Employee Benefits

News & Analysis as of

D.C. One Step Closer To Providing Employees Up To 8 Weeks Of Paid Leave

As we previously reported, in December 2016 the D.C. Council passed the Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016 (the “Act”). If it becomes law, the Act will provide all full and part time private sector workers in D.C....more

HHS Expresses Interest in Pre-Existing Condition Exclusions

In proposed regulations published on February 17, 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has suggested several adjustments designed to help stabilize the individual health insurance market – particularly...more

Who is a “parent” in the Ontario pension world? And why does it matter?

Any person who is the “spouse” of a member of a registered pension plan in Canada has rights regarding the pension entitlement of his or her partner. That important policy has been entrenched in pension legislation for...more

Update #4: Proposed ACA Rules to Stabilize Exchange Markets

Insurers have been pressuring the Trump Administration to relieve some of the uncertainty from the pending ACA “repeal/replace” debate in time for them to decide whether to participate in the individual health insurance...more

DOL Issues New Guidance on Plan Fiduciaries' Proxy Voting Policies

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) published Interpretive Bulletin (IB) 2016-1 on Dec. 29, 2016, relating to the exercise of shareholder rights and written statements of investment policy, including proxy...more

Recent Changes to the IRS Determination Letter Program

Effective January 1, 2017, except for the last batch of Cycle A filers who were permitted to submit determination letters by January 31, 2017 (i.e., filers with an EIN ending in 1 or 6), the IRS will no longer accept...more

Update on the USDOL Conflict of Interest Rule and Related Exemptions

There were two key developments last week concerning the ongoing challenges to the U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) conflict of interest rule and related exemptions:  a Presidential Memorandum calling for a review of the...more

Payment Obligations for Mexico Employers: The 2017 Daily Minimum Wage and UMA

On December 19, 2016, it was issued in the Official Gazette of the Federation that the daily minimum wage for 2017 in Mexico will be Mex$80.04. Moreover, on December 31, 2016, the Law to Determine the Value of the Unit...more

Court Holds That A One-Line Will Should Have Been Admitted To Probate

In In the Estate of Setser, the decedent signed a 1993 will naming his daughter as the sole beneficiary. No. 01-15-00855-CV, 2017 Tex. App. LEXIS 937 (Tex. App.—Houston [1st Dist.] February 2, 2017, no pet. history). Later,...more

Good Advice for Everyone: Ten Steps to Avoid Big Trouble

On both a business and individual level, there are ten easy steps you can take now to avoid big trouble later. If you address just five of these items this month, you will be half way there. Originally published in the...more

New Disability Claims Procedures Rules Applicable to ERISA Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor has issued new regulations affecting how disability claims are handled under ERISA plans that provide disability benefits or base receipt of benefits on the existence of a disability. While most...more

Upcoming Group Health Plan Annual Reporting Deadlines

With all the recent and pending changes shaking up the Employee Benefits world, at least a few things are remaining constant.  Here are a few upcoming annual reporting deadlines for group health plans...more

Department of Labor Moves to Delay Fiduciary Rule

On Thursday, February 9, 2017, the Department of Labor (DOL) filed a notice with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to delay the effective date of the final Conflict of Interest Rule that re-defines who is a fiduciary...more

Local and State Developments Impact San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Obligations

Developments at the local and state level have affected what employers must do to comply with the San Francisco Paid Parental Leave Ordinance (“SF PPLO” or the “Ordinance”). The SF PPLO took effect on January 1, 2017 (for...more

DOL’s Fiduciary Rule Still in Limbo after Trump Memo and Federal Judge’s Ruling

Last week, President Trump issued a memorandum directing the Department of Labor (DOL) to reconsider implementation of the fiduciary rule. The fiduciary rule, which widens the scope of who is considered a “fiduciary” of an...more

Reducing your Pension Protection Fund (PPF) levy for 2017/18

2017/18 is the third year in the Pension Protection Fund (PPF)'s levy "triennium" under the new levy framework. Trustees who wish to reduce their pension scheme's risk-based levy by taking account of contingent assets or...more

News from the Vermont State House - An analysis from DRM's Government & Public Affairs Team - February 2017

The Agency of Transportation has submitted a proposal to the House Transportation Committee that would allow the agency to seek damages from a utility that fails to move or adjust a utility line that is in a state or local...more

Voluntary donation of leave days in Belgium

The system of “voluntary donation of leave days” gives the possibility to an employee who has a child (below 21 years) suffering from a particularly serious disease, a particularly serious handicap or who had a particularly...more

Introducing a "career savings system" in Belgium

Almost each governmental agreement of this last decade promoted the introduction of a new scheme aiming to give to employees more autonomy in the management of their working time and thereby to have a better work-life...more

DOL Fiduciary Rule Still On for April 10 Implementation

The Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Duty Rule remains on track for April 10 implementation, notwithstanding a maelstrom of hype about it. Nearly everyone expected the new administration would delay the Rule – and many...more

Implications of Trump's Memorandum on Status of Fiduciary Rule

President Donald Trump issued a memorandum on Feb. 3, 2017, directing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to reconsider the regulations that change the definitions of fiduciary and fiduciary advice. The regulations,...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Weigh in on Religious Exemptions from ERISA

The United States Supreme Court recently agreed to hear appeals from hospitals with Christian affiliations regarding the Employee Retirement Income Security Act’s (“ERISA”) exemption for church retirement plans. ...more

“But Our Vendor Handles Everything — How Can We Still Have Fiduciary Liability?”

As the rules governing retirement and health plans grow more complex, employers often need professional help in order to keep up with the day-to-day management of the employee benefit plans they sponsor. From third-party...more

Dealing with New IRS Qualification Requirements for Pension, Profit Sharing and 401(k) Plans, Effective January 1, 2017

The procedures for qualification of an employer sponsored individually designed pension, profit sharing or 401(k) plan for favorable tax deferred treatment under the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”) changed significantly...more

IRS Announces the Last Day of the Remedial Amendment Period for 403(b) Plans

The Internal Revenue Service recently issued Revenue Procedure 2017-18, which provides that the last day of the remedial amendment period for Code Section 403(b) retirement plans will be March 31, 2020. As discussed below,...more

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