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DISGORGEMENT CLAIMS CONTINUE TO CONFOUND COURTS IN ERISA CLASS ACTIONS

Courts continue to be split over the availability of disgorgement and “accounting for profits” in ERISA class actions involving in-house investment plans. On March 3, 2017, in Brotherston v. Putnam Investments, LLC, No. 1:15-cv-13825-WGY (D. Mass. March 3, 2017), the court declined to resolve the dispute at the summary judgment stage, allowing the certified class of employees to move forward with their claim that the company should be forced to disgorge profits earned from defendant’s in-house 401k plan. Previously, the court denied defendant’s motion to dismiss this claim.

DOL Issues Temporary Enforcement Policy Regarding ERISA Fiduciary Rule

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued a temporary enforcement policy relating to its recently proposed 60-day extension of the applicability date of the final rule defining who is a fiduciary under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue Code, and the applicability date of the related prohibited transaction exemptions - the Best Interest Contract Exemption (BICE) and the Principal Transactions Exemption (PTE).

401(k) and 403(b) Plan Hardship Distribution Substantiation: What Will the IRS Be Looking For?

On February 23 and March 7, 2017, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) issued memoranda to examination agents addressing review of substantiation provided in support of safe harbor hardship distributions under 401(k) and 403(b) plans. Although the memoranda cannot be relied upon as official guidance, they are good reference points to help plan sponsors and third party administrators (“TPAs”) avoid issues on audit.

What is the American Health Care Act?

Late in the evening on March 6, 2017, the House Republican leadership introduced a budget reconciliation bill that both repeals certain parts of the Affordable Care Act and offers new provisions that significantly change the rules that govern how individuals and employers pay for and receive health insurance coverage. The bill, labeled the American Health Care Act (“AHCA”), would repeal the penalties associated with the employer and individual mandates, would eliminate many of the Affordable Care Act’s revenue provisions, and would make many other significant changes to the Affordable Care Act.

WPI Insider Briefing: Spotlight on Health Care and Regulatory Reform Under the Trump Administration

On February 28, 2017, President Trump delivered his first address to a joint session of Congress, outlining a broad vision of his agenda. The Trump administration is widely expected to chart a dramatically different course on workplace policy from that of the prior administration. Coming less than six weeks after President Trump was sworn into office, the address offered few details on how his administration's labor and employment policy will unfold.

Introducing the American Health Care Act! Wait! ... Not so fast!

The House Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee (the two congressional committees having primary responsibility for health care legislation) released draft legislation for repealing and replacing aspects of the Obama administration’s 2010 health care reform law on March 6, 2017 (the “ACA”).

IRS to Process Tax Returns That Lack Certification of ACA-Required Coverage

In the wake of the President’s January 20, 2017 Executive Order directing a reduction in regulatory burdens imposed by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the IRS has quietly announced that it will continue to process income tax returns lacking confirmation that the taxpayer has maintained ACA-required health coverage.

Benefits Update (No. 1, March 2017)

A New Employer Healthcare Plan: Qualified Small Employer Health Reimbursement Arrangement (QSEHRA)

Health Savings Accounts Considerations for Employers

The health savings account (“HSA”) has become, since its creation in 2003, an increasingly popular option for employers to subsidize employee group health costs. Employees with HSAs can save money, on a tax-free basis, for medical expenses that aren’t otherwise covered. The account’s interest earnings and distributions (for qualified medical expenses) are also tax-free.

Change on the Horizon for Decades-Old Home Health Agency Conditions of Participation

The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has issued final regulations (CMS-3819-F) that will make substantial changes to the Medicare home health agency Conditions of Participation (CoPs). These sweeping changes take effect July 13, 2017, and represent the most comprehensive changes to the CoPs since 1989.