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Van Iwaarden Associates
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Sixth Circuit Issues First Published Appellate Opinion Applying Supreme Court's ERISA Ruling in Hughes
Sidley Austin LLP Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2022

"The court recognized that actively managed funds cost more than passively managed funds, but that fact alone does not make active funds imprudent.... The court rejected the recordkeeping claims, too. Plausibly pleading an excessive fee claim, the court explained, requires 'context,' including allegations that 'the services that [the plan]'s fee covers are equivalent to those provided by' comparator plans and 'excessive relative to the services rendered.' " [Smith v. CommonSpirit Health, No. 22-5964 (6th Cir. Jun. 21, 2022)]

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

Transparency in Coverage Requirements: Compliance Deadline Approaching
FordHarrison Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 24, 2022

"To ensure compliance, plan sponsors should confirm in writing that the insurers and/or third parties obtain and post the information. Plan sponsors should confirm that any links provided by the insurer or TPA include the appropriate MRFs and that the content and accessibility requirements of the regulations are satisfied. Plan sponsors should determine if the MRF needs to be posted on the plan website for self-funded plans or the third-party administrator or both."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

District of Columbia Reduces Employer PFL Contributions While Expanding Benefits
Newfront Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 24, 2022

"During the March 1 evaluation the OCFO determined that there is surplus in the Universal Paid Leave Fund, which allows for expansion of the leave benefits and a reduction in the employer contribution from .62% to .26%. The reduction in employer contributions will be effective July 1, 2022. The expansion of benefits will be effective July 1 or October 1, 2022."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Text of Supreme Court Opinion: Federal Constitution Does Not Prohibit Each State from Regulating or Prohibiting Abortion (PDF)
Supreme Court of the United States Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2022

213 pages. "We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled. The Constitution makes no reference to abortion, and no such right is implicitly protected by any constitutional provision, including the one on which the defenders of Roe and Casey now chiefly rely -- the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.... It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people's elected representatives." [Dobbs v. Jackson Women's Health Org., No. 19-1392 (S. Ct. Jun. 24, 2022)]

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Health Plan Policy

DOL and Recordkeeper Square Off in Confidentiality Disputes
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2022

"The DOL's cybersecurity investigation into Alight Solutions, LLC, a retirement plan recordkeeper, has queued up court rulings on the reach of the DOL's subpoena power that may have important implications for ERISA plan sponsors and their respective recordkeepers and service providers moving forward." [Walsh v. Alight Solutions, LLC, No. 20-2138 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 28, 2021; on appeal to 7th Cir.)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Sixth Circuit: 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries Did Not Breach Duties by Offering Actively Managed Mutual Funds
Roberts Disability Law Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2022

"The court explained that merely offering actively managed funds in its mix of investment options is not by itself an imprudent act.... [The plaintiff] pointed to another investment that performed better in a five-year snapshot of the lifespan of the fund but this does not suffice to plead an imprudent decision. If so, it would mean that every actively managed fund with below-average results over the most recent five-year period would create an ERISA violation." [Smith v. CommonSpirit Health, No. 22-5964 (6th Cir. Jun. 21, 2022)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Retirement Goals Being Reset by Many U.S. Workers Amid Recent Market Drop and Inflation
Principal Financial Group Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2022

"[A] considerable percentage of workers (71%) said their key goal in retirement is 'maintaining my standard of living,' while less than half (44%) cited splurging periodically in retirement as a priority. The biggest concerns workers say they have in retirement, in order, are maintaining a healthy lifestyle, enduring market losses, outliving savings, and meeting daily expenses."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

Due Dates Approaching for DC Plan Lifetime Illustrations
Segal Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2022

"For DC plans with participant direction of investments, the benefit statements with illustrations must be provided for the second calendar quarter of 2022, which ends June 30, 2022.... The due date is the same regardless of the plan's plan year.... For DC plans without participant direction of investments, the benefit statement with illustrations must be provided at the same time the Form 5500 annual report is due (including extensions)."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

PBGC Approves $5.4 Million in Special Financial Assistance for Painters Local 466 Pension Plan
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2022

"[PBGC] has approved the application submitted to the Special Financial Assistance (SFA) Program by the Local Union No. 466 Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers Pension Plan. The plan, based in Menands, New York, covers 45 participants in the construction industry. The Painters Local 466 Plan became insolvent in November 2020.... The plan will receive $5.4 million in SFA, including interest to the expected date of payment to the plan."

Tags: Multiemployer Plans

PCORI Fee Due by August 1
Buck Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 24, 2022

"The fee for plan years ending in 2021 is due by August 1, 2022.... While all plan sponsors of self-insured group health plans will pay the PCORI fee in 2022, the amount upon which the fee is based depends on when the plan year ends[.]"

Tags: Health Plan Administration

West Hollywood, California Enacts Paid Time Off Mandate
Seyfarth Shaw LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 24, 2022

"Effective January 1, 2022 for 'hotel employers' and July 1, 2022 for other employers, this mandate includes compensated time off and uncompensated time off components. Various aspects of the city's leave mandate make it an outlier as compared to the California State Paid Sick Leave ('PSL') Law and other municipal paid sick leave ordinances in California."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Milliman Pension Buyout Index, June 2022
Milliman Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2022

"[T]he competitive bidding process is estimated to save plan sponsors on average around 3.9% as of May 31.... During May 2022, average accounting discount rates increased by one basis point (bps), while competitive annuity purchase rates decreased by 11 bps. This caused the estimated competitive retiree buyout cost as a percentage of accounting liability to increase from 97.7% to 98.6%."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

What Would Shakespeare Say About Offering Bitcoin in 401(k) Plans?
Stephen Rosenberg, The Wagner Law Group Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
June 24, 2022

"[T]he ongoing kerfuffle over offering crypto in the investment menus of 401(k) plans is seeming more and more to be simply 'sound and fury, signifying nothing.'... Certainly, there are always going to be people who want to be able to make big, bold bets in their 401(k) plans, but just like most employees learned not to overweight their holdings towards their employer's stock, so too is it likely that most [participants] will not want to incur the risk of this type of investment.... So who will be liable for imprudent crypto investment options?"

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Supreme Court Upholds Health Plan's Limitations on Dialysis Coverage
Graydon Link to more items from this source
June 24, 2022

"This ruling signifies a win for group health plans. Unless Congress amends the MSPA, courts considering similar disputes will first look to whether a health plan provision offers different coverage to individuals who have ESRD compared to those who do not. If the provision provides the same coverage regardless of an ESRD diagnosis, the differentiation inquiry should end there." [American Hospital Association v. Becerra, No. 20-1114 (S. Ct. Jun. 15, 2022)]

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Medicare

HHS Chart Summarizes Applicability of State and Other Surprise Billing IDR Processes
Thomson Reuters / EBIA Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 23, 2022

"HHS has provided a variety of resources relating to the surprise medical billing protections of the No Surprises Act ... including a chart summarizing when a state or other independent dispute resolution (IDR) process applies rather than the federal process."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Costs

Editor's Pick Addressing Employee Health Plan Exception Requests, Part 3
Newfront Link to more items from this source
June 23, 2022

"Most insurance carriers and stop-loss providers will permit employers to offer coverage as of the employee's date of hire or the first of the month coincident with or next following the employee's date of hire. Employers can therefore often accommodate such requests by modifying the plan's eligibility terms for all employees.... [T]he plan precedent derived from permitting a waiting period exception will always be a thorny concern that is difficult to manage."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

DOL Fiduciary Rewrite, ESG, Form 5500 Proposals Delayed
American Retirement Association [ARA] Link to more items from this source
June 23, 2022

"Based on updates to [DOL's] Spring 2022 regulatory agenda, it appears that stakeholders will have to wait a little longer for the agency's revisions to the definition of fiduciary, as well as final guidance on ESG-based factors and additional Form 5500 changes."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Reporting to Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Investments - ESG

SEC Again Reopens Comment Period on Dodd-Frank Clawback Rules
Willis Towers Watson Link to more items from this source
June 23, 2022

"On the same day as the announcement, the SEC also released an internal memo from the Division of Economic and Risk Analysis (DERA) that provides a summary of what issues might be included in an economic analysis under any final regulations, if and when they are adopted. Beyond that, however, the SEC provided no explicit indications of what additional information they are seeking in this announcement."

Tags: Executive comp

An Update on Remote Work Reimbursement Rules in California
CDF Labor Law LLP Link to more items from this source
June 23, 2022

"California employers have recently experienced a material uptick in lawsuits from employees seeking reimbursement for expenses incurred while working from home.... Many California businesses continue to have employees work from home or are now using a hybrid structure. These employers should be aware of their reimbursement requirements under California law and review their policies and telecommuting agreements to ensure employees are being properly reimbursed."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Misc. Benefits  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Supreme Court: MSP Rules Do Not Preclude Limited Coverage for Outpatient Dialysis
Thomson Reuters / EBIA Link to more items from this source
June 23, 2022

"The Court's ruling seems likely to encourage insurers and group health plans to reduce coverage for outpatient dialysis, thereby shifting the cost of dialysis to Medicare. The two dissenting justices observed that the Court's opinion 'tells plans they can do just that, so long as they target dialysis, rather than the patients who rely on it, for disfavored coverage.' Although the dissenting justices declared that 'Congress would not -- and did not -- craft a statute permitting such a maneuver,' plans appear to be safe in taking this approach, at least for the time being." [American Hospital Association v. Becerra, No. 20-1114 (S. Ct. Jun. 15, 2022)]

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Medicare

The IRS Cannot 'Fix' the 'Family Glitch'
Doug Badger, in Health Affairs Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
June 23, 2022

"The newly proposed affordability test is contrary to the statute. There is only one lawful affordability test for those with an offer of ESI, and it applies to workers and their dependents: If a worker must pay more than 9.5 percent of household income for self-only coverage, then she and her dependents qualify for PTCs."

Tags: Health Plan Costs  •  Health Plan Policy

IRS Proposed 'Fix' to the 'Family Glitch' Illegally Sidesteps Congress
Peter J. Nelson, in Health Affairs Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
June 23, 2022

"The plain language of the statutory text unambiguously includes the family glitch as part of the process to determine eligibility for premium subsidies. The legislative history confirms this plain reading ... The family glitch lowered the ACA's cost, reduced the incentive for employers to drop coverage, and protected the individual market risk pool. The family glitch may be disfavored today, but Congress enacted it by design and fixing it administratively would illegally sidestep Congress."

Tags: Health Plan Policy

Senate Finance Committee Unanimously Advances EARN Act
The Wall Street Journal; subscription may be required Link to more items from this source
June 23, 2022

"The Senate bill raises the [RMD] age from 72 today to 75 in 2032, while the House bill [HR 2954] would increase it to 73 next year, 74 in 2030 and 75 in 2033.... The Senate bill also includes provisions for some penalty-free withdrawals for the terminally ill, victims of domestic abuse, those affected by federally declared disasters, and the payment of long-term-care insurance premiums -- all measures that aren't in the House version."

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

It's Unanimous! EARN Act Passed by Senate Committee 28-0
American Retirement Association [ARA] Link to more items from this source
June 23, 2022

"The EARN Act is now cleared for consideration by the full Senate, where it will be merged with the RISE & SHINE Act [S 4353], which was approved June 14 by the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee."

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

PCORI Fee Deadline Is Almost Here
Graydon Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
June 23, 2022

"The amount due is based on the end of your plan year. For calendar year plans, the amount due by July 31 is $2.79 per covered life.... Note that the fee is due on all covered lives on the plan. Covered lives include spouses, dependents, retirees, and COBRA beneficiaries."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Costs

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