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June 22, 2012 Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe  |  Past Issues  |  Search

Employee Benefits Jobs

Manager, Wellness & Productivity
for Tyco Fire Protection in NJ

Senior Benefits Analyst - Administration - Phoenix, AZ-1202023
for Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold in AZ

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Webcasts and Conferences

Ethics Case Studies
Nationwide on June 28, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Qualified Default Investment Alternative
Nationwide on June 27, 2012 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Retirement Plan Compliance Assistance Seminar
in South Carolina on September 11, 2012 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Compliance Assistance Workshop
in Missouri on July 12, 2012 presented by U.S. Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA)

Current DOL and IRS Audit Initiatives: A Chat with Mabel Capolongo and Monika Templeman
Nationwide on July 26, 2012 presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

The Health Care Reform Decision: The Impact on Health Care Plans
Nationwide on July 12, 2012 presented by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans


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New Timing Hinted on Health Care Ruling
"The Supreme Court on Thursday indicated that it is likely to go into overtime next week, as the nation awaits its decisions in challenges to President Obama's health care law and a tough Arizona immigration law. The hint about timing was a sort of dog that did not bark. It is the chief justice's practice on the next-to-last day of the term to announce that the following session will be the final one. The last scheduled day for handing down decisions is Monday, and yet Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. made no announcement on Thursday that Monday would be the final day." (The New York Times; free registration required)


A Medicare Exchange Could Be Your Answer.   [Advert.]

Sponsored by ExtendHealth

With the group model becoming increasingly unsustainable, how do you cut costs and still take care of your retirees? Discover the top 4 reasons organizations are exiting their Group Plan & moving to a Medicare Exchange.


Supreme Court Health Care Ruling Likely to Have Long-Term Fallout
"Once the election is behind them, both parties will have to come to grips with either making sure what's left of the law is working, or deciding whether there is a better way to address the problems of a health-care system that leaves 16 percent of the population without coverage and is gobbling nearly 18 percent of the gross national product." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Those Already Ill Have High Stake in Health Ruling
"No other group of Americans faces higher stakes in the impending Supreme Court ruling on the Affordable Care Act than those with pre-existing conditions. The law, once its major provisions take effect, would prohibit insur.ance companies from turning people away or charging them more because they are sick. In exchange, most Americans would be required to have insur.ance, broadening the base of paying customers with an infusion of healthy people. Those who did not buy insur.ance would be subject to financial penalties." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Europe Court Says Ill Workers Can Retake Vacations
"For most Europeans, almost nothing is more prized than their four to six weeks of guaran.teed annual vacation leave. But it was not clear just how sacrosanct that time off was until Thursday, when Europe's highest court ruled that workers who happened to get sick on vacation were legally entitled to take another vacation." (The New York Times; free registration required)

Illinois Ends Free Health Insur.ance for Current and Future State Government Retirees
"More than 80,000 retired government employees will have to start paying for health insur.ance under legislation Gov. Pat Quinn signed Thursday, ending a major benefit that Illinois had promised to employees. Future state retirees will also have to pay under the legislation, part of a push to curb state spending on retirement benefits. That applies to roughly 200,000 people who already took government jobs with the understanding that they would not pay insur.ance premiums after retirement." (Insur.ance News)


COBRA: A Little of Everything   [Advert.]

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink.com

This audio conference will cover the basics as well as the most misinterpreted portions of the regulations -- who has the compliance responsibilities and what an employer must do every day to be in compliance. Discounted price for BenefitsLink readers.


Small Firms Fear Possible Stop-Loss Limit on Self-Insur.ance
"Despite the possibility that the Supreme Court could in just a few days rule to water down or strike PPACA entirely, the Obama administration is investigating the possibility of imposing limits on stop-loss coverage that could severely undermine the ability of small and midsize businesses to offer self-insured plans. It stems from a formal request for information about federal rules relating to stop-loss insur.ance, which is seen as a precursor to a regulation." (Employee Benefit News)

Checks Not Guaran.teed for All Consumers Due Health Insur.ance Rebates; Employers Get Big Cut
"The Obama administration said in a report Thursday that 12.8 mil.lion people will benefit from health insur.ance rebates averaging $151 per household. But the number of families actually getting a check will be much smaller, experts say.... [W]hat the report didn't spell out clearly is that nearly two-thirds of the 12.8 mil.lion benefitting are only entitled to pro-rated rebates, because they are covered by employers who pay most of their premiums. Workers typically pay about 20 percent of the premium for single coverage, 30 percent for a family plan. Employers pay the rest." (The Washington Post; free registration required)

Four Possible Scenarios Under Alternative Supreme Court Decisions
"This detailed brief summarizes the likely key effects of alternative Supreme Court decisions regarding the Affordable Care Act. We consider scenarios in which the law is upheld, and alternatively that the individual mandate, the individual mandate plus the insur.ance reforms, and the entire law are overturned. We examine the potential effects on the uninsured, spending, implementation, effects on states and other factors." (Urban Institute)

Overturn of Health Law Would Be Mixed Bag for Employers
"A decision to invalidate the entire health care law would have vastly different effects on employers, depending on their size. Businesses with more than 50 employees would no longer face penalties if they failed to make affordable coverage available to workers beginning in 2014. Small employers, which were not subject to penalties, would lose access to state-run health insur.ance exchanges, designed to give them cheaper, easier access to health insur.ance." (Kaiser Health News)

Employers Exposed to Nuisance If Health Reform Law Repealed
"Health reform is going to pose compliance challenges for American businesses whether all, some or none of it has to be unraveled. And even if the unraveling might not be very costly in dollar terms, it will have nuisance value, particularly in the form of waiting for marching orders from the government," (Thompson SmartHR Manager)

Consider Tax Aspects of Continuing Health Coverage for Adult Children If Supreme Court Overturns Health Care Law
"Employers with self-funded group health plans may wish to follow suit and promise to continue providing coverage for their employee's adult children up to age 26. However, employers should note that this decision may have tax implications for the covered adult children. If PPACA is struck down, both the provisions requiring coverage of adult children up to age 26 and the provisions allowing that coverage to be free from federal taxes will disappear." (Faegre & Benson LLP)

U.S. Health Care Costs' Annual Growth Rates Increased in April
"The S&P Healthcare Economic Composite Index indicates that the average per capita cost of healthcare services covered by commercial insur.ance and Medicare programs increased by 6.14% over the 12-months ending April 2012. This is almost a half a percentage point jump from the +5.65% rate posted for March 2012." (Healthcare Town Hall)

Aon Hewitt 2012 Health Care Survey
"[E]mployers face many challenges as they decide to 'stay' or 'play' in the evolving health care arena. The majority of the challenges cited by employers are the hardest ones to address: culture change, behavior change, and employee attitudes. The desired outcomes of participation, behavior change, and lowering risk are in line with these challenges. This creates a very demanding environment for employers. They must get at the art and science behind human behaviors and motivators, and at the same time manage the 'blocking and tackling' of running a health plan of their own." (Aon Hewitt; free registration required to download full text)

[Opinion]

Saving the American Dream: The U.S. Needs Commonsense Health Insur.ance Reforms
"As the Supreme Court ponders the constitutionality of Obamacare's individual mandate to buy health insur.ance, Congress should reflect on how to reform health insur.ance without such a mandate. Heritage Foundation health policy expert Edmund Haislmaier explains why the starting point for developing commonsense reforms for the individual health insur.ance market should be the rules that Congress established for employer-group coverage in 1996. Obamacare's radical changes to health insur.ance regulation were never necessary to address the remaining problems in the market. It is precisely Obamacare's new health insur.ance regulations that threaten to destabilize the market and make the present situation much worse." (The Heritage Foundation)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Guidance Overview]

Clawbacks and Litigation Over Executive Compensation: Strategies to Reduce Your Risk (PDF)
64 slides from a June 21, 2012 presentation. (Winston & Strawn LLP)

Primer on Executive Compensation
"Executive compensation is an interdisciplinary practice involving tax, corporate, benefits and securities law, stock exchange rules and corporate governance. The design and negotiation of employment agreements, severance agreements and cash and equity-based incentive programs come under the rubric of an executive compensation practice. This primer will focus on these items and describe how they fit into the executive compensation universe." (Fox Rothschild LLP)

SEC Adopts Rules Under Dodd-Frank on Listing Standards for Compensation Committees
"The rules [1] Require the exchanges to set listing standards requiring each member of a listed company's compensation committee to be an 'independent' director. [2] Direct the exchanges to prohibit listing the equity securities of any company not in compliance with specified requirements relating to the authority and responsibilities of compensation committees (including the authority to retain compensation advisers) and the independence of compensation advisers retained by compensation committees. [3] Require companies to include specified disclosure about the use of compensation consultants and any related conflicts of interest in the proxy materials for their annual shareholders' meetings." (Practical Law Company)

Should Companies Maintain a Separate Incentive Plan for Directors?
"[Here is] a bit of strategic advice that is contrary to the overwhelming trend in stock plan design over the last 15 years. Specifically, the court decisions in recent lawsuits over executive compensation, particularly those involving Code Section 162(m), were more favorable to companies that maintained a separate incentive plan for their non-employee directors—separate from the plan that covered everyone else." (Winston & Strawn LLP)

Press Releases



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