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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

  • newThe Toughest Problem Set: Navigating Regulatory and Operational Challenges on University Campuses
    Because widespread, rapid COVID-19 testing remains unavailable in many locations, universities have had to find innovative ways to implement testing, tracing and isolation protocols to reduce the risk of transmission among students, faculty and staff…
    - 9 hours ago, 24 Sep 20, 12:46pm -
  • DOL Provides Guidance on Tracking Telecommuters’ Work Hours
    Employers must use reasonable diligence in tracking nonexempt telecommuters’ work hours and may do this by providing a reporting procedure for unscheduled time, the US Department of Labor (DOL) stated in August 24 guidance. The workers then must be…
    - 2 days ago, 22 Sep 20, 3:01pm -
  • Last Chance for Enhanced COVID-19-Related 401(k) Loans: September 22
    The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, passed by US Congress in March in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, permits a “qualified individual” to increase the amount they can borrow from a 401(k). Such individuals may borrow…
    - 6 days ago, 18 Sep 20, 12:26pm -
  • Using Paid Time Off Funds to Provide Student Loan Relief to Employees
    What do unused paid-time-off (PTO) days, student loan debt and the coronavirus have in common? An opportunity for employers to provide financial relief to employees who are increasingly putting off vacations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In a recent…
    - 7 days ago, 17 Sep 20, 12:05pm -
  • COVID-19 Safety Plans: What Employers Need to Know
    COVID-19 safety plans are a way for employers to demonstrate to their employees, the public and, in certain cases, state governments that they have considered the risks associated with COVID-19 in their workplaces and have developed a response to the…
    - 9 days ago, 15 Sep 20, 10:13am -
  • Off-Duty Conduct: COVID-19 and Social Media Ranting—What’s an Employer to Do?
    Many employers who recently reopened are now facing a new challenge—employee off-duty conduct. At stake are both workplace and customer safety as well as the company’s reputation. A recent webinar featuring McDermott’s Michael Sheehan, Ron Holl…
    - 14 days ago, 10 Sep 20, 10:43am -
  • SDNY Vacates Portion of DOL Final Rule on Families First Coronavirus Response Act
    On August 3, 2020, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York struck down four parts of the US Department of Labor’s (DOL) Final Rule implementing the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). A copy of the court’s ruling…
    - 15 days ago, 9 Sep 20, 5:09pm -
  • How Do You Handle More Layoffs?
    One round of layoffs is bad enough for rank-and-file morale. Subsequent layoffs can be even tougher on remaining employees, who may mourn the loss of their colleagues and wonder if they will be next. Employers can take steps to limit the damage and a…
    - 16 days ago, 8 Sep 20, 10:48am -
  • It’s Back to Basics for Employee Benefits Priorities
    Prior to the pandemic, ultra-low unemployment at roughly 3.3% put a spotlight on ‘lifestyle benefits’ for employees such as gym memberships and pet sitting. When the COVID-19 crisis hit, the focus immediately shifted for many plan sponsors. Some…
    - 21 days ago, 3 Sep 20, 12:29pm -
  • In Spain, Employers Contend with Pandemic’s Changing Impact
    Employers in Spain are contending with the ongoing effects of the coronavirus pandemic, which continues to raise health and safety concerns. A resurgence of COVID-19 cases in July prompted some parts of the country to re-implement restrictions that h…
    - 23 days ago, 1 Sep 20, 10:28am -

FNO: Pensions

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Pension Pulse (CAN)

  • newReal Estate's Looming Liquidity Crunch?

    Real Estate's Looming Liquidity Crunch?

    Siobhan Riding of the Financial Times reports property funds stay shut amid fears of liquidity crunch: Large UK property funds are keeping trading suspensions in place because of fears that low cash buffers and regulatory uncertainty could trigger an…
    - 2 hours ago, 24 Sep 20, 7:54pm -
  • newThe Rise of Constructive Capital?

    The Rise of Constructive Capital?


    - 8 hours ago, 24 Sep 20, 2:11pm -
  • newShould We Create Another Caisse?

    Should We Create Another Caisse?

    Miville Tremblay, senior fellow at the C. D. Howe Institute, wrote an op-ed for La Presse advocating for a second Caisse de dépôt (translated from French): Quebecers have reason to be proud of their Caisse de dépôt et placement, which efficiently…
    - 15 hours ago, 24 Sep 20, 6:29am -
  • CPP Investments Reviewing its Bond Holdings?

    CPP Investments Reviewing its Bond Holdings?

    Saheli Roy Choudhury of CNBC reports that Canada’s massive pension fund is reviewing its bond holdings in light of near zero interest rates, CEO says:Central banks have slashed interest rates this year in an effort to revive economies ravaged by t…
    - 1 day ago, 23 Sep 20, 10:33am -
  • On Ray Dalio's Latest Shocking Warning

    On Ray Dalio's Latest Shocking Warning

    Jonathan Burton of MarketWatch reports that the founder of the world's largest hedge fund thinks the world is going to change ‘in shocking ways’ in the next five years: Ray Dalio certainly is no radical idealist, but in his frequent writings an…
    - 1 day ago, 23 Sep 20, 9:49am -
  • PSP Investments' Revera Disaster?

    PSP Investments' Revera Disaster?

    Kevin Skerrett, a Senior Research Officer assigned to pensions for CUPE and co-editor of The Contradictions of Pension Fund Capitalism (2018), wrote a comment in The Bulltet on pension fund capitalism and the COVID-19 pandemic: the case of Revera:Of…
    - 4 days ago, 20 Sep 20, 1:33pm -
  • Big Oil For the Long Run?

    Big Oil For the Long Run?

    Fred Imbert and Yun Li report the Dow drops 200 points, S&P 500 and Nasdaq fall for third straight week:Stocks fell on Friday to end a volatile week as investors continued to dump shares of high-flying tech companies. The Dow Jones Industrial Avera…
    - 5 days ago, 19 Sep 20, 2:10pm -
  • The Case For a Chief Performance Officer

    The Case For a Chief Performance Officer

    Ioannis Segounis, founder of Athos Investment Services, wrote a guest comment for me on why pensions need a chief performance officer:What is the most focused on and talked about subject in the investment industry? Performance, and yet this industry…
    - 7 days ago, 17 Sep 20, 11:43am -
  • HOOPP's CEO on LDI 2.0 in a Zero Bound World

    HOOPP's CEO on LDI 2.0 in a Zero Bound World

    Yaelle Gang, the Canadian Investment Review recently wrote a comment on how HOOPP is looking to LDI strategy 2.0 amid low interest rates:The Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan is well-known for its liability-driven investing strategy, which helped i…
    - 10 days ago, 15 Sep 20, 8:49am -
  • CPP Investments Selects First-Ever CIO

    CPP Investments Selects First-Ever CIO

    Pensions & Investments reports that CPPIB selects first-ever CIO:Edwin Cass was named the first dedicated chief investment officer of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Toronto, the C$434.4 billion ($317.8 billion) pension fund said Wednesd…
    - 10 days ago, 15 Sep 20, 8:17am -
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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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