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Health & Welfare Plans Newsletter

April 22, 2021

4 Jobs Today


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon IRS Fact Sheet: Employer Tax Credits for Employee Paid Leave Due to COVID-19

"The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits that reimburse them for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19, including leave taken by employees to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021. Here are some basic facts about the employers eligible for the tax credits and how these employers may claim the credit for leave paid to employees who take leave to receive or recover from COVID-19 vaccinations." [FS-2021-09, Apr. 2021]  MORE >>

Internal Revenue Service [IRS]

[Guidance Overview]

Vaccine Incentives: You Have Questions, We Have Answers

"Does offering paid time off to employees to become vaccinated create an ERISA benefit or plan? ... What about reimbursing employees for any out-of-pocket costs associated with getting vaccinated? ... Should we limit our vaccine incentive program to 2021? ... Could a vaccine incentive be included in an existing wellness program?"  MORE >>

Ogletree Deakins

[Guidance Overview]

Upcoming Deadline icon ARPA COBRA Subsidy Special Election Opportunity: Who Gets a Second Bite at the Apple, and How Do They Take It?

"This post examines who gets this 'second bite at the apple' during the special election period based on the recent guidance issued by the [DOL], and what notice requirements are imposed on plan administrators with respect to this special election period. The DOL guidance ... answer[s] some questions about the second election opportunity and the ARP subsidy in general, but also raise[s] additional questions."  MORE >>


[Guidance Overview]

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Upcoming Deadline icon DOL Releases Model COBRA Subsidy Notices and Forms

"A failure to satisfy ARPA's notice requirements will be considered a failure to notify qualified beneficiaries about their right to elect COBRA coverage.... [A table] provides an overview of election notice distribution and timing requirements."  MORE >>


Ninth Circuit Affirms ERISA's Preemption of State-Law Claims of Deceptive Practices

"The court concluded that, because remedies potentially available under the state law could exceed those available under ERISA, the state law conflicted with ERISA's enforcement scheme and was preempted." [Meyer v. United Healthcare, No. 20-35407 (9th Cir. Mar. 11, 2021)]  MORE >>

Thomson Reuters / EBIA

Navigating Leave and Accommodation Issues Among a Changed Workforce

"[1] Keep your finger on the pulse.... [2] The vaccine is not the end of the road.... [3] Make sure to correctly handle the return to work from a protected leave.... [4] Avoid claims of retaliation.... [5] Maintain confidentiality."  MORE >>

Epstein Becker Green, P.C., via Westlaw Today

Insurer Anthem Warns of Higher Non-COVID-19 Costs in Coming Quarters

"For much of last year when the pandemic was at its peak, health insurers benefited from lower patient use of elective, non-COVID healthcare services. 'Given a faster rollout of the vaccine, we expect non-COVID utilization to rebound sooner, and we now expect to absorb higher COVID vaccination administration costs during the second quarter,' Anthem Chief Financial Officer John Gallina said."  MORE >>

Motley Fool

Benefits in General

Exceptional Usefulness and Quality icon Why the Form of a Transaction is So Critical to Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation Strategy

"The form of a corporate transaction sets the stage for the employee benefits and executive compensation (EBEC) strategy -- in the scope of due diligence and purchase agreement negotiations and post-closing activity. The charts [in this article] provide a high-level analysis of some of the most critical EBEC issues that companies and their advisors should consider in corporate transactions."  MORE >>

Foley & Lardner LLP


ERIC Letter to Regulatory Agencies Outlining Specific Actions to Support Employees Coming Back to Work and Growing the Post-Pandemic Economy (PDF)

9 pages. "We believe your leadership can help American workers, retirees, and their families by improving the regulatory framework that governs certain employee benefits, and we urge you to consider implementing specific policies to help prepare for the post-pandemic economy."  MORE >>

The ERISA Industry Committee [ERIC]

Employee Benefits Jobs

View job as Senior Actuarial Consultant
for USI Consulting Group Senior Actuarial Consultant

USI Consulting Group

Telecommute / Glastonbury CT

View job as Retirement Plan Administrator
for Bates & Company Retirement Plan Administrator

Bates & Company

Winter Park FL

View job as Defined Benefit Coding Analyst
for Principal Financial Group Defined Benefit Coding Analyst

Principal Financial Group

Telecommute / Des Moines IA / Atlanta GA / Pittsburgh PA

View job as Compliance Auditor - EB Plans
for Sikich LLP Compliance Auditor - EB Plans

Sikich LLP

Naperville IL

Selected New Discussions

Delinquent Remittance of Employee HSA Contributions

"What are the consequences of an employer failing to timely deposit employee contributions into employees' HSAs? According to DOL FAB 2006-02, 'employers who fail to transmit promptly participants' HSA contributions may violate the prohibited transaction provisions of section 4975 of the Code.' I can find nothing more definitive. Anybody else?"

BenefitsLink Message Boards

Press Releases

Willis Towers Watson Honored for Sustained Excellence in Outsourcing for 10th Consecutive Year

Willis Towers Watson

The Center for Workforce Health and Performance and National Association of Worksite Health Centers Release Report to Help Employers and Insurers Manage Musculoskeletal Conditions

National Association of Worksite Health Centers [NAWH]

Last Issue's Most Popular Items

DOL Provides Model ARPA COBRA Notices and Subsidy FAQs

Corporate Synergies

All Good Subsidies Must Come to an End: ARPA's COBRA Subsidy Expiration Notice Requirements


President Biden to Call on All Employers to Provide Paid Time Off for Employees to Get Vaccinated

Executive Office of the President

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

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