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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

December 1, 2010

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[Official Guidance]
Text of Interim Final Rule: Health Insurance Issuers Implementing Medical Loss Ratio Requirements under Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PDF)
72 pages. Excerpt: "This interim final regulation adopts and certifies in full all of the recommendations in the model regulation of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners . . . regarding MLRs. It is being published to implement section 2718(a) through (c) of the PHS Act, relating to bringing down the cost of health care coverage through a new MLR standard."
(U.S. Department of Human and Health Services)

[Guidance Overview]
Ohio Health Care Reform Law Suit Partly Dismissed
Excerpt: "A federal judge in Ohio has tossed out parts of a legal challenge to the health care reform law, but kept alive a claim that the new law exceeds the right of Congress to regulate interstate commerce."

Post-Election Survey of Legislative Strategies For Overhauling 2010 Health Law
Excerpt: "[I]t was clear that the message [President Obama] wanted to convey was that the door was open to such modifications, but not complete repeal. There is little doubt that the Republicans will not insist on total repeal, that is, rejection of everything in the present law. However, the meager examples that the President gave to reporters at his post-election press conference do not go anywhere near the modifications that the Republican leadership is certain to require as the price of desisting from their repeal efforts."
(Alvin D. Lurie, Esq. via

White House Announces Joint DOL-ABA Private Attorney Referral Program for FLSA and FMLA Claims
Excerpt: "The new DOL-ABA program begins on December 13, 2010. Under the program, the DOL will provide workers with a toll-free telephone number that will connect them to a newly created ABA-approved attorney referral system. The national toll-free number will, in turn, advise workers of the ABA lawyer referral information service in their area."
(Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP)

Workers Highly Value Health Benefits, But Are Wary of Health Reform
Excerpt: "The great majority of employees (90%) who receive employer-sponsored health benefits said that these benefits are as important as getting a salary, according to the recently released Mercer Workplace Survey."
(Wolters Kluwer)

Liberty University's Challenge of Federal Health Care Law Is Dismissed
Excerpt: "For the second time in two months, a federal judge has upheld the constitutionality of the new health care law, ruling on Tuesday that the requirement that most Americans obtain medical coverage falls within Congress's authority to regulate interstate commerce."
(The New York Times; one-time registration required)

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Benefits in General; Executive Compensation

[Official Guidance]
Text of IRS Notice 2010-80: Modification to the Relief and Guidance on Corrections of Certain Failures of a Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plan to Comply with § 409A(a) (PDF)

17 pages. Excerpt: "This notice modifies certain provisions of Notice 2008-113 . . . and Notice 2010-6 . . . . Specifically, this notice:

[1] Clarifies that the types of plans eligible for relief under Notice 2010-6 include a nonqualified plan linked to a qualified plan or another nonqualified plan, provided that the linkage does not affect the time and form of payments under the plans;

[2] Expands the types of plans eligible for relief under Notice 2010-6 to include certain stock rights that were intended to comply with the requirements of § 409A(a) of the Internal Revenue Code (rather than be exempt from the requirements of § 409A(a));

[3] Provides an additional method of correction under Notice 2010-6 for certain failures involving payments at separation from service subject to the requirement to submit a release of claims or similar document; and provides transition relief permitting the correction of such failures that were in effect on or before December 31, 2010 (including relief from the service provider information reporting requirements);

[4] Provides relief from the service provider information reporting requirements under Notice 2010-6 for corrections made under the transition relief ending December 31, 2010; and

[5] Provides relief from the requirement that service recipients provide certain information to service providers under Notice 2008-113 for corrections made in the same taxable year as the failure occurs."
(U.S. Internal Revenue Service)

[Guidance Overview]
Additional IRS Relief Under Section 409A Document Failure Correction Program
Excerpt: "The notice provides an additional correction method for certain failures involving payments at separation from service subject to the requirement to submit a release of claims or similar document. It also provides transition relief permitting the correction of such failures that were in effect on or before Dec. 31, 2010 (including relief from the service provider information-reporting requirements)."
(American Institute of Certified Public Accountants)

[Guidance Overview]
DOL Rescinds Form T-1 Reporting, Returns Subsidiary Organization Reporting to Form LM-2 and Modifies LM-3 Reporting
Excerpt: "[DOL's] Office of Labor-Management Standards announced the release of a final rule rescinding the Form T-1, Trust Annual Report and its implementing regulations. . . . The rule returns 'subsidiary organization' reporting to the Form LM-2, Labor Organization Annual Report and modifies subsidiary organization reporting on the Form LM-3, Labor Organization Annual Report."
(International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans)

[Guidance Overview]
IRS Releases 2010 Version of Form 3903 for Use by Individuals Reporting Deductible Moving Expenses
Excerpt: "Form 3903 helps employees calculate the amount they can exclude from income if tax-free reimbursements do not cover all of their qualifying expenses, or the amount they must report as additional taxable income if untaxed reimbursements exceed their qualifying expenses."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Employers Should Consider Ways to Mitigate Stressors for Workers in Lower Socio-Economic Groups
Excerpt: "Employers also might want to put a greater focus on the economic stressors that low-income individuals face, the research suggests. The findings speak to the importance of addressing factors that are more common to those in a lower social class and could lead to a lower level of satisfaction at work, such as the lack of transportation or the availability and affordability of childcare."
(Human Resource Executive Online)

On the Tax Inequities of Domestic Partner Benefits and a Practice Known As 'Grossing-Up'
Excerpt: "Grossing up . . . refers to the practice of employers making employees whole for additional taxed owed, thereby ensuring that employees receive the true dollar amount promised to them as compensation."
(Employee Benefit News; one-time free registration required)

DOL Announces Civil and Criminal Actions to Enforce Timely Deposit of Employee Contributions in Retirement and Health Plans
Excerpt: "This DOL announcement and the accompanying fact sheets reinforce the seriousness of misusing plan assets and highlight the DOL's continuing concern about misuse of funds -- one the DOL sees as increasing due to the increased financial difficulties many businesses face in the current economic crisis."
(Employee Benefits Institute of America)

Webcasts and Conferences

"ERISA Workshop" - Denver
Nationwide on December 8, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"ERISA Workshop" - Seattle
Nationwide on December 10, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Issuing 1099-R Forms for New Distribution Types" Web Seminar
Nationwide on December 9, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Keeping Current - A 2011 Review" Web Seminar
Nationwide on December 21, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Making Sense of Required Minimum Distributions" Web Seminar
Nationwide on December 16, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Making the Most of In-Plan Roth Rollovers" Web Seminar
Nationwide on December 7, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

"Making the Most of In-Plan Roth Rollovers" Web Seminar, An Encore Presentation
Nationwide on December 14, 2010
presented by SunGard Relius

In the Know: How Can Retirement Literacy Improve Women’s Retirement Decisions?
in District of Columbia on December 2, 2010
presented by Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)

IRS Notice 2010-84 - "In-Plan" Roth Conversions
Nationwide on December 3, 2010
presented by Convergent Retirement Plan Solutions, LLC

Press Releases

WISER Conference On Retirement Literacy December 2
Women’s Institute for a Secure Retirement (WISER)

Newly Posted Employee Benefits Jobs

Retirement Planning Advisor
for Retirement Advisory Services Corp
in PA

Retirement Services Manager
for District of Columbia Retirement Board
in DC

Business Analyst
for Enterprise Iron

Defined Contribution Administrator
for Merit Benefits Group, Inc.
in IL

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