Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – March 22, 2013


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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Analysis: Educational Assistance Benefits, 3/13 (342.-1)
  • (Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Tax Credit For Employer-Provided Child Care Services, 3/13 (327.2.-9)
  • (Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: IRS Tips On Correcting Failure To Timely Deposit 401(k) Salary Deferrals, 3/13 (229.-23)
  • (Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Text: 2013 PBGC Interest Rates, 3/13 (619.5.-51)
  • (Read Intelliconnect) »

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


    March 22, 2013

    Employees More Engaged During Benefits Selection Process In Health Exchange

    When given choice and control, employees become more engaged and invested in selecting their health benefits, according to enrollment results from human resource solution provider Aon Hewitt’s private health care exchange. During the 2013 annual enrollment period last fall, more than 100,000 U.S. employees enrolled in health benefits through Aon Hewitt’s Corporate Health Exchange, which is a fully-insured corporate health exchange available to large employers. According to Aon Hewitt’s post-enrollment analysis, almost 80 percent of employees felt confident that they chose the health plan that offered the best value for them and their family, and 93 percent liked being able to choose among multiple carriers…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Employees And Employers Agree On Value Of Voluntary Benefits: Study

    A majority (63 percent) of employees who said their employer offered at least one voluntary benefit agreed that such benefits increase the value of their company’s benefits program, according to recent research from Prudential Insurance Company of America. The
    Seventh Annual Study of Employee Benefits: Today & Beyond also found that employees who said they are interested in receiving more voluntary benefits through the workplace increased 10 percentage points to 34 percent (up from 24 percent a year ago)…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Portland Latest Municipality To Adopt Paid Sick Leave Measure

    The Portland, Oregon City Council has adopted an ordinance that requires employers with six or more employees to provide five days (40 hours) of paid sick leave per year to employees to care for their own illness or for a sick family member. Smaller employers are mandated to grant up to 40 hours of unpaid sick leave. The ordinance will take effect on Jan. 1, 2014…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    March 21, 2013

    Majority Of Americans Confident About Choosing Health Coverage

    While complex changes are coming to health care next year, a majority of Americans—including those currently uninsured—are confident in their ability to choose health coverage, according to recent research from pharmaceutical provider Express Scripts. With a new marketplace of health insurance exchanges coming in January 2014 for the more than 30 million uninsured Americans, conventional wisdom and reporting indicates public confusion around much of the process. However, according to the new survey of 2,765 Americans, more than half of those most likely to enroll in these exchanges say they are prepared for the challenge…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Majority Of Companies Believe Administering FMLA Is “Undue Burden”

    The majority of employers (69 percent) believe that administering the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an “undue burden” on their organization, according to a recent study from Michigan-based law firm Warner Norcross & Judd. The survey was conducted in response to a report from the Department of Labor that proclaimed “employers generally find it easy to comply with the law” and FMLA has resulted in “very little disruption in the workplace”…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    March 20, 2013

    Text: IRS, DOL, HHS, Proposed Rule, Ninety-Day Waiting Period Limitation And Technical Amendments To Certain Health Coverage Requirements Under The Affordable Care Act

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Agencies Issue Proposed Regulations On 90-Day Waiting Period Limitation Under ACA

    The Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Health and Human Services (the Departments) have issued a proposed rule that implements the 90-day waiting period limitation under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). The proposed rule is scheduled to be published in the March 21
    Federal Register

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Communications Firm Offers Five Considerations For Incentive-Based Programs

    Starting next year, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) allows health plans to increase the incentives for employees who meet specific health metrics from 20 percent of the cost of their health care coverage to 30 percent—and as high as 50 percent for tobacco-related wellness programs. Increasingly, companies are putting real money at stake to motivate employees and their dependents toward adopting healthy habits. The National Business Group on Health (NBGH) found that 30 percent of large employers link health outcomes and financial incentives…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    March 19, 2013

    Text: DOL, Technical Release No. 2013-01, Extension Of The Transition Period For The Temporary NAIC-Similar State External Review Process

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    EBSA Extends Transition Period For State External Review Process Under ACA

    The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) has issued a technical release (T.R. 2013-01) that updates and clarifies Technical Release 2011-02 (T.R. 2011-02), which provided guidance for states on state external review processes under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA). T.R. 2013-01 also extends the applicability of the temporary National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC)-similar process standards until Jan. 1, 2016…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    Most Households Think Tax Incentives For Retirement Plans Should Remain National Priority

    Most U.S. households believe lawmakers should maintain current tax incentives for retirement savings, according to a recent study from the Investment Company Institute (ICI). The study,
    America’s Commitment to Retirement Security: Investor Attitudes and Actions, 2013, found that about 80 percent of surveyed households agreed that retirement savings incentives should continue to be a national priority—whether they were invested in a retirement account or not…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »

    March 18, 2013

    PBGC Issues April 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) »

    Most States That Have Chosen Benchmarks Have Selected Largest Small-Employer Plan

    Twenty-four states and the District of Columbia have selected the health insurance plan in their state that will serve as the “essential health benefit” (EHB) package sold by all insurers participating in the new health insurance exchange in the individual and small-group markets beginning January 2014, according to a recent Commonwealth Fund study. The study revealed that 19 of the states that selected plans chose existing small-group plans—typically employer-based plans for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. The remaining five states selected HMO or state employee benefit plans. For states that did not select a benchmark plan, the federal government will designate the largest small-group plan in the state as the benchmark, meaning that the majority of states will have the most widely purchased small-group plan in the state as the basis of their essential health benefit. According to the report, selecting existing small-group market plans, which are similar to what many consumers already have, will likely mean a smoother transition into the new marketplaces and an easier adjustment to the new rules…

    (Read Intelliconnect) »