The IRS Gives Defined Benefit Plans Two New Options to Address Overpayment

Mistakes are a fact of life and administering a pension plan is no different. In fact, the average pension plan is full of landmines that can create potential problems, most notably the accuracy of plan data, benefit calculations, and accrual computations. That is why the IRS created the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System, or “EPCRS,” to help plan sponsors proactively address and correct any mistakes or errors they encounter. Recently,...

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Protecting Plan Assets – Department of Labor Releases Cybersecurity Guidance

Are your assets properly protected? Are your firewalls up to date?  As of 2018, defined benefit and defined contribution plans hold over nine trillion dollars with of assets. However, the level of security safeguarding these assets were deemed subpar by the Department of Labor (DOL). As a result, the DOL drafted broad-reaching guidance to address issues with securing assets. On April 14, 2021, the DOL’s Employee Benefits Security Administration (ESBA)...

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U.S. Supreme Court Upholds the Affordable Care Act (Again)

Like a cat with nine lives, the Affordable Care Act has survived yet another challenge at the U.S. Supreme Court level. On a 7-2 vote, the Court rejected the latest challenge to the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”), concluding that the plaintiffs did not have standing to challenge the constitutionality of the Act. With this ruling, authored by Justice Breyer, the ACA looks secure for the foreseeable future. In the latest...

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The New Mental Health Parity Analysis: The Department of Labor Issues Guidance to Assist Health Plans with Compliance

On December 27, 2020, Congress enacted the Appropriations Act, which included several provisions that affected Health & Welfare Plans. One of those provisions required Health Plan to perform an analysis of the Plan’s “Non-Quantitative” Treatment Limits (“NQTLs”). NQTLs are rules, limits, or restrictions on coverage that are cannot be counted; such as rules on prior authorization, standards for admitting providers to the network, and the classification of treatments as...

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Modern Board of Trustee Meetings Require a Modern Trust Agreement

The global pandemic has had a substantial impact on all our lives. Nearly every aspect of our day-to-day life has changed in some way. In the Taft-Hartley fringe benefit world, many Boards of Trustees have been forced to meet virtually as opposed to meeting in person since the pandemic began. Only just recently have most Plans began to meet in person again. While the preference may be for Trustees...

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Ohio Modifies Employment Discrimination Law: The Impact of the New Ohio Employment Law Uniformity Act

Recently, Governor Mike DeWine signed into law the Employment Law Uniformity Act. This Act amends the employment protections in the Ohio Civil Rights Act in multiple respects, which include expanding the statute of limitations and clarifying administrative procedures and remedies. The purpose of Ohio’s new law is to conform more closely to federal Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) laws. The law went into effect on April 13, 2021. Statute of Limitations....

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Final Thoughts on the New (and Temporary) COBRA Subsidy

DOL RELEASES MODEL ARPA COBRA NOTICES

Final Thoughts on the New (and Temporary) COBRA Subsidy

Recently, the Department of Labor released the final model COBRA Notices for the new subsidy created under the Americans Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (“ARPA”). This new subsidy requires plans to cover the full COBRA cost between April 1, 2021 and September 30. 2021 for eligible participants. ARPA also requires plans to...

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Congress Continues to Debate the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021: When it Comes to Pension Reform, the Plot Thickens

Whether Congress finally enacts pension reform, and how that reform will look, looms in the background as Congress continues to debate (and modify), the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill currently floating around Capitol Hill. The bill, called the “American Rescue Plan Act of 2021,” was recently modified by the Senate and is with the House of Representatives for final approval. If the House does what is expected and passes...

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Flexible Spending Account Relief Adopted by the IRS in 2020 Extended Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021

Flexible Spending Account Relief Adopted by the IRS in 2020 Extended Under the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (“CAA”) extended the relief provided to health care and dependent care flexible spending accounts under IRS Notice 2020-29 for the 2021 and, in some cases, 2022 Plan Years. This relief was largely expected and essentially extended the rules provided by the IRS under IRS Notice 2020-29....

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Congress Finally Tackles “Surprise” Out-of-Network Medical Billing & Also Adds New Rx Benefit Reporting Requirements

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the “Appropriations Act”) that was recently signed into law on December 28, 2020 by President Trump is mostly famous for two things: (1) it extended unemployment benefits and rental assistance for those impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and (2) it provides a second round of stimulus payments to most Americans, though less then the earlier payments issued under the CARES Act. However, the Appropriations...

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