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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 25, 2010

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This webcast will examine the just-released grandfathered health plan regulations that determine whether health plans have to comply with the full scope of PPACA, or whether certain important provisions can be avoided. You'll learn the 12 main ways grandfathered status can be lost, special rules for collectively bargained plans and whether the law applies to retiree-only plans, dental, vision and more.

[Guidance Overview]
DOL's New Interpretation of FMLA
Excerpt: "The new interpretation will have widespread implications for blended families and same-s.ex couples, and will direct employers to be more discerning in determining "quasi parental" status for those that may qualify for FMLA."
(Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

[Guidance Overview]
Transitioning to Health Care Reform, Or, So You Think You'd Like Your Plan to Be Grandfathered (PDF)
7 pages. Excerpt: "Additional guidance is expected on the disclosure requirement and the model language will likely be evolving. For example, the regulators are considering a requirement to describe or list all provisions from which a grandfathered plan is exempt."
(Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP)

Employers Still Expect to Sponsor Health Plans Long Term
Excerpt: "Despite the multitude of [health reform] changes, many of which employers perceive as costly, contained in PPACA, 87% of employers believe their organizations will continue to offer health care benefits because they are critical to employee recruitment, retention, and remaining competitive."
(Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

Federal Judge Gives Agencies Go Ahead on Mental Health Rules
Excerpt: "Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis has announced a ruling by a federal judge in Washington that regulators have "good cause" to forego notice and comment on interim final rules regarding mental health services parity."

Paid Sick Days: Attitudes and Experiences (PDF)
44 pages. Excerpt: "Americans overwhelmingly view paid sick days as a basic labor standard. It is rated as more important than several workers' rights already required by law."
(Public Welfare Foundation)

Praying with the Office Chaplain
Excerpt: "A growing number of companies are offering the services of chaplains in the workplace. Managers say many employees who wouldn't think of calling a therapist or an employee-assistance program will willingly turn to a chaplain."
(The Wall Street Journal)

USPS Shouldn't Be Forced to Pre-Fund Retiree Benefits
Excerpt: "Why should the Postal Service be held to a different standard than are other employers when it meets its current retiree health obligations every year?"
(The Washington Post; free registration required)

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Executive Compensation; Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]
Treasury, Federal Reserve, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Guidance on Sound Incentive Compensation Policies (PDF)
47 pages. Excerpt: "[The Agencies] are adopting final guidance designed to help ensure that incentive compensation policies at banking organizations do not encourage imprudent risk-taking and are consistent with the safety and soundness of the organization."
(Federal Reserve System)

[Guidance Overview]
Banking Agencies Issue Final Guidance on Incentive Compensation Policies
Excerpt: "Similar to the proposed guidance, the final guidance is based on three key principles that are designed to ensure that incentive compensation arrangements at a banking organization do not encourage employees to take excessive risks."
(PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Plan Administrators Cannot Invoke "SPD Prevails" Rule to Cure Plan Language Deficiencies
Excerpt: "It is not unusual to see plan documents and summary plan descriptions merged into one document these days, or for summary plan descriptions to take on the role as the source of authority and documentation of administrative practices. This recent Eighth Circuit opinion should give plan fiduciaries pause as they delegate such paperwork to their claims administrators and benefit communications consultants."
(Roy Harmon via Health Plan Law)

Webcasts and Conferences

Is Your 401(k) Default Fund on Target? New DOL and SEC Guidance on Target Date Funds
Nationwide on July 20, 2010
presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

Press Releases

The Payden Mutual Funds Added to CPI Retirement Platform
CPI Qualified Plan Consultants, Inc.

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Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

On-Site Pension Actuary
for Boyce & Associates, Inc.
in AZ

Account Manager
for Pension Specialists, Inc
in CA

Third Party Retirement Plan Administrator
for McPhillips Roberts & Deans, PLC
in VA

VP, Institutional Investments
for Prudential
in CT

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