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December 5, 2016 logo logo
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Employee Benefits Jobs

401(k) Retirement Plan Administrator
Nicholas Pension Consultants
in CA

Retirement Plan Consultant
Benefit Consultants Group
in NJ

Retirement Plan Field Associate
Cultural Institutions Retirement System
in NY

Retirement Plan Consultant
The Pension Studio

Relationship Manager
Newport Group
in KS

Retirement Plan Education Specialist
Newport Group
in CA, TX

Experienced Paralegal
Evercore Trust Company, N.A.
in NY

Senior ESOP Administrator - Review
Blue Ridge ESOP Associates
in VA, Telecommute

Qualified Retirement Plan Administrator
Compensation Planning Inc.
in RI

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2016-75: 2016 Guidance with Respect to the Tax Credit for Employee Health Insurance Expenses of Certain Small Employers in Wisconsin (PDF)
"This notice provides guidance on section 45R of the Internal Revenue Code for certain small employers that cannot offer a qualified health plan (QHP) through the Small Business Health Options Program (SHOP) Exchange because the employer's principal business address is in a county in Wisconsin in which a QHP through a SHOP Exchange will not be available for all or part of 2016 calendar year. Section IV of this notice includes a list of those counties. With respect to those employers in Wisconsin, this notice provides guidance on how to satisfy the requirements for the section 45R credit for coverage provided during the 2016 calendar year and the portion of a health plan year beginning in 2016, if any, that continues into 2017."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Institute for Apprenticeship, Training and Education Programs

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Registration fees increase $300 tomorrow This premier conference will help create an effective apprenticeship program. Register today to discuss a variety of topics from recruitment and retention to adult learning and fiduciary responsibility.

[Guidance Overview]

ACA Nondiscrimination Rules Will Take Effect January 1
"You are still subject to Section 1557 even if you are unaware that you are receiving federal financial assistance. This could include grants, loans, government contracts, and other similar types of assistance.... Furthermore, if Section 1557 applies to an employer, it also applies to all employer-sponsored employee health benefit programs, which include health coverage, wellness programs, health clinics, and long-term care coverage or insurance."
Fisher Phillips

Employers Shouldn't Wait to Find Answers to Challenges of Unwinding the ACA (PDF)
"Plan sponsors may want to look to high deductible health plans and health savings accounts, which President-elect Donald Trump and Republican lawmakers favor ... Employers that choose this route will have to boost their education efforts for employees regarding basic health literacy concepts, such as copayments, coinsurance and deductibles.... [P]lan participants also need to be aware of cost-comparison tools, such as those for prescription drugs[.]"
Winstead PC

How Private Exchanges Are Coming of Age
"The average number of products employers have made available on private exchanges has been inching upward over the past three years -- from 12.9 in 2013 to 14.2 in 2015 ... Employees at both large and small organizations had a choice of an average of six medical plans. (Some businesses went even further, with 10 percent offering 12 or more medical plans.) Likewise, the number of dental (three) and vision (four) options were the same on average regardless of company size."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Mental Health Parity Update (PDF)
"The White House Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Parity Task Force recently released its final report recommending that agencies' future budgets include funding to expand MHPAEA compliance audit capacity. It also identified a need for more guidance on what group health plans and issuers are required to disclose regarding their mental health and substance use disorder benefits."
Xerox HR Services


How to Survive an ACA Audit

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Dec. 13 webinar. Ensure that your policies and procedures mitigate audit inquiries from various federal agencies. Documentation and record retention will be the key to minimizing potential penalties.

National Health Spending: Faster Growth in 2015 as Coverage Expands and Utilization Increases (PDF)
"Total nominal US health care spending increased 5.8 percent and reached $3.2 trillion in 2015. On a per person basis, spending on health care increased 5.0 percent, reaching $9,990. The share of gross domestic product devoted to health care spending was 17.8 percent in 2015, up from 17.4 percent in 2014."
Health Affairs


D.C. Council Should Rethink Paid Leave Act
"While the desired outcome is good[,] the law, if enacted, will likely have serious unintended consequences. The first problem is that the new law will levy about $246 million in new taxes.... That is about what the city raises from taxing corporate income."
Quarles & Brady LLP


The Problem with One-Size-Fits-All Health Insurance
"[E]mployer-sponsored health insurance is more highly subsidized for the rich than the poor.... But both high-wage and low-wage workers at the same company are effectively forced into the same plans. To qualify for the tax exclusion, federal law requires that companies offer the same plans to all or most of their employees, with no consideration for the variable demand for health care. Employees then pay for their fringe benefits by taking home lower wages -- and a flat, across-the-board cut in wages burdens low-wage workers disproportionately."
The New York Times; subscription may be required

Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans

Does a Separation Agreement and Release End the Relationship Between an Executive and an Employer?
"[A] federal district court in California ruled in favor of the former executive seeking to recover vested SERP benefits that the company claimed he had released.... The court ... essentially held that a company cannot trick a former employee into signing away rights to compensation and benefits to which he is indisputably entitled." [Buster v. Mechanics Bank (N.D. Cal. Nov. 17, 2016)]
Winston & Strawn LLP

Press Releases

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2016, Inc. All materials contained in this newsletter are protected by United States copyright law and may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, displayed, published or broadcast without the prior written permission of, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of that content. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notice from copies of the content.

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