Subscribe Now!
Free Daily News, Jobs, Webcasts, Discussions
Display and Distribute
Your Job Openings
COVID-19 News
COVID-19 Webcasts

Featured Jobs

Retirement Plan Administration Consultant

TSC
(Telecommute / Edina MN)

TSC logo

Retirement Plan Consultant

DWC - The 401(k) Experts
(Telecommute)

DWC - The 401(k) Experts logo

Plan Administrator

Forrestall CPAs, LLC
(Buford GA)

Forrestall CPAs, LLC logo

Manager, Defined Contribution Administration

Group RHI
(Telecommute / Spring TX / Dallas TX / University Place WA)

Group RHI logo

Free Daily News and Jobs

“BenefitsLink continues to be the most valuable resource we have at the firm.”

-- An attorney subscriber

Get the BenefitsLink app LinkedIn
Twitter
Facebook

View Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources

<< Older News  |  August 4, 2020

News

Get this news and more in our free daily email newsletters.
Text of CMS Temporary Policy on 2020 Premium Credits Associated with the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency (PDF)
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Aug. 4, 2020

"CMS is providing this additional flexibility to allow health insurance issuers in the individual and small group markets to temporarily offer premium credits for 2020 coverage to support continuity of coverage for individuals, families and small employers who may struggle to pay premiums because of illness or loss of incomes or revenue resulting from the COVID-19 public health emergency.... Issuers wishing to provide premium credits for 2020 coverage must, in advance of providing these credits, receive the applicable regulator's permission to provide premium credits as outlined in this bulletin, or CMS's permission in states where CMS is the primary enforcer of the applicable federal requirements.... In their requests to provide these credits, issuers must indicate the fixed percentage by which they intend to provide credits against 2020 premium amounts and the month(s) in 2020 to which the credits would apply."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Costs

Tenth Circuit Decision Puts New Emphasis on Including Discretionary Authority Language in Summary Plan Descriptions
Mayer Brown Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"[It] is now Tenth Circuit law that, in order to obtain deferential review, a plan administrator must either [1] furnish participants its plan documents -- even if the participant has not requested them -- or [2] ensure that its summary plan description explicitly states that the plan administrator (or relevant fiduciary) has discretionary authority to determine benefits eligibility and construe the plan's terms." [Lyn M. v. Premera Blue Cross, No. 18-4098 (10th Cir. Jul. 24, 2020)]

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Design

California, House File Reply Briefs in ACA Challenge
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"The briefs from California and the House reiterate the same arguments made in earlier briefs and the lower courts. They argue that [1] the individual plaintiffs and the Texas-led states do not have standing to sue; [2] the individual mandate, with a $0 penalty, remains constitutional; and [3] the mandate, even if unconstitutional, is severable from the rest of the ACA." [California v. Texas, No. 19-840; Texas v. California, No. 19-1019 (cert. pet. granted Mar. 2, 2020)]

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Health Plan Policy

Tech Companies Are Offering Parents Additional Benefits as COVID-19 Threatens Schools' Return
MarketWatch Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"Instead of ping-pong tables or free-flowing alcohol, tech companies are now offering help with parenting, which could be particularly useful as many children begin the school year from home as coronavirus cases continue to rise. Some of the biggest tech companies are offering additional paid time off, are paying for backup child care, or both."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Fringe Benefits (Transit, Discounts, etc.)

Put Your Best Fund Forward: Research-Backed Strategies to Improve Retirement Plans (PDF)
fi360 Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

70 presentation slides. Topics: [1] Core menu size and participant investment behaviors; [2] Fund replacements in defined contribution plans; [3] Made to stick: What drives default investment acceptance in defined contribution plans; [4] Mixed target-date fund investors; and [5] Participant trading activity during Q1 2020.

Tags: Retirement Plan Investments

One in Four Companies Changed Employee Health Benefits Since the COVID-19 Pandemic -- Will Working Americans Notice?
Fidelity Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"[O]ne-in-four (27%) organizations have changed employee health benefits since the COVID-19 pandemic began in March. Given these changes and the amplified importance of maintaining physical, mental and financial health, this year's annual enrollment marks a critical moment when employees need to spend time understanding and evaluating their options. Yet, 79% of employees don't anticipate spending extra time evaluating benefits this year compared to what they have done in the past."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design

Should a 401(k) Fiduciary Treat ESG as an Asset Class, a Stock Valuation Factor, or Neither?
Fiduciary News; free registration required Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"Defining ESG more precisely is ... difficult ... However, in general terms, it's very clear what ESG is not. It is not an asset class.... Is ESG simply just another component used to determine the proper valuation of a stock? If so, how might it find its way as just another data point for a stock analyst's spreadsheet'."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

Editor's Pick Federal Court Vacates Four Key Aspects of DOL Proposed Regs for Paid Sick and Extended Leave Benefits Under FFCRA
Foley & Lardner LLP Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"[1] The Court struck down the Final Rule's 'work availability' requirement. What this means for employers: employees may be eligible for FFCRA-paid leave even if there is no work for them to do.... [2] The Court struck down the Final Rule's definition of 'health care provider.' What this means for employers: employers may not have the option of denying FFCRA paid leave to a broad range of employees who work in the health care field.... [3] The Court partially struck down the Final Rule's intermittent leave provisions. What this means for employers: employers cannot require an employee to secure consent for intermittent leave.... [4] The Court struck down the requirement that employees provide documentation before taking leave. What this means for employers: employers cannot condition leave on advanced documentation." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

What Are the Partial Termination Rules for 403(b) Plans?
Business of Benefits Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 4, 2020

"Technically, neither the Tax Code or the 403(b) tax regulations require that non-vested employer contributions be vested on plan termination. ERISA's vesting rules ... do not require any plan, whether it be 403(b) or 401(k), to vest non-vested employer contributions on plan termination.... [I]f you have mistakenly applied that 'partial termination' vesting rule to a 403(b) plan you may have an operational error. Check your plan document, it may have a partial termination rule."

Tags: 403(b) Plans and Annuities  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

DOL Reinstates Five-Part Test for Fiduciary Investment Advice
Frost Brown Todd LLC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 4, 2020

"Advice to rollover assets from a plan to an IRA can constitute investment advice and cause the person or institution providing investment advice to be an investment advice fiduciary and therefore, subject to the conflict of interest prohibitions. Notably, once plan money is invested in an IRA, it is then subject only to the Code's prohibited transaction provisions. While this is not the broad authority that the DOL originally sought over IRAs, the refreshed interpretation causes some rollover solicitations to be subject to the applicable fiduciary and prohibited transaction provisions of ERISA and/or the Code."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  IRAs  •  Rollovers

Text of CMS FAQs: Validity of Telehealth and Telephone Services for Risk Adjustment Program During COVID-19 (PDF)
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Aug. 4, 2020

Updated Aug. 3, 2020. "Any service provided through telehealth that is reimbursable under applicable state law and otherwise meets applicable risk adjustment data submission standards may be submitted to issuers' External Data Gathering Environment (EDGE) servers for purposes of the [HHS]-operated risk adjustment program.... HHS has given additional consideration to the treatment of telephone-only services in the HHS-operated risk adjustment program and is announcing additional codes that will be valid for 2020 benefit year data submissions[.]"

Tags: Health Plan Costs  •  Health Plan Design

The Top-Heavy Test: Easy to Fail, Easy to Fix
Ferenczy Benefits Law Center Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"IRC Section 416(g) fine-tunes the rules for determining whether a plan is top-heavy. Not all account balances are included in the plan, and some funds that are distributed must be added back to determine the top-heavy fraction for a time."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Design

DOL Provides Guidance on ESG Investing
Foley & Lardner LLP Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"[T]he DOL in its proposed rule intends to 'update' and 'clarify' its longstanding investment duties' regulation. According to the DOL announcement, 'the proposed rule is intended to provide clear regulatory guideposts for plan fiduciaries in light of recent trends involving ESG investing.' ... There are five core additions to the DOL's existing 1979 regulation that are being proposed[.]"

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

HHS's Final Rule Under ACA Section 1557 Brings Challenges
Vorys Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 4, 2020

"The 2020 Rule also eliminates the requirement that covered entities send nondiscrimination notices and 'tagline' translation notices in at least 15 languages with all 'significant communications.'.... Covered entities are still required to take reasonable steps to ensure meaningful access [limited English proficiency] individuals."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

Editor's Pick When Can an Employer Have Mistaken HSA Contributions Returned by the HSA Custodian?
ABD Insurance & Financial Services Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 4, 2020

"Although the general rule is that all employer HSA contributions are nonforfeitable, there are three situations that permit employers to correct an error by requesting the HSA custodian return mistaken contributions.... [1] Employee was never HSA-eligible ... [2] Employer contributions exceed statutory limit ... [3] Clear documentary evidence of an administrative or process error."

Tags: HSAs  •  Health Plan Administration

Investment Advisers and Broker Dealers: Thought You Finished Your Form CRS? Think Again
Cohen & Buckmann, P.C. Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"On July 27, 2020, the Staff Standards of Conduct Implementation Committee ... reiterated the purpose of the form and stated that the Committee has been reviewing those submitted. While the Forms CRS under review 'generally reflect an effort to meet the content and format requirements,' others lack required disclosures, and 'could be clearer or otherwise improved.' ... [T]he Committee states it will provide feedback to firms and host a roundtable later this year to share information about their review[.]"

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Employee Savings Goals and Stress Levels on the Rise
Charles Schwab Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"Forty-one percent of those responding to the survey have made changes to their 401(k) as a direct result of COVID-19 and its economic impact.... Of the 41% who acted, 14% rebalanced their portfolio and 12% increased their contribution rate. These individuals also indicated that they either increased (8%) or decreased (7%) their exposure to stock funds/equity."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Everything You Need to Know About New York's Forthcoming Statewide Paid Sick Leave Law
ReedSmith Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 4, 2020

"How much paid sick leave will employees receive? ... What are permissible uses of NYPSL? ... How does NYPSL accrue? ... Does NYPSL have any recordkeeping requirements? ... When can employees start using NYPSL? ... Does accrued but unused NYPSL carry over from year-to-year and is it paid out upon termination? ... Are employers required to restore employees to their same position upon conclusion of NYPSL? ... What is the interplay between NYPSL, company policy, and New York City and Westchester paid sick leave? ... What steps should employers take in light of this new law?"

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

DOL Releases New FMLA Optional-Use Forms and Requests Public Input to Facilitate Potential Changes to FMLA Regs
Duane Morris LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 4, 2020

"[W]hile the DOL revised the notice and certification forms, it did not revise the mandatory FMLA notice poster. In addition, the revised forms do not apply to leave provided under the [FFCRA].... The DOL also published a request for information (RFI) asking employers and employees for comments on what each would like to see changed in the regulations to better effectuate the rights and obligations under the FMLA."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave

Beleaguered Public Pension Funds Make Record Gains in Second Quarter
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"Public pension funds set a 22-year performance record in the second quarter, recovering some but not all of their losses from the first quarter. Double-digit stock gains pushed pension returns to a median 11.1% for the second quarter ... Even with the rebound, median annual returns for the public pensions whose fiscal years ended June 30 were 3.2%, far short of the funds' long-term investment-return target of around 7%."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  State and Local Government Plans

Editor's Pick States Pull Back on Pension Payments as Virus Ravages Revenue
Advisor Perspectives Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"Colorado eliminated a $225 million supplemental payment to the state's Public Employees' Retirement System, backing away from a 2018 plan to bolster the pension, which is about 60% funded after suffering from years of inadequate government contributions. South Carolina suspended a statutorily scheduled 1% employer contribution increase for the fiscal year beginning July 1. And New Jersey, which has one of the nation's worst-funded pensions, has deferred a $950 million pension payment until September and Governor Phil Murphy's plan to increase contributions 13% to $4.6 billion is in question."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Funding of DB Plans  •  State and Local Government Plans

Administration Proposes to Expand Telehealth Benefits Permanently for Medicare Beneficiaries
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 4, 2020

"[CMS] is proposing changes to expand telehealth permanently, consistent with the Executive Order on Improving Rural and Telehealth Access that President Trump signed [August 3]. The Executive Order and proposed rule advance our efforts to improve access and convenience of care for Medicare beneficiaries, particularly those living in rural areas."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design  •  Medicare

Editor's Pick New York Federal Judge Vacates Parts of DOL FFCRA Final Regs
Seyfarth Shaw LLP Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"[T]he court determined that the DOL's interpretation of certain ambiguous language in the FFCRA's qualifying absences, namely the prerequisite 'unable to work (or telework) due to a need for leave because' was not reasonable under Chevron.... [T]he intermittent leave provisions in the regulations were not fully shielded from the August 3 decision ... The court vacated the part of the regulation's documentation provision stating that employees must provide the required documentation before their PST or EFML absence, finding that this requirement is inconsistent with the timing set forth in FFCRA notice provisions.... The August 3 decision took issue with the regulations' definition of 'health care provider' as compared to that under the FFCRA,8 specifically by deeming the former overbroad as compared to the original statute." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave

AIG Settlement Shows K-12 403(b) Not A-OK
403bwise Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Aug. 4, 2020

"On July 28, 2020 the SEC announced that AIG/Valic Financial Advisors (VFA) had agreed to a multi-million dollar settlement over the firm's practices in the Florida K-12 403(b) market.... It is estimated the firm reaped upwards of $30 million through the practices in question.... Unfortunately, this latest revelation is but a few grains of sand on a very dirty beach. The K-12 403(b) is still not A-okay."

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

Editor's Pick Federal Court Strikes Down Parts of DOL Regs on COVID-19-Related Paid Leave
Jackson Walker Link to more items from this source
Aug. 4, 2020

"While the DOL will likely appeal the decision and it may be overturned in whole or in part, employers who receive leave requests should keep in mind that these parts of the DOL regulations have now been found by one court to be invalid. Perhaps most importantly, health care providers should consider the impact of the decision before excluding certain employees from the benefits of paid FFCRA leave." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  FMLA and Other Leave


<< Older News  |  August 4, 2020

© 2020 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.