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Most Read Benefits Management News

Voluntary benefits could hold key to health care reform excise tax

Published September 23, 2014 CST

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland. — Some U.S. employers are beginning to use voluntary medical benefit plans to minimize the prospects of sharp health care cost increases in the coming years as a result of health care reform.

Motorola Solutions enters into third-largest U.S. pension buyout on record

Published September 25, 2014 CST

Motorola Solutions Inc. entered into a pension buyout agreement with Prudential Insurance Co. of America and will offer lump-sum payouts to terminated vested employees to reduce $4.2 billion in pension obligations.

PBGC proposing to require employer disclosure of lump-sum pension offers

Published September 24, 2014 CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. has disclosed that it intends to require employers to report to the agency offers they make to pension plan participants to convert their monthly annuity to a cash lump sum benefit.

Anthem, LA providers creating HMO to compete with Kaiser

Published September 22, 2014 CST

An unusual joint venture between Anthem Blue Cross and seven competing Los Angeles-area hospital systems to offer employers a low-priced HMO plan underscores the eagerness of insurers and providers to try novel and risky strategies to survive in the rapidly changing healthcare marketplace.

Private health insurance exchanges expected to boom

Published September 23, 2014 CST

Private health insurance exchanges are poised for rapid growth, according to a new analysis.

PBGC to take over James River Coal pension fund

Published September 24, 2014 CST

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. will take over the defined benefit plan of James River Coal Co., the agency announced Wednesday.

American Axle to offer lump-sum pension payments to 6,000 former employees

Published September 23, 2014 CST

Auto parts manufacturer American Axle & Manufacturing Holdings Inc. says it will offer up to about 6,000 former employees the opportunity to convert their monthly annuity benefit to a cash lump sum benefit.

Insurers vying for Obamacare business signal healthy exchange markets

Published September 24, 2014 CST

More insurers will compete for consumers' business on the exchanges during the second year of Obamacare enrollments.

U.S. public pension gap at least $2 trillion: Moody's

Published September 26, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — The U.S. public pension gap has tripled to at least $2 trillion in less than a decade, Moody's Investors Service Inc. said in a report Thursday.

House approves bill defining full-time employees as those working 40 hours

Published September 19, 2014 CST

For the second time this year, the House of Representatives approved legislation to ease the health care reform law's definition of a full-time employee by changing it to those working an average of at least 40 hours per week.

Health exchanges cover 7.3 million people: HHS regulator

Published September 19, 2014 CST

About 7.3 million people were enrolled in federal and state health insurance exchanges as of Aug. 15, 700,000 fewer than the 8 million Americans who signed up for coverage during the first three months following the opening of the exchanges on Jan. 1, a top federal regulator disclosed.

Hospitals' uncompensated care will drop $5.7 billion this year: HHS

Published September 25, 2014 CST

The Obama administration has a new projection of the benefit hospitals will enjoy this year as they provide less care that no one pays for: $5.7 billion. Hospitals in states that expanded Medicaid are getting most of it.

ACA's medical outcomes research fee to increase

Published September 19, 2014 CST

A medical outcomes research fee mandated by the health care reform law and paid by self-funded employers and insurers is going up slightly.

New health care tax looms for many employers who don't change plans

Published September 23, 2014 CST

Without design changes to their health care plans, nearly half of large employers could be liable for a federal excise tax created by the health care reform law when it takes effect in 2018, according to a new analysis by Towers Watson & Co.

Washington Post freezes pension plan, switches to cash balance option

Published September 25, 2014 CST

The Washington Post's parent company is freezing its defined benefit plan and transferring remaining participants to an existing cash balance plan, effective Jan. 1, 2015. The company is also offering a lump-sum option for all defined benefit participants.

Newell Rubbermaid to offer lump-sum pension benefits to 5,700 participants

Published September 24, 2014 CST

Newell Rubbermaid Inc. will offer about 5,700 former vested employees not yet receiving pension benefits the opportunity to convert their future monthly annuity to a cash lump-sum benefit.

IRS bumps up maximum interest rate for cash balance plans

Published September 19, 2014 CST

Final Internal Revenue Service regulations will allow cash balance pension plan sponsors to use slightly higher rates when crediting interest to employees’ account balances.

Unity Health uses FSA carry-over option to ease employee stress over lost money

Published September 28, 2014 CST

Adding an automatic carry-over feature to employees' flexible spending accounts has taken the pressure off Unity Health Care Inc. employees who contribute to FSAs.

Wellness programs grow in popularity as more firms offer financial rewards

Published September 28, 2014 CST

NATIONAL HARBOR, Maryland — Employers are gradually embracing the concept of providing financial rewards to their employees based on specific health outcomes from their participation in workplace wellness programs.

Aon Hewitt said users of private health exchange saw lower costs in 2014

Published September 18, 2014 CST

Employers and individuals participating in Aon Hewitt’s private health insurance exchange saw reductions in their health care costs for the 2014 plan year, the benefits consultant said Thursday.

Coke, J&J join big companies behind new employee wellness push

Published September 17, 2014 CST

(Reuters) — Leaders of some of the biggest U.S. corporations unveiled a campaign on Tuesday to reduce the nation's health care costs, urging their peers to embrace wellness programs to improve employee health.

American Benefits Council asks Washington for simplified retirement approach

Published September 23, 2014 CST

Employers need more flexibility and simplicity in providing retirement and other benefits, officials with the American Benefits Council said Tuesday as they unveiled a strategic plan for where employee benefits should be in 2020.

Mid-market consultant Benefits Resource joins Digital Benefits Advisors

Published September 17, 2014 CST

Atlanta-based Digital Benefits Advisors on Wednesday said it has added Benefits Resource L.L.C., an Aliso Viejo, California-based consultant, to its nationwide network of employee benefits-only service providers.

Employers support same-sex marriage for Texas, other southern states

Published September 18, 2014 CST

A group of employers has urged a judicial panel in New Orleans to uphold same-sex couples' right to legally marry in Texas, Louisiana and Mississippi.

Flexible spending account cap expected to rise in 2015

Published August 29, 2014 CST

The maximum contribution employees will be able to make to their flexible spending accounts is expected to rise in 2015 by $50 to $2,550, according to Buck Consultants at Xerox calculations.