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Retirement, LLC
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Verrill
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Request for 'FMLA Leave' Is Protected Activity, Court Says
Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP Link to more items from this source
Feb. 3, 2023

"Even if an employee doesn't qualify for FMLA leave, and even if she doesn't specifically mention 'FMLA,' employers need to be careful to avoid retaliation (or even the appearance of retaliation) based on a request for leave." [Milman v. Fieger & Fieger, P.C., No. 21-2685 (6th Cir. Jan. 25, 2023)]

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave

Editor's Pick SECURE 2.0: Significant Changes for Employer-Sponsored Retirement Plans Start Now (PDF)
Buck Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

14 pages. "SECURE 2.0 did not change the existing requirement for defined benefit pension plans ... to actuarially increase a non-5% owner employee's benefit when that employee continues working after April 1 following the end of the calendar year in which the employee turned 70½.... 403(b) plan administrators will need to understand the [long-term, part-time employee] requirements that will apply to their plans and take the necessary steps to address them.... [Changes to the catch-up contributions rule] may pose some logistical challenges for payroll ... as it may be difficult to determine whether an employee earned more than the threshold in the prior year in time to properly limit the employee's catch-up contributions starting with the first pay period of the next year."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  403(b) Plans and Annuities  •  Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Amendments  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  SECURE 2.0

Catch-Up Contributions: If It Ain’t Broke, Break It!
DWC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

"Assuming lawmakers and/or regulators are able to find a way to get catch-up contributions back on track ... [b]eginning in 2024, any participant with compensation exceeding $145,000 in the immediately preceding year will be required to have any catch-up contributions ... designated as Roth contributions.... When setting the $145,000 limit, [the Act] points to the part of the Tax Code that essentially addresses W-2 employees. Sole props and partners ... pay for purposes of this is $0.... [A]ny amounts that are recharacterized [as a result of a failed ADP test] would have to also be converted to Roth for any of the HCEs who had prior year compensation in excess of $145,000.... [T]hose HCEs could find themselves stuck with an unexpected tax bill without actually receiving the cash refund to cover it."

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

COVID-19 National Emergency and Public Health Emergency to End on May 11
OneDigital Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

"One of the biggest changes for health plan sponsors will be the end of the COVID Outbreak Period ... on July 10 (60 days after the end of the National Emergency). During the Outbreak Period, deadlines for HIPAA Special Enrollment, COBRA Notice and premium payments, and claims and appeals filing were extended.... For many plan participants, July 10 will be their final opportunity to take advantage of these extended deadlines."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration

What Deadlines Apply to 403(b) Plan Documents
VOYA Financial Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

"When did an employer first need to adopt a 403(b) plan? ... What is the deadline for amendments to a 403(b) plan before the next remedial amendment period? ... What happens if an employer intended to adopt an IRS pre-approved 403(b) plan document, but did not sign the amendment for an IRS pre-approved plan by the June 30 deadline?"

Tags: 403(b) Plans and Annuities  •  Retirement Plan Amendments

COVID-19 Federal Emergency Declarations Ending in May 2023
Winston & Strawn LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

"[A] chart summarizes the impact that the end of the federal emergency declarations will have on private group health plans."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration

Health and Welfare Plan Developments, February 2023 (PDF)
Alston & Bird Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

24 presentation slices. Topics include: [1] Year-end legislative update, HSA extension and COVID mandate status; [2] Preventive services/ACA; [3] Section 1557 regulations: brief review and sample of cases; [4] HIPAA update -- online tracking; [5] MHPAEA; [6] IDR developments; and [7] Miscellaneous items: disaster relief and DOL 2023 penalty increases.

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

Record Number of 401(k) Hardship Withdrawals Seen in 2022
American Retirement Association [ARA] Link to more items from this source
Feb. 3, 2023

"[A] record 2.8% of the five million people in 401(k) plans run by [Vanguard] tapped their retirement savings in 2022 for financial hardship reasons. It's an increase from 2.1% in 2021 and a pre-pandemic average of about 2%."

Tags: Misc. Distribution Issues

Fiduciary Responsibilities for Non-ERISA Retirement Plans
CAPTRUST Link to more items from this source
Feb. 3, 2023

"ERISA is designed to apply only to private organizations. While government entities and some churches may not be required to comply with its standards, following ERISA best practices can be prudent.... Since state laws vary, fiduciary responsibilities can range from nonexistent to comprehensive, or fall somewhere in between."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  State and Local Government Plans

What's New in Paid Family and Medical Leave in 2023?
Littler Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

"Changes to paid family and medical leave will occur in 10 states and the District of Columbia this year. This Insight provides an overview of these changes[.]"

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Illinois Paid Leave Law: What You Need to Know
Nixon Peabody LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

"Pursuant to Illinois legislation awaiting the governor's signature, on January 1, 2024, Illinois employers will be required to give employees up to 40 hours of paid leave for any reason. While several states grant employees paid sick leave, Illinois becomes the third state to extend paid leave beyond sickness and family reasons to any reason at the employee's discretion."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

FTC Non-Compete Proposed Rule May Affect Employee Benefit Plans
Haynes and Boone, LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

"[E]mployers should inventory their various benefit plans and compensation arrangements to determine where they have restrictive covenants so that they can act quickly in the event the proposed rule is finalized. The impact of this rule on benefit plans and compensation arrangements could be wide-reaching[.]"

Tags: Executive comp  •  Nonqualified Plans

Model Pension Plan's Funded Status Continues to Rise
Segal Link to more items from this source
Feb. 3, 2023

"During the fourth quarter (Q4) of 2022, the funded status of the model pension plan ... rose by 2 percentage points, to 106 percent ... This increase in funded status is primarily attributable to a 7 percent increase in assets, partially offset by a 4 percent increase in liabilities."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

San Francisco Requires Employers to Provide Paid Military Leave
Vorys Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 3, 2023

"The ordinance applies to private employers of 100 of more employees 'regardless of location.' An 'employee' includes any employee who works within the geographic boundaries of San Francisco (including part-time and temporary employees) and who is a member of the reserve corps of the United States Armed Forces, National Guard, or other uniformed service organization of the United States."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation  •  Military-Related Benefits, USERRA

Seventh Circuit Case Confirms That 'Full and Fair Review' of Disability Claims Requires Disclosure of New Evidence Before Denying Appeals
Littler Link to more items from this source
Feb. 3, 2023

"The plan's offer to provide the participant a copy of the file upon request may have complied with the regulations in effect before 2018 ... However, in 2018 ... the DOL changed these regulations. The question the court decided was whether the 2018 regulations (or the exception to them) applied to this claim, which the participant filed in 2013 and the plan granted in 2014, reviewed beginning in 2015, and terminated in 2020." [Zall v. Standard Ins. Co., No. 22-1096 (7th Cir. Jan. 19, 2023)]

Tags: Health Plan Administration

SEC Risk Alert: Observations from Broker-Dealer Examinations Related to Regulation Best Interest (PDF)
U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission [SEC] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Feb. 3, 2023

"Moving forward, the Division intends to incorporate compliance with Regulation Best Interest into retail-focused examinations of broker-dealers, particularly those that include sales practices within the scope of the examination. The Division is issuing this risk alert to highlight deficiencies noted during examinations conducted, as well as examples of weak practices that could result in deficiencies."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Deadline Approaching for Medicare Part D Creditable Coverage Disclosure to CMS
Cowden Associates, Inc. Link to more items from this source
Feb. 2, 2023

"March 1, 2023 is the deadline for sponsors of calendar year plans to complete an online disclosure form with [CMS], indicating whether the plan's prescription drug coverage is creditable or non-creditable."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Medicare

Insurer Price Transparency Rule: What Has Been Disclosed?
Health Affairs Forefront Link to more items from this source
Feb. 2, 2023

"The Insurer Price Transparency Rule provides a potentially excellent opportunity for patients, payers, researchers, policymakers, and other market participants and stakeholders to understand pricing behaviors in the broad health care market. [This article describes] the size and content of pricing information disclosed by insurers during the first six months following the rule's implementation, identify its limitations, and suggest research, practice, and policy implications."

Tags: Health Plan Costs

Editor's Pick 2023 State Paid Family and Medical Leave Contributions and Benefits (PDF)
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 2, 2023

27 pages; Feb. 1, 2023. "The Colorado and Oregon PFML programs began collecting contributions in January 2023. Oregon's program will begin paying benefits in September 2023, and Colorado benefit payments will begin in 2024. Maryland will begin collecting contributions in October 2023 and begin benefit payments in 2025. Delaware will not begin collecting contributions until 2025, with benefits first available in 2026. New Hampshire's PFML program began paying benefits to eligible state employees in January 2023, while Vermont will do so starting July 2023."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Another Health Plan Reporting Deadline Is 'In the Air'
Seyfarth Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 2, 2023

"Under a Tri-Agency Proposed Rule, health plans could be required to report information relating to air ambulance services by March 31, 2023. As this proposed deadline approaches, plan sponsors should reach out to their third party administrators to determine what assistance, if any, will be provided relating to these reporting requirements."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

It's Time to Act on Retirement Income Solutions
Retirement Advisor Council Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Feb. 2, 2023

"[D]espite good intentions, defined contribution (DC) plans have failed to properly replace the retirement income security that had existed under traditional defined benefit pension plans.... [A] large gap remains between where pre-retirees typically are financially and where they should be. Even among those who have accumulated a sufficiently large nest egg, many have no idea how to safely and responsibly convert those assets into lifelong retirement income."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

A Closer Look at SECURE 2.0's Penalty-Free Distribution Provisions (PDF)
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 2, 2023

"Plan sponsors can offer penalty-free distributions to participants who are affected by major disasters, have experienced domestic abuse, have personal emergency expenses or have a terminal illness. This GRIST separately examines each distribution’s eligibility provisions and any limitations on the distribution’s amount or timing. The article then discusses common provisions of the distributions, including a plan’s ability to offer them as separate options, participants’ ability to repay distributions, and their tax treatment for plans and participants."

Tags: Misc. Distribution Issues  •  SECURE 2.0

Proposed Regs Would Create 'Individual Contraceptive Arrangement,' Rescind Contraceptive Coverage Mandate's Moral Exemption
Thomson Reuters / EBIA Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 2, 2023

"[T]he agencies have proposed to add a new 'individual contraceptive arrangement' through which individuals enrolled in plans or coverage sponsored or arranged by entities with religious objections could access no-cost contraceptive services without the involvement of their employer, group health plan, plan sponsor, or insurer. A provider or facility that furnishes contraceptive services in accordance with the individual contraceptive arrangement would be reimbursed through an arrangement with an Exchange insurer, which would request an Exchange user fee adjustment to cover the costs."

Tags: Health Plan Design

SECURE 2.0: New Lost and Found Program and an Increase to the Dollar Limit on Mandatory Distributions
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 2, 2023

"SECURE 2.0 requires the [DOL], in consultation with the Department of the Treasury, to create an online searchable lost and found database of retirement plans.... The deadline for the DOL to establish the database is December 29, 2024.... [P]lan administrators must furnish the DOL with information about the plan and terminated plan participants for plan years beginning after December 31, 2023.... Section 304 of SECURE 2.0 increases to $7,000, the threshold at which plans may automatically cash out a participant, effective for distributions made after December 31, 2023. This change is optional and may require a plan amendment."

Tags: Lost/Missing Participants  •  Misc. Distribution Issues  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Amendments  •  SECURE 2.0

Employers Prioritize New Healthcare Vendor Solutions
Willis Towers Watson Link to more items from this source
Feb. 2, 2023

Infographic. "9 in 10 employers use their vendor strategy to achieve these goals ... Most sought-after capabilities of new vendor partners ... Mental health and wellbeing solutions remain key areas of focus for 2024 ... Engaging members is a key challenge ... Most employers intend to add or enhance their vendor solutions ... Actions you can take now."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Costs

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