Why Beneficiary Forms are Not Static

Filing out a beneficiary designation form seems like a simple task. And in all honesty, it is; you simply list the name of the person or persons you want to inherit the account, designate percentages, make sure they add up to 100%, and then sign and date the form. However, getting this message across to participants is different story. And any plan administrator or trustee of a...

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Are PCORI fees refundable?

By now, I am sure you have heard or read that the Supreme Court of the United States has recently agreed to revisit the Affordable Care Act to determine its constitutionality. If you have not, the Court agreed to hear the case of California, et al., Petitioners v. Texas, et al., No. 19-840 to determine whether the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act...

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Defined Benefit Plans & Collecting Overpayments

Richardson vs. IBEW Pacific Coast Pension Fund - District Court bars a pension plan from recovering overpayments made as a result a benefit miscalculation Anyone that works with defined benefit pensions plans, whether it be as an administrator, fund counsel, trustee, or actuary, knows just how complicated these plans can be. And like any complicated task, mistakes and errors occur in the administration of a defined...

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New Model COBRA Notices, Emergency Regulations, & Considerations for Health & Welfare Plans

In May of 2020, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued two separate pieces of guidance that both affect how health & welfare plans comply with the COBRA regulations. First, the DOL updated the model COBRA notices that must be provided to participants when they enroll and when they experience a “qualifying event.” Second, and in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the DOL issued emergency regulations that extends...

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Are Quarterly Board of Trustee Meetings Enough?

The majority of all multiemployer employee benefit plans are managed by a Board of Trustees, comprised of an equal number of members from the applicable Union(s) and representatives from Employers who employee union members.  Such Trustees are charged with significant responsibilities that range from overseeing the delegated administrator of their employee benefit plans, monitoring the collection of plan contributions to eligibility for and approval of all types of plan...

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Group Health Plan’s Residential Treatment Exclusion Violates Mental Health Parity Requirements

The Mental Health Parity Act (“MHPA”) was enacted in 1996.  The principal goal of MHPA was to bring parity to the treatment of mental health disorders by imposing the same aggregate lifetime and annual dollar limits for mental health benefits as for medical and surgical benefits.  In Munnelly v. Fordham Univ. Faculty and Admin. HMO Ins. Plan, 2018 WL 1628839 (S.D.N.Y. 2018), the application of this goal was tested...

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Internal Revenue Service Requests Comments on Expansion of Determination Letter Program for Individually Designed Retirement Plans

The Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) has asked for comments on whether it should expand the determination letter program for individually designed plans for 2019. Currently, determination letter applications for individually designed tax-qualified retirement plans (including 401(k) plans) may be submitted only for initial plan qualification—i.e., submissions by plans that have never received a determination letter—and for terminating plans. The guidance establishing those rules anticipated that the IRS would...

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