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    2011 Employee Benefits Today - Issues and Problems in the Current Economic Environment: Series XXIII

    8:30 a.m. ERISA Litigation Update – 2011
    Speaker:  Vince Hess

    When conflict or ambiguity exists between statements in an SPD and the terms of the Plan, which prevails?  Specifically, may a claimant seek to enforce the statements in an SPD as a matter of contractual right?  The U.S. Supreme Court recently answered these questions.

    But in doing so, did the U.S. Supreme Court suggest an alternative strategy for a claimant to enforce the SPD?
    In addition, is reformation of Plan terms a type of relief that is permitted under the ERISA statute?
    Does the ERISA provision for equitable relief allow a court to order payment of money to a claimant?
    The U.S. Supreme Court has also addressed these matters.
    This presentation will cover these and other significant rulings over the past year.

    9:00 a.m. Compliance Issues Relating to Employee Wellness Programs 
    Speakers:  Stefan Smith & Katy Zarolia

    This program will address the proper design and maintenance of programs aimed at creating financial and other incentives for health-conscious lifestyle choices and disease management.  These wellness programs are gaining popularity amongst employers, but they raise several compliance issues under federal law, including ERISA, HIPAA, and the ADA, that must be considered carefully before moving forward with the adoption of such a plan.  We will separate fact from fiction in this area of employee benefits that is quickly attracting a lot of attention.

      
    9:45 a.m. Coffee Break

    10:15 a.m. Executive Compensation Update
    Speaker:  Ed Razim

    This discussion will focus on a number of current matters involving executive compensation agreements.  The presentation will include an overview of the correction guidance for errors involving agreements and plans subject to Section 409A, the tax treatment of extended medical benefits and structuring issues for release agreements.

    10:45 a.m. Employee Benefits for Domestic Partners and Same-Sex Spouses
    Speaker:  Larry Hansen

    This presentation will discuss various legal aspects of employee benefits for same-sex spouses and domestic partners including:

        • Effect of the Defense of Marriage Act

        • Effect of state same-sex recognition laws: marriages, civil unions and domestic  partnerships

    11:15  a.m. Welfare Benefits Update
    Speaker: Jan R. Newsom

    An up-to-the-minute review of what is happening in Washington, D.C., with an emphasis on health reform changes, progress in the litigation challenging the “individual insurance mandate," new required prevention benefits and related CMS guidance and rules for both small and large employer group health plans.  Electronic access to benefit information, “medical home” and concierge medical plans, health plan data management, reporting and data breaches will also be discussed from the perspective of the employer’s role, accountability and planning for future benefit plan changes.

    12:00 p.m.  Questions and Answers

    DALLAS LOCATION ONLY:

    12:15 p.m. Lunch – Lakewood Room

    12:45 p.m. Luncheon Presentation
    Speaker: George Patterson, Internal Revenue Service

    1:15 p.m.  Adjournment

    VIDEO CONFERENCE LOCATIONS:

    Registration, Continental Breakfast and Introduction: 8:00 a.m. CDT
    Program: 8:30 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. CDT
     
    Locke Lord – Chicago Office
    41st Floor Conference Room
    111 S. Whacker Drive
    Chicago, IL 60606
     
    Locke Lord – Houston Office
    28th Floor Conference Room
    2800 JPMorgan Chase Tower, 600 Travis
    Houston, TX  77002

    For more information please contact: Rachel Wallace
    T: 214-740-8830
    rwallace@lockelord.com

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