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June 2012


Featured Article

Retirement accounts that remain after a worker leaves are an annoyance to plan sponsors and a burden for company administrators.  Click here to continue.
In This Issue
Health Care Reform Remains Alive and Well
Insurer Moves Show No Turning Back on US Health Law
Flex Schedules Tops Workers' Summer Wish List
Locating Lost or Missing 401(k) Plan Participants
Protecting Your Business Starts with Key Employee Life Insurance
Property Insurance and Disaster Recovery
CDC: Older Teens Often Text While Behind the Wheel

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 Legislative/Regulatory Update

Mandate Requiring Coverage of Women's Preventive Health Care Services Goes Into Effect August 1, 2012


The health care reform laws require non-grandfathered group health plans and individual policies to cover women's preventive health care services  (such as well-woman visits, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening and contraceptives) without charging a copayment, a deductible or coinsurance for plan or policy years beginning on or after August 1, 2012 (January 1, 2013 for calendar year plans). Click here to continue.

Time's Up on 401(k) Fee-Disclosure Compliance


The July 1 deadline for compliance with the Department of Labor's 401(k) and 403(b) fee-disclosure regulations is fast approaching. Reviewing related information is part of an employer's fiduciary responsibility to prudently administer plan funds and service providers and make sure fees paid by the plan are "reasonable."  Click here to continue.

IRS Relaxes Health Reform Law $2,500 Limit for Non Calendar-Year FSAs


The Internal Revenue Service on Wednesday provided regulatory relief for health care flexible spending account participants and also said it is reconsidering its longtime use-it-or-lose-it rule for FSAs.  Click here to continue.


 Health Care Reform

Health Care Reform Remains Alive and Well as DOL Enforces ACA Through Plan Audits


With the Supreme Court's ruling on health care reform pending, the fate of the Affordable Care Act remains largely uncertain. In the meantime, however, the law is still in force. The Department of Labor has begun requesting, through recent audit requests on health and welfare plans, that employers prove their plans currently comply with the Act. Is your plan ready?  Click here to continue. 


 Benefit Trends

Insurers Moves Show No Turning Back on U.S. Health Law


Three of the top five U.S. health insurers sent a signal that many of the changes wrought by the 2010 health-care overhaul are here to stay, even if the Supreme Court decides the law itself must go.  UnitedHealth Group, Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. said this week they would save some of the law's most popular provisions, including letting young adults stay on parents' plans.  Employers seeking to contain the cost of care will also press to keep other provisions.  Click here to continue.

Lingering Personal Burdens Prompt Employers to Add Alternative Benefits


Easing personal stress is among the goals for adding free or low-cost legal services.  One study indicates that workers who do not hire an attorney to help with legal issues are nearly three times as likely to spend five to 10 hours at work dealing with those problems than those who do hire counsel.  Click here to continue.

Research Helps Point the Way to Better Benefits Education, Communication and Enrollment Strategies


Benefits communication is more of an art than a science, but new research suggests a tangible tipping point where employees finally begin to understand and appreciate their coverage, which can have a positive ripple effect on their outlook and willingness to go the extra mile for their employer.  Click here to continue. 


 HR and Payroll Issues

Flex Schedules Tops Workers' Summer Wish List


With summer approaching, workers look forward to coveted perks that come along with it, according to the results of a survey released by OfficeTeam, a division of Robert Half International Inc.  Click here to continue.

Survey Reveals Huge Disconnect on Existence, Prevalence of Employee Rewards Programs


Although companies with employee rewards and recognition programs are effective at improving employee engagement and reducing voluntary turnover, employers implementing or maintaining such programs must contend with a large perception gap on how often employees are recognized - and even overcome employee skepticism that the programs exist at all.  Click here to continue.

Exercise Caution When Considering Use of Arrest or Conviction Records in Employment Decisions


On April 25, 2012, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission issued its "Enforcement Guidance on the Consideration of Arrest and Conviction Records in Employment Decisions Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964." This new Guidance consolidates and supersedes the EEOC's prior policy statements regarding this issue and provides recommendations for employers to consider. Click here to continue. 


 Retirement Plans

Locating Lost or Missing 401k Plan Participants

Many employers discover that finding missing participants can be next to impossible. However, employers are required to take all reasonable means to locate a participant. One option available to a sponsor is the IRS's Letter Forwarding Program.  Click here to continue.

Shifting Investment Responsibility in 401(k) Plans


Target-date funds are transforming the 401k retirement plan landscape, with adoption rising steadily over the past decade. This TDF growth signals an important development in the nature of investment decision-making within 401k plans. Through the TDF mechanism, responsibility for investment decision-making is shifting back to the employer. Click here to continue.

How Retirement Plan Sponsors Can Avoid Turning 2012 Into Their Apocalypse


2012 according to Mayan legend is supposed to be the end of the world; at least what that dreadful John Cusack movie told me. Perhaps Mayans were mistaken about this great apocalypse and that the apocalypse entails the dramatic changes to the retirement plan industry because if plan sponsors are unaware of their role in this year of change, something cataclysmic could happen to them such as a participant lawsuit or sanction from the Department of Labor.  This article is intended to serve as a guide for plan sponsors on how to survive 2012 and beyond as this year places added burdens and responsibilities to plan sponsors. Click here to continue.

 Financial Services

Protecting Your Business Starts with Key Employee Life Insurance


Key employee plans cover the life of an employee who is critical to the success and profitability of your business.  These plans are a simple, efficient way to help protect your business.  Click here to continue.


 Risk Management

Property Insurance and Disaster Recovery


Whether man-made or naturally occurring, a disaster can imperil even the most rock-solid business. Not shockingly, the very survival of a business often hinges on how quickly and how completely it is able to recover from the catastrophe.  As such, developing a disaster recovery plan and assembling a team to implement that plan, before the loss occurs, is invaluable.  While generally no single disaster recovery plan will be right for every business, there are some insurance and property considerations that require prompt action when a disaster occurs.  Click here to continue.

Workers' Comp Insights


According to a recent Duke University Medical Center study, obese workers file twice as many workers' compensation claims, were absent from work 13 more days from a work-related injury and had seven times higher medical costs for claims than the average non-obese employee.  Click here to continue.

The Risks that Lurk in the Cloud


While the lure of financial savings has quickly driven the use of cloud-computing service in the corporate sphere, not many senior executives have really examined the risks of using the cloud or how to deal with them. Adding to the problem is that it has been hard to identify exposures and obtain adequate insurance coverage for the risk, experts agree.  Click here to continue.


 Personal Lines

CDC: Older Teens Often Text While Behind the Wheel


Think your teen would never text while driving? More than half of high school seniors admitted in a government survey that they've done just that.  Click here to continue.

Exercise Caution with Bug Bombs


With the summer months upon us, many people are dealing with insect problems inside their home. Some people use total release foggers, aka "bug bombs," to eliminate these pests. Bug bombs are pesticide sprays that discharge all of their contents at once. The contents are released upward, filling the air with pesticide. Spray droplets remain suspended in the air for a short time before gradually settling onto floors, countertops, and other surfaces in the home.  Click here to continue.