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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

October 29, 2010

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An employer writes:

"I have to tell you that of all the job boards I've ever used, this one has the best quality of candidates. I don't get flooded with tons of resumes, and even the candidates who aren't fit for the jobs we have don't miss the mark by much."

More Employers Approved for Retiree Medical Reimbursements
Excerpt: "The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released a list of additional employers and unions accepted into the Affordable Care Act's Early Retiree Reinsurance Program."

Annual Notice Requirements for Employer Group Health Plans
Excerpt: "Since most employers operate their health plans on a calendar year basis, this is a good time of year to review the annual participant notice requirements for employer group health plans."
(Miller, Johnson, Snell & Cumminsky, P.L.C.)

Enrollees in High-Deductible Plans May Be Forgoing Care Because of High Costs
Excerpt: "The report adds that 'studies have shown that significant cost sharing may create disincentives for both necessary and unnecessary care. While individuals with high-deductible plans may be less likely to use the emergency room for care, they may also delay necessary treatment or doctor visits'"
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

State Health Care Reform Update
Excerpt: "With the passage of federal health care reform, states will have increasing responsibilities in regard to employer-provided health insurance benefits."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Health Reform's Preventive-Services Rule Perplexes Health Plans with Coverage Mandates Open to Questions
Excerpt: "HHS's preventive-service regulations were written in such a way as to leave 'a fair amount' of coverage mandates open to varying interpretations by plans . . . ."

Lawsuits in Response to Health Care Reform
Excerpt: "New data on states that have filed a federal lawsuit in response to the Affordable Care Act are available from the National Conference of State Legislatures."
(Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Workplace Flexibility in the 21st Century
DOL's Women's Bureau is holding a series of meetings titled: National Dialogue on Workplace Flexibility. The Dialogues will discuss how employers can use flexibility to empower their employees and their families.
(The Huffington Post)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Chart of 2011 Benefit Plan Limitations Including Rollover Eligibility Matrix
Excerpt: "Updated for 2011 cost-of-living adjustments and the new in-plan rollover provisions of the SBJA of 2010."
(Gary S. Lesser, J.D. via

[Guidance Overview]
Taxing Clawbacks (PDF)
21 pages. Excerpt: "This report explores the tax treatment of compensation clawbacks and addresses the tax treatment of clawbacks generally and the tax questions raised by the many special cases likely to arise."
(Rosina B. Barker and Kevin P. O'Brien, Ivins, Phillips & Barker, Chartered)

Stock Compensation Disclosures Under U.S. GAAP: The 2009 Results
Excerpt: "From 2008 to 2009, the percentage of companies disclosing stock option fair values decreased from 72% to 70%. The median increase in stock option fair value (as a percentage of strike price) was 3.6 percentage points over the period, representing more than a 10% increase in value."
(Towers Watson)

Majority of States Have Laws Requiring Employers to Provide Sufficient Time for Workers to Vote
Excerpt: "While there is no federal law requiring employers to provide that time off, there are about 30 states that do have such requirements . . . ."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

Tax Break on Tuition Benefits Remains Up in the Air
Excerpt: "Favorable tax treatment on tuition benefits expires at midnight on Dec. 31, 2010, unless Congress passes legislation aimed at making Section 127 of the Internal Revenue Code permanent."
(Employee Benefit News; free registration required)

Los Angeles, California, Mayor Asks Council to Cut Health and Pension Benefits for New Workers
Excerpt: "If the current system continues, the city estimates that costs for pensions and retiree healthcare could eat up as much as a third of the general fund budget in five years."
(Los Angeles Times)

Webcasts and Conferences

2010 Legislative Update
in Georgia on November 18, 2010
presented by Retirement Fund Management

Press Releases

PBGC Moves to Protect Pensions at Sea Island Company
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC)

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

DB/DC Administrator
for Alliance Benefit Group Rocky Mountain
in UT

Deputy Chief Benefits Officer
for District of Columbia Retirement Board
in DC

Compliance Specialist - Retirement Plans
for General Board of Pension and Health Benefits
in IL

Pension Administrator
for Alliance Pension Consultants
in IL

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