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May 14, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Retiree Reinsurance Program: Implementation Details (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "This issue of Health Care Reform Insights concludes with a list of action steps for sponsors of health plans that cover early retirees."
(The Segal Group, Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
Regulations on Group Health Plan Coverage of Adult Children (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "This Bulletin summarizes the guidance. It concludes with a list of action steps for plan sponsors."
(The Segal Group, Inc.)

[Guidance Overview]
Can You Continue to Limit Coverage for Pre-Existing Conditions under Health Care Reform?
Excerpt: "Although the immediate impact of this rule only applies to pre-existing condition exclusions for individuals under age 19, please be aware that, effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, this rule will be expanded to prohibit group health plans from applying pre-existing condition exclusions to all participants and beneficiaries."
(McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
HHS Guidance on Early Retiree Reinsurance Program
Excerpt: "[I]n preparation for completing an application, an employer that sponsors a group health plan for early retirees should immediately start gathering data with respect to claims between January 1, 2010 and June 1, 2010, and begin to review its group health plan(s) to determine whether any amendments are necessary to comply with the Program requirements."
(K&L Gates LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Dependent Health Insurance Coverage to Age 26 Interim Final Rule (PDF)
4 pages. Excerpt: "The new definition of dependent will require plan amendments, not only with respect to the age of the dependent, but also with respect to the general definition of dependent. It is currently common for plans to define dependents by requiring that the dependent be claimed on the employee's tax return, live with the employee, or be unmarried. The new definition of dependent is much broader."
(Groom Law Group)

[Guidance Overview]
Extension of Children's Health Coverage to Age 26 (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "The interim final regulations clearly change the rules regarding eligibility for dependent coverage. Plan sponsors should review their current eligibility requirements and determine whether they want to narrow the scope of familial relationships that qualify for dependent coverage and whether they want to reduce their subsidies of dependent coverage or change their plan's tier structure. In addition, plan sponsors should consider what impact the new enrollment opportunity will have on their annual enrollment for the 2011 plan year."
(Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview]
Plan Sponsors Must Be Ready to Act Quickly to Take Advantage of Early Retiree Health Insurance Program (PDF)
8 pages. Excerpt: "The Interim Regulations contemplate that plan sponsors will provide at least the same level of contribution to support the applicable plan as it did before the Program. Thus, for example, although reimbursements could be used to reduce increases in sponsor premiums, it is expected that reimbursements may not be used to pay current level premiums. HHS is expected to provide additional guidance with regard to how the Secretary will monitor the appropriate use of reimbursements."
(Alston & Bird LLP)

Health Reform Levels Playing Field for Small Business Owners and the Self-Employed
Excerpt: "In 2014, a new simplified 'marketplace', or insurance exchange, will be up and running. Small business owners will find it much easier to understand and compare insurance policies, forcing insurance companies to compete on price and value. Premiums will be allowed to vary by only a few factors. This will finally give small businesses bargaining clout when they go to purchase coverage. Gone will be the old system where if one employee gets sick, the business gets quickly priced out of coverage."
(Consumers Union)

Limitation on Health FSAs Offered in Cafeteria Plans Under Health Care Reform
Excerpt: "Effective for tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2012, a health FSA will not be a qualified benefit under a cafeteria plan unless the plan provides for a $2,500 maximum annual salary reduction contribution to the FSA."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Accurately Measuring Health Over the Life Course
Excerpt: "This paper develops a new method of estimating rich, dynamic models of health based on multiple health measures available in the HRS. We apply these methods to investigate what generates the large socioeconomic gradient in health. Preliminary results suggest a large role for initial differences in health at age 50 that persist into old age."
(Center for Retirement Research at Boston College)

Congressional Research Service Looks at Federal Government Contributions and Employer Responsibility Requirements
Excerpt: "The CRS [analysis addresses] whether the federal government is (1) required to pay a portion of the premiums for members of Congress and congressional staff, . . . and (2) subject to the employer responsibility requirements . . . of the Affordable Care Act, as amended; and (3) whether state and local governments can be subject to the employer responsibility requirements, and whether imposing these requirements on a state and local government would run afoul of the Tenth Amendment."
(Wolters Kluwer)

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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]
EBSA Announces New E-Signature Option for Forms 5500 and 5500-SF Electronic Filing
Press release. Excerpt: "The additional e-signature option will be available in the government-sponsored IFILE application beginning May 13, 2010. Filers using EFAST2 approved software to complete and file the Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF should contact their software vendors for information regarding availability of this new e-signature option as part of their software."
(U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

[Official Guidance]
Revised FAQs on the EFAST2 All-Electronic Filing System
Excerpt: "Q33a: I am a service provider that assists clients in managing the filing process. Can I electronically sign the annual return/report for my client?"
(U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

[Official Guidance]
Revised FAQs on Electronic Filing for Small Businesses
Excerpt: "Q5: If I don't want to get EFAST2 credentials so that I can personally file my plan's Form 5500 or Form 5500-SF, is there any way that I can have a service provider complete and electronically file the Form 5500/5500-SF for me?"
(U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

[Official Guidance]
Revised Fact Sheet on EFAST2 Reflects New E-Signature Option Avoiding Need for Plan Sponsors to Obtain Signing Credentials
See text at 'Electronic Signature Options' on the fact sheet. Excerpt: "[S]ervice providers that manage the filing process for plans can get their own EFAST2 signing credentials and submit the electronic Form 5500 or 5500-SF for the plan. The service provider must confirm that it has specific written authorization from the plan administrator to submit the plan's electronic filing. In addition, the plan administrator must . . . ."
(U.S. Employee Benefits Security Administration)

[Guidance Overview]
Impermissibly Linked 409A Plans (PDF)
3 pages. Excerpt: "In Notice 2010-6, the IRS gave plan sponsors . . . a means to correct certain documentary failures in plans subject to 409A, often with reduced or completely eliminated tax consequences. In that notice, however, the means by which they addressed linked plans was troublesome. The primary concern is that the examples of failure to comply contained in Notice 2010-6 include some situations that practitioners believed to be compliant under the final regulations."
(Aon Consulting)

DOL Grants ASPPA Requested Relief On EFAST2
Excerpt: "The relief provided will be extremely beneficial -- particularly to small employers who are challenged by the new mandatory electronic filing system."
(American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries)

Press Releases

DOL Grants ASPPA Requested Relief On EFAST2
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

Pensionmark Adds Offices in Houston, Boston, and Austin
National Retirement Partners, Inc.

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