Do non-ERISA 403(b) Plan Sponsors Have Fiduciary Responsibilities?

February 15, 2012 (PLANSPONSOR.com) – David W. Powell, Esq., The Groom Law Group, speaking to attendees at the National Tax Sheltered Accounts Association’s (NTSAA) 403(b) Advisor Summit, pointed to the Uniform Management of Public Employee Retirement System Act (UMPERSA), which imposes a prudent standard for the main employee retirement system of states.  It excludes 403(b)s, but, Powell noted, as states …

Carolina Care reduces rates in some counties

Coming Soon to a County Near You: Group Rate Reductions Effective April 1, 2012, we will reduce rates for new and renewing groups of 2-99 in certain counties. The average reductions for these counties are as follows: 9 percent ? Edgefield 8 percent ? Allendale 7 percent ? Aiken, Barnwell 6 percent ? Anderson 4 percent ? Darlington, Laurens, McCormick …

Employee 401(k) Contributions Increased in 2011

Feb 13, 2012 — The average employee 401(k) contribution rose slightly in 2011 to $5,750, up from $5,680 the year before, reported Fidelity Investments. — At the end of the fourth quarter 2011, the average 401(k) balance was $69,100, up nearly 8% from the end of the third quarter. According to the report, more participants benefited from employer contributions. Eighty-two …

Weekly Economic Update for February 13

  WEEKLY ECONOMIC UPDATE     WEEKLY QUOTE “A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.” – David Brinkley     WEEKLY TIP When it comes to couples and money, a plan is better than an assumption. Discuss your financial goals together and stick to the strategy you make …

JP Morgan HSA use surges

By Kathryn Mayer, February 14, 2012, Benefitpro Just like Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase says they have added a record number of health savings accounts they manage for workers. As of this month, JP Morgan administers more than 900,000 HSAs with over $1.5 billion in HSA deposits. The average balance in 2011 for new HSA accounts rose to its …

Health care costs drop when poor are insured, study says

By Kathryn Mayer, February 10, 2012, Benefitspro A new study coming from the University of California-Irvine may upset Republicans who argue health care reform is too costly: Researchers found health care costs on the whole fall when poorer, uninsured patients are provided health insurance. “In a case study involving low-income people enrolled in a community-based health insurance program, we found …

Budget 2013: Tax Targets Medigap

Seriously?  Almost no Social Security increases over the last few years, increasing premiums, and now they want to tax you if you bought yourself good coverage?  Amazing!   The Obama administration wants to raise $2.5 billion over 10 years by imposing a surcharge on Medicare enrollees who buy “near first-dollar” Medicare supplement insurance. The surcharge would affect enrollees who use …

UNUM leaving the group Long Term Care market

Unum announced last week that they are exiting the group long-term care marketplace this quarter.  Unum is not alone—just another victim of industry trends and lower interest rates.   Unum, best known as a disability insurer, reported a $425 million net loss for the fourth quarter of 2011 on $2.6 billion in revenue, compared with $226 million in net income on …

Employer “Play or Pay” mandate

Beginning January 1, 2014, employers with more than 50 employees will have to provide health insurance to Full Time employees (30 hours or more).  This coverage will have to have a yet-to-be-identified “minimum value” and the employee-only coverage must be considered “affordable.” The determination of affordable is that the employee would not be asked to pay more than 9.5% of …

Will your waiting period for health insurance have to change?

Under “Health Care REform,”  beginning January 1, 2014, the longest waiting period allowed will the 90 days. This means that, if the employee is in an eligible class as determined by the employer, they must be allowed to join within a 90 day window.  Most clients, who use the first of the month after 90 day rules, will have to change …