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.

Final HITECH Omnibus Rules Tighten Breach Notification

The HITECH Act is now here in full. The whole litany of tighter privacy and security requirements is in the long-awaited, long-delayed “omnibus” rules finalized Jan. 17 by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and most of these will have to be met by this Sept. 23. The omnibus rules also include changes […]

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Short-lived Sale Option Did Not Negate COBRA Small-employer Exception

A former employee argued that her former employer, which employed fewer than 20 employees (and thus was exempt from COBRA) for eight months of the year, formed an affiliated service group with another employer and thus employed more than 20 employees for four months of that year. Thus, she contended the employer became subject to […]

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Pension Plans’ 2012 Year-end Funding Levels Below 2011 Ratios

Many plan sponsors are still having a hard time improving the funding status of their plans, according to indexes measuring the December funding levels of U.S. corporate pension plans. Statistics show plans’ funding rose slightly from November 2012 to December 2012, keeping the month’s funded ratios above the lowest monthly figures for 2012; however, they […]

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Feds Propose Varying FTE Definition by Industry in Reform’s Play-or-Pay Rules

Federal agencies will accept alternate definitions of full-time employee for purposes of health reform’s play-or-pay mandate, to allow for industry-specific labor norms and seasonal workers. Some business owners and workers requested special methods of calculating hours for employees: (1) whose compensation is not based on hours, such as salespeople on commission; and (2) whose work […]

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Health Insurance 2013—What’s Really Happening?

Participate in this brief survey and see how your health benefits stack up against those of other successful companies. The survey takes only a few minutes to complete. Complete the Survey Now To show our appreciation we’ll send a PDF of the survey results to all participants. (Be sure to include your contact information where […]

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401(k) Plans’ Cost-effectiveness Becomes Clearer as Use Increases

Employers may find this new information useful for planning or justifying their retirement plan expenses: Contrary to the popular belief that defined benefit retirement plans are more costly for employers to administer, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that private-industry employers now spend more per employee hour worked for defined contribution plans. […]

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New IRS Rule Consolidates and Clarifies Guidance on Employer Play-or-pay Mandate

Employers trying to comply with health reform’s play-or-play mandate — and calculate their exposure to penalties — now have more insight based upon a new notice of proposed rulemaking and a new set of questions and answers from the IRS. Under reform, employers have to calculate full-time equivalent employees for one or more of the […]

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View 2013 Reform Implementation in Relation to Unions & Labor, Expert Advises

Employers can’t be instantly ready for how health reform will transform their health plans in 2014; they have to do all the heavy lifting in 2013 in order to achieve preparedness, an attorney from the Epstein Becker & Green law firm said on Dec. 19. He advised employers to see health reform-driven coverage changes in […]

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Ameriprise Suit Alleging 401(k) Fund Selection Favoritism Allowed to Advance

A recent U.S. district court decision is the latest ruling over plan fees and may give a legal foothold to participants seeking restitution for investment decisions they deem imprudent. Judge Susan Richard Nelson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota ruled against Ameriprise Financial Inc. in a case concerning allegations that the […]

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