Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

February 7, 2018

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Jobs

ESOP Administrator
Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
in VA, Telecommute

Senior Consultant
USI Consulting Group
in CT, NY

Employee Benefits Manager
County of Sonoma Human Resources Department
in CA

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Webcasts, Conferences

Cybersecurity Risks and Employee Benefit Plans
February 28, 2018 WEBCAST
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB]

Employee Benefits Spring Update, Including Tax Reform
April 9, 2018 in DC
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

Advanced ERISA Litigation National Institute
May 15, 2018 in IL
American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits [JCEB]

►See 144 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1379 Recorded Webcasts


Discussions

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Measuring the Importance of Employer-Provided Health Coverage (PDF)
42 presentation slides. "[1] Most [employees] (63%) are satisfied with the health insurance system ...And even more (71%) are satisfied with their plans.... [2] The benefits that matter most: prescription drugs, preventive care, and emergency care.... [3] Employer-provided coverage is important for recruiting, but even more important for retention. [4] Consumers underestimate employer contributions ... [5] The top value-added services employers can provide: wellness discounts and health or flexible savings accounts."
America's Health Insurance Plans [AHIP]

[Advert.]

New Parental Leave Laws in New Jersey

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

February 16 webinar. Learn how to identify any needed changes to your company policies to meet all current New Jersey parental leave law requirements. BenefitsLink discount.


Wellness Programs on Trial
"[W]orkers who joined the wellness program became likelier not only to seek screening for health issues but also to say they thought their employer placed a high priority on employees' health.... Even when employees did not use the EAP, they were less likely to take sick days, and returned to work more quickly if they were out than workers whose employers did not offer an EAP."
Human Resource Executive Online

Four Steps to Creating a Better Mental Health Benefit Plan
"[1] Depression alone has an estimated economic cost of over $200 billion.... [2] You can reduce the stigma surrounding mental health issues by promoting good mental health as a natural extension of overall health.... [3] Improve affordable, quality, integrated support ... [4] Move toward a culture of well-being."
The Alliance

Employer Enthusiasm for HDHPs Appears to be Weaker Than Once Predicted
According to [one] report, only 5 percent of large employers (those with at least 1,000 employees) currently offer HDHPs as the sole health plan option. That rate was roughly the same each of the previous two years, as well. [A second survey now] reports that less than 30 percent of employers are considering full replacement -- a significant decline in the interest expressed in 2014. Meanwhile, HDHPs have still become more common among employers, but only as an option alongside more traditional health plans like PPOs and HMOs."
Benefitfocus

Senate Republicans Readying Paid Family Leave Bill
"Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.), Mike Lee (Utah), and Joni Ernst (Iowa) are working with the Independent Women's Forum to draft the legislation ... for the voluntary paid parental leave program. The measure would allow a worker to deduct Social Security contributions to use for leave from work for situations including the birth of a child. The worker would be able to repay those funds by delaying retirement, those on the call said."
Bloomberg BNA

[Advert.]

Join Us in Shaping the Future of Employee Benefit Programs

Sponsored by ECFC [Employers Council on Flexible Compensation]

The 37th ECFC Annual Conference in Washington will feature congressional speakers, in-depth briefings by the ECFC lobbying team, inside the beltway keynote speakers, regulatory agency and technical panels. Join us!


Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Impact of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act on Section 162(m)
"The Act's conference agreement ... makes clear that a contract that was in place prior to November 2, 2017, and that is renewed after that date, will be treated as a new contract that will no longer qualify for the transition rule. The requirement of a written binding contract under the transition rule raises issues such as whether a contract or plan subject to the compensation committee's discretion to adjust a performance award downward will result in the contract being ineligible for the transition rule."
Benefits Bryan Cave

[Guidance Overview]

Don't Overlook Death and Disability Benefits in Reporting Potential Payments Upon Termination of Employment or Change in Control
"Many companies' equity incentive plans or award agreements provide for full or partially accelerated vesting upon an executive's termination of employment due to death or disability.... Compliance and Disclosure Interpretation (C&DI) Question 126.02 states that the Instruction 5 standard that the 'scope' of arrangements not discriminate in favor of executive officers would not be satisfied where the awards to executives are in amounts greater than those provided to all salaried employees -- which is nearly always the case."
Winston & Strawn LLP

The Purpose and Importance of Executive Compensation (PDF)
"[H]igh-performing corporations are increasingly important to global society -- beyond economic growth -- and a strategic, principles-based approach to executive compensation helps to drive optimal business performance. That means creating an effective executive compensation system ultimately generates value for senior managers, their companies (including other employees), the economy, and society."
Willis Towers Watson

Overarching and Operating Principles of Executive Compensation (PDF)
"[F]our overarching principles form the foundation of an effective [executive compensation] program: ... [1] 'Purpose' captures why an organization exists, what its mission is with its various constituents, and its strategy and objectives.... [2] 'Alignment' captures the essence of agency theory ... by ensuring that management is aligned with and acting in the best interests of shareholders, and possibly in those of other stakeholders.... [3] 'Accountability' captures the relationship among pay, organization performance, and individual actions.... [4] 'Engagement' captures human motivation and the psychological implications of disciplines like behavioral economics and self-determination theory."
Willis Towers Watson

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Lois Baker, J.D., President  loisbaker@benefitslink.com
David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher  davebaker@benefitslink.com
Holly Horton, Business Manager  hollyhorton@benefitslink.com

BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2018 BenefitsLink.com, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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