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With Open Enrollment Season Under Way, What Do Employees Need to Know?

October is a great month for many reasons, but unless you’re a serious health care wonk, open enrollment probably isn’t one of them.

Treasury Makes it Easier for Pension Plans to Pay Partial Annuities

The Department of Treasury has issued final regulations that simplify the rules that allow retiring participants to simultaneously elect a partial lump sum and a partial annuity from a defined benefit pension plan. Under the tax code, the minimum present value of a benefit offered by a pension plan cannot be less than the present value calculated by using a specified mortality table and interest rate. The regulations, which were first proposed in February 2012, are an attempt to balance the need for retirees to insure against unexpected longevity (by promoting partial annuity payments) with the increased liquidity provided by accelerated forms of payment (like lump sums).

The MPRA: One Size Fits No One

This is another in our series addressing the continuing deterioration of multi-employer defined benefit pension plans.

Code Section 409A and You: The IRS Issues New Guidance

Earlier this summer, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) issued proposed regulations under Sections 409A and 457 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Proposed Regulations) that modify the final regulations issued on April 17, 2007 (the Final Regulations). The Proposed Regulations include new and clarifying provisions that will affect how employers design and operate their nonqualified deferred compensation plans. Primarily, these changes clarify rules relating to (1) income inclusion, (2) exemptions from Section 409A, and (3) opportunities for acceleration and deferral of payments. The following summarizes the more practical changes that affect how employers operate their deferred compensation plans.

Criminal Liability for Failure to Contribute to Multiemployer Benefit Fund?

The precarious financial status of some multiemployer benefit funds has led to criminal indictment against non-contributors. This troubling expansion of potential sanctions for failure to make required contributions to multiemployer benefit plans appears in a case from the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.

Comparison of Equity Based Compensation Options

Sue says there are three main options for this model: stock options, phantom stock and restricted stock. Each comes with its own advantages.

Mandatory Commuter Benefits on the Rise in Major Metro Areas; Will Your Locale Be Next?

The employer requirement to offer employees the option of purchasing commuter transit benefits on a pre-tax basis via payroll deduction took effect this year on January 1 in two major metropolitan cities – New York City and Washington, DC.

ERISA Cyber Security Threats and the Role of Human Resources

With the increasing threat to organizations from data breaches, HR plays a critical role in helping prevent and minimize the risk from cyber theft. This podcast will address how to identify potential cyber security problems, workforce challenges in data protection, and the use of policies, training and employee education that are designed to protect private and sensitive data.

New ACA Marketplace Notices to Employers Require Action

Many employers are receiving Health Insurance Marketplace notices stating:

Benefits Update (No. 3, September 2016)

Upcoming Benefit Plan Deadlines