retiree pension funding

We are happy to announced today that Spring has been issued U.S. Patent No. 8,676,686 for our Program for Alternative Funding of Employee and Retiree Benefits by the United States Patent and Trademark Office.

This patent marks the 5th that has been issued to Spring for our team’s trailblazing employee benefit funding strategies.

This most recent patent outlines Spring’s process for funding retiree benefits including pensions, defined contributions and other retirement programs through a partially, wholly or non-owned captive insurance company. The patent also outlines the process for terminating a pension plan, funding additional employee benefits through a captive and also the reinvestment of captive assets to generate additional assets.

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employee benefit captiveEarlier this month, the Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) released their Annual Captive Insurance Market Study at their annual conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. This is the 14th consecutive year that CICA has released this survey, which is widely accepted as a barometer for the captive industry.

It is always interesting to see what direction the captive owner community is moving in. These are professionals on the front lines of risk financing who often see, and react, to the coming forces before some employers do.

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As Human Resource (HR) and Risk Management (RM) professionals struggle to manage employee absence, the discussion quickly shifts to outcomes, return to work, savings and return on investment. While all very important topics, those measures include a very important data point that is sometimes overlooked – a sick, disabled employee.”

behavioral health claims

This powerful statement comes from the opening segment of a new article co-authored by Spring Partner Teri Weber along with Jennifer Kurtz and Jennifer Nash-Wright, both of Behavioral Medical Interventions. In the piece, titled “Behavioral Health Claims: Finding the Right Referral,” the three experts detail both peer reviews and independent medical exams (IMEs) and how to identify which referral is appropriate when.

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check

Spring creates innovative funding strategy in landmark case

Congratulations to Intel Corp, who recently received approval by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) of their application to fund their employee benefits in their captive.  Our team had submitted the application to the DOL on behalf of Intel.

Intel was seeking to reinsure their life and accidental death and dismemberment coverage through their existing Hawaii-based captive. They had received preliminary approval back on November 6, 2013.

More information about this development can be found in the April 10th Federal Register in Application No. L-11760.

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831b captivesThe Captive Insurance Companies Association (CICA) Board of Directors recently adopted a statement clarifying their position on 831(b) captives (mini-captives). In this statement, the CICA Board highlighted their concern about the misuse of these captives by individuals and companies seeking nothing more than a tax shelter.

It was important for CICA to issue this statement and clarify their official position on this matter, given the negative effects that such misuse has on the reputation of the captive industry.

The statement is worth a quick read. It can be found here.

Image credit: Avery Studio via flickr

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absence managementRecently, Spring partner Teri Weber co-presented a webinar with members of the ClaimVantage team about integrated disability and absence management.

The webinar covered a number of topics including:

  • 1) Industry trends affecting Absence and Disability claims management
  • 2) The benefits of integrating your Disability and FMLA claims
  • 3) Industry best practices for managing these claims together

In case you missed the session, we are please to be able to provide you with the recording below.




Interested in learning more about Spring’s integrated disability and absence management solutions? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

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Karin Landry Spring Consulting GroupWe are happy to announce that Spring Managing Partner, Karin Landry, will be a presenter at this year’s National Captive Insurance Summit, hosted by American Conference Institute.

This year’s event will run from April 24-25th and take place at The Carlton Hotel in New York City.

Landry will be speaking about using captives to fund employee benefits. More specifically, the talk will cover working with the U.S. Department of Labor to write employee medical plans into a captive; the basics of forming a medical stop loss captive; and the overall benefits of forming a life and disability and ERISA-based benefit captives.

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ACA excepted benefit ruleAs the government continues to add depth and clarity to the sweeping Affordable Care Act (ACA) law, employers should be taking note of the definition and enforcement of “excepted benefits.”

If you are unaware, excepted benefits refer to employee benefits that are excluded, for one reason or another, from the ACA’s portability and nondiscrimination requirements. Excepted benefits fall into at least one of four categories:

1) Generally not health coverage

2) Limited excepted benefits (limited scope vision, dental, long term care, nursing home, home care, community benefits). Only if they are:

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