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April 15, 2011 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

[Guidance Overview]

Early May Application Deadline Announced for the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program
"Any plan sponsor that wishes to apply for ERRP funds must apply by May 5, 2011, or else they will not be able to receive reimbursement under the program. While most interested plan sponsors have already applied, some that waited should ensure that their applications are completed by May 5." (The Segal Group, Inc.)

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[Guidance Overview]

'Participation-Only' Wellness Program Survives ADA Challenge
"The court found that the wellness program was a 'term' of Broward County's group health plan, which was a 'bona fide benefit plan' as required under the ADA safe harbor." (E Is for ERISA)

[Guidance Overview]

Court Rules Death Benefits Should Go to Estranged Ex
"According to the Courthouse News Service, although Robert Alsager had signed a separation and property-settlement agreement with his ex-wife releasing claims to her estate or property, a three-judge panel . . . said it leaned heavily on the 2009 decision for Kennedy v. Plan Administrator for DuPont Savings & Investment Plan, in which the U.S. Supreme Court concluded that a claim for benefits must stand or fall by the terms of the plan." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

[Guidance Overview]

State and Federal Income Tax Treatment of Adult Child Health Coverage May Differ
"To date, the following states do not conform to federal income tax law, at least with respect to health care reform's favorable federal income tax treatment afforded employer-provided health coverage for an employee's adult child to age 26: 1. Georgia 2. Hawaii 3. Indiana 4. Minnesota (for 2011 and beyond; however, no withholding is required for 2011) 5. Wisconsin (however, it appears no withholding is required)." (Towers Watson)

Employee Health Care Cost Change in Massachusetts Estimated to Save Cities and Towns $100 Mil.lion in First Year
"The bill directs that the percentage paid by employees for their health care plans would still be subject to bargaining. And, it sets the state Group Insurance Commission health care plan, which provides health insurance for state employees, as a benchmark for local communities." (Boston Herald and Herald Media)

Obama Signs Measure Into Law Repealing Expanded Form 1099 Rules
"The legislation (H.R. 4) repeals language from the 2010 health care law requiring businesses to issue a Form 1099 for payments to corporations for goods and services that exceed $600 per year to each vendor. It also repeals an expansion of those rules to include landlords, which was enacted under a small business law." (Tax Management Inc.)

Study Shows 127% ROI on Vision Care Benefit
"VSP Vision Care has released the findings of a new study showing $4.5 bil.lion in savings for its clients through the early detection of chronic diseases via eye care and vision exams covered by the firm's vision insurance." (Employee Benefit News; free registration required)


Medicare Reform's OPEB Side Effects: Public Employers Need Preemptive Cost-Control Strategies
"What's important to state and local managers is this harsh reality: Many public employers have heretofore written a blank check to pick up all or most of the costs that Medicare doesn't pay. They have flunked the first rule of risk management and left themselves open to the 'fat tail' of high losses in once-remote scenarios that are now looking more inevitable." (Governing)


What Conservatives Won In Health Reform (And Don't Seem to Know It)
"Conservatives (and some economists) have always favored more 'skin in the game,' arguing that it will incentivize consumers to be more prudent purchasers of health services and hold down utilization of health care overall. They particularly favor high-deductible plans tied to tax-preferred savings accounts. According to our study, both Bronze and Silver Plans in exchanges would have deductibles that meet the standards for Health Savings Accounts." (Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

Employee Benefits Developments, April 2011
This issue covers recent cases, rulings, and opinions. (Hodgson Russ LLP)

Incentive or Gift? How Perception of Employee Stock Options Affects Performance
"'The reciprocity effect we found is really bigger than the incentive effect,' [a study author] says. 'We found that when the company does well and the share price goes up and people make more money, their performance in the next period goes up as well." (Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

Benefits Planning in a Challenging Environment (PDF)
"In retirement planning, the need to hold the line on benefits costs and to reduce financial risk may mean more serious consideration of risk-transfer solutions for companies that have retained their DB plans." (CFO Publishing LLC via Prudential Retirement)

Improving Work-Life Fit in Hourly Jobs: An Underutilized Cost-Cutting Strategy (PDF)
"When today's jobs are designed for yesterday's workforce, the uncontrolled turnover and absenteeism that result are costs of poor schedule design." (The Center for WorkLife Law)

Press Releases

Employee Benefits Jobs

Assistant Plan Administrator
for Gateway Pension Services, Ltd. in MO

Operations Manager
for ClearPoint Financial in WA

ERISA/Employee Benefits Attorney
for Mutual Of America in NY

Manager, Relationship Management Team
for Prudential in IN

VP, Client Transition
for Prudential in CT, IA, NJ, PA

Benefits Project Leader, Benefits Department
for Vanguard in PA

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Webcasts and Conferences

2012 Health and Welfare Planning
Nationwide on May 3, 2011 presented by Kilpatrick Stockton LLP

Contracting Web Summit
in California on May 19, 2011 presented by MCOL

EBIA's 13th Annual Advanced Cafeteria Plans and Benefits Conference 2011
in Minnesota on July 20, 2011 presented by EBIA / Thomson Reuters

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This email has been published by:, Inc.
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Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher

Copyright 2011, Inc., but feel free to forward this newsletter in its entirety.

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