Brian M. Pinheiro

Brian M. Pinheiro

Ballard Spahr LLP

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IRS Announces Cost-of-Living Adjustments for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced cost-of-living increases applicable to annual limits for employee benefit plans, including pensions, 401(k), 403(b), 457(b), and welfare plans for 2015. Employers should make sure...more

10/28/2014 - COLA Cost-of-Living IRS Retirement Plan

ISS Releases 2015 Draft Voting Policies for Independent Chair and Equity Incentive Plan Proposals

Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) recently released for public comment its 2015 draft voting policies. The draft policies relate to two topics affecting the U.S. market: independent board chair shareholder proposals...more

10/21/2014 - Board of Directors Incentive Stock Options ISS Proxy Voting Guidelines Public Comment Shareholders

Health Plan ID Requirements and Other End-of-Year Considerations

Employers and other health plan sponsors may be focused on preparing for the commencement of the employer mandate under the Affordable Care Act on January 1, 2015, but a number of other deadlines and developments are emerging...more

10/13/2014 - Affordable Care Act Benefit Plan Sponsors Cafeteria Plans Employer Mandates HPID IRS Look-Back Measurement Period Popular Reporting Requirements

IRS Issues More Guidance on Affordable Care Act Reporting Requirements

Following up on regulations and forms published earlier this year, the IRS has issued instructions and other guidance on the shared responsibility reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act....more

9/4/2014 - Affordable Care Act IRS Reporting Requirements

Government Agencies Release Further Accommodations to Organizations Opposing Mandated Contraceptive Coverage

In response to the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, Inc., the U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services (HHS) and Labor (DOL) published proposed rules on August 22, 2014, expanding the...more

8/26/2014 - Affordable Care Act Burwell v Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Coverage Mandate DOL Employer Liability Issues Final Rules HHS Reasonable Accommodation Religious Freedom Restoration Act SCOTUS

Congress Passes Highway Funding Bill; Includes Pension Funding Relief

Last week, Congress gave final approval to a $10.8 billion bill that will keep federal highway funds flowing to states through the busy summer construction season. While this short-term “patch” offers some relief, it is now...more

8/4/2014 - Appropriations Bill Highway Trust Fund Highways Infrastructure Legislative Agendas New Legislation Pensions

IRS Issues Draft ACA Reporting Forms

The Internal Revenue Service recently released draft versions of the forms that will be used to meet the shared responsibility reporting requirements under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). These draft forms have been released...more

7/30/2014 - Affordable Care Act Employer Mandates Filing Requirements Forms Individual Mandate IRS Public Comment Reporting Requirements

Federal Courts Make Conflicting Rulings on Premium Assistance for Federal Exchange Plan Participants

Does the Affordable Care Act (ACA) authorize the payment of premium and copayment subsidies, or “premium assistance subsidies,” to individuals enrolled in a federally established Exchange? On July 22, 2014, two federal courts...more

7/25/2014 - Affordable Care Act Halbig v Burwell Healthcare IRS King v Burwell Subsidies Tax Credits

Midyear Check on Health Plan Compliance

If you sponsor or administer a group health plan, you are almost certainly taking steps to prepare for legal requirements that will become effective on or before January 1, 2015. New rules under HIPAA, the Affordable Care Act...more

7/15/2014 - Affordable Care Act Compliance Employer Group Health Plans Healthcare

Religious Freedom Law Exempts Employers from ACA Contraceptive Mandate, Supreme Court Holds

The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of three for-profit corporations that claimed that the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate to provide preventive care coverage for certain types of contraception violated the...more

7/3/2014 - Affordable Care Act Burwell v Hobby Lobby Contraceptive Coverage Mandate Contraceptives Healthcare Reform HHS Hobby Lobby Religious Exemption Religious Freedom Restoration Act SCOTUS

In ERISA Stock Drop Case, Supreme Court Giveth and Taketh Away on Moench Presumption

The U.S. Supreme Court recently eviscerated a key protection against stock drop lawsuits filed by participants in defined contribution plans that hold employer stock as an investment. In Fifth Third Bancorp et al. v....more

6/30/2014 - ERISA ESOP Fiduciary Duty FIfth Third Bancorp v Dudenhoeffer Fifth Third Mortgage Company Halliburton Halliburton v Erica P. John Fund Moench Presumption SCOTUS Stock Drop Litigation US Bancorp

U.S. Judge Strikes Down Same-Sex Marriage Ban in Pennsylvania

Today, a U.S. District Court in Pennsylvania nullified Pennsylvania’s Marriage Laws, holding that they violate the due process and equal protection clauses of the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. If the ruling stands...more

5/21/2014 - DOMA Due Process Equal Protection Marriage Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS US v Windsor

New FAQs Address Effect of Affordable Care Act on COBRA and Other Matters

In a wide-ranging set of frequently asked questions (FAQs) and other guidance, the U.S. Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services have addressed a number of issues pertaining to the Affordable Care Act...more

5/8/2014 - Affordable Care Act CHIPRA COBRA Corporate Counsel Cost-Sharing DOL FSA Healthcare HHS Preventive Health Care U.S. Treasury

IRS Issues Rules for Recognizing Same-Sex Spouses under Retirement Plans

Last week, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2014-19, which sets forth the rules for recognition of same-sex spouses in retirement plan administration, as required under the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in U.S. vs....more

4/8/2014 - DOMA IRS Retirement Plan Same-Sex Marriage US v Windsor

IRS Issues Guidance on Health FSAs

The IRS has issued guidance on two issues affecting health flexible spending arrangements (health FSAs). The first provides guidance on how a health FSA that consists solely of amounts carried forward from the prior year...more

4/4/2014 - Flexible Spending Accounts Healthcare HSA IRS

IRS To Apply One-Rollover-Per-Year Limit on IRA Rollovers

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has provided guidance that it will follow a recent tax court decision interpreting an Internal Revenue Code requirement allowing taxpayers to complete only one rollover per year from an...more

3/25/2014 - IRA IRA Rollovers IRS

ACA Employer Mandate Final Regulations Released; Enforcement Delays Provided for Mid-Sized Employers

Very large employers will be required to offer health care coverage to their full-time employees or pay a penalty to the federal government beginning January 1, 2015. Under the final regulations released by the U.S....more

2/13/2014 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employee Benefits Employer Mandates Healthcare Pay or Play

IRS Issues In-Plan Roth Rollover Guidance

The Internal Revenue Service has issued long-awaited guidance regarding the ability for participants in section 401(k), 403(b), and governmental 457(b) plans to convert balances from pre-tax and after-tax sources into Roth...more

12/13/2013 - 401k 457(b) Plans IRA Rollovers IRS Retirement Plan

Final Regulations Issued on Safe Harbor Contribution Suspension

The Treasury Department has issued final regulations regarding the ability to suspend employer contributions to "safe harbor" 401(k) and 403(b) plans during a plan year. Employers that maintain safe harbor plans should...more

11/15/2013 - 401k 403(b) Plans Benefit Plan Sponsors Employee Benefits Employer Contributions Safe Harbors

U.S. Treasury Department Rules on Recognition of Same-Sex Marriage

The U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) yesterday ruled in Revenue Ruling 2013-17 that same-sex couples, legally married in a jurisdiction that recognizes their marriage, will be...more

8/30/2013 - DOMA Income Taxes IRS Marriage Same-Sex Marriage SCOTUS U.S. Treasury

Federal District Court Awards Pension Benefit to Same-Sex Spouse

The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania has ordered a profit sharing plan to pay death benefits to the same-sex spouse of a deceased employee....more

8/5/2013 - Death Benefits DOMA Employee Benefits Marriage Same-Sex Marriage

DOL Delays Obligation of 401(k) and 403(b) Plans To Distribute Annual Investment Related Information

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) yesterday released Field Assistance Bulletin 2013-2 granting plan sponsors of participant-directed individual account plans (such as 401(k) and 403(b) plans) the ability to delay this year’s...more

7/23/2013 - 401k 403(b) Plans Deadlines Delays DOL

Effective Date of ACA Employer Mandate (Pay or Play) is Postponed

In a startling development, the federal government appears ready to delay by one year the effective date of one of the central provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—the shared responsibility provisions (more commonly...more

7/3/2013 - Affordable Care Act Delays Employer Mandates Pay or Play Shared Responsibility Rule Tax Penalties U.S. Treasury

Treasury Proposes Minimum Value Rules for Health Plans

The U.S. Department of the Treasury has published proposed regulations that provide guidance on how an employer may determine whether its group health plan provides “minimum value.”...more

5/9/2013 - Affordable Care Act Employer Group Health Plans Healthcare Minimum Essential Coverage Penalties U.S. Treasury

Agencies Propose Regulations on the 90-Day Waiting Period Requirement

The U.S. Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and Treasury have released a joint set of proposed regulations implementing the requirement in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that group health plans...more

3/20/2013 - Affordable Care Act Eligibility Employer Group Health Plans Healthcare HHS Pay or Play Waiting Periods

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