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Employee Benefits Briefing

Nixon Peabody LLP

June 17, 2021
Recorded Online

Our virtual briefing discussed important legislative and regulatory changes that impact health and welfare benefits-related issues facing employers today. It is critical that employers understand the steps they need to take now in response. Below are key takeaways from our conversation,

  • Cybersecurity and data privacy is on the top of everyone's minds, including EBSA's. Recent guidance set forth minimum expectations for how to protect your retirement plan and its participants. Plan sponsors should not only review their cybersecurity practices, but also those of their third-party service providers.
  • Plan sponsors should collaborate with insurance providers, third-party administrators, and benefits counsel to prepare the new mental health comparative analysis and compliance report.
  • Plan sponsors and administrators receiving health plan or prescription drug benefit class action settlements should be cognizant that a portion of the recoveries could be ERISA "plan assets" that should be allocated for plan-related purposes.
  • The IRS's FAQs on the ARPA COBRA subsidy help employers, administrators, and health insurers understand some of the nuances of administrating the subsidy. In particular, the FAQs provide information on determining eligibility for the subsidy, the period for which the subsidy applies, and calculating and claiming the credit amount.
  • Plan sponsors should review their policies and procedures for keeping track of participants and locating missing participants in light of the DOL's recommended best practices.
  • Plan sponsors should memorialize, in writing, such policies and procedures.
  • Stay tuned as SECURE 2.0 moves through Congress, with enactment looking likely later this year.
  • State and local retirement plan initiatives continue to proliferate, with New York City's recent adoption of an auto-enrollment IRA program and New York State poised to shift from a voluntary to mandated IRA program.

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