Spencer Benefits Reports – April 26, 2013


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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Survey: Access To Employer-Sponsored Insurance Continues To Decline, 4/13 (422.2.-5)

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  • Analysis: DOL Regulations Implementing FMLA, 4/13 (327.1.-5)


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  • Analysis: Health Reform Mandates Preventive Services In Group Health Plans, 4/13 (514.-1)


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  • Analysis: Model Business Contract For Protecting Health Information Under HIPAA, 4/13 (502.-27)


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April 26, 2013

Text: EBSA, FAQs about the the Affordable Care Act Implementation Part XIV

(Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA’s Latest FAQs Include Guidance On SBCs

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued frequently asked questions (FAQs) that focus on requirements for summaries of benefits and coverage (SBCs), and include information on templates and sample language. The EBSA has provided an updated SBC template and an updated sample completed SBC at http://cciio.cms.gov and http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/healthreform. The templates are to be used for group health plans and group and individual health insurance coverage for SBCs provided with respect to coverage beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2014 and before Jan. 1, 2015 (also known as the second year of applicability)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Trucking Company Owners Jointly Liable For Plan Withdrawal: Lease Arrangement Was “Trade Or Business”

The owners of a trucking company who permitted the trucking firm to use their property as a base of operations either rent-free or without a formal lease were engaged in a “trade or business” under common control with the trucking company, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in
Central States Southeast and Southwest Areas Pension Fund v. Messina Products, LLC. Thus, they were jointly and severally liable for the trucking company’s withdrawal liability to a multiemployer pension plan…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 25, 2013

Senator Introduces Bill To Modify ACA’s Definition Of Full-Time Employee

Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) has introduced a bill to modify the definition of full-time employee for purposes of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). Collins introduced S. 701 on April 10…

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ERISA Advisory Council To Meet June 4-6

The Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans, also known as the ERISA Advisory Council, will hold a meeting from June 4 to 6, in Washington, D.C., at the U.S. Department of Labor, 200 Constitution Avenue NW. The notice of the meeting was published in the April 24
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Mercer Provides Plan Sponsors Six Tips For Pension Cash-Out Success

Mercer has released the Six Tips for Success for Defined Benefit (DB) Plans, for retirement plan sponsors who are considering a participant cash-out program. Plan sponsors face many challenges in providing a successful cash-out program and must consider the numerous implications for participants in explaining and addressing the right decision for the individual…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 24, 2013

Majority Of Employers Have “Wait And See” Approach With Exchanges

The majority of employers (82 percent) remain uncertain about health insurance exchanges, and plan to wait at least one to three years before potentially joining one, according to recent research from benefits consulting firm The Chelko Consulting Group. Health insurance exchanges were created under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), and are scheduled to be operational beginning Jan. 1, 2014. However, the survey did find that employer interest in private exchanges, as an immediate plan management solution, has increased 7 percent since 2012…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Administration Renews Proposal To Allow PBGC To Set Risk-Adjusted Premiums

President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget request proposes to give the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) Board the authority to set risk-adjusted premiums. The proposal was originally contained in the FY 2012 budget request…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL Sues Medical Services Provider To Restore $10,000 In Assets To 401k Plan

The Department of Labor (DOL) is suing Empact Medical Services Inc., and its officers Angela Cotter and Elizabeth Gail DeBusk, to restore $10,582 in assets to the company’s 401(k) plan that allegedly were mishandled by the defendants in violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 23 2013

Text: CMS, Notice, Termination Dates For Processes Under The Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

(Read Intelliconnect) »

CMS Sets Termination Dates For Processes Under ACA’s Early Retiree Reinsurance Program

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued a notice that sets forth termination dates for several processes under the Early Retiree Reinsurance Program (ERRP) in preparation for the Jan. 1, 2014, program sunset date. The notice was published in the April 23
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

President’s FY 2014 Budget Proposal Would Impose Cap On Total Accruals Of Tax-Favored Retirement Benefits

President Barack Obama’s fiscal year 2014 budget proposal would impose a limit on the total accrual of amounts in qualified retirement plans and IRAs. The FY 2014 budget request, unveiled on April 10, 2013, also contains proposals to establish automatic IRAs and to increase the tax credit for small employer plan start-up costs, proposals similar to those contained in earlier budget requests. The budget request also retains a proposal from last year’s request that would limit the rate at which deductions and exclusions related to retirement saving reduce a taxpayer’s income tax liability to 28 percent. The proposal to cap retirement accruals, however, is a new proposal for 2014…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

April 22, 2013

Insurers Spent Less Than 1 Percent of Premium Dollars on Health Care Quality Improvement In 2011

Health insurance companies reported spending an average of less than 1 percent of the premiums they collected from policyholders in 2011 on activities directly supporting improvement of health care quality, according to a recent study from the Commonwealth Fund. The report,
Insurers’ Medical Loss Ratios and Quality Improvement Spending in 2011, found that insurers spent a combined $2.3 billion on direct quality improvement activities―an average of $29 per subscriber…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Failure To Investigate Alternatives To Retail Class Of Mutual Funds Breached Duty Of Prudence

A federal district court was correct to rule that 401(k) plan fiduciaries breached their duty of prudence under ERISA by selecting as plan investment options retail shares of mutual funds, rather than less costly institutional share classes of the funds, according to the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in
Tibble v. Edison International. Although the retail share classes of the funds featured a revenue sharing arrangement that decreased employer costs and charged higher fees to plan participants than the institutional share classes, the selection of the retail class shares was not ‘categorically imprudent” and did not in itself constitute a breach of fiduciary duty. Nor did the revenue sharing arrangements, which were fully disclosed to plan participants, violate ERISA. Rather, the ERISA breach arose because the plan fiduciaries failed to conduct an independent investigation of alternatives to the retail share classes of funds recommended by a plan consultant, causing plan participants to incur a significant amount of unnecessary fees…

(Read Intelliconnect) »