Spencer’s Benefits Reports NetNews – March 29, 2013


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Featured This Week

New Reports

  • Survey: Tracking Health Care Cost Trends, 3/13 (422.1.-1)

(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Educational Tax Credits Under IRC Sec. 25A, 3/13 (342.-3)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Self-Insured Health Plans Must Pay PCORI Fee Under Health Reform, 3/13 (564.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »

  • Analysis: Health Reimbursement Arrangements, 3/13 (357.-1)


(Read Intelliconnect) »


March 29, 2013

Employers Increase Use Of Technology To Improve Employee Health Engagement

Employers are increasingly committed to using new technologies to promote health engagement and achieve desired employee behavior changes, according to recent research from Buck Consultants and WorldatWork. The study, Emerging Technology in Health Engagement, examined the current use and future potential for three key technologies: gamification (the use of game thinking and game mechanics in a non-game context in order to engage users and solve problems); mobile applications; and social media…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Court’s Choice Of Remedy For Backloading Violation Not An Abuse Of Discretion

A district court did not abuse its discretion when it ordered an employer found to have impermissibly backloaded benefit accruals in its defined benefit plan to comply with the specific accrual formula described in a statement of intent set forth in the plan, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia (CA-DC) has ruled in Kifafi, et al v. Hilton Hotels Retirement Plan, et al…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

March 28, 2013

IRS Posts Retiree Drug Subsidy Taxation FAQs

The Internal Revenue Service has posted on its website frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding Retiree Drug Subsidy (RDS) taxation. These FAQs include scenarios on RDS-related tax provisions for plan sponsors…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Brookings Proposal To Cap 401(k) Tax Incentives Draws Fire From ASPAA

A Brookings Institution proposal to limit the retirement tax incentives for higher income individuals has drawn criticism from the American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries (ASPPA). The proposal was contained in a report, 15 Ways to Rethink the Federal Budget, which is part of the Hamilton Project, a Brookings initiative designed to identify policy solutions to reduce the federal budget deficit…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

March 27, 2013

Over 80 Percent Of Employers Offered Incentives To Participate In Health And Wellness Programs

The majority (83 percent) of employers offered incentives for participating in programs that help employees become more aware of their health status, according to recent research from human resource consultant Aon Hewitt. The survey noted that these actions might include taking a health risk questionnaire (HRA) or participating in biometric screenings. Aon Hewitt’s survey also showed 64 percent of employers offer monetary incentives of between $50 and $500, and 18 percent offer monetary incentives of more than $500…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

House Workforce Committee Calls For DOL To Investigate Effect Of ACA On Wages

The Republican leadership of the House Workforce Committee has asked the Department of Labor to analyze the probable effect of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) on U.S. workers’ wages. Sec. 1513(c) of the ACA directs the DOL to study the impact of the employer mandate on workers’ wages. To date, the DOL has not completed the study…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

March 26, 2013

Majority Of Global Employers Have Wellness Strategy

Global Corporate Challenge (GCC) has released its latest report on workplace wellness practices. Key findings include…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Revisions To Shared Responsibility Proposed Regulations Are Recommended By ERIC

The ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC) filed comments on March 18, 2013, urging the Internal Revenue Service to revise the shared responsibility proposed regulations to better accommodate the implementation challenges and administrative complexities faced by large, multinational companies with diverse workforces…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

March 25, 2013

Perceived Retirement Savings Needs Outpace Reality For Many: EBRI

Americans’ confidence in their ability to afford a comfortable retirement remains low—which may reflect a growing awareness of the savings realities ahead, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) and Matthew Greenwald and Associate’s 23rd annual Retirement Confidence Survey (RCS)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Enrollment Nears 110,000 In Health Reform’s Temporary High-Risk Pool

According to the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight, 107,139 individuals have enrolled in the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) as of Jan. 31, 2012, the temporary high risk health insurance pool established under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act…

(Read Intelliconnect) »

Cash Balance Plan Class Action Certified, Despite Dukes Concerns

A district court properly certified under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 23(b)(2) a class of 4,000 former and current cash balance plan participants who seek a declaratory judgment that over a 23-year period they were not credited with all the benefits to which they were entitled, the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled in Johnson v. Meriter Health Services Employee Retirement Plan. The Seventh Circuit rejected the employer’s contention that class certification would run afoul of the Supreme Court’s ruling on class action suits in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Dukes, 131 S. Ct. 2541 (2011)…

(Read Intelliconnect) »