Benefits Law

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act repealed the Affordable Care Act’s individual mandate—a requirement that all individuals have health insurance providing minimum value—beginning this year.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.
With certain exceptions, HDHPs can’t start reimbursing employees until they meet those high deductibles. The IRS recently added to the exceptions for preventive services.
The IRS has begun enforcing the Affordable Care Act’s free-rider penalties against approximately 50,000 applicable large employers it suspects didn’t offer at least 95% of their full-time employees and their dependents affordable, minimum value group health benefits during 2017.
A federal trial court has ruled that California’s Secure Choices law—which mandates that small employers that don’t already have retirement plans enroll employees into auto-deduction IRAs and withhold the contributions from their pay—isn’t an ERISA-covered retirement plan.