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<< Older News  |  September 24, 2020


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Editor's Pick Potential Impact of California v. Texas Decision on Key Provisions of the ACA
Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation Link to more items from this source
Sept. 23, 2020

"[A] table summarizes the major provisions of the ACA, illustrating the breadth of its changes to the health care system, and public attitudes towards those changes. If all or most of the ACA is struck down, many of these provisions could be eliminated. Due to differences in populations and policies across states, the potential repeal of the ACA would play out differently from state to state."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Health Plan Policy

Editor's Pick New 401(k) Coverage Rules for Long-Term, Part-Time Workers
E is for ERISA Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 23, 2020

"The new rules under the SECURE Act ... ramp up between 2021 and 2024. However, some employer action is already required ... [This article] walks you through the new rules, including those contained in IRS Notice 2020-68 ... If inclusion of your long-term, part-time workers will push your existing plan over the 100 participant threshold, you might give thought to separating them out in a separate plan, such that both of your plans will be under the audit threshold."

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

Editor's Pick Possible Options for Participant Relief Under Section 409A Plans in the Time of Coronavirus
Groom Law Group Link to more items from this source
Sept. 23, 2020

"In general, Code section 409A provides participants with a limited ability to access deferred compensation in the event of an unforeseeable emergency, and also offers employers (but not participants) some discretion to cancel future deferral elections (but not distribute benefits) in certain circumstances. However, it is important that employers understand the limits of these rules before taking action."

Tags: 409A Plans  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Nonqualified Plans

Editor's Pick Key Decision Points in ACA Reporting Vendor Setup Questionnaires, Part 3: The Measurement, Administrative, and Stability Periods
ABD Insurance & Financial Services Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 21, 2020

"Although the look-back measurement method (LBMM) in its most granular details is likely the most complex compliance aspect of employer-sponsored group health plans, the basics of the LBMM are quite simple: Employees' status as full-time or part-time is generally kept stable for the current stability period (typically the plan year) based on the prior-year measurement period."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Editor's Pick Tracking Telehealth Changes State-by-State in Response to COVID-19
Manatt, Phelps & Phillips, LLP Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2020

Updated Sep. 18, 2020. "As states and federal agencies continue to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, they are also beginning to develop and implement permanent telehealth policy changes in order to continue to expand access to telehealth services beyond the pandemic period. [A set of charts describes current and proposed] state and federal guidance, regulations, and legislation."

Tags: Health Plan Design

Editor's Pick Plan Coverage of COVID-19 Testing: Issues Remain After June Guidance
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 18, 2020

"[E]mployers should take the following into consideration: [1] Review notice and need for clarification.... [2] Check vendor claims processing and assist employees.... [3] Steer employees to providers with transparent costs.... [4] Return-to-the-workplace considerations.... [5] Review compliance requirements for stand-alone telehealth.... [6] Mental health parity considerations."

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

Editor's Pick PBGC Bids a Not-So-Fond Farewell to Old Lump Sum Rates
Mercer Link to more items from this source
Sept. 18, 2020

"The final rule adopts the Internal Revenue Code Section 417(e) basis for lump sums payable by PBGC. For private-sector [DB] plans using the old tiered rates for lump sums and other purposes, the rule provides an alternative table that should closely align with the former methodology. The new rule is effective for valuation dates on or after Jan. 1, 2021."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

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

Editor's Pick Ten Ways to Close Public Pension Funding Gaps (PDF)
National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems [NCPERS] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 14, 2020

34 pages. "Solutions can have more staying power and impact if they address underlying, structural fiscal issues and tackle imprudent approaches to allocate state and local government revenues, including pension contributions. This paper describes alternative approaches that public pension systems and their government relations teams should consider, understand, and bring up in discussions, debates, and negotiations."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  State and Local Government Plans

Editor's Pick When Does a COVID-19 Furlough or Layoff Trigger a Partial Termination for Your Qualified Plan? (PDF)
Boutwell Fay LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 14, 2020

"[T]he IRS will not deem a partial termination to have occurred if a plan sponsor is able to rehire terminated employees before the end of 2020.... [An] applicable period is not necessarily one plan year -- it can span across multiple plan years. The IRS Release does mention rehiring before the end of an 'applicable period' but in its example the IRS only refers to rehiring 'by the end of' 2020. There is uncertainty as to what happens if the rehiring takes place in 2021[.]"

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

Editor's Pick DOL Revises FFCRA Regs to Clarify Paid Leave Rules in Wake of New York Federal Court's Decision
Littler Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 14, 2020

"[T]he DOL held firm that an employer must have work available for an employee in order for the employee to be eligible for FFCRA leave.... The DOL underscored, however, that employers may not arbitrarily withhold work in order to thwart an employee's ability to take leave and emphasized that the unavailability of work must be due to legitimate, nondiscriminatory, non-retaliatory business reasons ... [T]he DOL crafted a definition [of healthcare provider] that focuses on employees whose duties or capabilities are directly related to the provision of health care services or are so integrated to provision of such services so as to adversely impact patient care if not provided.... Intermittent leave still requires employer consent -- but 'intermittent' may be defined differently than employers previously thought ... [The DOL clarified] that any documentation required ... need not be provided before leave begins, but rather may be given 'as soon as practicable, which in most cases will be when the employee provides notice' of the need for FFCRA leave. "

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

Editor's Pick Key Decision Points in ACA Reporting Vendor Setup Questionnaires, Part 2: The Affordability Safe Harbor
ABD Insurance & Financial Services Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 14, 2020

"[T]he IRS provides three safe harbors for ALEs to determine whether an offer of coverage is affordable for purposes of avoiding B Penalty liability ... [T]he ALE may choose different safe harbors for any reasonable category of employees.... Employers should always use the federal poverty line affordability safe harbor where available because it [1] results in coverage automatically being deemed affordable with no calculations necessary, and [2] permits employers to take advantage of streamlined ACA reporting via the Qualifying Offer Method."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Editor's Pick What It Means to Cover Preexisting Conditions
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs Blog Link to more items from this source
Sept. 11, 2020

"This post discusses what it means to cover preexisting medical conditions, offers a tool to assess candidate claims, and reviews a set of congressional proposals that purport to offer [ACA] alternatives that protect people with preexisting conditions but that ultimately fall short."

Tags: Health Plan Design  •  Health Plan Policy

Editor's Pick California Expands COVID-19 Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Requirements
Littler Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 11, 2020

"[T]here is little time to get policies, practices, and -- don't forget -- payroll programs and paystubs into tip-top shape. Entities that were not covered previously, but were contending with one or more of the 10 similar local ordinances in California, will want to determine whether and how their pre-AB 1867 policies and practices hold up, and whether they might need to provide supplemental paid sick leave to workers under the new state law."

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

Editor's Pick Employee Checklist: Lobbying for a Better 401(k) from Your Employer
Morningstar Link to more items from this source
Sept. 10, 2020

"If you're concerned that your company retirement plan isn't as good as it can be and want to try to help make it better, or if you're helping a loved one with a subpar plan, what follows is a checklist of the key steps to take.... [1] Gather information.... [2] Check up on fund fees.... [3] Check up on plan-level fees.... [4] Assess breadth and quality of investment options.... [5] Assess employer contributions.... [6] Assess availability of other features.... [7] Write it up and share it."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Information for Employees

Editor's Pick ERISA Ruling Shows Daunting Review Standard for Claimants
DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C. Link to more items from this source
Sept. 10, 2020

"[T]he presence of a circuit split on the issue of whether a late appeal decision forfeits deferential review may invite Supreme Court review.... It is also somewhat surprising that the Eighth Circuit would buck a growing trend among the circuits to find gateways to de novo review.... For plan administrators, efforts need to be taken to strictly comply with the requirements of the claim regulations. While tardiness was excused in this instance, that may not happen the next time." [McIntyre v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., No. 19-2367 (8th Cir. Aug. 25, 2020)]

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

Editor's Pick Key Decision Points in ACA Reporting Vendor Setup Questionnaires
ABD Insurance & Financial Services Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 9, 2020

Part 1 of 4. "The three key inputs are the measurement method, affordability safe harbor, and -- for those employers utilizing the look-back measurement method [LBMM] -- the measurement and stability periods.... The [monthly measurement method (MMM)] is best thought of as the ACA's default measurement method for determining employees' full-time status. It is relatively simple and straightforward.... The IRS gave birth to the LBMM as an optional alternative to the default MMM particularly to address concerns for employers with largely variable hour workforces."

Tags: Health Plan Administration

Editor's Pick IRS Rev. Proc. 2020-40 Provides Extensions of Retirement Plan Amendment Deadlines
Thomson Reuters Practical Law Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 8, 2020

"Under Rev. Proc. 2020-40, Section 15.05 of Rev. Proc. 2016-37 now provides that the Section 15.04(2) deadline applies to discretionary amendments to pre-approved qualified plans for a plan year unless a statute, regulation, or other IRS guidance provides a deadline to adopt a discretionary amendment that is either earlier or later than the deadline under Section 15.04."

Tags: Retirement Plan Amendments  •  Retirement Plan Design

Editor's Pick Compendium of State Regulatory Materials for Health Insurance Operations and Coverage Related to the COVID-19 Pandemic (PDF)
Sidley Austin LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 3, 2020

15-page hyperlinked list of administrative materials, organized by jurisdiction, issued by state insurance departments to provide guidance to both the insurance industry and consumers relating to health insurance coverage and COVID-19.

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Editor's Pick Election 2020: Retirement Policy Positions
Groom Law Group Link to more items from this source
Sept. 3, 2020

"We are nearing the final stretch of the 2020 campaign. What have the parties proposed for the future of the U.S. retirement system? A chart [in this article] summarizes the policy documents prepared by the parties outlining their goals for both the private retirement system and Social Security."

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy

Editor's Pick OCR Cybersecurity Newsletter Highlights HIPAA Benefits of IT Asset Inventories
Thomson Reuters / EBIA Link to more items from this source
Sept. 3, 2020

"The Summer 2020 OCR Cybersecurity Newsletter ... describes how the IT asset inventory can improve an organization's risk analysis through increased understanding of how electronic PHI is created and enters, flows through, and leaves the organization. The newsletter explains that it may also be beneficial for the inventory to include assets that do not store or process PHI since those assets may present a method for intrusion into IT systems."


Editor's Pick New DOL Rule Proposal Risks Chilling Proxy Voting and Shareholder Engagement
Stradley Ronon Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 2, 2020

"While the proposal allows the fiduciary to determine the 'appropriate investment horizon,' it raises the prospect that long-term benefits, which may not be readily quantifiable today, could be afforded less weight.... [T]he proposal suggests that the costs the issuer incurs as a result of the voting and engagement are effectively costs to the plan (the idea being, apparently, that any cost to the company's bottom line necessarily diminishes the value of the plan's investment)."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Editor's Pick Effects of the Coronavirus on Sick Leave Policies
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics [BLS] Link to more items from this source
Sept. 1, 2020

"[B]etween March 1, 2020, and May 31, 2020 ... [e]xisting sick leave or paid time off plans remained unchanged in 73 percent of establishments.... Among establishments that created or modified existing plans: thirty-four percent added 1 to 5 paid days, twenty percent added 6 to 10 paid days, thirty-seven percent added more than 10 paid days ... Seven percent of establishments created or modified existing unpaid sick leave plans."

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

Editor's Pick States, Cities Tackle COVID-19 Paid Leave (PDF)
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 31, 2020

36 pages. "This [paper] provides brief summaries of new state and local paid leave benefits, as well as guidance addressing how current paid leave benefits apply during the COVID-19 pandemic.... The federal emergency paid sick and family leave requirements under the [FFCRA] do not preempt any state or local paid leave mandates. Employers need to watch for guidance from state and local authorities on coordinating the new federal paid leave rights with state and local mandates."

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

Editor's Pick Generational Views on Financial Advice, Investing, and Retirement (PDF)
Vanguard Link to more items from this source
Aug. 27, 2020

10 pages. "Only one in ten millennials have canceled or postponed contributing to a retirement account because of COVID-19.... [M]ore than six in ten millennials (61%) plan to retire before age 65 and 22% plan to retire before age 60 ... The majority of millennials have never received professional financial advice, but nearly half say COVID-19 has increased their interest in obtaining it, far more likely than Gen X (31%) or young boomers (26%)."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Investments

<< Older News  |  September 24, 2020

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