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
For questions regarding this email service, contact Customer Service at (800)449-9525.
Want to receive these Newsletters via E-mail?
About Links in this Newsletter
To access the IntelliConnect™ full text documents you must be a subscriber
to the Spencer’s Benefits Reports IntelliConnect product
(depending on the link*).
Links within news stories display full text documents including legislation, regulations,
court decisions, rulings and government reports.
The first time you click on a link you will be taken to the IntelliConnect login page, where you will need to enter your ID and password. Subsequent links will take you directly to the desired document.
If you aren’t a subscriber call 800-449-9525, or let us contact you about,
Contact us by sending an e-mail to
Featured This Week
- Overview: Consumer Driven Health Plans, 5/14 (356.-1)
- Analysis: Compliance Challenges Arise After DOMA Falls, 5/14 (327.4.-21)
- Analysis: Five Types Of IRAs Available Under Tax Code, 5/14 (105.1.-1)
May 30, 2014
Small Businesses Can Offer Big Benefits
Small employers (those with less than 100 employees) do not have to settle for small benefits packages, according to a recent white paper from the Colonial Life and Accident Insurance Company. The paper,
Small Business: Big Benefits, explores some of the issues facing small business employers and employees regarding their workplace benefits such as the rising cost of insurance, health care reform, and employee recruitment and retention….
Employees Believe Employers Are Less Committed To Work-Life Balance
More than four in ten full-time employees surveyed reported their employer’s commitment to work life flexibility may have waned in the past year, despite the overwhelming availability of workplace flexibility, according to a new research report from the Flex+Strategy Group/Work+Life Fit, Inc…
May 29, 2014
CMS Provides Information On Process For Paying ACA’s Reinsurance Fee
In a recent question and answer, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will implement a streamlined process for the collection of reinsurance contributions….
Employer Plans Typically Result In Less Cost-Sharing Than Silver Plans
Employer-sponsored health plans typically are significantly more generous than the Silver plans offered on the health insurance exchanges, created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to a report commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) on the impact of exchanges on pharmacy benefits compared to employer-sponsored plans. Silver plans offered on exchanges are nearly four times more likely than employer-sponsored plans to have a combined medical and pharmacy deductible, according to the report, which results in significantly higher cost-sharing for pharmacy benefits….
Trial Court’s Reduced Fee Award To Pension Fund Not Abuse Of Discretion
A trial court did not abuse its discretion when it reduced the fee award requested by a multiemployer pension fund due to the plan’s limited success on the merits, as well as the proportional size of the fee award amount as compared to the damage award, the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in
Central Pension Fund of the International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers, et al. v. Ray Haluch Gravel Co., et al….
May 28, 2014
Health Coverage For Typical Family Of Four Costs $23,215 In 2014
The average cost of health care for a typical family of four covered under an employer-sponsored health plan was $23,215 in 2014, according to the
2014 Milliman Medical Index. Milliman noted that while the amount has more than doubled over the past ten years, growing from $11,192 in 2004 to $23,215 in 2014, the growth rate in 2014 was 5.4 percent—the lowest annual change since Milliman began tracking annual health care costs….
Lawmakers Introduce Bill That Would Study Impact Of ACA On Small Businesses
Representatives Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) and Diane Black (R-Tenn.), and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) have introduced legislation that would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) Actuary to work with the Government Accountability Office (GAO) on annual studies to assess the impact that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will have on small business health insurance premiums and jobs. If their studies find that the law is having a negative impact on either, the Certify It Act would delay the employer mandate for the following year….
May 27, 2014
Shift To Part-Time Employment Was Underway Before Enactment Of ACA
Since the enactment of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), there have been concerns that the requirements of the federal law will cause more employers to shift to part-time workers. However, a recent report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) found that while there is no definitive answer yet, the shift to part-time employment was underway before the ACA was passed, and future trends are likely to depend more on factors such as the economy and unemployment rates….
401(k) Participants Who Use Professional Help Are Better Off Than Those Who Do Not
Participants in 401(k) plans who get professional investment help in the form of managed accounts, target-date funds, or online advice, earned higher median annual returns than those who go it alone, according to a new study from Financial Engines and Aon Hewitt. However, the study also found that many workers investing in target-date funds are not using them as intended, ultimately lowering their investment returns….