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Benefit BLOG

Benefits @ Work

  • Play or Pay Penalty Notices Are Coming
    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has started the process of levying penalties on employers under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) employer shared responsibility provision. Often called the employer mandate or play or pay, the ACA provides for the IRS…
    - 29 Nov 17, 10:45am -
  • Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) Changes
    Question: With the recent Executive Order rescinding DACA, do we need to do anything different for our employees who are enrolled in the program? Answer: Given the recent news headlines around immigration, a lot of employers may wonder which change…
    - 19 Sep 17, 2:59pm -
  • Breaking News: Costly Overtime Rule Struck Down
    September 1st, 2017   On August 31, 2017, Federal District Court Judge Amos Mazzant overturned the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) Final Overtime Rule that would have doubled the annual salary level to qualify for exemption from overtime from $23,…
    - 1 Sep 17, 2:23pm -
  • When to Say Goodbye to Your Benefits Broker
    For many businesses, the process of choosing and administering a health insurance benefits program is a daunting one. They often turn to benefits brokers to help them select and implement plans. Traditional benefits brokers offer assistance in choosi…
    - 1 Sep 17, 10:39am -
  • What are CSR Payment Plans?

    What are CSR Payment Plans?

    There is quite a bit of talk these days about how uncertainty around CSR Payments could cripple the individual health insurance market (see article). This brings up a good question – What are CSR Payment Plans? Cost Sharing Reduction (CSR) A discou…
    - 25 Aug 17, 9:17am -
  • The New Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)

    The New Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC)

    As open enrollment season approaches, employers and their advisors are getting ready to use the new Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC) format required under federal rules. The basic rules have been in place for several years, but 2017 is the firs…
    - 22 Aug 17, 11:43am -
  • Level Premium Self Funding
    Here is a quick video explanation for a concept that is gaining in popularity. Take a look and let us know if you have any questions:
    - 15 Aug 17, 2:27pm -
  • What are pay-per-use Health Insurance plans?
    As health care costs continue to rise, level funding and self-funding are becoming a more and more attractive option for smaller companies. Technically speaking Benefit Administration Group uses level funded health insurance and insurance captives…
    - 18 Jul 17, 12:40pm -
  • Human Resources Q & A of the Day
    Question: We’ve hired a new employee and have agreed to reimburse their COBRA premium until they become eligible for our insurance. They provided us with proof (copies of checks and invoices) that they paid a 3rd party administrator for their COBR…
    - 11 Jul 17, 12:18pm -
  • Human Resources Q & A of the Day
    Question: Should an employee’s background check, interview notes, and benefit information be kept separate from the personnel file? Answer: As a best practice (and in certain instances it is legally required), employers should keep certain employee…
    - 10 Jul 17, 10:45am -

Employee Benefits Blog

  • 4 Tips to Help Benefits Plans Achieve Mental Health Parity
    As federal benefits regulators turn their focus toward plans’ mental health offerings and California lawmakers expand plans’ obligations in that area, now is a great time for employers to ensure their plan approaches mental health treatment the s…
    - 7 days ago, 20 Nov 20, 1:05pm -
  • Women and the Pandemic Workplace: Leadership’s Critical New Challenges
    Leadership’s responsibility for assuring gender equality within the workplace just received an important, highly public “push.” In a recent article in Forbes, McDermott partner Michael Peregrine analyzes a crucial study by McKinsey and LeanIn.o…
    - 10 days ago, 17 Nov 20, 2:22pm -
  • Dress Code Policies Reconsidered in the Pandemic
    Employers are contending with how to respond to telecommuters dressing down during the pandemic. Companies also are considering how to ensure dress codes don’t unlawfully discriminate or violate National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) rights. In a rece…
    - 15 days ago, 12 Nov 20, 2:33pm -
  • Supreme Court Appears Willing to Leave Obamacare in Place
    During arguments in a case seeking to eliminate Obamacare, two of the US Supreme Court’s conservative justices signaled they would not strike down the landmark legislation. In a recent article by CNBC, McDermott partner Michael Kimberly discussed t…
    - 16 days ago, 11 Nov 20, 12:59pm -
  • Labor Relations Could See Changes under Biden
    As the US election cycle begins to wind down, labor stakeholders say one thing is clear: Labor relations across the nation could see big changes under Democratic president-elect Joe Biden. In a recent article by the Daily Journal, McDermott partners…
    - 17 days ago, 10 Nov 20, 12:33pm -
  • Background Checks: The Advent of the New California Employment Class Action
    Class action litigation brought under the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) is on the rise—particularly in California—after the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit issued a 2017 decision applying a hypertechnical approach to the FCRA’s dis…
    - 22 days ago, 6 Nov 20, 9:24am -
  • Can Employers Require Workers to Get Flu Shots?
    Flu season is officially here, and in light of the COVID-19 pandemic’s continued effects across the country, doctors are imploring people to get their annual flu shot. In a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times, McDermott partner Michelle Str…
    - 24 days ago, 3 Nov 20, 1:55pm -
  • DOL Creates Path for 401(k) Plans to Offer Private Equity Investment Options
    In June, the US Department of Labor issued an information letter indicating that it will allow defined contribution retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans) to indirectly invest in private equity funds. While information letters are not binding, this…
    - 30 days ago, 29 Oct 20, 12:37pm -
  • IRS Announces 2021 Employee Benefit Plan Limits
    The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits for various employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans for 2021. Nearly all of the dollar limits currently in effect for 2020 wi…
    - 31 days ago, 28 Oct 20, 1:29pm -
  • DOL Proposed Regulations on Proxy Voting
    The Department of Labor (DOL) issued a proposed rule with 30-day comment period to address the application of fiduciaries’ duties with respect to proxy voting and exercises of other shareholder rights. The proposal requires fiduciaries to vote any…
    - 31 days ago, 27 Oct 20, 2:59pm -

FNO: Pensions

Knowledge@Wharton: Ins. & Pensions

Pension Pulse (CAN)

  • newCentral Banks Backstopping Madness?

    Central Banks Backstopping Madness?

     Fred Imbert reports the S&P 500 closes at another record Friday, gains 2% on week:Stocks rose on Friday as traders wrapped up a strong week amid decreasing political uncertainty and positive vaccine news.The S&P 500 gained 0.3% to end the day at 3,…
    - 5 hours ago, 27 Nov 20, 8:01pm -
  • Total Fund Management Parts 5.2 and 5.3: Doing TFM Right

    Total Fund Management Parts 5.2 and 5.3: Doing TFM Right

    These are Parts 5.2 and 5.3 (continuation of last week's Part 5.1) of a seven part series on integrated Total Fund Management brought to you by Mihail Garchev, the former VP and Head of Total Fund Management at BCI and I.  As discussed last week,…
    - 1 day ago, 26 Nov 20, 10:36pm -
  • Canada's Top Eight Pensions Unite on ESG Disclosure

    Canada's Top Eight Pensions Unite on ESG Disclosure

    Tim Kiladze of The Globe and Mail reports Canada’s top pension funds issue rare joint call for better ESG disclosures:The heads of Canada's eight largest pension funds, collectively responsible for $1.6 trillion is assets, are banding together for…
    - 2 days ago, 26 Nov 20, 10:39am -
  • Is BCI's Governance a Ticking Time Bomb?

    Is BCI's Governance a Ticking Time Bomb?

    Claude Marchessault, an educator, lawyer and the former executive director of the British Columbia Teachers’, College and Public Service pension plans wrote a comment for Benefits Canada on why he thinks B.C.’s pension governance structure a tick…
    - 2 days ago, 26 Nov 20, 8:12am -
  • Top Funds' Activity in Q3 2020

    Top Funds' Activity in Q3 2020

    Today, we are going to go over top funds' activity in the third quarter. This is always a very popular comment and today I'm going to delve into it a little deeper, so please take the time to read it all.Before I proceed, three weeks ago, Benjamin Ba…
    - 3 days ago, 24 Nov 20, 1:44pm -
  • Kevin Uebelein to Depart AIMCo in Mid 2021

    Kevin Uebelein to Depart AIMCo in Mid 2021

    Barbara Shecter of the Financial Post reports that AIMCo chief will leave early as fund positions for 'pivotal' challenges:Alberta Investment Management Corp. (AIMCo) chief executive Kevin Uebelein will step down early, most likely by July 2021, onc…
    - 3 days ago, 24 Nov 20, 12:38pm -
  • The Future of Institutional Investing in Canada

    The Future of Institutional Investing in Canada

    Today, the Ontario Chamber of Commerce (OCC) brought together the heads of three major Canadian pensions to discuss the future of institutional investing in Canada. The panelists included Blake Hutcheson, President and Chief Executive Officer, OMERS,…
    - 8 days ago, 20 Nov 20, 12:20pm -
  • Total Fund Management Part 5.1: The Earth Is (Not) Flat...

    Total Fund Management Part 5.1: The Earth Is (Not) Flat...

    This is Part 5.1 of a seven part series on integrated Total Fund Management brought to you by Mihail Garchev, the former Head of Total Fund Management at BCI and I. Mihail has worked extremely hard on Episode 5 but since he covers a lot of material…
    - 8 days ago, 19 Nov 20, 5:49pm -
  • Total Fund Management Part 4: How to Develop a TFM Framework & Process

    Total Fund Management Part 4: How to Develop a TFM Framework & Process

    This is Part 4 of a seven part series on integrated Total Fund Management brought to you by Mihail Garchev, the former Head of Total Fund Management at BCI and I. Please take the time to read Mihail's synopsis below on developing a TFM framework &…
    - 8 days ago, 19 Nov 20, 5:01pm -
  • Investors Wary of a Fragmented World?

    Investors Wary of a Fragmented World?

    Sarah Rundell of Top 1000 Funds reports investors are wary of a fragmented world:A long and challenging list of geopolitical risks already existed before COVID-19 began shaking up the world order. US-China rivalry, weakened global institutions, fra…
    - 8 days ago, 19 Nov 20, 12:55pm -
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Pension Risk Matters

  • CLE Webinar About ERISA and Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds

    CLE Webinar About ERISA and Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds

    I am pleased to announce that I will be speaking as part of an upcoming Strafford live webinar, "Alternative Investments in ERISA Retirement Plans: Mitigating Liability Risks for Hedge and Private Equity Funds and Pension Plan Fiduciaries" schedule…
    - 16 May 17, 2:23am -
  • Investment Fraud and the Role of Trust

    Investment Fraud and the Role of Trust

    This article entitled “Investment Fraud and the Role of Trust” by Dr. Susan Mangiero was originally published on April 19, 2017 in The Fraud Examiner, a publication of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners that is distributed to some 65,0…
    - 25 Apr 17, 5:13am -
  • Funny Courtroom Film Still Used For Teaching

    Funny Courtroom Film Still Used For Teaching

    I had a chance to watch My Cousin Vinny on television the other night and was reminded how humor is such a powerful storytelling tool. How many times do we remember important concepts because the speaker or writer makes us laugh? Tickling our funny…
    - 10 Apr 17, 12:11am -
  • Pension Blog Turns 11 On Same Day As National Fiduciary Day

    Pension Blog Turns 11 On Same Day As National Fiduciary Day

    Last year, I celebrated a decade of posting investment governance insights to Pension Risk Matters. This year, I have two reasons to say "hooray." March 23 marks the eleventh year of posting analyses, research updates and essays about managing money…
    - 23 Mar 17, 11:52pm -
  • Are You Stressed Out?

    Are You Stressed Out?

    For anyone who is stressed out and needs a literary cupcake or other type of relaxing break, check out my new inspirational gift book. I hope you enjoy The Big Squeeze: Hugs & Inspirations For Every Grown-Up Who Loves Teddy Bears. You can click h…
    - 6 Mar 17, 5:07pm -
  • Can A Retirement Plan Have Too Much Risk Management?

    Can A Retirement Plan Have Too Much Risk Management?

    The issue of excess has been on my mind lately, mostly focused on my fragrance collection but now expanding to the topic of investment risk management. More specifically, as I continue to lead workshops about retirement plan risk management for the…
    - 28 Feb 17, 2:33pm -
  • Dr. Lee Heavner Joins Dr. Susan Mangiero to Discuss Derivatives and Fiduciary Duty

    Dr. Lee Heavner Joins Dr. Susan Mangiero to Discuss Derivatives and Fiduciary Duty

    As a follow-up to my January 12, 2017 announcement about retirement plan risk management education with the Professional Risk Managers' International Association ("PRMIA"), I am delighted to announce a co-presenter for the March 2, 2017 learning ev…
    - 27 Feb 17, 3:07am -
  • New Book by Dr. Susan Mangiero - Smiles On Every Page

    New Book by Dr. Susan Mangiero - Smiles On Every Page

    Hot off the press, The Big Squeeze (Happy Day Press, 2017) by Dr. Susan Mangiero is the result of many months of research about positivity. Inspired by the enduring appeal of teddy bears for grown-ups of all ages, The Big Squeeze is a sweet and upl…
    - 22 Feb 17, 10:20pm -
  • Establishing Risk Management Protocols for Defined Benefit Plans and Defined Contribution Plans

    Establishing Risk Management Protocols for Defined Benefit Plans and Defined Contribution Plans

    As a follow-up to my January 12, 2017 announcement about retirement plan risk management education with the Professional Risk Managers' International Association ("PRMIA"), I am delighted to announce a co-presenter for the February 23, 2017 learning…
    - 21 Feb 17, 12:09am -
  • Thank You for Blog of the Week Recognition

    Thank You for Blog of the Week Recognition

    I was recently informed by Fiduciary News editor Chris Carosa that my blog post entitled "Effective Retirement Plan Communications" (January 8, 2017) was selected "Blog of the Week" for the second week of January. Thank you to Chris and his loyal r…
    - 20 Feb 17, 11:44pm -

The Benefit Blog

  • Everything You Need to Know About Required 401(k) and IRA Withdrawals
    via Wall Street Journal   If you are one of the millions of Americans with a retirement-savings account, three of the most important letters in your financial life might be these: RMD. They stand for required minimum distribution, which is … Conti…
    - 6 Feb 17, 4:10pm -
  • Some Rare Good News for Small Businesses Paying Employee Health Costs
    via Wall Street Journal Small businesses can once again use pretax funds to reimburse workers for health-care costs, especially premiums for individual and family coverage. In a little noticed move, Congress late last year reauthorized Health Reimb…
    - 30 Jan 17, 6:40pm -
  • What Happens When Doctors Only Take Cash
    via Time When Art Villa found out, after one too many boating accidents, that he needed a total knee replacement, he began asking around to see how much it would cost. The hospital near his home in Helena, Mont., would … Continue reading →
    - 27 Jan 17, 7:09pm -
  • Federal Judge Blocks Aetna-Humana Merger on Antitrust Grounds
    via Wall Street Journal WASHINGTON—A federal judge Monday blocked the proposed merger of health insurers Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. on antitrust grounds, a potentially fatal blow to the $34 billion deal and a capstone victory for Justice Department…
    - 27 Jan 17, 2:03pm -
  • Federal Judge Blocks Aetna-Humana Merger on Antitrust Grounds
    via Wall Street Journal WASHINGTON—A federal judge Monday blocked the proposed merger of health insurers Aetna Inc. and Humana Inc. on antitrust grounds, a potentially fatal blow to the $34 billion deal and a capstone victory for Justice Department…
    - 23 Jan 17, 7:26pm -
  • Trump Nominees Take Aim at Tax Reform and the Fiduciary Rule
    via Lockton Beacon As a new administration takes office, the retirement plan community scratches their collective heads about what to expect. Donald Trump assumes the presidency with no prior public service, presenting very few tea leaves for us to r…
    - 20 Jan 17, 5:07pm -
  • UnitedHealth’s Revenue, Profit Tops Forecasts
    via WSJ UnitedHealth Group Inc. reported a 56% increase in profit in the latest quarter, with results fueled by growth in its core insurance unit and its Optum health-services arm, as well as reduced impact from its money-losing Affordable Care … C…
    - 20 Jan 17, 5:02pm -
  • ACA Repeal Effort Edges Forward, Still Little Clarity on Timeline for Replacement
    via Lockton Benefits Group This week, Congressional Republicans cleared important procedural hurdles on the path to repealing several components of the Affordable Care Act, including the individual and employer mandate penalties. GOP infighting, howe…
    - 16 Jan 17, 4:16pm -
  • Putting Health into the Health Care Debate
    via RAND Corporation One of the many curious aspects of the recent presidential election was the virtual absence of discussion about America’s health. To be sure, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, was front and center, but the … C…
    - 10 Jan 17, 7:18pm -
  • Playing With House Money
    via American Thinker Everyone’s familiar with the term “house money.” When you’re playing with house money, you’re gambling or spending money that’s not actually yours, so the perceived risk is lower than it would be if it were your money…
    - 9 Dec 16, 6:08pm -
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