In accordance with emergency powers granted in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and US Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance temporarily extending a number of benefit plan-related deadlines and providing other relief for participants and plan sponsors having difficulty complying with these
Articles Discussing General Topics In Employee Benefits.
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.
What We Know Late in the evening on March 6, 2017, the House Republican leadership introduced a budget reconciliation bill that repeals certain parts of the Affordable Care Act and offers new provisions that would affect employer-sponsored health coverage. The […]
As a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we are observing all sorts of never-before-seen changes in the fully-insured group health plan space. Many insurers are liberally waiving their normal rules to accommodate the continuation of coverage to employers and employees in their time of need. Although the accommodations are
With the combination of our nation’s response to COVID-19 and the resultant economic downturn, employers of all sizes face the moral and financial dilemma of evaluating employee headcounts while businesses are grappling with the reality of the current situation. Many employers are considering furloughs, or other types of approved leaves
Employers are grappling with employee benefit issues in response to the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (“COVID-19”). Efforts are being made to pave the way for widespread testing by eliminating cost barriers such as deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, or High Deductible Health Plan restrictions to ensure employees and their families are proactively being
On February 26, 2020, the IRS published proposed regulations implementing changes made by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (TCJA) regarding the elimination of deductions for entertainment and the limitation on food and beverage expenses. The regulations largely track prior IRS guidance, Notice 2018-76, on these issues.
In late December 2019, President Trump signed appropriations bill H.R. 1865, which includes tax and retirement plan provisions from the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act, the Act). Most observers felt that the Act had little chance to pass in 2019, but it was attached to a must-pass appropriations bill, which did the trick. A summary of the major changes and a table with effective dates follow.
Employers that sponsor group health plans (medical, dental, vision, HFSA) are used to negotiating detailed administrative services agreements with vendors that provide services to those plans. Many also are familiar with “business associate agreements” required under HIPAA that must be in place with certain vendors, such as third-party claims administrators (TPAs), wellness program vendors, benefits brokers, etc. However, many plan sponsors may not be aware of a contract requirement with respect to the confidentiality of patient records relating to a substance use disorder (SUD). If applicable, these contract provisions must be in place by February 2, 2020.
On December 19, 2019, the Senate passed, as part of the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act 2020 (Public Law No. 116-94), the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement (SECURE) Act (Division O pg. H.R. 1865-604). It is touted as the most significant retirement act since the Pension Protection Act of 2006. President Trump signed the bill December 20, 2019.
Has DOL Put Final Nail In Coffin of ‘Substantial Compliance’ Doctrine for Disability Claims?
Tax season soon will soon be upon us and many not-so-eager taxpayers will share sensitive personal information about themselves, their dependents, their employees, and others with their trusted professional tax preparers for processing.
As imagined by plan sponsors of closed defined benefit pension plans, the IRS issued Notice 201-49, the fifth extension for an additional year of the temporary nondiscrimination relief for “closed” defined benefit pension plans originally announced by the IRS during 2014. The extended relief applies to plan years beginning before 2021 for those “closed” plans that satisfy certain conditions in Notice 2014-5. The relief for “closed” defined benefit plans refers to those defined benefit plans amended prior to December 13, 2013, to limit ongoing accruals to some or all employed participants in the plan as of a particular date, thus no longer admitting new participants into the plan.
Many employers have contacted us over the years asking whether they may offer an “employer–payment plan” rather than offer a traditional group health insurance plan. An employer-payment plan is a type of account-based plan that provides an employee reimbursement for all or a portion of the premium expense for individual health insurance coverage or other non-employer hospital or medical insurance.
The aging of the baby boomer generation has increased the level of scrutiny with which the Department of Labor, Employee Benefits Security Administration (“EBSA”) will review the efforts of pension plans to locate missing plan participants who did not receive reported benefits. The focus of the EBSA which began with a review of the efforts of defined benefit plans to find and pay benefits to participants has now expanded to include defined contribution plans.