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<< Older News  |  April 18, 2021


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Required Minimum Distributions Return in 2021. Prepare for New Complexities and Rules
Forbes Link to more items from this source
Apr. 16, 2021

"Anyone who inherited a retirement account due to an account owner's death in 2020 needs to ensure they are following the new SECURE Act inherited RMD rules.... As long as you remember to take them by the end of the year, there's no significant benefit to taking out RMDs early in the year as opposed to later. "

Tags: Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

Michigan Joins Coalition in Defending States' Rights to Regulate Health Insurance and Protect Consumers Link to more items from this source
Apr. 16, 2021

"The coalition filed [a] brief in ... a case that challenged the [DOL's] conclusion that a scheme-under which users obtain health insurance in exchange for sharing data as they browse the internet-failed to qualify as an 'employee benefit plan' under [ERISA]."

Tags: ERISA Preemption  •  Health Plan Design  •  Health Plan Policy

Ninth Circuit: No Fiduciary Breach for Miscalculation of Pension Benefits, But State Law Negligence Claims Not Preempted by ERISA
Roberts Disability Law Link to more items from this source
Apr. 16, 2021

"[T]he court determined that Plaintiffs failed to state a claim for breach of fiduciary duty ... because calculation of benefits pursuant to a formula is not a fiduciary function.... [T]he court determined that Plaintiffs' state-law professional negligence and negligent misrepresentation claims are not preempted by ERISA because they do not have a 'reference to or connection with' an ERISA plan." [Bafford v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 20-55222 (9th Cir. Apr. 15, 2021)]

Tags: ERISA Preemption  •  Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Retirement Security Survey, Q1 2021
Principal Financial Group Link to more items from this source
Apr. 16, 2021

35 pages. "Only 16% of employers feel that most of their employees are saving adequately for retirement ... Only 2 in 10 employers consider employee demographics when making benefit decisions.... One-third of employers do not offer resources to help employees transition to retirement."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Design

Is an Asymptomatic COVID-19 Positive Employee Eligible for FMLA Leave?
FMLA Insights Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 16, 2021

"If an employee tests positive for COVID-19 -- and even if they are asymptomatic -- you should recognize ... a potential need for FMLA leave.... When the employee tests positive and must quarantine, even if asymptomatic, send the Notice of Eligibility and medical certification to be completed by the health care provider." [Payne v. Woods Services Medical Practice Group, No. 20-4651 (E.D. Penn. Feb. 16, 2021)]

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

The Combination Health FSA
ABD Insurance & Financial Services Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 16, 2021

"Coverage under a general purpose health FSA for the employee or spouse is disqualifying coverage for both individuals.... Coverage under a limited purpose health FSA does not block HSA eligibility because it does not reimburse non-preventive medical expenses."

Tags: Cafeteria Plans  •  HSAs  •  Health Plan Design

Lawsuit Threatens No-Charge Preventive Care for Millions
Kaiser Health News Link to more items from this source
Apr. 16, 2021

"The plaintiffs cite religious and free-market objections to the ACA requirement in their class action suit against the government seeking to halt enforcement of the requirement." [Kelley v. Azar, No. 20-283 (N.D. Tex. Feb. 25, 2021)]

Tags: Health Plan Policy

DOL Steps Into the Cybersecurity Discussion
Proskauer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 16, 2021

"[The 'best practices'] guidance provides fairly extensive detail for each of the 12 items, which range from a description of what the DOL expects to see in a formal, documented cybersecurity program to stressing the importance of annual internal risk assessments along with external audits of security controls."

Tags: Cybersecurity  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Cybersecurity: New DOL Guidance for Retirement Plans
Bradley Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 16, 2021

"Plan sponsors and fiduciaries should anticipate that this new guidance will serve as the basis for future DOL retirement plan audits and adjust their security programs to follow the DOL's best practices."

Tags: Cybersecurity  •  Plan Audits by Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Which Is Better: Dependent Care FSA or the Tax Credit?
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 16, 2021

"In considering whether to increase the dependent care FSA limit for 2021 only, ... employers should consider: [1] How many employees participate in the dependent care FSA ... [2] Would increasing the dependent care FSA limit cause the plan to fail nondiscrimination testing ... [3] Are there any potential system issues related to the mid-year dependent care FSA increase that might make the increase impractical?"

Tags: ARPA  •  Dependent Care

DOL Issues FAQs on PTE 2020-02 (Fiduciary Investment Advice)
Thomson Reuters Practical Law Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 16, 2021

"Regarding whether an investment advice provider can avoid fiduciary status with a fine print disclaimer that no mutual agreement, arrangement, or understanding exists between the parties, the FAQs explain that such written statements may be considered in determining whether a mutual understanding exists, but will not be treated as determinative.... The FAQs reiterate and elaborate on the requirements of PTE 2020-02."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Outline of Possible Federal Legislation: SECURE 2.0 and Revenue Raisers
Davis & Harman, for American Benefits Council Link to more items from this source
Apr. 16, 2021

13 presentation slides. "[1] RMD age increased from 72 to 75 ... [2] Permitting employers to match student loan repayments ... [3] Part-time employee eligibility: from 3 years of 500 hours to two years ... [4] Virtually all inadvertent plan and IRA errors may be self-corrected without a submission to the IRS ... [5] Imposing an overall cap on retirement benefits ... [6] Requiring all catch-up contributions to be Roth ... [7] Permitting matching contributions to be made on a Roth basis if elected by the participant."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Corporate Pensions Near ‘Full Funding,' Funded Ratio Up to 98.4% in March
Milliman Link to more items from this source
Apr. 16, 2021

"March was a great month for corporate pensions, with the funded status of plans improving by $62 billion, thanks to a 24-basis-point increase in the monthly discount rate, from February's 2.88% to 3.12% as of March 31.... [T]he funded status deficit for these plans dropped to $29 billion at month's end, compared to February's $91 billion."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

Priest Retirement Case Study: 'Plan of the Future' Ideas and Considerations (PDF)
GRS Link to more items from this source
Apr. 15, 2021

"50 years is a long time to sponsor a plan without making changes along the way.... Recently, [the author and] the Archdiocese of Indianapolis ... looked at each and every benefit policy and discussed whether it still made sense in today's world. The culmination of the project was a formal retirement policy, new plan document and a communication program to alert all priests of the changes and the reasons behind them."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

District Court Allows Claims Against Religious Employer for Denial of Same-Sex Spousal Health Benefits
Thomson Reuters / EBIA Link to more items from this source
Apr. 15, 2021

"The court noted that the federal claims implicated a question that was left open by Bostock as to whether the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act protected the employer's decision to revoke the spouse's benefits on the basis of sex, but it declined to decide that question this early in the proceedings." [Doe v. Catholic Relief Servs., No. 20-1815 (D. Md. Mar. 26, 2021)]

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

The Prudence of Adding Alternative Investments to Defined Contribution Plan Menus
Ropes & Gray LLP Link to more items from this source
Apr. 15, 2021

Podcast with transcript. "The plaintiffs' core duty-of-prudence claims were based on allegations that these nontraditional investments underperformed and charged significantly higher fees than what the plaintiffs considered to be 'peer' or 'comparable' funds. However, Judge Koh rejected these allegations, explaining how simply labeling funds as 'peer' or 'comparable' is not sufficient." [Anderson v. Intel Corp. Investment Policy Comm., No. 19-4618 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 21, 2021)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Employer Has Separate Obligations Under Workers' Compensation and FMLA
The Wagner Law Group Link to more items from this source
Apr. 15, 2021

"The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has ruled ... that complying with [a state's] workers' compensation laws does not absolve an employer from its separate obligations under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)." [Ramji v. Hospital Housekeeping Systems, LLC, No. 19-13461 (11th Cir. Apr. 6, 2021)]

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave

Stupid Budget Tricks: Government Healthcare Edition
Benefit Revolution Link to more items from this source
Apr. 15, 2021

"[O]ne-third of U.S. government healthcare is waste, fraud and abuse. That same system compensates doctors less than half of what private plans do. But when congress is faced with how to make it more efficient or to save money, its answer is to bluntly cut the reimbursement to doctors even further[.]"

Tags: Health Plan Costs

Text of IRS Notice 2021-27: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for April 2021 (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Apr. 15, 2021

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates ... and the 24-month average segment rates ... [as well as] the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities ... as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate ... In addition to providing these rates for current periods, this notice provides 24-month average segment rates for earlier periods for plan years beginning in 2020 and 2021 ... reflecting the modifications made by Section 9706(a) of [ARPA]."

Tags: ARPA  •  Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Mental Health Parity Compliance Gets a Boost in 2021 Spending Act
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 15, 2021

"The 2021 CAA adds two new requirements to health plans' existing MHPAEA obligations: a comparative analysis and the duty to disclosure this analysis and related information to DOL on request."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

DOL Issues Cybersecurity Best Practices for ERISA-Covered Retirement Plans
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 15, 2021

"The essence of [this new] guidance: Responsible plan fiduciaries have an obligation to ensure proper mitigation of cybersecurity risks.' ... [T]hese best practices are not dissimilar to other, well-known frameworks designed to protect personal data."

Tags: Cybersecurity  •  Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Administration

IRS Surprises with Apparent Explanation of the SECURE Act 10-Year Rule
Slott Report Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 15, 2021

"[A] recent revision of Publication 590-B [treats] the 10-year rule differently than ... the 5-year rule. The IRS strongly hinted that that the 10-year rule requires annual RMDs to be paid in years 1-9 and the remaining IRA funds to be paid out in year 10."

Tags: Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)  •  SECURE Act

Editor's Pick Overview of New DOL Guidance for the COBRA Subsidy Mandate, Including New Notice Requirements
Foley & Lardner LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 15, 2021

"While the new DOL guidance is helpful, it does not address all outstanding issues.... [Charts in this article] summarize the new model notices and forms to be distributed to COBRA qualified beneficiaries ... [T]hese forms need editing before use[.]"

Tags: ARPA  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

HIPAA, Business Associates, and the Conduit Exception
Holland & Hart LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 15, 2021

"Although the 'conduit' exception is helpful to entities wishing to avoid business associate status, the scope of the exception is narrow and is often misunderstood or misapplied.... When in doubt, the safest course for covered entities is to require a business associate agreement."


Rollovers, 'Regular Basis' Are Focus of DOL Fiduciary Guidance
American Retirement Association [ARA] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 15, 2021

"FAQ-7 [notes that] ... when the investment advice provider has been giving advice to the individual about investing in, purchasing, or selling securities or other financial instruments through tax-advantaged retirement vehicles ... the advice to roll assets out of the employee benefit plan IS part of an ongoing advice relationship that satisfies the regular basis prong."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments  •  Rollovers

<< Older News  |  April 18, 2021

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