Benefits Law

The 2021 plan and calendar years are drawing close, which means the IRS, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services are updating inflation adjustments and other materials for the coming plan year. Here’s the latest.
Under the Affordable Care Act, applicable large employers must offer 95% of their full-time employees affordable group health benefits providing minimum value. The ACA offers you various tests for determining whether you are an ALE and for identifying the employees who work full time. For calendar year health plans, it’s time to start thinking about testing for 2021.
Open enrollment is tough enough to handle once a year. But the pandemic wreaked havoc with employees’ child care arrangements. Similarly, employees who turned down group health coverage or elected skimpy coverage could have found themselves needing a more generous plan.
Together, the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (P.L. 116-127) and the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (P.L. 116-136) loosen up the 401(k) rules and some rules for high-deductible health plans and health savings accounts. A new provision allows you to defray employees’ student loans.
The ink is barely dry on the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act of 2019—the SECURE Act—which was included in a year-end 2019 appropriations bill. Yet it’s evident the IRS will have its hands full clarifying the law.
According to the U.S. Supreme Court, which ruled last week that a 401(k) plan participant didn’t gain actual knowledge of an alleged ERISA breach based on disclosures he received but didn’t read or couldn’t recall reading.
Mail delivery being what it is these days, you can’t really be sure whether retirees or terminated employees receive their pension distribution checks. That doesn’t matter, according to the IRS.
Although we took a vacation from writing for the last couple of weeks, we were diligently gathering stuff to write about. And that’s no joke. So, here’s the rundown.
401(k) plans may allow employees who are in financial difficulty to take hardship distributions. Final regulations, which implement portions of the 2018 Budget Act and the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, ease up on the criteria for these distributions.
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate—a requirement that all individuals have health insurance providing minimum value—beginning this year. Some states have jumped into the breach by enacting their own individual mandate laws. And just like the ACA, part of the enforcement mechanism is employer reporting.