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<< Older News  |  March 7, 2021

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Surprise DOL Guidance on Conclusion of One-Year ERISA Compliance Relief Period
The Wagner Law Group Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 5, 2021

"Since the time frames for certain participants to act could have ended today or could have ended earlier this week, action for most health and welfare plan sponsors should be a priority item. Plan sponsors will need to understand the new interpretation of the extension as applied to its participants."

Tags: COBRA

Second Circuit Reverses Order Compelling Arbitration of ERISA Fiduciary Breach Claims
Roberts Disability Law Link to more items from this source
Mar. 5, 2021

"[T]he Second Circuit considered whether language in an employment arbitration agreement required the employee to arbitrate his ERISA fiduciary breach claims, which he brought on behalf of a putative class, against the employer's third-party investment advisor." [Cooper v. Ruane Cunniff & Goldfarb Inc., No. 17-2805 (2d Cir. Mar. 4, 2021)]

Tags: Fiduciary Duties

Editor's Pick One Cent, Two Cents, Red Cents, Blue Cents: What Counts as Plan Compensation?
Ferenczy Benefits Law Center Link to more items from this source
Mar. 5, 2021

"It is amazingly common for folks to lose track of where compensation for plan purposes should come from. Between the different possible entity types, there are different ways that companies should treat compensation and pull the data for census purposes."

Tags: Retirement Plan Administration

COLA Freeze Not Included in Senate Version of COVID Relief Bill
American Retirement Association [ARA] Link to more items from this source
Mar. 5, 2021

"[A] substitute amendment offered by Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) removes the COLA freeze limit from the underlying bill (HR 1319).... After presumed Senate passage, the bill will need to go back to the House in order for the chamber to approve the amended Senate version."

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy

Health & Welfare Benefits Update, March 2021 (PDF)
Alston & Bird Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 5, 2021

21 presentation slides. Topics: [1] Legislative update; [2] Outbreak period update; [3] COBRA subsidy: a deeper dive; [4] Notice 2021-15: FSA and election change relief; [5] Further agency guidance on COVID testing and vaccinations.

Tags: COBRA  •  Cafeteria Plans  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Dependent Care  •  Health Plan Design

Agencies Clarify Health Plan Coverage of COVID-19 Tests and Vaccines
Thomson Reuters / EBIA Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 5, 2021

"The agencies have clearly signaled that any exceptions to mandatory coverage of COVID-19 diagnostic testing and immunizations will be strictly and narrowly construed."

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

401(k) Plan Asset Allocation, Account Balances, and Loan Activity in 2018
Employee Benefit Research Institute [EBRI] Link to more items from this source
Mar. 5, 2021

"Three-quarters of participants in their twenties had more than 80 percent of their 401(k) plan accounts invested in equities at year-end 2018 ... At year-end 2018, 19 percent of all 401(k) participants who were eligible for loans had loans outstanding against their 401(k) plan accounts, unchanged since 2016."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Pension Funding Update, February 2021
River and Mercantile Link to more items from this source
Mar. 5, 2021

"Pension discount rates continued increasing in February, and are up almost 0.50% so far in 2021, which means lower liabilities for pension plan sponsors.... [M]ost pension plans will see at least modest improvements in their funded status for the month. Those with higher equity allocations will see the largest improvements."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans

COBRA Subsidies Pass House, Outbreak Period Capped at One Year
ABD Insurance & Financial Services Link to more items from this source
Mar. 5, 2021

"Included among the many COVID-19 relief provisions is a COBRA subsidy structure designed to provide an 85% COBRA subsidy to employees and family members losing group health plan coverage due to an involuntary termination of employment or reduction in hours."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

New York Legislature Passes Bill Granting Paid Leave for Employees Receiving COVID-19 Vaccine
Fisher Phillips Link to more items from this source
Mar. 5, 2021

"[The bill requires] that all private employers provide their employees with a 'sufficient period of time,' up to four hours, of paid leave to receive the COVID-19 vaccine.... The leave cannot be charged against any other leave to which the employee is entitled, including the recently enacted paid sick leave requirements."

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

California Public Agency Plan Administrators Need to Keep Track of Participants Before They Go 'Missing'
Best Best & Krieger LLP Link to more items from this source
Mar. 5, 2021

"[P]ublic agency plans in California are subject to ERISA-like rules and would benefit from following the DOL's recent guidance on missing participants ... [which] identified [specific] 'red flags' as indicators of a missing participant problem."

Tags: Local Regulation  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  State and Local Government Plans

2021 Federal Retirement Security Blueprint (PDF)
Insured Retirement Institute [IRI] Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Mar. 5, 2021

11 pages. "[1] Expand opportunities to save for retirement ... [2] Facilitate and expand the use of protected, guaranteed lifetime income ... [3] Preserve and promote access for retirement savers to professional financial guidance ... [4] Enhance protections to safeguard Americans from financial exploitation and fraud; and [5] Maintain and augment the current tax treatment of retirement savings"

Tags: Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

Trade-Offs in Public Health Insurance Design
JAMA Network Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Mar. 5, 2021

"Would the US population be better off with a simple, single-payer, uniform Medicare-for-all type of insurance plan?"

Tags: Health Plan Policy

Voluntary Benefits Trends to Help Employers in War for Talent
HUB International Link to more items from this source
Mar. 5, 2021

"Holistic wellness solutions take front and center role ... Executive benefits are a winning play for senior talent ... Data analytics guide benefits strategy and design."

Tags: Health Plan Design

Retirement Spotlight: IRS Regs Address Tax on Unrelated Businesses in Plans
Ascensus Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 4, 2021

"This guidance may affect only a relatively small portion of tax-exempt retirement plans.... [T]hese final regulations may help simplify administration and reporting requirements for what are usually considered to be more complex investments."

Tags: Retirement Plan Investments

Single Employer DB Funding Relief in the American Rescue Plan Act: Technical Issues Presented by Current Proposal
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Mar. 4, 2021

"Although many sponsors will welcome the funding relief in ARPA, in its current form that legislation does present some technical issues, mainly due to the early/retroactive effective dates of some proposals."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design  •  Retirement Plan Policy

How Pre-Retirees Can Overcome the COVID-19 Crisis
Voya Link to more items from this source
Mar. 4, 2021

"Managed account services may also include retirement income planning and payout strategies. It's a powerful combination that may lead to better retirement results and more peace-of-mind for participants approaching retirement."

Tags: Retirement Plan Design

DOL Issues Clarifying Guidance When the COVID National Emergency Will End
Nixon Peabody LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 4, 2021

"As employers and plan administrators navigate these rules, they should consider the following: Administrative simplification.... COBRA premium management.... COBRA subsidies.... Notices."

Tags: COBRA

Group Health Plans Must Perform Comparative Analyses of Non-Quantitative Treatment Limitations Under Mental Health Parity
Cheiron Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 4, 2021

"While the Act did not add any additional penalties for noncompliance, the agencies can apply existing penalties to plans within their jurisdictions. For example, the DOL can assess a penalty of up to $161 per day for failure to provide requested mental health parity documents to participants."

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

SECURE Act Changes: Risks and Opportunities
HUB International Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 4, 2021

"Some changes are required, others are optional. Some provisions have tight deadlines. Others give you more breathing room. And, relevance depends on your plan and its pool of participants and variations like numbers of full- to part-time workers."

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

Evaluating Target Date Funds Is a Fiduciary Responsibility
Cohen & Buckmann, P.C. Link to more items from this source
Mar. 4, 2021

"Many fiduciaries responsible for selecting their 401(k) plan's target date funds don't understand how these funds work.... Lawsuits challenging target date fund selection are on the rise, and plan fiduciaries need to be able to defend their choices in response to these suits."

Tags: Fiduciary Duties  •  Retirement Plan Investments

Flexible Spending Accounts: IRS Guidance on Permissive Changes (PDF)
Trucker Huss Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 4, 2021

42 presentation slides. "If a company does decide to amend for these FSA provisions, it will first need to confirm ... that the TPA can administer [them] before communicating [the changes] to its employees.... [T]he CAA and [Notice 2021-15] allow additional time for companies to adopt formal plan amendments"

Tags: Cafeteria Plans  •  Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Dependent Care

IRS Issues Guidance on Consolidated Appropriations Act FSA Forfeiture Relief
Thompson Hine Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Mar. 4, 2021

"[A table] shows the key differences (and in some cases, similarities) between the standard cafeteria plan rules and the [relief provided in Notice 2021-15]."

Tags: Cafeteria Plans  •  Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021   •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Dependent Care

De-Risking in 2021, Part 2: The De-Risking Decision in the Context of Rising Interest Rates
October Three Consulting Link to more items from this source
Mar. 4, 2021

"If this relationship between (older, lower) lump sum valuation rates and current rates continues for the rest of 2021 ... paying out a lump sum in 2022 will generally be a 'better deal' for the sponsor than paying it out in 2021. And second, if a lump sum is paid out in 2021, the additional cost (resulting from the use of the older, lower valuation rate) will show up as an increase in balance sheet net liabilities."

Tags: Funding of DB Plans  •  Retirement Plan Design

Oklahoma Latest State to Consider Employer-Mandated IRA
Pensions & Investments Link to more items from this source
Mar. 4, 2021

"Under the proposal, employees would be automatically enrolled in the program at a default contribution rate of 3%. Employees would be able to opt out of the plan."

Tags: Retirement Plan Policy


<< Older News  |  March 7, 2021

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