Subscribe Now!
Free Daily News, Jobs, Webcasts, Discussions
Display and Distribute
Your Job Openings
COVID-19 News
COVID-19 Webcasts

Featured Jobs

Plan Administrator

Independent Retirement
(Telecommute / Portland OR)

Independent Retirement logo

Distribution Specialist

Carpenter Morse Group
(Telecommute / Longwood FL)

Carpenter Morse Group logo

Client Success Specialist

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings
(Telecommute / San Francisco CA / AZ / CO / FL / IL / KY / LA / MA / NC / NJ / NV / NY / OR / SC / TN / WA)

Ubiquity Retirement + Savings logo

Free Daily News and Jobs

“BenefitsLink continues to be the most valuable resource we have at the firm.”

-- An attorney subscriber

Mobile App image LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon

View Coronavirus (COVID-19) News and Resources

<< Older News  |  More Recent News >>

News

Get this news and more in our free daily email newsletters.
The Intersection of Coronavirus and Partial Qualified Plan Termination (PDF)
Bodman PLC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 17, 2020

"[IRS] guidance indicates that participants will generally not be treated as having an employer-initiated severance from employment for purposes of calculating the 'turnover rate' if rehired by the end of calendar year 2020. However, the FAQ leaves a number of issues open and unresolved when it comes to determining whether the plan has experienced a partial termination."

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

New California COVID-19-Related Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Requirements Take Effect September 19, 2020
FordHarrison Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 17, 2020

"Employers who already provided supplemental paid leave for the reasons related to AB 1867's covered reasons ... may count those hours toward the required amount of CSPSL hours under AB 1867. However, compensation for any qualifying supplemental paid leave provided to the employee must have been greater than, or equal to, the amount of compensation the employee would have received under AB 1867."

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

Amendments to FFCRA Regs Effective September 16, 2020
Husch Blackwell Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 17, 2020

"Employers of healthcare providers should carefully review all requests for FFCRA leave using the limited definition set forth in the September 11, 2020 Amendments.... [E]mployers can continue to provide FFCRA leave only when there is work available for employees and can require approval for intermittent leave.... Employers should ensure compliance with the DOL's regulations and guidance when evaluating requests for leave related to school closures or virtual learning."

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

Best Interest Standard of Care for Advisors, Part 31
FredReish.com Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 17, 2020

"The SEC's approach requires that cost be considered as an important factor in the context of the retail customer's investment profile. The consideration of costs and other relevant factors indicated by that profile should be done in a manner that is in the investor's best interest. In some cases, though, a greater emphasis on costs would be warranted."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Excessive Fees Settlement Results in Litigation Involving Employer's Excess Insurer
Thomson Reuters Practical Law Link to more items from this source
Sept. 17, 2020

"In an insurance dispute arising from coverage of two ERISA settlements, the Ninth Circuit held that -- as a matter of first impression -- an excess insurer may not challenge the coverage decisions of underlying insurers, absent evidence of fraud or bad faith or a contractual provision reserving the right to challenge such decisions[.]" [AXIS Reinsurance Co. v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 19-55135 (9th Cir. Sep. 14, 2020)]

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

International Reference Pricing for Medicare Drugs: New Lease on Life or Least Likely to Succeed?
Ropes & Gray LLP Link to more items from this source
Sept. 17, 2020

"[The Executive Order (EO)] provides no specifics for implementation, leaving it unlikely that any changes to the Medicare program contemplated by the EO will go into effect, if ever, before the 2020 election, by the end of the year, or soon thereafter. This Alert discusses the specifics of the EO, as well as some of the substantial challenges that will at least delay, and possibly prevent, its implementation."

Tags: Medicare  •  Prescription Drug Costs

2020 Trend: Businesses Help Provide Stability Through Employee Benefits
Principal Financial Group Link to more items from this source
Sept. 17, 2020

"Fewer than 15% of businesses plan to reduce benefits ... One-fifth of businesses are even boosting health care benefits.... 21% of surveyed businesses plan to boost mental health and well-being programs this year -- think EAPs, access to therapists and clinicians, or support for major life transitions, such as elder care."

Tags: Health Plan Design

Are Cybercriminals Stalking Your 401(k) Plan?
Benefits Law Group of Chicago Link to more items from this source
Sept. 17, 2020

"At least two pending federal cases deal with attacks on individual 401(k) plan accounts. The fact patterns are similar: a participant submits an electronic benefit withdrawal request to the employer or the plan's record keeper. The request is passed on to the plan's custodian for implementation.... Implementing an additional verification step could not only prevent cybercrime but also could establish a better defense based on the provider's claim of non-fiduciary status."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Cybersecurity  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Why 'Six Is the New Three' When It Comes to Automatic Enrollment
Cammack Retirement Group Link to more items from this source
Sept. 17, 2020

"While this could backfire if more participants opt out of auto-enrollment because of the higher rate automatic deferral rate, according to John Hancock's State of the Participant 2020 report, the opposite is actually the case. 12% of employees opt out at 3%, but only 10.4% did so at 6%. Thus, it is possible that with an auto-deferral rate of 6%, more employees, rather than fewer, may contribute to the retirement plan, than they would at 3%."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design

Not Your Normal Benefits Enrollment Cycle
Buck Link to more items from this source
Sept. 17, 2020

"[M]any employers are focusing this year's open enrollment on adding clinical support to members who need it the most.... Employers are also reviewing specialty drug utilization because of the wide variety of costs for the same treatments given at different sites of care ... [E]mployers are upping members' access to virtual care in different areas and removing barriers to receiving that care. Virtual care has exploded in light of social distancing measures."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Design

Taskforce on Telehealth Policy: Findings and Recommendations
National Committee for Quality Assurance [NCQA] Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Sept. 17, 2020

"Policymakers should make permanent the following specific COVID-19 policy changes: [1] Lifting geographic restrictions and limitations on originating sites. [2] Allowing telehealth for various types of clinicians and conditions. [3] Acknowledging, as many states now do, that telehealth visits can meet requirements for establishing a clinician/patient relationship if the encounter meets appropriate care standards or unless careful analysis demonstrates that, in specific situations, a previous in-person relationship is necessary. [4] Eliminating unnecessary restrictions on telehealth across state lines."

Tags: Health Plan Design

Employee Benefits in M&A Transactions: CARES Act Considerations
Hall Benefits Law Link to more items from this source
Sept. 17, 2020

"The CARES Act [allows] employers to defer the required minimum contributions to defined benefit plans for 2020 until January 1, 2021.... If an M&A target has taken advantage of these CARES Act provisions, buyers should consider whether any warranties and representations should mandate that all taxes and requisite contributions to qualified plans have been paid since deferrals can stretch into 2022."

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Funding of DB Plans

Discretionary Adjustments to Executive Compensation Call for Careful Disclosure
Corporate Secretary Link to more items from this source
Sept. 17, 2020

"In the wake of uncertainty about the coronavirus pandemic ... many compensation committees are evaluating how to follow through on incentive compensation for their executive teams.... When discretion is permitted, awards that seem excessive can be reduced, and meager awards can be increased. But investors will be wary of companies that exercise discretion -- especially when awards are increased -- so to mitigate ill-will and retain stakeholder trust, companies must prioritize careful disclosure."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Executive comp

How the Executive Branch Can Lower Drug Prices
Center for American Progress Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Sept. 17, 2020

"The first section of this report provides background on drug companies' monopoly power and how taxpayer money supports drug research and development. The following section outlines how the next president should use his administrative authorities to ensure access to ... drugs that are essential to high-risk populations and drugs whose prices drug companies continue to raise during the pandemic.... The final sections of this report outline ways in which the next administration can think beyond the COVID-19 crisis and test different ways for Medicare to pay for prescription drugs."

Tags: Prescription Drug Costs

IRS Announces Tax Relief for Oregon Wildfires and Straight-Line Winds Victims
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Sept. 17, 2020

"Victims of Oregon wildfires and straight-line winds that began September 7 now have until January 15, 2021, to file various individual and business tax returns and make tax payments.... Individuals and households who reside or have a business in Clackamas, Douglas, Jackson, Klamath, Lane, Lincoln, Linn and Marion counties qualify for tax relief."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Reporting to Government Agencies  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Text of IRS Notice 2020-72: Weighted Average Interest Rates, Yield Curves, and Segment Rates for September 2020 (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Sept. 16, 2020

"This notice provides guidance on the corporate bond monthly yield curve, the corresponding spot segment rates used under Section 417(e)(3), and the 24-month average segment rates under Section 430(h)(2) ... In addition, this notice provides guidance as to the interest rate on 30-year Treasury securities under Section 417(e)(3)(A)(ii)(II) as in effect for plan years beginning before 2008 and the 30-year Treasury weighted average rate under Section 431(c)(6)(E)(ii)(I)."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration

IRS Clarifies 'SECURity' Through 401(k) Plan Expansion to Long-Term, Part-Time Workers
Hall Benefits Law Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 16, 2020

"As a result of the difference between service taken into consideration for elective deferral eligibility and service taken into consideration for vesting of other employer contributions, employers that elect to expand eligibility for employer contributions are required to track service ... over two different periods, posing potentially significant administrative burdens.... [S]maller employers with a substantial employee base of part-time workers may be newly subject to [the Form 5500 Independent Qualified Auditor's Report] requirement beginning in 2024. "

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

San Francisco Required Contribution for Healthcare Goes Up in 2021
HUB International Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 16, 2020

"San Francisco recently released its updated contribution requirement for 2021.... The ordinance applies to any employer that has one or more employees working regularly at least 8 hours per week (104 hours per calendar quarter) within the City/County Limit of San Francisco. This is so, even if all of the employer's other workers are located outside of San Francisco "

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Costs  •  Local Regulation

New York Employers: Get Ready for the State's New Paid Sick Leave Law
Buck Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 16, 2020

"While the new statewide mandate does not preempt existing local laws -- including New York City's Earned Safe and Sick Time Act and Westchester County's Earned Sick Leave and Safe Time Leave Law -- some of its provisions offer more generous PSL benefits and employee protections. In addition, the new sick leave law allows cities with a population of at least one million to enact a local sick leave ordinance that meets or exceeds statewide requirements for minimum hours and use."

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

DOL Issues Guidance for DC Plans on Lifetime Income Disclosures to Participants
Kilpatrick Townsend Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 16, 2020

"[T]he DOL's regulations will provide a very rough estimate ... based on hypothetical assumptions involving the participant's age, the annuity start date and the survivor annuity percentage, as discussed below. This approach simplifies the disclosures from an administrative perspective by minimizing the participant-specific data that must be taken into account."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Appellate Court Split in Recent Single Stock Fund Litigation
Mayer Brown Link to more items from this source
Sept. 16, 2020

"[A recent Fourth Circuit] case highlights the dilemma of retirement plan sponsors and fiduciaries, who, as a result of a corporate transaction, inherit a plan investment fund consisting of a single class of stock that does not constitute an employer security for purposes of ERISA.... While courts are still evaluating how to handle these single stock fund cases, a plan fiduciary's potential exposure for continuing to maintain such a fund seems to turn, at least in part, on the manner in which ERISA's duties of prudence and diversification apply to the single stock fund as a plan investment option." [Quatrone v. Gannett Co., Inc., No. 19-1212 (4th Cir. Aug. 11, 2020)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

DOL Redefines 'Health Care Provider' for FFCRA Exception
Nixon Peabody LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 16, 2020

"[E]mployers with fewer than 500 employees that provide health care services now must evaluate each employee, on a case-by-case basis, to determine if the employee falls under the definition of 'health care provider.' If the employee does not, the employee now has FFCRA leave rights."

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

Allocation of Medical Loss Ratio Rebates and Premium Refunds
Verrill Dana LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 16, 2020

"Generally, rebates attributable to premium payments made by participants or out of trust assets will be considered plan assets, and rebates attributable to employer-paid premiums will not be considered plan assets.... [DOL] Technical Release 2011-04 recognizes three approaches to dealing with the allocation of the 'plan asset' portion of the rebate. The fiduciary can: [1] pay a direct cash refund to participants; [2] provide participants with a premium discount or premium holiday; or [3] use the assets to enhance plan benefits (e.g., add a disease management or wellness program)."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Costs

Editor's Pick The Growing Burden of Retirement: Rising Costs and More Risk Increase Uncertainty (PDF)
National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 16, 2020

"Saving early and continuously during working years is difficult for many workers.... Workers face market timing, interest rate, and longevity risks when they approach retirement age.... While older Americans are the most likely to own a home, the number of Americans age 65 and older who are cost-burdened by housing costs has increased ... Healthcare costs continue to rise for all Americans, but these costs are higher for older Americans ... Long-term care costs represent an increasing challenge for many older Americans ... Creative solutions exist to address these challenges."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

How the Coronavirus Pandemic Is Affecting Retirement Savings (PDF)
T. Rowe Price Link to more items from this source
Sept. 16, 2020

"While the percentage of participants taking advantage of CARES Act provisions such as distributions and expanded loan options is low, doing so may undo years of retirement savings. Solutions like financial wellness can help shape future financial behaviors when balancing and reconciling short-term needs and long-term financial goals."

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


<< Older News  |  More Recent News >>

© 2020 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.