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FAS87 ASC715 Discount Rates and Moody's Rates, September 30, 2022
BenefitsLink Message Boards Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

An unofficial monthly report of the Moody"s Daily Long-term Corporate Bond Yield Averages and Moody"s Daily Treasury Yield Averages (used as benchmarks by some corporate pension plans).

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

Are Others Trying to Convince You to Play Politics with Your Retirement Savings?
Forbes; subscription may be required Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Oct. 3, 2022

"It's been the craze for several years now as the generational change in demographics highlights new marketing trends, but it has come under fire lately from several different directions. What is 'ESG' investing, really? The problem is no one knows. Or maybe everyone knows. And they all believe (very strongly, by the way) it's something different."

Tags: Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

California COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Extended Until Year End with Potential Grants
Jackson Lewis Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 3, 2022

"The previous version of SPSL was passed in February 2022 and required employers with 26 or more employees to provide additional paid leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons. This law was scheduled to expire on September 30, 2022.... While SPSL will now be available through the end of the year, AB 152 does not provide an additional bank of time to those employees who may have already exhausted their allotted SPSL for the year."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

DOL Files Motion to Dismiss Case Challenging Crypto Guidance
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

"While much of the argument in DOL's motion is technical (e.g., challenging ForUsAll's standing to sue), DOL does say some interesting things in it, e.g., seeking to characterize the Crypto Release as a nonbinding restatement of settled interpretations." [ForUsAll v. DOL, No. 22-1551 (D.D.C. motion to dismiss filed Sep. 12, 2022)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

What Mutual Funds and Plan Advisers Hope Plan Sponsors and Plan Participants Never Realize
The Prudent Investment Fiduciary Rules Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Oct. 3, 2022

"The financial services industry and 401(k)/403(b) plan advisers like to avoid the issues of fiduciary duties, transparency, and cost-inefficiency by avoiding comparisons of fund performance and only discussing returns in terms of nominal, or publicly stated, returns. Unfortunately, nominal returns are often misleading when fiduciary duties and potential fiduciary liability is involved."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Text of Instructions for 2022 IRS Form 1095-A: Health Insurance Marketplace Statement (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Oct. 3, 2022

"Form 1095-A is used to report certain information to the IRS about individuals who enroll in a qualified health plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace. Form 1095-A is also furnished to individuals to allow them to take the premium tax credit, to reconcile the credit on their returns with advance payments of the premium tax credit, and to file an accurate tax return." [Also see: 2022 IRS Form 1095-A]

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Departments Release Guidance on Surprise Billing and Machine-Readable Files
EPIC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 3, 2022

"[FAQs Part 55] clarified employers are not required to post a link to the data files on their organization's website if there is a written agreement in place that ensures that the carrier or administrator will make the relevant files publicly available in compliance with the requirements.... There is currently no specific guidance on what constitutes a valid written agreement between the employer and their carrier or TPA. Employers may be able to meet this requirement in a variety of ways."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Withdrawal Liability and the Building and Construction Industry Exception
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 3, 2022

"In the absence of governing regulations and sparse case law, the scope of the Building and Construction Industry Exception remains murky. In many cases, the application of the exception will be the difference between significant liability and no liability."

Tags: Multiemployer Plans

401(k)ology: Excess Deferrals
Newfront Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 3, 2022

"Excess deferrals can be prevented by both employees and employers.... How do excess deferrals occur? ... How do excess deferrals through a single employer impact plan qualification? ... Why are the correction methods for excess deferrals often confused? ... What are the tax implications to the individual? ... What are the tax reporting procedures for excess deferrals? ... What is the impact of excess deferrals on nondiscrimination testing?"

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Recent CMS FAQs Simplify RxDC Reporting
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 3, 2022

"[CMS] recently posted a number of FAQs that should ease the prescription drug data collection (RxDC) reporting burden for employers sponsoring complex group health plans.... Regulators confirmed that they will accept multiple data files of the same type from the same group health plan ... if there are 'extenuating circumstances' preventing vendors from working together. CMS wants to use the plan-specific files to connect a particular group health plan with the multiple data files submitted by its vendors, and provides sample P2 files for a variety of situations."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Prescription Drug Costs

California Expands Who an Employee Can Care for Under the CFRA and California Paid Sick Leave Law
Jackson Lewis Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 3, 2022

"Beginning January 1, 2023, employees throughout California will be able to use sick leave or take leave under the California Family Rights Act (CFRA) to care for a 'designated person' ... defined as any individual related by blood or whose association with the employee is equivalent to a family relationship. An employee can designate this person at the time they request leave."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Seventh Circuit Opinion Offers Fiduciary-Risk Comfort to Plans
Pensions & Investments Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

"The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on Aug. 1 that a sponsor doesn't have fiduciary liability in a stock-drop case if the sponsor hired an independent third party to manage the company-stock fund within a 401(k) plan.... The appeals court's ruling plus the Supreme Court's Dudenhoeffer decision build an even tougher defense against stock-drop lawsuits, improving the odds that a complaint will be dismissed[.]" [Burke v. The Boeing Company, No. 19-2203 (7th Cir. Aug. 1, 2022)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

What to Know About Financial Wellness Programs in DC Plans
Callan Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

"The renewed emphasis on financial wellness [has] provided a logical entry point for financial services companies that purport to assist with a variety of individual needs ... Employers need to be cognizant about the motives of providers ... [This article] will review the scope of financial wellness as an employee benefit, its utilization, its evolving capabilities, and the risks that these expanded services and tools could pose to employers and fiduciaries."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

District Court: CMS Must Immediately Begin Paying Full Reimbursement Rate for 340B Drugs for the Remainder of CY2022
Quarles & Brady LLP Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

"Despite the Supreme Court's decision in June and CMS's subsequent acknowledgement that the CY2022 cuts would need to be repaid, the agency was still reimbursing Affected Covered Entities at the reduced ASP -- 22.5% rate for 340B drugs billed." [American Hospital Assoc. v. Becerra, No. 18-2084 (D.D.C. Sep. 28, 2022)]

Tags: Medicare  •  Prescription Drug Costs

Severe Sleep Apnea Diagnosis Panics Reporter Until He Finds a Simple, No-Cost Solution
Kaiser Health News Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

"[T]he American health care system has joined with commercial partners to define a medical condition -- in this case, sleep apnea -- in a way that allows both parties to generate revenue from a multitude of pricey diagnostic studies, equipment sales, and questionable treatments.... Like so much of U.S. health care, sleep medicine turns out to be a thriving industry."

Tags: Health Plan Costs

Market Aftershocks Set Pension Funds on Path to Allocation Overhaul
Pensions & Investments Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

"A combination of rising interest rates leading to falling liabilities, plus increased needs for liquidity in portfolios means asset allocations are, in some cases, no longer serving their intended purpose on either side of the pond.... At the same time, and as a result of falling public markets, private markets exposures are now overweight their targets in many cases -- making the need to reconsider asset allocations even more acute for these corporate funds."

Tags: Retirement Plan Investments

Managing Pension Risk in 2022 and 2023
Agilis Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

"[Pension plans have] many risks but they tend to fall under three distinct groups: governance risks, funded status risks, and legal and compliance risks. Plan sponsors ... can choose to minimize, eliminate, or fully take on the various risks ... What risks are most prevalent in 2022 and what are some ideas plan sponsors should be thinking about to optimize their risk management this year and going into 2023?"

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Embracing a Fiduciary Mindset for Health Plans
Chelko Center for Benefits Management Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Oct. 3, 2022

"All too often, plan sponsors assume they have little opportunity to control or reduce their healthcare spend. They accept the status quo and do not challenge brokers who are receiving financial incentives to keep them in poorly managed arrangements with specific insurers. Dave Chase's book, Relocalizing Health ... outlines a 5-step process called LOCAL that a plan sponsor can implement to better manage the health of their workforce and their healthcare spend[.]"

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Health Plan Costs

Retirement Strategies That Run Circles Around a 401(k)
Motley Fool Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

"Roth IRAs allow you to grow your wealth tax-free. Health Savings Accounts are one of the few strategies to forego taxes altogether. Rental properties are a nearly recession-proof way of diversifying your retirement income."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Information for Employees

Attracting and Retaining Key Executives Through Deferred Compensation Plans
Husch Blackwell Link to more items from this source
Oct. 3, 2022

"Why should an employer implement a [deferred compensation (DC)] plan? ... What are the tax consequences of DC plans? ... How do payroll taxes apply to DC plans? ... What are the key considerations for employers when establishing a DC plan? ... How important is Section 409A compliance?"

Tags: 409A Plans  •  Nonqualified Plans

Senate Bill Would Boost Alternative Assets in 401(k) Plans
Roll Call Link to more items from this source
Sept. 30, 2022

"A new bill from top Republicans on the Senate Banking Committee aims to open workplace retirement plans to a bigger range of investments, making it easier for 401(k) plans to diversify with holdings in private equity, hedge funds, real estate, cryptocurrencies and other alternative assets.... The [Retirement Savings Modernization Act] would also clarify that expenses related to these investments, which in many cases charge higher fees than traditional mutual funds found in typical 401(k) plans, would be acceptable."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

CBO Letter: Effect of the PBGC's Final Rule on Special Financial Assistance
Congressional Budget Office [CBO] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 30, 2022

"The final rule, which was issued in July 2022, changed the method used to compute SFA, including the assumed rate of return. It also changed the type of assets in which pension plans may invest SFA, which changes the expected rate of return and risk profile of those investments. CBO anticipates that the changes in the final rule will increase the total amount of SFA that plans will receive. The agency estimates that the amount of assistance will total $90.4 billion over the 2022-2032 period, which is $4.5 billion, or 5 percent, more than the $85.9 billion estimated in CBO's May 2022 baseline budgetary projections, which were based on expectations consistent with the July 2021 interim final rule."

Tags: ARPA  •  Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans  •  PBGC

Trends in Prescription Drug Spending, 2016-2021 (PDF)
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation [ASPE], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 30, 2022

13 pages. "In 2021, the U.S. health care system spent $603 billion on prescription drugs, before accounting for rebates, of which $421 billion was on retail drugs. Spending growth on drugs was largely due to growth in spending per prescription, and to a lesser extent by increased utilization (i.e., more prescriptions). Expenditure growth was larger for non-retail drug expenditures (25%) than for retail expenditures (13%).... Drug spending is heavily driven by a relatively small number of high-cost products."

Tags: Health Plan Costs

Price Increases for Prescription Drugs, 2016-2022 (PDF)
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation [ASPE], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 30, 2022

"In January 2022, the average price increase was nearly $150 per drug (10.0 percent), and in July 2022, it was $250 (7.8 percent). The dollar increases were larger than for the same months in previous years. In 2022, several drugs increased their list prices by more than $20,000 or by more than 500 percent. There were 1,216 products whose price increases during the twelve-month period from July 2021 to July 2022 exceeded the inflation rate of 8.5 percent for that time period. The average price increase for these drugs was 31.6 percent."

Tags: Prescription Drug Costs

Consolidation Trends and Impacts in Health Care Markets
RAND Corporation Link to more items from this source
Sept. 30, 2022

"This report summarizes findings of an environmental scan on consolidation trends and impacts in health care markets. It describes the evidence on price, spending, quality of care, access, and wages in health care provider and insurance markets, as well as other market trends. The authors found strong evidence that hospital horizontal consolidation is associated with higher prices paid to providers and some evidence of the same for vertical consolidation of hospitals and physician practices. Health care spending is likely to increase in tandem with these price increases."

Tags: Health Plan Costs

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