health and welfare plan developments, with comments from Reinhart. (Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)

Americans Say Fiscal Fitness Harder to Attain than Physical Fitness
Excerpt: "Sixty three percent of Americans said it is harder today to get financially fit than it is to get physically fit. The majority (61%) indicated they don't believe they have enough money saved in the right kind of savings account to weather a financial storm during 2010." (PLANSPONSOR.com)

DOL Sues for Illegal Payroll Deductions in Violation of ERISA
Excerpt: "The US Department of Labor has sued the owners of Mid-States Express, a bankrupt trucking company, for illegally deducting money from employee paychecks for medical coverage without actually paying its employees' medical bills. Bruce Hartmann, an officer and owner of the company, did not tell his employees that they were not receiving any health coverage. The lawsuit further alleges that Bruce Hartmann and his father, Terry Hartmann, failed to remit in a timely manner over $1.5 million in 401(k) plan participant contributions and loan repayments, as well as $65,000 in contributions and loan repayments -- funds which they instead for internal operations." (Online Legal Media)

New edition of Selected Issues in Equity Compensation
The NCEO presents excerpts from the newly released 7th edition of Selected Issues in Equity Compensation, an in-depth discussion of some of the main topics related to stock options, employee stock purchase plans, and other equity compensation plans. (National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO))

NCEO releases 2010 edition of Beyond Stock Options
The NCEO presents excerpts from the newly released 8th edition of Beyond Stock Options, a guide to phantom stock, restricted stock, stock appreciation rights, and other equity alternatives. (National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO))


Webcasts and Conferences

"Employees in the Military: The New HEART Notice" Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 11, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

2010 First Quarter Update
Nationwide on February 9, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

2010 First Quarter Update
Nationwide on February 10, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Leaves of Absence and Employee Benefits: Legal Rules, Compliance Traps, and Plan Design Considerations
Nationwide on February 25, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

Practitioner 2-Day Seminar
in Illinois on June 8, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Practitioner 2-Day Seminar
in Ohio on September 21, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Practitioners 2-Day Seminar
in New Jersey on July 14, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Retirement Plan Insights 2-Day Seminar
in Pennsylvania on May 11, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Retirement Plan Insights 2-Day Seminar
in Illinois on June 8, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Retirement Plan Insights 2-Day Seminar
in New Jersey on July 14, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Retirement Plan Insights 2-Day Seminar
in Massachusetts on August 3, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Retirement Plan Insights 2-Day Seminar
in Ohio on September 21, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Retirement Plan Insights 2-Day Seminar
in Nevada on November 9, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Retirement Plan Insights 2-Day Seminar
in Maryland on November 22, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

What's New on the 5500 Forms?
Nationwide on March 30, 2010
presented by McKay Hochman Co.

Press Releases

ASPPA Backs President Obama’s Plan for Economic Relief
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

DB/DC Pension Analyst
for Boyce & Associates, Inc.
in AZ

Competitive Intelligence Manager - Employee Group Benefits
for National Rural Electric Cooperative Association (NRECA)
in DC, VA

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for The Newport Group
in FL


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