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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

May 26, 2010

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[Guidance Overview]
Guidance on the Small Employer Health Care Tax Credit
Excerpt: "The Credit is not refundable for taxable small employers. They may use the Credit in determining estimated income tax payments for the year to which the Credit applies, and, in some instances, they may use it to offset the employer's alternative minimum tax for that year. They may not use the anticipated credit as an offset against employment tax, but they may carry the unused Credit back one year and forward 20 years."
(McGuireWoods LLP)

Paid Sick Days and Vacations Proposed for Maids, Nannies by the New York Senate
Excerpt: "The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights -- which stalled last year with the Senate coup -- has re-emerged and will be brought to a vote in the Senate on June 1. The bill, which would provide domestic workers such as nannies and maids with paid sick days, holidays and vacation days, and require advance notice of their termination . . . ."
(Workforce Management; free registration required)

The Impact of Health Care Reform on Employers
Excerpt: "Although employers appear to be bracing for the worst, they are just beginning to assess the broader impact of the law on their health benefit strategies and total rewards programs. This survey of more than 650 mid- to senior-level benefit professionals provides a snapshot of how employers are responding to a host of health care reform challenges that have far-reaching implications for retention, recruitment, productivity, workforce planning, change management and every aspect of the evolving employer-employee deal."
(Towers Watson)

Calculator Adds Up Cost of Employer Health Care Mandates
Excerpt: "Plan sponsors struggling to estimate the potential costs of new mandates under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act have a new tool to help. The National Retail Federation has created a new online tool to help retailers and other businesses determine what penalties they might face under the recently enacted federal health care reform law."

Michigan Employers Try Various Strategies to Slow Health Cost Rise, According to Survey
Excerpt: "Employers in Southeast Michigan expect medical benefit expenses to increase 7 percent this year, despite taking steps to shift costs to employees, using wellness programs as a cost-containment device and offering more high-deductible health insurance plans . . . ."
(Workforce Management; free registration required)

How Does Insurance Coverage Improve Health Outcomes? (PDF)
Excerpt: "This brief looks at how insurance improves health outcomes by helping people obtain preventive and screening services, prescription drug benefits, mental health and other services, and by improving continuity of care. Vulnerable populations are especially at risk of poor health outcomes when they are uninsured. Insurance coverage can also improve social and economic well-being, by averting developmental problems in children, increasing workforce productivity . . . ."
(Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.)

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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Guidance Overview]
Supreme Court Holds that ERISA Does Not Impose 'Prevailing Party' Requirement for Award of Attorneys' Fees (PDF)
2 pages. Excerpt: "Eight of the justices joined the opinion, which was issued only four weeks after oral argument. Justice John Paul Stevens agreed that ERISA does not impose a 'prevailing party' requirement and that the District Court acted within its discretion in granting attorneys' fees to Hardt, however, Justice Stevens indicated he would not have followed Ruckelshaus (from which he dissented) without further analysis of the text, structure and history of ERISA."
(Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Supreme Court Holds ERISA-Based Attorneys' Fees Available
Excerpt: "On May 24, 2010 the U. S. Supreme Court held that a party does not need to be a 'prevailing party' in order to be eligible for an attorneys' fees award under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). In reaching this decision, the Court relied on the statutory language of the applicable statute, which does not include any 'prevailing party' requirement, and noted that Congress is able to impose limitations on the availability of attorneys' fees when it deems fit. Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company."
(Fisher & Phillips LLP)

Webcasts and Conferences

Getting Started with EFAST2 & Preparing Your 2009 Form 5500 Webcast
Nationwide on June 3, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Retirement Plan Compliance Assistance Seminar
in Indiana on July 22, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program Workshop
in Michigan on July 27, 2010
presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Press Releases

PBGC Divides Chicago Trucker Pension Plan to Extend its Solvency
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

US Department of Labor to Host Fifth Webcast on 2009 Form 5500 and Electronic Filing Requirements
U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Defined Benefits Practice Leader
for Lurie Besikof Lapidus & Company, LLP
in MN

Client Service Manager
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in MA

401(k) Administrator
for TPA firm

Recordkeeper, Executive Benefits
for Aon Consulting
in GA

Compliance Specialist
for Ascensus
in PA

Participant Service Center Supervisor
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services
in NJ

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