EEOC ISSUES FINAL RULE ON RETIREE HEALTH BENEFITS UNDER ADEA

by Patricia Schaeffer, Vice President-Regulatory Affairs

On December 26, 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) published its long-awaited final rule that permits employers to create, adopt, and maintain a wide range of retiree health plan designs without violating the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 (ADEA). These plans include Medicare bridge plans and Medicare wrap-around plans. In its announcement, the EEOC cited support for the final rule by key members of Congress, as well as the employer and labor communities. The EEOC has also published a Q & A on the final rule.

The rule became effective on December 26, 2007.

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