Health Care Reform – How much will the Supreme Court matter?

Reeve Conover, March 31, 2012 A most interesting week in our countries history just unfolded. With 63% of Americans reportedly not in favor of Health Care Reform, and only 17% saying the court should uphold the mandate, it appears (emphasis on the maybe) that the Supreme Court may have taken a dim view of the mandate.  Observers reported that much of …

Retirement Plan Deadline Reminders

4/15/12-  Excess Deferrals and Allocable income required to be complete. 5/15/12-  Quarterly Benefit Statements Due (Bet you didn’t know there was a rule for this!)

Carolina Care drops Trident from HMO Network

Negotiations have broken down between Carolina Care and the Trident Health System and East Cooper Medical Center.  Effective May 1, 2012 they will no longer be in the network. IMPORTANT NOTE-  This applies to commercial HMO products only.  Individual plans, Kidsplans and commercial Point of Service (POS) options are not affected.

DoL Announces Fiduciary Responsibilities Webcasts

March 20, 2012 — The U.S. Department of Labor’s Employee Benefits Security Administration announced two upcoming “Getting It Right – Know Your Fiduciary Responsibilities” webcasts. — The webcasts will take place on Tuesday, March 27 and Wednesday, March 28 from 1 to 2:30 p.m. EDT. The webcasts are part of the agency’s national fiduciary education campaign and will feature speakers …

IRS publishes 401k Compliance Exam Priorities

In their quarterly newsletter, Monika Templeman (Director of Employee Plans Examinations) did a review of their ongoing compliance and audit efforts.  It is eyeopening to see how much effort and organization is behind this program.  It makes very interesting reading, and begins on Page 3 of the newsletter. Click here: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-tege/epn_2012_1.pdf

Court says state can’t be sued over sick leave

By Jesse J. Holland, benefitspro March 20, 2012 WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that states cannot be sued under the Family and Medical Leave Act for refusing to give an employee time off to recover from an illness. One justice said the decision “dilutes the force” of the law that allows millions of working Americans time off …

UNDERPUBLICIZED 2012 TAX CHANGES and REMINDERS

Little details worth paying attention to as April approaches.  Presented by Reeve Conover  Every year, the IRS institutes big and little changes – and some don’t get as much notice as they should. This year is no exception. Here is a rundown of some of alterations and asterisks affecting taxpayers this year.  Don’t forget Form 8949. If you are reporting …

Weekly Economic Update for March 12, 2012

  WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE “Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.” – Adam Smith     WEEKLY TIP Financial strategies sometimes need to be revised due to career, family or lifestyle changes. So review your saving and investing approach annually. Few people do; more people should.     WEEKLY RIDDLE What word doesn’t belong …

Affordable Insurance Exchanges: Choices, Competition and Clout for States

From HealthCare.gov: On March 12, 2012, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule on Affordable Health Insurance Exchanges, which combines policies from two Notices of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRMs) published last summer. One rule, published on July 15, 2011, outlined a proposed framework to enable states to build Affordable Insurance Exchanges (Exchanges), which are new …

Settlement Entered in Kraft Excessive Fees Case

March 7, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – Kraft Foods Global agreed to pay $9.5 million to settle a lawsuit over excessive fees for its 401(k) plan investments.   In the long-running case of George v. Kraft Foods Global, Inc., et al., the plaintiffs allege that Kraft violated its Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) fiduciary duties by allowing excessive fees, holding excessive …