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<< Older News  |  April 13, 2021

News

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Editor's Pick Managing Alternative Coverage and COBRA Coverage
Proskauer Rose, for HR Daily Advisor Link to more items from this source
Apr. 12, 2021

"There are two significant obstacles to advising employers in these situations: [1] The group health plan document (if there is one) is typically silent on the interplay between COBRA and alternative coverage; and [2] the available regulatory and case law guidance is not nearly specific enough. This column will summarize the possible approaches that employers may follow when dealing with alternative coverage situations."

Tags: COBRA  •  Health Plan Administration

Editor's Pick Can Mandatory Arbitration Rein in ERISA Litigation? Appellate Courts Weigh In
Cohen & Buckmann, P.C. Link to more items from this source
Apr. 12, 2021

"ERISA is silent on arbitration, but the Federal Arbitration Act encourages arbitration of disputes. Two relatively recent Supreme Court decisions upheld arbitration clauses in the employment context, although the Supreme Court has not specifically addressed the permissibility of mandatory arbitration under ERISA. In the meantime, federal courts are grappling with these issues in inconsistent decisions."

Tags: Health Plan Policy  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Editor's Pick California Renews Employee Entitlements to Supplemental Paid Sick Leave for COVID-Related Reasons
Dentons Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 7, 2021

"The latest requirements ... became effective March 29, 2021 and apply retroactively to January 1, 2021. [The authors] identify important features of the renewed measures for 2021 and compare them to the entitlements of 2020 [in a chart]."

Tags: FMLA and Other Leave  •  Local Regulation

Editor's Pick Actuaries' Observations on Implementation of ARPA Multiemployer Pension Relief (PDF)
Multiemployer Plans Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries Link to more items from this source
Apr. 6, 2021

"On March 17, 2021, the Multiemployer Plans Committee of the American Academy of Actuaries met with representatives from PBGC, the Department of the Treasury, and the [DOL] to share the committee's initial observations regarding the multiemployer pension provisions under ARPA, with a focus on areas where clarification may be needed.... The list of topics discussed ... is included [in this article]."

Tags: ARPA  •  Funding of DB Plans  •  Multiemployer Plans

Editor's Pick The Massive Influence of Retirement Plans on Capital Markets: The Days of ERISA as a 'Backwater' Are Long Gone
Business of Benefits Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Apr. 6, 2021

"If you are wondering why the DOL's rules regarding Economic, Social and Governance Investing (ESG) garnered a lot of attention, or why its proxy voting rules actually generated excitement, it is because of the practical influence those rules have on the operation of the U.S. capital markets.... This influence seems to be rarely discussed[.]"

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy

Editor's Pick Arbitration of ERISA Claims: Courts Grapple with Competing Considerations (PDF)
Jenner & Block, via Employee Relations Law Journal Link to more items from this source
Apr. 5, 2021

"[Two federal circuits] have reached opposite conclusions regarding whether ERISA claims may be subject to arbitration where the arbitration clause is contained in the governing plan document. This column [reviews those decisions and] the respective arguments that may determine whether or not arbitration of ERISA disputes remains a viable avenue for plans sponsors."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Policy  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Editor's Pick IRS Describes Top Mistakes in Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) Submissions
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2021

"If your submission has errors, it takes longer to review and delays the issuance of the compliance statement.... Review [this] list to make sure you avoid the errors when completing your VCP submission."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

Editor's Pick COBRA Subsidies in COVID-19 Rescue Plan Require Employer Action
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Apr. 1, 2021

"The COBRA subsidy program requires immediate employer action, including creating subsidy-related notices, coordinating with vendors and insurers, revising COBRA notice and payroll processes, and deciding whether to offer subsidy-eligible individuals the option to move to less expensive coverage. Important dates are noted in [a] timeline."

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

Editor's Pick Retire That Thinking: Uncovering Better Strategies for Retirement Readiness (PDF)
Capital Group Link to more items from this source
Mar. 31, 2021

"Nearly 7 in 10 investors (68%) are confident they will reach their retirement goals ... Nearly 9 in 10 investors (87%) favor creating a regular 'retirement paycheck' to manage spending during their retirement years."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design

Editor's Pick ESPPs: Tax-Return Mistakes to Avoid
myStockOptions.com Link to more items from this source
Mar. 31, 2021

"[1] Paying tax too early on the discount.... [2] Not filing Form 8949 after an immediate sale of ESPP shares at purchase.... [3] Directly using what appears as the cost basis on your Form 1099-B.... [4] Paying the wrong tax on the discount.... [5] Using the wrong price when there is no lookback.... [6] Paying tax twice on the discount."

Tags: Nonqualified Plans  •  Stock Plans

Editor's Pick Fee and Investment Litigation 2015-2020: Five Year Review of Developments and Best Practices to Mitigate Risk, Part I (PDF)
Jackson Lewis P.C., via Benefits Law Journal Link to more items from this source
Mar. 30, 2021

32 pages. "[This article provides] a brief overview of 2020 trends and developments and then explore[s] more closely the key rulings and developments since 2015 and their impact on ERISA fee and investment litigation."

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

Editor's Pick Employers Offering COVID-19 Vaccine Incentives Including Paid Time Off, Cash, and More
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP] Link to more items from this source
Mar. 30, 2021

"At this time, there has been no guidance issued by the EEOC or any other governmental agency on vaccine incentives. As employers have been left to navigate this on their own, some are choosing to follow wellness program rules, which have become less clear too.... Here are some examples of what [employers are] offering as COVID-19 vaccine incentives."

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

Editor's Pick 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act: Compliance Checklist for Health Plan Sponsors (PDF)
Snell & Wilmer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 29, 2021

"This [8-page] checklist provides a summary of the principal requirements under the 2021 Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) that apply to employer-sponsored group health plans."

Tags: Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

Editor's Pick Changes Ahead for Employee Benefit Plan Audits
The Central New York Business Journal Link to more items from this source
Mar. 26, 2021

"In July 2019, the AICPA Auditing Standards Board (ASB) issued AICPA Statement on Auditing Standards No. 136, 'Forming an Opinion and Reporting on Financial Statements of Employee Benefit Plans Subject to ERISA' ... [which] prescribes certain new performance requirements for ERISA plan financial-statement audits and changes the form and content of the related auditor's report."

Tags: Health Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Administration

Editor's Pick IRS Clarifies Pandemic-Related Relief for Dependent Care FSAs
Faegre Drinker Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 26, 2021

"Employers that wish to provide the Relief will need to choose between providing the carryover opportunity or an extended Grace Period because the Notice confirms that a dependent care FSA may not have both.... [T]he extended Grace Period would allow employees who have ceased participation to continue to incur claims until the end of the next plan year."

Tags: ARPA  •  Dependent Care

Editor's Pick Side by Side Comparison of California Paid Leave Mandates
California Department of Industrial Relations Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 26, 2021

"This chart provides a snapshot of paid leave laws that may cover California workers affected by COVID-19. [It includes] a comparison of California laws on paid family leave, paid sick leave, and 2021 COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave."

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

Editor's Pick Navigating the Number Jumble: A 403(b), 401(k), and 457(b) Comparison
CAPTRUST Link to more items from this source
Mar. 26, 2021

"[F]or those plan sponsors with choice, like private tax-exempt 501(c)(3) charitable organizations, digging into the differences may help clarify which plan type, or combination of plan types, to offer. [This article discusses and compares] the most significant distinctions among the three types of plans[.]"

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  403(b) Plans and Annuities  •  457 Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design

Editor's Pick Single-Employer Pension Plan Funding Relief: An Explanation for Non-Actuaries (PDF)
Keightley & Ashner LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 24, 2021

"ARPA provides two forms of general funding relief: enhanced interest rate stabilization and extended amortization of funding shortfalls. This will provide many employers with flexibility to smooth out funding obligations over longer time periods -- flexibility that may be needed to avoid disruptive cost-cutting measures and, for some employers, to ensure the very survival of both the employer and the pension plan."

Tags: ARPA  •  Funding of DB Plans

Editor's Pick Tax-Return Errors to Avoid with Employee Stock Purchase Plans
Bruce Brumberg, JD, via Forbes; subscription may be required Link to more items from this source
Mar. 24, 2021

"[1] Paying tax too early on the discount.... [2] Not filing Form 8949 after an immediate sale of ESPP shares at purchase.... [3] Directly using what appears as the cost basis on your Form 1099-B.... [4] Paying the wrong tax on the discount.... [5] Using the wrong price when there is no lookback.... [6] Paying tax twice on the discount."

Tags: Nonqualified Plans  •  Stock Plans

Editor's Pick Increased Limit for Dependent Care Assistance Programs: Traps for the Unwary
Troutman Sanders Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 23, 2021

"[A]bsent ARPA's increased exclusion limit for 2021, unused DCFSA amounts from 2020 that are available and used in 2021 could end up being taxable for employees who make new 2021 DCFSA contributions and use those amounts for eligible expenses incurred in 2021."

Tags: ARPA  •  Dependent Care

Editor's Pick Comparison of Retirement Programs Available to Church and Church-Related Employers (PDF)
Ice Miller LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 23, 2021

15 pages. "This chart compares retirement programs that are 'tax-qualified' under the Internal Revenue Code.... This chart covers the general rules that apply to each of these types of retirement programs to provide context.... [R]ules that apply only to church and church-related employers are bolded in red."

Tags: Church-Sponsored Plans

Editor's Pick ICHRA: Three Changes Needed for Prime Time
ABD Insurance & Financial Services Link to more items from this source
Mar. 19, 2021

"As ICHRAs begin to mirror the rapid growth of 401(k) plan with more industry and employer awareness, they will also have growing pains ... This post highlights three areas for improvement that could instantly begin paving the way to the inevitable ICHRA mainstream adoption if quickly addressed by the regulatory departments."

Tags: HRAs  •  Health Plan Design

Editor's Pick Single-Employer Pension Plan Funding Requirements Reduced
Cheiron Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 18, 2021

"The change in the segment rates will reduce the calculated funding target and target normal cost, which therefore also lowers the funding requirements.... For plans that reduce contributions because of the changes, the result may be an increase in the PBGC variable rate premiums."

Tags: ARPA  •  Funding of DB Plans

Editor's Pick COVID-19 Vaccinations: Employer Policies and Practices
Quarles & Brady LLP Link to more items from this source
Mar. 18, 2021

"Can and should my company require employees to provide documentation verifying vaccination status? ... What do my company's HR employees and managers need to know about employee religious and medical exemption requests? ... How do I handle a teleworking employee who refuses vaccination but is reluctant to return to work for fear of contracting COVID-19?"

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

Editor's Pick The COBRA Premium Subsidy Law: Understanding Your Compliance Obligations (PDF)
Proskauer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 16, 2021

"Only the person to whom the COBRA premiums are payable is entitled to the ARPA tax credit. The person to whom premiums are payable varies depending on the type of plan involved. Importantly, the ARPA tax credit is not always available to the employer of the affected employees."

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


<< Older News  |  April 13, 2021

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