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September 7, 2011 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search
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Benefits Service Manager - Health and Welfare
for Aon Hewitt in CT

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for Matthews, Gold, Kennedy & Snow, Inc. in AZ

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Webcasts and Conferences

"401(k) Plans: Beyond the Basics" - Chicago
in Illinois on October 4, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

"401(k) Plans: Beyond the Basics" Seminar" - Des Moines
in Iowa on October 4, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

"Advanced Plan Design Workshop" - Chicago
in Illinois on October 6, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

"Advanced Plan Design Workshop" - Des Moines
in Iowa on October 6, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Detroit
in Michigan on October 6, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Houston
in Texas on October 4, 2011 presented by 401(k) Rekon

Advanced IRAs Live Seminar
Nationwide on September 15, 2011 presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

HIPAA and Other Health Benefits Laws: Compliance Assistance Seminar
in Tennessee on October 25, 2011 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

IRA Principles Live Seminar
Nationwide on September 15, 2011 presented by Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Legislative and Regulatory Update, featuring Steve Forbes of SunGard
in California on September 15, 2011 presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Orange County Chapter

Managed Care Disputes and Litigation
in Arizona on November 8, 2011 presented by American Conference Institute

Transparency of Fees and Expenses for Workers in 401(k)-Type Retirement Plans Webcast
Nationwide on September 13, 2011 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

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[Guidance Overview]
Proposed Rule Outlines PPACA Requirements for Summary of Benefits and Coverage
"[I]f enrollment is on a calendar year basis, employers may first need to make this disclosure to new enrollees who join the plan on or after [March] 23, 2012, and to those who request the SBC on or after this date. With respect to all other participants, it is likely the first disclosure with enrollment materials will be made for the 2013 plan year." (Littler Mendelson P.C.)

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[Guidance Overview]
Lawsuit Against Insurer Regarding Determination of 'Usual, Customary and Reasonable' Rates Moves Forward
"There is a long line of court cases holding that only plans and plan administrators can be sued for plan benefits under ERISA, although ERISA itself does not expressly state such a limitation and many courts have allowed suits against insurers without specifically analyzing whether the insurer was a proper defendant. This is one of the first decisions we have seen that explicitly applies the recent Ninth Circuit ruling to permit a suit against an insurer." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

[Guidance Overview]
Denying Employer Health Insurance Contributions to Employees Who Retire After Age 55 Violates ADEA
"Given the similarity of the facts in this case to the Eighth Circuit's prior decision involving an age-55 cliff, the outcome here was predictable. But the decision makes an interesting point regarding lesser evils, i.e., just because an employer could legally terminate employees because of their age does not mean that lesser actions, like age-based distinctions in post-retirement benefits, are permissible." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

[Guidance Overview]
Health Care Compliance and Enforcement Update, September 2011
"Key legal developments affecting the health care industry in the past few months include several Supreme Court and appellate court decisions, newly proposed legislation, and international developments of interest to multinational health care companies." (Jones Day)

Private Exchanges Offer Yet Another Alternative to Group Health Plans
"A private exchange is an existing concept taking on a new name. The idea also has been pitched as a 'defined benefit' plan and has been part of a package with a health reimbursement account. Simply put, a private exchange is an alternative to a group health benefit plan. Rather than paying a portion or all of a premium, an employer pays each of its workers a flat amount and sends each to choose his or her plan." (American Medical News via Physicians for a National Health Program)

2011 Health Care Trend Survey (PDF)
"In almost all cases, forecasted increases based on vendor-provided data are lower than forecasted increases reported in our Summer 2010 survey. Trends for major categories are generally lower by 0.5% to 1.5%." (Aon Hewitt)

How the Affordable Care Act Pays for Itself and Cuts the Deficit
"In this issue brief, Maggie Mahar synthesizes the relevant numbers and offers in-depth analysis of exactly how the ACA will both strengthen health insurance protections and save money." (The Century Foundation)

Arizona Same-S.ex Partners Entitled to Benefits, Court Says
"In issuing its ruling Tuesday, the appellate court ruled that denying the benefits would violate the equal protection provisions of the U.S. Constitution." (

Iowa Employers Skeptical of Health Law, Survey Shows
"Fifty-four percent of employers either strongly or somewhat agree the law should be repealed, according to the 2011 Iowa Employer Benefits Survey published by David P. Lind & Associates in Clive." (

Retroactive Adverse Benefit Denials Under ERISA
"From the insurer's perspective, a retroactive denial made after the provider has received payment results in an overpayment to the provider, which must be repaid. To make matters worse, insurance carriers sometimes recoup their payments in ways that create billing system nightmares. Instead of asking the provider to write a check to the insurer for 'improperly' paid benefits, some insurers use 'negative remittances.'" (Physician News Digest)

American Benefits Council Comments on Funding of Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Through Fees Payable by Issuers of Health Insurance Policies and Self-Insured Health Plan Sponsors (PDF)
"the Council urges the Service to provide guidance confirming that coverage, substantially all of which consists of Code section 9832(c) excepted benefits, is excluded from the fee regardless of whether the coverage is self-insured or fully insured, thus creating parity between self-insured and fully insured plans for purposes of the fee." (American Benefits Council)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Text of Correction to IRS Notice of Proposed Rulemaking on Certain Employee Remuneration in Excess of $1,000,000 (PDF)
"This document contains a correction to a notice of proposed rulemaking (REG–137125–08) relating to the deduction limitation for certain employee remuneration in excess of $1,000,000 under the Internal Revenue Code. The document was published in the Federal Register on Friday, June 24, 2011 (76 FR 37034)." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

Constructing Self-Funding Equity Awards (PDF)
"Such awards are designed to be 'self-funding' because the payout to management is indirectly linked to shareholder gains. Unlike awards directly linked to stock price performance, these awards qualify as performance shares for financial reporting purposes." (Grant Thornton LLP)

Five Reasons Employers Should Keep Domestic Partner Benefits (PDF)
"'With same-sex marriage now legal in New York and a handful of other states in the U.S., some employers may be tempted to eliminate their domestic partner benefit programs, but employment law experts say there are still a number of reasons to keep them in place." (Portfolio Media. Inc. via Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, P.C.)

White House to Propose Plan to Help Postal Service
"The Obama administration said . . . that it would seek to save the deficit-plagued Postal Service from an embarrassing default by proposing to give it an extra three months to make a $5.5 bil.lion payment due on Sept. 30 to finance retirees' future health coverage." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Companies That Make Their Employees Happier with Great Benefits and Incentives
"The jobs site just announced the winners of this year's Leap Awards, which honor the companies that have made the biggest strides to improve employee happiness year-over-year." (

New Publication: ESOP Regulatory Rulings 1990-2010
This publication provides practitioners and other interested people with a summary of rulings and regulations on ESOPs and related plans. It includes guidance from the IRS and the DOL through IRS private letter rulings (PLRs), DOL advisory opinions, DOL field assistance bulletins, IRS Technical Assistance Memoranda, and similar pronouncements such as the 'ESOP Cadre' guidance. Regulations can be very lengthy, and we do not summarize them in detail but rather highlight the key issues and rules. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

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Lois Baker, J.D., President
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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