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February 28, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Sr. Retirement Plan Administrator
for First Savings Retirement Services in PA

Sr. 401(k)/DC Plan Admin Specialist
for CUNA Mutual Group in WI

Pension Plan Lead Administrator
for PBGH , LLP in DC, VA

Recordkeeping Administration, Development & Technical Support
for Educators Financial Services in MN

Daily Valuation Recordkeeper
for Northwestern Bank in MI

Plan Administrator
for EJReynolds, Inc. in FL

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Webcasts and Conferences

"Church Plans: How Much Flexibility Do They Have?" Web Seminar
in Alabama on March 22, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

Benefits & Total Remuneration - Public Sector
in Texas on March 6, 2012 presented by Hay Group

Preparing the Summary of Benefits and Coverage for Open Enrollment Webinar
Nationwide on March 14, 2012 presented by Warner Norcross & Judd LLP

US Department of Laborís ERISA Advisory Council to Hold Public Meeting
in District of Columbia on March 13, 2012 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Webinar: Final 408(b)(2) Rules - Unexpected and Under-covered Issues
Nationwide on March 14, 2012 presented by The SPARK Institute

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

[Guidance Overview]
Summary of Benefits for Group Health Plans and Regulations: Final Regulations Dealing with the Technical Requirements
"In order to avoid duplication, if the health insurance issuer or other entity provides a SBC that satisfies the requirements, the group health plan does not need to issue a SBC as well." (McDonald Hopkins)

HSA and HRA E-Learning CourseóTry the First Lesson For Free   [Advert.]

Sponsored by IFEBP (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

The new HSAs and HRAs course provides a comprehensive overview of health savings accounts (HSAs) and health reimbursement accounts (HRAs). You will learn what they are, how they work and how they have been impacted by health care reform. Learn More!

[Guidance Overview]
Creditable Drug Coverage Disclosure Due to CMS Tomorrow (Feb. 29) for Calendar Year Health Plans, but CMS Web Site Problems Might Hamper Filing
"By Feb. 29, employers with calendar-year plans providing prescription drug benefits to Medicare-covered people must disclose whether their plans' coverage is 'creditable' to [CMS]. Plan sponsors must make this disclosure even if a plan covers only active employees or is fully insured. Sponsors must use CMS' web-based disclosure form and provide information about themselves and the coverage options they offer. Because the CMS website is frequently unavailable, sponsors may submit their information later; no penalties apply for late filing." (Mercer)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL's Proposed New FMLA Regulations for Military Families and Airline Crew Members (PDF)
"Most NDAA provisions took effect on October 28, 2009 when the NDAA was signed into law, but the extension of caregiver leave to veterans' family members is not effective until the DOL issues final regulations that define 'serious injury or illness.' Until then, an eligible employee can still take up to 12 weeks of FMLA leave under existing regulations if the veteran with a serious health condition is a spouse, parent, or child (under 18 or disabled)." (Buck Consultants)

[Guidance Overview]
All Early Retiree Reinsurance Funds Paid Out or Pending, but Two Key Program Dates Still Ahead
"By March 30, participating plan sponsors must have an updated early retiree list, a detailed medical claim list and a payment request approved by the automated ERRP system. Otherwise, payments made based on summary data or manually reviewed claim lists are subject to recovery. The ERRP also can recover any funds that sponsors fail to use for program purposes by Dec. 31, 2014." (Mercer)

HSA Plan Valuation Approach Proposed by Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight
"The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has issued a bulletin that could affect the ability of personal health account programs to continue to operate after Jan. 1, 2014. Officials at CCIIO ... plan to include employer health savings account (HSA) annual contributions and health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) contributions in actuarial value calculations, if the accounts are linked to high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) ... [but is considering] leaving an individual's contributions to an HDHP-linked HSA out of the actuarial value calculations for that plan." (LifeHealthPro)

What Will Happen to Limited Medical Plans in 2014?
"If nothing changes, the 'grandfathered' plans and those which received annual limits waivers will be taken off the market. Unless the Supreme Court overturns the entire Act, the options for hourly and part-time workers will look much different in the very near future." (BenefitsPro)

California's Looming Bill for Public Employee Retiree Health Care: $62.1 Bil.lion
"At least governments have put something aside to pay their future pension promises — even if it's not quite enough. But state and local governments have also made huge promises to cover workers' health care once they retire — but have put virtually nothing aside to pay for that." (The Orange County Register)

Treatment Cost Variation Responsible for $36 Bil.lion in Healthcare Waste
"By reducing prices for 300 common procedures to their median price nationwide, total employer medical expenses would be reduced by 3.5 percent, or $36 bil.lion annually, for the 108 mil.lion Americans under 65 who receive insurance through their employer." (Thomson Reuters)

ML Strategies Health Care Reform Update, February 27, 2012
Read this week's update on health care reform legislation, regulations, and initiatives. (Mintz Levin)

Kodak Wants to Cut Retiree Health Benefits
"The Eastman Kodak Co. is filing a motion in bankrup.tcy court to ... cut health care coverage for most Medicare-eligible retirees." (

Health Law Implementation: Actuarial Value, Health Disparities Draw Attention
"The Department of Health and Human Services offered a bulletin last week to provide guidance on how insurers should calculate actuarial value. Also, some health policy experts are beginning to question whether the health law's quality provisions might exacerbate the nation's health disparities." (Kaiser Health News)

Republicans Attack ACA's Contraceptive Coverage in Court
"[Nebraska] Attorney General Jon Bruning and 6 other state attorneys general, from Florida, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas, have filed suit in the United States District Court, District of Nebraska, requesting a permanent injunction of the regulations." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business / CCH)

American Benefits Council Brief to U.S. Supreme Court Regarding PPACA Health Care Law (PDF)
"[T]he sole question this brief addresses is what remedy should follow in the event that the individual mandate is held unconstitutional." (American Benefits Council)

American Benefits Council Urges Delay in Final Regs on Summary of Benefits and Coverage (PDF)
"[T]he final rule fails to provide sufficient time for implementation and also fails to recognize that many employers are still in the early stages of making decisions for the benefits they will provide for 2013.... The implementation period for these requirements is unnecessarily abrupt, disruptive and burdensome and should either be delayed by twelve months to minimize these adverse consequences or provide a simple transition rule ... [that would allow employers] to continue to communicate with their employees about the health plan options they will make available for plan year 2013 through the unique materials and communications tools that they have long used for this purpose." (American Benefits Council)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]
Under New U.S. FATCA Rules, Some U.S. Employees Need to Report the Value of Non-U.S. Equity Compensation, Deferred Compensation and Pension Benefits on 2011 U.S. Individual Income Tax Returns
"Temporary regulations issued in December 2011 under Section 6038D require 'specified individuals' annually to file a statement with their income tax returns to report interests in 'specified foreign financial assets' on IRS Form 8938 if the aggregate value of those assets exceeds certain thresholds for a year." (Baker & McKenzie)

Maryland Governor to Sign Same-S.ex Marriage into Law on Thursday
"The legislation [makes] Maryland the eighth state in the nation to legalize g.ay and les.bian nuptials ... Opponents of same-s.ex marriage in Maryland were working to get a referendum seeking to repeal the law on the ballot in November." (Provda Law Firm)

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Fax (407) 644-2151

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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