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Social Security - integration

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Automatic Enrollment in Private Disability Insurance
"[A]llowing automatic enrollment to expand [disability] coverage to workers who have not traditionally been covered by [private disability insurance] merits careful examination to ensure that the workers being auto-enrolled are receiving added value for the additional premiums they will pay.... [A]ny legislation that gives an employer explicit auto-enrollment authority... should contain minimum benefit requirements and consumer protections to ensure that the coverage enhances the economic security of workers and increases the likelihood of continued attachment to the workforce." (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
[Official Guidance] Social Security Benefits to Rise 1.5 Percent in 2014; Wage Base Increases to $117,000
"The 1.5 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits that more than 57 million Social Security beneficiaries receive in January 2014.... Some other changes that take effect in January of each year are based on the increase in average wages. Based on that increase, the maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $117,000 from $113,700.... [A]bout 10 million will pay higher taxes as a result of the increase in the taxable maximum." (U.S. Social Security Administration [SSA])
Text of 2012 Report to IRS by Information Reporting Advisory Committee, Including Employee Benefit Issues (PDF)
160 pages. "[The report by the committee's Employee Benefits & Payroll Subgroup makes recommendations about] (A) Employer and Insurer Shared Responsibilities Under the [ACA]; (B) Employer and Insurer Reporting Under the [ACA]; (C) $2,500 Limit on Health Flexible Spending Arrangements; (D) Health Care Valuation on Form W-2; (E) Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Trust Fund; (F) Integrated Plans; (G) Third Party Sick Pay; (H) Proper Reporting for Flexible Spending Arrangement improper payments; (I) Form 5558, Application for Extension of Time to File Certain Employee Plan Returns, Penalty Relief; (J) Employee Stock Ownership (ESOP) and Cash Balance Plan Prototypes." (Internal Revenue Service, Information Reporting Program Advisory Committee)
Change in Social Security Offset Is Not Prohibited Cutback, 11th Circuit Rules
"The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that an amendment changing the formula for calculating the social security offset in a defined benefit plan did not violate the anti-cutback rule under ERISA section 204(g) -- which prohibits plan amendments that reduce a participant's accrued benefit. The affected participants were not yet eligible for a retirement benefit under the plan, so the more favorable preamendment social security offset formula was not part of their accrued benefit, the court found." (Deloitte via
[Guidance Overview] 11th Circuit Says Modification of Pension Plan's Social Security Offset Did Not Violate Anti-Cutback Rule
"Since the amendment only altered the offset formula for participants who were not yet 52, application of the formula depended on future services. As such, the offset was not yet accrued for those under 52 but was an expectation of a future accrual. Accordingly, the amendment did not violate the anti-cutback rule." (Haynes and Boone)
[Guidance Overview] Change in Social Security Offset Wasn't a Cutback, 11th Circuit Rules
"A pension plan sponsor didn't impermissibly reduce benefits when it changed the plan's Social Security offset for employees attaining age 52 .... Originally, the plan applied one offset for employees who left before age 52 and a lower offset (producing a higher benefit) for employees terminating after age 51. The employer amended the plan to eliminate the lower offset, but only for employees who hadn't yet reached age 52. The amendment didn't reduce accrued benefits, the court said, because the affected employees 'had at most an expectation of a future accrual.'" (Mercer)
Who Gets Retirement Plans and Why, 2010 (PDF)
"[E]mployer-sponsored retirement plans should not be analyzed in a vacuum; the U.S. retirement system includes both tax incentives to encourage employers to offer pension benefits and a social safety net of programs to help the elderly." (Investment Company Institute)
[Official Guidance] Text of IRS Rev. Rul. 2011-3: Covered Compensation Tables for 2011 Plan Year (PDF)
Excerpt: "For purposes of determining covered compensation for the 2011 year, the taxable wage base is $106,800. The following tables provide covered compensation for 2011. . . ." (U.S. Internal Revenue Service)
[Official Guidance] Text of Revenue Ruling 2009-40: Covered Compensation Tables for 2010 (PDF)
5 pages. Excerpt: "This revenue ruling provides tables of covered compensation under ? 401(l)(5)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code (the 'Code') and the Income Tax Regulations, thereunder, for the 2010 plan year. Section 401(l)(5)(E)(i) defines covered compensation with respect to an employee, as the average of the contribution and benefit bases in effect under section 230 of the Social Security Act (the 'Act') for each year in the 35-year period ending with the year in which the employee attains social security retirement age." (Internal Revenue Service)
[Guidance Overview] Social Security Benefits Will Not Increase in 2010; Taxable Wage Base Stays the Same (PDF)
Excerpt: "For Old Age Survivors and Disability Insurance (OASDI), the payroll tax rate in 2010 remains at 6.20% on wages up to the Social Security taxable wage base. For 2010, the Social Security taxable wage base will be $106,800 (identical to 2009)." (Buck Consultants)
[Guidance Overview] Chart of 415, Etc., Limits Updated for News Release IR-2009-94
The chart of maximum limits subject to inflation indexing at Carol V. Calhoun's employee benefits site has now been amended to include the newly announced 2010 limits. Among other things, the chart shows limits under sections 415, 403(b), 401(k), and 457, as well as the Social Security wage base and Social Security and Medicare tax rates, for 1996-2010. (Calhoun Law Group, P.C.)
[Official Guidance] Text of Social Security COLA-Adjusted Limits for 2009: 5.8% Benefit Increase; $106,800 OASDI Comp Cap
Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a 5.8 percent COLA for 2009. The maximum taxable earnings for OASDI purposes will be $106,800. (Social Security Administration)
CRS Report Studies the Government Pension Offset
Excerpt: "A recent report by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) addresses the ongoing debate about retention of the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision of the Social Security Act. Currently, five bills are pending in Congress to modify or repeal the GPO." (Wolters Kluwer)
Updated Chart Shows COLA Increases in Penson Limits, Social Security Wage Base, for 2008
On October 18, the IRS issued News Release IR-2007-171, announcing the changes in pensions and benefits limits for 2008. That same day, the Social Security Administration announced the wage base (i.e., the maximum amount subject to social security taxes) for 2008. An updated chart, showing these limits for 1996 to 2008, is available at the above link. (Calhoun Law Group, P.C.)
BenefitsLink Named 'Best of the Web' by Human Resource Executive Online
We're the only site in the 'Benefits' category! Thanks for letting us share this news with you. Excerpt: "With that in mind, we considered it fitting to present in this anniversary issue 10 of the best HR Web sites and 10 of the best HR blogs for your browser's Favorites/Bookmarks list. . . . [I]f it's about benefits, you'll find something about it on BenefitsLink. Just a cruise down its left side navigation/links bar, and you quickly get the idea how they chose the site's name back in 1995." (Human Resource Executive Online; free registration required)
Governmental Plans Answer Book, Second Edition, Published
The Governmental Plans Answer Book remains the only full-length book devoted to legal questions affecting the pension and retirement systems of state and local government employers. The Second Edition, published November 22, 2006, updates the information in the book to reflect federal, state, and local legal and practical developments since the original edition was published in 2002. (Calhoun Law Group, P.C.)
New Resource: ERISA and Employee Benefits Search of the Web's Best Articles and Sites
The ERISA and Employee Benefits Search of the Web's Best Articles and Sites is our new, customized search engine specifically designed for employee benefits professionals. It's powered by, and searches only the most important, thorough and timely articles and sites that have been handpicked by the editors at over the past 10 years. If your job involves employee benefit plan compliance, administration, design and policy, the new search engine is for you! (
Chart of section 415 and other limits now updated to reflect 2007 limits
The chart of maximum limits subject to inflation indexing at Carol V. Calhoun's employee benefits site has now been amended to include the newly announced 2007 limits. Among other things, the chart shows limits under sections 415, 403(b), 401(k), and 457, as well as the Social Security wage base and Social Security and Medicare tax rates, for 2002-2007 (with a drop-down menu available to see limits back to 1996). (Calhoun Law Group, P.C.)
Some Teachers and Other Govt Employees Penalized by Two Provisions of Social Security
Excerpt: "One, called the 'windfall elimination provision,' reduces benefits for public employees who receive pensions and have 'substantial earnings' from Social Security-covered jobs of less than 30 years. The 'government pension offset' adjusts spousal and widow or widower's Social Security benefits when the recipient in question has a government pension." (Los Angeles Times; one-time registration required)
Announcing the Customizable 'What's New on BenefitsLink' Page
We're very pleased to announce a new, customizable 'What's New on BenefitsLink' page! By checking one or more boxes, you can limit your daily information to items about one or more 'subjects' (e.g., 403(b) plans). Or you can view only items of one or more 'types,' such as educational events (conferences, webcasts), job listings or press releases-- in addition to, or in lieu of, the types of items we post daily on the Benefits in the News page. Bookmark the resulting page and then check it often! (BenefitsLink)
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