52 episodes

Whoever said employee benefits compliance can’t be fun was pretty much exactly right ... until now.

The bold and more than modestly deranged ERISA experts from Lockton Benefit Group’s Compliance Services division are throwing all caution to the wind and attempting to make plain the intricacies of employee benefits while laughing through it all.

Their motto: “If after all this effort we can elicit a single laugh, the fact that we skipped lunch to record this will more or less have been worth it.”

Not legal advice: Nothing in this podcast should be construed as legal advice (although it may be considered advice for better living). Lockton may not be considered your legal counsel, and communications with Lockton's Compliance Services group are not privileged under the attorney-client privilege.

ERISA is a friend of mine Lockton Companies

    • Business
    • 4.9 • 38 Ratings

Whoever said employee benefits compliance can’t be fun was pretty much exactly right ... until now.

The bold and more than modestly deranged ERISA experts from Lockton Benefit Group’s Compliance Services division are throwing all caution to the wind and attempting to make plain the intricacies of employee benefits while laughing through it all.

Their motto: “If after all this effort we can elicit a single laugh, the fact that we skipped lunch to record this will more or less have been worth it.”

Not legal advice: Nothing in this podcast should be construed as legal advice (although it may be considered advice for better living). Lockton may not be considered your legal counsel, and communications with Lockton's Compliance Services group are not privileged under the attorney-client privilege.

    Lifestyle accounts for the not-so rich and famous: Nice perk, but watch your step

    Lifestyle accounts for the not-so rich and famous: Nice perk, but watch your step

    Lifestyle spending accounts, or LSAs, might be the new darling of employee benefit offerings, but this recent innovation is not without risk. Specifically, these employer-funded notional accounts, that can pay for everything from yoga classes to emergency car repairs, shouldn’t get too cozy with ERISA.
    In this episode, Ed and Scott welcome the newest member of the Lockton Compliance Services team, Ruhe Wadud, to explain the ins and outs of LSAs and why ERISA is no friend of these new spending accounts.
    Why didn’t Scott invite Ed to episode 5, and just who is Robin Leach? What are LSAs, and what are they typically used for? Why “let the buyer beware” is the savvy employer’s watch phrase when listening to LSA vendor pitches. How LSAs pose ERISA risks, and how to avoid them.

    • 15 min
    Broker and consultant disclosures: How much do you make?

    Broker and consultant disclosures: How much do you make?

    At the end of last year, Congress passed a piece of legislation that addressed, among other things, new broker and consultant disclosure requirements that affect all contracts entered into or renewed Dec. 27, 2021 or after. While some disclosures already happen, the new obligations are focused on getting more detailed information in the hands of plan sponsors and fiduciaries. 
    In the latest episode, Ed leaves his beloved podcast baby in the safe (safe?) and loving (loving?) hands of Scott and his honorary cohost Rory Kane Akers. Together, Scott and Rory take transparency to a whole new level as they tackle broker and consultant compensation disclosures. 
    What plans are covered by these new requirements?  Who counts as a “consultant” now expected to disclose this compensation information? (HINT: It’s not as clear cut as the broker distinction.)  How do plan sponsors get this information? Do they have to request it? When should they expect the information to be delivered?  How are the DOL and Santa similar? (Yes, you read that right.)  What do brokers and consultants have to disclose? What is the difference between direct and indirect compensation?  What’s the plan sponsor supposed to do with all this information?  Where is Ed by the way? Is he okay? Seriously, if you’ve seen him, let us know.

    • 17 min
    How long? ERISA, record retention and the end of reason

    How long? ERISA, record retention and the end of reason

    One of the most vexing aspects of benefit plan sponsorship and administration is hanging on to old records like enrollment forms, claim denials, plan documents, SPDs, ACA filings, etc. So when it comes to record retention, how long is long enough?
    Ed and Scott welcome to the show their colleague, attorney Suzanne Bach, formerly of the Labor Department’s national office, to explain the rules, and best practices, around plan-related document retention. Join them as they explain:
    Why the answer to “What if I can’t find it?” in response to federal enforcement agents’ request for plan records is going to be “You lose.” How does the record retention period differ depending on the law requiring the document and depending on how the request is couched? Why isn’t “quadruplely” a word? Or is it? (It is in Ed’s world!) Why does a clear record retention policy actually help – not handcuff – plan sponsors? As a companion piece to this episode, check out the nifty record retention grid prepared by the show’s guest, Suzanne Bach, J.D.

    • 20 min
    Telemedicine: Every rose has its thorns

    Telemedicine: Every rose has its thorns

    Poison – the rock band, not the substance – reminded us that every rose has its thorns, and that's certainly true when it comes to telemedicine. Telemed brings primary care and so much more, like substance use treatment and even physical therapy, into the virtual age. It offers unprecedented convenience to patients, lower overhead for providers and safety during a pandemic. But it's not all a bed of roses. In this episode, Scott and Ed discuss telemedicine's clinical and convenience advantages but warn about the compliance thorns that come with it. They discuss:
    Why is offering a telemed portal only to enrollees in the major medical plan a best practice? Why is it ok to go against the above mentioned best practice during the COVID-19 public health emergency? Why do some vendors mislead employers into thinking pairing telemed with a high deductible health plan is no big deal? How to reconcile telemed with HSA eligibility, what's the telemed/HDHP/HSA "free pass," and how long does it last?

    • 18 min
    Mental health parity: We all need a helping hand

    Mental health parity: We all need a helping hand

    Federal regulators seem to have little hesitancy in asking employer group health plan sponsors to do the near impossible. The near-impossible dream du jour requires employers to certify that their plans comply with mental health parity non-quantitative limitations, or NQTLs. In this episode, Scott and Ed welcome colleague and friend of the show Rory Kane Akers, former DOL mental health parity auditor. Rory breaks down what employers are required to do, why it’s nearly impossible for them to do it alone, and best practices for leaning on carriers and third-party administrators (TPAs) to help. The trio tees up:
    What exactly are non-quantitative treatment limits, and why do the parity rules care? Why is Scott so fond of mental health care but not so much the parity rules? Why does it matter, when arming itself to satisfy the non-quantitative assessment requirement, whether the employer’s plan is insured or self-funded? What are the two (or three) possible responses from carriers or TPAs when asked to help provide the required NQTL analysis, and how do employers respond to each?

    • 24 min
    Dealing with the delta: Mandating and incentivizing the COVID-19 vaccine

    Dealing with the delta: Mandating and incentivizing the COVID-19 vaccine

    With the COVID-19 delta variant on the rampage, the federal government and many private employers are ramping up vaccination campaigns. Statistics show the unvaccinated are 11 times more likely than the vaccinated to die from the virus. The feds are poised to mandate vaccinations outright for employees of many private employers. But in the meantime, a growing number of employers are using medical-plan related wellness programs to incentivize employees to get vaccinated.
    In this first episode of Season 6, Ed and Scott outline the boxes an employer must check to promote vaccinations through a wellness program. Paula Day, Director of Lockton’s HR Compliance Consulting, drops by to school the guys on the similar boxes an employer must check when incentivizing vaccines outside of a wellness program. In this episode, the trio address:
    Which employers are subject to the Biden administration’s new vaccination mandate? Why employers cannot condition medical plan eligibility – or coverage of treatment of the virus – on vaccination status? Is Ed and Scott’s mountain climbing adventure a perfect metaphor for employers’ vaccination efforts? Employers need a vaccination policy; what should it include? Why was Scott so full of bad ideas during this episode’s lightning round?

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
38 Ratings

38 Ratings

JGBENN78 ,

Great content and entertainment!

Not sure how they make ERISA so entertaining, but they do! Highly recommend this podcast for anyone looking to brush up on what’s new and exciting in the ERISA world.

ERISA Binger ,

Studs!

Dry topics served up extremely wet!

ksadjutant ,

These guys are geniuses!

Good content, whimsical format! Great learning tool!

Top Podcasts In Business

Ramsey Network
Jocko DEFCOR Network
BiggerPockets
NPR
Andy Frisella #100to0
The Black Effect and iHeartPodcasts

You Might Also Like

Lester Holt, NBC News
This American Life
audiochuck