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.

Women Get More Free Preventive Care — Should Men Be Jealous?

Health reform has got women covered. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), in rules implementing the reform law’s mandate, has enumerated a host of preventive services for women that (non-grandfathered) insurers and plans must cover the services consistent with the rules, without cost sharing, in the first plan year that begins on […]

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Declining Retirement Plans: Will There Be More Fiduciaries in the Future?

Plan sponsors who watched their retirement investments get buffeted by recent recessionary storms have had few ERISA remedies against broker dealers who led them to poor-performing funds. The sole recourse under ERISA for plan members was to sue the plan sponsor who relied on the advice, rather than against the professional financial expert who gave […]

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Converting to a cash balance plan is risky business

Companies that move from pensions to a cash balance plan can benefit by avoiding the risk of market volatility, but they should explain all aspects of the switch to employees and be careful not to violate the prohibition against age discrimination. When cash balance accounts replace retirement pensions, employees can be highly sensitive to the […]

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IRS Doesn’t Want to Play High-low Anymore

The IRS announced July 19 that it intends to eliminate a set of alternative per diem rates called the “high-low” rates, which the federal government — and at their discretion, private employers — use to reimburse employees for meals and incidental expenses they incur while on business travel. In Announcement 2011-42, the IRS said it had […]

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One Tip on COBRA Compliance: Don’t Phone it In!

It is tempting to use telephonic and e-mail delivery to send notices on COBRA continuation coverage rights, but this is hard to do and not very practical, says COBRA expert Paul M. Hamburger, Esq. of Proskauer Rose in Washington, D.C. So the best way to ensure success compliance with COBRA’s continuation coverage rules – and […]

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Did You Know COBRA Notices Make Good Wedding Gifts?

COBRA Administrators: No need to order gifts off a wedding registry for soon-to-be-married employees — just print out and present to the couple a copy of the general/initial notice for COBRA continuation coverage, according to COBRA expert Paul M. Hamburger, Esq. Well, before you take this too seriously, some context is necessary. Hamburger, contributing editor […]

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Whistleblowing compliance officer: Trouble from within

Your company’s compliance officer — the person to whom you entrusted your confidential business information — alleges you wrongfully terminated her after she tried to prevent you from violating a federal law. This 8th Circuit opinion rules against the whistleblower in a case that is a fine example of internal breakdown handling a compliance complaint, and sparks […]

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DOL Issues Final Rule Extending Fee Disclosure Timetable

It’s now official: The effective dates regarding fiduciary and participant fee disclosure regulations for retirement plans have been extended. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a final rule (which becomes effective July 15) providing that: Fiduciary-level Fee Disclosure Regulation: The effective date for the interim final rule is extended from July 16, 2011, […]

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Verizon ADA Settlement: More on leaves of absence as reasonable accommodation

Now that the dust is settling over the nationwide class-action disability discrimination lawsuit Verizon settled with the EEOC, we at the SmartHRManager blog wanted to ask HR professionals what this settlement means to their companies. To help you answer that question, take a look at the consent decree’s corporate improvement plan, which highlights what Verizon […]

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