Today's Update

IRS Guidance

2018 Plan Dollar Limits

The IRS releases the 2018 retirement plan limits via Notice 2017-64. Document Excerpt Section 415 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) provides for dollar limitations on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans. Section 415(d) requires that the Secretary of the Treasury annually adjust these limits for cost-of-living increases. Other limitations applicable to deferred […]

October Employee Plans News

Included is a discussion of use of a cure period for missed loan payments, the new procedures for automatic approval for certain changes in funding method, and the newly released updated mortality table. Document Excerpt Link https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/employee-plans-news

IRS Updates Procedures for Requesting a change in Funding Method

Revenue Procedure 2017-57 updates guidance setting forth procedures for obtaining approval of the IRS for a change in funding method. Document Excerpt The purpose of this revenue procedure is to update Rev. Proc. 2000-41, 2000-2 C.B. 371, to take into account the enactment of subsequent legislation. This revenue procedure sets forth the procedure for obtaining […]

IRS Updates Automatic Approval Guidance

Revenue Procedure 2017-56 updates guidance on automatic approval for certain changes to take into account the provisions of Section 430 enacted as part of PPA. Document Excerpt Automatic approval for certain funding method changes for single-employer defined benefit pension plans subject to the minimum funding requirements of § 430 Link https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-17-56.pdf

Adjusted Dollar Amounts under Sections 4375 and 4376

Notice 2017-61 provides adjusted applicable dollar amounts to be multiplied by the average number of covered lives for purposes of Sections 4375 and 4376. Document Excerpt This notice provides the adjusted applicable dollar amount to be multiplied by the average number of covered lives for purposes of the fee imposed by §§ 4375 and 4376 […]

Guidance on obtaining approval for Plan-Specific Mortality Table

Revenue Procedure 2017-55 provides guidance for plans that wish to obtain approval to use their own plan-specific mortality table. Document Excerpt This revenue procedure sets forth the procedure by which the sponsor of a defined benefit plan that is subject to the funding requirements of § 430 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) may request […]

DOL Guidance

Executive Order On Health Care

President Trump signs an Executive Order authorizing insurance companies to sell health insurance policies across state lines. The order would require the DOL to issue guidance making it easier to maintain association plans. The order also encourages short-term plans and HRAs. Document Excerpt Link https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/10/12/presidential-executive-order-promoting-healthcare-choice-and-competition

Proposed Rule to Delay Disability Claims Regulatory Amendments

The DOL has proposed a rule that would delay implementation of the changes to the claims regulations governing disability claims. Document Excerpt The Department of Labor proposes to delay for ninety (90) days – through April 1, 2018 – the applicability of the Final Rule amending the claims procedure requirements applicable to ERISA-covered employee benefit […]

Interim Rule on Moral Exemptions and Accommodations from Certain Preventive Services

The DOL has released an interim final rule governing moral exemptions and accommodations from certain preventive services under the Affordable Care Act. Document Excerpt These interim final rules expand exemptions to protect moral convictions for certain entities and individuals whose health plans are subject to a mandate of contraceptive coverage through guidance issued pursuant to […]

Religious Exemptions for Certain Preventive Services

The DOL releases its rule on religious accommodation for birth control services under the Affordable Care Act. Document Excerpt These interim final rules expand exemptions to protect religious beliefs for certain entities and individuals whose health plans are subject to a mandate of contraceptive coverage through guidance issued pursuant to the Patient Protection and Affordable […]

Text of DOL Proposed Extension of BICE Transition Period

After approval by OMB, the DOL has now released the text of its proposed 18 month extension of the applicability date of the Best Interest Contract Exemption and other prohibited transaction exemptions transition periods. Document Excerpt This document proposes to extend the special transition period under sections II and IX of the Best Interest Contract […]

DOL Enforcement Policy on Arbitration Limitation in Best Interest Contract Exemption

DOL Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-03 provides guidance on the DOL’s nonenforcement policy on the arbitration limitation in Best Interest Contract Exemption. Document Excerpt Accordingly, the Department of Labor will not pursue a claim against any fiduciary based on failure to satisfy the BIC Exemption or the Principal Transactions Exemption, or treat any fiduciary as being […]

PBGC Guidance

Pilot Mediation Project Launched

In PBGC Release 17-7, the agency announces the launch of a pilot mediation program to resolve certain termination liability collection and Early Warning Program cases. Document Excerpt WASHINGTON – The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation announced a new pilot program to offer mediation in certain Termination Liability Collection and Early Warning Program cases. PBGC’s Pilot Mediation […]

Active Participant Reduction Reportable Event

The PBGC has released a Technical Update providing guidance on the active participant reduction reportable event. Document Excerpt This Technical Update 17-1 provides Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) guidance on compliance with the active participant reduction event requirements of section 4043(c)(3) of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”) and PBGC’s regulation on […]

PBGC Disaster Relief Announcement in the wake of Harvey

PBGC releases Disaster Relief Announcement 17-09 in the wake of hurricane Harvey and its flooding. Document Excerpt Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (“PBGC”) is waiving certain penalties and extending certain deadlines in response to severe storms and flooding from Hurricane Harvey that began on August 23, 2017, in Texas. Link https://www.pbgc.gov/prac/other-guidance/dr/dr17-09

PBGC Projections Report

The PBGC’s report on projected solvency is released. It projects that the PBGC’s multiemployer pension plan program will likely run out of money by the end of 2025 while the financial picture for single-employer plans will likely continue to improve. Document Excerpt This year’s projections for PBGC’s multiemployer program show less uncertainty regarding the year […]

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 […]

Articles, White Papers & Other Information

Executive Order On Health Care

President Trump signs an Executive Order authorizing insurance companies to sell health insurance policies across state lines. The order would require the DOL to issue guidance making it easier to maintain association plans. The order also encourages short-term plans and HRAs. Document Excerpt Link https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/10/12/presidential-executive-order-promoting-healthcare-choice-and-competition

CBO Estimates of the Cost of Terminating Cost Sharing Subsidies

The Congressional Budget Office released its report on the impact on the budget of terminating the Affordable Care Act’s cost sharing payments. Document Excerpt At the request of the House Democratic Leader and the House Democratic Whip, the Congressional Budget Office and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) have estimated the effects […]

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 […]

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