The Importance of Proactive ERISA Legal Compliance Reviews

Periodically, the IRS will audit qualified retirement plans to ensure compliance with ERISA and federal regulations. Having taken the time to be proactive and conducting an internal legal compliance review before the IRS comes calling means you not only have confidence in your plan’s ability to pass an audit, but you’ll be prepared to hand the IRS agents the documentation they need. Preparation makes the process less Read More

State Fiduciary and Best Interest Developments

In addition to federal laws and regulations, businesses must also pay attention to state-level laws that might affect their benefits and programs. Here are a few recent changes at the state level that specifically apply to benefit fiduciaries and best interests. Connecticut: As of the first of this year, a company responsible for administrating a retirement plan offered by a political subdivision of the state, Read More

Key Considerations for Implementing a Safe Harbor 401(k) Plan

If your business is considering implementing a 401(k) plan for your employees, or changing the plan provided, the alternatives are to either offer a traditional 401(k) or look at alternative options using the safe harbor provision. This can be a complicated decision as it combines both laws and regulations surrounding plan offerings as well as your businesses priorities. You should also consider employee preferences Read More

Causes of HIPAA Breaches: Why Does it Matter

How we communicate is changing every day, and this includes how patients are communicating with their doctors and insurance providers and even how doctors are communicating with each other. All this ease of communication can have huge benefits, but when it concerns protected health information (PHI), such information also needs to be carefully protected. Forgetting to implement proper protocols and processes to Read More

Voluntary Benefits and ERISA

One safe harbor that many employers take advantage of is voluntary benefits programs that are exempt from ERISA. These voluntary plans can offer a variety of benefits to employees, but in order to be exempt, businesses must be careful to follow all requirements to meet the safe harbor provision. A recent case, McCann v. Unum Provident, argued last October before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit Read More

DOL Says Plan Fiduciaries Have to Find ‘Em!

The Department of Labor (DOL) is busy this year focusing on both regulating and identifying missing participants in multiple employer plans (MEPs). This past October, DOL published a proposed rule that attempts to make it easier to offer an association retirement plan as well as clearly delineate required disclosures for participants. While the rule may still face changes, it gives us a good idea of what to expect Read More

New Bill Provides Plan Sponsors Opportunity to Provide 401(k) Match on Student Loan Repayments

If your organization has hired anyone who has graduated from higher education in the recent past, you’re probably aware that they are much more concerned with paying off high-interest student loans than saving for a far more distant retirement. Indeed, interest rates on student loans are so high in some cases it doesn’t make financial sense to save at a lower interest rate, even if your business has a tax-advantaged Read More

Time to Review Your 403(b) Plan

For religious and non-profit organizations, as well as schools, retirement planning often involves a tax-advantaged 403(b) plan. Employees contribute pre-tax funds and those funds are then managed, invested, and grow over time to provide for retirement. There are a few key differences between 403(b) and 401(k) plans including who would be eligible for each, what type of contributions are made, and the administrative Read More

IRS Announces Expansion of Situations Permitting Corrections for HSA Contributions

Many businesses choose to set up healthcare to include a health savings account (HSA) for each participating employee. Employees and businesses can then make tax-advantaged contributions to this account. For the most part, once these contributions are made, an employer cannot reclaim the contributions, even if it was made incorrectly. However, the IRS has set apart some situations where corrections to HSA Read More

Two Recent HIPAA Breach Cases Highlight Importance of Compliant Business Associate Agreement

Companies that handle personal health information (PHI) that are subject to HIPAA rules often enter into business associate agreements. This includes companies handling electronic records for hospitals, transferring information to insurance companies, storing HIPAA data, and much more. All covered entities, including health plans, hospitals, and insurance companies, under HIPAA must have business associate agreements Read More