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CMS Fact Sheet: Proposed Regs for Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the ACA
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 30, 2023

"The proposed rules would leave in place the existing religious exemption for entities and individuals with objections, as well as the optional accommodation for contraception, while also establishing a new pathway -- referred to as an individual contraceptive arrangement -- that individuals enrolled in plans or coverage sponsored, arranged, or provided by objecting entities that are not eligible for or have not opted for the existing accommodation may use to obtain contraceptive services at no cost directly from a willing provider or facility that furnishes contraceptive services."

Tags: Health Plan Design

Administration Proposes New Rules to Expand Access to Birth Control Coverage Under the ACA
Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services [CMS], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 30, 2023

"The proposed rules seek to ensure broader access to contraceptive services by creating an independent pathway for individuals enrolled in plans arranged or offered by objecting entities to make their own choice to access contraceptive services directly through a willing contraceptive provider without any cost. This would allow women and covered dependents to navigate their own care and still obtain birth control at no cost in the event their plan or insurer has a religious exemption and, if eligible, has not elected the optional accommodation."

Tags: Health Plan Design

SECURE 2.0 Brings Significant Changes for 403(b) Plans
Proskauer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 30, 2023

"SECURE 2.0 provisions that specifically impact 403(b) plans include changes to: [1] amounts available for hardship distributions, [2] eligibility to participate in pooled and multiple employer plans, [3] treatment of long-term, part-time employees, and [4] potentially, investments in collective investment trusts."

Tags: 403(b) Plans and Annuities  •  MEP/PEP  •  Misc. Distribution Issues  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  SECURE 2.0

Text of Proposed Regs: Coverage of Certain Preventive Services Under the ACA
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]; U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]; and U.S. Treasury Department Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Jan. 30, 2023

"Current regulations include exemptions and optional accommodations for entities and individuals with religious or moral objections to coverage of contraceptive services. These rules propose rescinding the moral exemption rule. These proposed rules also would establish a new individual contraceptive arrangement that individuals enrolled in plans or coverage sponsored, arranged, or provided by objecting entities may use to obtain contraceptive services at no cost directly from a provider or facility that furnishes contraceptive services. Contraceptive services would be available through the proposed individual contraceptive arrangement without any involvement on the part of an objecting entity. Under these proposed rules, a provider or facility that furnishes contraceptive services in accordance with the individual contraceptive arrangement for eligible individuals would be able to be reimbursed for its costs by entering into an arrangement with an issuer on a Federally-facilitated Exchange or State Exchange on the Federal platform, which in turn may seek a user fee adjustment."

Tags: Health Plan Design

2023 Employee Benefits and Workplace Predictions: This Year's Must-Have Benefits
BenefitsPro; free registration required Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"2023 is the year that fertility becomes health care ... Comprehensive benefits packages will continue despite the economic downturn ... Personalized benefits navigation ... Fixing the Family Glitch will accelerate a shift away from employer sponsored health care ... Employers will expand leave and benefits policies for caregiving ... Frictionless benefits ... Employers continue to absorb health care premiums and other costs ... Progressive employee benefits."

Tags: Health Plan Costs  •  Health Plan Design  •  Misc. Benefits

Five Employee Benefits That Weren't Offered 20 Years Ago
GOBankingRates Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"The last three years amid the COVID-19 pandemic have ushered in even more employee benefits that are now considered staples.... [1] Flexible and remote work opportunities.... [2] Vacation and PTO ... [3] Financial security benefits ... [4] Money management resources ... [5] Pet insurance."

Tags: Misc. Benefits

SECURE 2.0: Expanded Pension Plan Startup Cost Credit
Holland & Hart LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 30, 2023

"Starting in 2023, for employers with 50 or fewer employees this credit is now equal to 100% of such plan start-up costs, subject to [certain] dollar limits ... For many small employers, the credit will likely cover most, if not all, of the costs of setting up and administering a plan for the first three years."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  SECURE 2.0

SECURE 2.0: Matching Contributions Based on Student Debt Repayments and Financial Incentives
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 30, 2023

"[A]ny match must be based on student debt repayments for higher education expenses. Eligibility, match rate, and vesting also must be the same as that for the match on elective deferrals. The employee must annually certify that the loan payments have been made. Employers may rely on this self-certification. From an administrative perspective, it is significant to note that the statute anticipates possible issues for nondiscrimination testing of elective contributions."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  SECURE 2.0

Requirements for COVID-19 Paid Leave Are Dwindling
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]; membership may be required to view article Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 30, 2023

"States and localities are backing off their requirements that employers give paid leave to workers with COVID-19 after death and hospitalization rates have fallen dramatically since the height of the pandemic."

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

SECURE 2.0 Timeline
Poyner Spruill LLP Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

List of SECURE 2.0's major retirement plan provisions, organized by effective date.

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Amendments  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  SECURE 2.0

District Court Rejects Participant's Attempt to Stop Plan's Recoupment of Overpayments
Proskauer Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"The court distinguished Paul v. Detroit Edison Company ... in which the Sixth Circuit upheld an equitable estoppel claim because there, the plan actively invited participants to retire early by offering incentives beyond their ordinary pension benefits. By contrast, the participant in Kanefsky was fully vested and had already ceased employment, and the plan did not reach out to him to encourage early retirement." [Kanefsky v. Ford Motor Co. Gen. Ret. Plan, No. 22-10548 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 13, 2023)]

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

Third-Party Administrators May Be on the Hook for ACA's Anti-Discrimination Rules
Lane Powell Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"[A] federal district court ... recently ruled that a third-party plan administrator (TPA) violated the ACA's anti-discrimination rule when administering a self-insured health plan that excluded gender-affirming care.... The court concluded the TPA fit the definition of a health program or activity, expressly concluding that [HHS] rules to the contrary were not binding.... The court concluded that ERISA could not be read to invalidate or impair Section 1557, nor could ERISA insulate the TPA from liability. " [C.P. v. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, No. 20-6145 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 9, 2022)]

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Lawsuit Aims to Derail DOL Rule on ESG Considerations for Retirement Plans
planadviser Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"Twenty-five states with Republican attorneys general, two oil-services companies and an oil and natural gas advocacy group filed a lawsuit ... seeking to prevent and overturn [the DOL] rule permitting environmental, social and governance considerations in retirement investing.... The lawsuit claims the rule oversteps the [DOL's] statutory authority under [ERISA] and seeks a preliminary injunction against it." [Utah v. Walsh, No. 223-00016, (N.D. Tex. complaint filed Jan. 26, 2023)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments - ESG  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Editor's Pick Pension Defrost: Is It Time to Reopen DB Pension Plans -- or at Least Stop Closing and Freezing Them? (PDF)
J.P. Morgan Asset Management Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

18 pages. "Many DB plans are fully funded, in aggregate, and sponsors have developed the expertise to manage pension assets to out-earn liabilities while imposing minimal financial risk.... Commonly used measures of pension risk are flawed, leading sponsors to overstate the benefits of getting rid of their pension plans through pension risk transfer (PRT) transactions, and to understate the potential benefits of maintaining prudently invested plans.... Closing, freezing and terminating plans may offer far less value than the conventional wisdom would suggest."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design

Michigan Appeals Court 'Undoes' Lower Court's 'Undoing' of What Legislature 'Undid' Concerning Paid Leave Standards
Littler Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"Some employers may have prepared to revise their wage and paid leave policies and practices but held off on rolling out those changes pending a decision from the appellate court. Employers that did so should not fill their trash bins with all that hard work just yet, because if the decision is appealed, the state supreme court could disagree with the appellate court and revert to the laws as envisioned by the ballot measure drafters." [Mothering Justice v. Michigan, No. 362271 (Mi. Ct. App. Jan. 26, 2023)]

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Retirement Plans Take Center Stage in the War for Hiring Talent
InsuranceNewsNet.com Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"Given the current difficult hiring environment, plan sponsors are tinkering mightily with the plans -- increasing contribution matches, customizing plan investments, and employing interactive financial wellness programs -- in order to motivate employees, hiring, and boost company loyalty.... [E]mployers and financial service firms have identified retirement plans as areas of opportunity for further growth and value-added services beyond their historical roles of simply managing retirement assets, partly due to improvements in technology over the last several decades."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

PBGC Approves $18 Million in Supplemented SFA for Detroit Newspaper Union Plan
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"[PBGC] has approved the supplemented application submitted to the [SFA] Program by the Retirement Benefit Plan of GCIU Detroit Newspaper Union 13N with Detroit Area Newspaper Publishers. The plan, [which is] based in Warren, Michigan, [and] covers 563 participants in the printing industry ... will receive approximately $18.2 million in supplemented SFA, which is in addition to $119 million in SFA approved for the plan in April 2022 under the interim final rule."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans

PBGC Approves $1.2 Million in Supplemented SFA for Painters Local 466 Plan
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"[PBGC] has approved the supplemented application submitted to the [SFA] Program by the Local Union No. 466 Painters, Decorators and Paperhangers Pension Plan. The plan, [which is] based in Menands, New York, [and] covers 45 participants in the construction industry ... will receive approximately $1.2 million in supplemented SFA, which is in addition to $5.9 million in SFA approved for the plan in June 2022 under the interim final rule."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans

PBGC Approves $220,000 in Supplemented SFA for GCU 2-C Plan
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
Jan. 30, 2023

"[PBGC] has approved the supplemented application submitted to the [SFA] Program by the Graphic Communications Union Local 2-C Retirement Benefit Plan (GCU 2-C Plan). The plan, [which is] based in Warren, Michigan, [and] covers 535 participants in the printing industry ... will receive approximately $220,000 in supplemented SFA, which is in addition to $59.1 million in SFA approved for the plan April 2022 under the interim final rule."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans

Take Two: Ninth Circuit Reverses Class Win Against United Behavioral Health
Roberts Disability Law Link to more items from this source
Jan. 27, 2023

"First, the court found that the plaintiffs did have Article III standing.... [On] the merits of the plaintiffs' claims, the court disagreed with the district court that UBH abused its discretion by interpreting the terms of the plans.... Lastly, and significantly, the court found that the district court erred when it excused unnamed class members from demonstrating compliance with the plans' mandatory exhaustion requirements." [Wit v. United Behav. Health, No. 20-17363 (9th Cir. Jan. 26, 2023)

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Final Rule Provides Exception Process for Underfunded Multiemployer Plans Seeking Special Financial Assistance from PBGC
Thomson Reuters Practical Law Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 27, 2023

"In response to public comments, the final rule creates a process under which plan sponsors may request an exception from the interest rate assumptions and phase-in conditions when determining the plan's unfunded vested benefits (UVBs) for purposes of calculating withdrawal liability."

Tags: ARPA  •  Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans  •  PBGC

Coalition Sues to Stop ESG Rule
American Retirement Association [ARA] Link to more items from this source
Jan. 27, 2023

"In addition to the 24 states[, other plaintiffs include ... Liberty Oilfield Services LLC [which] sponsors a defined contribution 401(k) plan for its employees ... [The plaintiffs[ argue that the '2022 Investment Duties Rule contravenes ERISA's clear command that fiduciaries act with the sole motive of promoting the financial interests of plan participants and their beneficiaries'[.]" [Utah v. Walsh, No. 223-00016, (N.D. Tex. complaint filed Jan. 26, 2023)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Policy

New San Francisco Law Requires Supplemental Compensation During Military Leave
Littler Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 27, 2023

"[T]he Military Leave Pay Protection Act (MLPPA) ... will require employers with 100 or more employees to supplement the pay of covered employees during a qualifying military leave for up to 30 days in a calendar year. The MLPPA takes effect February 19, 2023[.]"

Tags: Local Regulation  •  Military-Related Benefits, USERRA

SECURE 2.0: Credit for Small Employer Pension Plan Startup Costs When Employer Joins an Existing MEP/PEP
Schneider Downs Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 27, 2023

"Prior to SECURE 2.0, the startup tax credit only applied for the first 3 years that a MEP was in existence ... Section 111 of SECURE 2.0 aims to fix this issue ... Section 111 is effective retroactively for taxable years beginning after December 31, 2019. This enables taxpayers who formed or joined new MEPs/PEPs in 2019, 2020, and 2021 to file amended returns and retroactively claim a credit for those earlier years applying the rules of Section 45E."

Tags: MEP/PEP  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  SECURE 2.0

SECURE 2.0: Modification of Credit for Small Employer Pension Start-Up Costs
Schneider Downs Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Jan. 27, 2023

"SECURE 2.0 makes several changes to these credits. First, the employer plan start-up credit is increased from 50 percent to 100 percent for employers with up to 50 employees.... [An] additional credit is also provided based upon employer contributions made."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  SECURE 2.0

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