2020 ACA Pay or Play: Penalties Continue to Rise!

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been around long enough that most businesses have settled into meeting its requirements, including mandatory reporting. This is good, since in 2020, the penalties for not complying with the ACA are going to increase. Take the time to review your plan and reporting and ensure you’re not making some basic mistakes that will likely result in fines.   Affordable Care Act Section Read More

Plan Sponsors Beware: The Importance of Retaining Employee Benefit Plan Documents

Fiduciaries and plan sponsors have a number of important tasks that they’re responsible for each year, from making sure employees have help getting their benefit plans set up to handling the different transactions needed to maintain the plan’s records and sending in all necessary paperwork and compliance reporting. Participant notifications are another important task, as is monitoring the changing legislative and Read More

DOJ Argues in Favor of Striking Down the ACA

Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) argued in court in favor of striking down the Affordable Care Act (ACA). In front of the federal appeals court, the DOJ argued that the removal of the individual mandate provision from the ACA renders the entire law unconstitutional. The brief supports the ruling issued by a Texas federal court that declared the ACA unlawful after a challenge by Texas and other Read More

IRS Expands Determination Letter Program

When setting up a benefit plan such as an individually designed 401(k) retirement plan, many businesses prefer to get the reassurance of an IRS determination letter to ensure their plan is compliant with all applicable laws and regulations. In a 2016 Revenue Procedure update, the IRS indicated that they were eliminating the program that allowed plan sponsors to request a determination letter for an individually Read More

Case Study: Retirement Plan Redesign for Rapidly Growing Company

This blog is an excerpt of Anne Tyler Hall’s book “Case Studies in ERISA: Why It Matters And How It Benefits You, A Plan Sponsor’s Guide To Employee Benefits Legal Compliance”  request your free digital copy of the book here. Client: A professional services organization with approximately 350 employees and approximately $100 million in retirement plan assets. The organization grew rapidly over the past Read More

Final Conscience Rule from HHS

President Trump has been in the news promoting his promise to take steps to protect conscience and religious liberty of individuals and health care entities. He signed an executive order to this effect in May 2017, and 2017 the Department of Justice directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to implement religious freedom laws. Recently, the HHS Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a final Read More

DOL Appeals Association Health Plan Ruling

In a recent blog, we discussed the court’s ruling regarding Association Health Plans (AHPs). In the month following the court’s ruling on AHPs, the Department of Labor (DOL) decided to appeal the court’s decision and filed a notice of intent to appeal the March ruling that they exceeded their statutory authority based on ERISA. The court also found that the DOL rule that defines “employer” to include associations of Read More

IRS Updates Operational Compliance List (OCL) for 2019 Changes

Since regulations and laws change regularly, the IRS keeps an Operational Compliance List (OCL) plan administrators can use to ensure the benefit plans they’re responsible for overseeing are in compliance with the latest rules. Recently, they released the changes that will be in effect this calendar year, which include the following important items:   Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, Sections 41113 and 41114 Read More

Court Imposes Stringent Noncompliance Penalties for COBRA Failure

COBRA, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985, as amended, generally gives employees who are leaving a company that has 20 or more employees the right to continue their health benefits for themselves and their dependents for a period after their departure. A recent court decision, Morehouse v. Steak ‘n Shake, Inc. out of the Southern District of Ohio, highlighted the importance of having a clear Read More

Recent Court Decision Highlights Importance of Clear Anti-Assignment Language in Health Plan Documents

A recent, comprehensive court ruling in the Southern District of New York upheld an anti-assignment clause in a health plan. The court made a point of addressing each of the arguments advanced in Medical Society of the State of New York vs. UnitedHealth Group, (SDNY, March 28, 2019) to ensure clear precedent was set for future cases. While this isn’t the first court to rule in favor of the health plan on this issue, Read More