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You’ve Discovered A Mistake in Your Plan Administration – Now What?

Occasionally qualified plan administrators discover that their plans have incurred an operational error. The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) recognizes that it needs the help of plan administrators to police the administration of qualified plans and has correspondingly published guidance to help plan administrators take appropriate corrective action where necessary.

Association Health Plans — Are They Really an Option to Consider?

As discussed during our recent webinar, the finalized DOL regulations for qualifying “association health plans” will likely create new opportunities for sole proprietors and other primarily small businesses and other trade groups to band together in a coordinated manner to purchase more affordable health insurance as a “single employer” in 2019 and beyond.

Changes to Retirement Plan Loan Rollover Distribution Rules May Necessitate Updates to Your Special Tax Notices

On January 1, 2018, modifications to the rollover distribution rules for certain retirement plan participants with defaulted plan loans went into effect. As a result of a provision in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the rollover distribution rules are now more relaxed for rollovers of defaulted loans resulting from plan terminations or a participant’s failure to repay a loan upon severance from employment. These changes impact several provisions in the “safe harbor” model tax notices for eligible rollover distributions that were published by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in 2009 and updated in 2014.

DOL Finalizes Expansive Association Health Plan Rule

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently finalized its much-anticipated rule which expands opportunities for small businesses and certain self-employed individuals to band together to obtain more affordable group health coverage under an association health plan (AHP). Published in the Federal Register on June 21, 2018, the final rule (83 Fed. Reg. 28912) is largely the same as the proposed rule, which was published on January 5, 2018, although the DOL made some notable modifications in response to the more than 900 comments received from the public.

SHRM Survey Shows Marked Increase in Employee Benefits

As the labor market has tightened, employers increasingly are leveraging the benefits they offer to attract and retain employees, according to a newly released study on employee benefits. The Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) assessed the prevalence of more than 300 benefits and released the 2018 Employee Benefits Survey during its 2018 Annual Conference and Exposition in Chicago.

Supreme Court Holds Stock Options Are Not Taxable under the RRTA

On June 21, 2018, the Supreme Court held in Wisconsin Central Ltd. v. United States that railroad stock options are not taxable compensation under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act of 1937 (the “RRTA”). This ruling represents a significant win for railroad companies.

DOL Releases Final Rule Governing Association Health Plans

The US Department of Labor has released a final rule governing association health plans (AHPs) that aims to help small businesses and their employees. The new rule provides an added mechanism for meeting the definition of employer under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and could affect an estimated 3.2 million enrollees in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) individual and small group markets.

Association Health Plans: How Do You Solve a Problem Like a MEWA?

On June 19, 2018, the Department of Labor issued its highly anticipated final rule expanding the availability of association health plans (“AHPs”). The core purpose of an AHP is to allow small employers to band together and obtain coverage in the large group insurance market, which generally imposes fewer coverage requirements. For example, unlike the small group insurance market, policies issued in the large group insurance market are not required to cover “essential health benefits.”

New Association Health Plan Rule Will Help Gig Economy Workers

It’s a small step, but at least it’s progress. Federal regulators made it easier this week for gig workers to obtain health insurance on a more cost-effective basis, which should help to shore up the ranks of gig workers and make freelance work a more attractive option for a larger pool of talent.

Opioid Abuse in America: Can Your Employer Health Plan Be Part of the Solution?

There is an opioid misuse, abuse, and addiction crisis in this country, and it impacts many employees and their family members. A substantial percentage—perhaps as high as 40 percent based on recent reports—of opioid addicts are covered by employer group health plans.