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Benefit Design and Communication

Group Health Plan Costs Up 4.1 Percent in 2012, Smallest Increase in 15 years: Mercer

November 14, 2012
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The 4.1 percent increase brought health plan costs to an average of $10,558 per employee in 2012, compared with $10,146 per employee in 2011, according to the survey.
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With Election Near, Romney, Obama Take Very Different Stances on Health Care Reform Law

November 5, 2012
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Republican challenger Mitt Romney said numerous times during the campaign that one of his first acts, if elected, would be to seek repeal of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. But if President Barack Obama is elected for a new term, experts expect an acceleration in the pace at which health care reform regulations are issued.
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Kimberly-Clark Offers Lump-Sum Pension Benefits

October 24, 2012
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Participants will have until Nov. 21 to make the election. The lump sum payments will be funded from plan assets and will be made by the end of 2012.
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Verizon Buys Group Annuity and Sheds $7.5 Billion in Pension Liabilities

October 23, 2012
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New York-based Verizon became the second major employer in recent months to announce such a pension plan risk-reduction strategy.
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Benefit Tech Tools Aim to Turn Employees Into Smart Shoppers

October 19, 2012
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Health care consumerism—a movement to empower employees with information to help them choose plans, providers and treatments—is giving rise to online decision-support tools that assess the best benefit plan for their needs.
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Fewer Employers Offering Defined Benefit Pension Plans to New Salaried Employees

October 3, 2012
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Just 11 Fortune 100 companies offered a traditional defined benefit plan to new salaried employees as of June 30, down from 14 in 2011, 17 in 2010 and 19 in 2009.
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Equifax to Offer Lump-Sum Pension Conversions to Eligible Former Employees

October 2, 2012
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The offer is being extended to those individuals who terminated employment prior to Jan. 1, 2012, but have not yet started to receive benefits.
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Well, Well: Employers Tie Health Care Financial Incentives to Specific Outcomes

September 29, 2012
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Many companies offer incentives and tie them to plan design, specific health outcomes or apply surcharges when employees don't take part in particular programs.
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Is Choosing a Defined Contribution in Health Care Taking the Radical Route?

September 28, 2012
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The option, which gives employees more autonomy, could revolutionize employer-provided health benefits, proponents say.
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