Today's Update

IRS Guidance

Updated Suspension of Benefit provisions for Plans in Critical and Declining Status

Revenue Procedure 2017-43 provides updated guidance for multiemployer plans in critical or declining status applying for Treasury approval of suspension of benefits. Document Excerpt This revenue procedure contains revised procedures for applications for a suspension of benefits under a multiemployer defined benefit pension plan that is in critical and declining status under § 432(e)(9). These […]

Cumulative List of Changes for Lead Pre-approved Defined Contribution Plans

Notice 2017-37 sets forth the Cumulative list of Plan changes required for pre-approved defined contribution plans. Document Excerpt This notice contains the Cumulative List of Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements for Pre-Approved Defined Contribution Plans for 2017 (2017 Cumulative List). As described in section 17 of Rev. Proc. 2016-37, 2016-29 I.R.B. 136, 146, Cumulative Lists […]

New Guidance on Issuing Opinion Letters for Pre-approved Plans

Rev. Proc. 2017-41 provides updated guidance on the issuance of opinion letters for pre-approved plans, i.e., volume submitter and master/prototype plans. Document Excerpt This revenue procedure sets forth the procedures of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for issuing Opinion Letters regarding the qualification in form of Pre-approved Plans under §§ 401, 403(a), and 4975(e)(7) of […]

Electronic Payment of Certain User fees

The IRS will begin requiring the electronic payment of certain user fees including on request for a Private Letter Ruling beginning June 15, 2017. Document Excerpt Beginning June 15, taxpayers requesting letter rulings, closing agreements and certain other rulings from the Internal Revenue Service will need to make user fee payments electronically using the federal […]

Electronic Payment of certain User Fees

IR 2017-102 announces that certain user fees, including when requesting a letter ruling or a closing agreement, will have to be paid electronically through pay.gov Document Excerpt Beginning June 15, taxpayers requesting letter rulings, closing agreements and certain other rulings from the Internal Revenue Service will need to make user fee payments electronically using the […]

Tax Treatment of Benefits Paid from Self-Funded Health Plans

Chief Counsel Memorandum advises as to the treatment of benefits paid under an employer-provided self-funded health plan where the average amounts received by the employees for participating in a health-related activity predictably exceeds the after-tax contributions by the employees. Document Excerpt Yes, the amounts are included in income and wages for reasons including, but not […]

DOL Guidance

FAQs on Mental Health Parity Implementation

The Agencies released this FAQ on Mental Health Parity Implementation. Document Excerpt Set out below is an additional frequently asked question (FAQ) regarding implementation of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA), as amended by the Affordable Care Act and the 21st Century Cures Act (Cures […]

DOL’s FAQs on Conflict of Interest Regulations

The DOL releases a set of Frequently Asked Questions on its conflict of interest regulations scheduled to become applicable June 9, 2017. Document Excerpt The following FAQs provide additional information on the transition period from June 9, 2017 to January 1, 2018.1 This guidance, like the Fiduciary Rule and related exemptions, is generally limited to […]

Field Assistance Bulletin on Temporary Enforcement Policy on Fiduciary Rule

Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-02 provides the DOL’s temporary enforcement policy on the Fiduciary conflict of interest rule to become effective June 9, 2017. Document Excerpt Accordingly, during the phased implementation period ending on January 1, 2018, the Department will not pursue claims against fiduciaries who are working diligently and in good faith to comply with […]

Advisory Opinion on Multiple Employer Plan Status

The Advisory Opinion holds that, at least in form, the employer subgroup would form a valid group or association. Document Excerpt Assuming that the Consortium’s by-laws and the instruments governing the Plan and trust are adopted as described in this letter, it is the view of the Department that the participating employer members of the […]

Small Business will be allowed to Bypass the ACA Marketplace

CMS has announced that small businesses will be allowed to bypass the SHOP, the Affordable Care Act Marketplace designed for small businesses. Document Excerpt CMS will be exploring a more efficient implementation of the Federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplaces in order to promote insurance company and agent/broker participation and make it easier for small employers to offer […]

HHS Finalizes Market Place Stabilization Rule

The HHS has released its final marketplace stabilization rule which includes a broader ability to offer policies that are below the ACA standards as well as a reduced open enrollment period. Document Excerpt This rule finalizes changes that will help stabilize the individual and small group markets and affirm the traditional role of State regulators. […]

PBGC Guidance

Qs and As on Risk Mitigation and Early Warning Program

The PBGC releases a series of Questions and Answers on its Risk Mitigation and Early Warning Program. Document Excerpt As part of posting our updated Risk Migration & Early Warning Program information, we asked stakeholders for feedback. Below are some Questions and Answers for the most common questions and comments we received. Link https://www.pbgc.gov/prac/risk-migration-q-and-a

PBGC Penalties Updated

The PBGC announces updates to its civil penalties. Document Excerpt The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation is required to amend its regulations annually to adjust the penalties provided for in sections 4071 and 4302 of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. This action is being taken in accordance with the Federal Civil Penalties Inflation […]

ABA Committee Q & A Session with PBGC

The American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits releases its annual Q & A session with the PBGC. Document Excerpt The following questions and answers are based on informal discussions between private-sector representatives of the JCEB and PBGC staff members. The questions were submitted by ABA members in advance to the agency and the […]

Allocation of Assets; Interest Assumptions for Valuing Benefits

The PBGC releases updated guidance on the applicable interest rate to be used to value benefits in a single employer plan under Section 4044 for the first quarter of 2017. Document Excerpt This final rule amends the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation’s regulation on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans to prescribe interest assumptions under the […]

PBGC Guarantee Limit

The PBGC has announced higher guaranteed benefit limits for 2017. Document Excerpt WASHINGTON – The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation announced today that the guarantee limit for single-employer plans that fail in 2017 will be higher than the limit that applied for 2015 and 2016. Link http://www.pbgc.gov/news/press/releases/pr16-16.html

PBGC Announces 2017 Premium Rates

The PBGC has announced premium rates for 2017. Document Excerpt The per-participant flat premium rate for plan years beginning in 2017 is $69 for single-employer plans (up from a 2016 rate of $64) and $28 for multiemployer plans (up from a 2016 rate of $27). For plan years beginning in 2017, the variable-rate premium (VRP) […]

Articles, White Papers & Other Information

Supreme Court rules in Favor of Religiously Affiliated Entities

The Supreme Court unanimously ruled in favor of an expanded church plan definition that includes certain plans established by religiously affiliated entitles. Document Excerpt Instead, it added language whose most naturalreading is to enable a plan “maintained” by a principal-purpose organization to substitute for a plan both “established” and “maintained” by a church. And as […]

Small Business will be allowed to Bypass the ACA Marketplace

CMS has announced that small businesses will be allowed to bypass the SHOP, the Affordable Care Act Marketplace designed for small businesses. Document Excerpt CMS will be exploring a more efficient implementation of the Federally-facilitated SHOP Marketplaces in order to promote insurance company and agent/broker participation and make it easier for small employers to offer […]

Fourth Circuit’s Decision on Removal of Reynolds Stock

The Fourth Circuit affirms the district court’s decision concluding that the fiduciaries’ decision to remove Reynolds stock did not cause the losses because a prudent fiduciary would have made the same divestment decision at the same time. Document Excerpt The “would have” standard does not demand such an impossible feat. Having a standard in which […]

CBO Estimates Of American Health Care Act

The CBO has released its estimates of the direct cost and effect of the American Health Care Act passed by the House. Document Excerpt CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have prepared an estimate of the direct spending and revenue effects of H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act, as […]

Section-by-Section Summary of American Health Care Act

The House, on a partisan vote, passed the American Health Care Act designed to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Document Excerpt Link http://strategichealthcare.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/AHCA-Section-by-Section-Summary-FINAL.pdf

HHS Finalizes Market Place Stabilization Rule

The HHS has released its final marketplace stabilization rule which includes a broader ability to offer policies that are below the ACA standards as well as a reduced open enrollment period. Document Excerpt This rule finalizes changes that will help stabilize the individual and small group markets and affirm the traditional role of State regulators. […]

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