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<< Older News  |  September 24, 2020

News

All News > Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Text of PBGC Technical Update 20-2: Extended Due Date for Inclusion of Prior Year Contributions
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Sept. 23, 2020

"This Technical Update provides [PBGC] guidance and relief related to the timing of contribution receipts includable in the asset value used to determine variable rate premiums due in 2020. The CARES Act extended the due date for certain pension contributions. The relief in this Technical Update will generally enable plan sponsors to take advantage of the CARES Act extension and still ultimately pay the same variable-rate premium they would have owed had the plan received all prior year contributions by the regular contribution due date....

"For premium filings due on or after March 1, 2020 and before January 1, 2021, the date by which prior year contributions must be received by the plan to be included in plan assets under Section  4006.4(c) of PBGC's premium rates regulation is extended to January 1, 2021.

"Because of this relief, the discounted value of a 'prior year contribution' received after the premium is filed and on or before January 1, 2021, may be included in the asset value used to determine the variable-rate premium. Thus, if such a contribution is made, the premium filing may be amended to revise the originally reported asset value and resulting variable-rate premium.

"This relief has no effect on premium due dates (e.g., for calendar year plans, the 2020 premium is due October 15, 2020) and does not permit a premium filing to reflect a contribution that has not yet been made....

"Plan administrators that want to take advantage of this relief must amend their premium filing by February 1, 2021, to revise the variable-rate premium data accordingly after eligible prior year contributions are received by the plan."

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  PBGC

New FFCRA Paid Leave Rule -- Big Deal or No Big Deal?
MZQ Consulting, LLC Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 23, 2020

"The new rule clarifies that to be eligible to take any FFCRA paid sick or family/medical leave, a person must be an active employee. Not only that, but the employee's FFCRA qualifying event must be the ONLY reason why the person cannot work.... On the off chance an employer is currently letting furloughed or reduced hour employees take FFCRA leave for hours that they would not usually be at work, they will have to stop (or not get reimbursed). "

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

PBGC Takes a U-Turn on CARES Act Contribution Delay
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 23, 2020

"The agency will now let sponsors amend their 2020 PBGC premium filings to reflect all contributions made by the CARES Act's extended contribution deadline -- even contributions made after the premium filing due date -- and request a refund of any excess variable-rate premium."

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

Rehiring Employees by End of 2020 Could Prevent Partial Plan Terminations
Faegre Drinker Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 23, 2020

"The IRS's response provides some reassurance for employers who rehire employees by the end of 2020 that they will decrease their risk of incurring a partial termination. However, employers should be aware that rehiring employees in 2020 will not preclude a future IRS determination of a partial termination. The IRS does not address the possibility that the applicable period may extend past 2020, particularly if the employer has a series of COVID-19 terminations of employment, which would affect the calculation of the turnover rate."

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

Impact of COVID-19 on Pension Plan Actuarial Experience and Assumptions, Including Mortality (PDF)
American Academy of Actuaries Link to more items from this source
Sept. 23, 2020

"The effects of the pandemic on the economy, on workforce patterns, and on plan sponsors’ budgets are likely to be far more financially significant to most pension plans, at least in the near term, than the effect on mortality. There is expected to be wide variance among the plans themselves, regardless of whether they are private sector, multiemployer, or public plans."

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

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

Revised DOL Regs Necessitate Job-Specific Assessment by Health Care Providers for Potential FFCRA Leave Entitlement
Nexsen Pruet Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 22, 2020

"[A]ffected health care providers should immediately conduct a position-specific analysis of their employees ... to make a reasoned determination regarding whether their services are truly integral to the provision of patient care. Gray areas will likely include patient food service and EMR-related services.... Employers should take care to document their decision-making process in this regard before denying leave requests to such employees."

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

California's New Sick Leave Law Provides Supplemental Coverage for Employees Affected by COVID-19
Morgan Lewis Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 22, 2020

"Employers outside the food sector are required to provide COVID-19 supplemental paid sick leave (CSPSL) as of September 19, 2020 ... For food sector workers, the leave requirement is retroactive to April 16, 2020 ... The CSPSL provisions expire on December 31, 2020 or the expiration of the FFCRA (including any extension); whichever is later."

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

New California Leave Law Impacts All Companies with 5 or More Employees; and New COVID-19 Law for Large Employers
Quarles & Brady LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 22, 2020

"The CFRA will apply to much smaller employers -- those with five or more employees (down from 50, or 20 employees for new parent leave).... [T]he new law eliminates the requirement that employees work within 75 miles of a worksite.... AB 1867 also immediately established supplemental COVID-19 paid sick leave for private employers with 500 or more employees anywhere in the nation, as well as public and private employers of first responders and health care employees who opted out of the leave under the federal law."

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

Aflac Survey: Pandemic Has 49% of Employees Rethinking Benefits
InsuranceNewsNet.com Link to more items from this source
Sept. 22, 2020

"[N]early half (49%) of employees said the pandemic has been a wake-up call to invest more time researching and selecting the best coverage options for their situation. This represents a significant shift in employee behavior considering a vast majority of employees (92%) choose the same benefits year after year and on average spend 33 minutes on the task -- statistics that haven't changed meaningfully over the years of the survey."

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

Text of PBGC Press Release 20-04: Expansion of COVID-19 Relief for Variable-Rate Premium Filers
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation [PBGC] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Sept. 21, 2020

"[F]or premium filings due on or after March 1, 2020, and before January 1, 2021, the date by which 'prior year' contributions must be received by the plan to be included in plan assets will be extended to January 1, 2021. That means the discounted value of these contributions received by the plan after the premium is filed but on or before January 1, 2021, will be included in the asset value used to determine the variable-rate premium. Because of this relief, plans will be able to amend the premium filing to revise the originally reported asset value once all prior year contributions have been made and receive the corresponding refund of variable-rate premiums.' [PBGC notes that "This press release (PBGC PR 20-04) revises guidance issued July 20, 2020, COVID-19-Related Single-Employer Plan Sponsors and Administrators Questions and Answers (PBGC Web 016)."]

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

Family 'SECURity': Early Withdrawal Tax Exception for Qualified Births and Adoptions
Hall Benefits Law Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 21, 2020

"[Notice 2020-68] clarifies that if a retirement plan is amended to allow qualified birth or adoption distributions, the plan is required to accept recontributions if the individual received such a distribution from that plan and the individual is eligible to make a rollover distribution to that plan at the time of recontribution. This suggests that an employee who receives a qualified birth or adoption distribution and then separates from service will not be able to make a recontribution to that plan. Presumably, however, these individuals would be able to recontribute the amount to an IRA."

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

Philadelphia Pandemic Laws Require Additional Paid Leave for Employees and Gig Workers
Littler Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 21, 2020

"Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Mayor Phil Kenney signed ... an amendment to the city's generally applicable paid sick and safe time law ... [which] requires new public health emergency leave for employees, gig workers, and others who do not receive leave under the federal [FFCRA]. The emergency leave requirements take effect immediately, but generally will expire on December 31, 2020....[Effective on September 9, an additional amendment requires] compensation and medical care or reimbursement for certain healthcare employees who contract a disease during a declared pandemic or epidemic."

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

Updated FFCRA Regs Limit Scope of Healthcare Providers Exemption, Modify Notice Requirement, and Reaffirm Other Aspects of Prior Regs
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 21, 2020

"Employers should now follow a two-step process when responding to employees' notices of the need for leave under the EFMLEA: first, they must determine whether the request is for intermittent leave (as opposed to several discrete days of leave) under applicable guidance; and second, if it is such a request, they may engage in a dialogue with the employee to see if alternative work arrangements are feasible."

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

September 22 is Last Chance for COVID-19-Related 401(k) Loans
Forbes Link to more items from this source
Sept. 21, 2020

"Congress loosened the rules for taking money out of retirement accounts for those adversely affected by COVID-19, but ... there's a deadline coming up for taking enhanced loans: It's September 22. The deadline for taking 401(k) or IRA distributions under the special rules is December 31."

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

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

Philadelphia to Expand Emergency Sick Leave Benefits to More Workers
Duane Morris LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Sept. 18, 2020

"The bill will broaden the scope of Philadelphia's Promoting Healthy Families and Workplaces sick leave law by providing paid 'public health emergency leave' to more people who work within the geographic boundaries of the city, including individuals workings for companies with 500 or more employees, independent contractors and 'gig economy' workers."

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

Tips for a Successful Remote Open Enrollment
HealthEquity Link to more items from this source
Sept. 18, 2020

"[1] Communicate benefits changes with real-world connections.... [2] Adapt your materials for a remote environment.... [3] Select and vet the technology you'll use.... [4] Engage with the whole family.... [5] Evaluate your performance for the future."

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

COVID-19 Recession Caused Loss of Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance Coverage
Urban Institute Link to more items from this source
Sept. 18, 2020

"We find that [between April 23-May 12 and July 9-21, 2020], the number of nonelderly adults with ESI fell by 3.3 million, while the number of uninsured adults increased by 1.9 million.... [G]roups experiencing larger losses in ESI coverage experienced corresponding increases in public coverage or uninsurance rates, with smaller observed changes in private nongroup coverage rates."

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

Mercer Submits Comments to DOL Supporting National Paid Leave Standard
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Opinion]
Sept. 18, 2020

"[T]he COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for a uniform, nationwide approach to paid leave and put a spotlight on the patchwork of state and local requirements that arise in the absence of a federal solution. The comment letter explains that employers, particularly multijurisdiction employers, are struggling in a time of crisis to understand the compliance requirements of numerous different laws, while trying to support their workforce in a consistent and meaningful way."

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

COVID-19 Layoffs Can Cause Partial Retirement Plan Termination
Frost Brown Todd LLC Link to more items from this source
Sept. 17, 2020

"Employers may consider amending retirement plans to count a certain amount of furlough time due to COVID-19 as hours of service that count for plan vesting purposes. This likely will not cost much to the employer, can go a long way in fostering goodwill with employees, and will not result in lost vesting service for employees who return from furlough."

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

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

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


<< Older News  |  September 24, 2020

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