Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

June 21, 2017

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Daily Valuation Analyst
Fringe Benefits Design, Inc.
in MN

Retirement Plan Services Representative
Hamilton Capital Management, Inc.
in OH

Retirement Plan Consultant
Qualified Plans LLC
in AL, GA, IL, MA, Telecommute

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Webcasts and Conferences

Post-Election Symposium: Health Care Policy in 2017
RECORDED
Alliance for Health Reform

Top 10 Retirement Plan Internal Control Pitfalls - and How to Avoid Them
RECORDED
RSM US LLP

Effective ESOP Administrative Committees
RECORDED
National Center for Employee Ownership [NCEO]

Fiduciary Rules in the New World: Top 10 Ways to Reduce Your Liability
RECORDED
RSM US LLP

Sun Life Summit 2017 - When Will Employee Benefits Be Uber-ized?
RECORDED
Sun Life Financial

IRA Update - DOL Fiduciary Regulation
June 22, 2017 WEBCAST
Collin W. Fritz & Associates, Ltd.

Inherited IRAs for Non-Spouse Beneficiaries
June 27, 2017 WEBCAST
Collin W. Fritz & Associates, Ltd.

GASB 75 OPEB Implementation: Accounting & Auditing Considerations
June 28, 2017 WEBCAST
AICPA

Employment Legislation in New York State: Paid Family Leave and More
June 28, 2017 WEBCAST
Ogletree Deakins

Health Care Reform Update: The ACA, the ACHA and the Perils of an Uncertain Marketplace
July 12, 2017 in TX
Worldwide Employee Benefits Network [WEB] - Houston Chapter

Benefits Boot Camp
July 27, 2017 in TX
ISCEBS - Houston Chapter

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[Guidance Overview]

Arizona Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Update: Can We Use Our Old PTO System?
"As Arizona employers prepare for the imminent July 1 effective date of Arizona's first mandatory paid sick time law (The Fair Wages and Healthy Families Act), one of the questions that we get most frequently is, 'If we have a Paid Time Off, do we need to have a separate policy for paid sick time?' The answer is: Possibly not, but you still might want to."
Bryan Cave LLP

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[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clears the Air as to Tax Treatment of Benefits Under Traditional Health Fixed Indemnity Coverage
"[S]ome overly broad statements in [CCM 201703013] suggesting that an employer could not exclude indemnity payments from wages of employees where such payments were less than unreimbursed medical expenses appeared to be contrary to established law with regard to more traditional fully-insured health indemnity plans.... In a [CCM 201719025] dated April 24, 2017, the IRS has made it clear that nothing has changed with respect to the federal tax treatment of fully-insured fixed indemnity coverage."
Alston & Bird LLP and Groom Law Group, via Employers Council on Flexible Compensation [ECFC]

FMLA Abuse: Serving Jail Time, Moonlighting, Vacationing and More
"People who abuse the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) do so for a variety of off-the-wall reasons: to serve a jail sentence, attend a criminal court hearing, travel to exotic locations, go fishing or build a family business, for example. But even if the fraudulent conduct is outrageous, whether an employer prevails in an FMLA leave abuse case often depends on whether it has conducted an exhaustive investigation[.]"
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Employee Engagement, Soliciting Feedback Helps Humana Boost Its Wellness Program
"In five years, the insurer was able to increase participation in the program so that 72.4% of its staffers reached 'silver' status or higher. The number of employees taking a health assessment increased from 65% to 92% between 2011 and 2016, and the number undergoing a biometric health screening increased from 74% to 87%."
FierceHealthcare

Massachusetts Scales Back Plan for Health Care Fee on Employers
"Governor Charlie Baker's administration has scaled back a plan to assess a controversial new fee on employers to cover more of the state's health care costs and asked lawmakers Tuesday to allow an increase to an existing fee that could raise $200 million per year.... Baker initially proposed a $300 million new fee that would have charged businesses $2,000 per worker to help pay the costs of MassHealth, the state Medicaid program."
The Boston Globe

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2017 Health Savings Accounts Facts

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More Than 50 Employer Groups Urge Senate to Preserve Employer-Sponsored Health Benefits
"The letter laid out several proposals for the Senate to consider when crafting their health care bill, including: [1] Ensure that an HSA-qualified health plan can offer first-dollar coverage, or waive beneficiary costs, for products and services likely to prevent catastrophic costs later; [2] Completely separate excepted benefits (like telehealth and onsite medical clinics) from HSA-contribution eligibility; and [3] Streamline rules for rollovers from other accounts to HSAs, while simplifying rules relating to which dependents' costs can be covered from the primary insured's HSA."
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

[Opinion]

Amid Market Uncertainty, Trump Administration Retreats from Federal Oversight
"[T]he Obama administration encouraged states to take the lead in enforcement of many of the ACA's insurance reforms. But the additional actions of Trump officials suggest a broader deregulatory approach that could weaken oversight at a time when insurers face pressure -- because of broad uncertainty regarding federal policy -- to mitigate risk by designing plans attractive only to those in good health."
The Commonwealth Fund

Benefits in General

Tenth Circuit: Plaintiff Bears the Burden of Proving Causation in ERISA Breach of Fiduciary Duty Cases
"The Tenth Circuit reasoned that the statute limits liability to losses 'resulting from' a breach of fiduciary duty, which dictates that the burden remains with the plaintiff at all times, since the plain language of the statute makes causation an element of the claim. This holding is in line with Second, Sixth, Ninth, and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals." [Pioneer Centres Holding Co. Employee Stock Ownership Trust v. Alerus Financial, N.A., No. 15-1227 (10th Cir. June 5, 2017]
Littler

Tide Is Turning Against Discretionary Authority and the Abuse-of-Discretion Standard of Review (PDF)
"[L]egislators, courts, and regulators have all moved to severely limit the discretion of plan administrators and walk back the deference traditionally afforded their decisions under the deferential, abuse -of-discretion standard of review.... Because of the Orzechowski decision, ERISA plans in California, and maybe elsewhere in the Ninth Circuit, that rely on a 'policy, contract, certificate, or agreement' have now lost the benefit of deferential judicial review.... The Second Circuit has abandoned the 'substantial compliance' doctrine and held that even minor violations of the [DOL] claim regulations deprive a plan administrator of the abuse-of-discretion standard of review."
Groom Law Group

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Beyond the 403(b): Things to Know About Deferred Comp for Executives of Non-Profit Organizations
"[1] First, there are two types of 457 plans: 457(b) plans and 457(f) plans.... [2] You (usually) can't roll to an IRA.... [3] The assets belong to the organization.... [4] The normal 'reasonable compensation' rules still apply.... [5] DOL notification is required."
E is for ERISA

Press Releases

NTSA Names Neese as New Executive Director
American Retirement Association

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BenefitsLink Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9595. Copyright 2017 BenefitsLink.com, 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 BenefitsLink.com, Inc., or in the case of third party materials, the owner of those materials. You may not alter or remove any trademark, copyright or other notices from copies of the content.

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