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Court Certifies ERISA Class Action Challenging CITGO Pension Actuarial Assumptions
Cohen Milstein Link to more items from this source
May 17, 2024

"[A] federal judge certified a class of more than 1,700 participants and beneficiaries in two of CITGO Petroleum Corporation's pension plans.... The lawsuit against CITGO alleges that the Houston-based gas and energy giant violated [ERISA] by failing to properly calculate joint and survivor annuity ('JSA') benefits for retired employees and imposing a 'marriage penalty' that reduced their monthly pension payments." [Urlaub v. Citgo Petroleum Corp., No. 21-4133 (N.D. Ill. May 16, 2024)]

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Design

New DOL Guidance Extends Abandoned Plan Program to Bankruptcy Trustees
American Retirement Association [ARA] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"Before these regulatory updates, Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustees were ineligible to use the Abandoned Plan Program, despite being responsible for administering retirement plan functions on behalf of bankrupt entities ... Using the program's streamlined process, these trustees can now reduce the time and resources needed to wind up a bankrupt company's retirement plan, the department added."

Tags: Bankruptcy  •  Retirement Plan Administration

HHS Bolsters Non-Discrimination Protections for Recipients of Covered Health Care Services and Activities
Sheppard Mullin Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"Covered Entities will need to appoint a Section 1557 coordinator, implement policies and procedures, provide training, distribute and post notices containing specified content and provide auxiliary aids and services to individuals with disabilities and to those with limited English proficiency. The Final Rule will become effective on July 5, 2024, but many of the requirements imposed on Covered Entities have delayed compliance dates[.]"

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

DOL Releases Interim Final Rule for Abandoned Plans
Ascensus Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"The DOL proposes to improve the Abandoned Plans Program by expanding coverage to ERISA plans affected by Chapter 7 bankruptcy  ... The rule also makes other changes, including modifying the Special Terminal Report for Abandoned Plans (STRAP) that qualified termination administrators (QTAs) file with the DOL, and will make an optional online method available for filing the STRAP and other notices."

Tags: Bankruptcy  •  Retirement Plan Administration

HHS Issues New ACA Section 1557 Nondiscrimination Regs
Seyfarth Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"Regulations implementing Section 1557 have been the subject of Presidential administration tug-of-war since their original 2016 issuance.... The Final Rule restores Section 1557 protections against discrimination based on sexual orientation, gender identity, and disability, as well as religious objections. It also expands the reach of the Rule to Part B Medicare providers, private health insurance plans and the use of AI patient decision-making tools."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

OCR Releases Final HIPAA Privacy Rule to Support Reproductive Health Care Privacy
Morgan Lewis Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"Covered entities must revise their Notice of Privacy Practices to include, among other things, information regarding the types of uses and disclosures prohibited by the Final Rule, as well as the scenarios in which an attestation will be required. Covered entities have until February 16, 2026 to comply with the updated Notice of Privacy Practices requirements."

Tags: HIPAA

DOL's Controversial Retirement Security Rule Faces Immediate Legal Challenge
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"DOL has expressed concern that the 'regular basis' and 'mutual agreement' prongs of the prior Five-Part Test 'worked to defeat legitimate retirement investor expectation of impartial advice' and attempted to close these perceived loopholes in the Retirement Security Rule.  ... On May 2, 2024 (or 9 days after the Final Rule was adopted), the FACC filed its complaint in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas." [Federation of Americans for Consumer Choice Inc. v. DOL, No. 24-0163 (E.D. Tex. complaint filed May 2, 2024)]

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

IRS Extends Relief from RMD Rules in 2024
Kilpatrick Townsend Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"[B]eneficiaries who would otherwise be required to take a 'specified RMD' in 2024 ... will not be subject to the excise tax for failure to take such RMD.... [A] plan will not be treated as having failed to satisfy the RMD requirements because it did not make a specified RMD. The definition of a specified RMD is aligned with the IRS's definition of a specified RMD in the 2022 Notice and 2023 Notice, except that it is extended to RMDs for 2024 relating to deaths that occurred in 2020, 2021, 2022, or 2023."

Tags: Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)  •  SECURE 2.0

New HIPAA Rule Will Require Updates to Policies and Notices
Segal Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"Self-insured group health plan sponsors must incorporate the terms of the new final rule into their HIPAA privacy compliance program. This involves ... amending policies and procedures, particularly those addressing use and disclosure and authorization policies; implementing compliant attestation forms; amending Notices of Privacy Practices; and training staff and business associates on the new policies."

Tags: HIPAA

Issues on the DOL's Radar for Employee Benefit Plans
Foley & Lardner LLP Link to more items from this source
May 17, 2024

"[1] Requirement to timely file an Annual Report with the [DOL] ... [2] Use of forfeitures in 401(k) plans ... [3] Expected pension de-risking report ... [4] Adequate consideration rule ... [5] Locating lost participants."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Employee Perspectives on SECURE 2.0 Emergency Expense Provisions (PDF)
Commonweslth and Defined Contribution Institutional Investment Association [DCIIA], Link to more items from this source
May 17, 2024

12 pages. "Commonwealth conducted focus groups with 20 workers earning [low and moderate incomes] ... Respondents reacted positively to both the $1,000 withdrawal option and the $2,500 [PLESA], but expressed a preference for the $2,500 option when asked to choose.... Employers and retirement plan providers who choose to use automatic enrollment within the PLESA must be clear and thoughtful about how they communicate it to employees to minimize concerns.... While participants don't expect to withdraw frequently from the account, they still prefer minimal restrictions on withdrawals and quick access to funds through direct deposit."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  SECURE 2.0

FMLA Eligibility Requires Treatment Within 7 Days of Incapacity
HR Daily Advisor Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"The leave originally wasn’t classified as Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave, but because the official diagnosis occurred almost a month after the first missed workday, does the time he took off since day one fall under the FMLA?... [If] the employee wasn’t hospitalized or didn’t miss three consecutive days of work and wasn’t seen by a healthcare provider within seven days of his incapacity, the employee isn’t eligible for FMLA leave back to day one of his illness. "

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave

Who Is a 'Senior Executive' Under the FTC's Non-Compete Clause Rule?
Bodman PLC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"The FTC defines 'senior executive' based on both an earnings test and a job duties test -- and the job duties test is quite restrictive.... You likely cannot enforce a non-compete against a Sales Manager who makes $250,000 annually, a Department Head with policy-making authority over only his segment of the business, a mid-level manager who owns a small share of stock in the Company, or a highly-compensated Chief People Officer who only has advisory authority but cannot make final policy decisions."

Tags: Executive comp

Federal Noncompete Ban: Key Points for Employees and Executives
myStockOptions.com Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 17, 2024

"[1] How the FTC defines noncompetes.... [2] Exceptions to the noncompete ban.... [3] Your state laws may still apply.... [4] Nondisclosure agreements may be restricted too.... [5] Lawsuits enforcing prior noncompetes do not go away.... [6] What your company must tell you.... [7] Legal challenges will severely test the noncompete ban."

Tags: Executive comp

Here's Why the Chamber of Commerce Believes the FTC's Non-Compete Rule Is Unlawful
Pierson Ferdinand LLP Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
May 17, 2024

"Congress never explicitly delegated such broad rulemaking authority to the Commission. Further, the FTC has failed to demonstrate that all noncompetes do more harm than good.... The FTC Rule will cause irreparable harm.... The public interest supports preliminary relief." [Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America v. Federal Trade Commission, No. 24-00148 (E.D. Tex. complaint filed Apr 23, 2024; order staying case May 3, 2024)]

Should You Take the Survivor Option on Your Pension?
Kiplinger Link to more items from this source
May 17, 2024

"In some cases, you could buy life insurance instead and get a better deal in protecting your spouse. There are some things to keep in mind, though."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Information for Employees

Alaska Pension Proposal Would Impose Big Costs But Have Little Impact on Recruitment
Reason Foundation Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
May 17, 2024

"Alaska lawmakers are considering Senate Bill 88 legislation to reinstate pensions for the state’s public workers.... [T]he bill’s 30-year cost could exceed $9 billion, but there is little evidence to conclude that it would counteract national and state-level trends in increased employee turnover."

Tags: Local Regulation  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  State and Local Government Plans

From the NBA Finals to Federal Prison: Glen 'Big Baby' Davis Sentenced in NBA Healthcare Plan Scheme
Benesch Link to more items from this source
May 17, 2024

"Davis not only submitted invoices for medical services he did not receive, but also furthered the scheme by recruiting Atlanta-area chiropractor Rashad Sanford to resubmit previously denied false invoices provided by Williams. Together, Davis and Sanford received a $44,000 payout from the plan."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

IRS Disaster Relief Notice OH-2024-01, for Taxpayers Impacted by Tornadoes in Ohio
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
May 17, 2024

"[I]ndividuals and businesses in Ohio that were affected by tornadoes that began on March 14, 2024 ... now have until Sept. 3, 2024, to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.... [I]ndividuals and households that reside or have a business in Auglaize, Crawford, Darke, Delaware, Hancock, Licking, Logan, Mercer, Miami, Richland and Union counties qualify for tax relief."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Reporting to Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Administration

IRS Disaster Relief Notice NE-2024-12, for Taxpayers Impacted by Severe Storms, Straight-Line Winds, and Tornadoes in Nebraska
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
May 17, 2024

"[I]ndividuals and businesses in Nebraska that were affected by severe storms, straight-line winds, and tornadoes that began on April 25, 2024 ... now have until September 3, 2024, to file various federal individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.... [I]ndividuals and households that reside or have a business in Douglas and Washington counties qualify for tax relief."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Reporting to Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Text of EBSA Interim Final Rules with Comment Request: Abandoned Plan Regs
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
May 16, 2024

131 pages. "This rulemaking amends the Abandoned Plan Program regulations that provide streamlined procedures for the termination of, and distribution of benefits from, individual account pension plans that have been abandoned by their sponsoring employers. The regulations, which were adopted in 2006  ... did not cover individual account pension plans whose sponsors are in liquidation under chapter 7 of the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. These interim final rules expand the regulations to cover these plans so that bankruptcy trustees may use the Abandoned Plan Program's streamlined procedures to terminate and wind them up. Other technical amendments also are being made to improve the efficiency and operation of the Abandoned Plan Program."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

Text of EBSA Amendment to PTE 2006-06, for Services Provided in Connection with the Termination of Abandoned Individual Account Plans
Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
May 16, 2024

35 pages. "The exemption permits a 'qualified termination administrator' (QTA) of an individual account pension plan that has been abandoned by its sponsoring employer to select itself to provide services to the plan in connection with the plan's termination and pay itself fees for the services. This amendment ... permits chapter 7 trustees who elect to be QTAs to rely on the exemption. This amendment to PTE 2006-06 also permits 'eligible designees' of such chapter 7 trustees to rely on the exemption. The amendment is issued in connection with amendments to three related regulations under ERISA ... that provide streamlined procedures for the termination of, and distribution of benefits from, abandoned individual account pension plans."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

Operating HSAs and HDHPs in Puerto Rico
Carlos Gonzalez Law Office LLC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 16, 2024

"If the entity administering the HSA is not a local financial institution, then the governing documents for the HSA, but not those of the HDHP, would need to be filed with Hacienda to obtain an administrative determination confirming that, both in its terms and operation, the HSA meets the requirements of PRIRC Section 1081.04.... [The] local limits are comparable to the U.S. 2012 limits. Since the limits are established by PRIRC Section 1081.04, rather than through Hacienda's administrative guidance, and are not indexed for inflation, Hacienda cannot approve a higher limit."

Tags: HSAs  •  Health Plan Design  •  Local Regulation

2025 HSA Contribution Limits
Newfront Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 16, 2024

"The main exception to the HDHP minimum deductible requirement is the ability of an HDHP to provide first-dollar coverage (i.e., not subject to the deductible) for preventive care without affecting HSA eligibility. [1] First dollar telehealth coverage expiration for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2025.... [2] First-dollar Covid testing/treatment expiration for plan years ending on or after January 1, 2025."

Tags: HSAs  •  Health Plan Design

Avoid RMD Shortfalls With These Rules on Life Expectancy
Morningstar Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
May 16, 2024

"When the RMD is an annual obligation, the Single Life Expectancy Table must be used to identify the denominator for the RMD calculation. In some cases, adjustments must be made to determine the life expectancy factor for a year. Beneficiaries must know when adjustments are required and ensure they are applied.... These rules also apply to employer plans."

Tags: IRAs  •  Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

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