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Retirement and ESOP Account Administrator
Alerus Financial
in MI, MN, NH

Team Lead / 401(k) Pension Administrator
Nicholas Pension Consultants
in CA

Plan Document & Compliance Specialist
Northeast Professional Planning Group, Inc.
in NJ

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When Is Your Flexible Benefit Plan Not a 'Bona Fide' Plan for FLSA Purposes? (PDF)
"Eligible Opt-Out payments ... are treated as part of the regular rate of pay under the FLSA. What does this mean for other defined contribution health plan designs, many of which pass funds through a cafeteria or flexible benefits plan such as Health Savings Account contributions? Similarly, what does this mean for other flexible benefit plans providing employees with credits the employee can elect to use to purchase benefits or cash out?"
Winstead PC and Baker Hostetler, via Bloomberg Law Pension & Benefits Daily


2018 SALGBA National Conference in Jacksonville, FL

Sponsored by SALGBA [State and Local Government Benefits Association]

The 2018 SALGBA National Conference is April 29 - May 2 in Jacksonville, FL at the Hyatt Regency Riverside. More information please visit

No COBRA Notice? No Harm, No Foul, Court Says
"Despite the fact that a software company failed to notify an employee of his COBRA benefits immediately following his termination, it was not liable for statutory penalties because he suffered no prejudice as a result of the COBRA violation ... After the employee was terminated, the company provided him and his family with free health insurance for a 10-month period. The court agreed with the employer that its provision of the free insurance placed the employee in a better position than he would have been in if there had been no COBRA violation." [Sanders v. Temenos USA, Inc., No. 16-63040 (S.D. Fla. Oct. 13, 2017)]
Wolters Kluwer Law & Business

CVS-Aetna Deal to Change How Big Employers Buy Health Benefits
"About 63 percent of large corporations use a separate pharmacy benefit company ... In scale, CVS and Aetna offer a much bigger pharmacy benefits manager than UnitedHealth, which expanded its OptumRx business with the $13 billion purchase of Catamaran in 2015."

Tax Reform Bills as Passed: Issues of Concern (PDF)
7-page summary comparing fringe benefit provisions of current law with proposed and passed versions of House and Senate bills.
Employers Council on Flexible Compensation [ECFC]

Senate Tax Bill Accomplishes Major Obamacare Repeal Goal
"The sweeping tax overhaul that passed the U.S. Senate on Saturday contains the Republicans' biggest blow yet to former President Barack Obama's healthcare law, repealing the requirement that all Americans obtain health insurance."


Changes to Cafeteria Plans: What You Need to Know

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Dec. 7 webinar. Whether deciding to offer a health FSA or a health savings account (or both), or preparing for an upcoming merger, learn to identify and mitigate risks to keep your cafeteria plan legally compliant in 2018 and beyond. BenefitsLink discount.

CMS Releases Medicare Part A and B Premium Values for 2018
"[CMS] has announced the 2018 Medicare Part A and B premium, deductible, and coinsurance amounts. There is a small increase in Part A amounts, and while the standard Part B premium will not increase in 2018, some Part B enrollees protected by a 'hold harmless' provision in 2017 will pay more. The Part B deductible will not increase for any beneficiaries."

Benefits in General

Senate Passage of Tax Bill Signals Benefit Changes -- But Which Ones?
"Each measure handles the health care individual mandate, education benefits and other deductions differently.... [A] comparison chart of the workplace provisions in both the House and Senate bills [is provided], and some of the key differences are noted [in this article]."
Society for Human Resource Management [SHRM]

Senate Approves Tax Reform Legislation
"Included in the manager's amendment is a provision to reduce the age for in-service retirement plan distributions from a DB plan or governmental 457(b) plan to 59-1/2.... It also includes a change to the partnership provisions to increase the deduction for pass-through business income to 23%, up from the 17.4% level that was included in the original Finance Committee proposal[.]"
National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

Cambridge Retirement System Sues Willis Towers Watson Over Merger
"Cambridge (Mass.) Retirement System filed a class-action lawsuit against Willis Towers Watson and other defendants for allegedly violating provisions of the Exchange Act in connection to the merger between Towers Watson & Co. and Willis Group Holdings. The suit alleges that defendants issued false and misleading statements in proxy materials filed with the U.S. [SEC] prior to the merger, which closed on Jan. 4, 2016."
Pensions & Investments

Meet the Law Firms Fighting 401(k), Health Plan Class Actions
"For the second year in a row, [Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP is] the law firm getting the most ERISA class action business.... Dorsey & Whitney LLP follows closely in number of ERISA class actions.... Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom has been hired to defend eight ERISA class actions in the past year.... Proskauer Rose LLP, Alston Bird, Groom Law Group Chartered, and Reed Smith LLP are defending seven class actions, respectively.... Steptoe & Johnson LLP was hired to defend six ERISA class actions.... O'Melveny & Myers LLP and Sidley Austin LLP are defending four class actions each."
Bloomberg BNA

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

Executive Comp Ramifications of House and Senate Versions of Tax Reform
"The current House and Senate bills remove the previously proposed Section 409B and therefore nonqualified deferred compensation and equity compensation will generally remain subject to taxation under currently applicable rules under Section 409A and Section 83. Otherwise, the current House and Senate bills are similar to the initial House bill, including with respect to its meaningful changes to the Section 162(m) $1 million executive compensation deduction rules and tax-exempt executive compensation rules."
Latham & Watkins

Press Releases

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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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