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March 18, 2013          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise  |  Unsubscribe
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Planning Consultant
for Diversified in IN

Trainer/Consultant
for National Pension Design and Consulting Firm in PA

Senior Retirement Plan Consultant
for United Retirement Plan Consultants in PA, WA

Client Relationship Management
for United Retirement Plan Consultants in AK, CA, CT, TX

Senior Compliance Analyst
for T. Rowe Price in CO

Retirement Plan Analyst
for United Retirement Plan Consultants in WA

Retirement Plan Analyst/Consultant - Multiple Locations
for United Retirement Plan Consultants in ANY STATE

Supervisor Health Claims (Benefits TPA)
for Zenith American Solutions in CA

Regional Director - CA (Benefits TPA)
for Zenith American Solutions in CA

Senior Actuarial Analyst
for Verisight, Inc. in IL

Benefits & Compensation Specialist
for Unisource Worldwide, Inc. in GA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Form 5500 Update
Nationwide on March 26, 2013 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

Employee Plan Compliance Resolution Systems (EPCRS) 2013
Nationwide on March 28, 2013 presented by McKay Hochman Co., Inc.

COBRA for Rookies: Understanding the Basics to Avoid Liability
Nationwide on March 14, 2013 presented by Thomson Reuters / EBIA

FREE WEBINAR: Medicare Part D Retiree Drug Subsidy vs. Employer Group Waiver Plan—Is Now the Time to Switch to EGWP?
Nationwide on April 18, 2013 presented by University Conference Services

What the HIPAA Omnibus Rule Means for You — Your Questions Answered Recorded Webinar
Nationwide on April 2, 2013 presented by Nixon Peabody LLP

Report Card on States' Price Transparency Laws Webinar
Nationwide on March 20, 2013 presented by Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute (HCI3)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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[Guidance Overview]

Portland, Ore. Requires Employers to Provide Paid Sick Leave Starting in 2014 to Employees Who Work in City
"Key aspects of the Portland ordinance include: [1] Employers with a minimum of six employees must provide paid leave ... Small employers -- those with a maximum of five employees -- must also provide sick time, but it may be unpaid. [2] Employees must receive a minimum of one hour of paid (or unpaid for small employers) sick time for every 30 hours of work performed.... The accrual is based on hours worked within the City of Portland. This includes employees not regularly employed in Portland but who occasionally perform services in Portland." (Davis Wright Tremaine LLP)


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[Guidance Overview]

Portland, Ore. Mandates Employer-Provided Sick Leave
"The new sick leave entitlements apply to all private-sector employers, regardless of location of the employer's primary place of business. The law goes into effect January 1, 2014. Under the leave law, private employers with at least six employees will be required to provide qualifying employees up to 40 hours of paid sick leave per year. Employers with fewer than six employees still must provide up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave per year." (Jackson Lewis LLP)

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clarification Spells Relief for Employers Contributing to Multiemployer Health Plans
"[T]he revised regulations relax the initial eligibility requirements for certain employees, at least during the 2014 calendar year. With this revised transition relief, an employer participating in a multiemployer plan could avoid a penalty for collectively bargained employees even if the multiemployer plan coverage does not begin within three months of the employee's date of hire -- as long as coverage is offered to those individuals who meet the multiemployer plan's eligibility provisions." (Seyfarth Shaw LLP)

Momentum Increases for Paid Sick Leave Laws
"Portland joins San Francisco, Milwaukee, Seattle and Long Beach, California, as well as the state of Connecticut, with enacted paid sick leave laws. New York City is expected to hold a hearing on a paid sick leave initiative on March 22. Earlier this year, bills providing paid sick leave have passed committees in both houses in Washington State; similar measures have been introduced in Vermont, Maryland and Philadelphia." (Leonard Street and Deinard)

Michigan Bill Strikes at Paid Sick Leave Requirements
"Imagine owning a restaurant, a utility or any type of business that has locations in more than one municipality in Michigan -- and being forced to offer employees unequal amounts of paid sick time, depending on where each is located. Aside from the added benefits some employees would have over others, it could become what one Michigan Chamber of Commerce member called an administrative nightmare, and Republicans in Lansing are taking a pre-emptive strike at it right now." (Crain's Detroit Business)


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The Affordable Care Act: International Implications
"[The linked article] is a white paper prepared at the request of Olympus Managed Health Care that addresses potential issues, which may arise under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act ('PPACA') in connection with inpatriate and expatriate employees. While the paper was commissioned primarily to address certain concerns about the potential impact of PPACA on the non-U.S. international insurance market, many of the issues that are of concern to that industry may be of concern to employers generally." (Baker & McKenzie)

Most States Fail to Make the Grade in Health Care Price Transparency for Consumers
"Only two states (Massachusetts and New Hampshire) received an 'A' for having met several criteria, including: sharing information about the price of services for both inpatient and outpatient services; sharing price information for both doctors and hospitals; sharing data on a public website and in public reports; and allowing patients to request information prior to a hospital admission." (Health Care Incentives Improvement Institute)

Vermont House Passes Same-Gender Health Coverage Bill Applicable to Private Employers
"The Vermont House has voted to require out-of-state companies that offer health coverage to the spouses of opposite-sex married couples to provide the same benefits to same-gender couples." (Boston.com)

Majority of Americans Confident About Ability to Choose Health Coverage
"[M]ore than half of those most likely to enroll in these exchanges say they're prepared for the challenge. [A] national survey, which included employer-insured, self-insured and uninsured Americans, found that 53 percent of those currently uninsured are confident they will be able to select the best health plan for themselves and their family. Additionally, 60 percent of those who now purchase health insurance on their own are sure they're ready to make the right choice." (ExpressScripts)

Health Insurers Say Premium Hikes Coming Due to ACA
"The nation's big health insurers say they expect premiums -- or the cost for insurance coverage -- to rise from 20 percent to 100 percent for millions of people due to changes that will occur when key provisions of the [ACA] roll out in January 2014.... 'We've done all the math, we've shared it with all the regulators, we've shared it with all the people in Washington that need to see it, and I think it's a big concern,' [said Mark Bertolini, chief executive of Aetna Inc.]." (Newsday)

Deferential Standard Applies Without Notice To Participants; Reimbursement Claims Are Equitable Relief
"[The Second Circuit recently] ruled that participants and beneficiaries are not required to be put on notice that: the plan fiduciary has reserved discretion to interpret the plan terms, and judicial review of these decisions will be based on an arbitrary and capricious standard of review. Separately, the Court ruled that Aetna's counterclaim seeking reimbursement of benefit overpayments was 'appropriate equitable relief' within the meaning of ERISA Section 502(a)(3)." [Thurber v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., 2013 WL 950704 (2d Cir., Mar. 13, 2013)] (Proskauer's ERISA Practice Section Blog)

Domino's Founder Wins Injunction Against Contraceptive Coverage Mandate
"Monaghan should 'not be compelled to act in conflict with his religious beliefs,' wrote U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatgoff in issuing the halt against the mandate.... The totality of Obamacare's coercive dictates has placed employers in what Judge Zatgoff calls a 'Catch-22 dilemma.' Even if objecting employers drop health insurance coverage altogether, as Monaghan and many others might ultimately be forced to do, Obamacare still penalizes employers. For Domino Farms, that could mean over $200,000 in fines per year." (The Heritage Foundation)

Denied by Your Insurer? ACA Provides New Way to Fight Back
"New rules in the health law allow consumers to seek a second opinion on care denied or delayed by their insurance plan. If appeals to their insurer fail, they can request an independent review of their coverage denial.... Only a fraction of the thousands of Utah consumers who file complaints with the state Department of Insurance seek reviews. But those who do have good odds of prevailing." (The Salt Lake Tribune)

What Will California's Health Insurance Exchange Application Look Like?
"'We know buying insurance is really complicated. We want to make it as easy as buying a book on Amazon,' said Peter Lee, executive director of the California Health Benefit Exchange. But as the state has worked to create the actual application for health insurance, the idea of a one-click purchase is far from the reality.... Sam Karp, vice president of programs at the California HealthCare Foundation (CHCF) [says] 'It's reasonable to expect the implementation will take not just a year. It will take a few years.'" (The California Report, Produced by KQED)

Be a Smart Shopper When Picking a Health Plan
"While some employers are experiencing financial relief from offering CDHPs, consumers are only at the beginning of the adoption runway ... [C]onsumers still don't understand their health benefits and are often scared by deductibles and lack confidence they can save with a CDHP. Consumers put themselves at risk by making make economic decisions they don't fully understand[.]" (FoxBusiness.com)

Expect a Rocky Implementation of Health Exchanges
"'It's going to take a year or more to fully straighten out the messes that are involved in implementing this,' [said MIT economist Jonathan Gruber]. 'That does not mean it's a bad idea. That does not mean it should be repealed. We just have to recognize that this is a massive change that's going to take time to get right.'" (Association of Health Care Journalists)

IRS Releases 2013 Versions of Forms for Trustee Reporting of HSA Contributions and Distributions
"Trustees and custodians should not use these 2013 forms until 2014, when reporting for the 2013 tax year is due. Those preparing forms with truncated identification numbers should be careful to truncate only the identification number of the 'payee -- [meaning] any person who must be provided a copy of the information return. The filer's identification number cannot be truncated." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)

Five Ways Retirees Can Cut Health Care Costs
"The timing on Medicare enrollment is crucial because people must sign up in the three months before turning 65, the month they turn 65 or up to three months afterward. And yet ... studies show that while 83% of seniors say health care is their top concern, only 28% have discussed it with an advisor and only 44% of 64-year-olds have even begun to plan for Medicare enrollment." (Advisor One)

HIPAA Penalties Come to Idaho: Secure Your Electronic Devices
"[An] Idaho hospice agreed to pay $50,000 for HIPAA violations arising out of the theft of a laptop containing unencrypted health information of 441 patients. The case offers several lessons for all providers: [1] Secure your electronic devices.... [2] Breach notification does not protect you.... [3] Make sure you have a documented risk assessment and implemented required policies.... [4] Even small cases can result in big fines." (Holland & Hart)

[Opinion]

ACA Projected to Add $6.2 Trillion to U.S. Deficit
"It turns out President Obama was right when he said his health care law wouldn't add one dime to the federal deficit. Figures from the Government Accountability Office suggest that the [ACA] will in fact add 62 trillion dimes over the next 75 years." (The American Magazine)

[Opinion]

Step Onto the Cable Car and Deposit $13,487 for San Francisco's Retiree Health Care
"To cover the gap [in pension funding for San Francisco city workers], each household in the city would have to fork over $1,677.... But when it comes to retiree health care costs, it's another story. San Francisco has saved less than one percent of its $4.4 billion tab -- and each household would have to pay $13,487 to make up the difference." (SFGate)

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

Following Proxy Advisor Pay Policies Can Erode Shareholder Value
"[In] 2011, companies receiving negative recommendations from Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) or Glass Lewis received average shareholder support for their say-on-pay proposals of only 69% (for ISS) to 76% (for Glass Lewis).... [c]ompanies that made changes aligned with proxy advisor policies on average had a risk-adjusted shareholder return that decreased at a statistically significant rate of -0.42%." (Towers Watson)

Reinhart Employee Benefits Update, March 15, 2013 (PDF)
Articles include: Changes to Instructions for Completing the 2012 Form 8955-SSA; DOL Issues Advisory Opinion on Clearing Swaps; Departments Issue Regulations on Multiple PPACA Provisions; CMS Issues Clarification on ERRP Maintenance of Contribution Requirement and Posts New "Common Questions" on the ERRP Website; DOL Issues Final Regulations on MEWA Reporting and Enforcement. (Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.)

2013 Top Five Global Employer Rewards Priorities Survey (PDF)
"Here's how the respondents from 27 different countries ranked the Top Five priorities for 2013: 1. The ability of reward programs to attract, motivate, and retain employees; 2. Clear alignment of Total Rewards strategy with business strategy and brand; 3. Motivating staff when pay increases are flat or non-existent; 4. The cost of providing benefits to employees; 5. Demonstrating appropriate return on investment for reward expenditures." (Deloitte)

How Alzheimer's Will Change Your Workplace
"According to the Alzheimer's Association, more than 5 million seniors in the U.S. have Alzheimer's, a figure that is expected to balloon to 6.7 million by 2025. That sets the stage for a shift in America's workplaces, forcing employers to find new ways to accommodate employees who need to care for loved ones." (U.S.News & World Report)

Bridging the Generation Gap in Professional Services (PDF)
"Work/life balance is very important to Gen Xers and millennials, especially after seeing their parents work long hours away from home.... Acknowledging that generation gaps exist is the first step in bridging that gap.... Structured brainstorming sessions centered around education will point out to management that different employees have different training needs, and some of those needs are generational." (Lane Gorman Trubitt PLLC)

Press Releases

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