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October 4, 2011 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Part Time On Call Participant Counselor
for Diversified in CA, DC, FL, MI, NC, OH, OR, TX

Client Service Manager
for The Newport Group in FL, NC, WI

Director of Plan Conversions
for Charles Schwab in OH

Conversion Manager
for Charles Schwab in OH

Client Services Manager
for Charles Schwab in TX

2nd Vice President, New Business Marketing
for New York Life Retirement Plan Services in MA

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Webcasts and Conferences

2011 SPARK Forum
in Florida on November 6, 2011 presented by SPARK Institute

Compensation: Plan Design And Correction Of Errors
Nationwide on October 28, 2011 presented by SunGard Relius

Is Your Data Safe?
in California on October 18, 2011 presented by Western Pension & Benefits Conference - Sacramento Chapter

Los Angeles Benefits Conference
in California on January 11, 2012 presented by American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

We also publish the BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter (free): Subscribe

[Guidance Overview]
Proposed Regs and Templates for Summary of Benefits and Coverage Document and Uniform Glossary of Terms
"For insured group health plans (and individual health insurance coverage), state laws that require the provision of an SBC that supplies more information than what is required under the proposed regulations may remain effective, whereas state laws that require the provision of an SBC that supplies less information will be preempted. (All such state laws generally will be preempted in the context of self-funded group health plans.)" (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)

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Employers Should Be Cautious with Wellness Programs: Consider the ADA and GINA and State Laws
"Many employers offer 'carrots' to employees to participate in wellness programs. There is no legal problem with 'positive' incentives, as long as certain requirements are met. But some employers wield a 'stick,' as well. They actually penalize employees who refuse to participate." (Constangy, Brooks & Smith, LLP)

IRS Reminds Participants That Plans Are Not Required to Reimburse All Eligible Medical Care Expenses
"Two recently released IRS information letters about medical care expenses emphasize that employer-sponsored plans such as health FSAs and HRAs are not required to pay or reimburse every item or service that qualifies as a medical care expense, and can limit payment or reimbursement to only certain expenses." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

Employer Finds Putting Food First Yields Dramatic Results
"A pilot program focusing on nutrition shows improved health results for employees, meaning lower costs for employers." (Employee Benefit News)

Small Employer Self-Funding Must 'Stop', Consumer Advocate Says
"An adviser to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners has told NAIC that it should amend its model stop-loss coverage law to prohibit the sale of stop-loss insurance to small groups." (SmartHR)

SIIA Refutes 'Misinformation' about Self-Funding Health Benefits
"The Self Insurance Institute of America [is facing] the same 'anti-self-funding' arguments about adverse selection, insolvency and inferior benefits that it refuted last year . . . the year before . . . and the year before that." (SmartHR)

Soaring Health Insurance Premiums
"So what is driving up insurance premiums? The main factors, analysts say, were increased medical care costs and higher profits for insurance companies, which charged a lot more in premiums than they paid out for medical services." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Updates and Clarifies Travel Allowances and Reinstates High-Low Method
"The IRS issued an update and new guidance Friday (Revenue Procedure 2011–47) for use of a federal per diem rate to substantiate the amount of ordinary and necessary expenses for lodging, meals and incidental costs paid or incurred for business-related travel away from home. The IRS stated that this revenue procedure would be the last annual update of these substantiation rules and procedures, and that going forward it only will publish a new revenue procedure as necessary." (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)

Stock Options vs. Restricted Stock vs. RSUs
"For stock options, the wild volatility of the past 3 years may mean a higher FAS/ASC compensation expense than in previous years, thus decreasing their attractiveness to the company." (Michael S. Melbinger via Winston & Strawn LLP)

Say-on-Pay Lawsuit Survives Motion to Dismiss
"A lawsuit alleging breach of fiduciary duty by Cincinnati Bell's directors, one of about 40 companies that did not receive majority support for its pay program, survived a motion to dismiss in US district court. The decision surprised many who thought say-on-pay lawsuits would be only a frivolous distraction." (Mercer LLC)

Federal Contractors' Executive Pay Targeted in Obama Deficit Proposal
"President Obama's proposed deficit reduction plan would lower the cap on the maximum executive pay reimbursable to certain federal contractors. The plan, unveiled on Sept. 19, would not limit the amount contractors may pay their executives but would cap the reimbursable amount of the top five executives' pay at the $200,000 level earned by senior federal government executives." (Mercer LLC)

Lighten Benefits Communications
"Effective benefits communications doesn't have to be big. Generally, smaller, concentrated messages distributed on a more frequent basis are better absorbed than large amounts of information provided once or twice a year." (Employee Benefit News)

Employee Ownership Update for October 3, 2011
NCEO Executive Director Loren Rodgers discusses the DOL's decision to re-propose the regulation making ESOP appraisers fiduciaries; acquisitions at an employee-owned loss-adjusting firm; a documentary film that will highlight employee ownership; a survey on which equity Webinars the NCEO should offer; and a free tryout of the NCEO's ESOP Webinar replays. (National Center for Employee Ownership)

Critics Question Perry's Handling of Pension and Health Care Funds in Texas
"Those public pensions have a combined unfunded liability of $41 bil.lion, and a half-dozen funds, including the state's two largest, have promised benefits that they will never be able to pay under current financing models, according to records compiled by the Texas Pension Review Board. What's more, the $1 bil.lion supplemental healthcare fund for Texas teachers is predicted to go bankrupt by 2014." (Star-Telegram)

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Jeanette Hull, News Editor
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Lois Baker, J.D., President
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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