IRS updates electronic filing specifications for ACA forms

The IRS has issued the electronic filing specifications for ACA forms. Publication 5165, Guide for Electronically Filing Affordable Care Act (ACA) Information Returns (AIR) for Software Developers and Transmitters (Processing Year [PY] 2018), outlines the communication procedures, transmission formats, business rules and validation procedures for information returns transmitted electronically through the AIR System. To develop […]

Pension & Benefits NetNews – February 6, 2018

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Tax law fueling changes to employer benefits and compensation programs, survey finds

The new tax reform law is fueling changes to corporate America’s employee benefits, compensation, total rewards and executive pay programs, according to a survey by Willis Towers Watson. The survey of 333 large and midsize employers reveals nearly half (49 percent) of the respondents are considering making a change to at least one of these […]

PBGC issues 2018 premium filing instructions

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has posted the 2018 Comprehensive Premium Filing Instructions (including the illustrative form) on its website. The PBGC states that the filing requirements for 2018 are almost identical to the 2017 filing requirements, according to the PBGC. However, the flat-rate premium, variable rate premium, and cap on variable rate premium […]

CFPB prepaid accounts rules are final

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has finalized the proposed regulations on prepaid accounts. Specifically, the (CFPB) is amending Regulation E, which implements the Electronic Fund Transfer Act, and Regulation Z, which implements the Truth in Lending Act, and the official interpretations to those regulations. The CFPB is finalizing modifications to several aspects of that […]

Rising prices drive pace of health spending increase

Americans used the same amount or less health care in 2016 compared to 2015, but rising prices caused overall spending in 2016 to grow faster than any time in the last five years, according to a report from the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). The report, Health Care Cost and Utilization Report, analyzed health care […]

IRS focuses on VCP user fee changes for 2018

The IRS has provided information concerning the 2018 changes to the user fees charged for submissions under the Employee Plans Compliance Resolution System’s (EPCRS’s) Voluntary Correction Program (VCP). Effective January 2, 2018, the IRS has simplified the user fees charged for most submissions made under the VCP by requiring that the applicable user fee be […]

IRS issues Pub 15 plus W-4 withholding guidance

The IRS has released IRS Pub 15 and other guidance on withholding for 2018. The guidance: extends the effective period of Forms W-4, Employee’s Withholding Allowance Certificate, furnished to claim exemption from income tax withholding under section 3402(n) of the Internal Revenue Code (Code) for 2017 until February 28, 2018, and permits employees to claim […]

Annual wellness visits increase for adolescents

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) has been moderately successful in getting more adolescents to see doctors for annual wellness visits, but more needs to be done, according to a study published in JAMA Pediatrics. The study compared with adolescent frequency of annual wellness visits before and after the ACA went into effect […]

PBGC final regs increase civil penalties for failure to provide certain notices for 2018

The Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) has issued final regulations that adjust the civil monetary penalties provided in ERISA Secs. 4071 and 4302 for inflation. The maximum daily penalty for failing to provide notices or other material information under ERISA Sec. 4071 has increased from $2,097 to $2,140, and the maximum penalty for failure to […]