SIFL rates issued for the first half of 2018

The Department of Transportation has released the applicable terminal charge and standard industry fare level (SIFL) mileage rates for January 1, 2018 through June 30, 2018. These rates will be used by the IRS to determine the value of noncommercial flights on employer-provided aircraft. The terminal charge is $41.71. The SIFL rates are $.2282 per […]

March per diems issued for foreign areas

The U.S. State Department has released the maximum travel per diem allowances for travel in foreign areas. The rates, which will be reproduced in a future Report, apply to all U.S. government employees and contractors and are effective as of March 1, 2018. In addition, the rates are used by private employers for travel expense […]

Pension & Benefits NetNews – March 6, 2018

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IRS releases final health insurance provider fee regulations

The IRS has issued final regulations that provide rules for the definition of a covered entity for purposes of the fee imposed by Act Sec. 9010 of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) (P.L. 111-148), as amended. The final regulations supersede and adopt the text of temporary regulations that provide rules for the […]

IRS releases new withholding calculator, W-4

The IRS has released a new withholding calculator, as well as a new version of Form W-4. The new withholding calculator will let employees check that their tax withholding is proper following passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97). The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made major changes to the tax law. […]

Sixth Circuit can’t create ambiguity in CBA to find vested lifetime healthcare benefits, High Court says

The Supreme Court has reversed and remanded a decision in which the Sixth Circuit held that the same “Yard-Man” inferences it once used to presume lifetime vesting could be used “to render a collective bargaining agreement ambiguous as a matter of law, thus allowing courts to consult extrinsic evidence about lifetime vesting.” That approach was […]

North Dakota releases 2018 withholding tables

North Dakota has released its 2018 withholding tables for employers. The tables are available at The tables were delayed due to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (P.L. 115-97). Employers do not have to make any withholding adjustments for wages already paid in 2018. The supplemental wage rate remains 1.84%. All of the tables […]

Democratic staff of Joint Economic Committee warns Americans’ retirement security is headed for disaster

Americans’ retirement future is shaky and Congress must immediately enact policies to secure it, according to a February 2018 report from the Democratic staff of the Joint Economic Committee. Challenges to planning and saving for retirement include inadequate savings, stagnant wages, and limited access to low-cost and high return accounts, according to the recently-released “Retirement […]

National health expenditure growth expected to average 5.5 percent annually from 2017-2026

National health expenditure growth is expected to average 5.5 percent annually over 2017-2026, according to a report from the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Growth in national health spending is projected to be faster than projected growth in gross domestic product (GDP) by 1.0 percentage point over […]

Alaska eliminates minimum wage exemption for disabilities

Following a regulatory change that became effective February 16, 2018, Alaska employers are no longer allowed to pay less than minimum wage to workers who experience disabilities. In repealing 8 AAC 15.120, Alaska joins New Hampshire and Maryland as the first states in the nation to eliminate payment of subminimum wages for persons with disabilities. […]