|Nov17-11, 09:15 AM||#69|
"An association representing 300 large corporations urged President Obama and Congress on Monday to repeal a provision of the health care overhaul that prompted AT&T, Caterpillar and other companies to announce substantial charges for the current quarter.
Times Topic: Health Care Reform
The association, the American Benefits Council, said the provision — which reduces the tax deductions for companies with drug coverage for their retired employees — would deal a significant blow to corporate profits and would discourage companies from hiring more workers.
AT&T announced last week that it was taking a $1 billion charge because of the provision. Deere & Company announced a $150 million charge, Caterpillar a $100 million charge, and 3M a $90 million charge.
Many companies said they were taking these charges now, before the current quarter ended, to comply with accounting rules. But some corporate critics asserted that the companies’ rapid response to the health legislation was aimed at pressing the administration to repeal the provision.
James A. Klein, the president of the American Benefits Council, called the provision “a serious mistake that is having negative and unintended consequences.”
White House officials defended the provision, saying it was a deliberate effort to eliminate what they said was an unusually generous tax loophole."
Given the current discussion of "jobs" and eliminating "tax loopholes" (consider consequences) - this is an important topic.
|Nov17-11, 10:34 AM||#70|
|Nov17-11, 01:48 PM||#71|
|Nov17-11, 02:20 PM||#72|
"Providing for health care is an important part of retirement. Some employees are fortunate: they belong to employer-provided health care plans that carry over to retirement.
However, an important question arises for employees and retirees: How secure are my health care benefits after retirement? Under what circumstances can the company reduce or terminate my health benefits?
Employees and retirees should know that private-sector employers are not required to promise retiree health benefits. Furthermore, when employers do offer retiree health benefits, nothing in federal law prevents them from cutting or eliminating those benefits--unless they have made a specific promise to maintain the benefits.
The key to understanding your retiree health benefits lies in the documents governing your plan.
Review Your Plan Documents
To understand the terms of employer-provided retiree health benefits, you should first review your plan documents.
The Summary Plan Description (SPD) is a summary of the terms of the plan. Employers are required to provide a copy to you within 90 days after you become a participant in the plan.
For retirees, the SPD that was in effect when you retired may be the controlling document. You should save a copy of it. You also should save any SPD changes affecting your benefits after you retire.
In addition, there may be formal written documents that outline how your health plan is operated. These may include a collective bargaining agreement or an insurance contract.
You Should Know-Coverage Can Change
If your employer has reserved the right in the SPD or controlling plan document to change the terms of the plan, you may lose coverage at any time during your retirement. If your employer made a clear promise that you will have specific health care benefits for a definite period of time or for life, and did not reserve the right to change the plan in any formal written plan document, you should be covered."
|Nov17-11, 03:15 PM||#73|
Apparently, it's also ok for the Obama administration to falsely slight those who created it by wrongly referring to it as a "loophole."
I agree with the points you make, WhoWee.
|Nov17-11, 03:24 PM||#74|
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