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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 12, 2021

3 Jobs Today


[Guidance Overview]

DOL Issues Guidance on the American Rescue Plan Act COBRA Subsidy

"The newly released FAQs ... do not address whether the ARPA subsidy will cover medical, dental and vision coverage or just medical coverage. They also do not clarify when a particular termination of employment should be considered voluntary[.]"  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

COBRA Subsidies Are Revived, But Include Unanswered Questions

"Do assistance eligible individuals include individuals with 29-month or 36-month COBRA triggers? ... Who has the obligation if there was a purchase or sale of a business? ... What if the employer is no longer subject to COBRA? ... Is ARPA subsidized COBRA limited to medical only?"  MORE >>

Nelson Mullins

[Guidance Overview]

New Mexico: Private Employers Must Provide Paid Sick Leave to Employees Beginning in 2022

"[S]mall employers are not exempted from the HWA.... Employees will accrue one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, up to a total of 64 hours a year."  MORE >>

Jackson Lewis P.C.

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Managing Alternative Coverage and COBRA Coverage

"There are two significant obstacles to advising employers in these situations: [1] The group health plan document (if there is one) is typically silent on the interplay between COBRA and alternative coverage; and [2] the available regulatory and case law guidance is not nearly specific enough. This column will summarize the possible approaches that employers may follow when dealing with alternative coverage situations."  MORE >>

Proskauer Rose, for HR Daily Advisor

The Impact of Paid Family Leave on Employers: Evidence from New York

"[The authors match] each NY firm to a comparable PA firm and use difference-in-difference models to analyze within-match-pair changes in outcomes.... PFL leads to an improvement in employers' rating of their ease of handling long employee absences, concentrated in the first policy year and among firms with 50-99 employees. [Data shows] an increase in employee leave-taking in the second policy year, driven by smaller firms."  MORE >>

National Bureau of Economic Research [NBER]; purchase required for full document


2021 CCA Healthcare Meeting: A virtual event for health actuaries

Calling all health actuaries! Don’t miss this virtual event featuring timely healthcare topics such as the COVID-19 vaccine & high-cost claim considerations. Registration also includes access to CCA’s Professionalism for Healthcare Actuaries webinar.

Sponsored by Conference of Consulting Actuaries [CCA]

Employers, Can You Prove You Don't Owe Multiemployer Fringe Fund Contributions?

"In deciding [a recent] case, the Sixth Circuit applied a burden of proof shifting principle under which, once a fringe fund produces evidence that an employer is not making fund contributions as required by its CBA, the burden shifts to the employer to produce records showing that the work performed was not within the union's jurisdiction." [Wilson v. DM Excavating, No. 20-3171 (6th Cir. Feb. 9, 2021; unpub.)]  MORE >>

Dickinson Wright

Benefits in General

[Official Guidance]

Text of IRS Notice 2021-25: Temporary 100% Deduction for Business Meal Expenses (PDF)

"This notice provides guidance regarding the temporary 100-percent deduction for expenses that are paid or incurred after December 31, 2020, and before January 1, 2023, for food or beverages provided by a restaurant. In particular, the notice explains when the temporary 100-percent deduction applies and when the 50-percent limitation continues to apply for purposes of Section 274 of the Internal Revenue Code[.]"  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

IRS Clarifies Rules for Deduction of Meals and Entertainment Costs

"The notice clarifies that the 100% deduction is available for food or beverages provided by a restaurant. The term 'restaurant' means a business that prepares and sells food or beverages to retail customers for immediate consumption either on- or off-premises. A restaurant does not include businesses that primarily sell pre-packaged food or beverages, not for immediate consumption."  MORE >>

Alvarez & Marsal

Signs You Need to Update Your HR Portal for Benefits

"[1] Your HR portal isn't a comprehensive resource on company perks.... [2] Benefits information is outdated.... [3] Important benefits content is difficult to find.... [4] Your intranet doesn't address common employee questions.... [5] Your intranet seems to target benefits professionals.... [6] Your HR portal loads slowly.... [7] Employee feedback indicates it's time for a change."  MORE >>

Tango Health

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Can Mandatory Arbitration Rein in ERISA Litigation? Appellate Courts Weigh In

"ERISA is silent on arbitration, but the Federal Arbitration Act encourages arbitration of disputes. Two relatively recent Supreme Court decisions upheld arbitration clauses in the employment context, although the Supreme Court has not specifically addressed the permissibility of mandatory arbitration under ERISA. In the meantime, federal courts are grappling with these issues in inconsistent decisions."  MORE >>

Cohen & Buckmann, P.C.

The Relationship Between Overspending on Health Care and Retirement Readiness (PDF)

12 pages. "High costs, combined with the complexity of choosing the right plan, can make health care decisions difficult for employees -- many of whom are already struggling to save for retirement. Here's what employers and plan sponsors can do about it."  MORE >>

Voya Financial

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as ESOP Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates ESOP Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates


View job as ESOP Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

View job as 401(k) Plan Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates 401(k) Plan Administrator

Blue Ridge ESOP Associates


View job as 401(k) Plan Administrator
for Blue Ridge ESOP Associates

View job as Sr. DB Plan Administrator
for Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus Sr. DB Plan Administrator

Nyhart, part of FuturePlan by Ascensus

Telecommute / CA

Press Releases

NAPA Welcomes Alex Assaley as President

National Association of Plan Advisors [NAPA]

HealthEquity to Acquire Further


Pentegra and The 401(k) Plan Company Launch Open, Independent Pooled Employer Plan, A Better 401(k) Plan™

Pentegra Retirement Services

In a Year of Virtual Learning, PSCA Awards Highlight Importance of Creative Retirement Plan Education Methods

PSCA [Plan Sponsor Council of America]

NFP Acquires The Schuster Group, Enhancing Benefits and Retirement Capabilities in the Northeast

NFP Corp.

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

DOL Takes First Bite at COBRA Subsidy Guidance

Groom Law Group

Text of EBSA Notice of the Availability of the Model Health Care Continuation Coverage Notices Required by the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021

Employee Benefits Security Administration [EBSA], U.S. Department of Labor [DOL]

COBRA Subsidy Effects on Severance Programs and Employee Separations

Frost Brown Todd LLC

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BenefitsLink Retirement Plans Newsletter, ISSN no. 1536-9587.

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