Agencies Issue Guidance on Federal Debt

This story appeared in Bank Digest. In light of Standard & Poor’s rating agency lowering the long-term rating of the U.S. government and federal agencies from AAA to AA+, the Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and National Credit Union Administration have issued guidance on how S&P’s […]

CCIIO Issues Determinations For State Implementation Of Health Reform Consumer Protections

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: The Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight (CCIIO) has issued preliminary determinations for states in regard to the implementation of the external health claims review process required under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). If states do not meet the minimum consumer protections of the Uniform Health Carrier […]

New Preventive Services Requirements Include Religious Exemption For Contraceptive Services

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: On August 1, the Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) announced new guidelines for providing preventive services to women, which include some exemptions for religious employers. The guidelines follow closely the recommendations published last month from the Institutes of Medicine, which add eight preventive health […]

Failure to divest tarnished employer stock in participant’s account breached duty of prudence

Defined contribution plan trustees breached their duty of prudence toward a participant when they permitted his individual account to remain invested almost exclusively in employer stock, despite a predictable plunge in the stock’s value, the U.S. Court of Appeals in Chicago (CA-7) has ruled in Peabody v. Davis. Securities firm The employer was a closely-held […]

GASB proposes shorter recognition periods and reporting on financial statements

The Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) has issued two Exposure Drafts proposing improvements to financial reporting of pensions by state and local governments. The first Exposure Draft, Accounting and Financial Reporting for Pensions, an amendment of GASB Statement No. 27 (Pension Exposure Draft), primarily relates to reporting by governments that provide pensions to their employees. […]

QDRO Determination Does Not Involve Underlying Motives Of The Divorce

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: A plan administrator is required to take a domestic relations order (DRO) at face value in determining whether or not it is a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) and is not to engage in complex determinations of underlying motives or intent, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in Brown v. […]

New Benefits Questions And Answers

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: Following are recent benefits questions that were submitted by subscribers and the answers from Spencer editors. 401(k) Loans And Payments After Termination Q: If an employee has a 401(k) loan and terminates employment, is there an option (if the plan allows this) to allow the participant to continue making payments on […]

Retirement proposals in “gang of six” budget plan are based on flawed assumptions, ASPPA charges

A proposal by a bipartisan group of Senators, known as the “Gang of Six,” that would include retirement savings tax deferrals in the same category as permanent deductions and exclusions, “may put American workers retirement security in jeopardy and not reduce the long-term deficit as expected because the proposal relies on inflated numbers,” according to […]

New Benefits Questions And Answers

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: Following are recent benefits questions that were submitted by subscribers and the answers from Spencer editors. 401(k) Loans And Payments After Termination Q: If an employee has a 401(k) loan and terminates employment, is there an option (if the plan allows this) to allow the participant to continue making payments on […]

78% Of Full-Time Workers Have Access To Retirement Plans, 85% Have Access To Health Care Plans

from Spencer’s Benefits Reports: In March 2011, employer-provided retirement benefits were available to 78% of full-time workers, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). However, the BLS noted that only 38% of part-time workers had access to a retirement plan. These data are from the BLS’s National Compensation Survey (NCS), which measures incidence and […]