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Employee Benefits Jobs

401k Account Manager
LT Trust
in CO

Benefit Plan Documentation Specialist
Leading Benefits Law Firm

Relationship Manager
HK Financial Services, Inc.
in IA

Retirement Services Specialist
HK Financial Services, Inc.
in IA

Defined Contribution Plan Administrator
Established Regional TPA
in FL

Health & Welfare Benefits Coordinator
Prominent Taft-Hartley Benefit Funds
in NY

Account Manager, Retirement Plan Administration
Ohio National Financial Services
in OH

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Webcasts and Conferences

Connecting Health to Wealth: The Role of Consumer Health Care in Preparing Millennials for the Future

ERISA Plan Investment Committee Governance: Avoiding Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims
September 12, 2017 WEBCAST

ASPPA Cincinnati Regional Conference
November 13, 2017 in KY
ASPPA [American Society of Pension Professionals & Actuaries]

2018 Business Management Conference (2018BMC)
January 13, 2018 in AZ
NIPA [National Institute of Pension Administrators]

ADA & FMLA Compliance Update
April 19, 2018 in DC
National Employment Law Institute

View All Webcasts and Conferences

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New Topics on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

New Comments and Topics

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[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2017-41: Information Reporting on Minimum Essential Coverage Under a Catastrophic Plan (PDF)
"This notice extends issuer voluntary reporting for 2017 coverage under a catastrophic plan enrolled in through an Exchange. Accordingly, issuers may, but are not required to, report 2017 coverage under a catastrophic plan enrolled in through an Exchange. Issuers reporting coverage under a catastrophic plan are not subject to information reporting penalties under Sections 6721 and 6722 of the Internal Revenue Code with respect to returns and statements voluntarily filed and furnished under this notice."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]


Online Learning Course: COBRA

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Even with ACA coverage easier for individuals to obtain, group health plans must continue to offer COBRA coverage. This course explains technicalities of COBRA, including who is entitled and how to administer.

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Releases Draft 2017 Versions of Form 1094/1095 Information Returns
"The draft 2017 forms show few changes from 2016.... Form 1094-B, which is the transmittal for Form 1095-B, is unchanged.... The only change [to Form 1094-C] is removal of the line 22 box for 'Section 4980H Transition Relief.' This relief was applicable only to the 2015 plan year... There are no substantive changes on the face of [Forms 1095-B and 1095-C].... [T[he draft instructions to the forms [are expected] in the coming weeks, which will provide a more complete picture of reporting for the 2017 tax year."
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Self-Assessment Tool for Public Employers Highlights Common Fringe Benefit Errors
"Form 14581-A includes a series of 11 yes-or-no questions. The first asks whether the employer follows the accountable plan rules when reimbursing employees' business expenses and offers a summary of the three main requirements. The other questions ask whether the employer has included the [specific] employer-provided benefits as wages[.]"
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

HR Director May Be Individually Liable for FMLA and Wage Violations
"A human resources director named, individually, as a defendant in a FMLA and wage lawsuit by an employee fired upon returning from medical leave, will remain on the hook in the lawsuit ... Denying the defendants' motion to dismiss, the court concluded that the plaintiff sufficiently alleged that the individual defendant had supervisory authority over her and was responsible in part for the alleged FMLA violation." [Edelman v. Source Healthcare Analytics, LLC, No. 16-6280 (E.D. Pa. July 18, 2017]
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

State Offset Statutes Put Brakes to Insurer's Effort to Half Disability Benefits
"A recent ruling from the [Second Circuit] looked at whether a disability insurer could properly offset an insured's personal-injury recovery and decided that Section 5-335 of the New York General Obligations Law precluded the claimed offset. Section 5-335 provides that personal-injury settlements 'shall be conclusively presumed' not to include 'any compensation for the cost of health-care services, loss of earnings or other economic loss[es]' that 'have been or are obligated to be paid or reimbursed by an insurer.' The court held that the New York statute survived an [ERISA] pre-emption challenge and precluded Aetna's efforts to reduce Savatore Arnone's disability benefits." [Arnone v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., No. 15-2322 (2nd Cir. June 22, 2017)]
DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC

Is Your Cafeteria Plan Document Full of Plot Holes?
"The ERISA plan document describes the legal requirements for the ERISA plan; very often, it is a wrap document that wraps all ERISA benefits ... The cafeteria plan document ... summarizes the qualified benefits (for example, medical, dental, vision, health FSA, and dependent care FSA) that an employer allows employees to pay for on a pretax basis through salary reductions.... The 2007 proposed cafeteria plan regulations and other guidance provide several content requirements."
HR Daily Advisor

Millennials Seek Employer-Sponsored Learning Opportunities
"Sixty-three percent of Millennials surveyed indicated that they look for jobs at learning organizations where they will have access to training, workshops, and company-funded postgraduate schooling ... [A]mong Millennials with less than 2 years of professional experience, the top motivator to take a job is having the opportunity to grow and learn leadership skills. When looking for job opportunities, 55% of survey participants pointed to leadership opportunities as a key consideration."
HR Daily Advisor

Federal Judge Certifies Class Against ILWU-PMA Welfare Plan in Lawsuit Alleging ERISA Violations
"The original complaint alleged Zenith, and its agent TC3, failed to properly process member medical claims leading to many claims going unpaid, and members having to foot the medical bills out of pocket.... The suit also alleged Zenith and the PMA Trustees' breach of their fiduciary duty harmed the Plan as a whole by, among other things, causing doctors to stop providing services the the employees and their beneficiaries." [Armijo v. ILWU-PMA Welfare Plan, No. 15-1403 (C.D. Cal. Aug. 1, 2017)]
AVYM Healthcare Revenue Consultants

Under Trump, Hospitals Face Same Penalties Embraced by Obama
"Amid all the turbulence over the future of the [ACA], one facet continues unchanged: President Donald Trump's administration is penalizing more than half the nation's hospitals for having too many patients return within a month. Medicare is punishing 2,573 hospitals, just two dozen short of what it did last year under former President Barack Obama ... Starting in October, the federal government will cut those hospitals' payments by as much as 3 percent for a year."
Kaiser Health News


Sponsored by

For over 20 years, we've helped employers find the best-informed candidates to fill their benefits job openings -- learn more!

ASBCA Grants $253 Million Northrop Post-Retirement Benefits Claim
"In rejecting DCMA's form-over-substance argument, the [Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals (ASBCA)] signaled that it will take a harder look at whether a contractor's noncompliance with a regulation was material and whether the claimed costs are valid and were incurred even if there has been a technical discrepancy in the contractor's cost accounting practices. While contractors must still comply with cost accounting rules, the ASBCA's decision strikes the right balance in situations where the contractor takes a good faith position that deviates from the applicable rules but the government denies a claim due to a technicality."
Blank Rome LLP

COBRA and Severance Agreements: A Gift or a Curse?
"If the individual is left enrolled as an active employee, fully-insured employers may risk violating the medical plan eligibility requirements in their insurance contract. Similarly, self-funded employers may violate the coverage provisions of their stop-loss agreement. Consequently, failure to offer COBRA can expose an employer to significant financial liability for claims not paid by an insurance carrier or stop-loss insurer.... If the severance agreement includes an employer contribution toward the cost of COBRA coverage, minimize tax consequences by paying the COBRA premium directly to the plan instead of reimbursing the former employee."
Hill, Chesson & Woody

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Disaster Relief Announcement MI-2017-01, for Victims of Severe Storms and Flooding in Michigan
"Victims of the Severe Storms and Flooding that took place beginning on June 22, 2017 in parts of Michigan may qualify for tax relief from the [IRS].... Individuals who reside or have a business in Bay, Gladwin, Isabella, and Midland Counties, and the Saginaw Chippewa Tribe within Isabella County may qualify for tax relief."
Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Administration Looks to Delay or Amend Disability Claims Regs
"The [DOL's] regulatory agenda was updated on July 20 to include a project to 'delay or amend' the final regulations on disability claims procedures. The abstract included for this agenda item indicates that the DOL is reviewing the final regulations for 'questions of law and policy' and schedules a notice of proposed rulemaking for September 2017.... Although the DOL's updated agenda clouds the future of these regulations, it is possible they will take effect as scheduled in the same or similar form."
Willis Towers Watson

Benefits Litigation Update, July 2017 (PDF)
Articles include: [1] The importance and difficulty of controlling venue in ERISA litigation; [2] What's with GICs? Is any plan investment reasonable? [3] Fourth Circuit finally finds in favor of 401(k) plans' fiduciaries; [4] The parameters of the church plan exemption under ERISA; [5] Is an SPD enough to enforce subrogation after a medical liability settlement? [6] Support for plan service providers and sponsors in setting plan costs.
Epstein Becker Green

Discussions on
the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Can a Dependent Life Insurance Policy Pay Death Benefits to a Beneficiary Other Than the Employee?
"Is there any legal requirement that an employee must be the beneficiary on a dependent life insurance policy? I see this in many policies and I'm not sure why this is the case. I have a situation where an employee designated his children as beneficiaries on the policy on his spouse's life. The employee made this designation on the dependent life insurance enrollment form provided by the insurer. The insurer did not object to the designation when originally made. Unfortunately, the employee's spouse passed away recently and the insurer is now saying it will not pay the children because the policy language requires the proceeds to be paid to the employee."
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

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David Rhett Baker, J.D., Editor and Publisher
Holly Horton, Business Manager

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

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