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Benefits Byte: All 2006 Issues

December 27, 2006

  • SEC Amends Stock Option Reporting
  • Treasury/IRS Request Comments on PPA Age 62 Distribution Provision

December 22, 2006

  • Summary of IRS Notice 2007-6 Guidance on Cash Balance and Hybrid Plans Now Available
  • Council, Other Organizations Provide DOL with Defined Contribution Fee Disclosure Glossary and Introductory Q&A
  • More 401(k) Fee Lawsuits Filed; Service Providers Are Defendants
  • Bipartisan Group of House Members Urge DOL to Broaden Default Investment Options Under PPA Safe Harbor

December 21, 2006

  • Treasury/IRS Releases Cash Balance Guidance
  • Additional Analysis of HIPAA Non Discrimination and Wellness Program Regulations

December 20, 2006

  • President Signs Legislation with Improvements to HSAs
  • DOL Provides Interim Benefit Statement Guidance

December 14, 2006

  • Senior Democrats Send Letter to DOL on Default Investments
  • Final HIPAA Non Discrimination and Wellness Program Regulations Released
  • IRS Releases: Transition Relief for Use of Debit, Credit and Stored Value Cards, Cumulative List of Required Changes in Plan Qualification Requirements
  • PBGC Changes Mortality Assumptions for Missing Participants

December 11, 2006

  • Senate Approve Tax Measures Including HSA Improvements, ISO Relief
  • Regulators Propose Additional Changes to Form 5500

December 8, 2006

  • House Approves Tax Extenders Bill with HSA Provisions; Senate Vote to Follow
  • Council Releases Updated Chart of Hybrid Plan Litigation

December 7, 2006

  • House, Senate to Vote on Tax Extenders Bill with HSA Provisions

December 5, 2006

  • Fourth Circuit Hears Appeal Arguments in Challenge to Maryland's "Fair-Share" Act
  • Video Clips of Employer Summit on Value-Driven Health Care Available on Council Web site

November 30, 2006

  • GAO releases 401(k) fees report requested by Rep. George Miller
  • IRS issues model notice/transition guidance on diversification requirements
  • IRS releases guidance on reporting and withholding amounts from 409A executive compensation plans

November 28, 2006

  • Prognosis for employee benefits issues unclear as 109th Congress begins shortened 'lame duck' session
  • IRS revises instructions for qualified charitable distributions from IRAs

November 17, 2006

  • HHS Secretary Leavitt Launches Employer Summit on Value-Driven Health Care
  • Senate Democrats Announce New Leadership, Committee Positions; House Leadership Selected
  • PPA Stock Diversification Notice Interim Guidance Expected Shortly

November 15, 2006

  • PBGC Updates Deficit; Council Issues Statement

November 14, 2006

  • Council Files Comment Letter to DOL on Proposed Default Investment Regulations

November 9, 2006

  • IRS Releases 2007 Indexed Amounts for HDHPs, HSAs, IRAs

November 3, 2006

  • Council Continues Analysis of 401(k) Plan Fee Litigation

October 31, 2006

  • Department of Labor Issues HSA Guidance

October 25, 2006

  • Updated Recommendations for PPA Guidance, Technical Corrections on Defined Benefit/Hybrid Pension Plans Now Available
  • PBGC Announces 2007 Flat Rate Premiums

October 20, 2006

  • Treasury/IRS Release Final Electronic Technologies Regulations

October 18, 2006

  • Regulatory Agencies Announce Cost of Living Adjustments for 2007 Tax Year

October 12, 2006

  • Council Submits Amicus Brief in Retiree Health Benefits Case

October 4, 2006

  • Treasury, IRS Provide Transition Relief under 409A

October 3, 2006

  • Tax Technical Corrections Bills Introduced
  • Lawmakers Introduce Automatic IRA Bill
  • IRS Releases Guidance on Indian Tribal Plan Provisions

September 29, 2006

  • SEC Finalizes Amendments to Redemption Fee Rule
  • FASB Issues Accounting Standard Number 158 Regulating Employee Benefit Plan Disclosure

September 28, 2006

  • Women's Pension Bill Introduced

September 27, 2006

  • Ways and Means Committee Approves HSA Bill, Senate Conducts Hearing

September 26, 2006

  • DOL Releases Proposed Default Investment Regulations
  • Council Gathering PPA Guidance, Technical Corrections; Prospects for 2006 Uncertain

September 25, 2006

  • House Ways and Means Committee Schedules Action on HSA Legislation; Senate Finance Committee to Hold Hearing

September 20, 2006

  • Ways and Means Committee Mark-Up of HSA Legislation Derailed
  • SEC Releases Staff Guidance on Stock Option Grants

September 19, 2006

  • Council Providing Input as Treasury Begins PPA Guidance
  • Plaintiffs Law Firm Files Multiple 401(k) Plan Fee Cases
  • House Ways and Means Committee Schedules Mark-Up on HSA Legislation
  • Council Comments to EBSA on Proposed Revisions for Form 5500

September 14, 2006

  • Gregg Introduces Medicare Quality Bill

September 12, 2006

  • SAVER Summit and White House Conference on Aging Reports Published
  • Amendment Regarding Contractor Retirement Plans Added to DOD Appropriations Bill
  • Court Refuses Appeal of Cooper-IBM Cash Balance Case

September 7, 2006

  • Senate Finance Committee Hears Testimony on Executive Compensation

September 6, 2006

  • Council Begins Work on Technical Corrections, Guidance for PPA
  • PBGC Issues Pension Protection Act Updates
  • HHS Launches Transparency Web Site

August 30, 2006

  • Final Regulations Issued on ESOP Stock Dividend Deductions
  • EEOC Proposes Rule Amending Age Discrimination Regulations
  • IRS Announces Delay in Effective Date for Section 403(b) Regulations
  • CMS Announces Retiree Drug Subsidy National Conference Call and In-Person Events

August 23, 2006

  • President Directs Federal Agencies to Take Actions Promoting Health IT, Transparency of Health Care Cost and Quality Information
  • IRS Releases Corporate Bond Rates for Pension Plan Funding

August 17, 2006

  • President Signs Pension Protection Act into Law

August 14, 2006

  • HHS Secretary Leavitt Calls on Governors, Large Employers to Join Forces in Health Care Purchasing Practices

August 9, 2006

  • Code Section 411(d)(6) Regulation Concerning Heinz Case/Utilization Now Posted on Council Web Site
  • Council Testifies before DOL ERISA Advisory Council on 404(c) Regulations

August 8, 2006

  • Heinz Case/Utilization (Section 411(d)(6)) Regulation Finalized
  • Council Joins Other Organizations in Submitting Defined Contribution Fee Disclosure Letter to DOL
  • American Benefits Council IN THE NEWS

August 4, 2006

  • Seventh Circuit Rules in Favor of IBM in Hybrid Plan Case
  • Coalition Urges Finance Committee Chairman to Act on HSA Improvement Legislation

August 3, 2006

  • Pension Bill Update: Senate Approves H.R. 4

August 3, 2006

  • Pension Bill Update: Senate Vote Expected Late in the Week

July 31, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: House Passes Pension Protection Act (H.R. 4), Senate to Vote by End of Week
  • Treasury Issues Final Regulations on Comparable Contributions to HSAs
  • House Approves Health IT Bill

July 28, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Legislative Language Released, House to Vote Soon

July 28, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Conference Running Down to the Wire

July 27, 2006

  • Coalition Urges Action on Legislation to Improve HSAs
  • IRS Finalizes Supplemental Wage Withholding Regulation
  • SEC Approves New Executive Compensation Disclosures
  • Council Testifies before IRS on Roth 401(k)/403(b) Issues

July 24, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Discussions Continue through Weekend on Hybrids and Technical Issues
  • Council Participates in Republican Study Committee Briefing on HSAs
  • EBSA Proposes Asset Allocation and Revenue Sharing Disclosure

July 21, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Final Agreement Near, Calls Still Needed on Transition, Hybrids

July 19, 2006

  • Federal Court Invalidates Maryland "Fair-Share" Act

July 18, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Calls to GOP Leadership Still Needed
  • Update on Status of 403(b) Regulations

July 14, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Chairman Enzi Takes Alternative Approach
  • Treasury Issues Guidance on Use of Debit, Credit and Stored Value Cards

July 13, 2006

  • Ryan (R-WI) Introduces New HSA Bill, Includes Several Council Priorities
  • CMS Issues Notice of "HSA-Like" Medicare Demonstration Initiative
  • Department of Labor Seeks Volunteers for Database Project

July 10, 2006

  • Tax Change to Affect Income Taxes for Individuals Working Abroad
  • Regulatory Update: Council, Others Comment to IRS on 409A Regulations

July 5, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Progress on Funding, Hybrid Discussions Begin
  • Senate Finance Subcommittee Holds Hearing on Small Business Pension Plans
  • PBGC Releases 2005 Annual Report
  • Council Members Meet with GAO on 401(k) Fees

June 29, 2006

  • Ways and Means Committee Holds Hearing on HSAs

June 28, 2006

  • Hatch Introduces Comprehensive HSA Bill
  • FASB Roundtable Focuses on Phasing, Measures for Defined Pensions

June 27, 2006

  • Calls to Senate offices critically needed: urge support for design-based approach to hybrids

June 26, 2006

  • Council Signs on to Ad Encouraging EGTRRA Permanence; New Chart Available

June 22, 2006

  • Pension Bill Update: Conferees Moving Closer to Agreement
  • DOE Temporarily Suspends Benefit Reimbursement Policy; Council Points out Linkage to Broader Pension Measure
  • Senate Aging Committee Holds Hearing on Annuities

June 16, 2006

  • Council Comments on FASB Exposure Draft Regarding Pension, Retiree Health Plans
  • PBGC Issues Final Rule for Calculating Terminal Liability Following a Facility Closure
  • CBO Issues New 100-Year Social Security Projections
  • Council Joins Coalition in EGTRRA Permanence Ad Running Roll Call Next Week

June 13, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: "At-Risk" Liability at the Center of Discussions

June 2, 2006

  • Council Comments on FASB Exposure Draft Regarding Pension, Retiree Health Plans
  • PBGC News: Snowbarger Named Acting Executive Director; Agency Will Require Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors to File Electronically
  • CMS Releases Data on Costs for Medical Procedures

May 31, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Council Provides Document on Defined Contribution Issues
  • Treasury Department Issues Proposed Regulations for Dependent Care Tax Credit
  • President Bush Signs Military IRA Contribution Legislation

May 23, 2006

  • Klein Interviewed for Tonight's ABC World News Tonight; Frontline Pension Story Now Available on Web
  • Grassley, Baucus Introduce PBGC Legislation for Inclusion with Pension Bill

May 18, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Council Provides Document on Defined Contribution Issues

May 15, 2006

  • Tax Reconciliation Bill Conference Agreement Passes; May Affect Pension Bill
  • Unanimous U.S. Supreme Court Decision Affirms Health Plan's Right to Reimbursement

May 11, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Update: Lawmakers Continue Work on Health and Retirement Plan Provisions

May 9, 2006

  • Senate Blocks Medical Liability Reform Bills, Begins Debate on Health Insurance Reform Legislation
  • IRS Updates Voluntary Correction Program

May 4, 2006

  • House Approves Motion to Instruct Conferees on Executive Compensation

May 3, 2006

  • Cantor Introduces Health Savings Legislation with Important HSA Provisions

May 2, 2006

  • Federal Government Revises Projections for Social Security, Medicare;
    Bush Administration Uses Occasion to Push for Pension Reform

May 1, 2006

  • U.S. Energy Department Changes Policy on Pension and Health Contracts
  • Dudley Named to Top Lobbyist List by Hill Newspaper

April 27, 2006

  • Pension Reform Legislation Conference Update
  • Council files Roth 401(k) Comment Letter

April 25, 2006

  • IRS Provides Sample Roth Amendment
  • DOL Finalizes Abandoned Plan Regulations

April 21, 2006

  • HSA Working Group Hosts Briefing by Employers on Capitol Hill
  • DOL Provides Guidance on Allocating Settlement Proceeds

April 18, 2006

  • Portman Tapped to Lead Office of Management and Budget
  • DOL Updates Voluntary Fiduciary Correction Program

April 11, 2006

  • Richards v. FleetBoston Cash Balance Ruling Finds Hybrid Plans Illegal
  • Council Comments on Proposed Amendments to Redemption Fee Rule

April 7, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Still Without Agreement; House Passes Hybrid Plan Motion

April 3, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Continues; Council Continues Campaign for EGTRRA Permanence, Funding Reform, Hybrid Plans, Health Provisions
  • FASB Releases Exposure Draft on Pension and Other Postretirement Obligations

March 28, 2006

  • Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Sereboff v. MAMSI Case

March 24, 2006

  • PBGC Executive Director Resigns
  • Final Relative Value Regulations Published

March 21, 2006

  • Pension Bill Conference Continues; Numerous "Dear Colleague" Letters Circulating
  • Treasury, IRS Release Guidance on Foreign-Situs Trusts

March 17, 2006

  • Baucus Introduces Retirement Bill Expanding Defined Contribution Opportunities

March 16, 2006

  • Senate HELP Committee Passes Health Insurance Reform Bill

March 8, 2006

  • House Approves Pension Reform Bill Reconciliation Conference Committee Members and Their Instructions; Council Posts New "Views" Document On Legislation
  • Senate Finance Committee Considers Tax Preferences for Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage
  • Senate HELP Committee Considers Health Insurance Reform Bill

March 7, 2006

  • SEC Proposes Amendments to Redemption Fee Rule

March 3, 2006

  • Senate names conferees to pension reform bill reconciliation conference; Cheney reiterates potential presidential veto if bill 'weakened'
  • Council and Other Groups File Amicus Brief in AARP v. EEOC Retiree Health Case
  • CMS Issues Medicare Secondary Payer Regulation
  • DOL Releases Opinion Letter Regarding Cafeteria Health Plan Payments During Unpaid FMLA Leave

March 1, 2006

  • House, Senate Leadership Continue to Push for Retirement Bill Conference
  • DOL Extends Katrina Relief Deadline for Additional Counties and Parishes

February 27, 2006

  • PBGC Extends Deadlines for Some Hurricane Katrina Victims

February 24, 2006

  • Citizens' Health Care Working Group Reaches Out to Employers
  • Council and Other Employer Groups File Sereboff v. MAMSI Amicus Brief
  • Council Testifies Before IRS on Proposed Employer Comparable Contribution Rules for HSAs

February 21, 2006

  • HHS Releases Final Regulations for HIPAA Enforcement
  • Deadlines Extended Again for Some Hurricane Katrina Victims

February 17, 2006

  • Appeals Court Hears Arguments in Cash Balance Case

February 15, 2006

  • White House Outlines President's Vision for Health Care Reform

February 6, 2006

  • President's FY 2007 Budget Proposals Include HSA Improvements, Renewed call for Retirement Savings Funds
  • Retirement Bill Nears Conference Session; Side-by-Side Summaries Available

February 2, 2006

  • Boehner Voted House Majority Leader; Blunt to Remain Majority Whip
  • House Approves Budget Bill Conference Report; PBGC Premiums to Rise Immediately

February 1, 2006

  • President Includes Health Care Proposals in State of the Union Address
  • SEC Releases Proposed Rules on Disclosure of Executive Compensation

January 26, 2006

  • Proposed Roth 401(k) Regulation Provides Distribution Guidance

January 25, 2006

  • Council, HR Policy Association Testify Before Treasury on 409A Regulations
  • Treasury, IRS Release Designated Roth Account Proposed Regulations

January 23, 2006

  • President Bush to Propose Expansion of HSAs

January 18, 2006

  • Council Urges Treasury to Make Available ESOP Tax Deduction to U.S. Companies Owned by Foreign Parents
  • SEC Votes to Revise Executive Compensation Disclosures
  • IRS/Treasury Release Frequently Asked Questions on Roth 401(k) Contributions

January 13, 2006

  • Maryland Legislature Votes to Uphold "Fair Share Health Care" Legislation
  • DOL Publishes Final Rule on Multiemployer Defined Benefit Plan Annual Funding Notices

January 3, 2006

  • Council Submits Comments to IRS on Code Section 409A Regulations
  • Correction: IRS/Treasury Release Final Roth 401(k) Regulations
  • IRS Provides Relief for Relative Value Disclosures