Sun Life ex­perts of­fer views on U.S. elec­tion re­sults

Sun Life Fi­nan­cial Inc.’s Mar­jory Robert­son and James Slot­nick say that the Demo­cratic wins in the U.S. midterm elec­tions show that the is­sue of paid leave is get­ting a more sym­pa­thetic hear­ing in Congress. Also, Oba­macare is safe for an­other two years.

Stockwatch Daily - - FRONT PAGE - Mr. Devon Fer­nald re­ports

IN A leg­isla­tive we­bi­nar post­elec­tion yes­ter­day, Sun Life Fi­nan­cial Inc. U.S. ex­perts dis­cussed how the midterm elec­tions could af­fect em­ployee ben­e­fits, and ex­plored the growth of new paid leave laws at the fed­eral, state and lo­cal lev­els.

Sun Life’s Mar­jory Robert­son, se­nior coun­sel and a leave com­pli­ance ex­pert, and James Slot­nick, head of govern­ment re­la­tions, gave in­sight into the leg­isla­tive land­scape, par­tic­u­larly in re­gard to paid leave.

“Paid leave is def­i­nitely on the rise,” said Ms. Robert­son. “The 2016 elec­tion brought it to the na­tional stage. Wash­ing­ton State, Mas­sachusetts and D.C. have passed manda­tory paid leave laws, and we ex­pect to see more and more states pass­ing their own leave laws, and are closely watch­ing Con­necti­cut, Col­orado, Maine, New Mex­ico, Ore­gon and Ver­mont. We may even see the Demo­crat-con­trolled House pass fed­eral paid leave leg­is­la­tion. Em­ploy­ers need to stay up­dated be­cause these laws in­crease com­pli­ance chal­lenges and will im­pact the struc­ture of em­ployee bene-

fits, paid time off poli­cies, and short- and long-term dis­abil­ity.”

Mr. Slot­nick and Ms. Robert­son also dis­cussed how op­pos­ing ma­jori­ties in the House and Se­nate will po­ten­tially slow the pace of leg­is­la­tion, and what is next for the Af­ford­able Care Act. “With no sup­port in the House, ACA re­peal and re­place has no vi­able path for­ward for at least the next two years,” said Mr. Slot­nick. “I am watch­ing for the out­come of the state of Texas’s ACA law­suit and whether it makes its way to the Supreme Court. With tax re­form re­duc­ing the in­di­vid­ual man­date penalty to zero dol­lars, it opened the door to ar­gue that the ACA is no longer con­sti­tu­tional. Cur­rently, there are 37 states in­volved in this law­suit, and it has the po­ten­tial to end the law.”

Other key take­aways from the we­bi­nar, ac­cord­ing to Mr. Slot­nick and Ms. Robert­son:

• “Medi­care for all”: With 15 Demo­cratic se­na­tors co-spon­sor­ing, Sen. Bernie San­ders’s pro­posed leg­is­la­tion could be­come part of the 2020 Demo­cratic plat­form;

• Bal­ance billing: A group of bi­par­ti­san se­na­tors have dis­cussed a bill that would limit pa­tient ex­po­sure and put more li­a­bil­ity on health-plan spon­sors;

• Evo­lu­tion of paid fam­ily and med­i­cal leave laws: orig­i­nal laws fo­cused on wage re­place­ment rather than job pro­tec­tion, and this is chang­ing to in­clude pro­tec­tions for both wages and jobs;

• Em­ployer paid leave pro­grams: More em­ploy­ers are adopt­ing their own vol­un­tary paid leave plans, find­ing them to be a pow­er­ful re­cruit­ment and re­ten­tion tool with mil­len­ni­als.

For the full record­ing of the leg­isla­tive up­date we­bi­nar, please con­tact Devon.Port­ney.Fer­nald@sun­life.com.

About Sun Life Fi­nan­cial

Sun Life Fi­nan­cial is a lead­ing in­ter­na­tional fi­nan­cial ser­vices or­ga­ni­za­tion pro­vid­ing a di­verse range of in­sur­ance, wealth and as­set man­age­ment so­lu­tions to in­di­vid­u­als and cor­po­rate Clients.

Sun Life Fi­nan­cial has oper­a­tions in a num­ber of mar­kets world­wide, in­clud­ing Canada, the United States, the United King­dom, Ire­land, Hong Kong, the Philip­pines, Ja­pan, In­done­sia, In­dia, China, Aus­tralia, Sin­ga­pore, Viet­nam, Malaysia and Ber­muda. As of Septem­ber 30, 2018, Sun Life Fi­nan­cial had to­tal as­sets un­der man­age­ment of $984-bil­lion.

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