Spencer Benefit’s Report – August 16, 2013

 

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Survey: IRS Monthly Segment Rates, 8/13 (101.2.-9)
       

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Interest Rates For Funding Calculations, 8/13 (101.2.-7)
       

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: Monthly Retirement Plan Interest Rates, 8/13 (101.2.-1)
       

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: SHOP Exchanges, 7/13 (540.1.-5)
       

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »


News

August 16, 2013

PBGC Issues September 2013 Interest Rates For Valuing Terminating Pension Plans

For single-employer pension plans terminating July through September 2013, and for multiemployer plans involved in a mass withdrawal, the interest rate established by the PBGC for calculating immediate annuities is 2.60 percent, up from the 2.50 percent rate that applied in April through June 2013.…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL Clarifies Same-Sex Spouse FMLA Rights

The Department of Labor recently revised guidance on its website that clarifies that same-sex spouses may be eligible for Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave to care for a seriously ill spouse or for activities related to a spouse’s military deployment.
Fact Sheet #28F: Qualifying Reasons for Leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act now defines spouse as “husband or wife as defined or recognized under state law for purposes of marriage in the state where the employee resides, including ‘common law’ marriage and same-sex marriage…”

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 15, 2013

Most Employers Have Analyzed How Health Reform Will Affect Health Care Plan Costs

More than two-thirds of employers currently providing health benefits (69 percent) have analyzed how the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will affect their health care plan costs, according to recent research from the International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans (IFEBP). Additionally, of those who conducted a cost analysis, 50.2 percent were able to pinpoint the cost change in 2013 due to the ACA…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

HSA Assets Grew To $18.1 Billion At End Of Second Quarter In 2013

Health savings account (HSA) assets have grown to $18.1 billion by the end of the second quarter of 2013, according to the
Sixth Semi-Annual Health Savings Accounts Survey from Devenir. This represents over 9.1 million accounts by midyear 2013—a 29 percent increase for both accounts and assets since June 30, 2012…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 14, 2013

Obama Administration Launches Educational Health Care Website For Business Owners

The Obama administration announced the launch of http://business.USA.gov/healthcare, a website designed to provide information to employers to help businesses understand the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The site, a collaboration among federal agencies including the Small Business Administration, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Treasury Department, shows business owners ways to provide affordable health insurance options to their employees while meeting their bottom line. Information provided is based on size of business and location to ensure tailored results…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA Extends Nominations Deadline For 2014 Advisory Council

The Department Of Labor’s Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) has extended the nomination deadline for the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans to September 6. The original deadline was August 8…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 13, 2013

Top Ten Employee Health Problems Can Impact Health Costs For Employers

To help increase return on investment for wellness programs, employers should make sure the program addresses employees’ most common concerns, according to a new report from ComPsych Corporation. The report, which contains wellness data from health risk assessments, found that high blood pressure was the number one health issue and that the percentage of employees with depression had decreased, although more employees suffered from anxiety. In addition, ComPsych found that almost half of hospitality employees and roughly 40 percent of health care employees have an open FMLA leave at any time…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Presumption Of Prudence Did Not Apply Absent Plan Terms Requiring Or Encouraging Investment In Employer Stock

Plan fiduciaries could not rely on the presumption of prudence with respect to the failure to remove artificially inflated company stock from the plan’s investment menu where the terms of the plan did not require or encourage investment primarily in employer stock, according to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in
Harris, et al. v. Amgen, Inc., et al. Absent the presumption of prudence, the court further determined that the plan participants sufficiently alleged that the fiduciaries violated their duty of care under ERISA…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

August 12, 2013

Federal Interest Rates Announced For Pensions

The following interest rates have been announced for use in the operation and administration of qualified pension plans…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Growing Number Of Companies Favoring Individual Market-Based Strategies For Post-65 Retirees

In response to rising health care costs and mandated changes brought about by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), many U.S. organizations have or are seriously considering sourcing post-65 retiree health care benefit coverage through the individual Medicare plan market, according to recent research from Aon Hewitt. The annual
Retiree Health Care Survey of 548 companies covering almost 4 million retirees shows more than 60 percent of employers are reassessing their long-term retiree health strategies due to the ACA. Of those companies that have already decided to make strategy changes for their post-65 retirees, more than 40 percent have moved forward with one that will direct retirees to the individual market for coverage, oftentimes accompanied by a defined contribution subsidy. Of those companies expecting to make changes to their post-65 retiree strategies in the future, more than half indicate strong interest in this approach…

(Read Intelliconnect) »