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.

Be Aware: IRS Eyes Join DOL’s on Your Form 5500

If you file the Form 5500, you know what an odious exercise that can be. And you’d better get it right. Not only is the Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) examining the form you file — so is the IRS. The DOL wants the forms to be complete and accurate, of course, […]

Print

Verizon Strike Raises COBRA Coverage Issues

I often feel like raising a picket sign when I look at my phone bill, but that’s another story — right now, I just want to use the news of the Verizon strike to remind you of its COBRA continuation coverage implications. As has been widely reported, approximately 45,000 unionized Verizon workers went on strike […]

Print

Successor Company May Be Liable for Benefits Claim on Predecessor Plan

In this time of corporate restructuring, successor liability in relation to ERISA benefit plans is something to plan carefully in all of its dimensions before complicated, expensive claims take you by surprise. A case involving a top-hat deferred compensation plan — in which a federal court denied a successor employer’s motion to dismiss it from […]

Print

Fed Agencies Packing in More PPACA Health Reform Rules

When it comes to implementing health reform, the federal government agencies definitely are not taking a summer vacation. Just this week, new rules on communicating health plan information to consumers, health insurance exchanges and premium tax credits have been issued. Here’s a quick list: 1. Communicating health plan information. The U.S. Departments of Labor, Health […]

Print

Can Benefits Bills Distract Congress from Debt Acrimony?

This summer, the U.S. House and Senate took a break from its floundering over debt and deficits to consider a few measures affecting employee benefits. Perhaps it was refreshing, spending at least a little time thinking about something else. Let’s take a look at the latest House and Senate bills that could affect employee benefits. […]

Print

Beware the Undead: ERISA Equitable Relief Ruling Brings Cases Back from the Grave

A landmark Supreme Court ruling on relief available under ERISA in employee benefit cases is bringing cases back to life that we thought were dead and gone. In CIGNA v. Amara, the U.S. Supreme Court on May 16 ruled that ERISA’s enforcement provision allowing for “appropriate equitable relief” — ERISA Section 1132(a)(3) — aka Section […]

Print

Flex—‘Nice-to-Have’ or Business Imperative?

At World at Work’s Total Rewards conference held recently in San Diego, sessions on flextime were eagerly attended. Burrus shared her tips for developing a flex program that supports the business while at the same time pleasing employees. Burrus is the Workplace Flexibility Practice Leader at Waltham, Mass.-based WFD Consulting. She offers six stages of […]

Print

Individual mandate declared unconstitutional in Circuit Court ruling

The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals about 30 minutes ago issued a ruling that forcing Americans to purchase health insurance, a key element of the 2010 health reform law, is unconstitutional. The court however allowed the rest of the law stand (including preventive care, dependent care and preexisting condition mandates), overturning the lower court on […]

Print

Rose-colored Glasses: Self-funding Is Looking Better for Smaller Firms

If you run a smaller firm and pay an insurance company to cover your workers’ health, one of your top concerns is probably how to control spiraling health insurance expenses. Just two or three major health expenditures can cause your insurer to radically increase your premiums. And if you’re located in a part of the […]

Print

Arrivederci to the ARRA Premium Subsidy Law, for the Most Part

This month technically marks the end of the last 18-month period of coverage for individuals who could take advantage of continuation coverage premium subsidies under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). But that doesn’t mean employers can just breathe a sigh of relief and wave off this law. Here’s a summary of […]

Print