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Reopening Health Plan Elections Mid-Year? IRS Leaves it up to Employers

On May 12, 2020, the IRS issued guidance temporarily suspending long-standing federal regulations that limit when an employee can make mid-year changes to employer-sponsored health coverage.

COVID-19 And Late Remittances of Employee Deferrals to 401(k) Plans

Many employers facing economic challenges because of COVID-19 have considered several possibilities for reducing their contributions to their 401(k) plans. Whether freezing safe harbor matching or nonelective contributions or deciding against making discretionary matching and/or profit-sharing contributions, the goal has been the same: reduce their employee benefits costs.

IRS Reverses Course on Employee Retention Credit for Qualified Health Plan Expenses

The IRS has changed its position and will allow employers to receive a tax credit for paying health care plan premiums for employees on furlough.

IRS Releases FAQ for Coronavirus-Related Retirement Plan Relief

On May 4, 2020, the Internal Revenue Service released much-anticipated guidance related to implementing the retirement plan aspects of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (“CARES Act”) enacted on March 27, 2020, see our article here. Although the questions and answers fall short of resolving all open questions, they provide helpful insight into what the additional guidance will look like. A brief overview follows.

Update: COVID-19 Related Tax Credits, Deferral of Payment of Employer Social Security Tax, Other Tax Issues

The Families First Coronavirus Relief Act (FFCRA) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) make two separate, but related, tax credits available to employers, including tax-exempt organizations, whose business is affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

What Employers Might Expect from Multiemployer Pension Plans Following COVID-19 Crisis

The COVID-19 crisis portends a new and troubling outlook for employers participating in multiemployer pension plans. While many multiemployer pension plans had been recovering enough from the 2007 – 2009 Great Recession to have their funding levels approach or exceed their 2007 funding levels, the COVID-19 crisis now threatens those recoveries and the solvency of the most financially troubled plans.

Will New Stimulus Bill Include Multiemployer Pension Reform?

What could be in the next stimulus bill in response to the COVID-19 pandemic? Congress reportedly is working on a bill (dubbed “Stimulus 3.5”) that includes additional funding for the Paycheck Protection Program created by the CARES Act. Will the new stimulus bill address long-awaited reforms to the multiemployer pension plan system?

Dear Littler: Are There Any Tax Implications Now That Our Employees Are Teleworking During The COVID-19 Crisis?

ear Littler: Our company is based in New York City, but since March 20 our employees have been teleworking because of the “stay at home” orders necessary to combat the spread of COVID-19. Most of our employees are working from their homes in New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. However, one employee was visiting his parents in Mississippi when the order went into effect, and so is now teleworking from that state.

IRS Extends the Form 5500 Due Dates for Some Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has broadened the filing and payment relief provided under prior guidance. IRS Notice 2020-23 postpones, among other relief, the due date for employee benefit plans required to make the Form 5500 series filings due on or after April 1, 2020, and before July 15, 2020. Plans with original due dates or extended due dates falling within this period now have until July 15, 2020, to file their information reports.

Can I Get an E-Witness? Retirement Plan Consents in the Age of Social Distancing

As the world faces the ongoing threat of the coronavirus pandemic, pension plan administration is often taking place from remote working locations. Prospective retirees and their spouses may increasingly find themselves in those vulnerable populations that are encouraged to avoid public outings as much as possible. Pension plan administrators are understandably eager to adapt their processes to the current situation in order to accommodate an individual’s request to commence retirement benefits. However, plan administrators may want to consider carefully whether to waive the requirement to obtain in-person pension elections.
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