Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – June 14, 2013

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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Survey: Monthly Retirement Plan Interest Rates, 5/13 (101.2.-1)

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Health Insurance Reporting Under ACA Includes Costs, Coverage, 5/13 (558.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Early Retiree Reinsurance Program, 5/13 (531.1.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: ACA Prohibits Lifetime And Annual Limits, Rescissions, 5/13 (513.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »


June 14, 2013

Nearly 20 Percent Of Employers Expect Costs To Rise Significantly Due To Health Reform: Mercer

Nineteen percent of employers believe that health care costs will rise significantly (by 5 percent or more) due to the provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) going into effect next year, according to recent research from Mercer. This is up from the 15 percent who thought costs would rise by 5 percent or more last year, the study noted. In 2011, 25 percent of survey respondents expected the ACA would have little or no impact on cost (adding less than 1 percent). In 2013, only 9 percent expect to get off so easily, Mercer found . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Employees Value A Wellness Culture, But Employers Still Struggle To Measure Effectiveness Of Programs

Employees place a premium on the culture of wellness in the workplace, with 87 percent claiming that health and wellness programs play a role in determining their employer of choice, according to recent research from WorldatWork. However, quantifying the bottom-line impact of these programs continues to be a challenge for employers, the study noted. The study also found a strong link between the wellness and vitality of an organization and the health and wellness of its employees—resulting in employees’ increased job morale, satisfaction, commitment, and performance . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

EBSA Announces Approval Of Process For JP Morgan Chase Bank And ADP To Terminate Abandoned DC Plans

The Employee Benefit Security Administration (EBSA) has announced that it has approved a process for JP Morgan Chase Bank NA and ADP Inc., to terminate and wind up approximately 180 defined contribution pension plans abandoned due to corporate crises or neglect . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 13, 2013

ACA Compliance—What Employers Need To Think About Now

Attorneys Melissa R. Junge and Michael D. Rosenbaum, from the law firm of Drinker, Biddle & Reath gave advice to employers and health plan professionals regarding remaining in compliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) over the next few years, at the GCG Regulatory and Compliance Update Seminar, held on June 4 in Rosemont, Illinois. Junge and Rosenbaum pointed out that most practitioners know that the new health care flexible spending account (health FSA) limit is $2,500 (for plan years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2013), and also about the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute Fee (PCORI fee), which is, for 2014, $2 times the average number of covered lives, but advised audience members not to forget about evidence of compliance with those two. Plan amendments for the health FSA limit must be completed prior to Dec. 31, 2014, along with updated summary plan descriptions (SPDs) and open enrollment materials evidencing compliance. The PCORI fee must be paid and reported annually on the second quarter IRS Form 720 (Quarterly Federal Excise Tax Return) . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Savings And Participation In 403(b) Plans Increase: PSCA

Both sponsors of 403(b) plans and participants increased their financial commitments to retirement savings in 2012, according to the fifth annual 403(b) plan survey from the Plan Sponsor Council of America (PSCA). Sponsored by the Principal Financial Group, the benchmarking survey covers trends in retirement plans sponsored by nonprofit organizations and public schools, colleges and universities . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 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) »

PCORI Fee Is Deductible Under Sec. 162: IRS

The Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) fee imposed on self-insured health plans and specified health insurance issuers can be considered a “normal, usual, or customary” business expense, and therefore, can be deducted under Sec. 162, according to a recent memo issued by the Office of Chief Counsel at the Internal Revenue Service . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

DOL Launches Online Retirement Toolkit

The Department of Labor (DOL) has launched an online toolkit to help workers identify key issues related to retirement planning. The DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration developed the toolkit in cooperation with the Social Security Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to help workers understand important decisions related to employment-based plans, Social Security, and Medicare . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 11, 2013

Majority Of Employers Moving Toward Provider Payment Strategies To Control Costs, Promote High Quality Care

Over half (53 percent) of U.S. employers said that moving toward provider payment models to promote cost effective, high quality health care will be a part of their future health care strategy, according to recent research from consultant Aon Hewitt. In addition, one in five of these employers identified moving toward provider payment strategies as one of their three highest priorities . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Complaints For Sex Discrimination In Health Care Coverage Filed Against Five Employers

The National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) recently filed sex discrimination complaints against five employers, composed of a mix of private and public institutions, that exclude pregnancy coverage from the health insurance benefits provided to their employees’ dependent children. These complaints are believed to be the first to challenge dependent pregnancy coverage exclusions under Sec. 1557 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

June 10, 2013

Expert Points To Impending Changes From ACA That Employers Should Consider

Thirty-three percent of individuals do not think that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) will increase health care costs at all, according to Jason Speer, a consulting actuary at Milliman USA, speaking June 4 at the “GCG Regulatory and Compliance Update Seminar” in Rosemont, Ill. These results are from the GCG Benefits Benchmarking Survey for 2013, with 395 companies participating . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Just Under 30 Percent Of Those With Employer-Sponsored Coverage Will Receive Health Benefits Through Private Exchanges By 2018

Twenty-seven percent of those who have employer-sponsored health coverage will receive their health benefits through a private health insurance exchange in 2018, according to recent research from consultant Accenture. The study also estimates that private health insurance exchanges will account for 56 percent of the total exchange market in just five years . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »

FMLA Absences Continue To Rise

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) absences are on the rise, and some sectors, such as call centers, hotels, government entities, manufacturers, and health care organizations, far surpass others in terms of absenteeism rates, according to a recent report from FMLASource, Inc., a ComPsych company . . .

(Read Intelliconnect) »