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January 4, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

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Webcasts and Conferences

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Cincinnati
in Ohio on February 3, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Des Moines
in Iowa on February 2, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Detroit
in Michigan on February 2, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"Practical Guide to Plan Fee Disclosures Workshop 2012" - Minneapolis
in Minnesota on February 1, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

Breakfast Meeting with L.A. City Controller Wendy Greuel, and candidate for Mayor of L.A., and with Dan Weeks, Co-Founder and COO of BrightScope
in California on January 10, 2012 presented by Employee Benefits Association of Los Angeles

Participant Loans
Nationwide on January 27, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Ready to Handle MLR Rebates in 2012? Understanding the New Rules for Employer Health Plans
Nationwide on January 19, 2012 presented by Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Retirement Practitioner Research Tools
Nationwide on January 26, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Using IRS and DOL Correction Programs for Retirement Plans Seminar
in Massachusetts on January 24, 2012 presented by New England Employee Benefits Council

Webinar Money in 401(k) Plans: Is Everything Old New Again?
in California on March 13, 2012 presented by Employee Benefits Association of Los Angeles

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[Official Guidance]
IRS Notice 2012-9: Restated Guidance on Informational Reporting to Employees of the Cost of Group Health Insurance Coverage (PDF)
"This notice restates and amends the interim guidance on informational reporting to employees of the cost of their employer-sponsored group health plan coverage initially provided in Notice 2011-28. . . . [Changes include: i. Clarification of] the application of the interim relief from the reporting requirement for employers filing fewer than 250 Forms W-2 for the preceding calendar year. [ii. Clarification of] the reporting requirement to certain related employers not using a common paymaster. [iii. Addition of an example] that demonstrates that the reporting requirement does not apply to coverage under a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA) if contributions occur only through employee salary reduction elections." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

HIPAA Privacy E-Learning Course   [Advert.]

Sponsored by IFEBP (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

The International Foundationís HIPAA Privacy e-learning course is an excellent tool for annual HIPAA training. It provides an overview of HIPAA Privacy including the information you need to remain compliant with current regulations. Enroll now!

[Guidance Overview]
Make Sure Employees Understand FMLA Calendar
"[The statute and DOL] FMLA regulations give employers several options for calculating how much leave employees are entitled to at any given time. . . . [And] one thing is certain: If you don't select a method and let employees know, the DOL says you must use the one most beneficial to the employee. That may mean doing four calculations every time an employee wants FMLA leave." (Business Management Daily)

[Guidance Overview]
New San Francisco Health Care Requirements May Impact Employers with San Francisco Employees
"The amendments impose new requirements for HRAs, FSAs and HSAs that covered employers use to comply with the Ordinance; practically, these requirements may render it impossible to use FSAs and undesirable to use HRAs to comply with the Ordinance. The amendments also add a new employee notice requirement, regulate an employer's use of surcharges on its customers to cover the required health care expenses, and revise the penalty provisions of the Ordinance." (Quarles & Brady)

Does Retiree Health Insurance Encourage Early Retirement?
"We find that retiree health coverage has its strongest effects at ages 62 and 63, resulting in a 3.7 percentage point (21.2 percent) increase in the probability of turnover at age 62 and a 5.1 percentage point (32.2 percent) increase in the probability of turnover at age 63; it has a more modest effects for individuals under the age of 62." (National Bureau of Economic Research; paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve fulltext)

The Effects of California's Paid Family Leave Program on Mothers' Leave-Taking and Subsequent Labor Market Outcomes
"[There is] robust evidence that the California program more than doubled the overall use of maternity leave, increasing it from around three to six or seven weeks for the typical new mother — with particularly large growth for less advantaged groups." (National Bureau of Economic Research; paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve fulltext)

Regulations, Costs, and Uncertainty in Employer Provided Health Care
Print of Hearing held October 13, 2011. 'By the administration's own estimates, up to 80 percent of small-employer plans and between 34 and 64 percent of large-employer plans will not retain their grandfathered status, meaning millions of workers face significant changes to their health care. Employers have confirmed this startling fact. In May of 2011 survey by Price Waterhouse Coopers, 51 percent of the employers surveyed did not expect their plans would keep their grandfathered status." (U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor and Pensions)

Should Employers Still Use DOL FMLA Forms that Expired on December 31, 2011?
"In short, employers may continue to use the DOL's FMLA forms, although consider [the suggestions in the target document] before using these standard DOL forms." (Franczek Radelet P.C.)

Oregon State Workers Wellness Program Approved Despite Concerns
"The Health Engagement Model requires workers to undergo a health assessment, take online wellness lessons and take steps to reduce their risk of chronic disease. Those who refuse to participate must pay an additional monthly surcharge." (

Five Health Reform Dates to Watch in 2012
"[In 2012, the Obama administration will be] laying a policy foundation for 2014, while health reform opponents try to stop the law altogether." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

How a Risk Retention Group Can Provide Transparency and Lower Employee Benefit Costs
"Risk retention groups (RRGs) or 'captives' can generate savings for some larger employers that self insure their plans. Captives are now catching on with smaller employer groups between 25 and 500 employees." (Smart Business Network Inc.)

Employment-Based Retiree Health Benefits Could Encourage Early Retirement
"NBER researchers investigated the impact of retiree health insurance on early retirement using employee-level data from 64 diverse firms that are clients of Towers Watson." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Six Basic Considerations for Employees When Shopping for Long-Term Care Insurance
"[The first basic factor] to consider about LTC coverage: 1. The elimination period. This is the time between the beginning of a claim and when the policyholder is actually eligible to receive benefits. Most policies require some period of paying for care out of the insured's assets. The longer the elimination period, the lower the premium. Rather than a 30-day elimination period, consider a 60-, 90-, or even 180-day period." (Employee Benefit News)

Shelving of CLASS Act Presents Opportunities and Challenges for Employers and Employees
"[T]he CLASS Act was an incredible catalyst for the long term care discussion in the workplace. It's gotten it onto the radar screen for benefit managers. Now that we have clarity that they're not implementing it, it sends a clear message to Americans and to benefits managers that the responsibly is on us: The federal government is not going to provide an option, so we better take personal responsibility.'" (Employee Benefit News)

Secretary Sebelius Writes in Defense of Health Care Law's 'Essentials'
"This approach will ensure that all plans offered in this marketplace are comprehensive, without the gaps in coverage that too many consumers have faced. Some plans didn't even cover basic preventive care. Others had so many holes that they provided almost no security if you got really sick." (USA TODAY)

Paying for Unproven Medical Treatment: Crazy Medicine and Unsustainable Public Policy
"Everyone wants the best available care, especially for life-threatening diseases like cancer. But that doesn't mean Americans should pay exorbitant costs for treatments that can't be shown to be better than other, cheaper, options." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Issues in the Upcoming Annual Report and Proxy Season (PDF)
"This issue highlights key SEC reporting and corporate governance considerations that will be important during this annual meeting season as well as in the upcoming year. In this issue, we are including our customary articles on recent SEC, NYSE/Nasdaq and general corporate law developments." (Snell & Wilmer L.L.P.)

SEC Formally Postpones Dodd-Frank Rulemaking
"SEC updated the Dodd-Frank Implementation section of its website to delay the 'planned' issuance date for the remaining rules required by the executive compensation provisions of the Act . . . ." (Michael S. Melbinger, Esq. of Winston & Strawn LLP)

2012 U.S. Proxy Voting Summary Guidelines (PDF)
"ISS' Benchmark proxy voting guidelines serve as a tool to assist institutional investors in meeting their fiduciary requirements with respect to voting by promoting shareholder value creation and risk mitigation at their portfolio firms." (Institutional Shareholder Services Inc.)

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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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