News & Analysis as of

This is What a TPA Does and Why a Retirement Plan Sponsor Should Hire a Good One

One of my favorite movies of all time is The Deer Hunter. It’s a story about the Vietnam War and the post-traumatic stress disorder a group of friends from Western Pennsylvania who were drafted together and fought alongside...more

Employee Benefits Developments - March 2014

On January 9, 2014, the Departments of Labor (DOL), Health and Human Services (HHS), and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”) issued additional health care reform guidance in the form of Frequently Asked Questions...more

Watch Out Employers: Changing Benefits During a Union Election Carries Risks

In Woodcrest Health Care Center and 119 SEIU, United Healthcare Workers Eastt, the NLRB ruled that an employer violated federal labor laws by improving health care benefits for some employees while declining to extend such...more

Legal Alert: DOL Proposes 408(b)(2) Disclosure Guide

On March 12, 2014, the Department of Labor (DOL) published in the Federal Register a proposed amendment to its disclosure requirements for “covered service providers” to retirement plans under ERISA § 408(b)(2) that would...more

Departments of Labor, Treasury, and Health and Human Services Issue Final and Proposed Regulations Implementing the 90-day Limit...

The Affordable Care Act (the “Act”) generally prevents an otherwise eligible employee (or dependent) from having to wait more than 90 days before coverage becomes effective under a group health plan. The regulation of waiting...more

The Wild Wild West of non-ERISA 403(b) Plans

I always say that as bad as 401(k) plans may be, 403(b) plans are in much worse shape. It didn’t help that the Internal Revenue Service only issued regulations that governed them only 30 years too late, back in 2008. It also...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2014

The employee benefits issues to be considered by the U.S. Supreme Court continue to be of great significance to plan sponsors and fiduciaries. This month we review the Court's employee benefit decisions from 2013 and also...more

Mistakes a Plan Sponsor Should Correct Before an IRS/DOL Audit

I have been in the retirement plan business for over 15 years and I have met too many plan sponsors who don’t care that their plan isn’t being run correctly. What makes them eventually care is when they are audited by the...more

Monthly Benefits Update - January 2014

Health & Welfare Plans - Agencies Issue New Round of Affordable Care Act FAQs - The Departments of Health and Human Services, Labor, and the Treasury (the “Departments”) recently issued their 18th round of...more

Who's Checking The Person Who Checked The Boxes?

A Lesson In 401(k) Prototype Documents - Most small to mid-size employers sponsoring a 401(k) plan maintain their plan on a pre-approved prototype document. If you’re not familiar with the term pre-approved prototype...more

Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury Issue Proposed Regulations Governing “Excepted Benefits”

A handful of recent guidance items that the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Treasury have issued make some important changes related to the regulation of “excepted benefits.” These changes are driven in...more

Proposed Regulations Expand the Definition of Excepted Benefits

Recently issued proposed regulations would expand the categories of excepted benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA), the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) and the Public Health Service Act. ...more

Does Your Wellness Plan Need a (Legal) Check-Up?

Wellness plans must comply with complex final regulations that were issued last year by the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Treasury (collectively, the “Departments”). To help plans from falling off...more

Welcomed Guidance on Wellness Programs

On June 3, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor and Health and Human Services (Agencies) issued final regulations regarding nondiscriminatory wellness programs in group health coverage under the Affordable Care Act and...more

Same-Gender Marriage Implications for Employee Benefit Plans

In the summer of 2013, the Supreme Court issued a decision in U.S. v. Windsor, striking down a key provision of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and eliminating the requirement that federal law recognize only marriages...more

Proposed Changes to "Excepted Benefits" Regulations

Proposed regulations issued at the end of December by the U.S. Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (the Departments) broaden the categories of health coverage that qualify as "excepted benefits."...more

Legal Alert: DOL and Treasury Update 2013-2014 Regulatory Agendas for Employee Benefits

On November 26, 2013, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) updated its Semi-Annual Regulatory Agenda. This publication takes the form of a Federal Register notice to comply with certain administrative requirements. The DOL’s...more

IRS Publishes Post-Windsor Guidance in Notice 2014-1

A significant amount of confusion remains for employee benefit plan sponsors regarding the impact of the Supreme Court's decision in United States v. Windsor and its holding that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act...more

Update – Administering Benefits in a Post-DOMA World

Here is a brief update to our September 24, 2013 alert, which addressed the administration of employee benefits as well as federal income taxes and FMLA leave following this summer’s ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in United...more

Final Regulations for the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008

On November 8, 2013, the Departments of Treasury, Labor, and Health and Human Services (collectively, the "Departments") jointly issued final regulations under the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (the...more

Employee Benefits Update: 2013 Year End Plan Tasks

As we approach the end of the year, employers and plan sponsors of qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans should take time to meet various upcoming deadlines. Failure to comply with the deadlines may result...more

Benefits Update, No. 4, November 2013: Healthcare Reform Update

Despite glitches and long wait times, the Health Insurance Marketplace created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) came online October 1, 2013, and along with it arrived a new notice obligation for...more

Employee Benefits for Same-Sex Couples: What Your Nonprofit Needs to Know

In this presentation: - United States v. Windsor - IRS Revenue Ruling 2013-17 - IRS FAQs - IRS Notice 2013-61 - Correction of employment tax overpayments for health and other fringe...more

Challenges and Best Practices for Home Care Employers Following the Elimination of the Companionship Exemption

In this Issue: - Introduction - History of the Companionship exemption - The New Regulations - Impact of the New Regulations - Challenges and Best practices for Home Care employers...more

Benefits Update, No. 4, November 2013: The World Post-Windsor: Rethinking Benefit And Leave Policies For Same-Sex Spouses

Following a highly-publicized U.S. Supreme Court decision and subsequent guidance from both the Labor Department (DOL) and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), employers need to rethink how they treat same-sex spouses under...more

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