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Definiti
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Pension Investors Corp of Orlando Inc
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Premier Plan Consultants
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Legal Director

Pension Rights Center
(Telecommute / Washington DC)

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Jocelyn Pension Consulting
(Telecommute / Boulder CO / CA)

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Carpenter Morse Group
(Telecommute / Longwood FL)

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DC Plan Administrator

Retirement, LLC
(Telecommute / Oklahoma City OK / Sioux Falls SD)

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DB/DC Plan Consultant

Small NY Actuarial TPA Firm
(Telecommute / CT / NJ / NY)

Manager/Supervisor of Benefits and Payroll Compensation

Virginia Farm Bureau
(Richmond VA)

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Advanced Plan Designs, LLC
(Telecommute / Springfield MO)

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Retirement Plan Administrator

Howard Simon & Associates
(Deerfield IL)

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<< Older News  |  March 4, 2021

News

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Best Retirement Planning Tools and Software
U.S. News & World Report Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"Some retirement planning software has hefty initial costs or ongoing subscription fees. However, there are some retirement planning tools that may align with your needs and budget.... Here is a breakdown of these options, along with information regarding their cost and top features."

Tags: Retirement Plan Information for Employees

CMS Authorized Hundreds of Millions of Dollars in Advanced Premium Tax Credits on Behalf of Enrollees Who Did Not Make Their Required Premium Payments
Office of Inspector General [OIG], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"This audit reviewed CMS's permanent process for authorizing APTCs to QHP issuers on a policy-level basis for the 2018 calendar year.... [HHS OIG] estimated that $950 million out of $42.5 billion in authorized APTCs during 2018 for 659,143 policies of 5.3 million policies were unallowable because they were made on behalf of enrollees who did not make their required premium payments."

Tags: Health Plan Costs

‘Astronomical’ Recordkeeping Fees, Branded CITs Draw Excessive Fee Suit
American Retirement Association [ARA] Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"This time the target is none other than the American Red Cross, sued by four of the 22,000 participants (with account balances) in the plan that had over $1.2 billion in assets at the end of 2019 (according to the suit).... [T]he suit draws in several points of comparison for the excessive fee allegation[.]" [(Tracy v. Am. Nat'l Red Cross, No. 21-541 (D.D.C. complaint filed Mar. 2, 2021)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investment Costs

Year-End 2020 Self-Directed 401(k) Balances Up 13% Year-Over-Year Despite Ongoing Volatility and Q1 Market Lows
Charles Schwab Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"Average account balances finished the year up 31% compared to the lows they experienced at the end of Q1 2020. The majority of participant assets continue to be held in equities (35%), up from Q4 2019 at 29%. Mutual funds were the second largest holding at 31%, followed by ETFs (18%), cash (14%), and fixed income (2%)."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Investments

The Advantages of Probability-of-Success-Driven Guardrails
Nerd's Eye View Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"[W]hile software could ideally help speed up the process for advisors and provide some more relevant long-term metrics, the most fundamental advantages of the probability-of-success-driven guardrails approach involve managing shorter-term expectations[.]"

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

It's Past Time to Get to Work on Mental Health Parity NQTL Compliance Analyses
MZQ Consulting, LLC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 3, 2021

"[DOL] officials explained their expectation is that each employer plan sponsor will be able to produce an organized and thorough report with evidence and a soundly reasoned conclusion.... [If] they find one group health plan that is out of compliance, the DOL will approach the group's service providers ... to find all of the other non-compliant plans within the vendor's clientele."

Tags: Health Plan Design

U.S. House Version of FFCRA Provides Some Clarity for Employers
FMLA Insights Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"In the end, the House modified and extended the payroll tax credits for employer-provided paid sick and paid FMLA leave.... Congress is poised to simply extend FFCRA leave provisions on a voluntary basis, just as we have now."

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

Multiemployer Pension Reform Ruled Eligible for the COVID Relief Act
Seyfarth Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"On [March 1], the Senate Parliamentarian ruled that the multiemployer pension plan bailout provisions in the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan (a.k.a. the latest COVID-19 relief bill) would be eligible for a simple majority vote in the Senate as part of the budget reconciliation process, and thus will remain as part of the relief bill likely to become law shortly."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans  •  PBGC

The Benefits of Enacting a Plan Sponsor Philosophy
Portfolio Evaluations, Inc. Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"[A Philosophy] serves to direct a committee's thinking in carrying out their fiduciary duties -- a constant reminder that while regulatory obligations and industry best practices need to be met and followed, they are the means to achieving a plan's purpose, not the end."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Administration

New Guidance on Health Plans' COVID-19 Coverage Obligations
Sheppard Mullin Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 3, 2021

"Plans cannot require the presence of symptoms or a recent known or suspected exposure to COVID-19, or otherwise impose medical screening criteria on coverage for tests."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

Pension Finance Update, February 2021
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"Pension finance enjoyed its best month in more than three years in February, buoyed by higher stock prices and higher interest rates.... Plan A gained 5% and is now up more than 7% for the year, while the more conservative Plan B added 1% and is now up more than 1% through the first two months of 2021[.]"

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

If I Could Turn Back Time ... and Then Add a Year
Holland & Hart LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 3, 2021

"The immediate impact of this relief will be on any individual whose applicable ERISA deadline has already been extended for one year.... [O]ne should calculate the due date for the applicable election or COBRA premium (under standard ERISA election rules) for an individual and add one year."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government Clarifies End of Benefit Plan 'Outbreak Period'
Warner Norcross & Judd LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 3, 2021

"[T]he Notice emphasizes that plan fiduciaries ... should take steps to minimize the possibility of individuals losing benefits because of a failure to comply with pre-established time frames."

Tags: COBRA  •  Health Plan Administration

Higher Education Institutions Turn to Retirement Plan Service Providers to Help Address Unprecedented Challenges (PDF)
Transamerica Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"Nearly three out of five institutions report increased demand for investment and in-plan retirement income opportunities and one in four report an increased need for access to professionally managed accounts."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Design

IRS Provides Further Flexibility for Flexible Spending Accounts
Foley & Lardner LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 3, 2021

"If I allow a rollover or grace period, then how do I also help employees preserve their HSA eligibility? ... What kind of prospective changes am I allowed to offer my employees? ... What else should employers do?"

Tags: Cafeteria Plans  •  Dependent Care  •  HSAs  •  Health Plan Design

Guidance Clarifies Coverage of COVID-19 Services by Group Health Plans
Ascensus Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"The FAQs address the requirement to cover items and services related to diagnostic testing, qualifying preventive services, and recommended immunizations of COVID-19 without the imposition of cost sharing, prior authorization, or other medical management requirements."

Tags: Health Plan Design

Is Health Care Shoppable?
National Institute for Health Care Management [NIHCM] Link to more items from this source
Mar. 3, 2021

"The fact that patients struggle to shop in this favorable setting makes it unlikely that greater cost sharing and price transparency will lead them to shop for more complex services. A more promising avenue may be to harness the power exerted by referring physicians and help them to help their patients select better value providers."

Tags: Health Plan Costs  •  Health Plan Design

IRS Provides Flexibility for Employers with Cafeteria Plans
Bradley Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 2, 2021

"This article highlights the 20 key takeaways from Notice 2021-15 for employers with cafeteria plans.... Carryovers and grace periods ... Eligibility to contribute to an HSA ... Mid-year election changes ... Post-participation Health FSA reimbursements"

Tags: Cafeteria Plans  •  Dependent Care  •  HSAs  •  Health Plan Design

Colorado Clarifies the Obligation to Provide Public Health Emergency Leave to New Hires and Part-Time Employees
Littler Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 2, 2021

"[T]he rules make clear that the amount of [public health emergency leave (PHEL)] to which part-time employees are entitled is tied to when the employee requests PHEL ... The second change makes clear that employees who are hired during a public health emergency are entitled to PHEL ... [W]hile these rules do not take effect until April 14, 2021, employers can rely on them immediately."

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

Research Finds Women Outperforming Men in Managing DC Plans
Pensions & Investments Link to more items from this source
Mar. 2, 2021

"Morningstar used the Form 5500 data to track auto enrollment, defaults and compliance with ERISA's Section 404(c) from 2009 to 2017.... When researchers compared female vs. male administrators over time with the growth of the three factors over time, they concluded women did a better job."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

SECURE Act Section 202's 'Group of Plans' Comes to the Forefront
Business of Benefits Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 2, 2021

"[T]he GoP is much like the MEP and the PEP, requiring much of the same sort of 'meptech' data aggregation technology, but without the difficulties of merging and spinning off of plans under MEPs and PEPs.... Plans will eventually have 3 valuable alternatives from which to choose, should they be considering joining an aggregation arrangement."

Tags: MEP/PEP  •  Retirement Plan Design

Partial Plan Termination Relief Not a Free Pass for Reportable Events
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 2, 2021

"Pandemic relief in the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act may help defined benefit (DB) plan sponsors with large workforce reductions avoid the cost of a partial plan termination ... But the relief won't excuse sponsors from the [PBGC] reporting requirements for an active-participant reduction."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Outbreak Extension Period: When Does It End?
Trucker Huss Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 2, 2021

"[T]he Plan Administrator could choose to voluntarily extend the tolling period until the end of the Outbreak Period for all impacted deadlines.... [F]or fully-insured coverage, the carrier would need to agree (which may be unlikely); and for self-funded plans with stop loss coverage, it would need to be permitted under the stop loss policy."

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

'Outbreak Period' Guidance Creates Migraines for Plan Sponsors
Lockton Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 2, 2021

"The most challenging aspect of the recent guidance is that it admonishes plan sponsors to reissue notices, like COBRA notices, that when first issued were not entirely accurate (as to election and premium payment deadlines) ... The notices will almost certainly not have been accurate because last spring few people -- if any -- expected the presidential national emergency to last 12 months."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Every COBRA, Special Enrollment, or Claims Event Gets Its Own COVID-Extended Deadline
HUB International Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 2, 2021

"This new interpretation only makes the administrative concerns more pronounced since employers and their administrators will now have to track dates on an event-by-event basis.... Self-insured plans in particular need to ensure their stop loss policies don't have any potential gaps that may be exposed by claims paid later than customary or allowed by the policy due to these extended deadlines."

Tags: COBRA  •  Health Plan Administration


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