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Found 4 results

  1. How difficult is it to add another benefit to an existing VEBA. We have an existing VEBA and management asked us to evaluate adding the existing retiree life plan. The company pays most of the retiree life premiums, but retirees contribute a portion. What are the key considerations? Upfront and ongoing legal and accounting costs? Our current annual retiree life premium is relatively small (about $600,000 per year including retiree contributions) so one of my concerns is that the initial cost to move the plan into the VEBA and the ongoing legal, accounting and investment expense could be significant in comparison.
  2. Is anyone aware of any authority that would support a view that a defined benefit multiemployer pension plan could exclude retirees from a mass distribution of an updated SPD? Even though the language in 29 CFR section 2520.104b-2 is somewhat inconsistent, it appears that retirees in pay status are not excluded from a mass distribution of an updated SPD.
  3. An unprecedented number of deaths are going unreported by the SSA. In fact, almost 50% less deaths! This is due a re-interpretation of Section 205® of the Social Security Act that took place in November of 2011 that prohibits the SSA from reporting "State Death Records" in the Public Death Master File (DMF). The SSA is still reporting deaths from every State in the country but these deaths were reported by a "First Party Source" (Family, Friends, Funeral Homes, Hospitals, Coroners, etc.) Below are the annual totals of deaths reported by the SSA from 2010 to 2015: Annual Deaths Reported by the SSA DMF: 2010 to 2015 *2010: 2,450,902 *2011: 2,318,302 (5.4% Decrease - SSA changes took place in NOV 2011) *2012: 1,150,663 (35.5% Decrease) *2013: 1,474,973 (39.9% Decrease) *2014: 1,284,624 (47.6% Decrease) *2015: 1,259,106 (48.6% Decrease) This has led to million of pension overpayments to deceased participants (fraud) and crippled many already underfunded pension plans. This is compounded by the fact that many Defined Benefit plan sponsors use direct deposit and these accounts are shared with a spouse, relative, and/or caretaker. It's the easiest fraud to get away with! What's funny (or not funny) is that the Federal Government IS using these "State Death Records" for government agencies such as the IRS and Medicare but they won't share deaths with the Public including Local and State Government. For more information, please contact Kyle McDonald at PBI at 415-299-8249 or at kylem@pbinfo.com.
  4. It just keeps getting more interesting. I'd love anyone's thought on the following, which relates to the intersection of the new world of the Affordable Care Act and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs). Here's what I know: 1. HRAs, to comply with the ACA, must be 'integrated' with the health plan. 2. Stand-alone HRAs are out - unless its a retiree-only HRA. I have clients (public sector) who have an Active Employee (integrated) HRA (employer makes contributions to active employees) AND a retiree-only (stand alone) HRA (employer makes specified contributions for a limited number of years to retirees. Here's the the @#%# hits the fan: Client may want to rehire a retired individual (who still receives the retiree HRA contribution in the retiree-only HRA account) for part-time work. In the re-hired position, the individual is eligible for the active employee HRA contribution. Some vendor/promotor types, locally, are scaring a lot of employers by pointing out the conflict here, and saying that the active-employee HRA made for the retiree will "blow up the retiree HRA" (which, if it is not for retirees-only [by receiving a contribution for an 'active', does not satisfy the ACA). I believe that an assumption is being made here that there is only one HRA and that an active-employee's HRA is 'converted' into a retiree-only account when someone retires. In actuality, I believe that we should actually be talking about two separate HRAs here: one for actives (integrated) and one for retirees. Contributions make to a retiree should go into a literally different/segragated account than for when the person was active. Additionally, I would think that the 'problem can be addressed' by adopting a rule under which a person is eligible for only one type, but not both types, of HRA contribution at a time. (Maybe freeze the retiree HRA contribution while the person is a rehired active. Alternately, perhaps the rehired person could simply receive both types of contributions at the same time, so long as the active-portion goes into the active sub-account and the retiree portion goes into the retiree sub-account. (The person did, after all, attain 'retirement' status at some point, and barring plan language to the contrary, arguably remains entitled to a retiree contribution). Hmmmmm..... I imagine this is an area where we'll see more regulation/guidance, but for now - it provides a window for local trouble makers to rattle the nervous employers. Sigh.
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