Today's Update

IRS Guidance

Request for Comments on Expansion of Determination Letter Program for 2019

In Notice 2018-24, the IRS request comments on the possible expansion of the determination letter program for 2019 for individually designed plans beyond initial qualification and termination. Document Excerpt This notice requests comments on the potential expansion of the scope of the determination letter program for individually designed plans during the 2019 calendar year, beyond […]

Guidance allowing Pre-approved Cash Balance Plans to Use Plan’s Actual Rate of Return

Revenue Procedure 2018-21 modifies prior guidance governing the procedures for pre-approved defined benefit plan to allow cash balance plans to provide for the actual rate of return on plan assets as the rate used to determine interest credits. Document Excerpt This revenue procedure modifies the procedures of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for issuing opinion […]

Reduction in User Fee on Termination

Revenue Procedure 2018-19 provides for a retroactive reduction in the applicable user fee when filing for a determination on termination from $3000 to $2300. Document Excerpt This revenue procedure modifies Rev. Proc. 2018-4, 2018-1 I.R.B.146. Specifically, this revenue procedure changes one user fee set forth in Appendix A of Rev. Proc. 2018-4, Schedule of User […]

Audit Guidelines on Missing Participants and RMDs

The IRS releases audit guidelines on missing participants and required minimum distributions. Document Excerpt This memorandum directs EP examiners not to challenge a 403(b) plan as failing to satisfy the required minimum distribution (RMD) standards under Internal Revenue Code (IRC) § 403(b)(10) in the circumstances set forth below. This memo addresses only the application of […]

IRS Intends to Issue Advisory and Opinion Letters for Pre-approved Defined Benefit Plans

Announcement 2018-5 provides that the IRS intends to issue opinion and advisory letters for master and prototype and volume submitter defined benefit plans restated for Notice 2012-76 on March 30, 2018. Document Excerpt The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) intends to issue opinion and advisory letters for pre-approved master and prototype (M&P) and volume submitter (VS) […]

Transition Relief for Certain HDHPs and HSAs

Notice 2018-12 clarifies that a health plan providing benefits for male sterilization or male contraceptives without a deductible or with a deductible below the minimum deductible for a high deductible health plan is not a high deductible health plan. This notice further provides transition relief for periods before 2020. Document Excerpt This notice clarifies that […]

DOL Guidance

Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Fiduciary Rule

Finding that the DOL exceeded its authority, the Fifth Circuit strikes down the DOL’s fiduciary rule. Document Excerpt The district court rejected all of these challenges. Finding merit in several of these objections, we VACATE the Rule. Link http://www.ca5.uscourts.gov/opinions/pub/17/17-10238-CV0.pdf

House Committee on Education Contacts DOL re: AHPs

The House Committee on Education and Workforce contacted the Secretary of Labor requesting that the DOL consider the House-passed Small Business Health Fairness Act of 2017 in its regulation of Association Health Plans. Document Excerpt Link https://edworkforce.house.gov/uploadedfiles/final_dol_ahp_submission_with_enclosure.pdf

Agencies Proposed Regulations On Short-Term, Limited Duration Insurance

The IRS, EBSA, DOL and HHS release a proposed rule to amend the definition of short-term, limited duration insurance for purposes of the exclusion from the definition of individual health insurance coverage. Document Excerpt This rule contains proposals amending the definition of short-term, limited duration insurance for purposes of its exclusion from the definition of […]

DOL Report on Private Plans

EBSA issues its Private Pension Plan Bulletin abstract of 2015 culled from 5500 reports. Document Excerpt Number of Pension Plans and Participants6 􀁸 The total number of pension plans grew again in 2015 to approximately 694,000 plans, a 1.3 percent increase over 2014. The number of DC plans grew by 1.2 percent. Despite the long-term […]

DOL Announces April 1, 2018 Applicability Date for Claims Regulations Amendment

The DOL announced its decision for April 1, 2018 as the applicability date for employee benefit plans to comply with the final rule amendments regarding disability claims. Document Excerpt The U.S. Department of Labor announced today its decision for April 1, 2018, as the applicability date for employee benefit plans to comply with a final […]

DOL Proposed Rules to Allow Employer Groups to Maintain Health Plans

The proposed rule would broaden the definition of employer for purposes of ERISA Section 3(5) to make it easier for employers in the same industry or employers located in the same geographic area to maintain association plans. Document Excerpt This document contains a proposed regulation under Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act […]

PBGC Guidance

Policy Statement on Alternative Ways on Satisfying Withdrawal Liability

The PBGC issues a policy statement on factors the PBGC considers in reviewing multiemployer plan proposals for alternative terms and conditions to satisfy withdrawal liability. Document Excerpt PBGC is issuing this policy statement to provide insight to the public on the information PBGC finds helpful and factors PBGC considers in reviewing multiemployer plan proposals for […]

Proposed Regulations on Changes to Guaranteed Benefits for Owner-Participants

This proposed rule would amend PBGC’s benefit payment regulation by replacing the guaranteed limitations applicable to substantial owners with a new limit applicable to majority owners. In addition, the proposed rule would amend the asset allocation regulation by prioritizing funding of all other benefits in priority category 4 ahead of those benefits that would be […]

Notice of Modified Systems of Records

PBGC releases proposed rules on changes to the system of records notices to: amend a general routine use, rescind a duplicative system, establish a new system of records for collection of data from the agency website and other proposed changes. Document Excerpt Pursuant to the Privacy Act of 1974, the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) […]

Missing Participant Program Final Rule

The PBGC has released its final rule governing its expanded Missing Participant program. Document Excerpt SUMMARY: The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) administers a program to hold retirement benefits for missing participants and beneficiaries in terminated retirement plans and to help those participants and beneficiaries find and receive the benefits being held for them. The […]

Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans: Valuation of Benefits and Assets

This regulation amends existing PBGC regulations on Allocation of Assets in Single-Employer Plans by substituting a new table for determining expected retirement ages for participants in plans in distress or involuntary termination with valuation dates falling in 2018. Document Excerpt Link https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2017/12/20/2017-27361/allocation-of-assets-in-single-employer-plans-valuation-of-benefits-and-assets-expected-retirement

PBGC Guarantee Limits for 2018

The PBGC releases the guarantee limit for 2018 for single employer plans. Document Excerpt Link https://www.pbgc.gov/news/press/releases/pr17-08

Articles, White Papers & Other Information

SEC Fact Sheet on Proposed Best Interest Standard

In addition to its proposed regulation, the SEC also issued this Fact Sheet on its proposed best interest regulation. Document Excerpt Under proposed Regulation Best Interest, a broker-dealer would be required to act in the best interest of a retail customer when making a recommendation of any securities transaction or investment strategy involving securities to […]

SEC Proposed Interpretation of Best Interest Standard of Conduct

Along with the issuance of its proposed regulations, the SEC is also publishing a proposed interpretation of the standard of conduct and request for comments. Document Excerpt The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC” or the “Commission”) is publishing for comment a proposed interpretation of the standard of conduct for investment advisers under the Investment […]

SEC Proposed Rule on Best Interest Standard

The SEC has issued a proposed regulation establishing a standard of conduct for broker-dealers and those associated with broker-dealers when making recommendations of securities transactions or investment strategies involving securities to retail customers. Document Excerpt This obligation shall be satisfied if: the broker-dealer or a natural person who is an associated person of a broker-dealer, […]

Guidance ending Special Enrollment Periods for 2017

CMS issues guidance ending special enrollment periods for coverage during calendar year 2017. Document Excerpt Consistent with our practice in prior years, as of April 1, 2018, CMS is no longer accepting new requests for a Special Enrollment Period (SEP) that would enable consumers to enroll in a Qualified Health Plan (QHP) with 2017 coverage […]

Q & A on Medical Loss Ratio Reporting and Rebate Requirements

CCIIO issues technical guidance in the form of Qs and As on the medical loss ratio reporting and rebate requirements. Document Excerpt The purpose of this bulletin is to supplement Q&A #18 in the July 18, 2011 CCIIO Technical Guidance1 and other prior guidance2 regarding the employee counting method for determining market size for purposes […]

Process for a State to submit a Request for Adjustment to Individual Market MLR Standard

CCIIO issues technical guidance on the process for a state to submit a request for adjustment to the individual market medical loss ratio standard. Document Excerpt Section 2718 of the Public Health Service Act (PHS Act), as added by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), requires health insurance issuers (issuers) to submit a […]

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