IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on Withholding for Qualified Retirement Plan Participants with Non-U.S. Address

For international companies with operations in many countries, complying with local regulations can be complicated by individuals who are from one country, but living in another and thus have a non-U.S. permanent address. In May, the IRS proposed new regulations regarding the required tax withholding that will impact these individuals specifically. Currently, withholdings are required when distributions are made to Read More

Multiple Employer Plan Proposed Regulations Provide Exception to “One-Bad-Apple” Rule

Recent proposed regulation changes from the IRS include a possible exception to the “unified plan rule” for defined-contribution multiple employer plan. This exception would occur if certain conditions are met and one participating employer fails to meet plan qualification requirements or fails to provide the information necessary to determine compliance with qualification requirements.   Current Read More

Recent Executive Order on Transparency, Expansion of HDHPs, and Health FSA Carryovers

In an executive order dated June 24, 2019 (the “Order”), President Trump chose to focus on transparency in healthcare in general, as well as clarification of regulatory guidance on two types of health insurance programs, HDHPs and FSAs. The goal of the Order is to improve pricing and quality transparency and encourage agencies to create applicable guidance. Healthcare Transparency: The Department of Health and Read More

Are Cash Balance Plans Making a Comeback?

States are looking at legislation that will allow cash balance plans for state worker retirements. While many are in favor of this type of retirement planning, critics are concerned that cash balance plans do not provide sufficient retirement security. Furthermore, there is some concern they could negatively impact state finances. Cash Balance Plans Cash balance plans are like traditional pension plans in that they Read More

Plan with VEBA and MEWA Status Required to Pay ACA’s Annual Health Insurance Provider Fee

Voluntary Employees’ Beneficiary Associations (VEBAs) and Multiple Employer Welfare Arrangements (MEWAs) have been determined to be covered entities by the Court of Federal Claims. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) subjects “covered entities” to an annual health insurance provider fee, meaning that these two types of plans are not exempt from the fee.   Iowa Bankers Benefit Plan Iowa Bankers Insurance and Read More

HHS Issues Proposed Rule to Substantially Revise Civil Rights Provision That Discriminates Based Upon Sex

In May, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (“HHS”) issued a new proposed rule on Section 1557. This rule is aimed at revising the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and preventing discrimination based upon sex. Section 1557 is a civil rights provision broadly prohibiting discrimination based on a variety of factors in health programs and activities receiving federal funding. The proposed rule specifically Read More

California District Court Deems Independent Review Organization Functional Health Plan ERISA Fiduciary

A recent case before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California recently ruled that an Independent Review Organization would be considered a functional fiduciary in regard to ERISA regulations. Independent Review Organization In the case at hand, the independent review organization was a business that conducted independent medical review of records and made determinations regarding claim Read More

Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Ninth Circuit “Actual Knowledge” Requirement for ERISA Statute of Limitations

Recently, the Ninth Circuit ruled that the three-year statute of limitations contained in ERISA requires the plaintiff to read the plan documents before the statute begins to run. The U.S. Supreme court has agreed to hear arguments on this issue. Specifically, the court will be deciding whether the plaintiff must have “actual knowledge” from having read the plan documents before the statute of limitations can Read More

Agencies Expand HRA Coverage to Excepted Benefits and Individual Health Plans

A Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) is a type of employer-funded savings account designed to help employees pay qualified medical expenses. Generally, it is set up to cover expenses beyond those which are covered by the employer’s health insurance plan. President Trump issued an executive order calling for the expansion of a variety of healthcare options, including HRAs, and the new regulations are in response Read More

EBSA Issues New Guidance on Electronic Filings for Top Hat Plans

The Employee Benefits Security Administration (EBSA) under the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently finalized regulations to revise the filing procedures for a variety of notices and plan statements. These revisions mainly focus on electronic submission of documents such as apprenticeship and training plan notices and “top hat” plan statements. A “top hat” plan is a nonqualified deferred compensation (NQDC) plan Read More