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October 28, 2013          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Lead Manager, Retirement Plan Services Participant
T. Rowe Price
in MD

WRIS Relationship Manager I
Wilmington Trust, an affiliate of M&T Bank
in AZ

Client Relationship Associate (Plan Specialist II); Cedar Rapids, IA and West Chester, OH
in IA, OH

Defined Contrib Analyst I, II, III
The Standard
in OH

Client Relationship Manager
The Allocation Company, Inc.
in LA, NM, OK, TX

Administrative Assistant
BFP Associates, Inc.
in CT, MA

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Webcasts and Conferences

Health Benefits Strategies for a New Era
October 29, 2013 WEBCAST
(United Benefit Advisors)

Fiduciary and Legal Review
October 31, 2013 WEBCAST
(NH Hicks)

2013 Fourth Quarter Update
November 6, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

Understanding Cash Balance Plans
November 7, 2013 WEBCAST
(ASC Institute)

Safe Harbor 401(k)s: Plan Design & EPCRS
November 19, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

What's the Deal? The Impact of the Affordable Care Act on Labor Contract Negotiations
November 21, 2013 in CA
(Jones Day)

ERISA Workshop 2013 - Syracuse
November 22, 2013 in NY
(SunGard Relius)

View All Webcasts and Conferences

  LinkedIn   Twitter   Facebook Hand-picked links to the web's best news articles,
official guidance, jobs, webcasts and more.

What's the Deal? Effect of the ACA on Labor Contract Negotiations
"The ACA adds new consequences to some fundamental decisions about providing employee health coverage, directly affecting bargaining strategies. While providing health insurance benefits to unionized employees has been a fundamental term of most labor contracts for decades, the ACA forces employers to reconsider and readjust their arrangements if they want to avoid penalties and account for new costs imposed under the law. The threshold questions that employers must answer include ... The 'Play or Pay' Decision ... Coverage Levels and Plan Design ... Part-Time Employees ... Ending Company-Sponsored Insurance ... Flexibility ... Contract Term." (Jones Day)  


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The Future of Wellness: Three Trends That Will Soon Be Everywhere
"Here are three tech-based wellness options HR pros should keep an eye on -- and think about adopting some time in the near future: 1. Gamification.... 62% of employers already use gamification in some way to promote health engagement among employees ... 2. Mobile technology offerings.... [F]or many employees, few items play as important a role in their everyday activities as their smartphones. 3. Social media.components. From major social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) to health-based blogs and RSS feeds, there are a host of social tools employers can incorporate into their wellness plans. And the beauty of social networking tools is employers can use them to create communities among small or large segments of workers." (HR Benefits Alert)  

Implementing Health Reform: Program Integrity Amendments and Other Issues
"Under the guaranteed renewability requirement, a small (or large) employer has the right to renew or continue in force the coverage it purchased in the small (or large) group market, even though it has become a large (small) group because of an increase (or decrease) in employees. However, provisions of the ACA that apply only to groups of a particular size, such as the premium rating or single risk pool requirements that apply only to small groups, would not apply to a small group that becomes a large group, even if it renews a small group product." (Timothy Jost in Health Affairs Blog)  

HHS Indicates Changes to Collection of ACA Reinsurance Fee from Employer Plans, Possible Exemptions for Certain Self-Insured Plans
"[B]uried in the Preamble to a final rule on financial integrity and oversight standards for the ACA exchanges[,] HHS states it intends to propose in future rulemaking to: [1] Collect the annual reinsurance fee in two installments ... and [2] Exempt certain self-insured, self-administered plans from the reinsurance fee for the 2015 and 2016 benefit years." (HR Policy Association)  

IRS Releases 2013 Form 8889 and Instructions for HSA Reporting
"Although Form 8889 is filed by HSA holders as an attachment to Form 1040, employers and advisors working with HSAs should have a basic understanding of its scope. The similarity of this year's and last year's versions is what we expected, given that the rules for HSAs have remained relatively stable since last year." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)  


How Will Health Care Reform Impact You in 2014? - November 13 Webinar

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Health care plans are changing - coordinate now for 2014. Registration discount for BenefitsLink readers.

Frequently Asked Questions About Private Health Insurance Exchanges, Updated October 23, 2013 (PDF)
[19 questions and answers; 5 pages.] "Although private health insurance exchanges have attracted increased attention from employers who are considering new health care strategies, many large employers remain hesitant to embrace a private exchange strategy in large part because of the uncertainty of adopting a delivery concept that, to date, is largely unproven and continues to have unresolved regulatory issues." (HR Policy Association)  

Insurers' Stocks, Unhurt by the Dawn of the Health Care Law
"Health insurance companies themselves haven't exactly sounded an alarm about the [ACA]'s arrival. Mark T. Bertolini, the Aetna chief executive, said recently: 'We continue to believe that public exchanges can represent a longer-term upside opportunity.' And most health insurers are forecasting earnings growth after the health care law is fully in effect." (The New York Times; subscription may be required)  

Raising Health Reform Threshold to 40 Hours Would Make Shift to Part-Time Work More Likely
"Some business groups continue to push to increase the threshold for full-time work under health reform from 30 to 40 hours a week, the New York Times reports. But that would be a mistake.... The fact is that it's too early to know how health reform will ultimately affect the amount of part-time work. But there's every reason to expect the impact to be small as a share of total employment ... One thing we do know is that raising the cutoff for the employer mandate from 30 to 40 hours a week would make a shift towards part-time employment much more likely -- not less so." (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)  

Who Pays for Public Employee Health Costs?
"[W]e find that roughly 15 percent of the cost of recent benefit growth was passed onto school district employees through reductions in wages and salaries. Strong teachers' unions were associated with relatively strong linkages between benefit growth and growth in total compensation. We further find that when economic conditions are poor, straining public budgets, benefit growth is more readily shifted back to public employees. Our analysis is consistent with the view that the costs of public workers' benefits are difficult to monitor, contributing to benefit oriented, and often under-funded, compensation schemes." (National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER])  

Municipal Ills Create Health Care Investment Opportunities (PDF)
"Of the 5,700 active hospital facilities in the U.S., municipal hospitals owned by cities, towns, counties, and special districts account for almost 1,050. What is the likely effect on publicly owned hospital systems as municipalities struggle with financial distress? What happens in a municipal default?" (Journal of Corporate Renewal via Frost Brown Todd LLC)  


The Commitment to Fix Obamacare's Computer Systems By December 1: Because It Can Be Done By Then or Because It Has To Be Done By Then?
"For insurance companies, the Obamacare compliance train left the station months ago and is running on time! The Congress, as well as an administration that has already unilaterally deferred the employer mandate, needs to know you can't just hit the rewind button here." (Health Care Policy and Marketplace Review)  


One Good Thing About the Obamacare Employer Mandate
"[T]hough [the author] understand[s] the case against the employer mandate, it actually strikes [him] as more attractive than the individual mandate, as it is more likely to spur the kind of innovations that will make medical care cheaper and more accessible. The individual mandate makes sense in theory as a way to forestall an insurance death spiral, yet it also seems less effective and more coercive than creating low-cost default options to protect people against catastrophic medical expenditures." (National Review)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

State Taxes for Married Same-Sex Couples, Updated October 26, 2013
"The chart, State Taxes and Married Same-Sex Couples, has now been updated to reflect the fact that taxing authorities in the following states have announced their interpretation of the filing status that married same-sex couples must use for state income tax purposes: Arizona, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Ohio, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Utah, [and] Wisconsin. In addition, New Jersey now allows same-sex marriage, and Oregon now recognizes same-sex marriages from other states." (Calhoun Law Group)  

New Jersey Becomes 14th State to Extend Marriage Rights to Same-Sex Couples
"New Jersey is the first state since Windsor to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. The New Jersey Supreme Court noted that Windsor and subsequent agency rulings 'changed the landscape' by providing federal benefits to married same-sex couples and causing the state's civil union law to no longer achieve its purpose of providing equal rights and benefits to same-sex couples." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)  

Dodd-Frank Mandated Disclosure of the CEO Pay Ratio: The SEC's Proposed Rules (PDF)
"Global companies with large overseas manufacturing facilities will have much higher ratios than companies with only domestic operations. Companies are not permitted to adjust part-time worker pay, so those with a large percentage of part-time or seasonal workers, such as retail and hospitality companies, will report much higher ratios than companies with only full-time workers. Companies whose ratios are skewed due to these factors may supplement their disclosures or provide additional ratios they believe are informative." (Wilkins Finston Law Group)  

ISS 2014 Draft Policies Include Significant Change to Pay for Performance Analysis
"ISS will simplify its primary quantitative screen, the Relative Degree of Alignment (RDA) test, which compares the pay and performance of the company's CEO to that of its ISS peer group, so that it is measured over a three-year period only rather than one-year and three-year periods ... The changes appear to be a response to criticism ... since 2011 that a single three-year measure of pay versus performance is more indicative of long-term performance and one-year pay and performance are effectively double-counted under the current policy." (HR Policy Association)  

Press Releases

ASPPA Honors Richard Block with ACOPA's Burrows Achievement Award
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

ASPPA Presents William Karbon with Distinguished Educator's Award
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

ASPPA Welcomes Robert Kaplan to Board of Directors
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

ASPPA Presents Sal Tripodi with Prestigious Eidson Award
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

David Lipkin Inaugurated as 45th President of ASPPA
American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA)

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