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Sr. 401(k) Plan Administrator / Relationship Manager
LT Trust Company
in Denver CO

Administrator Defined Contribution Plans
Hartford Connecticut TPA
in West Hartford CT

Benefits and Compensation Analyst
Komatsu America Corp.
in Rolling Meadows IL

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Webcasts, Conferences

DOL Has Rejected Your 2016 Form 5500 Filing: Now What?
March 4, 2019 WEBCAST
National Association of Professional Employer Organizations [NAPEO]

Health Care Waivers: 1332-State Relief and Empowerment Waivers
March 11, 2019 WEBCAST
National Conference of State Legislatures [NCSL]

Breaking up is Hard to Do: Terminating Your Relationship with a Client
April 25, 2019 WEBCAST

►See 166 Upcoming Webcasts and Conferences

►See 1491 Recorded Webcasts


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[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts Releases Draft Regulations for Paid Family and Medical Leave

"The draft regulations track many of the law's requirements, while also providing some notable clarifications. In addition, the department provided information on the amount employers must contribute into the Family and Employment Security Trust Fund that will finance these paid leaves. The department also provided information on the employer contributions and employee payroll deductions required to fund these leaves."


Earn Your Certificate in Global Benefits Management this June

Sponsored by International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans [IFEBP]

Employers that work globally must learn to navigate the increasingly complex challenges of international benefits and cultural expectations. Learn from industry experts and international residents while you earn your certificate this June.

[Guidance Overview]

Massachusetts and New Jersey Make Changes to Paid Leave Laws

"[The Massachusetts regulations] provide the following additional guidance: [1] Require employers to submit a quarterly filing.... [2] Provides guidance on treatment of independent contractors.... [3] Provides guidance on employer contributions.... [4] Offers guidance regarding how to count employees.... [5] Allow employers to adopt a private plan.... [6] Sets forth benefit claim procedures.... [7] Establishes an offset for amounts paid by an employer plan."
Holland & Knight

[Guidance Overview]

There's No Such Thing as a Free Lunch ... But There Might Be Free Snacks

"[T]he employer-taxpayer ... did not include the value of employer-provided meals and snacks in its employees' income, nor did it withhold and pay the related amount of employment taxes. To support its practice, the employer argued that it had a number of substantial noncompensatory business reasons for providing the free meals ... The IRS rejected 6 of the 7 proposed reasons ... In addition, the IRS argued that the availability of meal-delivery services was a mitigating factor in determining whether employees could secure a meal within a reasonable meal period."
Benefits BCLP

Sixth Circuit Rules That Employer Can Terminate Retiree Health Benefits

"The rule in the Sixth Circuit is that a CBA's general durational clause applies to the requirement that healthcare benefits be maintained, unless [the CBA] contains clear, affirmative language indicating the contrary. The Court found that none of the CBAs contain language under which vesting obtains." [Zino v. Whirlpool Corp., Nos. 17-3851, 17-3860 (6th Cir. Feb. 15, 2019; unpub.)]
ERISA Lawyer Blog

Server Vulnerabilities Affect PHI of 60,000 Individuals and Lead to $3 Million Settlement

"Because servers can store large amounts of PHI, violations can affect many individuals and lead to significant settlement payments -- including a $4.8 million settlement in May 2014 and a $2.14 million settlement in October 2016.... Whenever changes are made to a device capable of storing or processing PHI, an evaluation should be undertaken to identify and address vulnerabilities to PHI."
Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Surprise Billing Legislation: What Employers Need to Know

"Congress [is] beginning to take action to address the issue of surprise medical billing via the introduction of three bills. [1] Protecting Patients from Surprise Medical Bills Act ... [2] No More Surprise Medical Bills Act of 2018 ... [3] Reducing costs for out-of-network services act of 2018 ... All of [these] bills could affect the services offered by employers under their group health plans.... [T]he legislation could also impact the costs borne by the employer for certain services provided to employees."
Thompson Coburn

HSA Compliance Steps for Employers (PDF)

"How do your organization's educational materials assist employees with determining HSA eligibility? ... What changes related to HSA contribution eligibility does your organization track? ... Has your organization established which circumstances permit it to recoup excess HSA contributions? ... How will possible inclusion of HSA contributions for purposes of Cadillac Plan tax calculations impact your employee benefits strategy in the future?"

Assessing the Impact of Mental Health Parity Rules in the Large Group Employer-Sponsored Insurance Market

"The impact of MHPAEA on mental health (MH) and substance use disorder (SUD) utilization and spending outcomes was assessed ... focusing on outpatient services.... MHPAEA had significant and positive effects on any use of SUD services and the frequency of SUD services used."
Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation [ASPE], U.S. Department of Health and Human Services [HHS]

Vermont Individuals Stay on Health Exchange as Some Employers Exit

"The state's small group insurance market, for businesses with 100 employees or less, saw a decline of more than 10 percent compared with this time last year. Officials attributed that mainly to employers migrating to newly expanded association health plans. But state officials also noted that enrollment in individual health plans grew by 0.7 percent."

Benefits in General

DOL Is Rejecting Form 5500 Filings from Professional Employer Organizations

"DOL is rejecting filings from 2016 where [Professional Employer Organizations (PEOs)] have used a coding system to protect the names of their clients. Both retirement plan and health plan Form 5500s have been rejected by DOL."
NAPEO [National Association of Professional Employer Organizations]

Selected Discussions
on the BenefitsLink Message Boards

Must Work Entire Calendar Month to Get a Form 1095-C?

Form 1095-C's instructions say that an employer must file a Form 1095-C for each employee who was a full-time employee for any month of the calendar year. So if an employee was not employed an entire calendar month, then they wouldn't get a Form 1095-C? Assume the employee was regularly scheduled to work 30 hours per week, was hired on 5/16/2018, and was terminated on 6/20/2018 (during the 90-day waiting period). Don't give this individual a Form 1095-C?
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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 2019, 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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