New DOL Prohibited Transaction Exemption Regulates Investment Advice Fiduciaries

On April 13, 2021, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued clarifying guidance for Prohibited Transaction Exemption (PTE) 2020-02, Improving Investment Advice for Workers & Retirees, which became effective on February 16, 2021. Adopted in December 2020, PTE 2020-02 allows investment advice fiduciaries to receive compensation as a result of providing fiduciary investment advice if that advice meets the DOL’s Read More

IRS Highlights Top Mistakes in Retirement Plan Correction Submission Filings

The IRS has updated its Top Mistakes in Voluntary Correction Program (VCP) Submissions webpage to ensure submissions by plans sponsors or their representatives are free of errors that could result in a delay of the IRS’ review of the submission as well as a holdup in issuing the compliance statement. The updated list includes new items concerning the electronic submission of VCP applications via Pay.gov, which Read More

IRS Offers Tax Treatment Guidance for 2020-2021 Dependent Care FSA Carryovers

On May 10, 2021, the IRS released an advance version of Notice 2021-26 to provide clarification regarding the taxability of benefits received in 2021 and 2022 under a dependent care assistance program (DCAP) that allows for carryovers or extended grace periods. Background Passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, in December 2020, permitted DCAPs to carry over unused benefits from plan years ending in Read More

HHS Proffers Final Rules on 2022 Benefit and Payment Parameters

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has released its Notice of Benefit and Payment Parameters for 2022 Final Rule Part Two, which becomes effective on July 6, 2021. The final rule is largely targeted to insurers and Exchange regulators; however, employers and health plan advisors should take note of several provisions that could potentially impact their health plans, including the following: Annual Read More

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

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

DOL and HHS Clarify Purpose of New MHPAEA Reporting Rules

As of February 10, 2021, group health plans are required to evaluate compliance with the existing rules governing nonquantitative treatment limitations (NQTLs) under the Consolidated Appropriations Act (CAA) and the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act of 2008 (MHPAEA).  The MHPAEA requires group health plans that apply NQTLs to mental health or substance use disorder (MH/SUD) benefits to ensure that the Read More