Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

PRA removes pension obligation risk statement for insurers

PRA has deleted its legacy supervisory statement on pension obligation risk under the individual capital adequacy standards. It concerned the approach that PRA would expect insurers to take when evaluating their capital...more

Employee Benefits Developments - November 2015

PACE Act Changes the Definition of ‘Small Group’ for Market Reform Purposes. On October 7, 2015, President Obama signed into law the Protecting Affordable Coverage for Employees Act (PACE Act). The PACE Act changed the...more

Veterans Day: A Day to Remember, to Honor, and to Reexamine Compliance with Laws Protecting Servicemembers

As a veteran of the United States Marine Corps and someone who has seen the challenges that veterans face firsthand, I can attest to the benefits of giving veterans an opportunity to return to work following periods of...more

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Laws on the Rise

Several states and cities across the county have passed laws requiring employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave. Statewide laws have been passed in Connecticut, California, Massachusetts and Oregon....more

2016 Cost of Living Adjustments

The Internal Revenue Service has announced the 2016 cost of living adjustments to various limits. The adjusted amounts generally apply for plan years beginning in 2016. Some of the adjusted amounts, however, apply to calendar...more

District of Columbia Employers Must Provide Transportation Benefit Programs by the New Year

Employers with employees located in the District of Columbia must provide a transportation benefit program to employees by January 1, 2016. This mandatory commuter benefit is among many environmental and sustainability...more

“Socially Responsible” Investing Under ERISA: New DOL Guidance

Fiduciary concerns may have prevented plan committees from considering “economically targeted investments” (ETI) – such as investments that observe environmental, social or governance responsibility (ESG) standards – as...more

Give Paid Time Off or Sick and Vacation Leave?

Is it better for an employer to operate under a paid time off (PTO) policy or to have vacation and sick leave policies instead? A PTO policy is very appealing because it’s more straightforward and seems easier to administer,...more

IRS Announces 2016 Health FSA, HSA, HDHP and Transportation Plan Limits

The IRS has announced cost of living adjustments for health flexible spending accounts (“health FSAs”) in Section 125 cafeteria plans, contributions to health savings accounts (“HSAs”), out-of-pocket maximums under high...more

If Pain, Yes Gain — Part XII: Paid Sick Leave Spreading in New Jersey

After a wave of recent developments, New Jersey continues to solidify its status as the state with the most municipal paid sick leave laws in the country. Earlier this month, voters in Elizabeth approved a paid sick...more

Federal Court Determines that Employer Use of Employee Health Insurance Premium Payments Breach of ERISA Fiduciary Duties

On November 9, 2015, Minnesota Federal District Judge Susan Richard Nelson ruled that the president and CEO of Faribault Woolen Mills Company breached his fiduciary duties under ERISA by diverting Employee health insurance...more

Manufacturing a Troubling Future Part Two:  Recent Decision

This is the second of two posts regarding the “troubling” state of multi-employer pension plans. My October post provided an overview of the recently published Teamsters’ Central States Pension “Rescue Plan” and discussed...more

How to Deal with Employees

I always say that the main reason that I don’t want to have employees is because I was an employee once too. The union lawyers I worked with just didn’t understand the whole dynamic of the employer-employee relationship. They...more

Sixth Circuit Clarifies Prior Reversal Of An Order That Had Vacated Arbitration Award As A Manifest Disregard Of The Law

After an arbitrator ruled that indemnification agreements between an acquiring company and certain former directors and trustees of employee stock ownership plans, were void under ERISA, the district court vacated the...more

Elizabeth Becomes The 10th City in New Jersey to Require Paid Sick Leave

On November 3, 2015, voters in Elizabeth, New Jersey overwhelmingly approved a paid sick leave law that will require private employers to provide paid sick leave to employees. The law is anticipated to take effect on March 2,...more

Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015 Includes Pension and ACA Provisions

On November 2nd, the President signed legislation that will raise the debt ceiling through March 2017. The legislation includes important provisions relating to pension funding, PBGC premiums, and the Affordable Care...more

NYC to Require Most Employers to Offer Qualified Transportation Benefits

Effective Jan. 1, 2016, the New York City Affordable Transit Act (the “Act”) will require covered employers to establish a program allowing full-time employees to designate up to the federal limit of $130 per month in pre-tax...more

Changes to Paid Sick Time in New Jersey: Elizabeth Becomes 10th Municipality to Require Paid Sick Leave and Jersey City Expands...

On October 29, 2015, the City Council in Jersey City, New Jersey voted to broaden the scope of its paid sick leave ordinance, which was enacted in 2013. Just four days later, on November 3, 2015, voters in Elizabeth, New...more

New Year, New Required Transit Perk for NYC Employees

New York City’s Affordable Transit Act (Local Law 53) (the “Act”) will take effect on January 1, 2016. The Act requires employers in New York City with 20 or more full-time employees to provide pre-tax transit benefits to...more

Budget Legislation Repeals Affordable Care Act’s Automatic Enrollment Requirement for Large Employers

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015, Pub. L. No. 114-74, which was signed by President Obama on November 2, 2015, included a little-publicized provision that repealed the Affordable Care Act’s automatic enrollment requirement. ...more

Transportation Benefits Coming to D.C. Employees in 2016

In July 2014, the Council of the District of Columbia adopted and the then-mayor signed the Sustainable DC Omnibus Amendment Act of 2014, DC Law 20-385. The Act, among other things, brought about regulations and rules...more

Employee Benefits Provisions of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015

The Bipartisan Budget Act includes the following important employee-benefit related provisions: - It repeals the automatic enrollment mandate of the Affordable Care Act. Under the ACA, employers with more than 200...more

New York City Transit Benefit Requirement Fast Approaching

As most New York City employers know by now, beginning January 1, 2016, the New York Mass Transit Benefits Law (the "ordinance") requires employers with twenty or more full-time employees working in New York City to offer...more

Gaming the System? ERISA Interference Lawsuit Targets ACA-Driven Reduction of Hours Strategy

In a case believed to be the first of its kind, a recent class action claim has accused an employer of reducing hours of employees to avoid having to provide health coverage as required under the Patient Protection and...more

Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation: Do You Need to Send an Annual Notice to Plan Participants?

Plan sponsors of defined contribution qualified plans may need to issue one or more annual notices to participants before the end of each plan year. Failure to issue a required annual notice can have significant consequences....more

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