Chronic back condition, disputed notice issues leave FMLA claims standing

FMLA interference and retaliation claims of a terminated manufacturing employee would survive summary judgment, ruled a federal district court in Kentucky. The employee’s spinal arthritis, lumbago, and muscle spasms qualified as a chronic serious health condition for which he had twice visited his physician and was receiving medication. Given that the employee called in every […]

House GOP unveils sweeping tax reform bill with retirement provisions

House Republicans on November 2, 2017 unveiled their much-anticipated tax reform legislation, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (HR 1). The 429-page bill, which represents the House Ways and Means Committee’s first legislative offer to significantly overhaul the U.S. Tax Code, includes a number of pension-related provisions but does not include, at least initially, the […]

State university hospital immune from FMLA suit, but claims against individual supervisors survive

A discharged University of New Mexico hospital employee could not proceed with his FMLA claims against the state entity, but he could move forward with his FMLA claims against his supervisors, a federal district court in New Mexico ruled. The court partially granted the employers’ motion to dismiss, finding that the hospital had sovereign immunity […]

Participant’s missed plan loan installment payments did not violate level amortization requirement because they were properly cured

A participant’s missed installment payments for a Code Sec. 401(k) plan loan did not violate the level amortization requirement under Code Sec. 72(p)(2)(C) because these payments were cured within the applicable cure period by payment of the amount due or by the refinancing of the loan, according to an IRS Chief Counsel advice memorandum. The […]

Five tips for improving employee benefits programs

Most employers are either totally frustrated at their employee benefits program or are frozen in place waiting to hear about the next round of Congressional votes, according to Rob Pariseau, executive vice president of Lykes Insurance, a Florida-based commercial insurance firm. “This is actually a good time for employers to take a step back and […]

Prohibition on loans from 403(b) plan participant’s account to church-related employer applies to indirect loans

The rule prohibiting loans from a Code Sec. 403(b)(9) retirement account of a participant to the participant’s employer, a church-related organization, under the exclusive benefit requirement of IRS Reg. Sec. 1.403(b)-9(2)(i)(C), applies not only to loans made directly to the employer, but also to indirect loans made to the employer, according to an IRS Chief […]

Pension & Benefits NetNews – November 7, 2017

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Employer premiums rise nearly 7% in 2017 as employees absorb more of health insurance cost

Premium renewal rates (the comparison of similar plan rates year over year) for employer sponsored health insurance rose an average of 6.6%-a significant increase from the five-year average increase of 5.6%, according to the 2017 United Benefit Advisors (UBA) Health Plan Survey, released October 26. Two states saw record premium increases: Connecticut saw a 24% […]

IRS seeks comments on Form 5330

The IRS is seeking comments on an extension without change of a currently approved information collection request concerning Form 5330 (Return of Excise Taxes Related to Employee Benefit Plans). The collection request is being submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review and clearance. Form 5308 is used to compute and collect […]

Taxpayer Advocate Service has self-help tools to assist employers with complex ACA requirements

The Taxpayer Advocate Service has announced that they have recently developed a tool to help employers understand how the provisions of the employer shared responsibility provision (ESRP) under Code Sec. 4980H apply to their organization. The ESRP applies to applicable large employers (ALEs) – generally, that means employers that had an average of at least […]