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December 4, 2013          Get Retirement News  |  Advertise
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Employee Benefits Jobs

Health & Group Benefits Consultant
Milliman
in TX

DB Administrator
Summit Benefit & Actuarial Services, Inc.
in ANY STATE

Internal Sales Support Specialist
United Retirement Plan Consultants
in CO

Defined Contribution Pension Plan Administrator
Lafayette Life Insurance Company
in OH

Retirement Plan Consultant
General Pension Planning, a TWG Benefits company
in OH

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Webcasts and Conferences

Making Sense of Required Minimum Distributions 2013
December 5, 2013 WEBCAST
(SunGard Relius)

Ethics For Compensation And Benefits Lawyers
December 10, 2013 WEBCAST
(ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits)

Race & Retirement Insecurity in the United States
December 10, 2013 WEBCAST
(National Institute on Retirement Security)

Final Exiting Regulations: Birth of the 'Maybe Not' Notice - Encore Presentation
December 11, 2013 WEBCAST
(SunGard Relius)

Defined Benefit Plans and Cross Testing Overview
December 11, 2013 WEBCAST
(NH Hicks)

401(k) Essentials Plus Series
December 12, 2013 WEBCAST
(McKay Hochman Co., Inc.)

WEB Atlanta Holiday Luncheon
December 12, 2013 in GA
(Worldwide Employee Benefits Network (WEB) - Atlanta Chapter)

End of the Year Tax Planning for Tax Advisors using 412(e)(3) Plans
December 12, 2013 WEBCAST
(National Pension Partners)

New Strategies to Maximize Your Medicare Star Ratings
January 29, 2014 WEBCAST
(Atlantic Information Services, Inc)

10th Annual Executive Forum on Rewarding Healthy Behaviors
February 4, 2014 in NV
(World Congress)

View All Webcasts and Conferences


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

The Skinny on Tax Credits in the Marketplace for Young Adults
"Most employers by now are familiar with the [ACA] requirement that if health insurance is offered to employees and their dependents, the dependent eligibility must extend up to age 26. What happens if those same young adults who are eligible for their parents' employer-sponsored plans want to purchase their own coverage through the Marketplace (Exchange)? Can they? Will they be eligible for tax credits? The answers are yes, and maybe." (Hill, Chesson & Woody)  


[Advert.]

Save 25% on All Employee Benefits E-Learning Courses

Sponsored by IFEBP (International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

This holiday season the International Foundation is pleased to offer 25% off all e-learning courses. Courses cover the latest health care, retirement and general benefits topics and provide a convenient and cost-effective training option. Learn More.



Five Steps Employers Should Take to Comply with IRS Rules Implementing the DOMA Ruling
"[1] Review Compliance Documentation.... [2] Clarify How Imputed Income Is Calculated in the States in Which You Operate.... [3] Keep an Eye Out for New Guidance.... [4] Educate Your Employees.... [5] Have a Plan to Streamline Revisions." (HighRoads)  

IRS Finalizes But May Revisit ACA Section 9010 Excise Tax on Health Insurers
"Self-funded employers with stop-loss coverage can breathe a sigh of relief now that the Internal Revenue Service finalized rules for new health insurance fees, but nonprofit HMOs banking on an exemption will have to pay up.... The fee will apply to health plans with annual premium revenues of at least $25 million, with exemptions for self-insured companies, government entities, nonprofit plans with at least 80 percent of revenue from government programs and voluntary employees' beneficiary associations not established by employers." (Healthcare Payer News)  

Healthier Wellness Communication
"Employees don't know nearly as much as they should about benefits packages, healthcare reform and wellness programs, according to the results of a [recent survey] ... [T]he most helpful ways to talk to employees about wellness involve more personal interaction with experts. According to the survey, only 13.8 percent of employees prefer a live presentation as a way to get information about their benefits." (Human Resource Executive Online)  

Most Millennials Believe Obamacare Will Bring Higher Costs, Worse Care
"Among the 18- to 29- year olds currently without health insurance, less than 1/3 say they're likely to enroll in the exchange; (13% say they will definitely enroll, 16% say they will probably enroll); 41% say they are 50-50 at the moment." (Harvard University's Institute of Politics)  


[Advert.]

COBRA: A Little of Everything - December 16 webinar

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

COBRA -- impact of the subsidy and of ACA dependent coverage, and what to do about Health FSAs and payroll deduction. Registration discount for BenefitsLink readers.



2013 Healthcare Benefits Trends (PDF)
28 pages. Excerpt: "Of those whose companies offered employee health benefits, a majority (35.2%) of the respondents indicated their company offers three or more different group health insurance plan options, 34% reporting only offering one group health plan option, while slightly less (30.8%) offered two health plan options.... 43.9% of companies surveyed are already using some kind of healthy lifestyle incentive/program, while 22.6% are considering one for the future. To promote positive health outcomes, 61% of companies offer at least one wellness program, and 43% offer employees the opportunity for health risk assessments." (Healthcare Trends Institute; free registration required to access full study results)  

10 Characteristics of Effective Healthcare Price Transparency Tools
"[1] The product is easy to use.... [2] The tool should allow people to understand their share of the cost, the total cost and spending and utilization to date.... [3] The product shows quality measures consumers care about, based on the latest information.... [4] The product lets people perform a side-by-side price and quality comparison.... [5] The tool helps people understand and identify value.... [6] The product should include information on pharmacy and ancillary services, as well as information to help older patients and those with chronic conditions.... [7] The tool should help consumers avoid unneeded care.... [8] The product should encourage people to use it.... [9] The product should integrate well with other products.... [10] The tool should give employers useful information about utilization and savings." (Becker's Hospital Review)  

Deloitte's 'Health Care Current', December 3, 2013
"[I]ndustry challenges ... are similar across the globe, but because health care is local, there are striking differences in how severe and pervasive many of these challenges manifest themselves. Governments, health care delivery systems, employers and consumers in both developed and emerging markets will face enormous pressure to deal with the following health care issues in 2014 and beyond: [1] Aging population and chronic diseases ... [2] Cost and quality ... [3] Access to care ... [4] Technology." (Deloitte Center for Health Solutions)  

Federal Government Spending Arising from ACA Could Be Billions Less Than Originally Expected
"[S]ome analysts suggest that the costs for expanding Medicaid and providing subsidies for private coverage under the ACA will be lower than anticipated..... [A]nother possible reason for the slowdown in spending growth might be the botched rollout of the ACA, which has prevented some individuals from enrolling in coverage ... In addition, some states' decisions to opt out of the Medicaid expansion could save the government $45 billion in 2016[.]" (California Healthline)  

Who's Signing Up in the Exchanges?
"The early signs are not good. Insurers privately admit that enrollment thus far is too low and the mix skews toward high-cost beneficiaries whose premiums won't cover their care. The enrollment figures from the first month comport with no known industry standard, and only about a third of applicants qualified for subsidies." (John Goodman's Health Policy Blog)  

[Opinion]

Opening Statement of Subcommittee Chairman Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX): Hearing on the Challenges of the Affordable Care Act
"[T]hat November 30th deadline to fix the website problems has passed, and no one knows if the system has the capacity to enroll, accurately determine subsidies and complete a new insurance policy for all the millions of Americans abandoned when their policies were cancelled by the President's new health care law. To do so, the 'new and improved' website will need to enroll close to 100,000 people per day, every day, in December. That's how many who selected a plan in all of October." (Committee on Ways and Means, U.S. House of Representatives)  

Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]

Text of Disaster Relief Relating to PBGC and IRS Deadlines in Response to Severe Storms, Straight-Line Winds and Tornadoes in Illinois
"This Disaster Relief Announcement provides relief relating to PBGC deadlines as described below to Designated Persons. A 'Designated Person' is any person responsible for meeting a PBGC deadline (e.g., a plan administrator or contributing sponsor) that is located in the disaster area for which the Internal Revenue Service has provided relief in IL/KS/MO-2013-50, Nov. 27, 2013, in connection with filing extensions for Form 5500 series returns, or cannot reasonably obtain information or other assistance needed to meet the deadline from a service provider, bank, or other person whose operations are directly affected by the Severe Storms, Straight-line Winds and Tornadoes that began on November 17, 2013, in Illinois." (Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] and Internal Revenue Service [IRS])  

Third Circuit Wrestles with Which Spouse to Recognize
"The definition of spouse in your benefit plans needs to be carefully drafted. Plans have long seen unique real life situations of serial marriages without divorces when an employee passes away leaving multiple persons claiming as the surviving spouse (this is not a situation that is unique to any particular state or employer -- these real life situations help to demonstrate why employee benefits is not boring)." [Hill v. Bell/Rozelle NFL Player Retirement Plan No. 10-4577 (3rd Cir. Nov. 26, 2013)] (Winstead P.C.)  

Dodd-Frank Affects Private Companies Too
"Although the executive compensation provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act directly apply only to public companies, best practices may increasingly dictate that some of these provisions be applied to certain private companies, especially those with institutional investors. For example, the boards of private companies should consider reviewing the independence of their compensation committees and/or compensation consultants to make sure their practices in this area are consistent with their fiduciary duties." (DLA Piper)  

Too Much Discretion With Respect to Annual Bonuses May Cause Deferral of the Employer's Deduction
"Many accrual basis taxpayers have operated under the belief that so long as discretionary bonus amounts are paid within 2-1/2 months following the end of the plan year, the amounts are fully deductible for the prior year. However, for bonus plans based on subjective performance criteria, the IRS may challenge the timing of the bonus deduction under the reasoning in its recent Memorandum." (Leonard, Street and Deinard)  

[Opinion]

Complete List of Links to Comments by Organizations and Individuals to SEC on Proposed Rule on Pay Ratio Disclosure
This SEC page includes links to comments filed by various organizations and individuals on the proposed Dodd-Frank Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules. A total of over 110,000 comments is reported, including most recently those from CalPERS, the Financial Services Institute, CalSTRS, Exxon Mobil Corporation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the AFL-CIO Office of Investment, and Business Roundtable. (U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission)  

[Opinion]

Text of Comments by Steven Hall & Partners to the SEC on Proposed Pay Ratio Disclosure Rules
"[O]nly those employees working in the United States of America should be included in determining the median employee.... [T]he pay ratio would be more meaningful if temporary and seasonal employees were excluded when identifying the median.... [A]llowing adjustments only for purposes of identifying the median employee, and not permitting parallel adjustments in the calculation of total compensation for the pay ratio, would result in a skewed calculation of the pay ratio." (Steven Hall & Partners)  

[Opinion]

Text of Comments by National Association of Manufacturers to SEC on Proposed Pay Ratio Rule (PDF)
"[R]equiring companies to regularly disclose the ratio of employees' median pay to the compensation of the company's chief executive represents a costly and onerous administrative burden on companies that will not produce useful information for investors.... [T]he cost burden will be particularly high for global companies with multiple payroll and human resource systems.... Manufacturers are concerned that the SEC has not adequately considered the challenge posed by the varying types and standards of compensation that [exist] between countries." (National Association of Manufacturers)  

Press Releases

NCPERS Objects to Detroit Bankruptcy Ruling
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems

CalPERS Calls Detroit Bankruptcy Ruling "Short-Sighted"
CalPERS (California Public Employees' Retirement System)

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