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The Labor Department Wednesday gave final authorization to Sealed Air Corp. to fund several benefit risks through its Vermont captive insurance company.
The Charlotte, North Carolina-based packaging materials manufacturer, with about $7.8 billion in revenue and 24,000 employees worldwide, including about 8,000 in the United States, had proposed using Saddle Brook Insurance Co. to reinsure life and accidental death and dismemberment policies issued by Zurich American Life Insurance Co.
Saddle Brook, licensed by Vermont regulators in 2003, already funds a variety of Sealed Air's casualty risks.
The application of Sealed Air, whose products include Bubble Wrap, was reviewed under a regulatory process known as ExPro. Under ExPro, the Labor Department must act within 45 days of a company request for an exemption from an arrangement that would be normally barred by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.
To qualify for ExPro, an applicant must cite two substantially similar individual exemptions approved in the past 10 years, or one similar individual exemption and one approved through ExPro within the past five years.
In its application, Sealed Air cited an individual exemption The Coca-Cola Co. received in 2013 to fund group term life insurance and accidental death and dismemberment benefits through its South Carolina captive, and an exemption Intel Corp. received last year to reinsure similar benefits through its Hawaii captive.
Sealed Air is the second employer this year to receive regulatory approval via ExPro to fund benefit risks through a captive.
Earlier, regulators approved an application filed by Healthcare Services Group Inc., a Bensalem, Pennsylvania-based provider of management and other services to health care companies, to fund voluntary medical, life and short-term disability benefits through its New Jersey-based captive insurer.
Sealed Air's application was filed by Spring Consulting Group L.L.C. in Boston.
The U.S. Labor Department's final authorization of a health care service firm's application to fund benefit risks through its captive insurance company affirms that the door again is open to employers to seek fast regulatory review of their captive benefit funding proposals.