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November 8, 2012          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Defined Contribution Retirement Plan Administrator
for Third Party Administration Firm in Southern NJ in NJ

Benefits Advisor
for Silicon Valley Bank in CA

Vice-President & Regional COO - Orange County, CA
for Pension Group, Inc., a United Retirement Plan Consultants Company in CA

Consulting Support Specialist
for Northwestern Benefit Corporation of Georgia in GA

Assistant Pension Administrator
for Jack A. Cross & Associates, Inc. in CA

Executive Director
for Employee Benefits Network (WEB) in ANY STATE

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Webcasts and Conferences

Countdown to Year End - What You Need to Do to Keep Your Plans in Compliance
Nationwide on November 27, 2012 presented by ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits

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What Does the Election Mean for the Future of Health Care in America?
"According to the Congressional Budget Office, the ACA reduces the deficit over the next decade, a finding that will help Obama protect core elements of the law. At the same time, the president himself has indicated a willingness to reduce federal health spending, raising the prospect of tighter margins for the industry. To succeed in the future, the $2.8 trillion health sector must move beyond one-time cost reductions and fundamentally transform the way it operates." [The article includes an interactive timeline that illustrates how stakeholders will be impacted by the ACA's rollout.] (PricewaterhouseCoopers)


Real-World Solutions for Your Health, Benefits & Wellness Programs

Sponsored by Health & Benefits Leadership Conference

Hear what's working for senior executives at major employers including: American Express, Big Lots, Carlson, Chipotle Mexican Grill, Comcast, H-E-B, Intel, Leviton, Microsoft, NextEra Energy, Walgreens and Yahoo! Limited-time registration offer going on now.

California Speeds Revamp of Health Insurance Market
"California officials disclosed plans to spend nearly $90 million next year on marketing and outreach to millions of consumers who may become eligible for premium subsidies and other assistance under the federal law starting in 2014.... State leaders and consumer advocates remain concerned about whether the exchange will attract enough initial enrollment, particularly among healthier consumers, to keep premiums affordable." (Los Angeles Times)

Wellness Programs Becoming More Interesting to Small Businesses But Many Find Path Is Winding
"Key findings [of a recent survey] include: An overwhelming 93 percent of the respondents consider their employees' physical and mental health to be important to their financial results, but only one-third express confidence in their ability to help employees manage their well-being. More than half surveyed maintained that insufficient information is available that pertains to small businesses introducing health and wellness programs. Startups -- those companies less than 10 years old -- are leading the way with 31 percent having already adopted health and wellness programs." (National Small Business Association)

Notice to Employees of State Health Insurance Exchange Availability Due by March 1, 2013
"The health care reform laws amended the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) to require employers to provide their employees with a written notice ... about the State Health Exchanges ('State Exchange') and to explain some of the benefits and consequences to employees if they choose to purchase a qualified health plan through the State Exchange instead of electing coverage under an employer-sponsored health plan. This Notice must be provided by March 1, 2013. Although we expect model notices to be provided, none have been issued to-date." (McKenna Long & Aldridge LLP)

Many States Must Play Catch-up on Healthcare Overhaul
"State officials who held off implementing some aspects of the 2010 Affordable Care Act now face pressure to make decisions almost immediately. They have nine days to advise the federal government how they plan to manage state-run exchanges created by the law to provide medical coverage to the uninsured, or face a de facto U.S. takeover of their insurance markets." (Treasury & Risk)

2012 Elections and Upcoming 2013 Deadlines Create a Daunting To-Do List for Health Insurance Exchanges
"So far, only about 15 states say they want to implement health insurance exchanges. Some of those may not make the October 1, 2013 kick-off date.... Starting today, the big question is can the Obama administration really be ready or will the October 1 insurance exchange launch date have to be pushed back, at least in some states?" (The Health Care Blog)

CBO Cost Estimate of H.R. 1206, the 'Access to Professional Health Insurance Advisors Act' (PDF)
"H.R. 1206 would amend current law to exclude compensation paid to insurance agents and brokers from the administrative expenses used to determine the calculation of the medical loss ratio (MLR) for health insurance plans.... CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) estimate that enacting H.R. 1206 would increase deficits by $531 million over the 2013-2017 period and by about $1.1 billion over the 2013-2022 period. Of this increase in the deficit, $127 million would be a decline in off-budget Social Security revenues between 2013 and 2022." (Congressional Budget Office)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

2012 Year-End Executive Compensation Compliance and 2013 Planning
"It's that time of year again! Time to ensure year-end executive compensation deadlines are satisfied and time to plan ahead for 2013. [This article provides] a checklist of selected executive compensation topics designed to help employers with this process. (Benefits Bryan Cave)

Why ADEA Coverage Begins at Age 40
In a recent informal letter to a person who posed a question, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reviewed one aspect of Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Excerpt: "The Supreme Court found that the ADEA only protects older workers against discrimination that disfavors them as compared to younger workers, even when all of the workers are at least 40 years old.... Therefore, the ADEA would not prohibit minimum age requirements even if the minimum age requirement were set at age 40 or above, because the minimum age requirement would benefit the relatively older workers and only harm the relatively younger workers. Answering why this limitation exists requires some explanation of legislative history." (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)

Election Brings Increased Clarity to HR Agenda
"For employers, President Obama's victory hopefully brought clarity in several key areas, especially issues surrounding healthcare reform and workplace issues involving National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Americans with Disabilities Act regulations, among others.... [A]mong the major changes set for 2014 is the requirement that employers of more than 50 people provide health insurance or pay a tax penalty." (Human Resource Executive Online)

Employee Benefits Under Obama and a Mixed Congress -- Little Legislation Expected, But Heavy on Regs
"[I]t may be possible that Democrats and Republicans agree on a few [health and welfare benefits] issues, such as technical corrections to the ACA, changes to the 'use it or lose it' rule for health flexible spending accounts (FSAs), and repealing the prohibition on reimbursement of over-the-counter drugs from account based health plans.... [T]he EEOC might move forward with much awaited guidance affecting employment law and wellness programs.... [S]everal pieces of [retirement plan] regulatory guidance are anticipated in the next year, including guidance relating to the definition of fiduciary, the lifetime income project, and ERISA Section 4062(e) guidance." (Buck Consultants)

Employees Don't Understand Benefits; Improving Employee Communication Becoming Top Priority of HR Managers
"[A recent] poll found that 84 percent of HR managers said plan participants do not understand how their 'lifestyle or utilization decisions' impact the cost of benefits. In addition, just 8 percent said that they felt their employees had a good grasp on how their decisions impact the cost of benefits." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)

IRS Explains Tax-Favored Means for Employers to Provide Relief for Employees Affected by Hurricane Sandy
"Covered payments include amounts used to reimburse or pay reasonable and necessary personal, family, living, or funeral expenses, provided such expenses are not compensated by insurance or otherwise. Payments also may be provided to reimburse or pay reasonable and necessary expenses for the individual's repair or rehabilitation of a personal residence, or for the repair or replacement of the residence's contents, to the extent attributable to the qualified disaster, provided such repair, rehabilitation, or replacement expenditures are not compensated by insurance or otherwise. Qualified disaster relief payments also are excludable for purposes of self-employment taxes and employment taxes." (Miller & Chevalier Chartered)


How Does the 2012 Election Impact Labor, Employment and Benefits Policy?
"The Obama Administration is likely to continue to turn to the federal agencies to achieve its labor and employment agenda, albeit at an even more dramatic pace than during the president's first term. Accordingly, employers should prepare for a flurry of activity by DOL, NLRB and EEOC, with a continued focus on enforcement.... As in the current Congress, legislative attempts to control the Administration's regulatory hand are expected to falter in the Democrat-controlled Senate." (Littler Mendelson P.C.)


The Four Retirement Problems President Obama Must Solve
"Come 2033, unless Congress acts, the Social Security Trust Fund will be bankrupt; it will be unable to pay scheduled benefits in full on a timely basis. In fact, come 2033, Social Security would only collect enough tax revenue each year to pay about 75% of benefits.... Make no mistake about this: The solutions are readily known. A nip here and a tuck there could easily solve this problem now." (MarketWatch.com)

Press Releases

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