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March 25, 2011 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues

[Guidance Overview]
Enforcement Grace Period Extended for New Internal Claims and Appeals Requirements
"[DOL] has further delayed enforcement of the new requirements for internal claims and appeals that apply to non-grandfathered plans. . . . The non-enforcement period now extends until plan years beginning on or after July 1, 2011 for certain requirements, and plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2012 for others." (Faegre & Benson)

DATAIR Cafeteria Plan Software (advert.)

Sponsored by DATAIR Employee Benefit Systems, Inc.

PC-based systems for proposals, plan documents and administration of Flex Plans: FSA, DCAP, HRA, HSA and 132(f). DATAIR’s systems with the "Benny" Benefits Debit Card for automated processing and Internet inquiry makes this a profitable TPA service.

[Official Guidance]
Text of DOL Amicus Brief Supporting Plaintiff in ERISA Preemption Case Over Disparate Health Insurance Premiums
"Appellant . . . filed suit . . . against Blue Cross in Montana state court, alleging . . . that Blue Cross was acting in violation of . . . the Montana Insurance Code, which prohibits insurers from setting different premiums for individuals in a group health plan on the basis of health-related status." (U.S. Department of Labor)

Conference Panel Says Top Employers Need to Offer Health Coverage
"With annual health insurance costs often topping more than $10,000 per employee, employers could come out financially ahead if they folded their plans and paid the penalty. . . . But panelists . . . noted that the financial issues are not cut and dried. . . . For example, employers pursuing such a strategy would have to analyze the amount of additional compensation they would provide to employees not eligible for federal premiums." (Workplace Management: free registration required)

Worksite Wellness Evaluation (PDF)
"To find out if your programs are really enhancing participants' health and whether they can be reasonably sustained into the future, the evaluation process also helps you determine how to allocate your budget, so you can focus your time and resources on the right interventions that are really making a difference." (Wellness Council of America)

OPM Asks Health Insurers to Provide Incentives for Wellness Programs
"[The OPM director] said the agency's 'call letter,' which outlines areas that companies will be expected to cover, will be issued Friday and will encourage programs that reduce obesity and 'racial and ethnic disparities in health status and care.'" (The Washington Post; free registration required)

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Health Law's Retiree Health Plans, Exchanges, Waivers Draw Scrutiny
"Lawmakers on the House Small Business Committee want to know if smaller firms were among more than 1,000 entities granted health-care reform waivers last year by the Department of Health and Human Services." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Fiscal Watchdog Group Suggests NYC Retirees Pay for Medicare Premiums
"New York City switches its retirees to the federal Medicare program from the city's plans when they qualify at age 65, but the report by the Citizens Budget Commission says the city's cost of Medicare Part B premiums . . . will hit $2.2 bil.lion by 2015 . . . ." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Employer and Worker Contributions to Account-Based Health Plans, 2006?2010 (PDF)
"In 2008, 37 percent of workers reported an employer contribution of $1,000 or more. By 2010, it was down to 28 percent." (Employee Benefit Research Institute)

State Legislation and Actions Challenging Certain Health Reforms, 2010-2011, Updated March 22, 2011
"In response to federal health reform legislation and enacted law, now known as the Affordable Care Act . . ., some members of at least 40 state legislatures proposed legislation to limit, alter or oppose selected state or federal actions, including single-payer provisions and mandates that would require purchase of health insurance." (National Conference of State Legislatures)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Companies Should Be Reviewing the Impact of 409A on International Arrangements
"As a general rule, 409A applies to U.S. citizens and U.S. resident aliens working abroad (who are taxed on their worldwide income) and nonresident aliens working in the U.S. who receive U.S.-source income." (McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Calendar Year Benefit Plans Need to File Form 5500 by August 1, 2011
"IRS penalties for late filing are $25 per day up to a maximum of $15,000. DOL penalties can run up to $1,100 per day (no maximum). For willful violations, individuals face up to a $100,000 fine and/or imprisonment up to 10 years." (Ford & Harrison LLP)

Same-S.ex Couples to Get Same Benefits?
"Should DOMA be struck down, a same-s.ex spouse or domestic partner would gain full spousal protections that apply to employer pensions, 401(k)s, survivor annuities, tax-free health-insurance benefits and more." (Human Resource Executive Online)

Companies Can Safely Fire Someone Who Alleges Internal ERISA Violations
"Last week, the United States Supreme Court declined to review a Third Circuit decision that ERISA ? 510 (which makes it illegal to fire an employee 'because he has given information or has testified or is about to testify in any inquiry or proceeding relating to [ERISA]') did not protect an HR director's unsolicited comments to management." (Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP)

The Participant's Guide to ESOP Distributions
For many people who are waiting to get their distributions from an ESOP, the process can be confusing. This issue brief by NCEO founder Corey Rosen is designed to help ESOP participants understand how distributions work, what they can expect, and what their rights are. It is also useful for ESOP companies, who can use this as a guide to educating employees about how distributions work in a variety of circumstances and what the participants' rights are in these matters. (National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO))

Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Specialist in ANY STATE, NY for Dreyfus, a subsidiary of BNY Mellon

Senior Benefits Specialist in MD for FINRA

Client Help Desk Representative in CA for Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.

Senior Retirement Pension Plan Analyst in CA for The County of Riverside

Client Relationship Manager - Paramus, NJ & Wayne, PA in NJ, PA for Transamerica Retirement Services Corporation

Retirement Program Analyst in MI for Trinity Health

Actuarial Analyst in CT for Prudential

Transaction Support Associate in CT for Prudential

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Webcasts and Conferences

FutureOffice Network Presents the April 19th Smartcast Webinar – Health Care Reform Update: One Year Later
Nationwide on April 19, 2011 presented by FutureOffice Network

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium - Ft. Lauderdale
in Florida on April 26, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

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Jeanette Hull, News Editor
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