Category: Benefits

From 401(k) plans to vacation policy, this topic gives HR and Compensation professionals specific strategies on how to handle benefit plans. Articles also provide guidance to brokers, advisers and consultants.

Who’s Offering What for Holidays and PTO? Survey Results Reveal All

What holidays are offered to employees in 2011? Number Percent Saturday January 1, 2011 (New Year’s Day) 777 88% Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 235 27% Lincoln‘s Birthday 9 1% Washington’s Birthday/President’s Day 267 30% Good Friday 212 24% Memorial Day 836 95% Independence Day 840 95% Labor Day 825 94% Rosh Hashana 7 1% […]

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Should You Be Offering Benefits to Domestic Partners? Let’s Find Out

The rise in acceptance of domestic partnerships, both by law and choice has led to a lot of tricky challenges for HR managers who have to administer benefits programs. Who gets benefits and what benefits do they get? Let’s find out. Please participate in this brief survey and we’ll determine just what employers are offering […]

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IRS Lists Nonbank Trustees and Custodians for HSAs

The IRS has just given you a hand in better enabling your employees to establish health savings accounts (HSAs). The IRS on Aug. 30 issued Announcement 2011-59, which includes a list of entities the IRS has approved to serve as nonbank trustees and custodians of HSAs. Under Code Section 223, which sets the rules for […]

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Cell Phones, Transportation Fringes on IRS To-do List

The IRS’ “to do” list includes writing up a notice on cell phone substantiation and finalizing guidance on debit cards used with qualified transportation fringe benefits (QTFBs), according to its 2011-2012 priority guidance plan published Sept. 2. Smart Cards The IRS lists 29 items under the heading, “executive compensation, health care and other benefits and […]

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Despite Phony Divorces, Pension Plan Must Pay Spousal Benefits

Retirement plan administrators do not have the authority to conclude that a domestic relations order (DRO) is not qualified because it is based on a “sham” divorce, the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals decided July 18, 2011. The 5th Circuit stated that a key ERISA section “does not authorize an administrator to consider or […]

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Self-Funded Health Plan Can’t Shake Down Providers for Benefits Paid for Non-Enrollee

The sponsor of a self-funded health plan cannot escape its responsibility to ensure that only fully eligible people are enrolled. Illustrating this maxim is a self-funded plan’s sad quest to recover gigantic sums from health providers for services it paid on behalf of a non-beneficiary. The plan paid more than $1 million in claims for a […]

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Coverage of Dementia Services Bodes Well for Employer LTC Insurance

Why should a recent tax court decision that caretaker services provided to a dementia patient are qualified long-term care (LTC) expenses be of interest to employers? Well, if you see employee benefits as a way to attract and retain good employees, and don’t yet offer LTC insurance, the ruling —  which means those services could […]

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Tell the IRS What You Think of Changes Affecting LTC Insurance

Do you offer long-term care (LTC) insurance to your employees? If so, and the changes the Pension Protection Act of 2006 (PPA) made to the tax and information reporting requirements affecting some LTC coverage apply, you can offer your two cents’ worth to the IRS. The PPA amended the tax rules for qualified LTC insurance, […]

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Timing of Backaches Justifies Firing, Negates FLMA and ADA Claims

Some people complain about “rheumatism,” backaches and other physical ills when the weather shifts. For a Southwest Airlines employee, his backaches — and resulting requests for Family and Medical Act (FMLA) leave — seemed to follow the same shift as holidays and vacation time. Southwest determined that this was not the whim of nature but […]

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Keep That Travel Budget Tight: Feds Issue Per Diems for FY 2012

Policymakers may debate the federal government’s overall spending habits, but federal employees have long had restrictions on how much they can be reimbursed for travel expenses, for example. And each year, the “per diem” travel reimbursement rates are adjusted. In fact, the feds have released per diem rates, adjusted for inflation, for fiscal year 2012, […]

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