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Litigation Update: The No Surprises Act
aequum Link to more items from this source
May 27, 2022

"This update provides an overview and recent legal challenges to a portion of the law.... [T]he most effective way to address NSA legislation, particularly elements of the IDR process, is to adopt a pure [reference based pricing (RBP)] plan -- a strategy designed to moderate costs by establishing a benchmark fee schedule and payment ceiling in lieu of a traditional provider network. Pure RBP plans that do not contract with providers should remain unaffected by NSA because there aren't any out-of-network claims; nor any determination of a median in-network rate."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Costs

July 1 Deadline for Health Plan Transparency Rules
Fisher Phillips Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 27, 2022

"The next item plan sponsors must address will be making public disclosures regarding in-network and out-of-network rates beginning July 1, 2022. To meet that deadline, plan sponsors should be working with carriers and third-party administrators (TPA) to ensure they have the necessary information in the proper format to comply with the new rules."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Some States Ban Pension Plans from Dealing with ESG-Backing Firms
Chief Investment Officer [CIO] Link to more items from this source
May 27, 2022

"In Texas, West Virginia and Kentucky, legislatures have required state funds to limit transactions with companies that divest oil, natural gas and coal, according to news reports. West Virginia and Arkansas recently pulled out pension money run by BlackRock, whose chief has been vocal about fighting climate change. In Texas, a new law prevents state agencies from doing business with companies that the state comptroller determines are 'boycotting' fossil fuels."

Tags: Retirement Plan Investments - ESG  •  State and Local Government Plans

Can We Self-Correct a Missed Restatement? You Bet! Well, Maybe...
Ferenczy Benefits Law Center Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 27, 2022

"The IRS issued 'soft guidance' in the form of its Employee Plans News ... on May 23, 2022.... [1] The IRS does not regard failure to timely restate as a disqualifying defect in and of itself. This is a departure from positions the IRS has taken in the past. [2] Failure to timely restate transforms the preapproved plan into an individually designed plan. The reliance normally associated with a preapproved plan is gone.... The correct question is whether there are actual document failures that must be corrected."

Tags: Retirement Plan Amendments

SEC Proposes ESG Disclosures for Investment Advisers and Investment Companies
Dodd-Frank.com Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 27, 2022

"The proposal would require funds that consider ESG factors in their investment process to disclose additional information regarding their strategy. The amount of required disclosure depends on how central ESG factors are to a fund's strategy and follows a 'layered' framework[.]"

Tags: Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

Proposed Revisions to the HIPAA Privacy Rule: What Group Health Plan Sponsors Need to Know
Trucker Huss Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 27, 2022

"[The HHS proposed rule includes changes] which may impact group health plans and their business associates  ... [1] Revises [Notice of Privacy Practices (NPP)] content requirements.... [2] Adds exception to minimum necessary requirement for health plan coordination and case management disclosures.... [3] Expressly permits disclosures to facilitate care with social and community services.... [4] [A]llows individuals greater access to their PHI ... [5] Clarifies fees and adds fee disclosure requirements."

Tags: HIPAA

Did You Review Your Restatement Before Signing It?
Graydon Link to more items from this source
May 27, 2022

"It is the employer as the plan sponsor that is responsible for ensuring that the new document correctly reflects the operation of the plan. If your recordkeeper or TPA is preparing your plan documents, they almost certainly have a provision in their service agreement which provides that it is you that is responsible for any errors.... The review is important because even a small error can cost a company a lot of money to correct."

Tags: Retirement Plan Amendments

Crypto in Retirement Plans: 401(k) vs. IRA
ForUsAll Link to more items from this source
May 27, 2022

"Cryptocurrency has, until recently, not been available as part of a 401(k). However, due to the built-in features of 401(k) accounts, some may find that a 401(k) suits their needs for crypto allocations better than an IRA does, particularly sponsors. Here are some of the differences between how crypto functions in these two account types, and a breakdown of why crypto in a 401(k) brings more benefits for some investors and sponsors than in an IRA."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  IRAs  •  Retirement Plan Investments

PCORI Filings and Fees (2022 Edition)
Kushner & Company Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 27, 2022

"[All] employers (or their insurers in fully insured group health plans) must file the annual IRS Form 720 by July 31st of each year, regardless of their plan year.... Generally, health care Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) are not required to file a Form 720 unless the employer (and not just the employee) makes contributions to it that exceed the lesser of $500 annually or a dollar-for-dollar match of the employee's contribution.... For Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), you must first look at the integrated group health plan."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Senators Introduce Legislation to Strengthen Retirement and Emergency Savings
401(k) Specialist Link to more items from this source
May 27, 2022

"Senate [HELP] Committee Chair Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., and Ranking Member Senator Richard Burr, R-N.C., released the draft of the Retirement Improvement and Savings Enhancement to Supplement Healthy Investments for the Nest Egg (RISE & SHINE) Act. ... [which] would: [1] bolster savings by allowing employers to offer emergency savings accounts; [2] expand access to employer-provided retirement plans through multiple employer plans, and through increased access to plans for part-time workers; and [3] improve communications to retirement plan participants and transparency around lump-sum buyout offers for pension plan participants."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

The Value of a Financial Advisor to Plan Sponsors, 2022
Morgan Stanley Link to more items from this source
May 27, 2022

29 pages. "91% of plan sponsors agreed that having a dedicated financial advisor provided them with guidance on critical plan design options as their company scaled.... Eighty-seven percent of plan sponsors agreed that when a Financial Advisor is offered with the workplace retirement plan, the company as a whole has better plan outcomes, including higher employee participation (86%) and more eligible employees being on-track for retirement (86%)."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Design

Cybersecurity Risks in Healthcare (PDF)
VentureBeat Link to more items from this source
May 27, 2022

21 pages. "This report covers: [1] Top healthcare threat actors and methods; [2] Observations from cyberattacks in Healthcare in 2021 vs 2020; [3] Insights on ransomware incidence in Healthcare; [4] Actions and practices you can take to be more secure.... Over the past three years, 93 percent of healthcare organizations have experienced a data breach, and 57% have suffered more than five breaches during the same period."

Tags: Cybersecurity  •  Health Plan Administration

Understanding the Impact of Russian Sanctions on Retirement Plans
Kilpatrick Townsend Link to more items from this source
May 27, 2022

"Plan fiduciaries may consider asking the following questions: [1] Is the plan currently invested in assets subject to sanctions and, if so, what is the form of investment (e.g., registered mutual funds, collective investment trusts, private funds, separate accounts)? [2] What steps are being taken to ensure that the plan and its underlying investments are in compliance with Russian sanctions? [3] To what extent does the plan have illiquid investments that may be adversely impacted by Russian sanctions?"

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Experts Pitch Four Big Ideas for Changing Health Care
STAT Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
May 27, 2022

"What if health tech companies could use the human body to power devices? ... Health care needs to take a cue from 'Moneyball' and invest in data analytics ... How can we overcome medical mistrust? ... The U.S. needs to learn from the U.K.'s anonymized health data programs "

Tags: Health Plan Costs  •  Health Plan Design

Agencies Finalize Form 5500 Revisions for Multiple Employer Plan Reporting
Thomson Reuters / EBIA Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 26, 2022

"While many changes finalized in this action affect only defined benefit plans, a few -- primarily relating to multiple employer plans (MEPs) -- affect defined contribution plans (including 401(k) plans).... The next round of Form 5500 changes will likely have much broader impacts."

Tags: Reporting to Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Administration

SPARK Institute Comment Letter to IRS on Proposed Required Minimum Distribution Regs (PDF)
The SPARK Institute Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
May 26, 2022

17 pages. "The final regulations should not be effective until, at the earliest, calendar years beginning at least 9 months after the final regulations are released.... The Service should not modify the rules for 403(b) plans, or if it does, only through a separate regulatory proposal. The final regulations should modify the Service's interpretation of the 10-year rule, or if not, provide relief for prior years. The Service should reconsider whether the Proposal's rules for withholding on distributions to non-spouse beneficiaries correctly reflect the Code.... The Proposal's rule regarding a 'hypothetical' RMD should be removed. The final regulations should retain age 21 as the age of majority."

Tags: Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

A Key to FMLA Success: Supporting Our Employees as Mental Health Issues Arise
FMLA Insights Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 26, 2022

"[T]he FMLA covers situations when an employee's mental health condition inhibits them from working. The DOL provides several examples of FMLA-triggering situations in its new Fact Sheet #280 and new Frequently Asked Questions ... [T]here are a few important principles to keep in mind when managing an employee with a mental health condition."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave

District Court Finds Employer Violated ERISA by Interfering With Employee’s Use of Health Benefits
Thomson Reuters / EBIA Link to more items from this source
May 26, 2022

"[T]he employee showed that the employer closely tracked invoices for the self-insured health plan and that, even though the information was de-identified, it would not be difficult for the employer to identify individual participants since there were so few employees. The employee also demonstrated that the employer was aware that he would again need costly medical care in the future. Noting that the employee was terminated shortly before a new benefit year started, the court concluded that taken together, the evidence showed retaliation for use of benefits and specific intent to prevent future use of benefits." [Kairys v. S. Pines Trucking, Inc., No. 19-1031 (W.D. Penn. Mar. 31, 2022)]

Tags: Health Plan Administration

IRS Provides Guidance on Leave-Based Donation Programs for Ukraine
The Wagner Law Group Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 26, 2022

"[Notice 2022-28 provides that] leave-based donation payments made by an employer before January 1, 2023, to aid victims will not be treated as gross income or wages of the employees. Similarly, employees electing to forgo leave that funds the employer leave-based donation payments will not be treated as having [constructively received] gross income or wages."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave

Text of SEC Proposed Rule: Enhanced Disclosures by Certain Investment Advisers and Investment Companies About Environmental, Social, and Governance Investment Practices (PDF)
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
May 26, 2022

362 pages. "The [SEC] is proposing ... to require registered investment advisers, certain advisers that are exempt from registration, registered investment companies, and business development companies, to provide additional information regarding their environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investment practices.... The proposed rules and form amendments are designed to create a consistent, comparable, and decision-useful regulatory framework for ESG advisory services and investment companies to inform and protect investors while facilitating further innovation in this evolving area of the asset management industry."

Tags: Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

SEC Statement on Proposed Rule Requiring Enhanced Disclosure by Certain Investment Advisers and Investment Companies on ESG Investment Practices
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 26, 2022

"[This proposed rule] would require meaningful specific disclosure regarding ESG strategies in registration statements, the management discussion of fund performance in annual reports, and in adviser brochures ... The level of detail required of any given fund or adviser will depend on the extent to which such manager considers ESG factors in its decision-making."

Tags: Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

Maryland and Delaware Become the 10th and 11th States to Provide Paid Family and Medical Leave
Duane Morris LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 26, 2022

"Maryland workers will be able to apply for paid leave benefits from a state fund starting on January 1, 2025. Contributions from employees and employers are not required until October 1, 2023, and covered individuals can submit claims for benefits beginning January 1, 2025.... Delaware is now the 11th state to pass legislation that guarantees paid family and medical leave to eligible workers who take a qualified leave. Payroll contributions will begin January 1, 2025, and the state will start paying benefits on January 1, 2026."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Sixth Circuit: Participants Don't Have to Arbitrate Excessive Fee Claims
Mercer Link to more items from this source
May 26, 2022

"A defined contribution plan sponsor can't require participants to resolve their ERISA excessive fee claims through binding arbitration, despite arbitration provisions in the participants' employment agreements ... The court found that the participants brought these fiduciary breach claims not as individuals but as representatives of the plan, which didn't include an arbitration provision and hadn't otherwise agreed to arbitrate." [Hawkins v. Cintas Corp., No. 21-3156 (6th Cir. Apr. 27, 2022)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Investment Costs

Delaware Enacts Paid Family and Medical Leave Law
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 26, 2022

"Entitled the Healthy Delaware Families Act, the new law establishes a Family Medical Leave Insurance Program which will be funded by employer and employee contributions starting January 1, 2025. Covered employees will be eligible to use up to 12 weeks of job-protected, paid family and medical leave starting on January 1, 2026."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

How 401(k) Loan Protection Helps Address Leakage
Business of Benefits Link to more items from this source
May 26, 2022

"A B2B commercial P&C insurance policy is purchased, covering the losses the plan would incur should a participant's loan default, under clearly specified circumstances described in the policy (such as involuntary unemployment).... Any insurance recovery received by the plan from the insurer will then ... be allocated to the participant's account as a payment on the loan.... [A] dramatic change to 'leakage' can be provided by the market, without the need for legislative or regulatory change."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Design

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