Benefits Law

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The IRS generally frowns on 401(k) plans that allow employees to take out loans. And it has come down like a hammer when employees whose accounts hold more than $100,000 in vested benefits take out multiple loans during the same year.
In a significant win for these organizations, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that defined benefit pension plans offered and maintained by hospitals associated with religious organizations are, nevertheless, church plans, which are excluded from ERISA, the federal benefits law.
One of the first things IRS auditors examine when auditing 401(k) or 403(b) plans is documentation backing up hardship distributions made to employees who need cash. New exception: New instructions to auditors ease this substantiation burden by allowing plans to ditch retaining original documentation in favor of summaries of employees’ financial need.
It’s becoming increasingly hard to find a human to talk to when you pick up the phone. It was inevitable that automated advisers—called robo-advisers—would seep into the 401(k) arena.
Employees are always vested in the amounts they contribute into their 401(k) plan accounts on a pretax basis. The same isn’t true for employer matching contributions, which means that 401(k) plans must account for forfeitures when employees leave before they become vested.
Final regulations allow cities, counties and other political subdivisions with populations equal to or greater than the population of the least populated state to require private employers without retirement plans to auto-enroll employees into IRAs without running into ERISA.
Three federal agencies—the IRS, the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services—hold sway over group health plans. Each agency has issued regulations that will affect your group plan.
Double dips are great for ice cream cones, but not group health benefits.
Five states have enacted laws that require certain employers to set up auto-enrollment IRAs for their employees.
The IRS has released final Affordable Care Act information reporting forms—Forms 1095-C, 1094-C and 1095-B—for 2016 information reporting purposes.
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