Employee Benefits The United States Department of Labor

News & Analysis as of

Employment Flash - March 2015

In This Issue: - Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit Yard-Man Vested Benefits Presumption - Supreme Court Revives Pregnancy Discrimination Light Duty Case - NY Wage Theft Protection Act Amended - Senate...more

2014 Pension Plan Regulatory Highlights

The start of the new year is as good a time as any to look back at some of the employee benefits regulatory developments of 2014 that were not previously covered in this column. Originally published in Employee Benefit...more

DOL Issues Final Rules on Annual Funding Notice for Defined Benefit Plans

The Department of Labor recently issued final regulations implementing the annual funding notice that defined benefit plans are required to provide under Section 101(f) of ERISA. The final regulations are similar to the...more

DOL Issues Proposed Regulatory Changes To Sex Discrimination Rules For Federal Contractors

The United States Department of Labor (USDOL) has begun what is expected to be a year filled with regulatory changes by issuing its proposed new regulations regarding sex discrimination by federal contractors, which have not...more

Alabama’s New “I Do”: Same-Sex Marriage, the FMLA, and Employee Benefit Considerations

Alabama probate judges began issuing marriage licenses and presiding over ceremonies for same-sex couples a few days ago. The landmark occasion follows a recent ruling out of the Southern District of Alabama that struck down...more

PERM Denial Upheld for Failure to Include Free Housing Benefit in Advertisement

An important goal of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) is to protect U.S. workers from being displaced in the job market by foreign workers. Certain employment-based permanent residence applications therefore require...more

DOL and Treasury Update 2014-2015 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

The principal regulators of U.S. employee benefits have recently published updates to their guidance plans for the coming months. The updated plans are reflected in the attached chart. ...more

Congress Makes It Possible to Reduce Some Union Pensions

As a part of the Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act, 2015, passed by Congress and signed by the President on December 18, 2014, the 161-page "Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014" (Act) gives the...more

Final regulations on qualified longevity annuity contracts

An ongoing focus for the IRS and the DOL has been trying to ensure that individuals have a regular stream of income for the duration of their lives. In connection with this goal, in July of this year, the IRS released final...more

Final Regulations for ACA Excepted Benefits

On October 1, 2014, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services and Treasury issued final regulations that address the treatment of dental, vision and employee assistance programs (EAP) as "Excepted Benefits" under...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

Missing Participants in Your Terminated Defined Contribution Retirement Plan? The DOL Has Issued Guidance to Help You

Background - The U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") recently issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01 (the "FAB"), which provides guidance about how fiduciaries of terminated defined contribution retirement plans can...more

Update on Same-Sex Employee Benefits

In recent months employers around the country, have been scrambling to keep up with developments with respect to the evolving rights of employees in same-sex relationships. This articles touches on some recent guidance in...more

DOL Updates Procedures for Locating Missing Participants in Defined Contribution Plans

The U.S. Department of Labor recently released Field Assistance Bulletin 2014-01 (the “FAB”), which updates DOL’s guidance on locating missing participants when a defined contribution plan, such as a 401(k) plan, is...more

Department of Labor Opens the Door to Questioning Brokerage Windows Under 401(k) Plans

A request for information ("RFI") by the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") was published on August 21, 2014 regarding the use of so-called "brokerage windows" under retirement plans, such as many Section 401(k) plans, that...more

New Guidance on Locating Missing Participants for Terminated Defined Contribution Plans

On August 14, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) provided new guidance to plan fiduciaries of terminated defined contribution plans for locating missing and unresponsive participants in order to distribute their...more

Federal Contractors See Hike in SCA Health & Welfare Rates

On July 22, 2014, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) issued its annual memorandum announcing that, pursuant to 29 C.F.R. Section 4.52, the prevailing hourly health and welfare fringe benefit rates under the McNamara-O'Hara...more

Filed Your 2013 Health and Welfare Plan 5500s? Did you Include Your M-1 Attachments?

A provision of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA) included additional reporting requirements and greater U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) oversight of Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs). The DOL’s Employee...more

Employee Benefits Developments - July 2014

In May 2014, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and Treasury issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Part XIX, addressing, among other subjects, the following: The newly revised DOL model...more

U.S. Department of Labor Issues Proposed Regulations and New Model COBRA Notices

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued new proposed COBRA regulations. The regulations include an updated model general notice and model election notice under the federal COBRA law. Use of the model notices is not...more

DOL Proposes to Amend FMLA Definition of “Spouse” to Include Same-Sex Marriages

The U.S. Department of Labor has proposed amending the regulatory definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to expressly include individuals in same-sex marriages....more

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 24: Can Offers of Group Health Plan Coverage Under Code...

The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) generally require “applicable large employers” (i.e., employers who employed at least 50 full-time and full-time equivalent employees on...more

DOL Wants FMLA to Cover Same-Sex Couples

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) is seeking to extend coverage of the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) to same-sex couples following a Supreme Court ruling that federal benefits cannot be limited based on a...more

Employee Benefits: Important Wellness Plan and Mental Health/Substance Use Disorder Parity Effective Dates Have Arrived!

Employers and insurers offering medical plans: take note! Two important final regulations issued jointly by the IRS, DOL and HHS (the “Departments”) apply to plan years (or, in the individual market, policy years) beginning...more

Monthly Benefits Update

In Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, the Supreme Court held that regulations under the Affordable Care Act that require employer group health plans to provide contraceptive coverage violate the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA)....more

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