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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

  • new3 Aspects of Executive Agreements that Need an Upgrade
    Executives are no longer reluctant to lawyer up. News reports on executive/employer contretemps at Papa John’s, Barnes & Noble, Uber and other companies have drawn press attention in the past year; countless other executive/employer disputes have f…
    - 22 hours ago, 18 Jul 19, 12:32pm -
  • Buyers’ Immunity Under Employment Law Is a Myth
    There are three focal points in every successorship case: (1) notice to the purchaser; (2) continuity of the business; and (3) the ability of the seller to provide relief. Reading the tripartite test for successor liability, it is enticing to conclud…
    - 2 days ago, 17 Jul 19, 12:58pm -
  • Hardship Distribution Changes: What’s Next?
    In 2018, the Treasury Department and the IRS issued new hardship distribution rules applicable to defined contribution plans, and many plans have begun administering these new rules. While plan sponsors may want to wait for further IRS guidance befor…
    - 3 days ago, 16 Jul 19, 10:11am -
  • SCOTUS Refuses to Review Ninth Circuit Ruling on ACA Birth Control Rules
    The US Supreme Court declined to review a recent Ninth Circuit decision, blocking the interim rules that exempted employers with religious or moral objections from providing birth control coverage required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Until such…
    - 8 days ago, 11 Jul 19, 10:00am -
  • 4 Ways to Manage Retirement Plan Data in New Era of Cybersecurity
    IBM estimated last year that data breaches cost companies $148 per stolen record. Given that, not surprisingly, many employers have grown increasingly concerned about the potential impact of such breaches, including breaches that may affect employer-…
    - 10 days ago, 9 Jul 19, 12:38pm -
  • It Could Happen to You: Tips for Acing a Benefit Plan Audit
    Over the past several years, the IRS and DOL have significantly increased the number of benefit plans audits conducted each year. As a result, it is important for plan sponsors to understand the types of issues that often arise in connection with suc…
    - 17 days ago, 2 Jul 19, 11:16am -
  • Family Ties: Connecticut Passes Paid Family and Medical Leave
    Connecticut enacted a paid family and medical leave law, which provides paid leave to eligible employees and expand allowable reasons for such leave. This Connecticut statute closely tracks Massachusetts’s parallel statute and appears to be among t…
    - 22 days ago, 27 Jun 19, 11:30am -
  • The Art of Using Preemption to Defend Wage-and-Hour Cases
    Preemption technically means situations where federal law displaces state law: a function of the supremacy clause of the US Constitution. Often, lawyers speak of preemption even where it is one federal law displacing another or one state law displaci…
    - 24 days ago, 25 Jun 19, 12:45pm -
  • Employee Benefit Plans Master Trust Investments – Financial Statement Changes
    The Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) adopted changes to the required financial statement disclosures of employee benefit plans with investments in master trusts. The changes will standardize the content and presentation of information repo…
    - 29 days ago, 20 Jun 19, 10:00am -
  • Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Sulyma v. Intel Statute-of-Limitations Decision
    The US Supreme Court recently agreed to hear Sulyma v. Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee, a case in which the Ninth Circuit ruled that ERISA’s three-year statute of limitations requires a plaintiff to actually read materials in order to start…
    - 31 days ago, 18 Jun 19, 10:00am -

FNO: Pensions

Knowledge@Wharton: Ins. & Pensions

Pension Pulse (CAN)

  • newBCI's Recent Private Equity Deals

    BCI's Recent Private Equity Deals

    British Columbia Investment Management Corporation (“BCI”) and ATL Partners (“ATL”) recently announced that they have acquired Valence Surface Technologies, the largest independent aerospace surface finishing platform in North America:Foun…
    - 18 hours ago, 18 Jul 19, 5:19pm -
  • CalPERS to Divest From Private Prisons?

    CalPERS to Divest From Private Prisons?

    Chief Investment Officer reports CalPERS board member and State Controller Betty Yee says it may be time for the retirement system to cut its holdings in companies running private prisons, a major reversal for the influential California politician…
    - 1 day ago, 17 Jul 19, 11:14pm -
  • Doug Ford’s Gravy Train Hits IMCO?

    Doug Ford’s Gravy Train Hits IMCO?

    Ontario's New Democrats are accusing Finance Minister Rod Phillips of political patronage:In one of his first acts as Finance Minister, Rod Phillips appointed one of his major donors and long-time business partner Neil Selfe to the Investment Managem…
    - 2 days ago, 17 Jul 19, 10:20am -
  • HOOPP's Smartest Guy in the Room?

    HOOPP's Smartest Guy in the Room?

    Barbara Shecter of the National Post reports on the smartest guy in the room: How a pension guru worked his magic, beat the market and saved Home Capital:There are seminal moments in any career and Jim Keohane’s is a doozy. He knew something was wr…
    - 3 days ago, 16 Jul 19, 11:02am -
  • US Slowdown or Recession?

    US Slowdown or Recession?

    This morning, I had a chance to speak with Chun Wang, a portfolio manager who produces great research at the Leuthold Group. Chun just wrote a Macro Monitor comment, Slowdown Or Recession? Confidence Is Key, where he outlines these main points:The do…
    - 5 days ago, 14 Jul 19, 2:53pm -
  • AIMCo Gets Creative on Real Assets?

    AIMCo Gets Creative on Real Assets?

    Kevin Orland of Bloomberg reports on how competition for real assets is forcing the Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) to get creative in its approach:Alberta Investment Management Corp. is being forced to get creative in its hunt for…
    - 8 days ago, 11 Jul 19, 9:34pm -
  • Will Leverage Save the Canada Model?

    Will Leverage Save the Canada Model?

    Gareth Gore of Thompson Reuter's International Financial Review reports that pension giants are adding leverage as 30-year-old Canadian model flounders:In the late 1980s, the Ontario government set up a task force to tackle what it saw as a ticking f…
    - 8 days ago, 11 Jul 19, 10:54am -
  • Jo Taylor Named Ontario Teachers' Next CEO

    Jo Taylor Named Ontario Teachers' Next CEO

    The Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan just named Jo Taylor President and CEO effective January 1, 2020, succeeding Ron Mock, who retires at year-end:Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan (Ontario Teachers’) is pleased to announce the appointment of Jo Ta…
    - 9 days ago, 10 Jul 19, 12:07pm -
  • Too Much Beta Dragging Down Japan, Norway?

    Too Much Beta Dragging Down Japan, Norway?

    Japan’s Government Pension Investment Fund (GPIF), the world’s largest pension fund, on Friday reported a profit of 9.1 trillion yen ($84.4 billion) in January-March, swinging from a record loss in the prior quarter, thanks to an upturn in sto…
    - 10 days ago, 9 Jul 19, 9:01am -
  • AIMCo Gains 2.3% in 2018

    AIMCo Gains 2.3% in 2018

    The Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) recently announced its investment performance for the year ended December 31, 2018: The aggregate return achieved on behalf of its fourteen Alberta pension and endowment balanced fund clients was…
    - 13 days ago, 6 Jul 19, 12:54am -
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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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