A spate of recent legislation and IRS guidance promises to make 2021 an active year for any employer seeking to provide its employees with a competitive array of employee benefits. My “top 5” list of employee benefits that an employer should introduce or enhance in 2021, to improve retention and/or
Articles about the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other issues relating to employee benefit topics
Without congressional intervention, about 100 multiemployer pension plans are expected to become insolvent in the next 20 years, and some much sooner. In other words, for these pension plans, their liabilities to retired employees and current employees with vested benefits far outweigh their assets and incoming contributions.
This week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals held that an employer’s per diem expense reimbursement payments functioned as compensation for work rather than business expense reimbursements. As a result, the employer was required to factor those per diem payments
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that federal courts can review decisions by the U.S. Railroad Retirement Board denying claimants’ requests to reopen prior benefits denials. Salinas v. U.S. R.R. Ret. Bd., No. 19-199 (Feb. 3, 2021).
Justice Sonia Sotomayor, writing for the majority, explained the
House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) recently introduced legislation that seeks to provide aid to multiemployer pension plans (MEPs) facing insolvency. Entitled the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act (EPPRA), the bill would fund this directly from the U.S. Treasury.
The Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA), 2021, enacted late in 2020, imposes a new requirement on group health plans to ensure compliance with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). Unlike many of the other provisions of the CAA that affect group health plans, the MHPAEA requirement under CAA
House Education and Labor Chairman Bobby Scott (D-VA) recently introduced legislation that seeks to rescue multiemployer pension plans (MEPs) facing insolvency. Entitled the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act (EPPRA), the bill would fund this rescue directly from the U.S. Treasury.
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-Mass.) introduced the Emergency Pension Plan Relief Act of 2021 (EPPRA) on January 21, 2021. EPPRA represents the latest legislative attempt to address the well-documented multiemployer pension crisis.
EPPRA is significant in that it is the first legislation introduced by Chairman Neal under the
For a host of legal and practical reasons, the only feasible alternative for disposing of the accounts of missing participants in a terminating 401(k) or other defined contribution retirement plan qualified only in Puerto Rico (commonly known as a “P.R.-only plan”) is, after making reasonable efforts to locate the missing
On January 8, 2021, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) issued its final rule modifying the calculation of withdrawal liability by multiemployer pension plans. This final rule amends the agency’s regulations on allocating unfunded vested benefits to withdrawing employers (29 C.F.R. § 4211) and notice, collection, and redetermination of
A class action alleging that BlackRock entities favored their own proprietary funds when selecting investment options for BlackRock’s 401(k) Plan is headed for trial after Judge Haywood S. Gilliam, Jr. denied both parties’ motions for summary judgment on January 12, 2021. Baird v. BlackRock Inst’l. Trust Co., No. 17-1892 (N.D.
On December 11, 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL, or Department) issued final regulations providing rules under applicable provisions of ERISA concerning how plan fiduciaries should exercise shareholder rights, including proxy voting.
Employers will now have additional options to address participants’ unspent contributions to dependent care or health flexible spending accounts (FSAs) resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (H.R. 133, P.L. 116-260), signed into law on December 27, 2020, provides temporary relief for employees that were unable to
In the final days of 2020, the Office for Civil Rights (OCR) at the U.S. Health and Human Service (HHS) released a HIPAA Audits Industry Report (“the Report”), that could be quite helpful to covered entities and business associates for tackling HIPAA compliance as we enter the new year. The
Beginning in 2022, employer-sponsored health plans will be required to pay providers certain emergency and out-of-network charges that would have otherwise been balance billed to participants.