Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – October 11, 2013


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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Survey: IRS Monthly Segment Rates, 9/13 (101.2.-9)

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Interest Rates For Funding Calculations, 9/13 (101.2.-7)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: Monthly Retirement Plan Interest Rates, 9/13 (101.2.-1)


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  • Analysis: Fiduciary Duty Includes Monitoring Revenue Sharing Payments, 9/13 (605.06.-11)


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October 11, 2013

CMS Reminds Plan Sponsors Of Responsibilities During ERRP Website Shutdown

As announced in the April 23, 2013, Federal Register, in preparation for the Jan. 1, 2014, Early Retiree Reimbursement Program (ERRP) sunset date, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is phasing down the ERRP secure website, so that it can be taken offline the first week of January 2014. Accordingly, the CMS has issued a release reminding authorized representatives, account managers, and designees supporting plan sponsors that they will not be able to access the ERRP website on or after Jan. 1, 2014. The CMS is encouraging plan sponsors to review information available on the website to determine what, if any, information or data should be printed and/or saved before the system is taken offline…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Workplace Health Programs Increase Productivity, Reduce Costs

Workplace health promotion programs that improve employee health can lead to significant increases in productivity—and associated cost savings, reports a study in the October
Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, the official publication of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Plan Participants Not Blocked From Suing As Class To Recover Investment Losses

Plan participants who had invested in stable value funds (SVF) offered under the plan could bring suit under ERISA as a class to recover investment losses resulting from the allegedly imprudent investment options, according to the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in
Abbott, et al., v. Lockheed Martin Corp., et al. The class was narrowly limited to participants who had invested in SVF units that had under-performed a designated investment index and thus, was designed to avoid intra-class conflicts…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

October 10, 2013

Text: CMS, FAQs, Federally-Facilitated Marketplace For SHOP

(Read Intelliconnect) »

CMS FAQs Address Federally-Facilitated SHOP Premiums, Contributions

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the federally-facilitated Small Business Health Options Program (FF-SHOP). The FAQs address premium calculations and employer and employee contributions…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Slowest Rate Of Health Plan Cost Increase In 14 Years Projected For 2014: Segal

Health benefit plan cost trend rates for all plan types in 2014 show the slowest growth in 14 years, according to the
2014 Segal Health Plan Cost Trend Survey. For high-deductible health plans, the projected cost trend is 7.9 percent in 2014, down from 8.6 percent in 2013. The Segal survey, conducted during May and June, contains responses from 99 managed care organizations, health insurers, pharmacy benefit managers, and third party administrators…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

October 9, 2013

Automatically Revoking Beneficiary Designations On Legal Separation Can Lead To Plan Errors: IRS

Automatically revoking a participant’s designation of his or her spouse as beneficiary when the participant is legally separated may cause a plan to violate the spousal death benefit rules, according to the Internal Revenue Service in Issue
2013-3 of Employee Plans News

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Employee’s Claim That Employer Should Be Equitably Estopped From Denying FMLA For Ineligible Absence Fails

An employee who alleged that she was demoted from her 90-day temporary assignment in retaliation for leaving work to care for her ailing uncle failed to prove that her employer should be barred from denying FMLA leave under federal common law estoppel principles, according to the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in
Dawkins v Fulton County Government. Although the employee had acknowledged that her absence was not covered by the FMLA, she nevertheless contended that the employer was equitably estopped from disputing her FMLA eligibility because her manager approved her FMLA leave. However, the employee was unable to show that she relied on any misrepresentation, or that any such reliance was both reasonable and detrimental. Thus, the Eleventh Circuit affirmed the district court judgment without deciding whether federal common law equitable estoppel applies to the FMLA…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

October 8, 2013

Health Coverage Rates Slightly Increased In 2012, But Employment-Based Coverage Leveled Off: EBRI

The percentage of individuals with health insurance slightly increased between 2011 and 2012, in contrast to a downward trend that has occurred during most years since 1994, according to a recent report from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). The working-age population (those ages 18 to 64) with health insurance coverage increased to 82.3 percent in 2012 (up from 82 percent in 2011 and 81.5 percent in 2010). The uninsured rate for that group was 17.7 percent in 2012, down from 18 percent in 2011…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Claim To Recover Benefits Under ERISA Was Barred By Statute Of Limitations

A claim to recover benefits under ERISA 502(a)(1)(B) was held to be time-barred by the Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in
Pilger v. Sweeney. ERISA does not contain its own statute of limitations, but borrows the limitations period from the most analogous state-law claim. In this case, it was Iowa’s ten-year statute of limitations for breach of contract. Since the lawsuit in this case was filed more than ten years after the denial of the claim for benefits, it was barred…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

October 7, 2013

Access To Employer Sponsored Retirement Plans Aligns With Worker Focus On Savings, Says ICI

Of those workers who are likely to be focused on their retirement savings, 74% have access to an employer-sponsored retirement plan (including defined benefit and defined contribution plans), according to updated research by the Investment Company Institute (ICI), and 93% of those with access participated. The ICI study of 2012 data, issued in October 2013, is entitled
Who Gets Retirement Plans and Why, 2012, and it incorporates data gathered in 2012. The study also shows that it is older and higher-earning workers that are more likely to save for retirement, while younger and lower-income households are more likely to save for other reasons, such as education or the purchase of a house…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

401(k), 403(b) Participants Concerned About Quality Of Investment Advice

More than three out of four adults said that they are either “very concerned” or “somewhat concerned” by the fact that investment advice from 401(k) and 403(b) providers is not required to be in the best interest of individual plan participants, according to recent research from the AARP…

(Read Intelliconnect) »