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December 19, 2017 logo logo
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DC Plan Administrator
San Diego Pension Consultants
in CA

Retirement Plan Consultant and Administrator
Moran Knobel-Means & Associates
in CA, WA, Telecommute

Retirement Plan Regional Director
Retirement Plan Consultants
in AZ, CA, NM, Telecommute

Client Service Associate - Ret. Plan Mgmt.
Genovese Burford & Brothers
in CA

Associate Partner - Defined Contribution Consulting
in CT, FL, GA, MO, NC, NJ, NY, PA

Benefits Analyst (Experienced)
Sandia National Laboratories
in NM

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[Guidance Overview]

Expansions to New York City's Sick Time Law Coming in May 2018
"Under the recent amendments to the law, employees will also be able to use leave for 'safe time' for absences from work when the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.... The amended law broadly expands the definition of covered family members, for both sick and safe time[.]"
Fisher Phillips


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Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

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[Guidance Overview]

New Year Brings Paid Sick and Safe Leave to Washington State
"All Washington employers, regardless of size, must provide their employees paid sick and safe leave (PSSL) starting January 1, 2018.... [E]mployees accrue one hour of PSSL for every 40 hours actually worked [and] may start using the accrued PSSL on the 90th day of employment. There is no cap on the number of PSSL hours employees may accrue or use in a benefit year."
Jackson Lewis P.C.

Differing State and Local Paid Leave Laws Driving You Crazy? Help from Congress May Be on the Way
"Representative Mimi Walters (R-Calif.) recently introduced the Workflex in the 21st Century Act (H.R. 4219) ... [which] would exempt employers from state and local leave obligations if they give workers a certain amount of general paid leave that can be used for medical, family, bereavement, vacation and other reasons.... [T]he employer would have to provide a minimum of 12 to 20 days of paid leave per year to qualify for the exemption."
Ice Miller LLP

Final Tax Bill Impacts Transportation Fringe Benefit Plans
"Section 13304(c) of the Final Tax Bill disallows employer deductions relating to qualified transportation fringe benefits effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017; and Section 11047 of the Final Tax Bill provides that qualified bicycle commuting expenses will no longer be tax exempt to employees effective for tax years beginning after December 31, 2017."
Kilpatrick Townsend

Paid Leave, Other Job-Related Measures Stay in Tax Bill
"Incentives for companies to offer their workers paid leave, in addition to prohibiting deductions related to confidential settlements related to sexual misconduct, are part of the final version of a Republican tax reform bill ... That includes offering businesses a credit for offering up to 12 weeks of paid family leave. The measure, plucked from a stand-alone bill (S. 344) by Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), also includes incentives for offering medical leave."
Bloomberg BNA


Complying With W-2 Rules for Reporting Health Care Benefits and HSA Reporting Rules

Sponsored by Lorman and BenefitsLink

Jan. 17 webinar. Learn how to properly complete applicable tax forms and how to communicate relevant tax-reporting information to employees, as well as the due dates for each form. BenefitsLink discount.

Tax Bill: How Four Healthcare Measures Weathered Reconciliation
"[1] Individual mandate repeal included ... [2] Medical expense deduction expansion ... [3] Orphan drug tax credit reduction ... [4] Private activity bonds preserved."
HealthLeaders Media

House, States, Administration Reach Settlement Over Cost-Sharing Reductions
"The case that the parties have now settled dates back to 2014, when House Republicans sued the Obama administration, claiming that it unconstitutionally funded the CSR program without proper appropriation from Congress."

This Old Drug Was Free; Now It's $109,500 a Year
"The drug ... was originally approved in 1958 and used primarily to treat the eye disease glaucoma ... [T]he price has been on a roller coaster in recent years -- zooming from a list price of $50 for a bottle of 100 pills in the early 2000s up to $13,650 in 2015, then plummeting back down to free, before skyrocketing back up to $15,001 after a new company, Strongbridge Biopharma, acquired the drug and relaunched it this spring."
The Washington Post; subscription may be required

Benefits in General

Cybersecurity Risks to Employee Benefit Plans
"If (or more likely, when) a cybersecurity breach occurs, plan sponsors should have ... procedures for how the sponsor, likely working with its service providers, will communicate with plan participants who may be anxious about the breach and protecting their data. Sponsors should also have a process for determining how a breach will be corrected and what remedies will be used."
Foley & Lardner LLP

IRS and DOL Extend Timelines for Plans Affected by Hurricane Maria
"The extensions issued on Nov. 12 generally apply to directly affected group health plans, disability and other welfare plans, pension plans and participants in those plans. The relief designates a period that will not count toward timelines for establishing eligibility for HIPAA special enrollment or COBRA coverage, and complying with ERISA claims procedures and external reviews. The disregarded periods are September 17, 2017, through March 16, 2018 (Puerto Rico), and September 16, 2017, through March 15, 2018 (U.S. Virgin Islands)."
Willis Towers Watson

Executive Compensation
and Nonqualified Plans

[Guidance Overview]

Actions to Take Before Year End in Response to Section 162(m) Changes
"Make sure the company takes all actions indicated by IRS guidance as necessary to support a 2017 accrual. Make sure the company does not certify that any particular amount will be paid to Section 162(m) covered employees.... For outstanding performance-based awards that cannot be accrued in 2017, determine whether the awards qualify for the Act's transition rule[.]"
Morgan Lewis

To Accelerate or Not? Potential Tax Planning in Light of Proposed Reforms to Code Section 162(m)
"[C]orporations with publicly traded debt subject to Section 15(d) of the Exchange Act, will become subject to Section 162(m) ... [and] may want to consider whether to accelerate into 2017 the vesting and payment of compensatory payments that otherwise would have been made in 2018 or future years. This acceleration of payment may ... preserve the deductibility of amounts that would otherwise be non-deductible under Code Section 162(m)."
Tax Talks: The Proskauer Tax Blog

Excise Tax Coming on Compensation of Tax-Exempt Organization Executives
"The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act ... includes a provision that imposes an excise tax equal to the corporate tax rate... on certain compensation paid to employees of tax-exempt entities, including not only 501(c)(3) organizations, but also 501(c)(4) and 501(c)(6) organizations, as well as governmental employers and political organizations.... [T]he tax applies to compensation payable to a Covered Employee, which is contingent on a termination of employment, if the value of the compensation exceeds three times the employee's average annual compensation in the five preceding years."
Blank Rome LLP

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Must a Health Plan Provide Coverage for Contraception?
The attachment is Judge Beetlestone's order enjoining two administrative law rules about religious or moral exceptions to providing a health plan's coverage for contraception.
BenefitsLink Message Boards

Finding Out If IRS Has Issued ACA Penalty Notice
All the publications have been alerting us lately that we need to check our mailrooms for the ACA employer mandate penalty notices, because of the limited time to respond. So far, nobody within my organization is reporting receipt of such a notice. Is there a way to find out from IRS directly -- a call? An email? A posting somewhere on the web?
BenefitsLink Message Boards

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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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