On October 18, 2012, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting various limitations applicable to pension and other retirement plans (IR 2012-77). Many of the limitations remain unchanged because they are indexed in $1000 or $5000 increments, but several will change for 2013. Some of the better-known limitations are:
Articles about the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and other issues relating to employee benefit topics
Executive Summary: The Form 5500, Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan, is used to report information concerning employee benefit plans and must be filed by the last day of the 7th calendar month after the end of the plan year, which is July 31, 2012 for calendar year plans.
Today, in a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate provision of the 2010 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as a valid tax, imposed within Congress’ taxing power. See Nat’l Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius (No. 11-393, June 28, 2012). The Court held that the individual mandate (which requires most Americans to purchase insurance or face an IRS tax) is not a penalty because the only consequence of not complying with the mandate is the requirement to pay the tax. Although the Court also held that Congress exceeded the power granted to it under the Commerce Clause when it enacted the individual mandate, the provision is nevertheless valid under Congress’ taxing authority. The Court also held that the Anti-Injunction Act does not preclude the Court from ruling on the issue because the PPACA does not require that the penalty for failing to comply with the individual mandate be treated as a tax for the purposes of the Anti-Injunction Act. Chief Justice Roberts authored the majority opinion.
As an employee reaches retirement age, he may want to retire or cease working full-time. The employer, however, may need or want the employee to continue to work temporarily or on a part-time basis. The employee wants to begin to receive his pension plan payments. A frequent question in this scenario is, â€œCan we employ the participant part-time or for a few more months, but begin the employeeâ€™s pension payments?â€
The Internal Revenue Service recently announced its cost-of-living adjustments applicable to dollar limitations for retirement plans and Social Security generally effective for Tax Year 2012 (see IR 2011-103). Notably, the limitation on annual salary deferrals into a 401(k) plan will increase from $16,500 to $17,000. The dollar limits are as follows:
Earlier this week, the U.S. Department of Labor held a ceremony at which Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis signed a memorandum of understanding with the Internal Revenue Service to “improve departmental efforts to end the business practice of misclassifying employees in order to avoid providing employment protections.” The DOL also signed or has agreed to sign memorandums of understanding with officials in 11 states to coordinate efforts to crack down on independent contractor misclassification, including Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, New York, Utah, and Washington.
If you are responsible for administering your organization’s 403(b) plan, time is running out to adopt a plan document that complies with Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) section 403(b) and the final regulations issued for 403(b) plans.
The Employment Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) permits a person denied benefits under an employee benefit plan the opportunity to challenge that denial in federal court. Under ERISA, if an administrator has been given discretion to determine eligibility for benefits under the terms of the benefit plan in question, federal courts can overturn eligibility determinations only if they find that the administrator has “abused its discretion.” ERISA jurisprudence has long recognized that if an administrator is operating under a conflict of interest, that conflict of interest must be weighed as a factor in determining whether the administrator’s decision to deny benefits was an abuse of discretion. When the entity that administers an employee benefit plan is also the entity that funds the plan, the courts view that as giving rise to a conflict of interest.