Spencer’s & Benefits Report NetNews – June 21, 2013

 

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Survey: Vermont Continues As Healthiest State, 6/13 (301.-23)
       

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: 2013 PBGC Interest Rates, 5/13 (619.5.-51)
       

 

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Survey: IRS Monthly Segment Rates, 5/13 (101.2.-9)
       

 

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  • Analysis: Interest Rates For Funding Calculations, 5/13 (101.2.-7)
       

 

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News

June 21, 2013

CDHP Prevalence Grew In 2012; Reduces Office Visits, Prescriptions

Consumer-driven health plans (CDHPs) were the only type of health insurance plan that grew in 2012, according to recent research from the American Association of Preferred Provider Organizations (AAPPO). Another study, from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, found that CDHPs have been shown to reduce the long-term use of outpatient physician visits and prescription drugs…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

One Quarter Of HR Professionals Said Keeping Up With Regs Is Biggest ACA Challenge

In May 2013, 818 HR professionals from SHRM’s membership database participated in SHRM research entitled
Health Care Reform: Challenges and Costs….

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 20, 2013

Nearly Half Of U.S. Employers Contemplating Changes To Reward Programs In Light Of ACA

With provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act about to go into effect, 45 percent of U.S. employers are considering making changes to their total rewards programs or workforce strategies. However, most do not anticipate changes that could negatively affect a significant portion of employees, according to the survey of 113 U.S. employers by Towers Watson…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA Seeks Nominations For Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans Vacancies

In the June 18 Federal Register, the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) published a notice seeking nominations to fill vacancies on the Advisory Council on Employee Welfare and Pension Benefit Plans (the Council), established under ERISA Sec. 512…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Decline In Security’s Market Price Not Enough By Itself To Sustain Fiduciary Breach Claim

A decline in a security’s market price does not, by itself, give rise to a reasonable inference that holding the security as a pension plan asset was imprudent under ERISA’s fiduciary duty rules. Instead, a plan must allege facts that, if proven, would show a prudent fiduciary, acting in like circumstances, would have acted differently, the U.S. Court of Appeals in New York City (CA-2) has ruled, in
PBGC v. Morgan Stanley Investment Management, Inc. Thus, a pension plan’s fiduciary breach claim against the fiduciary-manager of its fixed-income portfolio, which in essence alleged the plan lost money due to a disproportionately heavy investment in mortgage-backed securities in 2007 and 2008, was properly dismissed under Rule 12(b)(6)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 19, 2013

HHS, Proposed Rule, ACA Program Integrity: Exchange, SHOP, Premium Stabilization, And Market Standards

(Read Intelliconnect) »

HHS Issues Proposed Regs On Financial Integrity, Oversight Standards For Exchanges

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued proposed regulations on a number of policies related to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), including provisions regarding Affordable Insurance Exchanges, also known as Health Insurance Marketplaces. Much of the proposed rule focuses on program integrity regarding state Exchanges, issuers offering coverage in the federally-facilitated Exchanges (FFE), advance payments of the premium tax credit and cost-sharing reductions, and premium stabilization programs. The proposed regulation was published in the June 19
Federal Register

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Employee Benefits Being Impacted By New Laws: SHRM

Employers are making gradual changes in the benefits they offer employees in response to new laws and the economy, according to research from the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The 2013 Employee Benefits Survey found that legislation—including the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)—smaller organizational and HR budgets, an uneven economy, and other factors are influencing employers’ decisions on what benefits to offer their employees…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 18, 2013

EBSA Provides Compliance Guidance For Employee Benefit Plans Adversely Affected By Oklahoma Tornado

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued guidance for parties connected to ERISA-covered employee benefit plans that have been adversely affected by the Moore, Okla. tornado. The Department of Labor (DOL) states that it understands that plan fiduciaries, employers, labor organizations, service providers, participants, and beneficiaries may have plan compliance-related problems over the next few months…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

ERIC Urges PBGC To Withdraw Proposed Regs On Reportable Events

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) has submitted comments to the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) urging the agency not to finalize proposed regulations on reportable events requirements, but instead to maintain the existing regulations in their current state. The proposed regulations, issued in April 2013, would change the circumstances under which plan administrators must notify the PBGC of the occurrence of certain “reportable events”…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 17, 2013

PBGC Issues July 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) »

Benefits Were 30.9 Percent Of Total Compensation In March 2013, BLS Finds

Employer-provided benefits costs for civilian workers in private industry and state and local governments in March 2013 averaged $9.59 per hour worked, accounting for 30.9 percent of total compensation costs, which averaged $31.09 per hour worked. The cost of benefits as a percentage of compensation has risen in the past three years from 27.4 percent of total compensation, although that percentage has been relatively stable over the last two years. These are among the findings of the March 2013
Employer Costs for Employee Compensation report, produced quarterly by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »