I frequently come across interesting information that, while not lending itself to a full blog post, is still worth sharing. This post is part of a periodic series in which I summarize this information and provide links for those who want to learn more.

 

• Here is another entry for our coverage of CFO compensation. The Association of Finance Professionals (AFP) 2013 compensation survey provides the usual salary information, as well as bonuses (which averaged $57.692 or 35% of salary for finance executives in 2012). The survey also highlights the factors used for determining those bonuses (most common: operating income or EBITDA targets, completion of specific projectsand profit or increased profit targets).

In addition to finance executive pay, the survey provides insight into compensation levels for managers and staff working in finance departments. The survey results are available to AFP members. Non-members can download survey highlights online (registration required).

• Worried about complying with health care reform changes? Self insuring health programs could offer fully insured employers a way out of some of the law’s requirements. The Health Performance Institute has published a white paper laying out what health care reform changes fully insured employers can avoid by switching over to self insurance. For example, self-insured plans are exempt from the requirement that plans provide certain “essential health benefits,” such as prescription drug coverage and maternity and newborn care, and from limits on plan deductibles.

• The medical-loss-ratio rebates from insurers are coming again this summer. However, the federal government announced that the total rebates owed are about half of what they were last year. Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), otherwise known as health care reform, insurers must spend at least 80% of premiums on health care services. If the insurer spends less than that on services, the difference must be returned in the form of a rebate to plan participants. Fully insured employers are likely to receive any rebate on behalf of their employees and may be required to distribute that money to participants or use it to reduce premiums. If fully insured employers have not worked out an efficient way to distribute these rebates to employees, now is the time to do so.

• Wal-Mart is shopping around for a new provider for its $15 billion 401(k) plan. This is a useful reminder to CFOs that periodically shopping around for retirement plan services can yield better pricing and more advantageous terms from plan vendors, even if the company doesn’t change providers in the end. It’s a good idea to do this at least every five years. This is particularly true if plan assets have increased significantly. For the most part, larger plans tend to get better deals and services.