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<< Older News  |  October 21, 2020


All News > Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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Employees with Company Stock Plans Welcome More Financial Advice as COVID-19 Drives Some Participants to Exercise or Sell Shares
Charles Schwab Link to more items from this source
Oct. 20, 2020

"While the majority of participants are planning to use their equity compensation for retirement (51%), there was a slight uptick overall this year in those turning to their equity compensation to help meet immediate financial needs, like paying off debt (9%, up from 5% in 2019) and short-term emergencies (7%, up from 5% in 2019). Notably, Millennials have experienced a more pronounced impact compared to other generations and may be in more need of help in developing a financial plan. Ninety-five percent (95%) of Millennials who recently exercised or sold equity compensation report that the pandemic influenced their decision, and almost a third (27%) of this group did so because they were under financial stress."

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Stock Plans

Text of 2020 Instructions for IRS Form 5329: Additional Taxes on Qualified Plans (Including IRAs) and Other Tax-Favored Accounts (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Oct. 20, 2020

Oct. 13, 2020. "[1] Qualified disaster or coronavirus-related distributions.... [2] Maximum age for traditional IRA contributions.... [3] Withdrawals in the case of a birth or adoption of a child.... [4] Increase in age for mandatory distributions.... [5] Temporary waiver of minimum required distributions." [Also available: 2020 IRS Form 5329]

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  IRAs  •  Misc. Distribution Issues  •  Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs)

Text of Draft Instructions for 2020 IRS Form 8606: Nondeductible IRAs (PDF)
Internal Revenue Service [IRS] Link to more items from this source
[Official Guidance]
Oct. 20, 2020

Oct. 19, 2020. "What's new ... [1] Coronavirus-related distributions.... [2] Tax relief for qualified 2018, 2019, and 2020 disaster distributions.... [3] Form 1040-NR.... [4] Modified AGI limit for Roth IRA contributions increased.... [5] Due date for contributions. " [Also available: Draft 2020 IRS Form 8606]

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

Data Breaches and HIPAA Enforcement Remain Endemic Amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic
Health Law Advisor, Epstein Becker Green Link to more items from this source
Oct. 19, 2020

"[E]nterprise-wide risk analyses should account not only for PHI, but also for other personally identifiable information (PII). Nearly every organization will possess PII, ... with each bearing privacy and security obligations under a variety of federal laws and regulations specifically addressing cybersecurity practices. Organizations must also be mindful of state and local requirements concerning cybersecurity[.]"

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

Waiting on an End to the Extended ERISA Deadline Periods
Holland & Hart LLP Link to more items from this source
Oct. 19, 2020

"Early in the pandemic, the IRS and DOL issued a temporary rule (published May 4, 2020) extending certain deadlines applicable to retirement plans and health and welfare plans.... The examples in the temporary rule assumed an end date of April 30, 2020 for the National Emergency, which would have extended the Outbreak Period through June 29, 2020. As we all now know, this National Emergency did not end on April 30, and in fact it is still in place.... As the crisis has extended, the impact of the 'temporary rule' is becoming more of an issue."

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

Discrimination, Benefit Issues to Watch When Returning Furloughed Workers
Epstein Becker Green, via Bloomberg Law Link to more items from this source
Oct. 16, 2020

"Applicable large employers should be aware of how breaks-in-service following a rehire of furloughed employees affect eligibility provisions and waiting periods under the employer's group health plan. If benefits continued during the furlough, potential employee 'catch-up' payments are needed if the employer paid employee premiums during this period.... It is also important for employers to review the impact of adjustments to compensation on benefit contributions and eligibility and remind returning employees to review these changes and resume contributions to retirement plans."

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

Philadelphia Expands Paid Sick Leave Access for Workers Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Morgan Lewis Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 16, 2020

"The City of Philadelphia has amended its paid sick leave law to require covered businesses to provide up to two weeks of paid leave for workers to use during a public health emergency, such as the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.... [T]the amendment only applies to workers in Philadelphia who are not covered by the FFCRA.... The new law took effect September 17 and will expire December 31, 2020."

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

Determining Annual Incentive Pay for Bank Executives in a Pandemic
Meridian Compensation Partners, LLC Link to more items from this source
Oct. 16, 2020

"Here are several questions that committees should ask to inform their decision making. [1] How did the bank perform relative to budget and/or goals set at the beginning of the year, and how were those results impacted by COVID-19? ... [2] How did the current expected credit loss (CECL) accounting standard impact our performance? ... [3] How have we performed relative to our peers? ... [4] What can we afford? ... [5] How have non-executive employees been impacted? ... [6] How will the communities we serve react to these payouts?"

Tags: Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Executive comp

2020 Year-End Consideration: Partial Retirement Plan Terminations Related to Personnel Reductions
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 13, 2020

"Under recent IRS guidance, employees who are furloughed ... do not need to be counted as terminated participants when determining the turnover rate ... if they are recalled into service prior to the end of the plan year ... [E]mployers should continue to apply vesting schedules to mid-year distributions and forfeit unvested amounts but be prepared for the possibility of a partial plan termination at year-end."

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

New California Law Expands Supplemental Paid Sick Leave Requirements
Vedder Price Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 13, 2020

"AB 1867 ... expands California's supplemental paid sick leave requirement to all private employers with 500 or more employees in the United States, and public and private employers of health care providers or emergency responders who were previously excluded from federal emergency paid sick leave requirements.... This provision went into effect on September 19, 2020. It is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020, or upon the expiration of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, whichever is later. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is currently set to expire on December 31, 2020, although this may be extended as the new year approaches."

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

What Will Healthcare Plans Face After the Pandemic? (PDF)
Buck Link to more items from this source
Oct. 13, 2020

"Employers can help drive the focus back to preventive care and take charge in ensuring chronic conditions are being managed to avoid the inevitable catastrophic healthcare consequences that could follow without intervention.... By focusing on members where intervention can yield a change in future cost, utilization, and outcomes employers may be able to reduce future costs for high-cost claimants. To help close the gaps in screening and avert further unmanaged care consequences, employers should consider [ten action steps]."

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

What the Coronavirus Means for the Future of Financial Planning
Morningstar Link to more items from this source
Oct. 13, 2020

"In addition to wreaking havoc on the economy at large, the pandemic has had sudden and significant repercussions for how individuals conduct their financial planning -- specifically, how they approach spending and saving goals.... The pandemic's economic side effects also have significant implications for when and how older adults plan their retirements.... While the COVID-19 crisis has brought these topics to the forefront, their importance is likely to persist post-pandemic as well."

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

Some Insurers End Broad Telehealth Cost-Sharing Waivers
AISHealth Link to more items from this source
Oct. 13, 2020

"For its members in fully insured commercial plans, Aetna will continue waiving cost sharing for virtual and in-person coronavirus-related diagnosis and treatment through Dec. 31. But its previous policy of waiving fees for all types of telehealth visits ended as of June 4... For members of Anthem's individual market or fully insured employer plans, waived cost sharing for non-coronavirus-related telehealth ended Sept. 30.... UnitedHealthcare says ... that for its individual and fully insured group health plan members, 'there is $0 cost-share for non-COVID-19 related telehealth visits with network providers through Sept. 30, 2020. After that date, members will be responsible for any copay, coinsurance and deductible, according to their benefits plan.' "

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

How Do Business Leaders Respond Both Managerially and Financially to Abrupt Change? (PDF)
Pinnacle Plan Design, LLC, via Journal of Pension Benefits Link to more items from this source
Oct. 12, 2020

"The intention of this article is to provide some ideas related to the questions: How does one respond to abrupt change? How does a company survive through abrupt change? How does a business continue to support its internal team, external referral sources, and clients during extreme change and uncertainty?"

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

How COVID-19 Rules Changes Affect Benefits Compliance Strategy
HUB International Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 12, 2020

"[1] CARES Act: coverage of COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 antibody testing and preventative care (mandated) ... [2] CARES Act: telehealth and high deductible health plans (optional) ... [3] CARES Act and reimbursements for over-the-counter drugs and women's products (optional) ... [4] COBRA changes may have significant impact on employers (mandated) ... [5] HIPAA Special enrollment rights -- Expanded timeframes (mandated change) ... [6] ERISA claims procedures and COVID-19 (mandated change) ... [7] Mid-year election year changes expanded (optional)."

Tags: CARES Act  •  COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  HIPAA  •  Health Plan Administration  •  Health Plan Design

Defined Benefit Pension Plan Contributions: To 2021 and Beyond
Findley Link to more items from this source
Oct. 9, 2020

"Some plan sponsors may choose to defer required 2020 plan contributions to January, 2021, while those companies having a good financial year may opt to contribute on the normal schedule, and may also contribute more than the required amount. The decision to defer 2020 plan contributions, effectively at least doubling their contribution requirements in 2021, should be made only after weighing the pros and cons."

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

DOL and IRS Issue Guidance on COVID-19 Emergency Paid Leave (PDF)
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 9, 2020

18 pages, revised October 8. "[This article] reflects revised temporary regulations issued after a federal district court invalidated certain portions. The revised rules narrow the definition of healthcare providers that an employer can opt to exclude from covered employees and amend the employee notice requirements. The DOL has left intact but clarified two other provisions invalidated by the court: Intermittent leave is subject to employer consent, and work must be available for an employee to take any FFCRA leave."

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

Many Philadelphia Workers Get Public Health Emergency Leave; Healthcare Workers Get Pandemic Pay, Benefits
Jackson Lewis P.C. Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 9, 2020

"Philadelphia workers who are not covered by federal sick leave laws, such as the [FFCRA], are entitled to paid sick leave benefits under the new public health emergency leave bill ... [which remains] in effect until December 31, 2020, unless renewed. Mayor Kenney signed another amendment ... to require compensation of lost wages and medical expenses for certain healthcare employees who contract a communicable disease during a pandemic or epidemic affecting the City of Philadelphia."

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

HHS Renews COVID-19 Public Health Emergency Determination Affecting Group Health Plans
Thomson Reuters / EBIA Link to more items from this source
Oct. 8, 2020

"HHS has renewed its determination that a public health emergency exists nationwide as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, effective October 23, 2020.... The [FFCRA] and [CARES Act] require group health plans to cover -- without cost-sharing, preauthorization, or other medical management requirements -- certain COVID-19-related diagnostic and preventive health services."

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  FFCRA  •  Health Plan Costs  •  Health Plan Design

Protecting 401(k) Participants from Fraud in Turbulent Times
401(k) Specialist Link to more items from this source
Oct. 8, 2020

"The combination of the work-from-home model most workers are experiencing, coupled with the anxiety and emotional distress retirement plan participants could be feeling given market volatility and job losses related to the pandemic, provides a ripe target.... Here are several tips plan sponsors can share with participants to promote fraud prevention."

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

Consumers Don't Understand How Health Insurance Covers Virus Link to more items from this source
Oct. 8, 2020

"47% of consumers surveyed say they don't understand what their health insurance plans will pay for when it comes to coronavirus testing and treatment. And of the respondents who have been tested or treated for coronavirus, 34% of them say they received a bill that they expected their health insurance to cover."

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

How Many Have Lost Jobs with Employer Coverage During the Pandemic?
The Commonwealth Fund Link to more items from this source
Oct. 8, 2020

"[Of] workers who had lost jobs with [employer-sponsored insurance (ESI)] during the pandemic, more than half had been temporarily laid off or furloughed and still had ESI through the employer.... By August, the number of temporarily laid-off workers had fallen to 6.2 million ... [but] the number of permanently laid-off workers increased from 2.6 million to 4.1 million ... Although improvements in the labor market since April have been good news for many laid-off workers, a large minority has already lost or remains at risk of losing ESI."

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

Payer Coverage to Be Fundamentally Changed by COVID-19 (PDF)
Alvarez & Marsal Link to more items from this source
Oct. 8, 2020

"Payers are experiencing short-term cash windfalls as a result of record-low claims expenses. But, are they preparing for the coming economic recession that will undoubtedly negatively impact health plan revenue through a shifting mix of membership? Health plans should use this crisis to think strategically, not only about their current products and sources of revenue, but about new insurance products and market niches."

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

Puerto Rico-Qualified Retirement Plans: 2020 Year-End Amendments Deadline Coming Soon
Ogletree Deakins Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 6, 2020

"[If] during 2020, a Puerto Rico-qualified plan allowed participants to receive in-service hardship withdrawals on account of either the COVID-19 pandemic or the earthquakes that affected the island at the beginning of the year (collectively, 'disaster-relief distributions' or 'DRDs'), the official plan document must be amended accordingly by December 31, 2020."

Tags: CARES Act  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  Local Regulation  •  Retirement Plan Amendments

PBGC Provides Temporary Flexibility for Variable-Rate Premium Calculations
Proskauer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Oct. 6, 2020

"Under the PBGC's new guidance, the deadline to receive 'prior year contributions' that are taken into account is extended to January 1, 2021 for premium filings due on or after March 1, 2020 and before January 1, 2021. Importantly, the PBGC's guidance does not extend the deadline for premium filings, and filings cannot reflect contributions that have not been made. Plan sponsors that want to take advantage of the guidance must instead amend their filings by February 1, 2021 to revise the variable-rate premium calculation data after the eligible 'prior year contributions' are paid to the plan."

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

<< Older News  |  October 21, 2020

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