July 2014

Medicare Special Enrollment

While we may be a few months away from Open Enrollment, which starts in October, for making Medicare related changes a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) may occur at any time. Special Enrollment Periods are triggered by special events or circumstances and while are not calendar driven may have time limitations. You can make changes to your Medicare Advantage and Medicare prescription drug coverage when certain events happen in your life, like if you move or you lose other insurance coverage. Rules about when you can make changes and the type of changes you can make are different for each SEP.

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Retirement ESOPs and the Presumption of Prudence

Some retirement plans invest in their own company's stock. These retirement plans are called "ESOPs": employee stock ownership plans.

Why would a plan participant challenge his or her company's decision to invest in it own stock? Or that the ESOP has a duty to diversify? Or that it should limit its investment in company stock or even not invest at all? Isn't self-interest a breach of fiduciary duty?

ERISA permits companies to invest their own stock. And when things go wrong, sometimes the companies defend their decisions on a "presumption of prudence." Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court took up the issue of "prudence."

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