Hidden Employee Benefit Costs - Lawsuits, Legislation and Employer Demands Fuel Reform in the Insurance and Securities Industries

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Employee benefits advocate provides tools for employers to mitigate their employee benefit liabilities and improve their employee benefit programs.

Industry veterans have created Employee Benefits Advocate, a free resource for helping employers flush commonly undisclosed employee benefit plan costs such as broker compensation, revenue-sharing arrangements, management fees and administration expenses - the hidden costs that generate legal problems for employers and diminish the value employees receive from their employer-sponsored benefit programs.

The free information includes instructions and sample forms for exposing hidden employee benefit costs and related liabilities. The site also provides tips on maximizing the value of employee benefit programs and a direct line to experts who will answer questions. Additionally, there is a library of articles about benefits-related legal actions and news stories about the state of the employee benefits industry. Visitors to http://www.employeebenefitsadvocate.com will find worktools applicable to health and welfare benefit programs as well as pension/retirement savings programs.

"How employers procure and administer their employee benefit programs is changing …but very slowly," says Paul Bazell, Principal of Adviant. "Publicized lawsuits have brought to light the expenses and liabilities associated with employee benefit plans laden with hidden costs and ridiculous broker compensation."

According to documents filed by former New York Attorney General, Eliot Spitzer, hidden fees and commissions paid to brokers and insurance companies creates a conflict-of-interest between the broker and his client. Moreover, the lawsuits are a wake-up call to the insurance and securities industries to reform their practices and protect employers and employees from unwittingly paying hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars to brokers, and benefit service providers.

"Few benefit decision-makers know how much their brokers and service providers are being paid. It's impossible to negotiate vendors costs and services effectively without a clear picture how much money is on the table, where it's coming from, and where it's going" says Scott Colangelo, Vice President of Lawing Financial Group. "Benefit decision-makers should demand full disclosure from their vendors of all money being paid, by whom, and to whom."

"Avoiding legal problems and maximizing the value of employee benefit programs is simply good business" says Jim Drury, CEO and founder of BenefitStreet. "In our competitive business environment, each dollar spent or saved should be accounted for."

About Adviant
Adviant offers employee benefit consulting services, compensation consulting services and related human resource consulting services, as well as day-to-day administration of compensation and benefits programs. Adviant differentiates itself from large consulting firms by tailoring its services and fee structure to be cost effective for mid-size employers, Often described as a niche-player or boutique operation in our industry, Adviant is large enough to handle substantial assignments and small enough to easily flex with a client's changing needs. The Firm's clients are both public and private sector employers; they are local, national and international in scope. More information about Adviant can be found at http://www.adviant.com.

About BenefitStreet
Over 7,000 organizations in the United States have selected BenefitStreet to provide unprecedented functionality in on-demand solutions for comprehensive financial services and group benefits management and administration. They are dedicated to providing cost competitive solutions which provide superior customer services and technology, the highest quality investment choices and industry leading group benefits management and administration. BenefitStreet's suite of solutions for the Financial Benefits and Group Benefits Management and Administration which increase employee adoption and satisfaction, manage overall benefit costs and deliver valuable tools that bring control and efficiency to human resources. More information about BenefitStreet can be found at http://www.benefitstreet.com.

About Lawing Financial
Lawing Financial was founded in the mid 80's and services over 5,000 individual and group clients in over 30 states. Lawing works with their qualified plan clients on a full Revenue Sharing agreement by giving back all of the 12b-1 and Sub-TA hidden fees, provide Full Fee Disclosure and offer Professionally Managed Accounts to their participants. This combination of services has allowed them to distance themselves from the competition and become a "pure" advisor in the eye of their clients. For more information go to http://www.lawingfinancial.com.

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Arnel Trovada
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