News & Analysis as of

More Post-Windsor Tax Guidance: IRS Issues Letter Outlining Steps for Individuals to Obtain Tax Refunds for Same-Sex Spousal...

On June 27, 2014, the IRS published a letter outlining the steps taxpayers should take in order to obtain a refund for taxes paid on the value of employer-sponsored health coverage provided to an employee’s same-sex spouse....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

Recent Employee Benefits Developments

Amending Retirement Plans to Recognize Same-Sex Marriages Plan sponsors need to review retirement plan documents and operations to determine whether changes are needed in response to last year's Supreme Court decision in U.S....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

The Affordable Care Act—Countdown to Compliance for Employers, Week 28: The Logic, Calculus, and Limits of “Skinny” Plans

It was just over a year ago that the Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “Employers Eye Bare-Bones Health Plans Under New Law,” which highlighted a compliance strategy to minimize employer exposure for...more

Pay-or-Play: Think Globally

With the effective date of the “pay-or-play” employer mandate just over the horizon, employers who sponsor group health plans are well aware of the layers of complexity presented by the mandate. One of the layers that...more

IRS Issues Guidance Effectively Prohibiting Employers From Reimbursing Employees For Individual Health Insurance Premiums

The IRS’ reasoning is that such reimbursement arrangements, often referred to as “employer payment plans” are “group health plans.” All group health plans must meet the Affordable Care Act’s “market reform” requirements, such...more

Health care reform reporting requirements: Final rules

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) contains requirements for both individuals and employers related to health care coverage. In order to assure compliance with certain of these requirements, PPACA requires...more

Further Guidance for Employers Providing Benefits Through Captives

On May 8, 2014, the IRS released Rev. Rul. 2014-15 (available here). The ruling provides guidance to the growing number of employers electing to insure or re-insure employee benefits through captive insurance arrangement. The...more

Health Care Reform – Employer and Plan Reporting Requirements

Health Care Reform requires applicable large employers and plan sponsors of self-insured medical plans to report certain information to the IRS and employees. The first reports will be due in 2016, based on 2015 calendar year...more

The Waiting is the Hardest Part: Final Regulations on the PPACA’s 90-Day Waiting Period Released

On February 24, 2014, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) of the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) jointly released...more

Final “Pay or Play” Regulations Provide Transition Relief for Non-Calendar Year Plans

Last week, the IRS issued final regulations that provide additional guidance on the new “pay or play” rules (also called the employer shared responsibility rules) that will generally apply to employers’ group health plans...more

New U.S. Guidance On Expatriate Health Plans

As discussed in a prior post, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) is currently in the process of finalizing its regulations implementing the Affordable Care Act’s (“ACA”) “Employer Mandate.” The Employer Mandate, which...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

IRS Relaxes Certain Cafeteria Plan Election Rules

IRS Notice 2014-01, issued December 16, 2013, provides guidance for plan sponsors of Code Section 125 cafeteria plans and Code Section 223 health savings accounts (“HSA”) regarding plan elections made by same-sex spouses....more

Year-End Health and Retirement Plan Guidance Grab Bag

Following Hawaii’s enactment of legislation recognizing same-sex marriage as of and after December 2, 2013 a number of additional pieces of guidance were also issued. Internal Revenue Service’s Frequently Asked Questions...more

More About HRAs And Some About EAPs

I blogged recently about IRS and Department of Labor (DOL) guidance restricting the ability of employers to subsidize individual health insurance premiums for their employees after December 31, 2013. That IRS and DOL guidance...more

No More Pre-Tax Premiums For Individual Insurance Policies?

Over the years we have seen some employers, particularly small employers, choose to provide health coverage to their employees by paying all or part of the premium for individual insurance policies that the employees have...more

The Affordable Care Act Creates Compliance Challenges For HRAs And Other Arrangements

On September 13, 2013 the U.S. Department of the Treasury (IRS), the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), collectively referred to herein as the Departments, coordinated...more

Windsor & DOMA: Issues for Cross-Border Employers

On June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in U.S. v. Windsor that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”), which defined “marriage” as strictly between opposite-sex couples and “spouse” as referring only to a...more

Agencies Issue Guidance on Same-Sex Marriage Impacting Employee Benefits

On June 26, 2013, the United States Supreme Court, in United States v. Windsor, held that Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (“DOMA”) is unconstitutional as a deprivation of the equal liberty of persons that is...more

Restaurant Industry Newsletter - August 2013

Fast Food Strikes Spread Across the Nation - Executive Summary: Recently, unions and union-backed workers' centers have set their sights on employers in the restaurant industry, particularly those operating fast-food...more

Right from the Source: IRS Guidance for U.S. Plan Sponsors on Fixing Mistakes and Surviving IRS Employee Plan Audits

Those of you who participated in our July 16 webinar on plan fix-it programs heard us emphasize the importance of self-audits and internal controls to increase your chances of coming out clean in an employee plan audit....more

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Section 3 of DOMA is Unconstitutional: What Should Employee Benefit Plan Sponsors and Administrators Be...

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) provides a single definition of marriage, as between one man and one woman, for purposes of all federal laws, including the Internal Revenue Code and ERISA....more

Final Wellness Regulations Clarify Rules For Discounts Linked To Health Results

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of Labor (DOL), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the three federal agencies with primary responsibility for implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA),...more

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