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Kodak bucks trend and enhances pension plan while eliminating 401(k) match

Published August 17, 2014 CST

Employers are expected to examine Eastman Kodak Co.'s counter-trend move to sweeten its defined benefit pension plan and eliminate its 401(k) plan match.

Protecting the nation's electric grid from terrorist attacks is a top priority

Published August 17, 2014 CST

Regulations proposed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to protect the nation's electric grid are mainly prompted by an armed attack last year that knocked out high-voltage transformers in California.

USI acquiring seven retail brokerages from Willis

Published August 18, 2014 CST

USI Insurance Services L.L.C. will acquire seven retail brokerage offices from certain subsidiaries of Willis North America Inc., part of Willis Group Holdings P.L.C., Valhalla, New York-based USI announced Monday.

Former Zurich CEO James J. Schiro dead at 68

Published August 18, 2014 CST

James J. Schiro, the former CEO of Zurich Insurance Group Ltd., has died at the age of 68.

New federal pension law delays higher employer contributions until 2018

Published August 17, 2014 CST

Employers can reduce their contributions to employee pension plans this year thanks to a new federal law allowing them to assume higher interest rates in valuing the size of their defined benefit plan liabilities.

IRS scrutiny of 831(b) tax treatment for microcaptives a VCIA 'hot topic'

Published August 15, 2014 CST

BURLINGTON, Vt.—Among the “hot topics” discussed at the Vermont Captive Insurance Association's annual conference was the Internal Revenue Service's scrutiny of so-called “microcaptives."

Captives expand focus to other domiciles as legislation and regulation increase

Published August 17, 2014 CST

BURLINGTON, Vt. — While captive insurers once could keep their legislative and regulatory attention on activities in their domicile, a growing number of domiciles — some looking to grow rapidly — along with actions from federal officials, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners and international regulators have forced those promoting captives’ interests to…

Oklahoma firms consider private coverage in wake of landmark workers comp law

Published August 17, 2014 CST

At least seven Oklahoma employers have opted out of the state's workers comp system since a new law went into effect, and more are considering the move to private coverage allowed under the landmark legislation.

Worst-ever Ebola outbreak disrupts global supply chains

Published August 17, 2014 CST

Aside from the record death toll from the Ebola outbreak in Africa, businesses around the globe will be affected by the pandemic, with the mining, agricultural and energy sectors most at risk of having their businesses disrupted.

DEA reclassifies painkiller tramadol as a controlled substance

Published August 18, 2014 CST

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration began labeling tramadol, an opioid pain medication, as a Schedule IV controlled substance on Monday, according to a final rule published in the Federal Register.

OSHA orders Mich. asphalt firm to pay nearly $1M, rehire 3 fired workers

Published August 19, 2014 CST

A Michigan asphalt company has been ordered by OSHA to pay almost $1 million in compensation and reinstate three employees who were terminated for raising safety concerns.

EEOC says energy company's wellness program violated ADA

Published August 20, 2014 CST

The U.S. EEOC has filed suit against an energy company for allegedly violating the ADA, charging that it shifted responsibility for paying health care premiums to an employee.

Employers expect modest health plan cost increases in 2015: Survey

Published August 20, 2014 CST

Employers are expecting only modest increases in 2015 in their group health care plan costs, but are looking at new approaches to continue to keep costs under control, according to a survey released Wednesday.

SuperValu grocery chain reports June/July payment card data breach

Published August 18, 2014 CST

Supermarket wholesaler and retailer SuperValu Inc. has reported that credit card data may have been stolen from 180 of its stores over a more than three-week period beginning in June.

NFL concussion settlement funds will come from insurers and higher ticket prices

Published August 17, 2014 CST

The National Football League's financial settlement of former players' concussion-related litigation likely will be paid with a combination of insurer funds and higher prices for game tickets and media rights.

Heinz to tighten supplier controls in China after infant food scare

Published August 19, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — U.S. foodmaker H.J. Heinz Co. said it will tighten controls over ingredients suppliers in China after it was forced to recall some infant food products from Chinese store shelves.

Iceland raises alert level for volcano eruption to second-highest

Published August 18, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — Iceland's Met Office on Monday raised its risk level to the aviation industry for an eruption at its Bardarbunga volcano to orange, which is the fourth level on a five-grade scale.

Benefits administration vendors retool to help firms comply with reporting rules

Published August 17, 2014 CST

Providers of benefits administration outsourcing services are scrambling to help employers comply with upcoming tax reporting requirements of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, but few can transmit that information directly to the IRS.

Final vote phases out Massachusetts' state health insurance mandate

Published August 18, 2014 CST

A Massachusetts health reform law board unanimously voted to repeal for a final time rules relating to a landmark state statute that required employers to either offer health care coverage to their employees or pay a fine.

Climate change to cut South Asia's growth 9% by 2100: ADB

Published August 19, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — Climate change will cut South Asia's growth almost 9% by the end of the century unless world governments try harder to counter global warming, the Asian Development Bank said on Tuesday.

Brokers should assess how buyouts will affect the way they service clients

Published August 17, 2014 CST

When mid-market insurance brokers are acquired by larger competitors, maintaining the client relationships they've spent years developing demands an open dialogue between producers and insurance purchasers about their respective post-sale expectations.

State judge rules Florida Workers' Compensation Act unconstitutional

Published August 15, 2014 CST

The Florida Workers' Compensation Act no longer provides adequate benefits to injured workers and is therefore unconstitutional, a Miami-Dade County, Florida, judge has ruled.

ALCO Stores finds provider to help with automated health benefits enrollment

Published August 17, 2014 CST

ALCO Stores Inc. changed benefit administration outsourcing providers this year to help it meet Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requirements that the chain of more than 200 stores provide automated enrollment to employees and extend benefits to those working 30 or more hours per week.

GM expands website for owners of recalled vehicles

Published August 19, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — General Motors Co.'s website for owners of its vehicles recalled for faulty ignition switches has been expanded to include all 20 models involved, the automaker said.

Pension law, regulation pioneer Robert Nagle dead at 84

Published August 19, 2014 CST

Robert Nagle, a long-time pension policymaker and regulator, died Saturday at his home in McLean, Virginia. Mr. Nagle, 84, had been battling cancer.