Spencer Benefits NetNews – April 19, 2013


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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Tax Status, Discrimination Rules For Health Plans, 4/13 (340.-1)

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Family And Medical Leave Act, 4/13 (327.1.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: 2013 PBGC Interest Rates, 3/13 (619.5.-51)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: IRS Monthly Segment Rates, 3/13 (101.2.-9)


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April 19, 2013

Equitable Defenses Cannot Override Express Plan Terms In ERISA Action For Equitable Relief, Supreme Court Rules

An ERISA plan’s express terms govern in an ERISA Sec. 502(a)(3) action for equitable relief, and equitable doctrines based on unjust enrichment principles cannot override the plan in such equitable-lien-by-agreement cases, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in
US Airways v. McCutchen. Although neither the double-recovery rule nor common-fund doctrine can override the clear terms of an ERISA plan’s reimbursement provision, the common-fund rule might aid in construing such a provision where the plan is silent about allocating the costs of recovery, the Court also found…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Health Insurers Anticipate Increase In Self-Funding By U.S. Employers

Health insurance executives expect U.S. employers to increasingly self-fund their group health insurance plans as a result of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), according to research from health care solutions provider Munich Health North America. Among those surveyed, 82 percent have experienced a growing level of interest among employers in self-funding their group health insurance plans over the past 12 months, with 32 percent stating that interest has increased “significantly…”

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 18, 2013

Supreme Court Grants Review Of Statute Of Limitations Issue In ERISA Disability Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has granted review of the question of when a statute of limitations should accrue for judicial review of an ERISA disability adverse benefit determination. The Court declined to review two other questions presented in the case that involved notice of the time limits for judicial review of an adverse benefit determination and the remedy for failure to provide such notice. The case is
Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co. and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Poll Shows Widespread Anxiety About Retirement, Support For “Universal” Pension

A nationwide public opinion research poll finds overwhelming support for Congressional action to provide all Americans with access to a new type of privately run pension plan. The report,
Pensions and Retirement Security 2013: A Roadmap for Policy Makers, issued by the National Institute on Retirement Security (NIRS), also finds that Americans remain highly anxious about their retirement prospects and see pensions as a way to improve their retirement readiness. The overwhelming majority of Millennials—those born after 1976—agree that the nation’s retirement system is under stress and needs repair…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 17, 2013

Employer-Sponsored Coverage Continues Decline

The percentage of Americans who receive health insurance through employers has fallen over the last decade—from 69.7 percent nationwide in 2000 to just 59.5 percent in 2011, according to research from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The report found that in total, 11.5 million fewer Americans received their health coverage through their job, or a family member’s job, than in 2000. In 2000, approximately 170.5 million Americans were enrolled in ESI compared with 159 million in 2011. In addition, RWJF noted that 47 states and the District of Columbia saw a statistically significant decline in nonelderly adults with employer-sponsored insurance (ESI), with 22 states experiencing decreases of 10 percentage points or more…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

New Mexico Governor Signs Legislation To Expand Health Care Coverage For Autism

Gov. Susana Martinez has signed H.B. 22, expanding coverage under the Health Care Purchasing Act (HCPA) to include treatment of autism spectrum disorder. Any health care plan covered under the HCPA will be required to cover the diagnosis and treatment of autism. The HCPA covers school employees, state and local employees, and certain retirees…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 16 2013

PBGC Issues May 2013 Interest Rates For Valuing Terminating Pension Plans

For single-employer pension plans terminating April through June 2013, and for multiemployer plans involved in a mass withdrawal, the interest rate established by the PBGC for calculating immediate annuities is 2.50 percent, down from the 2.67 percent rate that applied in January through March 2013…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Workers Want Better Benefits Communication

American workers believe that understanding their benefits is very important, and there is a lot their employers could do to improve benefits communication, according to Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company. The study found that 98 percent of individuals whose employers offer benefits said that it is at least somewhat important to understand the benefits provided to them by their employer, and 73 percent said that it is very important…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Presumption Of Prudence Inapplicable Where Plan Did Not Require Investment In Company Stock

Fiduciaries of a savings plan who selected an employer stock fund as a plan investment option were not entitled to the presumption of prudence where the plan did not require or strongly encourage investment in company stock, according to the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in
Taveras, et al v. UBS AG, et al

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 15, 2013

Confidence In Continuance Of Employer-Sponsored Health Care Grows: IFEBP

Confidence in the continuance of employer-sponsored health care has grown, with 69 percent of employers stating that they will definitely continue to provide it when health exchanges come online in 2014, according to preliminary results from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP). The report,
2013 Employer-Sponsored Health Care: ACA’s Impact, noted that this represents a 23 point increase from 2012 where only 46 percent reported being certain that they would continue employer-sponsored health care. In addition, in 2013, another 25 percent of employers stated they are very likely to continue employer-sponsored health care…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Health Care Spending Increased Due To ACA Adult-Dependent Coverage Mandate

Health care spending increased by $2 million, representing 0.2 million of total health spending, for one large employer following implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) adult-dependent coverage mandate, according to recent research from the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). Under the ACA, group health plans offering coverage to dependents must offer coverage to workers’ children up to age 26. EBRI’s report,
Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Pregnancy: Health Spending Following the PPACA Adult-Dependent Mandate, published in EBRI’s April 2013 Issue Brief, examined the impact of the mandate on one large employer that covered over 200,000 workers and dependents in 2010 and 2011…

(Read Intelliconnect) »