Healthcare Coverage and Cost Discussions Are Blind to Extent of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans
Excerpt: "Only 6 percent of the population actually buys their own insurance. (And for this, we are painting the insurance companies as the villains of this melodrama?) . . . . 66 percent do not have insurance but health benefits, which is not the same thing. Nine percent gets its benefits from government employment, 4 percent from the military and the remaining 43 percent get their benefits from private employment. . . . We're not going to be able to 'get everybody into the pool' because doing that would mean breaking up the system of employment-based health benefits that is protected by ERISA. That 43 percent of the market is staying put."
(The American Spectator)
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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General
IRS Set To Begin Comprehensive Employment Tax Audits
Excerpt: "This month, the IRS will launch a new employment tax National Research Program . . . . [T]he IRS will randomly select 6,000 taxpayers (2,000 taxpayers in 2010 for the 2008 tax year and 2,000 taxpayers each in 2011 and 2012 for the 2009 and 2010 tax years, respectively) and conduct in-depth audits of those taxpayers' employment tax issues . . . . In addition to identifying organizations that fail to file employment tax returns at all, the comprehensive audits will focus on at least four major employment tax issues: * Classification of workers as employees or independent contractors; * Reasonableness of executive compensation; * Tax treatment and reporting of fringe benefits as tax-free or as taxable compensation; and * Tax treatment and reporting of employee reimbursements."
What To Expect from the IRS 'NRP' Fringe Benefits Audit Initiative
Excerpt: "[A]s of December 2009, the IRS was targeting a much narrower (but still fairly broad) list of the more generic broad-based employee fringes including the following: * Employer-provided automobiles; * De minimis fringe awards such as gift cards; * Discounted property or services; * Education assistance offered as (1) educational assistance plans, (2) working condition fringes and (3) scholarships; * Meal reimbursements and travel per diem plans . . . ."
(Employer's Guide to Fringe Benefit Rules, published by Thompson)
Summary of Possible Worker Classification Legislation (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Following closely on the recent IRS announcement of a 3-year worker classification study affecting 6,000 employers, the 2011 Obama Administration Budget includes new legislative proposals to 'increase certainty with respect to worker classification.'"
(Groom Law Group via American Benefits Council)
Fact Sheet from DOL on ERISA Enforcement Results During 2009
Excerpt: "EBSA's Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program (VFCP) and Delinquent Filer Voluntary Compliance Program (DFVCP) encourage the correction of violations of ERISA by providing significant incentives for fiduciaries and others to self-correct. . . . In FY 2009, EBSA received 1,692 applications for the VFCP. The DFVCP encourages plan administrators to bring their plans into compliance with ERISA's filing requirements. More than 2,200 annual reports were received each month in FY 2009. An online filing and payment option added during FY 2009 has made the program even easier to use."
(U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)
Robert J. Myers, Actuary Who Shaped Social Security Program, Dies at 97
Excerpt: "In 1934, in the depths of the Great Depression, Mr. Myers was unexpectedly offered a six-week stint on the Committee on Economic Security, a Roosevelt administration panel that was drawing up blueprints for America's first comprehensive social insurance programs. The six-week job turned out to be a career that spanned decades and placed Mr. Myers at the center of America's great debates about the government's role in the economy and how to create public safety nets affordably."
(New York Times; free registration required)
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