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February 6, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Client Relations Representative
for The Online 401(k) in CA

DB Systems Analyst
for Milliman in TX

401(k) / Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
for R.J.L. Pension Services, Inc. in FL

Senior Investment Consultant
for The Newport Group in FL

Pension Consultant
for Prudential in PA

Manager, Relationship Management
for Prudential in IA

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Webcasts and Conferences

"The Final, Final Service Provider Fee Regulations – Finally!" Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 14, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"The Final, Final Service Provider Fee Regulations – Finally!" Web Seminar
Nationwide on February 22, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Boca Raton
in Florida on March 1, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- McLean
in Virginia on February 23, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Plano
in Texas on February 21, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

401(k) Rekon Advisor Symposium- Woodland Hills
in California on February 9, 2012 presented by 401(k) Rekon

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

[Guidance Overview]
Maintaining 'Grandfathered Plan' Status for Group Health Plan Critical to Avoiding New Mandate on Coverage for Contraceptives
"Multiple religious organizations have expressed opposition to the Section 2713 mandate, including the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, the National Association of Evangelicals, and the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America, among many others. Given the limited options available for avoiding the new mandate for nongrandfathered group health plans, those employers who will not be able to comply with the new rules due to their religious beliefs but who wish to continue offering group health plans to their employees must pursue other courses of action." (Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP)

Need to advertise your benefits’ value? Try benefit statements!   [Advert.]

Sponsored by Benecom Associates, LLC

Ad campaigns are expensive, but BeneCom’s benefit statements are an economical promotional tool you can use to “advertise” the value of your benefits – value that’s often ignored. So, discover BeneCom’s impact on your benefits, not your budget!

[Guidance Overview]
Proposed FMLA Changes to Affect Leave Eligibility for Military Caregivers and Airline Crews
"Proposed regulations relating to military caregivers seek to provide job security and peace of mind to military families and caregivers tending to wounded, ill, and injured service members and veterans. While the FMLA already provided for military caregiver leave and qualifying exigency leave for family members of the National Guard and Reserves, the proposed regulations extend the exigency leave provisions to include family members of the regular U.S. Armed Forces." (Ballard Spahr LLP)

[Guidance Overview]
Indian Health Service Eligibility Not HSA Deal Breaker
"The IRS [said] that generally individuals are not eligible to establish an HSA if they do receive IHS services during the three months before the date on which they seek to establish the HSA. But that is not a blanket prohibition — the IRS said that individuals who receive service through the HIS that is permitted under Notice 2004-2 still can establish an HSA." (Thompson Publishing Group)

IRS Issues Updated Version of Taxable Fringe Benefit Guide for Governmental Employers
"The IRS has updated its Taxable Fringe Benefit Guide for federal, state, and local government employers. The Guide was created to provide those entities with a basic understanding of the federal tax and reporting rules on a wide variety of fringe benefit topics, and was last updated in 2008." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

Ongoing IRS Guidance on Form W-2: Practical Tips for Complying   [Advert.]

Sponsored by IFEBP (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

A new Form W-2 rule requires employers to report the cost of health plan coverage. This International Foundation Webcast will discuss recent IRS guidance and offer compliance tips for employers and advisors. Register now for this February 9 Webcast!

DOL Moving to Reverse FMLA Regulatory Reform Implemented by Bush Administration
"This week, the [DOL]'s Wage & Hour Division announced that it would soon propose requiring Family and Medical Leave Act leave to be made available in the 'smallest leave increments' used by the employer, which would abandon the one-hour increment adopted during the Bush administration." (HR Policy Association)

5010 HIPAA Transaction Standards Deadline Extended, but Threat Remains, Says AMA
"Expressing serious concerns about the ability of physician practices and payers to make the conversion to the 5010 electronic transaction standards and ICD-10 (a new code set for medical diagnoses) in time, both MGMA and the AMA are calling for change. The two agencies say that the government needs to form a comprehensive contingency plan permitting health plans to adjudicate claims that may not have all the required data content, or the government needs to call an outright halt to the transition." (HealthLeaders Media)

University of Memphis Study Gauges Costs for Tennessee of Federal Health Care Reform
"Health care reform will reduce the number of uninsured Tennesseans by more than half and cut uncompensated care and bad debt by $2.3 bil.lion, but the newly insured could put a strain on the state's health care system." (Memphis Commercial Appeal)

Sick Time Payouts Costing Chicago Teachers' Retirement System
"Since 2006, the district paid a total $265 mil.lion to employees for unused sick and vacation days, according to an analysis of payroll and benefit data obtained by the Better Government Association under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act, the Chicago Sun-Times reports." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Lowe's Sued over Cancelling Health Plan Participants' Coverage
"A lawsuit was filed on behalf of all participants in Lowe's Companies' Group Medical Plan who had their health coverage terminated and were denied medical benefits by Lowe's for part or all of the 2011 calendar year." (PLANSPONSOR.COM)

Employers in Many States Face Tax Hike To Help Repay Federal UI Loans
"Employers in 28 states owing $38.2 bil.lion to the federal government for unemployment insurance benefits incurred an increase in their Federal Unemployment Tax Act (FUTA) tax this week. Revenues from the tax increase will go directly toward repaying the balance of the loans. A total of 35 states opted to borrow federal dollars because their unemployment insurance trust fund reserves were insufficient to weather the recent economic downturn." (National Academy of Social Insurance)

Studies Detail in Numbers U.S. Health System Problems and Effect of Health Care Reform
"Two new studies just out highlight the extraordinary problems now facing the United States health system, and some of the consequences that could befall the country if critical parts of health reform are stripped away." (Fisher & Phillips LLP)

Legal Considerations When Implementing On-Site Clinics
"The issues in implementing an on-site clinic may seem obvious: Finding a service provider; installing an appropriate facility; and addressing employee access during work hours. However, there are less obvious but equally important compliance concerns that arise when an on-site clinic is implemented." (Employee Benefit News)

State Legislation and Actions Challenging Certain Health Reforms, 2011-2012
"In response to the federal health reform law, now known as the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and separate state reform initiatives, some members of at least 45 state legislatures have proposed legislation to limit, alter or oppose selected state or federal actions. In general many of the opposing measures, in 2010 and 2011: Focus on not permitting, implementing or enforcing mandates (federal or state) that would require purchase of insurance by individuals or by employers and impose fines or penalties for those who fail to do so. Seek to keep in-state health insurance optional, and instead allow people to purchase any type of health services or coverage they may choose. Contradict or challenge specific policy provisions contained in the 2010 federal law." (National Conference of State Legislatures)

West Virginia Senate Passes Bill to Pay Down Major Liability for Future Health Insurance Costs for Retired State and Public School Employees
"Under the bill, which is also expected to quickly win passage in the House of Delegates, the state will direct $30 mil.lion a year of personal income tax collections to pay down the liability, currently projected to be $5.3 bil.lion." (The Charleston Gazette)

Moral Hazard in Health Insurance: How Important Is Forward Looking Behavior?
"We investigate whether individuals exhibit forward looking behavior in their response to the non-linear pricing common in health insurance contracts. Our empirical strategy exploits the fact that employees who join an employer-provided health insurance plan later in the calendar year face the same initial ('spot') price of medical care but a higher expected end-of-year ('future') price than employees who join the same plan earlier in the year." (National Bureau of Economic Research; paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve fulltext)

An Affront Catholics Agree On
"Liberal and conservative Catholics don't agree on much, but they're both outraged by a new rule on contraception coverage." (Los Angeles Times)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Be Ever Vigilant Regarding 409A and Include 409A Interpretive Provisions!
"Although the IRS has issued correction programs for both operational (IRS Notice 2008-113) and document (IRS Notice 2010-6) failures, not all 409A issues are included in such correction programs. Even corrections within the programs can cause employees to incur additional tax, tax reporting complications and different-than-desired payment timing so ongoing 409A compliance is important." (The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc.)

Tax Expenditures Have Major Impact on Federal Budget
"Tax expenditures are more like entitlement programs (for example, Medicare) than like discretionary spending programs (which are generally funded one year at a time in fixed dollar amounts). In contrast, tax expenditures are not subject to annual appropriations, and any person or entity that meets the requirements for them can receive the benefits." (Congressional Budget Office)

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