Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

De-Risking At Risk? Lawmakers Urge Changes

Plan sponsors such as Ford, General Motors and more recently, Motorola, have made headlines for implementing strategies to remove liabilities from their balance sheets by cashing out participants and transferring their...more

Just Because You Hurt Isn't Enough To Establish You're Entitled To Benefits

As we’ve discussed, you have to prove that you’ve been injured as a result of your work-related accident to get medical treatment for that injury. One of the common misconceptions that can arise out of workers’ comp claims...more

Recent Employee Benefit Developments - October 2014

IRS Expands Cafeteria Plan Status Change Events - On September 18, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2014-55, which establishes two new change in status events for cafeteria plans. The new change in...more

Manatt on Health Reform: Weekly Highlights: October 2014

This week, states’ Marketplaces are busy preparing for the 2015 Open Enrollment Period. Marketplaces are reviewing projected enrollment and renewal figures and releasing searchable databases for 2015 health plan rates, among...more

Impact of Supreme Court’s Recent Actions on Employee Benefits

Did the Supreme Court legalize same-sex marriage? On October 6, 2014, the Supreme Court of the United States denied review of seven petitions challenging federal court of appeal rulings in the Fourth, Seventh, and...more

Australian government commits to reform tax treatment of employee stock awards: 5 takeaways for US-based companies

The Australian government has committed to reform the tax treatment of employee stock awards as part of its Industry Innovation and Competitiveness Agenda, in an effort to retain top talent and boost entrepreneurship in...more

Raised ceilings: IRS issues new limits for retirements plans

On October 23, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service issued Notice 2014-99, which applies cost of living adjustments (“COLAs”) to various limits applicable to qualified retirement plans and individual retirement accounts for the...more

Employers: How Do Your Retirement Plans Treat Same-Sex Unions?

IRS Issues Long Awaited Guidance on Application of US v. Windsor to Retirement Plans - New IRS guidance means that action is required by employers sponsoring qualified retirement plans if the terms of the plan are...more

IRS Announces Employee Benefit Plan Limits for 2015

Recently the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Social Security Administration announced the cost-of-living adjustments to the applicable dollar limits on various employer-sponsored retirement and welfare plans and the...more

Executive Compensation and Employee Benefits Alert: ISS Issues Draft Policy Changes for 2014 Comments Due by October 29, 2014

On October 15, 2014, Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) published its draft policy changes for 2015 and opened a public comment period ending October 29, 2014. The proposed revisions for U.S. listed companies are...more

Considering a Wellness Program for Employees? Make Sure You Do Not Violate the ADA or Other Laws in the Process

Rising health insurance costs have bedeviled employers for years. Wellness programs represent one tool designed to increase employee health and reduce health insurance costs. The Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) so called...more

Airline Industry Alert: RLA System Board Rules That Cessation of Operations as an Air Carrier Resulted in Termination of the CBA

In a recent decision, an RLA System Board of Adjustment has ruled that unilateral termination of a pilot retiree health insurance plan was permissible because the underlying CBA had terminated....more

IRS Announces 2015 Benefit Plan Limits

The Internal Revenue Service has released the 2015 cost of living adjustments affecting dollar limits on benefits and contributions under qualified retirement plans....more

What Falls Under "Medical Compensation" Under North Carolina's Workers' Comp Act

In our last post we discussed how you prove that you're entitled to medical compensation. In this one, we're going to talk about what medical compensation actually mean, what you have to do to get it, and some examples of...more

IRS Announces 2015 Cost-of-Living Increases to Benefit Plan Limits

On October 23, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service announced cost of living adjustments affecting the limitations applicable to pension and other retirement plans, in IR 2014-99. Some of the limitations remain unchanged...more

2015 COLAs for Employee Benefit Plans

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2015 cost of living adjustments to various limits on employee benefit plans. The adjusted amounts generally apply for plan years beginning in 2015. Some of the adjusted amounts,...more

Ohio Supreme Court Rules On Applicability of Dual Intent Doctrine When Determining Eligibility For Workers’ Compensation Benefits

On October 21, 2014, the Supreme Court of Ohio in Friebel v. Visiting Nurse Assn. of Mid-Ohio addressed whether the doctrine of dual intent or dual purpose is applicable when determining eligibility for workers’ compensation...more

Proposed Bankruptcy Fairness and Employee Benefits Protection Act of 2014 would place significant restrictions on employers in...

Legislation recently introduced in the Senate would place many restrictions on the ability of a corporation navigating bankruptcy to change the compensation and benefits of employees and retirees. The bill would also create a...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2014

Editor's Overview - The first article in this month's newsletter focuses on whether specific language in ERISA employer-provided disability insurance plans confer discretionary authority to plan administrators to...more

Retirement Plan Sponsors Should Know Their Role as Plan Fiduciaries

I love professional wrestling and I’m not afraid to admit. Yes, I know it’s not real just like I know the Ewings don’t live on Southfork Ranch. Maybe it’s in my blood since both of my grandfathers watch it, but I find the...more

Blog: Business Forward Hosts HHS’s Director of Private Sector Engagement for a Discussion on Health Care for Small Businesses

On Wednesday, October 15, 2014, Business Forward hosted a discussion with Rhett Buttle, the Director of Private Sector Engagement at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Mr. Buttle began by providing...more

IRS Permits Puerto Rico-Qualified Plans in U.S. Group Trusts, Extends Deadline for Certain Puerto Rico Spin-Offs

The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) recently issued Revenue Ruling 2014-24, which expressly permits retirement plans that are tax qualified only in Puerto Rico (Puerto Rico-only plans) to continue to pool assets with...more

New Hybrid Pension Plan Guidance

The IRS recently issued new final and proposed regulations that provide welcome guidance to sponsors of hybrid pension plans. Hybrid pension plans, such as cash balance plans and pension equity plans, are defined benefit...more

Being a long term Plan Provider can be a bad thing too

Being a long time plan provider for a client can be a good thing and it can be a bad thing. While having a long time base of clients is great for business and indicative of client satisfaction, it can be a bad thing too....more

OCR Issues Guidance on Application of HIPAA Privacy Rule after Windsor

The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was unconstitutional in United States v. Windsor prompted many businesses to review and revise their employee benefit plans. However, the...more

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