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September 30, 2011 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Account Manager
for National Retirement Services, Inc. in NC

Administrative/Assistant Document Specialist
for The Senex Group in CA

401(k) Compliance Specialist
for Steele Capital Management, Inc. in IA

Associate Pension Administrator/Call Center Support
for Alliance Pension Consultants, LLC in IL

Director, eMarketing
for Prudential in NJ

Director of Core Operations
for J.P. Morgan in KS

Daily Team Associate II
for MBM Advisors, Inc. in TX

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[Guidance Overview]
Special Foods? Hearing Aid Repairs? Now They're Deductible
"In Information Letter 2011–0035, the IRS said that if an individual consumes a special diet for medical reasons, the amount by which the cost of specially prepared foods exceeds the cost of food that would satisfy normal nutritional needs can be deducted as a qualified expense for medical care under Code Section 213." (SmartHR)

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St. Louis Post-Dispatch Faces Second Suit over Retiree Health Benefits
"According to the Riverfront Times, the CWA Local 14620, also known as the St. Louis Mailers Union No. 3, represents the 220 employees who work in the mailroom, as well as retirees . . . . It filed suit in an attempt to force the company to resume providing healthcare for the 22 retirees who were kicked off the company's plan in March." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Lawmakers Raise Doubts about CLASS Act's Future
"The Repeal CLASS Working Group is comprised of Republican leadership in both the House and Senate charged with overseeing implementation of the new health care law. In mid-September, the group released a report apparently detailing the insolvency of the CLASS Act." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

DOL Requests Comments on FMLA Information Collection
"The Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of [DOL] is soliciting comments concerning its proposal to extend Office of Management and Budget (OMB) approval of the Information Collection: The Family and Medical Leave Act Optional Forms. Specifically, the DOL is seeking approval for the extension of information collection requirements that allow covered employers and eligible employees seeking FMLA-qualifying leave to provide third-party disclosures in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements." (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

Some Optimism for CLASS Act's Future; Anticipation Mounts Regarding Essential Benefits Report
"News outlets report on these health law implementation topics, including news that some advocates say the Obama administration's upcoming release of an analysis of the CLASS program is a positive sign. Meanwhile, the Institute of Medicine is expected to unveil its recommendations for medical coverage standards next week." (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation)

Some Common Ground for Legal Adversaries on Health Care
"The 2010 health care overhaul law has provoked an unprecedented clash between the federal government and 26 states, dividing them on fundamental questions about the very structure of the federal system. But the two sides share a surprising amount of common ground, too, starting with their agreement in briefs, filed on Wednesday, that the Supreme Court should resolve the clash in its current term." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Nearly Half of Employees Enroll in Wellness Programs When Available
"According to a press release, wellness options differ as 91.5% of employers offer flu shots or immunizations to employees. Nearly 60% offer health risk assessments, while 58.8% make tobacco cessation programs available to employees. (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

CO-OPs Should Meet Same Regulations As Private Health Plans, Insurers Argue
"Consumer-run nonprofit health insurers to be offered in exchange markets under the health care reform law should have to meet the same regulatory standards as private plans, the health insurance industry stressed in comments filed with the Department of Health and Human Services." (The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.)

Wellness Programs That Do More Harm Than Good
"Unfortunately, what I am trying to avoid is sometimes what I see happening with worksite wellness programs; they do more harm than good. Some programs can actually add to the stress of the administrators, the managers, and the employees and the program ultimately fails. This can happen in any number of ways." (Employee Benefit Adviser; free registration required)

Health Premium Costs Jump, but Don't Blame 'Obamacare'
"Republicans cited the increase as proof of the failure of the 2010 health care law, aka 'ObamaCare.' Nevermind that very few of its provisions have gone into effect, and that experts attribute only a percentage point or two of the 9% increase to the new law." (USA TODAY)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Outsize Severance Continues for Executives, Even After Failed Tenures
"A hallmark of the gilded era of just a few short years ago, the eye-popping severance package continues to thrive in spite of the measures put in place in the wake of the financial crisis to crack down on excessive pay." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Wal-Mart Adds Transgender Protections
"The protections include gender identity and gender expression . . . . Se.xual orientation protections are already a part of the company's 'Discrimination and Harassment Prevention Policy.'" (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Some Context for Thinking about Deficit Reduction: Social Security and Major Health Care Programs
"As policymakers consider the composition of policy changes to be used to reduce future budget deficits, it is useful to consider both historical experience and projections for the future for significant components of the budget. Today, I'll discuss Social Security and the government's major health care programs." (Author: Director of the U.S. Congressional Budget Office)

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