Subscribe Now!
Free Daily News, Jobs, Webcasts, Discussions
Display and Distribute
Your Job Openings
COVID-19 News
COVID-19 Webcasts

Featured Jobs

DC Plan Administrator

Retirement, LLC
(Telecommute / Oklahoma City OK / Sioux Falls SD)

Retirement, LLC logo

Manager/Supervisor of Benefits and Payroll Compensation

Virginia Farm Bureau
(Richmond VA)

Virginia Farm Bureau logo

Retirement Plan Consultant

Jocelyn Pension Consulting
(Telecommute / Boulder CO / CA)

Jocelyn Pension Consulting logo

Retirement Plan Administrator

Jordan & Associates Retirement Services
(Telecommute / Santa Rosa CA)

Jordan & Associates Retirement Services logo

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator

Pension Investors Corp of Orlando Inc
(Altamonte Springs FL)

Pension Investors Corp of Orlando Inc logo

Investment Advisor

SWBC Retirement Plan Services
(Austin TX)

SWBC Retirement Plan Services logo

Retirement Plan Administrator

Premier Plan Consultants
(Telecommute / San Diego CA)

Premier Plan Consultants logo

Retirement Plan Administrator

Howard Simon & Associates
(Deerfield IL)

Howard Simon & Associates logo

Legal Director

Pension Rights Center
(Telecommute / Washington DC)

Pension Rights Center logo

DB/DC Plan Consultant

Small NY Actuarial TPA Firm
(Telecommute / CT / NJ / NY)

Retirement Plan Administrator

Prime Benefits
(Telecommute / Baltimore MD)

Prime Benefits logo

Retirement Plan Administration Assistant

Jordan & Associates Retirement Services
(Santa Rosa CA)

Jordan & Associates Retirement Services logo

Free Daily News and Jobs

“BenefitsLink continues to be the most valuable resource we have at the firm.”

-- An attorney subscriber

Mobile App image LinkedIn icon
Twitter icon
Facebook icon
<< Older News  |  More Recent News >>

News

All News > Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Get this news and more in our free daily email newsletters.
COBRA/HIPAA Outbreak Guidance – an Answer (Finally)
Kushner & Company Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 26, 2021

"Effectively, the guidance says that all of the 'pause' buttons are on an individual-by-individual rolling basis. Thus for example, an employee who terminated prior to March 1, 2020 but whose COBRA 60-day election timeline had already begun to run but not yet expired, the timeline suspensions will end on February 28, 2021."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  HIPAA

EEOC Withdraws Proposed Wellness Incentive Rules
Epstein Becker Green Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 26, 2021

"One of the EEOC Commissioners ... [stated] on February 18, 2021, that the rules remain under consideration at EEOC ... The incentive issue has particular currency and importance today as many employers consider whether to offer incentives to encourage employees to receive COVID-19 vaccinations."

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

IRS Clarifies FSA Relief in CAA, Provides More Flexibility for Cafeteria Plan Elections
Mercer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 26, 2021

"In this most recent notice, the IRS broadened the relief ... so that an employer may allow election changes for all pre-tax health benefits in the 2021 plan year without a qualifying reason. The rules retain the written attestation requirement of other coverage for revoking medical coverage."

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

Retroactive COVID-19 Supplemental Leave Benefit Enacted in Unincorporated Los Angeles County
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 25, 2021

"This 2021 urgency ordinance takes effect immediately and is retroactive to January 1, 2021.... [It] provides all employees, regardless of the size of the employer, who are not food sector workers, healthcare providers, or first responders ... and who perform work in unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County, with COVID-19-related leave entitlement."

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

Retirement Risk Readiness Study: Concern Over Pandemic's Effect on Finances, Rise in Earlier-Than-Expected Retirements
Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America Link to more items from this source
Feb. 24, 2021

"More than two-thirds (68%) of retired respondents said they retired earlier than expected ... Nearly seven in 10 (69%) Americans (age 21+ in 2007) said they believe the COVID-19 pandemic will have a greater overall economic impact than the Great Recession (2007-2009), with retired respondents feeling most adamant (86%, versus 69% for near-retired and 68% for pre-retired)."

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

2021 Updates to California Local COVID-19 Paid Sick Leave Requirements
Reed Smith Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 24, 2021

"[N]umerous California counties and cities have extended their COVID-19 paid sick leave ordinances and imposed additional requirements for employers. To date, these include: Los Angeles (City and County), City of Long Beach, Sacramento (City and County), San Francisco, City of Oakland, San Mateo County, Sonoma County, Santa Rosa, and San Jose."

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

Access to Guaranteed Lifetime Income Boosts Employee Confidence and Retirement Savings During Pandemic
TIAA Link to more items from this source
Feb. 24, 2021

"[M]ore than three in ten employees say they increased their retirement savings contributions in the last year ... 80 percent of employees who have guaranteed lifetime income in retirement -- like an in-plan annuity -- say they feel confident in their progress toward their long-term savings goals, compared to 45 percent of those who do not have a source of guaranteed lifetime income."

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

Survey Says: Has the Pandemic Changed Your Retirement Date?
PLANSPONSOR; free registration may be required Link to more items from this source
Feb. 22, 2021

"Nearly two-thirds (64%) of respondents said the pandemic has not changed their retirement date. Less than one in 10 (8.3%) reported that the pandemic has changed their retirement date to later than they planned, and 16.7% said they will be retiring earlier than planned. Only 2.8% said they never plan to retire, and 8.3% reported they don't know if the pandemic changed their retirement date."

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

One-Year Expiration of Outbreak Period: It's (Probably) Time to Pay Your COBRA Premiums
Seyfarth Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 22, 2021

"[T]he relief afforded under these rules will expire effective February 28, 2021 -- and this expiration would be a 'hard stop,' meaning there will not be a 60 day 'wind down' period as anticipated in the original guidance.... The DOL seems more open to seeking avenues to further extend the Outbreak Period.... The IRS is less keen on issuing any sort of extension."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Extended Deadlines Ending for COBRA, HIPAA Special Enrollments, Benefits Claims and Appeals
HUB International Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 22, 2021

"[T]he IRS and DOL may attempt to reinterpret the Outbreak Period relief, such as by saying that it applies on a participant-by-participant basis.... If employers did not communicate the impending February 28, 2021 Outbreak Period expiration, they should make sure they do so now."

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

Navigating Voluntary COVID-19 Vaccination Programs and Incentives
Mintz Link to more items from this source
Feb. 22, 2021

"Armed with the understanding that voluntary vaccination programs are generally permissible provided they are truly voluntary, the question arises: can employers affirmatively incentivize employees to become vaccinated? And if so, how do employers design incentives that ensure their vaccination program remains truly voluntary and does not in effect force participation in potential violation of the anti-discrimination laws?"

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

New York State Issues Guidance on COVID-19 Quarantine Leave
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 19, 2021

"Based on this guidance, it appears the New York [DOL] has ruled that an employee may use quarantine leave for up to three COVID-19 orders."

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

The New Better: Strategic Health Plan Innovation in a Post-Pandemic Environment
Aon Link to more items from this source
Feb. 18, 2021

10 pages. "Digital health apps (47%), self-management tools (41%), and navigation and consumer engagement platforms (41%) have emerged as lead areas of interest for benefits leaders ... 36% of employers are interested in a virtual-directed health plan model, with a virtual primary care physician who directs all care, including coordination with the traditional brick-and-mortar health system."

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

EEOC Withdraws Proposed Rules on Employer Wellness Incentives, Leaving Uncertain the Permissibility of COVID-19 Vaccination Incentives
K&L Gates Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 18, 2021

"In the absence of specific guidance from the EEOC, if employers offer a vaccine incentive, they must be mindful of employees who cannot receive a COVID-19 vaccination because of religious beliefs or other medical conditions."

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

'Outbreak Period' Ending February 28, 2021?
TRI-AD Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 18, 2021

"Without an extension of this 12-month expiration date, [the author] believes the clock starts again on March 1, 2021 for COBRA, certain HIPAA special enrollment, and COBRA qualifying events and claims appeals."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  HIPAA

Clock May Begin Ticking Soon for Important Deadlines Suspended Due to COVID-19
Groom Law Group Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 18, 2021

"Adding to the confusion is a one-year statutory limit that applies to extensions mandated by the Departments. Since the Outbreak Period Extensions were first effective as of March 1, 2020, that one-year limit will be up shortly.... [P]lans and plan administrators should decide whether to end the extensions on midnight on February 28, 2021 based on this one-year limit."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  HIPAA

Retirement Insecurity 2021: Americans' Views of Retirement (PDF)
National Institute on Retirement Security [NIRS] Link to more items from this source
Feb. 18, 2021

"The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many Americans' concerns and plans for retirement ... A large swath of Americans is concerned about their economic security in retirement.... Americans are highly supportive of Social Security, and there is some support for expanding the program.... When it comes to pensions, Americans have highly favorable views about their role in the retirement equation and see these plans as better than 401(k) savings accounts."

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

Best Practices for Management of Intermittent FMLA Leave
Mintz Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 17, 2021

"[1] Have clear written policies and practices.... [2] Educate, engage, and communicate.... [3] Be organized.... [4] Train managers.... [5] Treat employees taking FMLA leave the same as those who take non-FMLA leave.... [6] Account for other state leave laws.... [7] Consider COVID-19's continued impact.... [8] Remember the ADA."

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

'You Just Missed the Exit', or 'Where's the Guidance on Ending the Outbreak Period?'
Lockton Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 17, 2021

"[H]ere we are, almost a year out, and the president hasn't rescinded the national emergency. But under ERISA, the feds only had the authority to suspend these deadlines for a year.... So, what happens on March 1 with respect to all those folks who, since then, haven't yet elected COBRA, paid their COBRA premium, submitted claims, applied for HIPAA special enrollment, or filed an appeal on a denied claim?"

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)  •  HIPAA

Can an Employer Terminate COBRA Coverage During the Pandemic's Outbreak Period?
Kushner & Company Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 17, 2021

"As the pandemic continues on, employers have reported that COBRA qualified beneficiaries are not making elections, or are making no or short payments of premiums ... Without guidance, the best analog is to look at how the employer treats COBRA beneficiaries during the non-pandemic election period, and during the late payment grace period."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

401(k) Plan Sponsor and Participant Behavior During the Global Pandemic (PDF)
T. Rowe Price Link to more items from this source
Feb. 17, 2021

"68% of plans with assets greater than $25 million adopted at least one CARES Act Provision. 9% of participants with access to provisions, in plans with assets greater than $25 million, used at least one CARES Act provision. 23% of participants indicated that they plan on repaying their Coronavirus Related Distribution (CRD)."

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

COVID-19 and COBRA Continuation: Where Do We Stand?
DataPath; free registration required Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 16, 2021

"With the pandemic still ongoing, the end of COBRA extensions is uncertain and has created myriad issues for beneficiaries, employers, health insurance plans, and third party COBRA administrators.... With the February 28 date looming, several scenarios could play out. "

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)

What's in Los Angeles County's New COVID Paid Leave Law
Constangy, Brooks, Smith & Prophete LLP Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 16, 2021

"Last month, the county passed an urgency ordinance requiring all private employers in unincorporated parts of Los Angeles County to provide up to 80 hours of supplemental paid sick leave for certain COVID-19-related reasons, provided that the employee did not previously exhaust available leave under the FFCRA or the original supplemental paid sick leave ordinance.... [T]he new ordinance applies to all employers regardless of the number of employees."

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

Plan Design During Challenging Times: Actionable Insights from Behavioral Finance (PDF)
VOYA Financial Link to more items from this source
Feb. 16, 2021

12 pages. "[If] we make it easy to draw down savings, how can we make it even easier to accumulate savings once the hardship is over? It's an especially crucial question given that policy makers also made it easier for workers to pull out savings during the Great Recession of 2008-2009.... This whitepaper proposes changes to plan design that can boost savings once the economy recovers."

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

Extent of Pandemic Extensions of COBRA Deadlines Is Unclear
Proskauer Link to more items from this source
[Guidance Overview]
Feb. 15, 2021

"[The] rule is clear that disregarding relevant time periods is limited to one year. However, what is not clear is whether the tolling relief expires at the end of this month (i.e., one year from the March 1, 2020 start of the outbreak period), with all tolled periods re-starting for affected individuals, or whether the one year limit is merely a cap to be applied on an individual-by-individual basis."

Tags: COBRA  •  Coronavirus (COVID-19)


<< Older News  |  More Recent News >>

© 2021 BenefitsLink.com, Inc.