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Benefits Byte: All 2016 Issues


December 29, 2016

  • IRS Provides New Guidance on ACA Information Reporting by Employers
  • Treasury, IRS Issue Proposed Rules for 2018 Mortality Tables
  • DOL Issues Guidance on Proxy Voting Policy, Permits ESG Factors for Investment Consideration

December 23, 2016

  • New ACA FAQs Offer Guidance on Special Enrollment Periods, Preventive Services, Small Employer HRAs
  • Council Submits Letter on Oregon Retirement Savings Plans Proposed Rules
  • PBGC Updates Information on the Early Warning Program for Single-Employer Plans

December 22, 2016

  • Final HHS 2018 Benefit and Payment Parameters Notice Addresses Maximum Out-of-Pocket Limits, Employer Appeals Notices, Transitional Reinsurance Program

December 20, 2016

  • Cadillac Tax Update: Repeal Bill to Be Introduced in Early January; Alliance to Fight the 40 Broadens Scope
  • Council Hosts Webinar for Members, Policy Briefing for Capitol Hill Staff on OECD Pensions Outlook
  • IRS Issues Final Regulations on ACA Premium Tax Credits; Final ‘Opt-Out’ Payment Rules to be Issued Later
  • IRS Relaxes User Fees for Some Determination Letter Requests

December 19, 2016

  • DOL Finalizes Rules for Private-Sector Retirement Plans Sponsored by Large Cities, Counties
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Continuing Education Credits

December 16, 2016

  • DOL, EBSA Finalize New Claims Procedures for Plans Providing Disability Benefits
  • Council Suggests Flexible Determination Letter Program, Expansion of PLRs
  • Council Summary of Regulatory Agendas Now Available

December 13, 2016

  • Council Suggests Changes to Retirement Legislation Discussion Draft
  • Council, ICI, SPARK Urge IRS to Resolve Hardship Substantiation Procedures

December 12, 2016

  • Member Memo:

December 7, 2016

  • Senate Passes 21st Century Cures Act with HRA, Mental Health Parity Provisions; Obama to Sign
  • Council Requests Withdrawal of Proposed Form 5500 Revisions

December 2, 2016

  • 21st Century Cures Act Passes House Overwhelmingly
  • U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Importance of IRS Private Letter Rulings in Church Plan Lawsuit

December 1, 2016

  • Treasury/IRS Regulations Proposes Changes to Defined Benefit Plan Distributions
  • Council Voices Support for New Legislation Promoting Open MEPs

November 18, 2016

  • IRS Extends Due Date for Furnishing 2016 Forms 1095-C and 1095-B
  • Council Comments on PBGC Expansion of Missing Participants Program

November 17, 2016

  • Lawmakers Introduce Bill to Address Frozen Pension Plan Nondiscrimination Issue; Council Voices Support
  • PBGC Releases FY 2016 Deficit; Council Advises Action to Protect Single-Employer Plans

November 15, 2016

  • ERISA Advisory Council Presents Final Recommendation to DOL; EBSA Provides Regulatory Update

November 4, 2016

  • IRS Releases Additional Guidance, Seeks Input on Pension Equity Plans
  • IRS Updates PCORI Fee Amount

November 3, 2016

  • DOL Releases Sample Form 5500 for 2016
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Updating Member Contact Information

November 1, 2016

  • New DOL Guidance Addresses Questions About Prohibited Transaction Exemptions in Fiduciary Rule
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Continuing Education Credits

October 28, 2016

  • Agencies Finalize Regulations for Short-term and Travel Insurance; Will Address Fixed Indemnity and Expatriate Coverage in Future Rulemaking
  • Administration Issues New FAQ Guidance on ACA, Mental Health Parity; White House Parity Task Force Releases Report

October 27, 2016

  • Regulatory Agencies Announce Cost-of-Living Adjustments for 2017 Tax Year

October 26, 2016

  • IRS Advisory Panel Recommends Additional Guidance on ACA Reporting
  • IRS Permits Hardship Distributions, Verification Relief for Hurricane Matthew Victims

October 20, 2016

  • Paid Leave Efforts Intensify at Federal, State Level; Council Expanding Advocacy Efforts
  • State Retirement Law Comparison Chart Updated Including New York City Proposal
  • EEOC Hosts Wellness Rules Compliance Webinar; Council meets directly with EEOC to address issues
  • Society of Actuaries Revises Mortality Table Improvement Scale

October 18, 2016

  • Council Summarizes Health Care Policy Positions of 2016 Presidential Candidates, Parties, Bipartisan Policy Center & Council
  • IRS Advises Form 5500, 5500-SF Filers to Continue Skipping New Compliance Questions

October 14, 2016

  • Council Asks Treasury to Facilitate Cross-Border Pensions
  • OSHA Finalizes Rule Governing Whistleblower Protections under ACA

October 7, 2016

  • IRS Finalizes 2016 ACA Employer Reporting Forms, Instructions
  • Council Participates in IRS Working Session on ACA Information Reporting
  • EEOC to Host Webinar for Employers on New Wellness Rules

October 4, 2016

  • Council Requests Additional Guidance on Hybrid Retirement Plans
  • Council Participates in Summit on Retirement Security for Latino Community

September 30, 2016

  • Senators Introduce Companion to House Bill Expanding Electronic Disclosure of Retirement Information
  • DOL Finalizes New Paid Leave Requirements for Federal Contractors
  • EEOC Unveils New EEO-1 Form, Retains Proposed Revisions
  • IRS Revises EPCRS to Accommodate Determination Letter Changes, Requests Comments

September 29, 2016

  • Council Recommends Changes, Further Deliberation Regarding DOL Rules for ‘State and Local Subdivision’ Retirement Arrangements
  • Ninth Circuit Court Grants Review of Controversial Rulings in 401(k) Fee Case
  • Alliance to Fight the 40 Recognized for 2015 Campaign, Continues Push for Cadillac Tax Repeal in 2016 Lame Duck
  • ERISA Advisory Council Outlines Forthcoming Recommendations to DOL

September 28, 2016

  • Form S-8 Filing May Be Necessary for Some 401(k) Plans with Brokerage Windows
  • Fifth Circuit Court Finds for Defendant in Stock Drop Suit, Concurring with Council Brief
  • Council Participates in a Forum on Retirement Security for Women

September 23, 2016

  • PBGC Finalizes Reduction in Premium Penalties
  • Colorado Considering Single-Payer Health System
  • Education and Workforce Committee Discusses Multiemployer Pension Reform, Composite Plans
  • Addendum: HRA Bill Filed as Amendment to Retirement Legislation in Committee

September 22, 2016

  • Senate Finance Committee Approves Retirement Policy Reform Bill Including Open MEPs, Frozen Plan Relief
  • Appeals Court Agrees with Council Brief, Allows Retirement Plan to Share in Settlement Award
  • Council Hosts Policy Briefing on Financial Wellness for Capitol Hill Staff
  • DOL Extends Comment Deadline on Form 5500 Revisions

September 19, 2016

  • Senate Finance Committee to Consider Sweeping Retirement Policy Reform Bill
  • IRS Extends Frozen Defined Benefit Plan Relief through 2017
  • IRS Requests Comments on Plan Qualification, Determination Letters
  • PBGC Proposes Expansion of Missing Participants Program

September 14, 2016

  • House Committee Approves Sweeping Financial Reform Bill with Fiduciary Rule Repeal
  • House Subcommittee Examines Mental Health Parity Laws
  • House Passes Sense of House Resolution on Financial Technology

September 12, 2016

  • Top Senate Finance Democrat Releases Retirement Legislation Discussion Draft
  • Treasury, IRS Finalize Regulations Regarding Defined Benefit Plan Distribution Options
  • Senate Special Committee on Aging Examines Retirement Security Policy

September 7, 2016

  • Council Submits Letter to IRS, Treasury on ACA Premium Tax Credits, ‘Opt-Out’ Arrangements
  • Treasury, IRS Update Mortality Tables; Council Urges Further Consideration of SSA, CDC Data

September 2, 2016

  • Council, ICI, PSCA, and SPARK Joint Letter Requests Extension of Time for Comments on Form 5500 Revisions
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Continuing Education Credits

August 31, 2016

  • ERISA Advisory Council Hears Testimony on Lifetime Retirement Plan Participation, Cybersecurity
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Updating Member Contact Information

August 29, 2016

  • DOL Finalizes Rules for State-Run Retirement Plans for Private Workers, Proposes New Rules for Other Municipalities
  • IRS Introduces Safe Harbor for Retirement Account Rollover Requirements

August 19, 2016

  • IRS Releases Draft 2016 Instructions for Forms 1094-B and 1095-B
  • Council’s ‘Cadillac Tax’ Coalition Prepares for Year-End Push; Named Finalist for Communications Award
  • IRS Updates Priority Regulatory Guidance Plan

August 17, 2016

  • Council Raises Concerns with OMB on Proposed EEO-1 Revisions
  • Fourth Circuit to Review ‘Reverse’ Stock Drop Case for Second Time; Council Submits Brief
  • GAO Releases Report on Approval Process for State Innovation Waivers
  • DOL to Host Webinar on ACA, Mental Health Parity Compliance

August 10, 2016

  • Council Comments on Expatriate, Excepted Benefits Rules
  • Full Ninth Circuit Court to Re-hear Fiduciary Suit

August 4, 2016

  • IRS Clarifies New Proposed Rules Governing Nonqualified Deferred Compensation
  • IRS Releases Draft Forms, Instructions for Calendar Year 2016 ACA Employer Reporting

August 3, 2016

  • EEOC Survey Requiring Employee Pay Disclosure Now Active, Deadline in September
  • IRS Releases Draft Forms, Instructions for Calendar Year 2016 ACA Employer Reporting

August 2, 2016

  • Proposed IRS Regulations Address MEC Reporting
  • Council, Aon Hewitt Unveil Results of Global Governance Survey
  • FASB Proposes Updates to Accounting Standards for Retirement, Health Plans
  • NTIS Releases Final Certification Program for Access to Death Master File

July 25, 2016

  • Support for ‘Cadillac Tax’ Repeal Grows; Council, Alliance Continue Legislative Push
  • New Universal Retirement Bill Mandates Retirement Coverage, Contributions by Employers
  • Agencies Request Comments Related to Accommodating Religious Objections to Contraceptive Coverage

July 20, 2016

  • Now Available: New Analyses of Proposed Expatriate Health Plan Regulations
  • Proposed Senate Resolutions Would Nullify EEOC Wellness Rules
  • IRS Determination Letter Process to Monitor Defined Benefit Plans Despite Phase-Out

July 15, 2016

  • Senate Introduces Measure to Move PBGC Premiums Off-Budget; Council Voices Support
  • HHS Launches Updated Administrative Simplification Overview Website

July 13, 2016

  • Proposed ERISA Reporting Rule Applies Form 5500 Changes to Health, Retirement Plans
  • EEOC Moves Forward With Burdensome Pay Disclosure Requirement
  • Council Participates in Special Listening Session to Discuss Mental Health Parity

July 12, 2016

  • Agencies Propose Updates to Form 5500
  • DOL Issues BICE Technical Correction to Fiduciary Rule
  • IRS Issues Proposed Regulations on ACA Premium Tax Credits and ‘Opt-Out’ Arrangements
  • Sixth Circuit Rules that ERISA Does Not Preempt Michigan Claims-Paid Tax

July 7, 2016

  • Mental Health Bill Passes House Overwhelmingly
  • New House Bill Would Provide Safe Harbor for Chronic Disease Treatment under HDHPs, As Recommended by Council
  • House Approves Legislative Package Including HSA and Other Improvements Advocated by the Council

July 1, 2016

  • IRS Announces: ACA Information Returns May Continue To Be Filed After June 30, 2016
  • IRS Guidance Confirms Downsizing of Determination Letter Program
  • House Passes Small Business HRA Bill
  • Senate Hearing on Small Business Health Care Broaches Large Employer Concerns
  • DOL Updates Monetary Penalties for ERISA Violations

June 24, 2016

  • House Republicans Unveil Tax Reform Blueprint
  • Retirement Plan Tracking Legislation introduced in Senate
  • House Override of Fiduciary Rule Fails
  • Trustees Unveil Reports on Social Security, Medicare Trust Funds

June 22, 2016

  • House GOP Task Force Issues Health Care Policy Vision
  • Senate Subcommittee Discusses Expanding Multiple Employer Plans

June 21, 2016

  • IRS Proposes New Rules Governing Nonqualified Deferred Compensation
  • EEOC Provides Sample Notice for Wellness Program Providers
  • New ACA Guidance Clarifies Permitted Marketplace Content in COBRA Election Notice

June 20, 2016

  • New PBGC Reports Cast Further Doubt on Multiemployer Pensions
  • Mental Health Bill Clears House Panel

June 16, 2016

  • Ways and Means Committee Votes on Health Policy Legislation Addressing HRAs, HSAs
  • Aging Committee Examines Retirement Security

June 14, 2016

  • Council Blueprint Summarizes BPC Retirement Report
  • Agencies Issue Proposed Regulations for Expatriate Health Plans
  • IRS Guidance Clarifies Tax Treatment of Pension Payments in Phased Retirement

June 10, 2016

  • Bipartisan Policy Center Issues Retirement Policy Recommendations, Including Several Aligned with Council Proposals
  • Council Urges Seventh Circuit Court to Uphold Lower Court Ruling Supporting Workplace Wellness Programs
  • IRS Advisory Committee Issues Report on Determination Letter Program

June 8, 2016

  • Council Offers Proposals to Promote Lifetime Participation in Employer Retirement Plans
  • House GOP Leaders Issue Retirement Policy Recommendations

June 3, 2016

  • DOL Issues ‘Warning Signs’ for Mental Health Law Compliance
  • Council Urges Ninth Circuit Court to Review Ruling in 401(k) Fee Case
  • PBGC Proposes Rules to Help Multiemployer Pension Plans Merge

June 2, 2016

  • Council Offers Recommendations on Tax Reform, Retirement Policy
  • Council Summary of Regulatory Agendas Now Available
  • Updated State Retirement Plan Comparison Chart Now Available on Council Website

June 1, 2016

  • GOP Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Reform ACA
  • Council Requests Additional Guidance, Transition Period for Form 5500 Changes

May 26, 2016

  • Senate Joins House in Formally Opposing Fiduciary Rule
  • ERISA Advisory Council Formally Issues 2015 Reports
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Benchmark Your Benefits with Council Member Surveys

May 18, 2016

  • House Subcommittee Hears Lawmakers’ Health Policy Tax Proposals
  • DOL Unveils Expansive Final Rules on Overtime

May 17, 2016

  • EEOC Issues Final Wellness Regulations under ADA, GINA
  • Council, Others Request QLAC Guidance from IRS
  • IRS Finalizes Removal of Rollover Allocation Rule for Roth Plans

May 16, 2016

  • EEOC Issues Final Wellness Regulations under ADA, GINA
  • HHS Finalizes ACA Nondiscrimination Rules
  • PBGC Revises Civil Monetary Penalties

May 13, 2016

  • House Tax Subcommittee Solicits Tax Reform Ideas from Lawmakers, Including Proposals Affecting Retirement Plans, Stock Compensation, Student Tuition/Loan Assistance
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: From A Global Perspective

May 6, 2016

  • Council Urges Sufficient Transition Period for Shift to New Mortality Tables
  • IRS Finalizes Rules for Multiemployer Pension Plans Seeking to Suspend Benefits; Rejects Central States Application

April 29, 2016

  • Council Comments on IRS Rules for Applying Nondiscrimination Rules to Frozen Pension Plans
  • IRS Releases 2017 Indexed Amounts for HSAs, HDHPs

April 27, 2016

  • Council Weighs in with IRS on Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor 401(k) Plans
  • PBGC Proposes Reduction in Premium Penalties

April 22, 2016

  • Council Task Force Chairman Testifies before Senate Committee on Federal Rulemaking Process; House Subcommittee Approves Resolution to Block Fiduciary Rule
  • IRS Weighs in on Hybrid Plan Whipsaw Issues in Informal Guidance

April 21, 2016

  • New Guidance Addresses ACA, Mental Health Parity and WHCRA Compliance
  • DOL Memo Provides Guidance on Interaction of Government Contractor Fringe Benefits, ACA

April 15, 2016

  • Bipartisan Legislation Introduced to Eliminate PBGC Premiums as Federal Revenue Raiser
  • IRS Withdraws QSERP Provisions from Proposed Defined Benefit Nondiscrimination Relief
  • Ninth Circuit Court Dismisses Fiduciary Suit, Citing Statute of Limitations

April 14, 2016

  • Council Urges House Panel to Encourage Health Coverage Innovation Through Flexibility, Supportive Tax Policy
  • Employer-Sponsored Health Coverage Tax Exclusion Under Fire in House Hearing

April 13, 2016

  • Council Comments on Proposed Paid Leave Requirements for Federal Contractors
  • Council Urges EEOC to Withdraw Proposed Disclosure Revision
  • PBGC Issues Report on Multiemployer Pension Plan Premiums

April 6, 2016

  • DOL Unveils Final Fiduciary Definition Rule: Even With Improvements, Concerns Remain
  • CMS Issues Payment Rates for Medicare Advantage, Employer Group Waiver Plans

April 1, 2016

  • House GOP Task Forces Working on Policy Proposals Addressing Benefit Plans
  • Council Urges State Legislatures to Adopt Uniform Standards for Paid Leave Laws
  • ‘Cadillac Tax’ Carve-Out Bills Introduced in House, Senate
  • IRS Reveals Proposed 2016 Changes to Form 5500

March 23, 2016

  • Council Releases Public Polling Data Showing Support for Repeal of ‘Cadillac Tax,’ Skepticism of Proponents’ Claims
  • PBGC Finalizes Changes to Annual Financial, Actuarial Information Reporting Requirements
  • Legislation Would Permit Limited Nontaxable Student Loan Repayment Benefit

March 16, 2016

  • DOL Revises Argument in Support of ‘Stock Drop’ Cases, Offers Insight into Fiduciary Approach
  • House Committee Presses DOL Secretary on Fiduciary Project
  • Senate Committee Approves Mental Health Bill with Enhanced Parity Enforcement
  • ERISA Advisory Council to Examine Plan-to-Plan Transfers, Cybersecurity in 2016

March 11, 2016

  • Council Meets with OMB on Imminent Fiduciary Rule
  • Administration Announces Implementation Date for New SBC Template, Associated Documents
  • DOL Extends Comment Period for Proposed Paid Leave Requirements for Federal Contractors

March 10, 2016

  • Mental Health Legislation Draft Would Enhance Parity Enforcement
  • Council Continues Push to Preserve Medicare Advantage

March 4, 2016

  • Alliance to Fight the 40 Breaks Down Obama’s ‘Cadillac Tax’ Budget Proposal
  • Benefits Blueprint Now Available on Socially Responsible Investments
  • Council Joins Coalition to Save Medicare Advantage Retiree Coverage

March 2, 2016

  • Council Elects New Officers and Board Members, Reports Continued Membership Growth
  • Senate Committee Mulls Multiemployer Pension Plan Challenges

March 1, 2016

  • U.S. Supreme Court Rules for Employers in ERISA Preemption of Vermont Health Reporting Law
  • DOL to Survey Individuals about Retirement Strategies

February 26, 2016

  • IRS Proposes New SBC Templates, Instructions, Related Materials

February 25, 2016

  • Fiduciary Rule Update: Council Pursues Further Input with OMB as Senate Committee Releases Report
  • DOL Moves to Enforce Paid Leave Requirements for Federal Contractors
  • Council Weighs In with Second Circuit on Cash Balance ‘Wear Away’ Case
  • IRS Advises Form 5500, 5500-SF Filers to Skip New Compliance Questions

February 19, 2016

  • Council Comments on ACA Guidance Regarding Shared Responsibility, Affordability, Full-Time Status
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Updating Member Contact Information

February 16, 2016

  • Supreme Court Upheaval: Implications for Benefits Cases?

February 12, 2016

  • Appeals Court Rules that Texas Prompt Pay Law Does Not Apply to Self-Funded Plans
  • IRS Proposes Additional Rules for Multiemployer Pension Plans Seeking to Suspend Benefits
  • A Bit About Your Benefits: Joint Board for the Enrollment of Actuaries Approves Council as Qualified CE Sponsor

February 10, 2016

  • President’s FY 2017 Budget Proposes Changes to ACA ‘Cadillac Tax,’ Open MEPs, Among Others

February 5, 2016

  • Cadillac Tax Update: Obama to Suggest Changes; Council, Alliance to Fight the 40 Continue Push for Full Repeal
  • Lawmakers Introduce Legislation to Modernize HSAs, FSAs

February 3, 2016

  • Ways and Means Committee Approves Bill to Oversee DOL Fiduciary Proposal

February 2, 2016

  • House Committee Approves Legislation to Address Concerns with DOL Fiduciary Proposal
  • Fourth Circuit Rules for Plan Sponsor, Indicates Claims Were Too Old

January 29, 2016

  • Council Comments on Proposed Wellness, Genetic Nondiscrimination Rules
  • DOL Inches Closer to Finalization of Fiduciary Definition Rule
  • IRS Issues Guidance on Mid-Year Changes to Safe Harbor Plans and Safe Harbor Notices

January 28, 2016

  • Senate Committee Examines Retirement Security, Council Files Statement for Record
  • IRS Proposes New Rules for Applying Nondiscrimination Rules to Frozen Pension Plans
  • FASB Proposes New Defined Benefit Plan Disclosures, Benefit Cost Guidelines

January 27, 2016

  • Obama Budget Proposal to Include New Retirement Policy Initiatives

January 25, 2016

  • Supreme Court Affirms High Standard for Stock Drop Cases

January 22, 2016

  • Council Recommends Elimination of Summary Annual Report
  • District Court to Review Vesting of Benefits in Light of Supreme Court Decision

January 21, 2016

  • Supreme Court Limits Health Plan’s Ability to Recover Funds in Subrogation Claims

January 19, 2016

  • Council Voices Concerns Regarding Proposed Rules for State-Sponsored Retirement Plans
  • Council Comments on DOL Disability Claims Proposal

January 15, 2016

  • New ‘Pomeroy Perspectives’ Examines ‘Cadillac Tax’ Delay, Profiles Congressional Champions
  • Council and Other Employer Groups Express Opposition to Proposed Cuts in Medicare Advantage Program
  • IRS Advisory Committee Seeks Input on Determination Letter Policy

January 14, 2016

  • IRS Issues Information for Individual Taxpayers Regarding New ACA Reporting Forms
  • District Court Rules for Employer in EEOC Challenge to Wellness Program
  • IRS Issues Correction Procedures for 2015 Transit Benefit Overpayments

January 11, 2016

  • Council Asks IRS: Will State-Run Savings Plans Trigger Prohibited Transaction?
  • PBGC Releases Updated Forms and Instructions for Defined Benefit Plan Reportable Events

January 5, 2016

  • PBGC Participant and Plan Sponsor Advocate Urges More Cooperation, Outreach from Agency on Premiums, Penalties, Reportable Events
  • IRS Bulletin Provides Ongoing Guidance on Benefit Plan Administration, Including Revised Determination Letter Process