Retiree Healthcare Back in Focus

A mixed race senior couple is kayaking down a river together. The image's focus is on the elderly woman smiling in the foreground. She is Pacific Islander and has graying hair. Her husband is seen in a kayak in the background. In the distance behind the couple you can see the shoreline and a bridge. The happy couple are wearing casual clothing. It is warm outside.

With the upturn in the economy, employers are again starting to look at improvements to benefit programs, especially for their key employees. Retiree healthcare is a topic where I am surprised that discussions have changed from “how do I eliminate this obligation” to “tell me what other employers are doing for their key staff for post-employment… [Read More]

Self-Insurance: And You Didn’t Even Know There Was a Problem


One of the advantages of self-insurance is the avoidance of state insurance regulations. Federal law provides that with certain exceptions, ERISA preempts “any and all state laws insofar as they relate to any employee benefit plan.” Many employers manage employees in multiple states, and even if their employees are in a single state, adopting a… [Read More]

DOL’s Fiduciary Proposal Can Mean Big Changes, but for Whom?


When the Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced proposed regulations updating the ERISA definition of a fiduciary, many industry heavyweights publicly proclaimed that this was going to hurt the small investors by causing brokers to exit that end of the market. Meanwhile, some advisors have used the news to call my clients, warning them how… [Read More]

Using Captive Insurance Companies to Fund Employee Benefits


Most mid-sized and large employers have taken the step to self-insure their medical insurance plans, which removes margin and profits on these programs. But about two dozen companies in the United States have taken this to the next level by self-funding employee benefit plans through single company captive insurance companies. A captive insurance company is… [Read More]

Keeping Up with Domestic Partner and Same-Sex Marriage Rules


Bob Radecki is the President of Benefit Comply, and our first guest contributor to FrenkelySpeaking. Here are some of highlights from the seminar I hosted for Frenkel’s clients yesterday. The shifting legal landscape of domestic partner relationships and same-sex marriage has created significant challenges for employee benefits managers. Some employers have voluntarily extended benefits to… [Read More]