ERIC Urges Regulators To Ensure Employers Have Flexibility In Implementing Shared Responsibility Provisions

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has offered of series of follow-up recommendations on applying and implementing the safe harbor methods for determining full-time employee status under the employer shared responsibility provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service on Aug. 31, 2012, published Notice 2012-58 requesting […]

Informal employee questions regarding benefits are “inquiries” protected by ERISA Sec. 510

A former employee’s repeated complaints that money withheld from his paycheck was not deposited into his retirement account were “inquiries” protected by the anti-retaliation provisions of ERISA §510, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago (CA-7) has held. As such, it reversed the district court’s award of summary judgment to the employer, giving the employee […]

States Move Forward On Affordable Insurance Exchange Implementation

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has awarded a new round of Affordable Insurance Exchange Establishment grants to Arkansas, Colorado, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and the District of Columbia. According to the HHS, these grants will give states the flexibility and resources needed to create Affordable Insurance Exchanges. The Patient […]

Study suggests plan sponsors should redirect focus from fund performance to increasing deferrals

A recent study from the Putnam Institute suggests that plan sponsors should direct their focus from fund performance to increased deferral rates as a means of increasing plan participants’ retirement assets. While fund performance is important, the fund-centric focus may not be the best means of preparing participants for retirement, according to the Putnam research. […]

Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – October 12, 2012

  About this Newsletter The Spencer’s Benefits Reports is a summary of the week’s news items posted in the WHAT’S NEW pages of Spencer’s Benefits Reports Online. For questions regarding this email service, contact Customer Service at (800)449-9525. NetNews Subscription Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail? Sign Up / Unsubscribe Resources Online Store […]

Health Care Benefits Second Most Difficult Decision for Consumers: Aetna

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: Americans rank choosing health care benefits as the second most difficult major life decision, behind only saving for retirement, according to a recent survey from health care company Aetna. The Empowered Health Index Survey noted Americans ranked choosing health care benefits more difficult than purchasing a car, making decisions about medical […]

ERISA Advisory Council to meet October 30-31, 2012

  The 164th open meeting of the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (also known as the ERISA Advisory Council) will be held on October 30-31, 2012. The meeting will take place in C-5521 Room 4, U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20210 on October 30, 2012 from […]

Major Contract Awards

Army Awards $8.4 Billion Ammunition Plant Contract. Alliant Techsystem Operations L.L.C., Independence, Mo., was awarded a fixed-price economic-price-adjustment contract with a maximum value of $8,480,000,000. The award will provide for the procurement of small caliber rifle ammunition and for the operation, maintenance and modernization of Lake City Army Ammunition Plant. Work location will be determined […]

Final Rule Revises GSAR Part 504, Administrative Matters

The General Services Administration has finalized a proposed rule ( ¶70,033.54) revising GSA’s acquisition regulation. The rule is part of the GSA Acquisition Manual rewrite project to review and update the GSAR to include new statutes, legislation, and policies and to delete outdated information and obsolete forms. This rule revises GSAR Part 504, Administrative Matters. […]

Timber Contract Breach Holding Reversed

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit reversed a decision holding the award of timber sale contracts breached the government’s implied duty of good faith and fair dealing because the duty did not apply to pre-award conduct. Although a pre-auction notice informed prospective bidders environmental litigation could delay award and the timber contracts included […]