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March 8, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
DOL Issues New FAQs on Schedule C Reporting of Pharmacy-Related Compensation
Excerpt: "On February 4, 2010, the DOL added two FAQs to the supplemental FAQs issued last year; they specifically address whether certain direct and indirect compensation earned by PBMs is reportable for Schedule C purposes. While the guidance reiterates DOL's previously-articulated position that PBMs generally would be considered plan service providers subject to Schedule C reporting, DOL nonetheless announced substantial, though potentially temporary, reporting relief for some forms of indirect compensation earned by PBMs, including rebate and discount revenue."
(Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview]
COBRA Subsidy Extended Again
Excerpt: "The passage of TEA creates new classes of separated employees who may be eligible for (a) renewed coverage under COBRA, and (b) premium assistance under the COBRA subsidy program. * Employers will need to comply with these changes and notify applicable [Assistance Eligible Individuals] immediately. * Employers should begin to track those employees who have obtained COBRA rights as a result of a reduction in hours so that appropriate notices can be sent if those employees are later involuntarily terminated during March 2010. * Employers should continue to track these employees because the COBRA subsidy program may be further extended."
(McGuireWoods LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Congress Extends and Expands the COBRA Subsidy Program
Excerpt: "Once again, due to the technical wording of the statute, the Act itself creates new open issues for employers and administrators. It will also likely frustrate and confuse employees who had a reduction of hours and then a termination of employment prior to March 2, 2010, because these employees fail to qualify for the subsidy due to the timing of their termination of employment."
(Kilpatrick Stockton)

[Guidance Overview]
President Signs Bill That Modifies COBRA Subsidy Rules: Immediate Action Required! (PDF)
Includes helpful examples and 'practice pointers."
(Alston+Bird)

Bill in Virginia Challenges Constitutionality of Federally-Mandated Health Insurance
Excerpt: "The Virginia Legislature this week is poised to become the first state to pass legislation that says citizens cannot be required to have medical insurance."
(Boston Globe)

What You Need to Know About Healthcare Reform
Excerpt: "How will the proposed reform affect employers, employees, providers, and health plans? Hewitt provides you with the latest information on how this historical health reform legislation is unfolding in the U.S."
(Hewitt)

Smaller Employers Turning to Captives for Health Insurance Funding
Excerpt: "Utilized for decades by larger employers to cover their property/casualty exposures, small and midsize employers are turning to captives to fund a portion of their health care benefit risks. . . . In some cases, small employers, with the help of third-party claims administrators or benefit consultants, are joining forces to set up their own captives or using a cell in an established captive to cover risk above a self-insured retention. In other cases, small- and medium-size employers -- typically defined as firms with between 50 and 500 employees -- are securing coverage in captives owned by TPAs or trade associations to which they belong."
(Business Insurance)

New Tool Available for Health Plans to Assess their Health Literacy Programs
Excerpt: "Developed by Emory University researcher Dr. Julie Gazmararian, working with the AHIP Health Literacy Task Force, this new tool allows health plans to assess their health literacy programs and to use the assessments in the development and advancement of their initiatives."
(America's Health Insurance Plans)




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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

The IRS 2010 Guidance Plan: A Look at What's Coming
Excerpt: "Each year the IRS issues a list of its top-priority guidance initiatives for the year, called the guidance plan. The long-awaited list of items was issued in late 2009, and sets forth the plan for issuing much-needed guidance for the July 2009-June 2010 year. . . . A look at a number of provisions from the guidance plan that remain to be addressed, based on the type of plan, will give us an idea of what is in store for the coming year."
(Groom Law Group)

ESPP and Other Broad-Based Equity Plan List
Through a painstaking process of checking company Web sites and corporate filings, the NCEO has compiled a list of the largest 1500 U.S. companies, as well as corporate NASPP members, that have broad-based equity plans. Of the 1,821 companies that we researched, we could confirm that 131 offer options to most or all employees, 22 offer other kinds of broad-based equity (of these, six offer options as well), and 498 have employee stock purchase plans (ESPPs). (National Center for Employee Ownership
(NCEO))


Webcasts and Conferences

"401(k) Plan Workshop: Current Issues and New Developments" - Denver
in Colorado on April 9, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"401(k) Plan Workshop: Current Issues and New Developments" - St. Louis
in Missouri on April 9, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop - Nashville
in Tennessee on April 7, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop" - Denver
in Colorado on April 8, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop" - Spokane
in Washington on April 6, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Form 5500/EFAST2 Workshop" - St. Louis
in Missouri on April 8, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Advanced HSAs
Nationwide on April 27, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Basic IRAs
Nationwide on April 8, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Conducting Your Own Compliance Audit
Nationwide on June 22, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Coverdell Education Savings Accounts
Nationwide on April 6, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Handling IRA Legal Issues
Nationwide on May 13, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Introduction to QRPs
Nationwide on May 18, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Beneficiary Distributions
Nationwide on June 10, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Excess Contributions
Nationwide on April 20, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: IRA Reporting
Nationwide on April 22, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: QRP Beneficiary Rollovers to Inherited IRAs
Nationwide on June 17, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Roth IRA Distributions
Nationwide on May 11, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: The Roth 401(k)/403(b) Provision
Nationwide on June 15, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminar: Traditional IRA Distributions
Nationwide on May 4, 2010
presented by Ascensus

2010 Web/Telephone Seminars: Introduction to 401(k)s
Nationwide on May 20, 2010
presented by Ascensus

Vendor Selection -- Balancing the Needs of the Sponsor, Participants and Vendors Webcast
Nationwide on March 18, 2010
presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


Press Releases

US Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council Announces First Meeting of 2010
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)


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