Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Webcasts
Subscribe to Free Daily Newsletters
Post a Job

Featured Jobs

401(k) Associate
Blue Ridge ESOP Associates logo
Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
(Charlottesville VA / Telecommute)
Retirement Plan Consultant
Cetera Retirement Plan Specialists logo
Cetera Retirement Plan Specialists
(Telecommute)

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 Items  |  April 2, 2020

News

Get this news and more in our free daily email newsletters.
Text of DOL Temporary Regs: Paid Leave Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (PDF)
Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Apr. 1, 2020

124 pages. "[T]he FFCRA requires covered employers to provide eligible employees up to two weeks of paid sick leave at full pay, up to a specified cap, when the employee is unable to work because the employee is subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-9, has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19, or is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking a medical diagnosis. The FFCRA also provides up to two weeks of paid sick leave at partial pay, up to a specified cap, when an employee is unable to work because of a need to care for an individual subject to a Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19 or who has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine due to concerns related to COVID-19; because of a need to care for the employee's son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons; or because the employee is experiencing a substantially similar condition ... The FFCRA also requires covered employers to provide up to twelve weeks of expanded family and medical leave, up to ten weeks of which must be paid at partial pay, up to a specified cap, when an eligible employee is unable to work because of a need to care for the employee's son or daughter whose school or place of care is closed, or whose child care provider is unavailable, due to COVID-19 related reasons.

"The FFCRA covers private employers with fewer than 500 employees and certain public employers. Small employers with fewer than 50 employees may qualify for an exemption from the requirement to provide paid leave due to school, place of care, or child care provider closings or unavailability, if the leave payments would jeopardize the viability of their business as a going concern."

These temporary regs cover:

  • Paid Leave Entitlements
  • Employee Eligibility
  • Employer Coverage
  • Intermittent Leave
  • Leave to Care for a Child Due to School or Place of Care Closure or Child Care Unavailability -- Interaction between the EPSLA and the EFMLEA
  • Leave to Care for a Child Due to School or Place of Care Closure or Child Care Unavailability -- Interaction between the EFMLEA and the FMLA
  • Employer Notice
  • Employee Notice of Need for Leave
  • Documentation of Need for Leave
  • Health Care Coverage
  • Multiemployer Plans
  • Return to Work
  • Recordkeeping
  • Prohibited Acts and Enforcement
  • Effect of Other Laws, Employer Practices, and Collective Bargaining Agreements
DOL Issues Temporary Rule for Paid Leave Under FFCRA
Wage and Hour Division [WHD], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"The Department is promulgating regulations to implement public health emergency leave under Title I of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and emergency paid sick leave to assist working families facing public health emergencies arising out of the COVID-19 global pandemic. The leave provisions are created by a time-limited statutory authority established under the FFCRA and are set to expire on December 31, 2020. The temporary rule is effective from April 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020."

Significant Retirement Plan Distribution and Loan Provisions of the CARES Act
PASI Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"Plan Administrators can rely on a Participant's written certification that he or she is eligible for the distribution. The statute does not include a qualification regarding the Plan Administrator's knowledge to the contrary; however, if a Plan Administrator does possess such contrary knowledge, you may be under an implied obligation to take action.... Who will be responsible for ensuring loan repayments resumed on January 1, 2021, and then are increased following the 1-year suspension? The Plan Administrator. Certain recordkeepers might be able to assist with this, although there is very little incentive for them to invest heavily in this feature because it will be moot by the end of 2021."

Text of IRS FAQS: COVID-19-Related Tax Credits for Required Paid Leave Provided by Small and Midsize Businesses
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Apr. 1, 2020

"The FFCRA provides that employers subject to the EPSLA and the Expanded FMLA paid leave requirements are entitled to fully refundable tax credits to cover the cost of the leave required to be paid for these periods of time during which employees are unable to work (which for purposes of these rules, includes telework). Certain self-employed persons in similar circumstances are entitled to similar credits.... [These FAQs] provide more detailed information regarding the requirements, limitations, and application of the paid leave credits."

  • Basic FAQs (#1-19)
  • Determining the Amount of the Tax Credit for Qualified Sick Leave Wages (#20-24)
  • Determining the Amount of the Tax Credit for Qualified Family Leave Wages (#25-30)
  • Determining the Amount of Allocable Qualified Health Plan Expenses (#31-36)
  • How to Claim the Credits (#37-43)
  • How Should an Employer Substantiate Eligibility for Tax Credits for Qualified Leave Wages? (#44-46)
  • Periods of Time for Which Credits are Available (#47-48)
  • Special Issues for Employers: Taxation and Deductibility of Tax Credits (#49-51)
  • Special Issues for Employers: Interaction of FFCRA Tax Credits with Other Tax Credits (#52)
  • Special Issues for Employers: Use of Third-Party Payers (#53)
  • Special Issues for Employers: Other Issues (#54-56)
  • Special Issues for Employees (#57-59)
  • Specific Provisions Related to Self-Employed Individuals (#60-66)
IRS Limits the Number of Caretakers for Paid Leave, Outlines the Documentation Required to Take Leave
FMLA Insights Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"[The IRS] took a hard line on an employee's need for emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) and emergency paid FMLA (FMLA+), taking the position that only one caretaker can take leave for a child whose school or childcare is closed. Moreover, if the child is over 14 years old, the parent must explain the special circumstances requiring the employee to provide care. This position is outlined in detailed FAQs highlighting the documentation employers can require to substantiate an employee's need for EPSL and FMLA+. The IRS also detailed the documents that must be maintained to obtain tax credits for EPSL and FMLA+ payments."

Special Distributions from Puerto Rico Retirement Plans and IRAs Are Extended to COVID-19 Victims
McConnell Valdes Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"CL 20-09 will continue in full force and effect, except that it will also apply to Eligible Distributions made from Puerto Rico qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts during the Relief Period (February 20, 2020 through June 30, 2020) to cover Eligible Expenses incurred as a consequence of the public health emergency created by the COVID-19. These distributions will be subject to the same requirements imposed to Eligible Distributions resulting from the earthquakes."

San Francisco Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave While Area Shelter-In-Place Orders Extended
Fisher Phillips Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"San Francisco's Workers and Families First Program will provide $10 million to reimburse businesses with employees in San Francisco to allow businesses to provide those employees with additional paid sick leave.... All San Francisco employers with full- or part-time employees who work in San Francisco are eligible. Remote employees are not eligible."

Extension of Restatement Deadlines for 403(b) and Defined Benefit Plans; Plan Loan Extensions Under CARES Act
Ferenczy Benefits Law Center Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"The remedial amendment period for 403(b) plans was set to expire on March 31, 2020. The IRS announced that it is extended to June 30, 2020.... The remedial amendment period for the second six-year cycle for defined benefit plans, which was due to end on April 30, 2020, is extended to July 31, 2020.... The actual language of CARES provides that the deadlines of Code section 72(p) are automatically delayed statutorily for a one-year period for eligible loans.... If an employer has taken action which, by definition, causes the employee to be eligible for the loan delay, it should modify the loan procedure to permit it to suspend loan payments automatically while the crisis is at hand."

Retirement Plan Provisions in the CARES Act: Action Items for Plan Sponsors
Kushner & Company Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"If you intend to allow for COVID-19 related distributions in 2020, a new distributive event would have to be created that is not subject to the 10% early distribution penalty tax or mandatory 20% withholding.... If COVID-19 distributions are being repaid to your retirement plans, procedures must be in place to treat any such payments as rollover contributions and limit such repayments to the aggregate amount of distributions that the individual received from all retirement plans in your controlled group."

Text of IRS Notice 2020-22: Relief from Penalty for Failure to Deposit Employment Taxes (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Apr. 1, 2020

"The purpose of this notice is to provide penalty relief with respect to certain employers' deposits of Federal employment taxes with the [IRS]  ... including deposits of withheld income taxes, taxes under the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA), and taxes under the Railroad Retirement Tax Act (RRTA) ... Specifically, this notice provides relief to employers entitled to the new refundable tax credits provided under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act [FFCRA] ... and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act)[.]"

Editor's Pick COVID-19 Paid Leave Rules Are Effective Today: Things Certain Employers Should Do ASAP
Groom Law Group Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"[1] Determine whether your company or any subsidiaries are subject to either of the new paid leave requirements ... If it is clear that your company has 500 or more employees, you can stop reading here -- these paid leave requirements do not apply to your company.... [2] Provide the required notice ... [3] Determine which employees could be entitled to the new paid leave ... [4] Develop a process for collecting required documentation ... [5] Talk to your payroll department or payroll vendor regarding the tax credits."

Editor's Pick COVID-19 Plan Document and Administration FAQs
ASC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"These FAQs are in response to the numerous plan document and plan administration questions ASC has received from clients relating to issues associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. We will continuously update these FAQs as we address new issues or receive updated information from the [IRS] and the [DOL]."

Updated Guidance for Employers on Paid Leave Requirements of the FFCRA
Schiff Hardin Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"[1] Who counts as an 'employee' for paid sick and family leave under the FFCRA? ... [2] Who is eligible for paid FFCRA leave in the event of a furlough, plant closure, or hours reduction? ... [3] Interaction between FFCRA paid leave and other paid leave ... [4] Interaction between paid FFCRA leave and FMLA leave ... [5] Can employees take intermittent paid leave under the FFCRA? ... [6] What documentation is required related to FFCRA leave? ... [7] When will employers be entitled to a tax credit for paid FFCRA leave?"

CARES Act Brings Much-Needed Relief (and New Obligations) for Benefit Plans
Faegre Drinker Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"[T]he delayed repayment rule may create recordkeeping and participant communication challenges and should be coordinated with any rules a plan has regarding when a loan is considered in default ... Guidance from the IRS would be helpful as to: [1] whether employees can self-certify that they meet the conditions to be a qualified individual; [2] whether a plan is required to provide the one-year delay for loan repayments; and [3] whether the relief applies to loans which would otherwise be defaulted."

The CARES Act Participant Loan Payment Suspension Rules
Business of Benefits Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"The structure and the language used by the drafters of the CARES Act ... actually appears to legally modify the loan agreement between COVID participants and the plan.... [N]ote that the amortization schedules in the Code did not actually change ... You will also need to discover a way to handle volitional payments... But this analysis does leave open the question on how a non-ERISA loan can be modified by federal law."

CARES Act and Defined Benefit Plans
Spencer Fane Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"[1] Minimum required contributions delayed ... [2] Benefit restrictions relief ... [3] The deadline for employers to adopt a pre-approved defined benefit plan is extended to July 31, 2020 ... [4] Required minimum distributions ... waiver does not apply to defined benefit plans."

DOL Releases Updated FFCRA Guidance on Telework and Intermittent Leave
Ogletree Deakins Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"The FFCRA does not require that employers provide intermittent leave to teleworking employees. Intermittent leave is permitted if an employer allows it, and: [1] an employee is unable to telework his or her normal schedule of hours due to a COVID-19 -- qualifying reason under the EPSLA; or [2] an employee is prevented from teleworking during his or her normal schedule of hours because he or she needs to care for a child whose school or place of care is closed, or whose childcare provider is unavailable, because of COVID-19 -- related reasons under the EFMLEA."

DOL Updates Guidance on FFCRA Leave, Including Exemptions for Small Businesses and Exclusions for Health Care Providers
Ice Miller LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"[1] When to count employees for coverage.... [2] Small business exemption.... [3] Exclusion of health care providers.... [4] Exclusion of emergency responders.... [5] Public sector employee eligibility.... [6] Full-time employees defined.... [7] Son or daughter defined.... [8] Total amount of leave available under the FFCRA.... [9] Concurrent use of FFCRA leaves.... [10] Job restoration.... [11] Leave and health insurance waiting periods."

The Coronavirus Crisis: What Plan Fiduciaries Should Do
FredReish.com Link to more items from this source
Apr. 1, 2020

"[T]he sudden and large investment losses in the 401(k) plans that you sponsor -- and act as fiduciaries for -- present issues more challenging than those typically encountered by employers and plan committees.... Here are several suggestions for fulfilling your legal responsibilities, as well as best practices for managing your 401(k) plan."

Important Facts About 401(k) Plans (PDF)
Investment Company Institute [ICI] Link to more items from this source
Apr. 1, 2020

24 pages. "In the first years of these rules, employers typically offered 401(k) plans as supplements to their defined benefit (DB) plans. Almost four decades later, 401(k) plans have grown to become the most common employer-sponsored defined contribution (DC) retirement plan in the United States"

New York Releases Guidance on COVID-19 Leave
Buck Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2020

"The amount of leave employers are required to provide depends on their size as of January 1, 2020. Because the FAQs do not address whether employer size is determined by the number of employees in New York or nationwide, further guidance is needed."

Editor's Pick Leave Tracking and Recordkeeping Under COVID-19: Adjusting for the New Normal
Mintz Link to more items from this source
Apr. 1, 2020

"This post provides practical guidance for employers on: [1] adjusting current systems to keep track of leave taken under the FFCRA; [2] documents to request from employees in connection with leave taken under the FFCRA; and [3] records that must be kept for leave taken under the FFCRA. While this guidance is focused on FFCRA leaves, it may also be generally applied to employee leave under any expanded state or local laws in connection with COVID-19."

Pandemic and Plan Service Providers: Chances Are, Your Business Continuity Plan Did Not Fully Address This
The Wagner Law Group Link to more items from this source
Apr. 1, 2020

"[B]roker-dealers, investment advisory firms, and the recordkeepers that deal with retirement plan assets are well advised to review their business continuity planning.... Although specific guidance may not apply directly to a specific line of business, taking a holistic approach can provide firms with an overall view of how the regulators want the entire industry to approach this pandemic..... [1] Current action items for service providers ... [2] Business continuity plans ... [3] Specific pointers ... [4] Responses from regulators."

COVID-19: New Law Allows Free Telehealth Without Compromising Tax Benefits of Health Savings Accounts
Foley & Lardner LLP Link to more items from this source
Apr. 1, 2020

"For plan years beginning before January 1, 2022, an employer can sponsor an HDHP and simultaneously offer a telemedicine service without disqualifying an employee from making or receiving tax-advantaged HSA contributions. Continued expansion in coverage means telehealth providers and employers can enhance telehealth program offerings, both for the immediate cost savings and growing opportunities for revenue generation, to say nothing of patient quality and satisfaction."

Dallas Paid Sick Leave Ordinance Blocked Just Days Before Scheduled Enforcement
Fisher Phillips Link to more items from this source
Apr. 1, 2020

"Austin, San Antonio, and Dallas -- three major Texas cities -- each enacted paid sick leave ordinances requiring private employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. With yesterday's ruling, all three have now been enjoined. While Dallas employers may have an obligation to provide federal paid sick leave under the [FFCRA], they have no responsibility to provide Dallas sick leave -- for now." [ESI/Employee Solutions LP v. City of Dallas, No. 19-570 (E.D. Tex. Mar. 30, 2020)]


<< Older News Items  |  April 2, 2020
© 2020 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.