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Northwest OH Legal Blog

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Fidelity Investments Prevails in ERISA Float Litigation


A recent federal appellate court decision highlights the need for ERISA fiduciaries to evaluate the treatment of a particular type of interest called “float income” to ensure compliance with ERISA.  In In Re Fidelity ERISA Float Litigation, No. 15-1445, 2016 U.S. App.
Read more . . .


Friday, August 12, 2016

Workplace Restrictions and Temporary Total Disability


If you have been injured at work you may be unable to perform certain job tasks. But there are several things you must know to make sure your rights as an injured worker are protected.

The first step is to go to the doctor. If you are having difficulty performing your work tasks, the doctor must do an examination to determine what work restrictions are necessary. Such restrictions as the ability to lift, push, pull, stand, walk, squat, and other physical tasks are evaluated.
Read more . . .


Friday, August 5, 2016

Final ACA Nondiscrimination Rules Effective July 18, 2016


On July 18, 2016, the final Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) regulations under Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) officially went into effect. However, many of the standards included under those rules have a delayed effective date. Section 1557 generally prohibits “covered entities”, which includes certain health plans, health plan administrators, providers and insurers, from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability. Despite the fact that these rules are final, many questions remain unanswered. This leaves health plans and other entities unable to determine whether they are subject to the rule, and what that means.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Internal Revenue Service Announces Changes to Determination Letter Program for Individually Designed Retirement Plans


On June 29, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) released supplemental guidance detailing anticipated changes to its determination letter program for individually designed retirement plans (“IDPs”) that are tax-qualified under the Internal Revenue Code (“Code”).  The changes are generally effective January 1, 2017.  Although IRS Revenue Procedure 2016-37 covers many changes to the IRS’s determination letter program, most of the changes relate to when an IDP—

  • must be amended for legally required changes, or
  • may request a determination letter.

Background.  IRS Revenue Procedure 2007-44 established a five-year remedial amendment cycle (“RAC”) system for IDPs that have been amended to request a determination letter from the IRS.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

New Regulations Require that Health Plans Must Now Cover Transgender Services And Further Accommodate Disabled Participants and Those with Limited English Proficiency


What do the new regulations cover?

            Just when we though the Affordable Care Act complicated health plans more than we could imagine, new regulations emerged!  The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) published a final rule, on May 18, 2016, that expands Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act (“ACA”) and will require many group health plans to cover health care services previously denied to transgender individuals.  Additionally, plan participants with limited English proficiency or a communications’ disability, must now have equal access benefits communications under this final regulation. To what extent the regulations apply to each multiemployer plan may be complicated. However, the intentions of HHS are clear.  Plan sponsors will be strongly encouraged to cover health care services for transgender individuals and accommodate and provide plan communications to disabled and limited English- speaking participants in a more comprehensive way.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Workers’ Compensation: What You Need to Know About Your Injury and Reporting It


The purpose of Workers Compensation law is to compensate workers who were injured as a result of their workplace injuries. For the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation to process the claim, it must be notified within two years of when the injury occurred, or two years after the death of an employee if the worker’s death was caused by a workplace accident. If the worker contracted a disease from the workplace, there are special rules regarding how long the worker has to file. The injury can be reported by the worker, the worker’s employer, or the worker’s representative, such as an attorney or doctor.

Although a worker has two years to file his or her injury with the Bureau of Workers’ Compensation, the worker should NOT delay in filing a claim.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, July 5, 2016

The PBGC Reports That Multiemployer Program Needs Substantial Premium Increases. The Single-Employer Program Is Likely to Eliminate Its Deficit by 2025


The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) provides a safety net for participants in private-sector defined-benefit plans by insuring the participants' benefits under the plan. This federal corporation was established by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 to give participants in plans covered by the PBGC guaranteed "basic" benefits in the event that their employer-sponsored defined benefit plans become insolvent.

The PBGC protects the pension benefits of more than 40 million Americans in private-sector pension plans and is directly responsible for paying the benefits of about 1.5 million people in failed pension plans. PBGC receives no tax dollars.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Court of Appeals Expands Withdrawal Liability Rules for Construction Employers


In a case of first impression, the United States Circuit Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that work performed by a non-union company acquired after a construction industry employer ceased contributing to a multiemployer pension plan (“MEP”) triggered withdrawal liability.  The case, Ceco Concrete Construction, LLC v. Centennial State Carpenters Pension Trust, Nos. 15-1021, 15-1190 (10th Cir. May 3, 2016), signals a potential expansion of withdrawal liability rules applicable to construction industry employers that participate in MEPs.
Read more . . .


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Internal Revenue Service Issues Guidelines Allowing Multiemployer Collectively Bargained Pension Plans to Have Normal Retirement Age Earlier Than Age 62


On February 23, 2016, the Internal Revenue Service (“IRS”) posted interim internal guidelines for IRS employees assigned to its Employee Plans Determinations and Examinations Division in reviewing determination letter submissions by multiemployer collectively bargained pension plans that provide for a normal retirement age (“NRA”) that is—  

  • earlier than age 62, but
  • ·not earlier than age 55.

The guidance has been warmly received by the sponsors of multiemployer pension plans whose determination letter submissions are still under review during the IRS’s determination letter cycle for multiemployer pension plans.

Background.  Pursuant to Treasury Regulation Section 1.401(a)-1(b)(2), a pension plan that has an “over 55-under 62” NRA must provide a demonstration that the NRA is reasonably representative of the typical retirement age for employees who work in the industry in which the covered workforce is employed.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Did the Supreme Court Issue a License to Steal--or Subrogation as Usual?


            On January 20, 2016, the United States Supreme Court finally issued their written opinion in the long-awaited decision regarding an ERISA subrogation case, Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan, 2016 WL 228344 (January 20, 2016).  The highest court was asked to decide whether a plan beneficiary is obligated to reimburse his or her health insurance plan for medical expenses that the plan paid out, when that same beneficiary settles a third-party case BUT spends all of the settlement money.  Apparently the Supreme Court decided the beneficiary was not obligated to pay the plan back if the money was not “traceable.”

            The Montanile case is not unique in its facts as subrogation cases go.
Read more . . .


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Supreme Court places additional limitations on ERISA plan’s right to recover medical-reimbursement costs


The Supreme Court dealt a setback to ERISA health funds in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan. This case places further limits on ERISA Funds’ ability to recover a subrogation or reimbursement claim under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA).

This case involved a participant, Robert Montanile, who was covered under an ERISA health insurance plan. He was injured in an automobile accident.
Read more . . .


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With an office located in Toledo , OH Allotta Farley Co., L.P.A. serves clients throughout northwest OH with various legal matters. Areas of service include Allen County, Ashland County, Auglaize County, Crawford County, Defiance County, Erie County, Fulton County, Hancock County, Hardin County, Henry County, Huron County, Lucas County, Marion County, Mercer County, Morrow County, Ottawa County, Paulding County, Putnam County, Richland County, Sandusky County, Seneca County, Van Wert County, Williams County, Wood County, Wyandot County.

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