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Fringe benefits - transit, discounts, other

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How Employers and Employees Can Help Those in Need Due to Hurricane Harvey
"[F]our types of employer-sponsored relief programs that allow employers to provide assistance on a tax-advantaged basis: [1] Charitable leave donation programs; [2] Disaster assistance leave banks; [3] Qualified disaster relief programs; [4] Employer-sponsored charitable organizations. The first program is targeted at broad-based relief to victims of disasters like Hurricane Harvey, and the last three programs are methods to assist an employer's own employees who have been directly impacted by this major disaster." (Morgan Lewis)
Are Outplacement Benefits Taxable?
"While employer-provided outplacement services would be taxable under general tax principles, they are typically excludable under Code Section 132(a)(3) as a working condition fringe benefit.... [Offering] employees a choice between nontaxable outplacement assistance and taxable severance pay ... would make the outplacement benefit taxable." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
Using Voluntary Benefits to Attract and Keep Part-Time Employees
"Only 25 percent of part-timers have an employer-sponsored medical plan (compared to 80 percent of full-timers). Just 32 percent of part-timers have an employer-sponsored retirement plan (compared to 69 percent of full-timers). Less than 20 percent of part-timers have dental, disability or life insurance benefits at work (compared to more than half of full-timers).... Providing access to voluntary benefits can ease part-time workers' financial stress, reduce turnover and differentiate employers from competitors in the talent market[.]" (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Lessons Learned from Katrina, and Hurricane Harvey Relief Guidance to Date
"In the past some employers have permitted employees to donate their paid time off or leave to a pool that can be used by the affected employees. Donation of leave is possible as long as one carefully structures the leave donation program in compliance with existing guidance so that there is no constructive receipt of the donated leave by the donating employee.... Employers can establish a disaster assistance funds and provide certain limited assistance for qualifying expenses of their employees who live or reside in a Presidentially declared disaster area. If the payments are to qualified individuals for qualified expense, these funds can be paid to the employee without taxing the employees on the assistance as income." (Winstead PC)
Want to Attract Millennials? Go Pet Friendly
"15% of large employers make pet insurance available, and some go so far as to subsidize the coverage. Another alternative would be to make employees aware of discounts for pet insurance.... Other popular perks for employers to consider are negotiated discounts on pet products and referral services for pet sitting and dog walking." (Mercer)
Millennials Seek Employer-Sponsored Learning Opportunities
"Sixty-three percent of Millennials surveyed indicated that they look for jobs at learning organizations where they will have access to training, workshops, and company-funded postgraduate schooling ... [A]mong Millennials with less than 2 years of professional experience, the top motivator to take a job is having the opportunity to grow and learn leadership skills. When looking for job opportunities, 55% of survey participants pointed to leadership opportunities as a key consideration." (HR Daily Advisor)
[Guidance Overview] IRS Self-Assessment Tool for Public Employers Highlights Common Fringe Benefit Errors
"Form 14581-A includes a series of 11 yes-or-no questions. The first asks whether the employer follows the accountable plan rules when reimbursing employees' business expenses and offers a summary of the three main requirements. The other questions ask whether the employer has included the [specific] employer-provided benefits as wages[.]" (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
Caregiving's Impact Growing in Importance to Employers (PDF)
"Caregiving ranks among the top ten employee health and wellness benefits priorities for most employers ... More than three-quarters of employers surveyed agree that caregiving will grow in importance to their companies over the next five years." (Northeast Business Group on Health [NEBGH] and AARP)
When Switching to Unlimited PTO, Coordinate with FMLA
"When switching to unlimited paid time off (PTO) for the C-suite, employers should consider their [FMLA] obligations to ensure that FMLA time off, which is typically unpaid, doesn't become 12 weeks of paid leave, management attorneys recommend. And before unlimited PTO takes effect, employers should decide whether to pay out remaining accrued leave or offer a grace period during which employees can use that accrued leave." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Rover at Work: Pet-Friendly Workplaces?
"Many employers are starting to realize the potential benefits that pet-friendly policies can reap for attraction and retention and are taking Rover into consideration when developing workplace policies and benefits. In light of this, ... employers are beginning to see the value in benefits such as pet insurance (9%), allowing pets in the office full-time (7%) and take your pet to work days (2%). These numbers may seem small, but represent a growing number of employers embracing their employees' personal needs at work." (Willis Towers Watson)
Pregame Meals at Away Venues Are Fully Deductible as De Minimis Fringe Benefits, Tax Court Decides
"Generally, I.R.C. Section 132(e) requires that access to an eating facility be available on substantially the same terms to each member of a reasonably classified group of employees that is not discriminatory in favor of highly compensated employees.... [T]he Tax Court held that providing pregame meals to a group of [Boston Bruins] employees that traveled to away cities to perform business duties was reasonable.... [T]he court states that there were reported discrepancies between 'anticipated and actual meal attendees.' Despite these discrepancies, the Tax Court ruled that, because this was due to cost reduction concerns, there was no discrimination." [Jacobs v. Comm'r, No. 19009-15 (T.C. Memo. June 26, 2017)] (Bloomberg BNA)
What Data Reveals About Unlimited Vacation
"The data proves that on average employees with unlimited PTO plans do in fact take less time off than employees with a set amount of vacation days. This calls for a change in the way HR teams and managers communicate about time off." (Namely)
[Guidance Overview] IRS Form 14581-A: Fringe Benefits Compliance Self-Assessment for Public Employers (PDF)
"The self-assessment tools are designed to help public employers identify areas that indicate potential compliance issues. They are intended to be completed by those responsible for withholding and paying employment taxes and filing required information returns." [June 2017] (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Employees Want Flexible Schedules and Summer Fridays, But Fewer Companies Offer Them
"Sixty-two percent of human resources managers reported their organization offers flexible schedules at this time of year, down from 75 percent in a 2012 survey. About three in 10 employers (29 percent) relax their dress codes in the summer months, compared to 57 percent five years ago. Companies with shorter hours on Fridays also fell to 20 percent, a 43-point decline from 2012." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
Auto Demos Provided to Employees for Personal Use Are Taxable Fringe Benefits
"Personal use of a demo by an employee is considered a fringe benefit and is taxable as compensation.... If an employee does not qualify for the full exclusion method, the amount of the personal use benefit should be added to an employee's Form W-2.... In addition to the federal tax treatment of this benefit, you also need to consider the state tax treatment, since it varies by state." (Schneider Downs)
Pet Benefits on the Rise
"Pet-friendly employee benefits are ... continuing to rise in popularity. More and more employers are jumping at the idea of implementing pet-friendly policies at work due to the increasing interest from employees.... If you are considering implementing a pet policy at your office, there are a few things you should consider.... If you can't, or are just not ready to pull the trigger on allowing pets at the office, there are other animal-friendly benefits you can offer employees that they will appreciate." (Grooms Benefit Solutions)
Survey Says: Employees Love Voluntary Benefits
"Employee participation rates in voluntary benefits rose across the nation's four major regions in the 2017 benefit year as more employers offer high-deductible health plans (HDHP) ... Voluntary benefit participation rates rose by 567 percent in the Midwest, 208 percent in the South, 138 percent in the West and 59 percent in the Northeast, compared with the 2016 benefit year[.]" (
Boosting Voluntary Benefits Enrollment Is a Win-Win
"Employers can get a huge return on demonstrating the value of voluntary benefit plans once their employees understand how the coverage works and the risks of not having it.... The key is to incorporate voluntary benefits into your existing communications strategy. Communication channels, like benefit websites, blogs, and other social media platforms, are your best bet when it comes to keeping employees informed." (Frenkel Benefits)
Can a Qualified Transportation Plan Reimburse Employees' Expenses for Carpooling with Their Own Vehicles?
"Because of the seating capacity and mileage-use requirements, most family vehicles used for carpooling cannot qualify as commuter highway vehicles and thus do not qualify for vanpooling benefits. Even if a family minivan or SUV satisfies the seating capacity requirement, a family vehicle generally cannot satisfy the 80% usage requirement." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
Employee Eldercare Assistance: Not a Bad Idea
"Employers are looking at providing long term care benefits again -- but often the costs are too high to be appealing to a large percentage of the workforce.... Products offering assistance in coordination of complex care needed for parents and grandparents have begun to be considered for rounding out an employee benefits package." (Frenkel Benefits)
Chief Human Resource Officers on Trends Shaping the Workplace, Outdated Policies Governing It, and the Way Forward (PDF)
86 pages. "[Recommendations] of the most senior HR executives working for America's largest employers on ... what can be done from a policy perspective to make the workplace work [include] ... [1] Increased portability of employee benefits that are not tied to tenure with a single employer.... [2] A tax-preferred system in the mold of a 401(k) that would help employees to save and pay off student loan debt sooner.... [3] Companies already providing generous paid leave benefits should have a federal safe harbor from being hampered by the varying requirements of state and local leave mandates.... [4] Protect the Tax Exemption of employer-sponsored health insurance (ESI).... [5] Federal legislation enabling employees to collect defined benefit plan retirement income earlier while permitting them to continue to work for their employer[.]" (HR Policy Association)
Increased Cost-Sharing Makes Voluntary Benefits More Attractive
"As national leaders debate ways to tackle health care troubles, employers may need to get creative in helping employees afford the health care they need. One way they can do that is by offering supplemental benefits.... When handled properly, voluntary benefits are not covered by ERISA ... The plan must be completely voluntary for the employees; premiums must come only from the employees -- no employer contributions allowed; the company must not endorse the plan; and any monies that come back to the employer because of the plan must be limited only to reasonable reimbursements arising from the collection and payment of premiums." (HRDailyAdvisor)
Cycling to Work Can Cut Cancer and Heart Disease
"[D]uring the course of the study, regular cycling cut the risk of death from any cause by 41%, the incidence of cancer by 45% and heart disease by 46%. The cyclists clocked an average of 30 miles per week, but the further they cycled the greater the health boon." (BBC News)
[Guidance Overview] Be Wary of Wellness Plan Designs Purporting to Avoid Income and Employment Taxes
"[IRS Chief Counsel Memo (CCM) 201622031] addresses the tax treatment of three different situations in which wellness benefits result in taxable income to employees.... [CCM 201703013] addresses the tax treatment of fixed indemnity cash payments paid by a wellness plan without regard to the amount of medical expenses incurred by the employee, where the employee is paying premiums to participate in the wellness program." (Jackson Lewis P.C.)
The Surprising Employer Benefit Millennials Really Want
"With the introduction of many flashy workplace benefits geared towards millennials such as trendy decor, student loan repayment assistance, onsite cafes, dog-friendly offices, relocation and travel privileges, improved leave policies, free snacks and more, it's surprising to know that ... 34% of millennials chose health care as the most important benefit their employer can offer. More and more millennials are seeking out companies that have an onsite health clinic." (Forbes)
The Pet-Friendly Workplace: Results of the PAWrometer Survey (PDF)
"[W]hen asked to choose between [benefits such as pet-related PTO, pet bereavement and pawternity leave] and allowing pets in the workplace, most employees said they would prefer other pet-related benefits (51 percent) over allowing pets in the workplace (39 percent).... Millennials are significantly more likely to find value in the positive impact pets at work have on employees (73 percent) and the workplace (70 percent).... [M]ore than one-third of HR decision makers (34 percent) say at least one potential employee has declined an offer due to concerns about pet allergies." (Banfield Pet Hospital)
What Benefits Can Companies Offer Gig Workers?
"[B]usinesses should take care when including gig workers in company activities or programs.... [T]he question of determining whether workers are independent contractors or employees [is] 'very fact-intensive,' meaning that even if your contract makes clear the gig worker is an independent contractor and not an employee, every perk you offer them could affect the relationship's balance." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Is It Time to Refresh Your Voluntary Benefits?
"Employers can analyze the employee population by conducting an employee census, or other type of workforce evaluation to help determine the group make up. Retirement preparation may be important for the 'baby boomers', technological enhancements and remote access may be more of a priority for Millennials, and supplemental medical benefits more critical for Generation Xers -- all needs which can be incorporated into a voluntary benefits offering." (Strategic Benefit Services)
Design of Transit Benefits Can Increase Employee Engagement
"[M]andates and tax considerations should not be the only driver of transit benefit design. Asking employees what they need to better manage their commutes to work could yield some important insight into how to expand these programs to meet the needs of a broader array of employees.... 69 percent of employers offering employee transit benefit programs reduced their need for parking spaces. 53 percent reduced local traffic congestion. 59 percent improved community relations." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
[Guidance Overview] Transit Plan May Require Use of Debit Card Even If Cash Reimbursement Is Permissible
"[IRS Information Letter 2016-0085] reinforces a fundamental point about qualified transportation plan design, namely, that after assuring that the minimum requirements are met for favorable tax treatment, employers are free to impose additional restrictions.... [T]here are no tax nondiscrimination rules for qualified transportation plans, so employers do not need to consider, for example, whether the restrictions tend to favor more highly compensated employees." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
Why Student Loan Repayment May Soon Be a Standard Benefit
"The average tenure of Millennials is around 16 months, and the bulk of these workers are saddled with a tremendous amount of student loan debt ($30,000 on average). That revolving door mentality among younger workers hurts employers' retention rates and costs a fortune in extra recruiting and training costs. Plus, because student loan debt makes contributing to a 401(k) a low priority, employers' 401(k) participation rates suffer as well." (HR Benefits Alert)
IRS Issues 2016 Version of Publication 463 on Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses
"Publication 463 ... is especially detailed and useful in its handling of the deductions for business use of an employee's vehicle. Those deductions will not apply if the employee's expenses are reimbursed under an accountable plan, in which case the employer reimbursements are excluded from income and the vehicle expenses are not deductible by the employee." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
Lawmakers Interested in Student Loan Repayment as Employee Benefit
"The average debt per borrower has nearly doubled since 2004, increasing from roughly $18,000 to more than $35,000 for a 2015 graduate. As millennials become a larger share of the workforce, the student loan debt dilemma is attracting more attention from employers. Legislative proposals would allow employers to establish a variety of tax-preferred student loan repayment assistance programs." (Willis Towers Watson)
Use of PTO Plans Continues to Increase
"[E]mployers report that many employees do not use all of the days available to them: 44 percent report that their employees take less than 80 percent of their allotted PTO time. And for the growing number of employees who work remotely, time off may not truly be time away from work.... While for most employers, disability benefits are still the only official company-sponsored paid leave for new moms that are provided, 24 percent of employers provide paid parental leave for bonding to the birth parent. In addition, 25 percent of employers reported providing a paid parental leave benefit to the non-birth parent." (Wolters Kluwer Law & Business)
[Guidance Overview] Text of IRS Publication 15-B: Employer's Tax Guide to Fringe Benefits, for Use in 2017 (PDF)
32 pages; dated Dec. 16, 2016. "What's New: Cents-per-mile rule.... Qualified parking exclusion and commuter transportation benefit.... Contribution limit on a health flexible spending arrangement (FSA)." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
2017 Rates and Limits Guide
"This quick reference guide contains: [1] Summary of payroll tax limits; [2] Filing deadlines; [3] IRS standard mileage rates; [4] Summary of other limitations, including elective deferrals and benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans; [5] ACA forms and deadlines." (Lindquist LLP)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2016-79: 2017 Standard Mileage Rates (PDF)
"This notice provides the optional 2017 standard mileage rates for taxpayers to use in computing the deductible costs of operating an automobile for business, charitable, medical, or moving expense purposes.... The standard mileage rate for transportation or travel expenses is 53.5 cents per mile for all miles of business use (business standard mileage rate) ... This notice is effective for [1] deductible transportation expenses paid or incurred on or after January 1, 2017, and [2] mileage allowances or reimbursements paid to an employee or to a charitable volunteer (a) on or after January 1, 2017, and (b) for transportation expenses the employee or charitable volunteer pays or incurs on or after January 1, 2017." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
Nearly Three-Quarters of U.S. Employees Would Like a Customized Benefits Package
"73 percent of U.S. employees across all age groups would like the ability to customize their workplace benefits to suit their individual needs.... Employees ranked health care coverage, retirement savings accounts and vacation as the three most popular workplace benefits ... Millennial workers favor education benefits and paid parental leave.... Generation X workers ranked financial planning/wellness programs higher than Millennials and Baby Boomers.... Baby Boomers ranked disability insurance significantly higher than Millennials and Gen Xers." (LIMRA)
IRS Releases 2016 Form 8839 for Excluding Employer-Provided Adoption Benefits
"Employer-provided adoption benefits may be excluded from an employee's gross income if they are furnished pursuant to an adoption assistance program that meets the Code's requirements. Benefits under a qualified adoption assistance program may be funded by the employer directly, by employees through salary reductions under a cafeteria plan, or by a combination of both. Employees may also claim a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses, although the credit and the exclusion may not both be claimed for the same expense." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
U.S. Election Results' Impact on Health Care Reform
"This article provides a brief overview of the election's implications for the benefits-related proposals President-elect Trump put forth during his campaign, including health care reform, paid maternity leave, child care benefits and tax reform." (Willis Towers Watson)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2016-69: Treatment of Amounts Paid to Section 170(c) Organizations Under Employer Leave-Based Donation Programs to Aid Victims of Hurricane Matthew (PDF)
"This notice provides guidance for income and employment tax purposes on the treatment of cash payments made by employers under leave-based donation programs for the relief of victims of Hurricane Matthew. The Service will not assert that cash payments an employer makes to Section 170(c) organizations in exchange for vacation, sick, or personal leave that its employees elect to forgo constitute gross income or wages of the employees if the payments are: [1] made to the Section 170(c) organizations for the relief of victims of Hurricane Matthew; and [2] paid to the Section 170(c) organizations before January 1, 2018." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
The Financial Un-Wellness of HR
"Are we contributing to the financial 'un-wellness' of employees by putting such a heavy focus on retirement planning? Furthermore, are HR executives the most fitting to help people with these areas of their financial lives? ... According to a recent study, 56% of employers indicated they are very likely to create or focus on the financial well-being of employees in ways that expand beyond retirement decisions in 2016.... Unfortunately, because one benefit (retirement savings) has historically been placed in the spotlight for HR leadership and team members, handling the ever growing emphasis on personal finance is challenging." (BenefitsNav)
Onsite Child Care Ebbs as Flexible Benefits Flow
"Traditional brick-and-mortar child care centers are expensive to operate, require a lot of staffers and represent a significant liability risk to the company should something happen to a child at the center. Above all, 'onsite brick-and-mortar child care centers with a finite number of slots and fluctuating demand are not easy to adapt' to changing needs ... Meeting the needs of diverse employees requires offering benefits that can be used as employees see fit to manage their family and work responsibilities." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
Beyond Health Care: Are These Extreme Perks the Future of Benefits?
"Following a well-received autism awareness event in 2013, JPMorgan Chase began offering autism benefits to its 160,000 U.S. workers.... Boxed CEO Chieh Huang recently took employer-sponsored benefits to previously uncharted territory when he announced the company would foot the bill for wedding expenses of all of his unmarried employees.... Beginning in January, Microsoft started matching 50% of workers' 401(k) contributions up to $9,000 per year." (HR Benefits Alert)
[Guidance Overview] Election 2016: A Reminder About New York's Voting Leave Law and Posting Requirements
"Employers ... should be mindful that New York law requires the posting of a notice at least 10 working days prior to 'every election.' ... New York law requires that every employer post this notice 'conspicuously in the place of work,' and it must remain in place until the close of the polls on November 8, 2016." (Ogletree Deakins)
[Guidance Overview] A New Primer on Voting Leave Requirements: Are You Ready for the Elections?
"[V]oter participation in [this year's] elections may be higher than expected. If so, employers may receive more requests for voting leave than they have in prior years. [This] overview of state voting leave laws will arm employers with a basic knowledge of voting leave rights and prepare them for a potential onslaught of leave requests[.]" (Ogletree Deakins)
[Guidance Overview] A New Primer on Voting Leave Requirements: Are You Ready for the Elections?
"[V]oter participation in [this year's] elections may be higher than expected. If so, employers may receive more requests for voting leave than they have in prior years. [This] overview of state voting leave laws will arm employers with a basic knowledge of voting leave rights and prepare them for a potential onslaught of leave requests[.]" (Ogletree Deakins)
Election Time and the Minnesota Voter Leave Law
"For many years, Minnesota law excused employees to go to the polls in the morning before they were to report to work or to leave early if necessary to arrive at the polls before they closed, but did not require that the employee be paid for the time spent voting. The current statute allows employees to be absent from work at any time on Election Day in order to cast their ballots, without a reduction in pay." (Ogletree Deakins)
When Can an Employee Take Leave to Vote?
"The majority of states give employees the right to take time off from work to vote or to serve as an election worker. Many states also require that an employer offer paid leave for the time needed to vote. Moreover, some states require that an employer allow an employee to take the entire day off if the employee intends to volunteer to help administer the election." (Littler)
Employer-Provided Quality-of-Life Benefits, March 2016
"In March 2016, 54 percent of civilian workers had access to employee assistance programs. In that same period, 41 percent of workers had access to wellness programs, followed by childcare (11 percent), subsidized commuting (7 percent), and flexible workplace (6 percent)." (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS])
[Guidance Overview] San Francisco Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program Made Permanent (PDF)
"On September 22, Governor Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that continues a regional pilot program aimed at encouraging employees in the Bay Area to use commute alternatives to driving alone on a permanent basis. The program ... requires employers with 50 or more employees in the Bay Area to offer certain commuter benefits to their employees." (Xerox HR Services)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Notice 2016-58: Special Per Diem Rates 2016-2017 (PDF)
"This annual notice provides the 2016-2017 special per diem rates for taxpayers to use in substantiating the amount of ordinary and necessary business expenses incurred while traveling away from home, specifically [1] the special transportation industry meal and incidental expenses (M&IE) rates, [2] the rate for t he incidental expenses only deduction, and [3] the rates and list of high- cost localities for purposes of the high- low substantiation method." (Internal Revenue Service [IRS])
D.C.-Area Federal Employees One Step Closer to Having Uber Covered Under Transit Benefits
"A House oversight panel .. advanced legislation that would allow federal employees in the capital region to apply their transit benefits toward ride-sharing services such as Uber. The bill ... would require agencies to offer employees using ride-sharing networks the same transit benefits as those using public transportation. It was prompted by the Washington Metrorail's SafeTrack program of extensive systemwide repairs and upgrades." (Government Executive)
[Guidance Overview] NYC Amends Mass Transit Benefit Rules (PDF)
"Starting in 2016, NYC law requires businesses to offer pretax commuter benefits to their 'full-time' employees who work in the city. The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs recently amended its rules to clarify recordkeeping requirements, enforcement provisions, and penalties effective September 7." (Xerox HR Services)
[Guidance Overview] IRS Letter Addresses Readily Available Test When Bus Company Does Not Accept Debit Cards
"If an employer cannot offer cash reimbursements for a particular transit provider, and more convenient vouchers like debit cards cannot be used, the employer may need to make a difficult decision: deal with the practical challenges of distributing the available vouchers for that provider, or refuse to pay benefits for that provider because the administrative burdens of dealing with the available vouchers outweigh the value of the transit benefit." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
Overtime Pay Changes Will Affect Employee Benefits, Too
"For self-funded health plans subject to Section 105(h) nondiscrimination rules, it's particularly difficult to alter eligibility terms between hourly and salaried employees ... Higher overtime costs could make it more likely that dental, vision and disability coverage are turned into employee-paid voluntary benefits." (Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM])
[Guidance Overview] ERISA Spring Cleaning: Have You Properly Identified All of Your ERISA Benefits?
"What are the general types of plans subject to ERISA? ... Are certain types of plans totally exempt from ERISA? ... What are some of the more common benefit arrangements that are potentially subject to ERISA's Form 5500 annual reporting requirement? ... What should be done once the benefits subject to ERISA have been identified? ... If a required Form 5500 has not been filed for an ERISA benefit, what should be done?" (Bond, Schoeneck & King)
IRS Explains That Usual Restrictions on Cash Reimbursement of Transit Expenses Apply to Retroactive Payments
"[IRS TAM-2016-1] clearly rejects the notion that Congress loosened any other aspect of the transit reimbursement rules when it retroactively restored transit parity. Those other rules -- including the readily available test, the substantiation requirements that apply to bona fide reimbursement arrangements, and the dollar limits on reimbursable expenses and compensation reductions -- will effectively preclude many employers from making retroactive cash reimbursements." (Thomson Reuters / EBIA)
[Guidance Overview] IRS Limits Retroactive Cash Reimbursements for Transit Benefits
" 'If transit passes are readily available in the employer's area, the Code doesn't provide an income or employment tax exclusion for transit benefits paid to employees in cash,' the IRS said in [a Chief Counsel memorandum]. On the other hand, if transit passes aren't readily available and employers provide transit benefits in the form of cash reimbursements, employers must have a bona fide reimbursement arrangement under which employees must actually incur and substantiate the expenses[.]" (Bloomberg BNA)
Workplace and Public Accommodations for Nursing Mothers
"This brief provides an overview of the various federal and state laws concerning workplace and public accommodations for nursing mothers in the United States and identifies the gaps that persist between public health goals and reality for breastfeeding women in this country." (Health Affairs)

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