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April 2, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Senior Investment Analyst
for Cammack LaRhette Consulting in NY

Investor Services Manager
for ICMA Retirement Corporation in DC

ERISA Operations Manager
for Gordon Asset Management, LLC in NC

Pension Administrator
for Benetrends, Inc. in PA

Network Administrator
for July Business Services in TX

Senior Relationship Manager
for July Business Services in ANY STATE

Senior Client Service Coordinator
for Group Alternatives in IL

401(k) Pension Plan Administrator/Consultant
for Malcolm Thompson & Assocs. in TX

Market Intelligence Manager
for Prudential in CT

Vice President, Senior Deal Team Leader
for Prudential in NJ

Manager, Plan Technical Services
for Prudential in IA

Director, Stable Value Lead Underwriter
for Prudential in NJ

Retirement Plan Administrator
for Verisight, Inc in MD

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Webcasts and Conferences

Form 5500 Update
Nationwide on April 10, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

"The Top 16 408b-2 and 404a-5 Disclosure Questions and Answers" Web Seminar
Nationwide on April 17, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

ERISA Current Developments Webcast
Nationwide on April 26, 2012 presented by ASC (Actuarial Systems Corporation)

"SunGard Relius Form 5500 and 401(k) Plan Workshops" - Des Moines
in Iowa on May 2, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"SunGard Relius Form 5500 and 401(k) Plan Workshops" - Dallas
in Texas on May 3, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

"SunGard Relius Form 5500 and 401(k) Plan Workshops" - Minneapolis
in Minnesota on May 3, 2012 presented by SunGard Relius

Qualified Plan Essentials Plus Series
Nationwide on April 3, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

The Changing World of SPDs
Nationwide on April 12, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

The PPA Restatement Cycles
Nationwide on April 25, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

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[Official Guidance]
2012 Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services County Data Related to Health Insurance Notices
"PHS Act section 2719 requires non-grandfathered group health plans and health insurance issuers offering non-grandfathered health insurance coverage to provide relevant notices in a culturally and linguistically appropriate manner. The regulations implementing section 2719 require these plans and issuers to make certain accommodations for notices sent to an address in a county meeting a threshold percentage of people who are literate only in the same non-English language. This threshold percentage is set at 10 percent or more of the population residing in the claimant's county[.]" (The Center for Consumer Information & Insurance Oversight)

Happy National Employee Benefits Day!   [Advert.]

Sponsored by IFEBP (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

National Employee Benefits Day acknowledges trustees, administrators, corporate benefits practitioners and professional advisors for their dedication to providing quality benefits and the important role they play in their colleagues' well-being. Celebrate the day!

[Official Guidance]
Text of Proposed DOL Regs Implementing Amendments to the Black Lung Benefits Act (PDF)
"Benefits are paid by either an individual coal mine operator that employed the coal miner (or its insurance carrier), or the Black Lung Disability Trust Fund.... The ACA amended the [Black Lung Benefits Act] in two ways. First, it revived a rebuttable presumption of total disability or death due to pneumoconiosis for certain claims. Second, it reinstituted derivative entitlement to benefits for certain eligible survivors of coal miners whose lifetime benefit claims were awarded because they were totally disabled due to pneumoconiosis." (U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs)

[Official Guidance]
Federal Employees Health Benefits Program: New Premium Rating Method for Most Community Rated Plans
"This final regulation ... replaces the procedure by which premiums for community rated FEHB carriers are compared with the rates charged to a carrier's similarly sized subscriber groups (SSSGs). The new procedure utilizes a medical loss ratio (MLR) threshold, analogous to that defined in both the Affordable Care Act (ACA)." (U.S. Office of Personnel Management)

[Guidance Overview]
List Released of Counties for Which 'Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate' Health Insurance Notices Will Be Required for 2012
"The plan must provide oral language services in the non-English language, and the notices that are sent to addresses within the listed counties must include a statement in the applicable non-English language clearly indicating how to access the plan's language services. (A sample statement, in each of the four relevant non-English languages, is provided in the Labor Department's Model Notice of Adverse Benefit Determination.)" (Deloitte)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL's New Guidance on SBC Preparation and Delivery
"[T]he FAQs include discussion of SBCs in the context of COBRA, the circumstances that trigger the obligation to provide an SBC (e.g., how the terms 'application' and 'renewal' apply to self-insured plans), the issuers in the individual market, satisfying the 'culturally and linguistically appropriate' requirement, and modifying the prescribed SBC template." (Deloitte)

IRS Explanation for Effect of Statute of Limitations on Adoption Credit Carryforwards
"This [Chief Counsel Advice memorandum] confirms that, notwithstanding the statute of limitations, the refund window remains open for credits incurred from 2005 through 2009 that could not have been used in a year that is closed, at least until 2010 also becomes a closed tax year." (Thomson Reuters/EBIA)

Michigan Law Will Require Michigan Health Insurers to Provide Autism Disorder Benefits
"Single or multiple-employer self-insured plans, either private or public, are not required to provide coverage for [Autism Spectrum Disorders, or 'ASDs'] under the legislation. However, related legislation establishes ... creates an Autism Coverage Fund ... to provide incentives for [Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan], insurers, and self-insured plans to cover ASDs. The Fund will be financed by appropriations from the State Treasury." (Miller Johnson)

Is Mandatory Paid Sick Leave the Prescription for Healthy Workers, Healthy Businesses and a Healthy New York City Economy?
"While it is difficult to dispute that workers should be able to earn paid sick time off, what's often left out of the discussion is that paid sick time actually makes our economy stronger, overall. When workers report to work sick, they aren't particularly productive. In many instances, they risk getting their coworkers sick, compounding the lost productivity. They can even spread the illness to customers." (Daily News)

Remedies for 'Sick Insurance' — How Prior Legislative Regulation of Health Insurance Might Predict Chances of Insurance Exchanges Succeeding
"This expository paper describes the factors that contribute to failure of health insurance markets, and the regulatory mechanisms that have been and can be used to combat these failures. Standardized contracts and creditable coverage mandates are discussed, along with premium support, enrollment mandates, guaranteed issue, and risk adjustment, as remedies for selection-related market damage." (The National Bureau of Economic Research; paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve full text)

Is There 'Too Much' Inequality in Health Spending Across Income Groups?
"In this paper we study the efficient allocation of health resources across individuals. We focus on the relation between health resources and income (taken as a proxy for productivity). In particular we determine the efficient level of the health care social safety net for the indigent." (The National Bureau of Economic Research; paid subscription or individual purchase required to retrieve full text)

Employers Tie Financial Rewards and Penalties to Health Tests and Lifestyle Choices
"Gone are the days of just signing up for health insurance and hoping you don't have to use it. Now, more employees are being asked to roll up their sleeves for medical tests — and to exercise, participate in disease management programs and quit smoking to qualify for hundreds, even thousands of dollars' worth of premium or deductible discounts." (Kaiser Health News)

Sense of Peril for Health Law Gives Insurers Pause
"Abandoning the efforts and billions of dollars invested since the law was passed in 2010 would result in turmoil for hospitals, doctors, patients and insurers. Many insurers would have difficulty changing course. 'The risk of repeal and starting from zero frightens them infinitely more' than having to comply with the law as written[.]" (The New York Times; free registration required)

New Spotlight on State Responses to Health Care Law
"Variations in the way states have moved to implement the 2010 federal health-care law have taken on greater significance after last week's Supreme Court hearings, whose tone heightened speculation that the statute would be overturned. With the exception of Arizona, all of the states and the District of Columbia have amended their health insurance rules or practices to comply with mandates imposed by the law. Those mandates include the elimination of lifetime coverage limits and the requirement that many insurers allow parents to put adult children younger than 26 on their plans." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Health Care Problems in 2012 Not Unlike Those in 1933
"Claims about what is wrong with U.S. health care have changed little in the last century.... a Professor of Public Health at Yale University gives a thoroughly modern list of the problems with U.S. health care from January, 1933[.]" (National Center for Policy Analysis / Health Care Blog)

Life Insurance Benefits: Variations Based on Workers' Earnings and Work Schedules
"According to data from the National Compensation Survey nearly two-thirds of private industry workers were offered life insurance benefits by their employers in March 2011; of these, 97 percent chose to enroll in this benefit." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

National Compensation Survey: Health Plan Provisions in State and Local Government in the United States, 2011
Data tables for specific health benefit coverage. Updated March 30, 2012. (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)

The Real Cost of Health Care
"High healthcare costs hinder American businesses' ability to compete in the global marketplace. Many U.S. companies are deterred from offering coverage to their employees by the high costs of healthcare. What's worse, healthcare costs are growing much faster than America's economy." (RAND)

Individual Mandate vs. 'Do Not Treat'
"The mandate, vilified as a violation of personal freedom, is designed to deal with uninsured people who can't cover their costs when they get seriously ill or injured. Medical ethics and federal law require that those people be treated, so hospitals, doctors and insurers make up the loss by raising prices for everyone else.... If these people can't be made to buy insurance, even with subsidies, what else might make them act responsibly? The cold-blooded answer would be to let them die." (USA TODAY)

Profusion of Single Payer Responses to Supreme Court Deliberations
"[A] sampling of the plethora of new articles that suggest that single payer may be the answer to the constitutionally-challenged Affordable Care Act. They represent the views of enthusiastic liberals, reluctant conservatives, and everyone in between." (Physicians for a National Health Program)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Text of Final EEOC Regs: Disparate Impact and Reasonable Factors Other Than Age Under ADEA
"The EEOC's proposed rule was designed to conform existing regulations to recent Supreme Court decisions and to provide guidance about the application of the [reasonable factors other than age, or 'RFOA'] affirmative defense. It was not intended to impose unwarranted burdens on employers ... [T]he Commission has revised the rule to clarify that the factors are not required elements or duties, but considerations that are manifestly relevant to determining whether an employer demonstrates the RFOA defense." (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

EEOC Issues Final Rule under ADEA
"The rule responds to two Supreme Court decisions in which the Court criticized one part of the Commission's existing ADEA regulations. The Court upheld EEOC's longstanding position that the ADEA prohibits policies and practices that have the effect of harming older individuals more than younger individuals, even if the harm was not intentional. However, it disagreed with the part of the regulations that said if an employee proved in court that an employment practice disproportionately harmed older workers, the employer had to justify it as a 'business necessity.'" (

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