It’s May 4th and, to some, it just means you’re one day closer to the weekend. But for Star Wars fans like Talking Benefits host, Julie Stich, add one little preposition to that date and it becomes an unofficial, international holiday. May the Fourth be with you!

So join us on a journey to a galaxy, far, far away (or close by, depending on where you’re listening) . . . As we hear about the latest benefits-related battles going on in Washington, D.C..

Talking Benefits Episode 5: Washington Strikes Again

This month’s show—Episode 5: Washington Strikes Again
(Length: 24:17)

Impossible to see, the future is. But Julie, Kelli and Justin provide insights on what the future might bring as they discuss the latest developments:

  • Recap of MPRA and paid leave activity
  • American Health Care Act—The vote. What’s next?
  • Legislative Process 101—Julie explains how a bill becomes a law
  • Insurance industry and exchanges and cost-sharing subsidies
  • Confirmation of Labor Secretary, Alexander Acosta—review of his likely agenda and actions including Fiduciary Rule, PBGC and DOL Overtime Rule
  • Tax Reform impact on retirement plans—401(k) contribution deductions.

Resources mentioned in this episode
Benefits Transition Tracker
Fraud Prevention Institute for Employee Benefit Plans
Trump’s 100-Day Look Back: Labor and Employment Law Update

Bonus segment! We asked International Foundation staff to step up to the mic with their best Star Wars character impersonations. You’ll hear them throughout the episode and in a few out-takes at the very end.

Fun with sabers in the recording studio.
Staffer Travis going to the dark side.









Podcast editor Amanda channeling her inner Leia.
Floyd and Will (dog and son of staffer Denise) posing as Chewie and Han.

Podcast Newbie?
 Don’t worry—It’s easy to start listening! Download a podcast app to your smartphone or tablet. We recommend the Apple podcast app (Apple products only) and Stitcher. Then, search “Talking Benefits” and click “Subscribe.” The app will automatically download new episodes as they come out. Want to listen on your computer? Search “Talking Benefits” in iTunes and subscribe, or check back every month for new episodes posted on our webpage.

Subscribe to Talking Benefits on iTunes, Stitcher or your favorite podcast app, or watch for new episodes on the International Foundation website.

Subscribe to Talking Benefits on Stitcher Subscribe to Talking Benefits on iTunes

Ann Godsell, CEBS
Social Business Strategist at the International Foundation


Social Business Strategist at the International Foundation

Favorite Foundation service/product: Face to face conferences.

Benefit topics that grab her: Benefit communication, preventive health, health care cost management, workflex

Favorite Foundation conference moments: Meeting Dr. Andrew Weil at the Annual Employee Benefits Conference was a cherished opportunity. She also loves the times when she and a member recognize each other at a conference because of interacting on Twitter!

Personal Insight: Known around the office as “appropriately paranoid,” Ann is usually prepared for a variety of potential outcomes in most every situation.

Recommended Posts

The State of Multiemployer Health Plans: Ten Takeaways

Justin Held, CEBS

The median cost of benefits for multiemployer health plans increased 4.7% from 2017 to 2018, reaching $11,642 per participant per year (PPPY), according to a new International Foundation report. The consistent increases in costs over the ten-year period required increases in employer […]

Where We Are Now: Special Financial Assistance Under the American Rescue Plan Act

Kathy Bergstrom, CEBS

From capital market return expectations to the rules that cover the program, a lot has changed in the two years since the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law and created the Special Financial Assistance (SFA) program for struggling multiemployer pension […]

Education Benefits for Recruiting and Building Talent

Anne Patterson

Could education benefits help your organization recruit and retain talent? Tune into the latest Talking Benefits episode to get “schooled” on the various options available to employers in this area. The episode covers: Give it a listen to find out how your […]