PLANSPONSOR Weekend Newsdash
Week ending January 19th, 2018

Hello, PLANSPONSOR readers! This week’s focus is on health care and other benefits. Legislators and regulators are pushing to open the door for small businesses to offer their employees health benefits. A federal court vacated a portion of EEOC wellness program rules. The National Business Group on Health (NBGH) made its predictions for 2018 health benefit trends. And, industry sources weigh in on how voluntary benefits can help employees with their total financial picture. Enjoy this edition of PLANSPONSOR Weekend!

Editor's choice
Benefits
A New, Lower-Cost Health Benefit for Small Employers
The smallest employers can now offer a different type of health reimbursement arrangement (HRA) to help employees pay for medical costs, without tying it to a group health plan. Read more >
Compliance
Court Puts Pressure on EEOC to Revise Wellness Program Rules
A federal court judge vacated the incentive portion of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) wellness program rules under the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA), but issued a stay on his decision until January 1, 2019. Read more >
Compliance
DOL Makes Proposal to Expand Access to Small Business Health Plans
Modifying the definition of employer for these plans will help employers reduce health benefit administrative costs through economies of scale, the Department of Labor says. Read more >
Benefits
Initiatives to Change Health Care Delivery a Focus for Employers in 2018
The National Business Group on Health sees more traction in value purchasing, increasing employee consumerism and increasing employee engagement in resources offered to them. Read more >
Benefits
Employees Need and Want Benefits Other Than Retirement Plans
Voluntary benefits can help employees better manage financial risks. “If you want to reduce compensation and benefits spending without leaving your workforce financially vulnerable, you may need to take a closer look at the degree of choice and value provided in your benefits package,” according to Heather Garber, vice president of voluntary benefits & technology at Hub International Insurance Services Inc. in Chicago, Illinois. Read more >
MOST POPULAR STORIES
AT&T Sued Over Calculation of Early Retirement Benefits

The plaintiffs say the plan’s terms reduce benefits using “Early Retirement Factors” and “Joint and Survivor Annuity Factors” which result in plan participants receiving less than the actuarial equivalent of their vested accrued benefit, as required by ERISA.

Congressional Leaders Want SECURE Act Passage in 2019

Based on the conversations industry advocates are having in Washington, none of the leadership in the Senate or the House opposes passage of the SECURE Act.

Mechanics of Implementing a Sidecar Savings Account
Keeping retirement plan contributions rolling in while also allowing employees to save for emergencies.
Breaking Free From Interest Rate Bind on DB Funding
The long-running low interest rate environment has created DB plan funding challenges, but plan sponsors can take steps to mitigate them.
Principal Announces Key Platform Decisions in Wells Fargo Integration

Principal and Wells Fargo leadership have revealed their technology plans for serving the nonqualified and employee stock ownership plan sides of the combined business.

Editorial: Alison Cooke Mintzer alison.mintzer@strategic-i.com

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