Today's Update

IRS Guidance

Temporary PT Excise Tax Relief for Those Provided Temporary DOL Relief

The IRS issues temporary relief from the excise tax under Section 4975 for those who receive DOL relief under Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-01. Document Excerpt This announcement provides relief from certain excise taxes under § 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code (Code), and any related reporting requirements, to conform to the temporary enforcement policy described […]

Employee Plans News

The IRS’ current issue of Employee Plans News includes the IRS’s first Operational Compliance List to be used by plans to ensure compliance in operation. Document Excerpt Link https://www.irs.gov/retirement-plans/employee-plans-news

IRS Extends the Period to Provide Initial QSEHRA Notice

Notice 2017-20 extends the period for providing the initial notice to employees eligible for the qualified small employer health reimbursement arrangement (QSEHRA). Document Excerpt In order to provide eligible employers additional time to furnish the initial required written notice to eligible employees following the issuance of such guidance, an eligible employer that provides a QSEHRA […]

Guidance on Substantiation of Safe Harbor Hardship Withdrawals

The IRS has issued a Memorandum to its EP examinations division on the substantiation of 401(k) safe harbor hardship withdrawals. Document Excerpt This memorandum sets forth substantiation guidelines for EP Examinations employees examining whether a section 401(k) plan hardship distribution is “deemed to be on account of an immediate and heavy financial need” under safe-harbor […]

Covered Compensation Tables for the 2017 Plan Year

Rev. Rul. 2017-05 sets forth Covered Compensation tables for the 2017 plan year. Document Excerpt This revenue ruling provides tables of covered compensation under § 401(l)(5)(E) of the Internal Revenue Code and the Income Tax Regulations thereunder, for the 2017 plan year. Link https://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rr-17-05.pdf

Letter Authorizing Suspension of Iron Workers Pension

The IRS has issued its letter authorizing the suspension of the Iron Workers Local 17 Pension plan benefits. Document Excerpt As required by MPRA, Treasury conducted a vote of eligible Plan participants and beneficiaries to approve or reject your benefit suspension. This vote concluded at 5:00 p.m. EST on Friday, January 20, 2017. Pursuant to […]

DOL Guidance

DOL Field Assistance Bulletin on Fiduciary Regulation Enforcement

The DOL has issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2017-01 providing enforcement relief in light of the DOL’s recent proposed extension of its conflict of interest applicability date. Document Excerpt Link https://www.dol.gov/sites/default/files/ebsa/employers-and-advisers/guidance/field-assistance-bulletins/2017-01.pdf

House Unveils two Bills to Replace the Affordable Care Act

Two House Committees unveiled bills that would replace the Affordable Care Act. Document Excerpt Link https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3492553-Merged-Document.html#document/p1

DOL Proposed Extension of Applicability Date of Conflict of Interest Regulations

The proposed regulation filed with the OMB was for a 60 day extension of the applicability date of the DOL’s final conflict of interest regulations. Document Excerpt This document proposes to extend for 60 days the applicability date defining who is a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and the Internal Revenue […]

DOL Files Notice to Delay Fiduciary Rule

In response to the President’s Executive Order, the DOL has filed a notice with OMB to delay the applicability date of the conflict of interest regulations. Document Excerpt Link https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eoDetails?rrid=127213

Resolutions of Disapproval of State Based Private Plans

A Resolution of Disapproval has been introduced in Congress regarding the regulations and Interpretive Bulletin allowing states to adopt and maintain private sector retirement plans. Document Excerpt Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, and Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) have introduced two resolutions of disapproval (H. J. Res […]

Texas Court Upholds Fiduciary Rule

A federal district court in Texas denies the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and grants the DOL’s motion. Document Excerpt Before the Court are the parties’ Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 48, 51, 54, 67). On November 17, 2016, the Court held oral argument on the Motions. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiffs’ Motions […]

PBGC Guidance

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) […]

Disaster Relief for Parts of North Carolina

The PBGC has announced disaster relief for those affected by Hurricane Mathew in North Carolina. Document Excerpt The disaster area consists of Beaufort, Bladen, Columbus, Cumberland, Edgecombe, Hoke, Lenoir, Nash, Pitt, and Robeson Counties. Link http://www.pbgc.gov/prac/other-guidance/dr/dr16-12.html

Articles, White Papers & Other Information

A District Court Rules Against Health Plan’s Cross-Plan Offset

The court ruled that offsetting charges for one patient against overpayments made to the same provider for another patient under a different plan constitutes an impermissible use of plan assets as the court found that no basis for the practice in the plan documents. Document Excerpt Applying the Finley factors, the Court finds that United’s […]

House Unveils two Bills to Replace the Affordable Care Act

Two House Committees unveiled bills that would replace the Affordable Care Act. Document Excerpt Link https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/3492553-Merged-Document.html#document/p1

Court Allows C Corp. DISC Payments to Roth IRA

The 6th Circuit overturned the decision of the Tax Court and allowed an arrangement that resulted in payments of millions of dollars to a Roth IRA though, as the court acknowledged, such arrangement effectively allowed for payments in excess of IRA contribution limits. Document Excerpt As it turns out, the Commissioner does not have such […]

Resolutions of Disapproval of State Based Private Plans

A Resolution of Disapproval has been introduced in Congress regarding the regulations and Interpretive Bulletin allowing states to adopt and maintain private sector retirement plans. Document Excerpt Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions, and Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) have introduced two resolutions of disapproval (H. J. Res […]

Texas Court Upholds Fiduciary Rule

A federal district court in Texas denies the plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment and grants the DOL’s motion. Document Excerpt Before the Court are the parties’ Cross-Motions for Summary Judgment (ECF Nos. 48, 51, 54, 67). On November 17, 2016, the Court held oral argument on the Motions. For the reasons stated below, Plaintiffs’ Motions […]

SEC Registration Requirements for Certain 401(k) Plans with Brokerage Windows

The SEC in a Q & A (126.41) indicates that certain 401(k) plans that allow participants to invest in company stock through the plan’s brokerage window may be required to register. Document Excerpt Question 126.41 Q: A company sponsors a 401(k) plan that does not offer an employer securities fund in which employee contributions may […]

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