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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

November 9, 2010

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P&I Retirement Plan Connections Online Conference - Tuesday, December 7
Connect with leading industry experts, your colleagues & solutions providers without leaving your desk.
In straightforward language, this online conference will provide time-tested strategies from experts & your peers. Whether your objective is to build your business & best help your clients, or make prudent decisions for your plan participants, this conference will provide the answers you need. Register today FREE of charge.

[Guidance Overview]
California Adds New Paid Leave Law Rights for Organ Donors at Employer Expense
Excerpt: "The law provides a paid leave of absence, of up to 30 days per year, taken for the purpose of donating an organ to another person. The law also provides up to 5 days off for bone marrow donation."
(Barker Olmsted & Barnier)

[Guidance Overview]
Take a Close Look at Your Wellness Program
Excerpt: "Wellness programs may be run in-house or through third-party vendors. Regardless of the structure, the programs are unlikely to provide a return on your investment unless they are effectively communicated to employees and become a part of your company's culture."
(Warner Norcross & Judd LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Accounting for Tax Effects of the Medicare Part D Subsidy after Enactment of Health Care Legislation
3 pages. Excerpt: "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act [effectively changes the tax treatment of federal subsidies paid to sponsors of retiree health benefit plans that provide a benefit that is at least actuarially equivalent to the prescription drug benefits under Medicare Part D."
(PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
EBSA Clarification of Required Communication Under Grandfather Rules
Excerpt: "Grandfathered health plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) can comply with the required disclosure requirement if they include the model disclosure language whenever a summary of the benefits under the plan is provided to participants and beneficiaries . . . ."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Supreme Court Justices Reject Review of Health Care Overhaul
Excerpt: "The appeal the Supreme Court rejected Monday was unusual because the plaintiffs wanted the justices to hear their case even though a lower U.S. appeals court hasn't yet ruled on the matter."
(The Wall Street Journal)

Supreme Court Dismisses First Health Care Law Challenge
Excerpt: "In the case, a federal judge in California has ruled that, at this point, neither an individual nor a business has been harmed by the law's future mandate of insurance purchases, so no one could yet challenge the law."
(The Washington Post; free registration required)

Caregiving Takes Financial, As Well As Emotional, Toll on Families
Excerpt: "Americans significantly underestimate the impact a family member's long-term care needs can have on their own lives, marriages, work commitments, financial stability and future financial security, according to research sponsored by Genworth Financial and conducted by Age Wave and Harris Interactive."
(The Dallas Morning News)

New Jersey Halves Family Leave Tax on Employees
Excerpt: "[T]he program does not need to maintain its 0.12 percent tax rate on taxable wages, so the rate will be cut to 0.06 percent in January. 'Workers will keep more of their hard-earned wages while maintaining the health asset base needed to pay family leave insurance benefits in 2011,' . . . ."
(Journal Publications Inc.)

Workers' Health Insurance Costs for 2011 Include Higher Premiums and Co-Payments
Excerpt: "Because this is the first major open-enrollment period since key provisions of the new health-care law started taking effect, many workers will wonder how much of the plan changes they see is due to the legislation. Not much, say analysts. The law's most market-altering changes - including provisions that may or may not control premiums - don't kick in until 2014."
(The Washington Post; free registration required)

[Opinion]
Aon Hewitt Comments on Requirements Prohibiting Discrimination in Favor of Highly Compensated Individuals in Insured Group Health Plans
Excerpt: "[The comment letter] addressed the following issues: Transitional relief; Who is the employer for testing purposes; Dates for determining testing population; Identifying highly compensated individuals; Excludable employees; Retiree-only fully insured group health plans; The required Code Section 105(h) nondiscrimination tests; Clarification of excise tax; and Small employer exception."
(Aon Hewitt)

[Opinion]
The Paradox of Repealing Health Care Reform
Excerpt: "The Republicans and their allies have spent a lot of time -- and a lot of money -- attacking the Affordable Care Act and promising to undo it. And they have done so with such a fury that almost nobody seemed to notice they are making a pair of arguments that are fundamentally incompatible."
(The New Republic via National Public Radio)




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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Reassessing Work/Life Balance
Excerpt: "Widespread layoffs and other job changes associated with the latest recession have caused workers to question career-related sacrifices, including time away from family, less leisure time and fewer self-improvement activities, according to new research from Florida State University."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

GSA Amends Federal Travel Regulations to Include Domestic Partners
Excerpt: "The domestic partners of federal employees, as well as the immediate family of those partners, will now be covered by federal travel regulations . . . for purposes of federal employees' job-related travel or relocations."
(Thompson Publishing Group Inc.)


Webcasts and Conferences

2011 NTSAA Annual Conference
in Florida on February 2, 2011
presented by National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association

It's Time to Play - Employee Benefits Jeopardy!
in California on December 1, 2010
presented by No. Calif. Chapter of Certified Employee Benefits Specialists (ISCEBS)

The ASPPA Cincinnati Pension Conference
in Ohio on November 15, 2010
presented by ASPPA (American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries)

Wellness Program Checkup: A Clean Bill of Health for 2011
Nationwide on November 8, 2010
presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters


Press Releases

DATAIR Releases 2010 EFAST2 5500s
DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

The Wealth Accumulation Years: Plan for the Years Ahead
Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.


Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Associate
for Employee Benefits Firm
in DC

Enrolled Actuary
for Full Service Actuarial Consulting Firm in Monmouth County
in NJ

Retirement Plan Consultant
for July Business Services
in TX

ERISA and Employee Benefits Attorney
for Putney, Twombly, Hall & Hirson LLP
in NY




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