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3/11 - In This Issue
Wellness Incentives on the Rise
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Risk Management Services Newsletter
Personal Lines Newsletter
Global Benefits: Healthcare News
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Health Care Reform

House Votes to Help Small Businesses Comply With Health Bill, But Relief is Held Up

he House voted overwhelmingly last week to repeal burdensome tax-reporting requirements that were imposed on small businesses to help pay for the expansion of health insurance coverage under the new health care law.  But no immediate relief for small business is in sight because the House and the Senate disagree on how to pay for the expected loss of revenue, more than $20 billion over 10 years.  Click here to continue. 

HHS Broadens Reach of Health Care Reform

"Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead"- spoken by Adm. David Farragut during the Civil War - describes recent action in the march to implement health care reform.  Click here to continue.

PPACA Heightens the Need to Benchmark Benefit Programs


Employers like to look over one another's shoulder when it comes to benefits programs, and benchmarking data provides this opportunity.  Yet, some experts believe that health care reform not only has created greater employer interest in benchmarking benefits programs, but also will slightly alter what employers want to measure.  Click here to continue.


Benefit Trends

Wellness Incentives on the Rise


Employers' use of incentives to drive wellness participation is on the rise, suggesting momentum and hope for the wellness movement overall.  In two recent studies, both employer use -- and employee acceptance -- of incentives and punishments to effect healthier behavior are increasing, in some cases, rather significantly.  Click here to continue.

Setting Self-Funding Strategy


Self-funding used to be exclusively for big companies that had a solid cushion of assets, plenty of cash flow and a large employee population across which to spread risk.

In the past few years, however, more small and midsize employers are finding that self-funding gives them the flexibility they are looking for in health care benefits for employees.  Click here to continue.

Minimizing FMLA Abuse


The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) is an employee entitlement, and sometimes employees believe that it entitles them to take off from work for almost any reason at almost any time. Some even might see it as a safety net in case their vacation request is denied.  Employers have long decried abuse of the FMLA, but there are actions they can take to help minimize such abuse.  Click here to continue.

Companies Search for Savings on Health Bills


Because of recent higher medical claim costs, an aging population and changes brought about by health care reform, employers are using a variety of strategies and programs to contain costs for themselves and their employees.  Click here to continue.

Question of the Month


Question: Our company is thinking about adding an HRA under which employees could carry over their balances from year to year.  What happens to those balances when an employee's employment terminates?  Click here for the answer.


Retirement Plans

IRS Issues Guidance on 403(b) Plan Terminations


The Internal Revenue Service has clarified, in Revenue Ruling 2011-7, how a section 403(b) retirement plan can be terminated, and whether distributions made to participants and beneficiaries in connection with such a termination are includable in gross income.  Click here to continue.

401(k) Fee Disclosure for the 'You Never Told Me' Employees


The U.S. Department of labor's final rule requiring greater fee disclosure to participants in 401(k) and similar retirement plans - starting as soon as Nov. 1, 2011 - will be received by many employees as generally good news.  But not by all.  Click here to continue.

Linking 401(k) Participation to Open Enrollment

New research shows that when employers present employees with an easy, one-click option to enroll in or make a contribution change to their 401(k) plan during the annual health benefits process, the result is significant increases in 401(k) participation.  Click here to continue.

5 Reasons Your Business Is Not Too Small for a 401(k)


There are a lot of amazing benefits to working for a small business.  Quick decision making.  Being your own boss.  And of course, going fishing instead of going to the office from time-to-time.  But what is commonly missing is, well, the employee benefits.  In fact, it's estimated that only about 15 - 20 percent of businesses with less than 50 employees have a retirement plan.  Why the resistance?  Click here to continue.

Shifting Strategies for Target-Date Funds


Target-Date fund managers are not saying so outright, but they have apparently learned a lesson from the 2008 market collapse and the furious reaction of many 401(k) investors.  Now, the fund managers are de-emphasizing stocks and adding investments that are more diversified, less likely to make sharp moves and more likely to provide a steady income.  Click here to continue.

The Retirement Crisis: Is the 401(k) To Blame


Baby Boomers are waking up to the fact that many of them don't have enough money saved for retirement.  So what's the cause of this retirement mess?  A popular scapegoat is the 401(k) plan.  But the 401(k) has little do with it.  Click here to continue.

Retirement News for Employers Newsletter


In this edition of "Retirement News for Employers," the IRS reviews various retirement plan compliance issues, including several of interest to employers with 401(k) plans.  Click here to continue.


Risk Management

Bollinger's Risk Management Services Newsletter

Click here to read the new issue.

Improving Employee Health


Companies are not waiting for the government's healthcare changes to take effect to help employees -- a strategic asset -- improve their health. But, as some people have railed against the "nanny state" -- saying government has become overly intrusive in seeking to control what they eat and how they live their lives -- some people also may dislike the new "nanny employer."   Click here to continue.

Does Your Organization Have an Effective Compliance and Ethics Program in Place?


We would all agree that interaction with the federal government and its regulatory agencies has become increasingly complex.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the area of organizational liability for the misdeeds of corporate, officers, agents and employees.  Click here to continue.

Worker's Compensation Issues Sure to Impact 2011


With the nation's legislative landscape dominated by health care reform and relatively stable workers' compensation rates in 2010, workers' compensation fell off the radar screen. However, a more careful review points to challenging times in the years ahead.  Click here to continue.

Which OSHA Regulations Require Written Plans?


If OSHA came to your door, what's one of the first things the inspector might ask to see.  The answer is...your Hazard Communication Plan.  Is your written plan up for that kind of scrutiny?  How about your other safe and health plans?  Are you sure you have all the required written plans you need in place?  Click here to continue.



Personal Lines

Bollinger's Personal Lines Newsletter


Click here to read the latest issue of our Personal Lines newsletter.

19% of Drivers Admit Using Internet While Driving


It's not just phone calls and text messages that are distracting drivers.  Nineteen percent of the drivers with smart phones surveyed by State Farm Insurance Co admitted to using the Internet while driving.  Among the most popular uses: getting directions, reading and writing email and checking social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter.  Click here to continue.


Of Interest

Aetna Global Benefits: Healthcare News


Click here to read a report on healthcare issues around the world.


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