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<< Older News  |  August 11, 2020

News

All News > Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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SDNY Vacates DOL Regs Implementing the FFCRA
Faegre Drinker Link to more items from this source
Aug. 11, 2020

"Does the SDNY's ruling impact FFCRA covered employers nationwide? ... Are employees who are on unpaid furloughs now able to take FFCRA leave? ... Are health care providers still exempt from FFCRA leave? ... Do employees need the employer's consent to take FFCRA leave intermittently in circumstances unrelated to illness? ... What happens to any remaining unused time when an employee takes FFCRA leave in a single block? ... Can an employer deny an employee's request for leave until receiving documentation?" [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

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

A Chronology of COVID-19 Relief for ERISA Plans
Verrill Dana LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 11, 2020

"This chronology traces the major ongoing relief provided by legislation, regulatory action, and other agency guidance ... through August 10, 2020."

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

Benefits Litigation to Watch for Post-Pandemic
Holland & Knight, via Law360 Link to more items from this source
Aug. 11, 2020

"When the coronavirus pandemic subsides, employers can expect a spike in litigation over employee retirement plan investments, notices to laid-off workers about benefit rights, and companies' handling of retirement and health plans after furloughs or layoffs. Lawsuits over employee stock ownership plan transactions and benefit claim denials are also expected to tick up[.]"

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Fiduciary Duties  •  Health Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Administration  •  Retirement Plan Investments

CARES Act Relief for Single-Employer DB Plans
Segal Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 11, 2020

"Notice 2020-61 advises actuaries how to determine the interest charges for the delayed payment and how to complete Schedule SB of Form 5500. It clarifies that the relief applies not only to the minimum required contribution but also to contributions in excess of the minimum if made on or before January 1, 2021, and explains how to account for such payments. The Notice also confirms that the relief does not extend the timing for contributions to be deductible for the preceding tax year."

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

Court Strikes Critical Provisions of FFCRA Regs
Lockton Link to more items from this source
Aug. 11, 2020

"Several unanswered questions remain. If an employee had been laid off (terminated), does the employee have rights to FFCRA paid leave? ... [W]hat if the employee is laid off during a period of paid leave? ... [Do] employers face retroactive liability for not having offered FFCRA paid leave to furloughed employees to this point? If so, are tax credits available to reimburse the employer for providing back pay? That all remains to be seen." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

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

IRS Expands Participants' Ability to Reverse 2020 Required Minimum Distributions (PDF)
Roberts & Holland LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 11, 2020

"The IRS has now announced that any defined contribution plan participants who received RMDs in 2020 -- including RMDs paid in January 2020 or later -- may recontribute these RMDs to a tax-qualified plan or IRA by an extended deadline of August 31, 2020.... These recontributions are permitted only if the qualified plan accepts incoming rollover contributions by participants."

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

If You're Sick, Stay Home! You May Even Get Paid for It
Foley & Lardner LLP Link to more items from this source
Aug. 11, 2020

"[B]ecause the [FFCRA] applies only to employers with fewer than 500 employees, up to 100 million American workers are not eligible for this paid leave.... Several states are considering legislation to expand the availability of paid sick leave, with many states taking targeted approaches to serve their residents."

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

Employee Leave for Childcare This Fall as School Closures Ramp Up
Foley & Lardner LLP Link to more items from this source
Aug. 11, 2020

"[C]ertain states and municipalities have existing executive orders that mandate telework if possible.... Depending on the employer's size, the employee may be entitled to paid leave when it is not possible to telework.... Other options for managing this problem include job restructuring or other reasonable accommodations."

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

New FFCRA Paid Leave Guidance for Government Contractors
Lockton Link to more items from this source
Aug. 11, 2020

"Providing benefits like health insurance coverage instead of additional cash is often the preferred way to discharge the contractor's fringe obligation ... [E]mployers choosing to meet their fringe benefit obligations by providing health benefits instead of cash must continue to maintain the health coverage while an employee is out on FFCRA-protected leave."

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

The Impact of the CARES Act on 401(k) Plans
LIMRA Link to more items from this source
Aug. 11, 2020

"A little more than half of plan sponsors (51%) feel, at least to some extent, that they would benefit from guidance from their DC plan's recordkeeper in understanding how CARES may affect their plan.... Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) do not plan to implement the expanded withdrawal capability or the increased loan capability. Another one fifth (19%) are unsure at this point, leaving 43% who do plan to amend their plans to offer at least one withdrawal update enabled by CARES."

Tags: 401(k) Plans  •  CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Retirement Plan Design

IRS Provides Employees Opportunity to Cancel Non-Qualified Deferral Elections Through Self-Certification
Seyfarth Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 11, 2020

"Code Section 409A permits the cancellation of non-qualified plan deferral elections following a 401(k) plan hardship distribution.... CARES Act distributions may be based solely on self-certification by the participant. Effectively then, a participant could elect a $1 CARES Act distribution by self-certifying that COVID-19 adversely impacted the participant and in doing so, cancel potentially significant remaining non-qualified plan deferrals."

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Nonqualified Plans

DOL Issues Guidance on Coronavirus-Related Leave for Federal Service and Construction Contractors
Wiley Rein LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 10, 2020

"If a contractor pays cash instead of fringe benefits, they would not be required to pay the SCA H&W fringe benefit rate or the DBA fringe benefit rate for FFCRA leave. But contractors must maintain an employee's health insurance, if they had been providing it, throughout the employee's paid FFCRA leave. In addition, ... a [contractor will need] to provide H&W payments to an employee using existing paid vacation, sick leave or holiday hours under the SCA while concurrently using FFCRA expanded family and medical leave."

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

OPM Issues Regs for Feds' Paid Parental Leave
Government Executive Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 10, 2020

"[F]ederal employees will be eligible for paid parental leave if the child is born or adopted on or after Oct. 1, 2020. If a child is born or adopted on Sept. 30, the parent would not be eligible for the leave and would have to use unpaid or annual leave instead. The regulations confirm that if both parents in a household are federal employees, each parent would be eligible for 12 weeks of paid leave."

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

Significant Changes to COVID-19 Leave Provisions After Court Vacates Some DOL Regs Interpreting Paid Leave Under the FFCRA
Duane Morris LLP Link to more items from this source
Aug. 10, 2020

"Judge Oetken's decision vacating four aspects of the DOL's regulations must be followed by employers in New York unless the decision is stayed or reversed.... As employees are now deciding whether to return to work or care for children whose childcare facilities or schools are closed, employers should be prepared for an uptick in requests for leave ... Employees who were formerly denied requests for leave may now be entitled to retroactive application of FFCRA pay based on this ruling." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

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

Federal Court in New York Strikes Down Key Provisions of DOL's FFCRA Final Rule
Hinshaw Link to more items from this source
Aug. 10, 2020

"Employers outside of New York who do not change their policies and deny benefits under the DOL regulation also have risk. Employees claiming benefits under the court's interpretation may file claims ... on an individual or collective basis [which] will likely also carry claims for liquidated (double) damages." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

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

Editor's Pick Federal District Court Invalidates Provisions of the DOL's Final Rule Implementing the FFCRA
Ballard Spahr LLP Link to more items from this source
Aug. 10, 2020

"[E]mployers should not implement a requirement that work be otherwise available to employees in order to qualify for FFCRA leave. Employers should also permit employees to take FFCRA leave intermittently ... and should not require employees to submit leave documentation prior to taking leave. Finally, employers in the health care industry should not apply the Final Rule's definition of 'health care provider' to deny benefits to all employees of a health care provider." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

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

Retirement Plans and Coronavirus: Take Steps to Protect Your Employees
HUB International Link to more items from this source
Aug. 7, 2020

"Leverage technology to reach your members more directly than ever before.... Manage plan costs.... Take a conservative approach.... Address the psychology of retirement.... Focus on employee mental health challenges."

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

Changes to the FFCRA Regulations?
Miller Johnson Link to more items from this source
Aug. 7, 2020

"There are still a number of unknowns related to the impact of this decision ... These issues are complex and may even involve considerations other than FFCRA, such as: [1] Whether providing retroactive FFCRA leave to a period where an employee received unemployment compensation would require the employee to pay back some of that compensation, [2] Whether the employer is participating in the Payroll Protection Program and wants to provide retroactive FFCRA leave and how the employer should determine whether to apply these wages to its forgiveness amount or claim the FFCRA payroll credit, and [3] Whether providing retroactive FFCRA leave may negatively impact the employee's ability to have time available for a future qualifying need for leave (such as to care for a child whose school is closed to in-person instruction this fall)." [New York v. U.S. Dept. of Labor, No. 20-3020 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 3, 2020)]

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

PBGC Clarifies Contribution Filing Due Date
Graydon Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 7, 2020

"The FAQs give plan sponsors an extra month, until October 15, 2020, to make their 2019 contributions and have that contribution reflected in the calculation of the variable rate premium due on October 15, 2020. Any contributions made for 2019 after the October 15, 2020 deadline may not be used when calculating the variable-rate portion of the sponsor's PBGC premium, even if made before the CARES Act deadline of January 1, 2021."

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

Colorado Enacts Paid Sick Leave Law
Buck Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Aug. 7, 2020

"Effective January 1, 2021, the [Healthy Families and Workplaces Act (HFWA)] will require Colorado employers with 16 or more employees to provide up to 48 hours of paid sick leave per year and supplemental sick leave during a public health emergency. Smaller employers will be covered under the Act beginning in 2022."

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

DOL Issues Guidance for Certain Federal Contractors on Paid Sick Leave and Expanded Family and Medical Leave Under the FFCRA
Littler Link to more items from this source
Aug. 7, 2020

"If the employee is using FFCRA leave and also using paid sick leave, vacation, or holiday hours provided by the [McNamara-O'Hara Service Contract Act (SCA)] or under the terms of Executive Order 13706 ... then the employer must continue to provide SCA health and welfare payments to the employee ... or any applicable health and welfare benefit, Davis-Bacon fringe benefits, or monetary equivalent required by the executive order for the hours paid under the executive order."

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

Avoiding COVID-19 Benefits-Related Litigation
Hall Benefits Law Link to more items from this source
Aug. 7, 2020

"[1] Did employee layoffs trigger a partial termination of your plan that requires accelerated vesting? ... [2] Were there any changes to investments during the COVID-19 pandemic period and, if so, were those actions documented? ... [3] Were decisions whether or not to continue benefits to laid off or furloughed employees made consistently and uniformly? ... [4] Were separating employees timely notified of their COBRA rights and continuation of other benefits? ... [5] Have you recorded any changes to your COVID-19-related benefits strategy in plan documents?"

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

Text of IRS Notice 2020-61: Special Funding and Benefit Limitation Rules for Single-Employer DB Plans Under the CARES Act (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Aug. 6, 2020

18 pages. "[T]he provisions of this notice pertaining to Sections 430 and 436 of the Code also apply for purposes of Sections 303 and 206(g) of ERISA.... The following questions and answers provide guidance regarding Section 3608 of the CARES Act. To the extent the instructions for Schedule SB, 'Single-Employer Defined Benefit Plan Actuarial Information' of Form 5500, 'Annual Return/Report of Employee Benefit Plan' are inconsistent with this guidance, this guidance supersedes those instructions."

  1. To which plans does the extended contribution due date of January 1, 2021, under Section 3608(a)(1) of the CARES Act, apply? ...
  2. How is a contribution adjusted for interest between the valuation date and the payment date for the contribution, taking into account the interest adjustment rules of Section 3608(a)(2) of the CARES Act? ...
  3. What is the result if the contribution that the plan sponsor makes is less than the amount that was due on the original due date for the minimum required contribution, as increased with interest pursuant to Section 3608(a)(2) of the CARES Act? ...
  4. Does the extended due date under Section 3608(a) of the CARES Act apply to contributions in excess of the amount needed to satisfy the minimum required contribution? ...
  5. How is the amount of a quarterly installment determined, if the extended due date under Section 3608(a) of the CARES Act applies to the installment? ...
  6. For a quarterly installment originally due during 2020 for which the due date is extended under Section 3608(a) of the CARES Act to January 1, 2021, what is the result if a plan sponsor does not satisfy that installment? ...
  7. How are the interest adjustments determined if the plan's effective interest rate for the plan year in which the contribution is made has not been determined at the time the payment is made? ...
  8. If a plan sponsor makes a contribution for a plan year after the original due date for the plan year, but on or before the extended due date under Section 3608(a) of the CARES Act, how is it reported on Schedule SB of Form 5500? ...
  9. Is a contribution for a plan year that is made after the original due date for the plan year (but on or before the extended due date for the plan year under Section 3608(a) of the CARES Act) taken into account for purposes of determining the value of plan assets for a plan year following the plan year for which the contribution is made? ...
  10. Does the extended due date under Section 3608(a) of the CARES Act change the date by which a plan sponsor may make an election to increase a prefunding balance or to use a prefunding balance or a funding standard carryover balance to offset the minimum funding requirement for a plan year? ...
  11. Does the extended due date under Section 3608(a) of the CARES Act change the date by which a contribution must be made in order to be deducted for a taxable year under Section 404 of the Code? ...
  12. May a plan sponsor make an election under Section 3608(b) of the CARES Act (to apply the AFTAP for the last plan year ending before January 1, 2020) for a plan with a plan year that is not a calendar year? ...
  13. What procedures must a plan sponsor follow for making an election under Section 3608(b) of the CARES Act? ...
  14. If a plan's actuary has not certified the plan's AFTAP for a plan year before the plan sponsor makes an election under Section 3608(b) of the CARES Act, what is the effect of the election for purposes of the presumption rules of Section 436(h) of the Code? ...
  15. Is a plan's actuary required to certify the plan's AFTAP for a plan year for which the plan sponsor makes the election under Section 3608(b) of the CARES Act? ...
  16. If a plan's actuary certified the plan's AFTAP for a plan year for which the plan sponsor later makes the election under Section 3608(b) of the CARES Act, what is the effect of that certification? ...
  17. How does the restriction on plan amendments and unpredictable contingent event benefits apply if the AFTAP that applies is pursuant to a plan sponsor's election under Section 3608(b) of the CARES Act? ...
  18. Does the AFTAP that applies pursuant to a plan sponsor's election for a plan year apply for purposes of the presumptions under Section 436(h) used in a subsequent plan year?

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

New Guidance Allows Premium Credits for Consumers
Katie Keith, in Health Affairs Link to more items from this source
Aug. 6, 2020

"Premium credits can be given for one or more months, but the policy is temporary and extends only through the end of the calendar year. Insurers that offer coverage through HealthCare.gov must notify CMS about premium credits before October 1, 2020."

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

How the COVID Pandemic Has Impacted Retirement Security
National Public Pension Coalition Link to more items from this source
Aug. 6, 2020

"According to [a recent] study, the amount of working-age households that will not be able to afford their present-day standard of living in retirement has increased from 50 to 55 percent due to the economic downturn. ... Older workers are particularly vulnerable to this effect[.]"

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


<< Older News  |  August 11, 2020

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