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How Employee Benefits Can Help Promote Mental Health

May is Mental Health Awareness month. With one in five American adults experiencing some type of mental health issue according to MentalHealth.gov, no employer is immune from the need to address the mental well-being of its employees. So what can employers do?

Senate Votes to Revoke Department of Labor Guidance on State-Run Retirement Plans for Private Sector Employees

In yet another move to roll-back regulatory guidance issued during the Obama administration, earlier this month the U.S. Senate voted to revoke a final rule and associated interpretive guidance that the Department of Labor issued in 2016 that would have made it easier for states to set up state-sponsored retirement plans for private sector employees. The House has already passed its own legislation revoking the rule, and President Trump is expected to sign the legislation that the Senate recently passed.

UPDATE ON UNIVERSITY SECTION 403(b) CASES: INCONSISTENT RULINGS

As a result of rulings on motions to dismiss within a day of each other (May 10 and 11, 2017, respectively), Emory University and Duke University must continue to defend claims challenging aspects of their Section 403(b) retirement plans in plaintiffs’ proposed class actions: Henderson v. Emory Univ., N.D. Ga., No. 1:16-cv-02920-CAP; and Clark v. Duke Univ., M.D.N.C., No. 1:16-cv-01044. As we have previously reported, these cases are two out of a series of twelve proposed class actions filed against the retirement plans of 12 prominent American universities, challenging various aspects of plan management, including excessive fees and fiduciary prudence.

ACA Repeal Could Be Bad News For Gig Economy

The replacement for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – the American Health Care Act (AHCA) – recently passed the House and is now being considered by the Senate. It has the full support of the president, and barring any significant amendments, President Trump will no doubt sign it into law if it passes the Senate. Many independent workers, including those working in the gig economy, are worried because of a belief that a repeal of the ACA could have a huge impact on the way they work.

Are Portable Benefits One Step Closer To Reality?

According to a great article by Tyrone Richardson in Bloomberg BNA, it appears that the concept of portable benefits for gig workers is a step closer to reality. Richardson reports that Congress is “seeking ways to fill the void of benefits offered to traditional employees,” especially given that sharing economy companies are often hesitant to offer any sort of benefits package to their workers for fear it will land them on the losing side of a misclassification battle. That has led Senator Mark Warner (D-Virginia) to craft a preliminary concept for a federal law that would assist local governments with funding and development of portable benefits for gig workers.

ACA Repeal Effort Moves to Senate - Employers Should Continue Compliance for Now

Executive Summary: The U.S. House of Representatives has passed legislation that would effectively eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA’s) employer mandate, open the door for simplified employer coverage reporting, provide greater flexibility for HSAs and FSAs, and delay implementation of the “Cadillac Tax.”

U.S. House of Representatives Approves ACA Repeal Bill

On May 4, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives narrowly approved a revised version of the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”), a bill that both repeals certain parts of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) and provides new provisions that would significantly change how individuals and employers pay for and receive health insurance. The final bill, much like the original version summarized here, would repeal the employer and individual mandate penalties and eliminate many of the ACA’s tax provisions, among several other significant changes.

House Passes American Health Care Act: Fate in the Senate Uncertain

Seven years after the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was enacted, the U.S. House of Representatives voted on May 4, 2017, to dismantle the sweeping law and replace key provisions with a dramatically different vision of health care reform. After modifications were made to try to secure the votes of both GOP conservative and moderate factions, the House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) (H.R. 1628) by a vote of 217 to 213. No Democrats voted to approve the bill that was touted as “repealing and replacing” President Obama's signature legislative accomplishment. If enacted, the AHCA would address two of the most vexing provisions for employers by eliminating the “employer mandate” and further delaying the “Cadillac” tax on high-cost employer-sponsored health plans. Enactment of the legislation is by no means certain and faces a rocky road in the Senate.

The Future of the ACA and Break Time For Nursing Mothers

Among the many changes recently proposed to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), one that has not yet occurred is a repeal of the requirement that certain employers provide break time for nursing mothers.

Employee Benefits Newsletter – Spring 2017

Data Security Safeguards. When ERISA was enacted in 1974, it was not known the extent to which technology would allow us to maintain and transmit employee benefit plan data electronically. Learn how today’s technology and the changing data privacy rules affect employee benefit plans and data security.