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Deferred annuity tax hurdle cleared

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A recent U.S. Treasury Department regulation cleared an obstacle for retirees wanting to use a chunk of their defined contribution plan accounts to purchase retirement annuities that don't pay monthly benefits until long after they have retired.

Group takes on Medicare rules to promote value-based plan designs

By: Joanne Wojcik

Published October 26, 2014 - 6:00am CST

A Washington-based employer benefits lobbying organization is seeking changes to the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act that would make it easier for companies to implement value-based insurance designs in high-deductible health care plans with health savings accounts.

IRS allows use of annuities in target-date fund series

By: Robert Steyer, Pensions & Investments

Published October 24, 2014 - 3:33pm CST

The Internal Revenue Service on Friday said defined contribution plans’ use of a target-date fund series containing deferred annuities won’t violate IRS rules against DC plans discriminating in favor of higher paid employees, as long as other IRS guidelines are followed.

Senators want rules on corporate pension de-risking

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 23, 2014 - 1:36pm CST

The chairmen of two Senate committees are asking the heads of several federal agencies to develop guidance on one of the hottest defined benefit pension plan trends: employer moves to “de-risk” the plans.

IRS announces maximum 401(k) plan contribution limits for 2015

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 23, 2014 - 9:55am CST

The maximum contribution that can be made to 401(k) plans in 2015 will rise to $18,000, up from the current $17,500 limit, the Internal Revenue Service announced Thursday.

New Orleans mayor creates pension reform group to sustain firefighters plan

By: Rob Kozlowski, Pensions & Investments

Published October 22, 2014 - 12:48pm CST

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu signed an executive order establishing a pension reform working group to recommend changes to the New Orleans Fire Fighters Pension & Relief Fund.

BROKER BEAT Video: Woodruff-Sawyer & Co.

Published October 21, 2014 - 4:42pm CST

Business Insurance Associate Editor Bill Kenealy speaks with Priya Huskins, Senior Vice President of Woodruff-Sawyer & Co., about Bay area D&O buyers, big data and regulation.

McConnell's claims on Kentucky exchange, Obamacare baffle experts

By: Darius Tahir, Modern Healthcare

Published October 21, 2014 - 9:59am CST

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., has made a habit of saying that repealing the ACA would not necessarily mean shutting down Kentucky's popular insurance exchange.

BROKER BEAT Video: Oswald Cos.

Published October 09, 2014 - 6:57pm CST

Business Insurance Assistant Managing Editor Aranya Tomseth speaks with Robert J. Klonk, CEO of Oswald Cos., about how the Affordable Care Act is affecting its employee benefits practice and private exchange.

Health insurance premiums for federal employees to rise 3.2% in 2015

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 09, 2014 - 12:39pm CST

Health insurance premiums for the program that covers federal employees and retirees will increase an average of 3.2% next year, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

Calif. law requires free year of credit monitoring after data breaches

By: Judy Greenwald

Published October 01, 2014 - 2:50pm CST

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed into law legislation that requires companies affected by data breaches to offer credit monitoring.

U.S. Court in Oklahoma rules against ACA subsidies on federal exchange

By: Jerry Geisel

Published October 01, 2014 - 11:42am CST

Another federal court judge has ruled that the IRS overstepped its authority in 2012 rules authorizing government health insurance premium subsides.

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

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 28, 2014 - 6:00am 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.

PBGC to take over James River Coal pension fund

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published September 24, 2014 - 2:32pm CST

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

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

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 24, 2014 - 9:37am 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.

Voluntary benefits could hold key to health care reform excise tax

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 23, 2014 - 3:04pm 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.

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

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 23, 2014 - 3:02pm 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.

American Benefits Council asks Washington for simplified retirement approach

By: Hazel Bradford, Pensions & Investments

Published September 23, 2014 - 1:44pm 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.

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

By: Jerry Geisel

Published September 19, 2014 - 3:24pm 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.

Insurance groups hail House approval of capital standards bill

By: Mark A. Hofmann

Published September 17, 2014 - 11:43am CST

Insurance groups are welcoming the House's approval on Tuesday of legislation that would give the Federal Reserve more leeway in determining accounting standards.

App developers seek clearer U.S. health data privacy guidelines

Published September 16, 2014 - 8:49am CST

(Reuters) — Developers of apps for mobile devices are asking a U.S. agency to clarify its rules for protecting patient health information to reflect the fast-evolving technology.

2013 California workers comp reforms will define market for years to come

By: Bill Kenealy

Published September 14, 2014 - 6:00am CST

DANA POINT, Calif. — Legislative actions at the state and federal level will continue to define the California workers compensation market for years to come, according to experts monitoring the effect of recent workers comp reforms in the state.

Marietta, Georgia, extends pension benefits to married same-sex couples

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 12, 2014 - 2:25pm CST

The city of Marietta, Georgia, has extended spousal benefits under its pension plan to legally wed same-sex couples.

U.K. pension funding deficit doubles in August

Published September 09, 2014 - 11:24am CST

(Reuters) — A funding shortfall in Britain's private-sector defined benefit pension plans has more than doubled over the past year to reach £170.6 billion ($278.54 billion) at the end of August.

Appeals court upholds gay marriage rights in Indiana, Wisconsin

By: Matt Dunning

Published September 04, 2014 - 5:16pm CST

The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Chicago ruled unanimously Thursday in favor of gay and lesbian couples seeking equal marriage rights and benefits in Indiana and Wisconsin.

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