Archives: ERISA Plan Administration

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HPID Requirement Delayed by HHS

The scramble for group health plan administrators to navigate the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) website and obtain a Health Plan Identifier (HPID) ahead of next week’s deadline is over.  On October 31, 2014, the CMS Office of e-Health Standards and Services (OESS), the division of the Department of Health & Human Services … Continue Reading

EEOC Challenges the Design of Another Employer’s Wellness Program under the ADA

Little more than a month ago, we reported to you about the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s (EEOC’s) first lawsuit against a Wisconsin employer concerning its wellness program. On October 1, the EEOC announced a second lawsuit against another Wisconsin employer. EEOC v. Flambeau, Inc. (W.D.WI, filed October 1, 2014). Based on the report, the agency’s … Continue Reading

Employers – Review Your Controlled Group to Assure ACA and Retirement Plan Compliance

Beginning in 2015, certain employers that fail to offer affordable health insurance that provides minimum value to their full-time employees and their dependents may incur substantial Employer Shared Responsibility penalties under the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”).  We previously wrote about the importance of properly classifying workers as employees or independent contractors to assure ACA compliance.  … Continue Reading

IRS GUIDANCE: EMPLOYEE INCOME TAX CORRECTION FOR SAME-SEX SPOUSAL HEALTH COVERAGE AFTER UNITED STATES V. WINDSOR

  On June 27, 2014, the IRS released Information Letter 2014-0012, which contains guidance for employees who have had the value of same-sex spousal coverage under employer health plans — which until recently was required to be included in gross income — reported on their Forms W-2. BACKGROUND Historically, the employer cost of opposite-sex spousal … Continue Reading

Wellness Program Update: EEOC is Planning to Issue Proposed Regulations to Address ADA, GINA Issues

In May, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced that it intends to issue proposed regulations addressing health plan-based wellness programs. According to the EEOC’s announcement, the guidance is expected to address the following items: Does title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allow employers to offer financial inducements and/or impose financial penalties as part of … Continue Reading

Remember ERISA Basics: SPD and Eligibility

During the past 14+ years practicing employee benefits law, I’ve seen many changes, not the least of which has been the Affordable Care Act (ACA). However, with all of the recent changes flowing from the ACA, it is important not to forget some very basic and long-standing aspects of plan compliance, design, drafting and administration, … Continue Reading

DOL Proposes Changes to Model Notices and Procedures

The Department of Labor (DOL) has published proposed regulations containing amendments to the COBRA notice provisions.  The amendments are intended to align the model general and election notices with the Affordable Care Act provisions already in effect and to ensure that the DOL will have flexibility to modify the model notices going forward. The proposed … Continue Reading

Relief from August 30th Deadline for Fee Disclosures

The Department of Labor is allowing defined contribution retirement plan administrators to reset the timing for annual fee disclosures to participants (see our earlier blog post reminding readers of the disclosure requirement and contemplating possible relief).  DOL has issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2013-02 announcing the temporary enforcement policy. The participant-level fee disclosure regulation, implemented last year, … Continue Reading

U.S. Supreme Court Rulings on DOMA and California’s Proposition 8 Affect Employee Benefit Plans and Plan Sponsors

Two decisions issued by the United States Supreme Court on June 26, 2013 expand same-sex marriage rights and carry significant implications for employee benefit plans and employers sponsoring the plans. In United States v. Windsor, No. 12-307 (June 26, 2013), the Court ruled that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996 (“DOMA”), … Continue Reading

Deadline for Annual 401(k)/403(b) Disclosure Approaching

Employers that sponsor participant-directed individual account plans like 401(k)s and 403(b)s need to prepare for the annual disclosure requirement imposed on plan administrators under section 404 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. (See our earlier posts and article regarding the regulations that became effective last year.)  Separate regulations required service providers to give plan administrators, … Continue Reading

Health Care Reform Resource Center

We are pleased to announce the launch of Jackson Lewis’ Health Care Reform Resource Center. Our Resource Center provides one convenient place for you to obtain key health care reform-related law, agency guidance, Jackson Lewis articles and related information. We hope you find this resource helpful.… Continue Reading

DOL Modifies Position on Fee Disclosures of Investments Available Through Brokerage Windows

On July 30, 2012, the Department of Labor issued FAB 2012-02R as a revised version of FAB 2012-02 (issued May 7, 2012), which supplements the participant-level fee disclosure regulation and how it may be implemented. (See our prior post regarding FAB 2012-02.) Q&A 30 of FAB 2012-02 generated significant controversy as it appeared to introduce new … Continue Reading

Retirement Plan Disclosure Requirements – Next Steps

Now that the July 1, 2012 deadline has passed for ERISA “covered service providers” to inform “responsible plan fiduciaries” about the services performed for their retirement plans and the investment management, recordkeeping, and other fees charged to those plans, it is time for employers and other plan fiduciaries to take action. First, plan fiduciaries must … Continue Reading

Additional Guidance on Fee Disclosures

On May 7, 2012, the DOL published Field Assistance Bulletin 2012-02 (the “FAB”) providing additional guidance and clarification for employers and other plan fiduciaries regarding the participant-level fee disclosure regulation (29 CFR 2550.404a-5) applicable to participant-directed individual account plans (e.g., 401(k) and 403(b) plans; see our earlier article regarding these regulations).  The FAB is also relevant to covered service … Continue Reading

Fee Disclosures to Participants in 401(k) and 403(b) Plans) Due By August 30, 2012

Under  Department of Labor Regulations, plan administrators of individual account plans such as 401(k) plans and most 403(b) plans must provide all participants who are eligible to direct investments in the plan with certain investment and fee information (see http://www.dol.gov/ebsa/newsroom/fsparticipantfeerule.html for more information).  The plan administrator is the employer sponsoring the plan unless the employer has designated another plan … Continue Reading

New Rules Require Health Plans to Cover Women’s Contraception

Group health plans that are not grandfathered under the 2010 health care reform law (the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010) must provide women’s contraception without cost-sharing beginning with the first plan year that starts on or after August 1, 2012. The three agencies … Continue Reading

DOL to Revisit Rules for Delivering Summary Plan Descriptions and Other ERISA Documents

The Department of Labor (DOL) announced it is reviewing the use of electronic media by employee benefit plans subject to ERISA to furnish information to participants and beneficiaries, following and in response to Executive Order 13563 issued by President Obama to address and improve current regulations. If you have concerns about the current process, now is … Continue Reading
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