Asset or Stock Purchase: Form of Transaction and the Impact to Employee Benefit Plans

Mergers, acquisitions, consolidations, or other reorganizations of a company can have a profound effect on employee benefit plans. For the purpose of this post, we’ll examine two common types of corporate transactions and the issues companies need to consider: Stock purchase - The buyer purchases all the stock of a company, and the seller does not retain any employees or benefit plans. Asset purchase - The Read More

CDC Releases Updated Guidance for Fully Vaccinated People

On April 27, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance on Interim Public Health Recommendations for Fully Vaccinated People. Per the CDC, people are considered to be fully vaccinated two weeks following their second dose in a 2-dose series vaccine (Pfizer, Moderna) or two weeks following a single dose vaccine (J&J). People who are fully vaccinated can: Resume the same Read More

Biden’s American Families Plan Includes Paid Family Leave Component

Prior to his first address to Congress on April 28, 2021, President Biden introduced the American Families Plan, a $1.8 trillion plan that includes a provision for national paid family and medical leave.  President Biden addressed the paid leave component of the plan during his speech, saying that “No one should have to choose between a job and a paycheck or taking care of themselves or their loved ones, or their Read More

New White House Task Force on Worker Organizing Established

President Biden signed an Executive Order on April 26, 2021, that establishes the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment “dedicated to mobilizing the federal government’s policies, programs, and practices to empower workers to organize and successfully bargain with their employers.” Chaired by Vice President Harris, the new Task Force has been ordered by President Biden to make a set of Read More

DOL Revives Double Damages

On April 9, 2021, the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) issued Field Assistance Bulletin 2021-2, revoking a Trump administration policy that reduced the pre-litigation amount employers would have to pay to settle violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) by downplaying the use of liquidated damages in settlement discussions. Under the FLSA, employers that violate FLSA provisions regarding minimum wages, Read More

House OK’s Pay Equity Bill; Outlook Dim in the Senate

Recently, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Paycheck Fairness Act (H.R. 7), which now heads to the Senate where the outlook is dim. The pay equity bill was first introduced in 2009 and again in 2011; it passed the House both times but the Senate failed twice to bring it to a vote. In 1963, Congress amended the Fair Labor Standard Act to make it unlawful for employers to pay men and women doing the same or Read More

Administrative Guidance Issued Regarding ARPA COBRA Subsidy

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) includes a provision that authorizes a 100% subsidy of COBRA health insurance premiums to help continue health benefits for employees who lost their jobs or suffered a reduction in work hours. On April 7, 2021, the DOL issued guidance on the ARPA COBRA premium assistance. Eligibility The ARPA’s COBRA subsidy is available to Assistance Eligible Individuals (AEIs) who lost Read More

Will Employers Finally Get Some Emergency COVID Standards from OSHA?

On April 26, 2021, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) sent a draft of long-awaited COVID-related federal workplace safety standards to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget for review. Shortly after assuming office, President Biden gave the DOL a March 15, 2021, deadline to determine whether mandatory workplace safety rules were necessary to protect American workers from the spread Read More

IRS Guidance on 10-Year Payout Rule for Inherited IRAs Causes Confusion (and Correction)

A recent IRS publication about distributions from inherited IRAs - Publication 590-B - inadvertently caused consternation among financial advisors due to incorrect examples that suggested designated beneficiaries must take required minimum distributions (RMDs) in each of the 10 years following the death of the grantor. In December 2019, the Setting Every Community Up for Retirement Enhancement Act (SECURE Act) Read More

IRS Focuses on Worker Classifications and RMDs in 2021 Tax-Exempt Retirement Plan Priority List

The IRS’ Tax Exempt & Government Entities Division (TE/GE) recently released an updated 2021 Program Letter regarding compliance initiatives for its fiscal year. The 2021 letter updates the compliance initiatives outlined in the 2020 Program Letter, both of which are available on the IRS website. Among the updates are several priorities that apply to retirement plans: Small exempt organizations that sponsor Read More