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Congress faces pressure to resolve multiemployer pension woes

By: Jerry Geisel

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

When federal lawmakers passed the Employee Retirement Income Security Act in 1974, they put aside a key issue affecting a big slice of the pension universe: multiemployer plans.

Landmark ERISA pension reform law sees mixed results 40 years after implementation

By: Jerry Geisel

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Forty years after President Gerald Ford signed the first comprehensive pension reform bill into law, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act has produced successes and failures.

Florida exclusive remedy ruling may upend workers compensation system

By: Sheena Harrison

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Injured workers in Florida might be able to receive both workers compensation benefits and civil liability damages should an appeal filed last week by the Florida attorney general’s office fail to overturn a ruling that declared the state’s exclusive remedy provision unconstitutional.

Insured losses from Napa earthquake could reach $1 billion

By: Bill Kenealy and Matt Lerner

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The magnitude 6.0 earthquake that shook the Napa Valley region last week caused up to $1 billion in insured losses, with damage centered in the city of Napa enabling the nearby wine industry to emerge mostly unscathed.

GALLERY: ERISA timeline

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Since ERISA was enacted 40 years ago, lawmakers have made numerous changes to the statute. This slideshow chronicles some key revisions and amendments.

Register for Business Insurance's Workers Comp & Safety Virtual Conference

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

From opioid management to keeping an aging workforce safe and healthy, industry experts will advise attendees on strategies and solutions to control their workers compensation costs during Business Insurance's fifth annual Workers Comp & Safety Virtual Conference.

Surety bond sector strengthens on rebounding construction industry

By: Matthew Lerner

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The surety bond sector looks to register its second consecutive year of growth, led by the private construction sector as the economy slowly improves.

Reclassification of opioid painkillers may boost workers compensation costs

By: Stephanie Goldberg

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Tighter controls on opioid prescription painkillers issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration last month may increase workers compensation costs in the short term, but over the long term they could help reduce overuse of opioids.

Congress could delay passage of TRIA renewal bill past November elections

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Passage of a bill that would extend the federal terrorism insurance backstop could be pushed into a lame-duck session following the November elections.

NLRB ruling that McDonald's is joint employer could increase franchising risks

By: Judy Greenwald

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A determination by the National Labor Relations Board's general counsel that McDonald's Corp. should be considered a “joint employer” with its franchisees could dramatically increase franchisors' potential liabilities should it become law.

Courts and NLRB may dispute franchisors' liability for years

By: Judy Greenwald

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

It may take years to resolve whether franchisors can be considered joint employers with their franchisees.

Employers want unbiased advice on private health care exchanges

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

As private health insurance exchanges evolve, some benefits consultants are trying to distinguish themselves as unbiased advisers in a marketplace dominated by companies offering advisory services alongside their own branded exchange products.

Brokers with private health exchanges strive to maintain unbiased stance

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Several brokers have positioned themselves as objective consultants within the private health insurance exchange marketplace, despite having their own exchanges.

COMMENTARY: Wellness programs should address sleep disorders

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

As employers review their wellness programs, they should consider addressing a problem suffered by millions of Americans that is contributing to health disorders, weight gain, lost productivity and motor vehicle accidents.

OPINION: Reflections on ERISA's 40th anniversary

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Anniversaries are times for reflection. With the 40th anniversary this week of the signing of the first and still most significant pension reform legislation — the Employee Retirement Income Security Act — we have a few thoughts on the law. Forty years after ERISA's passage, as we report on page 1, the law's successes are striking. ERISA's creation of a federal pension insurance...

Reinsurers look to Southeast Asia for growth opportunities

By: J. Nils Wright

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Reinsurance buyers in Southeast Asia continue to benefit from soft rates as reinsurers target the region's fast-growing economies.

Reinsurer mergers and acquisitions likely to rise on softening market

By: Douglas McLeod

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The reinsurance industry is likely to see more mergers and acquisitions in the coming months as firms seek to grow in a generally soft market and put excess capital to work.

Reinsurers rarely targeted for hostile takeover bids

By: Douglas McLeod

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Hostile takeover bids have not been common in the reinsurance industry, and observers differ about whether that may change in the wake of Endurance Specialty Holdings Ltd.'s failed bid for Aspen Insurance Holdings Ltd.

Reinsurance market investors search for opportunities beyond U.S.

By: Sarah Veysey

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Falling returns on insurance-linked securities for peak U.S. catastrophe zones is one factor that may prompt specialist funds and other capital providers to diversify into European property catastrophe risks as well as other business lines and territories.

Lower rate increases and frequent losses cause slide in insurer profits

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A slowdown in rate increases, an uptick in weather-related and other property losses, and ongoing low investment returns weighed on the largest commercial property/casualty insurers' first-half results.

Small but frequent weather-related losses hit insurers' profits

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The Property Claim Services unit of Verisk Analytics Inc. doesn't have to declare the cause of insured property damage a catastrophe for insurers to feel the losses.

Affordable Care Act pushes health insurer revenues higher

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

The influx of new customers buying health insurance through public exchanges drove moderate revenue and enrollment growth for the nation's largest health insurers during the first half of the year, but it also dampened their collective profit.

Largest health insurers plan to increase public exchange participation

By: Matt Dunning

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Midway through the year, four of the five largest U.S. health insurers have signaled plans to increase their participation in public health insurance exchanges despite early profit declines and pricing uncertainty.

Insurance brokers see revenue growth as economy improves

By: Matthew Lerner

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

Commercial insurance brokers posted solid first-half results amid a slowly improving economy that boosted organic growth.

Brokers' private health care exchanges still evolving, contributing little to earnings

By: Matthew Lerner

Published August 31, 2014 - 6:00am CST

While the largest publicly traded commercial insurance brokers enjoyed solid first-half results, analysts say the health insurance exchanges they have established did not provide material contributions to their earnings.

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